Story and pictures from Steve of Dead Meadow
At the time of writing this paragraph we are in Sunset Sound recording our fifth studio album, third for Matador Records. Sunset Sound is definitely haunted by lots of history. Appearantly the ghost of Jim Morrison walks the secret storage rooms and echo chambers in the fifty-year old studio on the Sunset strip. A vibe and energy to this place that is totally unique and hopefully and energy that can color our new music. Even more than the vibes we have received in this sound temple was that of the energy and evp noises captured during our tracking a month earlier in Indiana. In trying to reach out to our more atmospheric side we returned to our drummers families farm/estate in rural Indiana. The natural setting and a chance to "get away from it all" that first brought us there to record "Howls from the Hills" took us back again for this creative endeavor. Instead of tracking in the barn the fall weather forced to move the operation into the nearby original inn/farmhouse that was the basis of the property. For years abandoned (his grandparents who own the land have always lived in a newer house they built on the other side of thefarm) the house was recently rebuilt to be used as a guest house project by our drummers uncle.
A totally empty, beautifully restored and warm farm house was definitely a great place to spend the next few weeks tracking the basic instruments. His uncle added some beautiful features that added to the sound and ambience. A huge greatroom with fourteen foot tall ceilings were perfect for the drum sounds. Old cuboards and closets were great isolation rooms. Even an architectual old well was built into the new kitchen floor. Instead of covering the well up with the new construction instead they covered it up with thick glass in a light at the bottom, a perfect reminder of the building past in the now modern updated kitchen, only if you did not watch "The Ring".
The location was perfect but the only problem was the constant haunting issues along the way. At first we did not think of it but as it became consistant there is hidden Evp sounds on some of the guitar sounds and buzzing bits. Even a violin noise from no where and walking when no one was upstairs. Luckily we were recording so we plan to throw some of the sounds on the final piece. I guess it will be something for the heads to trip out to. To add icing on the cake of the story we found out that the last renters of the home that were there before renovations or even Howls were recorded broke their lease do to apparitions. These guys were park rangers and one of them even pulled his gun on hand prints walking towards him in the carpet as he laid in bed… I hope the energy will come across and maybe the good vibes of our music helped this home. I always felt a good vibe even with the weird noises. I like to think as if something was there it was just trying to have it voice on the record.. like "I can play something too."
the "haunted" vaults above Sunset with tons of old reels (Zippedoodah, Disney stuff and maybe a lost Doors reel????)
my favorite… basketball in the Sunset courtyard.. onthe left is Studio 1, the right Studio 3 and the photois taken from Studio 2..
— Steve Kille