The Tedium of Rock & Roll: Bo and the Locomotive Finish Work at Native Sound


BATL-3.jpg
Brian Heffernan
David Beeman plays back the bass track that Andy Arato just recorded. The rest of the band listens from afar.

By the end of the day, they finish tracking three more songs. The record is 11 songs long. It won't be finished by tonight. In actuality, tracking won't be finished till almost a month later. It'll likely be released sometime this spring, says O'Neal.

By 10 p.m., most of the band members have left, unable to get off work another night, but Bulawsky and Beeman are still here. Bulawsky stands in front of a vocal microphone where Arato stood earlier. He sings at phone-conversation volume, focusing to enunciate for clarity and harness genuine inflection. There are many attempts.

Eventually, they reach the final verse of an untitled song. Bulawsky says he still needs to finish some lyrics.

"A little lyrics or a lot of lyrics?" Beeman asks. Another verse. Beeman says he's going to walk down the street to Fortune Teller Bar for a quick drink and give Bulawsky time to think.

Bulawsky returns to the boxy, plaid couch with a leather-bound notebook. He sits quietly and hunches over the page.

Lining the walls and clustering around support beams are stacks and rows of amplifiers, keyboards, guitars, drums, effects boards, mixers--a cacophony of potential sound. The loudest moments of an album, though, are often recorded silently.

BATL-5.jpg
Brian Heffernan
Bo Bulawsky retires to the rear of the studio and tries to write a final verse to a new song.

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