A few miles north of downtown, Hectorina's three band members — singer/guitarist Dylan Gilbert, bassist Zach Jordan and drummer John Harrell III are laying down tracks for the band's upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album at Old House Studio. The bandmates cut jokes between takes, play riffs by Smashing Pumpkins and Bee Gees to lighten the mood and invite friends in to keep things fun and relaxed during their two-week studio stint. If all goes as planned, the album will be released later this year.
Creative Loafing: This is your first time recording at a big studio. How's it going so far?
Dylan Gilbert: It felt like we were at the stage that we shouldn't do a record at home. We've been playing together long enough now and it felt like the next logical step for us. It feels cozy here. We always have the fortunate problem of having too many songs when we get to the studio. Our rock opera (2013's Collywobble) was 23 tracks or something stupid like that. We have a lot of [recordings — a split 7" and two solo albums] that are ready to go now, but we're going to put [the new Hectorina album] out as smartly as possible when the time is right this year. We had 15 songs ready when we got here — six or seven of them we've been playing live. We've already talked about mood and how we wanted it to sound before we got here.
Are you trying to record a song a day while you're here for two weeks, or what's the timeline for you?
I wish we could just have a way to do it. Instead, it's "One person's sleepy so we'll do drums at that time. This person went to get coffee, so we'll do bass." I work at School of Rock, so while I was gone they were recording some bass and drums. When they're tired, I can record my vocals. We try to go song-for-song or do two at a time, or finish one before we go on to the next one. It's kind of all over the place though.
Your live shows are known for energy and things getting frantic, so how do you keep it steady and focused in the studio?
I've always felt that the live performance and recording a record are completely different ballgames. What you do live is never going to sound as fun on a record. The last two records were more live and this time, we want to come at it from a different angle while maintaining the energy. I don't think we get burned out because what we're doing is fun. We don't feel any pressure, but it's still early in the process. Check in with me next week, when we only have one day left.