keskiviikko 30. joulukuuta 2009
This song was one of the 4 songs that we demoed in 2007 summer. It was originally a band version with pretty much same vocal melodies but the similarities end there. We wanted to try out a different approach for the album as we felt the song could work extremely well with very simple arrangements. Of course we were worried if that was a good idea or not, but it's hard to describe the feeling when I heard Jarmo sing this one in the studio. I knew that these changes made the song incredible.
tiistai 29. joulukuuta 2009
Lifetime is one of the newest songs of the album and one of the most fresh sounding songs with its uptempo, groovy and versatile qualities. Lifetime includes lots of variations and parts that differ from each other without never losing its great groove and beat that makes you throw your fist in the air as you hear it. The song hits you right in the face as it kicks in with a fast drum fill exploding in to a heavy and uptempo rhythm that lets you know that this song has a lot to offer.
How it all started
Lifetime was written in autumn 2008 but rehearsed for the whole band only in Spring 2009. We demoed quite a bunch of songs for drums, bass and keyboard in autumn 2008 and built 90% of the songs for High Time. This was one of the strongest ones for me even though it didn't have any vocal melodies for a long time. Jappe planned the melodies quite a while to get the best out of it and in spring he presented the melodies to Jarmo and he sang the demo straight away. Proved to be one of the best songs on the album (I think it's Jarmo's favourite) and one of the most fresh sounding songs that show the best of Excalion.
Firewood. What can you say about the song? It is one of the heaviest of the album, extremely rhythmic, has increadibly beautiful keyboard melodies, possibly the coolest verses from Excalion song history, fastest solos from the new album and great lyrics that represent what Excalion is all about.
How it all started
This song built up in summer 2008. I remember Jappe presenting some parts of the song including the chorus and the general feel of the song and giving me free hands to create the rhythms for it. Lots of fun building this one up and was one of those songs you knew you're gonna love from the first seconds. One of my absolute favourites.
This song has a somewhat unusual structure. The chorus, or the B part or whatever it is, is more calm than the verses and is not the sole focus of the song. Also something out of the ordinary comes in at the end of this track. This is probably one of those songs that every one of us has been thrilled about ever since the first rehearsals. Well, at least I have.
This song sounds fresh because of it's unusual structure. You can also hear some very distant vibes of SyX in this song. But very very distant and I mean guitar parts..
sunnuntai 27. joulukuuta 2009
The Shroud represents also the epic side of the album. The song has a marching feel in many of its parts and a big and catchy chorus. The song kicks in with a marching drum beat and continues with a nice, big and catchy keyboard melody with a heavy guitar riff. As most of the High Time songs, The Shroud gives a lot of space for Jarmo to sing his lungs out and vary the mood of the song from calm verses to fierce C-parts that show the variety and power of Jarmo's voice. The solo represents Vesa's great ability to combine an excellent melodic guitar playing to shredding that leaves no-one cold.
How it all started
I think this song saw the daylight in autumn of 2008. Once again Jappe had laid some basics for a song that he wanted to try out with me and Tero. I remember that we didn't have to struggle with this song that much. The chorus and the theme of the song were catchy as hell so that made building the rest of the song pretty easy. The structure has been the same from the start and we didn't have to make many changes to the song in the recording phase. It just works.
All started from the main theme/chorus and they made me feel that there has to be some marching feel in the song. Also it sounded very bombastic and big right from the start. At first I had a little bit different arrangement in mind to the verses, but it turn out great. Now it is more dynamic and rises perfectly towards to chorus.
Like Jappe said I think there was a little bit different arrangement planned for this, but now it's more dynamic. I had some guitar creativity problems with this song, but that happens sometimes.
perjantai 25. joulukuuta 2009
Bring On The Storm is the fastest song on High Time. It is also the newest song of the record. As the title fiercely intimidates, the song bursts straight in to business and fast double bass rythm with a very cool guitar riff. With grooving and galloping verses, the song goes to the chorus that follows the fast double bass rythm and the guitar riff of the intro with the lyrics "Bring on the storm, let it rage on"! After the calm middle part and Jappe's keyboard solo the song ends with choruses that raise higher and higher till the end.
