I’m thoroughly enjoying these Frontloader Sessions… yes, in case you were wondering, I am changing the name to simply “Frontloader Sessions.” It’s easier to remember and I like the word “frontloader.” I made an executive decision and (after asking my mom if I could do it) KABLAMMO! Name change.
I also consulted with Sherman Bear. Now, for those of you that do not know who Sherman Bear is, he’s the one sitting with The Norms here:
As you can see, Sherman is quite at home whilst hanging out with rock stars. He’s so comfortable, in fact, that he asked THEM to get him something to drink. I believe his exact words were, ”I am thirsty and do not understand why I do not have a drink in my paw. You there, fetch me something to quench my thirst… pronto.” Good people, let me tell you… when a bear tells you to do something, you do it.You know how Wookies will tear your arms from your body? Well, a bear like Sherman will hire a Wookie to make you fall in love with him/her, marry him/her, have kids with you, and then on your 50th wedding anniversary, Sherman will have the Wookie execute “Order 92” which requires the said Wookie to tear your arms from your body in front of everyone at your 50th anniversary party that your kids threw you, then proceed to slap your face with your own arms as he/she says (in Wookie speak), ”Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!”
Sherman will be rejoining TheFrontloader.com as a regular columnist in the next coming weeks. He’s been busy helping U2 strategize for 2015. Oh yes… the whole iTunes thing? Completely Sherman’s idea. Say what you will about it, but now U2 is the most un-obscure band in the world. See if you can top that.
Getting back to The Norms…
I was thrilled to finally meet them. Their song, ”Notes,” was featured a few months ago here on the site. I remarked how much I enjoyed the vocals, the pop-sensibility of the writing, and about how awesome their name is. Contacting them was a must for me, and I was grateful when they accepted my invitation to do a session at the studio.
Ever since I started doing the sessions, I’ve been lucky to have some enthusiastic artists grace the studio. The Norms were no different. They actually showed up early to set up, which was great because it ultimately gave us more time to record and chat. We set them up in a semi-circle, got the levels right, and then hit record.
Gabriel, the main songwriter, explained to me how important it was that each instrument played a specific part in the music, that nothing was there just for sake of being there. Aside from the rhythm section of Eric (drums) and Curtis (bass), I felt that this quality can be best heard through the lead guitar lines of Austin… his playing complemented the vocals while giving the listener something more to grab hold to. It was almost as if the lead guitar was playing another bassline on top the bass. For some reason it reminded me of Snow Patrol. Very cool.
An acoustic setting can either be intimidating or exciting for a band that considers themselves an “electrified” band. One of the main reasons why I chose to make these Frontloader Sessions as acoustic as they can be is because I think it’s a test for the song… to see just how good that song is without the bells and whistles of electric guitars and what not.
When they asked me what songs they should perform, I had two requests: 1) ”Notes” and 2 ”Tomorrow.” They came through with flying colors.
I’m posting the first two videos right now… the other two will be posted later this week. In case you’re wondering, the reason why I’m splitting up the videos is because I can. Hey, I need to have material for the rest of the week, right? Give a guy a break!
Plus, my mom told me to do it this way. So if you have a problem with it, go talk to my mom. She’ll set you straight.
Here’s ”Notes.” Totally dig this song.
And here is “Tomorrow.” I got creative in mixing up the camera shots and had Gabriel sit down for this song. Yes, I’m working hard for you people.
It surprised me when I was told that as a band, The Norms had not done an acoustic show before. Their music lends itself so well to this format… I am hoping that they continue to experiment with acoustic performances, as I think it can help them expand their audience.
Good songwriting, arrangement, and good people. What more can I ask for in a band?
**** Be sure to check in later this week for the rest of the videos!!!! ****