Guest Column – What's it like to record at Abbey Road?

Guest Column – What's it like to record at Abbey Road?
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Phobophobes-abbey-roadLondon band Phobophobes recently earned a day's recording at Abbey Road Studios as part of the Converse Rubber Tracks scheme, that's made 84 sessions at 12 different studios available to new talent. The five-piece were teamed-up with producer and engineer Ken Scott (Beatles, Pink Floyd) to work on their music in London. So what is it like to record at a studio so good the Fab Four named an album after it? The band's Chris OC explains.

In our day at Abbey Road with Converse Rubber Tracks we recorded a track called The Fun. We finished writing it just before we heard we were going into Abbey Road, so it made sense that we would go in and do that. It turned out great. Ken did a great job. It seems he really got it.

We usually play and record in small spaces. We record any way we can at any given point. Whether it’s in the studio, on our phones, straight into our laptops in our bedrooms or on little tape recorders. At the moment Jamie has his bedroom set up for recording. That’s our current base.

When we got to Abbey Road’s Studio 2 there were about eight different keyboards and pianos laid out in a massive circle and we were free to record with any of them. Never had that before. But also the studio is massive, we’re not used to recording in places that big.

It got us excited, and being excited makes you play well. Also everything takes less time, because no one wants to repeatedly fuck up in such a place. It’s much less stressful when there are numerous engineers and a producer who all know the studio manning the controls. All the equipment works as it should and there are fewer arguments over whose turn it is to go to the shop, because they bring you the food and drink.

We all like playing music and pushing ourselves to come up with new sounds and ideas, like any other musician really. If no one tried to do anything new or take things forward we’d all get bored and may as well go home. Normally we shout at and humiliate each other but we didn’t do that in this session, we were all too busy trying to impress Ken.

I think the fact that there was a whole circle of pretty famous pianos and keyboards definitely influenced the sound of the track. But we went in there with a definite plan just because we knew we only had a day to record it. Our favourite piece of gear from the studio has to be Mrs Mills, the upright piano the Beatles liked to use. It's on songs like Penny Lane and all over the White Album. And now ‘The Fun’.

There are a few things we’re going to add to the track, but once it’s ready we’ll be putting it on our forthcoming album Miniature World, which is due for release in the new year. There will be a probable single release of the track too. Watch this space. Chris OC @PPhobes

For more head to Facebook.com/Phobophobes an Converse-music.com.