How it all started
We were coming fast to the end of summer of 2009 and we had most of the High Time songs ready but we felt that we need still a fast double bass song to make the album whole. We made the basics of the song ready only a couple of weeks before the studio and Vesa rehearsed his guitar parts when we had just started the drum and bass recordings. Jarmo was introduced to the song when all the instruments were already recorded! Jarmo took an hour or two to try out the song and see how it felt and he nailed it to the album. It was extremely cool but at the same time really challenging way of working. Normally all the songs have been ready when we've started the recordings. As Jarmo started to sing the verses to the album I knew that this song is going to kick ass. And it certainly did.
I remember Jappe coming to visit me when we were about to start the High Time sessions, and he played this song and put into place the lyrics I had sketched. That´s when I heard the song´s melody for the first time, and the melody sounded great even before any arrangements were there.
It was nice different approach to make song like this way. I just got bass and drum tracks
and wrote guitar riffs based on that. And nice surprise (well it's not a surprise hahah) was the first mixdown because I didn't know any vocal melodies. This song is nice fast ride with catchy chorus!
keskiviikko 23. joulukuuta 2009
The Flags in Line is one of the most epic songs on High Time. It is at the same time one of the heaviest and catchiest song. Even though it's one of the biggest Excalion songs in the vein of Soaking Ground, the Waterlines-epic, it is still very compact yet versatile song. The intro builds on a heavy riff that guides through the main themes of the song with a very tight baseline by the drums and bass. Followed by a calm verse the song bursts into big and catchy chorus with the biggest choirs of the album. With an extremely emotional yet powerful singing by Jarmo, The Flags in Line is definately one of the must hear songs from High Time.
How it all started
This is one of the oldest songs from the new album. It was included in the 4 song demo tape of 2007. It has gone through small changes since then. The lyrics were modified by Tero a while before entering the studio and the title of the song was changed in the process from September Falling to Flags in Line. This song was always one the best we've written, but it totally exploded in the studio to a new level with fantastic choirs, new and absolutely great lyrics and the orchestrations made by Jappe as well as because of the new solo part that introduced really great twin solo by Jappe and Vesa. One of my favourites from Excalion, if not the best song.
Yah, this is propably the heaviest song Excalion has ever written and it starts with guitar riff. Solo part has changed a little bit during the years and I think it's now perfecto. Like Henri said this is also one of my favourites from Excalion.
Actually I don't quite remember how this song was composed. I think that it was first based on the vocal lines completely and after that came the rest. I remember that I was composing and trying to sing the vocal lines outside in the cold breeze. It has one of the best verse vocals that we have. I liked the old title a lot, but the new one is also good.
maanantai 21. joulukuuta 2009
Sun Stones is the most progressive song on the High Time album. It is an orient influenced song in the style of Dire Waters from Primal Exhale. The song is extremely versatile, it builds on different atmospheres from quiet and misty parts to powerful verses and a melodic chorus. The intro as well as the solo part introduce a very fresh sounds to Excalion with lots of percussions and a groovy bassline that represent essential parts of the song.
How it all started
Sun Stones was one of the most interesting songs for myself as we started to jam this one in 2008. Jappe presented a very rythmic bassline that prooved to be an important part of the song. It was extremely fun to play with other instruments as well and it didn't take long as the song was ready. Big part of the song structure came by improvising session with Jappe and Tero as we just started to jam on the one bassline Jappe introduced. The song just built itself up. This is how it is supposed to happen! One of the best memories of our rehearsing session for High Time definately. We had a bit quiet months before Jappe wrote this one, but the songs started to flood in as we got our rehearsal sessions kicked in well.
