Recording guitars for Stay Calm

bjornriis.com

Bjørn Riis - Stay Calm recording session

Most of the guitars on Lullabies in a Car Crash were recorded either in my home studio or at the Airbag rehearsal/recording studio. For Stay Calm, I did all of the leads in the Airbag studio, with the big set up.

There are two solos on the track. One acting as a bridge before the break down and one at the end of the song. Both were recorded with an Electronic Orange Pig Hoof (red MkI) Big Muff clone straight into the amp. No modulation or boosting. I wanted a classic tone similar to David Gilmour’s tone on Animals’ Pigs (Three Different Ones) and what I did on Redemption with Airbag. A silicon fuzz could have worked but the Big Muffs is slightly smoother sounding and seemed to fit the track better.

For the first solo I used the Laney Lionheart L20 for a slightly darker tone and distinct mids scoop. The Muffs sounds aggressive but sort of mellow at the same time, with a fat low-end and crispy top. The second solo was recorded with the same Big Muff but with the Reeves Custom 50 for a slightly brighter tone and more mids. This makes the two solos sounds similar but yet different, with the last one being distinctly more aggressive and brighter sounding.

Listen to the full version of Stay Calm here:

The guitar is my main Strat, with a Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup. I’m using the Laney speaker cabinet, which is loaded with two Celestion V30s. I record all high gain parts with a Shure SM57 placed 1.5″ off axis and 4 inches away from the grille. This adds a slight natural compression and warmth to the otherwise bright sounding Big Muff.

The new album is finished!

bjornriis.com

Lullabies in a Car Crash

I’m extremely proud and excited to announce that the new album, Lullabies in a Car Crash, is finished! At last! The final master sounds amazing and now it’s off to pressing the thing onto suitable formats. I can’t wait to get the finished product in my hands!

A year ago, almost to this day, I decided to go ahead with making a solo album. We hadn’t even released our latest album, The Greatest Show on Earth, but I had so much stuff lying around that either didn’t make it on the Airbag albums or I didn’t think the songs would suit the band. I had been considering it for some time but as our singer, Asle Tostrup, announced that he’d take a year off travelling the world, I knew that this was the right time to do it. There wouldn’t be a new Airbag album for some time.

That was last year and now Lullabies in a Car Crash is a reality. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and to be honest a bit frightening too! There’s no one to blame but me this time! The upside though is that I don’t have to argue with anyone to get my ideas through :) I’ve had great support from the band, my manager JT, my engineer and not least my family. Even you, my fans and friends, have given me your generous support! I’m truly grateful!

I’ll shortly be doing features on how the album was recorded and a gear break-down for each song. We’ll also have a pre-order up very soon!

Welcome to my brand new web site!

bjornriis.com

www.bjornriis.com

Welcome to bjornriis.com!

I’m releasing my debut solo album Lullabies in a Car Crash this fall and the site will be packed with all sorts of information on the album. We’ll have a pre-order up very soon and of course you’ll find complete lists of all my current gear. I’ll also be adding detailed breakdowns on previous recordings.

The site will grow with time and I count on your contribution. Please join in on the discussions, post your comments and please feel free to suggest features and things you want to see. I’m very much looking forward to hear from you!

– Bjørn