09 July 2015

Chapter 21 – The screaming drunk session

The second song we recorded was a monster of a song. We had already recorded the music at Resident Studios, we just needed to lay the vocals down. So my guitarist and boyfriend Andy, Ben Carrick (friend and producer of the song) and I holed ourself up in Ben’s flat to record what would be the start of a whole new sound for me. I had been listening to Pink Floyd’s Great gig in the sky and a lot of Led Zeppelin at the time – I loved the sheer rawness of Robert Plants vocals. I am not a rock singer by any means, but then again I don’t believe in putting oneself into a box – I simply like to go where the song and the mood takes me, and ‘Good for nothing’ needed something raw …. something different.

So I did what any self-respecting singer would do – I cracked open the Jack Daniels, rolled a fat spliff and got myself nicely hammered. Now kids – I am not suggesting you hit the bottle in order to get a good vocal performance. Neither am I suggesting that getting stoned gets good results – in fact we’ll discuss the effect of these vices in more detail at a later date. In a nutshell, drink/drugs are a slippery slope and are best avoided at all costs, you’re far better off hitting the tea and strepsils instead.

When it comes to singing it’s always worth experimenting with what you have. I naturally have a lot of soprano-y similarities to Kate Bush in my voice, so I sometimes I have to work quite hard to avoid sounding like that. While I love her voice, I don’t want to be another Kate Bush, just like I don’t want to write/replicate songs that already exist. Of course a lot of what goes in (i.e. what we listen to) ends up coming out … but you can still strive to be original. In other words: sound like yourself.

Emotionally speaking I was in a strange place at this point – and this song was a huge release for me. Both during the recording process, and in listening back to it. I didn’t need the drink in order to create this voice/sound, the voice was already there, it just enabled me to loose my inhibitions enough to discover it and ’let go.’ However once Ben pressed record we quickly realised we were going to need more acoustic treatment in the room – because it was loud! We quickly built a small vocal booth out of duvets (professional I know). It was roasting hot inside the duvet booth as you can imagine … sweat was pouring down my face and back – but we managed to capture the vocal after just a few takes. The track escalates into high screams at the end, which were pretty wild and liberating, and not all how I was used to singing. It was a relief to lose control a little, and so this new side to my voice began to feature more and more in my songs.

‘Good For Nothing’

2001

Written by Jodie May Seymour

Produced by Ben Carrick

Mixed by Roy Merchant @ The Dairy Studio

Note: If you can’t see the track above please click here

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