Studio Diaries: Rosen Bridge - Dreamcatcher (2017)


Rosen Bridge released their sophomore EP ‘Dreamcatcher’ on late month, with vocalist Antony Jones stating: “It’s about overcoming obstacles and chasing what your goals are. The artwork represents the journeys that people can take within their own thoughts, without looking like a self-help book cover.” Named after a synonym for worm hole, as a somewhat tongue-in- cheek reference, the band class themselves as ‘spiritually driven metal’ - which ultimately boils down to wanting to spread a message of positivity, something often not found in heavy music. Now the band are here to discuss their time in the studio…

“Because of the distance that we all lived from each other at the time it was quite difficult for us to get together for rehearsal and to work on the songs. All of the pre-production that we did was between guitar pro and playing the songs acoustically so that Ant could sing to them.

We had undergone a similar process for the last EP which we will admit is a little un-conventional and not ideal, but essentially we feel booking the studio and pushing ourselves to meet personal deadlines is a really important and necessary pressure for doing what we want to do.

We had decided years ago to do a record at Outhouse Studios with John Mitchell, simply because Architects did their 'Hollow Crown' record there. We used to watch their studio diaries on a regular basis and 'Hollow Crown' still is one of our all agreed favourite records. It's still hard to believe we've recorded in the same studio with the same producer.

Though the studio was down in Reading, we were staying in Oxford and commuting every day. We were all staying in a campervan and though the living quarters were incredibly close, we all had a great laugh and played loads of frizbee, chilled in the sun, cooked and worked on the songs. It really was a holiday for us!

The first few days in the studio was spent recording and editing drums. It went really smoothly and all tracks were recorded in a day; the rest of the time was spent buzzing about recording where some of our favourite bands have released their albums. As soon as Simon started mixing the drum tracks we knew that we were going to be happy with the end result.

We used a Mapex Saturn kit (Birch) which seems to sound better in the studio than the maple version. The snare was a Black Panther 12x8. The depth of the drum gives it some character whilst the small diameter keeps the high- pitched, tight sound.

The cymbal setup was as follows - HHX grove hats - ' | AAX dark crash - ' | AAX metal crash - ' | HHX evolution ride - ' | AAX - treeme china'

We moved onto guitars after drums, it's usually better to do bass first but we really didn't have a solid pass part written, so we wanted a little room to experiment afterwards inside the guitar parts. 

We tracked the guitars into a Blackstar 100 series into a custom guitar cabinet of John's. We used a couple of different guitars for the recording but most of the record was done between Marcus and Agile 8 string and his Jackson Soloist 7. It was a little frustrating using the 8 string for 7 string parts as the neck was huge, but the 808x pickup in the bridge was way too good sounding to not use on the record.

We all took turns in recording the different riffs as we still wanted to alter arrangements as we went on.

After guitars were down, we experimented with a couple of different Bass sounds that we D.I'd through the desk.

We only really used two in the end, the smooth sub style tone and the crunchy distorted tone in 'Brand New'.

After a quick mix was done to cement the parts, Ant made a start on vocals. He managed to nail on the lead vocals in one day which then left us to add harmonies and gang vocals.

We tracked most of the EP with Simon Jackman who really helped us to get the best out of our sound. John then mixed and mastered the tracks on the Saturday, which was really amazing for us as we just spent the whole night at Truck Festival listening to them in the car together.

We couldn't have been happier with the end result, as going in we really didn't know what to expect!”

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