We're about one month or so away from the two year anniversary of our first recording session at Phantom Manor Recording Studio with Mr. Mike Lust, circa February 2008.
Holy Crap! Two YEARS!
As we all know, it took us about a whole year to complete the tracking, overdubs, vocals, mixing, mastering and artwork that has thus resulted in the critcally acclaimed, worldwide rock and roll sensation known as Apples and Sunshine.
Anyway, in honor of this notable event in rock, I'd like to contribute a few posts about the making of this album in a new mini blog series known as "Behind the Apples"
So without further ado, "Behind the Apples" Vol. 1.1
Why Phantom Manor, and where is that you may ask?
I (Billy) first heard of Phantom Manor after seeing a now defunct but incredible Chicago band, The Narrator, play a few times in Chicago. The first was at Empty Bottle with Karma with a K opening (also on hiatus), The Narrator second and the up and coming band Maps and Atlases headlining. What a show! M&A killed it, as I recall, playing their sped-up, loud yet digestible combo of math rock and hardcore. Karma with a K's frontman hung from the speakers, while the drummer pounded nonstop. And I'm pretty sure a few members of the Narrator were kind of drunk, but they were completely charming and engrossing. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed by the lineup and since have also collected Merethra by Karma With a K album and also Trees, Shallows and Houses by Maps and Atlases.
karma with a k - questions and answers
Karma with a K | MySpace Music Videos
Karma with a K "Questions and Answers"
Maps and Atlases - "Everyplace is a House" (Live)
The Narrator - "All the Tired Horses" (Dylan Cover - Live)
Not too long after that show, I found myself a big fan of all three bands, especially The Narrator. If you haven't had an opportunity to hear them, I highly recommend you do. They are the perfect mix of punk, oddball indie, rock and pop. Their songs are unpretentious as they are unique, and their lyrics of Sam and Jesse complement each other - simple, weird and engaging. I bought their latest (and ultimately last) album, All that to the Wall a few weeks after the Empty Bottle show. The CD said in its notes that it was recorded with Mike Lust at Phantom Manor in Chicago.
Some months after the show at the Empty Bottle I found myself at another Narrator show, this time with the Mannequin Men at the Metro. Wow, the Mannequin Men were LOUD and seemingly soaked in Whiskey (as Simon would say...). The Narrator was amazingly 3x better than they were at the Empty Bottle. Their cover of Dylan's "All the TIred Horses" was an incredible singalong, including Kevin from the MM who hopped onstage. During their set, I saw my old high school classmate Matt Holland (then with Spiller Whale, now with Vacations) and I remmembered that Spiller Whale's EP was also recorded with Mike Lust at Phantom. I asked Matt something like "How was it ?" and he had nothing but good things to say, including great value for quality...as well as something to the effect of "Mike's a character...make sure you drink with him."
Phantom Manor Recording - Link