“We wanted to get that more ‘classic’ sounding vibe with the recording. A more natural and organic tone that we feel only comes from recording on tape.”
Constricting Rage Of The Merciless, the sixth album from New Orleans black thrashers, Goatwhore, saw the band take a step back in time and record the entire session on analog. Vocalist Ben Falgoust talks to JESSICA WILLOUGHBY ahead of their double headline show with Psycroptic on Thursday, March 12, at Amplifier.
There’s something about the onset of modern technology that keeps purists clinging to old methods. New doesn’t always equal better, according to Goatwhore singer, Ben Falgoust.
“At least when it comes to sound, in my opinion,” he tells X-Press. Keeping in line with this, these New Orleans black thrashers decided to record their latest effort – Constricting The Rage Of The Merciless – on two-inch analog tape. Not an easy feat, considering how difficult it is to source the equipment and resources today, but they had a lot of help.
Longtime producer for the band, Erik Rutan, had a few tricks up his sleeve – namely owning an analog recorder that once belonged to Morrisound Studio. With acts such as Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Obituary recording their early classics on this machine, the history added a unique element to the nature of this album.
“I am unsure of the full, proper details, but I do know that it was used for many of the old death metal classics in its time,” Falgoust says. “Morrisound had two of them and Erik was offered to purchase one at a point. It has a lot of nostalgia to it. I told Erik he should do a short clip explaining the history and background of the machine so everyone would know the details. After all, it is part of extreme music history.”
So how difficult was it not relying on digital recording methods in this day-and-age? It had his challenges, according to Goatwhore’s frontman, especially with half of the band having absolutely no experience in this field prior. “We wanted to get that more ‘classic’ sounding vibe with the recording,” Falgoust explains. “A more natural and organic tone that we feel only comes from recording on tape. I worked on analog with Erik back in 2005 with another band I am involved with called Soilent Green. The whole band seemed very comfortable with it. I would say that if you are a well-versed musician in what you do when it is time to record there really aren’t any obstacles involved. We rehearsed a great deal prior to entering the studio, so we were all pretty prepared.
“Although stress levels did increase while recording on tape because of the actual reels of tape and the analog machine. Something could have gone wrong with the tape or the tape machine during the process, which meant that we would have to do everything over again, depending at what point in the recording we were are at. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I think the stress was lifted greatly once we finished getting all the necessary parts on the tape and dropped it all into ProTools.”
So even though they turned to current editing tools to get the job done, were they happy with the result? “Yes and no,” Falgoust says. “As a band, you will always find elements that could be improved. Overall, we are quite happy with the final result, but after that initial gratitude of it being completed there comes a period of being very picky about things. It is only natural and assists with growth and how a band evolves in recording. As far as using the analog process, we feel it assisted on great levels and have talked about doing it again for the next record.”