Recording The Living End
Author: Ben Preece
The Living End cut their latest album in Byron Bay’s Studio 301 and also Red Door Sounds in Melbourne under the watchful production ears of Atlanta-based producer Nick Didia. SPA’s Ben Preece learned that despite Didia having worked on albums by the likes of Rage Against The Machine and Springsteen, it was singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Cheney who continued to guide the ship the whole way.
“He really shone in the studio and had some good ideas in pre-production working on arrangements,” says Cheney. “But a lot of that still, I feel, is down to me, you know. Like he can only say, ‘That part’s too long there, we need to shorten that,’ and I thought, ‘Well, yeah but the thing is we’ve got most of the chords, which kind of link those sections,’ and he’d be like, ‘Well just take them out.’ I’d be like, ‘Well it doesn’t work if I take them out, you still need to sort of link it up in the right way.’ So that part of it, I thought that was down to me, but in the actual studio, his attention to detail was just fantastic. He was just so tuned in to everyone’s parts they were playing and he had a level of concentration I hadn’t really seen before in a producer. He’d be listening to a playback and he’d be right in the zone and would be making sure as an engineer that every instrument had its own little pocket and he was really big on the idea of not going with the biggest guitar sounds in the world, the biggest drum sounds, you know? It was about finding the place where everything sonically suited so that it fits and creates this canvas of sound. I think sonically it’s our best sounding record.”