"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where any recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
FOUR TRIPS AHEAD: "The Memories"
FOUR TRIPS AHEAD - has sounded the call for the new decade, the dynamic, melodic new EP entitled "The Memories". Successfully combining their exciting mixture of funk and progressive tendencies, the seasoned New York City musicians are an up and coming act in the hard rock scene. Find out more about the album, the band and their influences, here's their vocalist,: PETER WILSON...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
The reaction has been excellent! We charted #5 on CMJ’s most added hard rock/metal radio chart upon release in November 2010 in the U.S. where college and rock specialty radio shows have been supporting the EP. Generally, we have been receiving great reviews. We've also charted well on various radio and internet shows throughout Europe and Latin America. Most importantly, we’ve picked up many fans that are moved by "The Memories" EP.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We did the basic tracks for “The Memories” over the course of three weekends with overdubs. Mixing the five songs took an additional two weekends.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Big, organic, heavy production with groove and VIBE.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Since we produced and mixed The Memories EP ourselves, we were able to keep it a family affair.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Extremely. So much so that we are in the midst of tracking a brand new three-song single much the same way.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Not particularly, but our drummer, Nick Cipriano, is truly a studio genius and has been working with us for many years. He understands what to do to bring out the best in us as musicians and how to most effectively capture the ‘Four Trips Ahead sound.' "The Memories" EP also has a "warm" sound to it as it was bounced from Pro-Tools to 2' reels for mixing and mastering.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
We are lucky to do all of our basic tracking at Spin Recording Studios in Long Island City, NYC where we have a long-standing, well-valued relationship. We love their live room, their 68-channel SSL board and their facilities. FTA tracked live, including vocals, to capture the energy of the songs. We then did overdubs, building off the foundations of what had been tracked as a band.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
This is hard to answer as all of the songs represent what we do in different ways. I think we’re all partial to "This Night" because we shot a video for it that we’re very proud of. The song takes many musical turns and melodically it’s strong. It receives an awesome response when we perform it live. Plus, the lyrics and imagery work well together which come across in the video. However, "Remembering Who I am" has been getting a great deal of airplay in Europe and has connected with a lot of people too.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
I think we like to tell stories within the songs—some are more obvious or direct than others. But there is no overarching agenda when we write. Being observant, absorbing our environment and following our creative process usually generates interesting musical concepts and tales.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
If you mean worrying about studio time and cost, we try to spend a great deal of time rehearsing and working out arrangements—i.e. pre-production—before we begin the recording process. We also record new song ideas in our studio constantly. The best ones are pursued and become full-fledged songs. “The Memories” EP is perhaps the first FTA release where we best captured what we’re about.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Since 505 Records is our independent label, it most certainly interfered!
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Ahhh…some secrets are best kept to ourselves…
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Hard rock with strong melodies , thoughtful lyrics and progressive arrangements.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
There are so many! Here are a few: Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, King’s X, Peter Gabriel, Seal, Tool, David Bowie, The Beatles, Faith No More, Queen, Rush, Stevie Wonder, Marillion, Cheap Trick, KISS, AC/DC, Sly and the Family Stone, Dream Theater, Metallica, The Police, Iron Maiden, Living Colour, Van Halen, Pantera, Jellyfish, Aerosmith, Prince, The Cure, Porcupine Tree, Soundgarden, Depeche Mode, Jimi Hendrix, Voivod, Moke, Radiohead…
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Thanks to RockUnited.com for supporting FOUR TRIPS
AHEAD's music. Check out the video for 'This Night' at www.youtube.com/fourtripsahead
And for all things FTA, visit www.fourtripsahead.com
Look for our new single 'Good Times Goodbye' in June 2011!
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,