Trebuchet Exposes their Unusual Process in a Documentary and After-Party Performance
Courtesy of Trebuchet
Denton rock experimenteers Trebuchet have a recording idea, and it sounds a little cockamamie. 'Course, the way they write music isn't exactly some safe-bet formula either, but we'll get to that. Four Nights in December, their new making-of documentary (initially meant to be only music video footage), is about a bold experiment. Stay with me, laymen. I'll explain.
Their plan to lay down new songs went against the grain of the recording studio playbook: they would set up in one big room, hit record, roll video and play (what some artists would hastily label "taping a rehearsal"). Normally, you would separate the different band elements, so that you could later shape each sound individually: vocals in an isolated booth, guitar amps set in empty hallways, etcetera. It's called multi-track recording. It's a costly process for a local band, both in time and money. Trebuchet wanted to be frugal with both, but that's not to say their hearts weren't in this. What they did took balls.
Thus, Friday, as part of Thin Line Film Fest 2013, an interesting rock doc was debuted...born purely by accident.
In December of 2011 (on Christmas day, mind you), Trebuchet hauled a shit-ton of music, recording and film gear up a flight of stairs and into a loft above Atomic Candy on the square in Denton. It wasn't some test of their dedication, nor an escape from holiday family drama. It was for the acoustics of a room.
They were willing to place a big bet on that room sound. Chris Galt, Trebuchet's live recording engineer, demonstrates this in the film with a couple popping, reverberating claps. "Such a cool room tone!" says Galt in the film, known for his unorthodox recording methodology. "We just set the whole band up live, like, no amps in closets...anything like that."
Sure, live concerts are recorded this way..and bands make quickie "scratch" recordings for their own use like this all the time. But, to cut your new studio album that way? None the bolder, together with techniques they brought out of a rehearsal space shared with fellow Denton rockers The Phuss, they said, "Fuck it" and attacked their new album by being well-rehearsed, setting up in an acoustically sound room, implementing a secret weapon in engineer Galt (a mad scientist of sorts when it comes to thinking outside the box, if not altogether destroying said box) and just charging the gate.
You can hear it for yourself onscreen or in the new LP, Said A to B. It sounds like a good old fashioned studio recording.