February 11th, 2010
I am having at the moment lots of make up and running around for several clothes changes. We are doing the photos for “What Lies Beneath” album cover and artwork.
Is very nice to rest my ears for a couple of days, though it has been a lot of fan to be in the studio. I will show you some images of the photo shooting, but later on.
We are very busy today still and it will keep us even busier tomorrow
Now I am leaving some words from Mike and some photos that he took in the last days.
Hi everybody! Uncle Mike here again, Tarja asked me to write a few words summing up my impressions of her session. So here we go…
I was born in Buffalo New York, so I’m not really a big fan of cold weather or snow, but I must say Hollola Finland is a very beautiful and relaxing. It proved to be a great place to live and work while recording Tarja’s CD.
There is just a great positive vibe here. Its kind of an old school environment great huge drum room, including a very comfortable and well equipped control room. I was really impressed with Petrax studios it reminded me of the larger studios that used to exist during the 70’s , 80’s and 90’s
Unfortunately my drums arrived one day late due to poor weather conditions, but after that delay… everything fell into place and the reminder of the session went as smooth as glass. This session was also a nice way to test out my new custom kit made exclusively by Drum Craft. I must say the kit performed beautifully and I think we really captured some good sounds!
The engineer Jetro is a very talented, patient, hard working guy. I would also like too personally thank Tiina & Petri the owners of Petrax Studios for there kindness hospitality. They are two of the sweetest people I have ever met and they really made us all feel so welcome and comfortable. We have been spoiled by Tinna’s excellent home cooked meals day & night.
Naturally when the vibes are good and your feeling comfortable then you are free to make good music. I’m going to miss this place and these people its simply a lovely place to work. What more could any musician as for!
I have been touring with Tarja now for approximately two years and during that time, I often wondered if I would get a chance to record on her new CD. So as you can imagine I am very happy and very proud to be a part of “What Lies beneath”
I turned 50 last month and I think playing on this session is one of the best birthday gifts I have ever received!
Woops Sorry…. I have digressed… back to the music. All the songs are very well written and arranged. Tarjas vocal melody lines are beautiful and I think she is singing better than ever. There is going to be a lot of emotions on this CD.
Tarja also has a very good understanding of how all the instruments must work together in the studio. This is a very important skill, especially when you’re trying to convey your musical and creative ideas too other musicians. I was very impressed that Tarja was able to understand my approach to drumming. She really has a great ear for picking out the cool drum parts. It was fun to play all kinds of grooves and fills and let her pick what she liked. Tarja always seemed to pick the groove or fill idea, which worked best for the track and was also cool from a drumming perspective.
Initially my approach to this session was to act in a supportive role. I came prepared to accompany the music and Tarja’s voice. However, I was surprised that this CD seems to be much heavier and experimental with regard to the drumming on the previous release “My Winter Storm”. In some songs I was given free reign to cut loose and really play what I wanted within the boundaries of good taste of course!
It was also very cool to play live in the studio and record some of the songs together with Alex on guitar. I think its gives the tacks more of a live feel with raw emotional power. It’s been a long time since I have worked like this. So it seems on this session Tarja & Marcelo have managed to combine the best of the old and the new with regard to recording techniques and live playing.
Looking back on the past days, I really feel that I had a chance to express myself and to show my own personal drumming style. It’s really nice to work with people that enjoy what you can bring to their music. For me, this is what music is about. It’s about exchanging musical ideas and creating interesting moods and feelings. The feelings generated depend mainly on who is playing. With musicians like Alex Scholpp and Doug Wimbish, I can tell you the rhythm guitar and bass tracks on the CD are rock solid. The grooves are tight yet; they still retain the organic performance style of each musician.
It was a pleasure and an honor to play double drums with Will Calhoun on the epic song “Crimson Deep” This was Marcelo’s idea and again it’s in keeping with mixing new technology with old proven ideas.
I have played along with other drummers in live situations, but never in the recording studio, so I was a bit curious and excited to see how it was going to work out.
Will and I found that after mapping out our parts, we synchronized together in real time and it really adds a nice flavor to the over all track. There is a very strong primal groove running through the entire song and although Will and I have different playing styles and influences, I think we both complemented each other and the music.
This session just flew by. It was also great to be back with everyone again Tarja, Marcelo, Alex, Max, Doug and Christian. This was a session that I shall never forget; it was truly a great experience.
I’m looking forward to getting out on the road and playing this music live for you people.
With love, Tarja