The next song I turned to was “Zombies”. Of the 2011 songs, I thought “Zombies” was the closest to the sound I wanted to achieve, mostly because I think it was one of the last songs in that recording process.
If I’d thought to move it to my board before I recorded this, I’d have used my Zvex Distortron for the rhythm guitar, but I once again leaned on the Moonshine side of the JHS Sweet Tea, though I left all of the clean sound dialed out. That guitar plays from start to end. After the bridge and during the part leading up to the solo, I played some palm muted power chords reminiscent of “New Way Home” off of Foo Fighter’s Colour and the Shape. I knew I should have recorded it clean but I just went light on the playing.
There’s a second rhythm guitar that plays through the song and provides the harmony walk down part during the intro and pre-solo section of the bridge. Unlike the “primary” rhythm, this guitar plays straight power chords for the entire song with the exception of the 2nd and 4th cycles through of the chorus. I used the Angry Charlie side of the JHS Sweet Tea and it’s probably the gainiest sound I use on the EP. Over the course of mixing it, it’s become the louder of the two rhythm guitars.
For the lead guitar, I can’t remember what guitar and pedal I used. At some point, I ended up having to redo the second half of the song and decided to play a second palm muted part of the pre-solo, click the drive on, edit out the click of the pedal button, and then record the final chorus. I ended up doing a better job rhythmically but ran into a conundrum…the lead guitar is in the left channel and the rhythm guitars were in the right. I ended up fading the lead out and the rhythm in and end up with this stereo panning towards the end of the solo as the song builds up the last chorus.
The solo guitar is the Telecaster through the Angry Charlie side of the JHS Sweet Tea v3. There’s just something about the way that guitar sounds cutting through the otherwise noisy ruckus created by the other three guitar parts.
Being a child of the ’90s and a fan of that whole era of music, feedback has long been a friend of mine. During the 2017 sessions, despite my hardest attempts, I couldn’t get feedback to happen. Maybe it comes from using an amp stand and the amp being angled up a little. With my current set up, feedback is all but an impossibility since I play at conversational volume. However, 2011 was a totally different story. I got feedback and plenty of it. I grabbed the feedback section from those guitar tracks, faded it in a bit, and now that ends the EP. I have an idea for a short play to go on during those final moments, but whether I actually do it remains to be seen.
JD sang vocals on this one. The first time we recorded them, the verses were shakier than we would have liked them to be. We tend to be quick and loose with the vocals and “Zombies” helped us realize that. During the first three cycles of the verse, JD held the notes at the end and covered up a small movement that the guitar does. We got back together in June and rerecorded the verses.
Matt and I provided additional vocals during the chorus, with Matt taking a higher harmony line while I sang the melody an octave lower. During the last cycle through the last chorus, I did my best attempt at a Dave Grohl style scream, but I can’t hold even the briefest flicker of a candle to what he does. It’s just a tribute.