Yeah this song represents really new sounds for Xcalion. Lots of percussions and even a little bit of wah wah "funky" guitar.
The idea of the song came up from a synth sound. I tested some new sounds and there was some groovy sound that inspired the intro theme. The scale of the intro made clear that there would be some orient feeling. The song basically built up around the theme. I had some different choruses in mind, but right after we played the one that sticked, it was clear that we had the winner. Tero's lyrics reflect perfectly the atmosphere of the song.
This album's little prog monster. We spent much time arranging its tricks and hooks. It would have been easy to mess this one up in the studio, but we managed to get the song to work perfectly.
lauantai 19. joulukuuta 2009
From Somewhere To Anywhere is as close to ROCK Excalion has ever been to. The song is as catchy as hell and builds on groovy vocal melodies and the motto: "Simple is brilliant!"
How it all started
This song goes way back. I think it was written straight after the songs of "Waterlines" and rehearsed before the second album was released in 2007. The song was made as a demo in Summer 2007 with three other songs. 3/4 made it to the album "High Time". This song has gone through least changes from the point it was written by Jappe. Some lyrical changes and a couple of slight changes with the chorus vocals melodies.
Funny to remember way back thinking that we have played this song in three different rehearsal spaces. Not easy to find stable place to rehearse for a heavy band! heh
This song was a long time in the making, it is the oldest song on the album. I have liked this one from the very first day. It is our stadium rock song.
What can I say? A simple forward going song. First song I wrote after Waterlines sessions. Composing started from the chorus as usual. Some minor changes were made before the studio. In the demo there was a different intro, but I wanted to some song have a guitar solo in the beginning and this was obvious choice.
This song is played with drop C tuning which creates certain heavy feeling. I remember jamming this song in our rehearsal place and it sounded good. This song has quite a lot of guitar solos but thats nice... (or is it?? :D)
perjantai 18. joulukuuta 2009
The song described
The album opener "Enter a Life" is a catchy and energetic uptempo song that was immediately planned to kick start the album with full blaze.
The song starts with a short drum intro and kicks in with a highly melodic theme. The song is pretty simple in its structure, but has extremely nice vocal melodies and catchy guitar shredding in the solo part.
How it all started
This is the weirdest place songwriting has ever begun for us: the lyrics of the chorus. I had the lines, and just for fun I mailed them to Jappe and asked him to make a piece of music to them, and he wrote a whole song. This was an obvious album-opener from the start.
I remember discussing with Tero that he had written some of the best chorus-lyrics up to date. Instructing Jappe to write as good melodies.
The second memory of Spring 2009 is that us three (Tero, me and Jappe) are driving away from the rehearsal place trying to sing the chorus as Jappe had just finished writing the melody for it. I'm sure it didn't sound that good sung by us three (Boychoir) but it felt really good and we knew the song would be one of the best we have.
We had a different approach with this one. Usually music comes before lyrics. Tero said to me that he had good chorus lyrics in his hands and I thought that lets do the process different this time. The lyrics were inspiring and in no time I had the whole chorus ready and a vision of what kind of song this would be. When I had the song structure ready we hit rehearsals to work on this puppy. After tightening some loose ends it was ready for the rest of the lyrics and for the demo session.
keskiviikko 2. joulukuuta 2009
High Time is currently at mastering studio and we just got to hear the first songs ready. Sounded extremely good and now were waiting anxiously to hear the whole album.
The artwork is now done. It was made by an extremely talented Spanish guy. We hope to reveal the cover artwork and the release date (which will be quite early 2010) soon. Our ex-bassist Timo Sahlberg took our new photos some time ago and they turned out really good as well. Next we'll start looking for possible gigs of course!
perjantai 16. lokakuuta 2009
tiistai 6. lokakuuta 2009
The final days are next week, 15. and 16.10. See you then!
It´s nice to be surprised, sometimes.
sunnuntai 4. lokakuuta 2009
Arttu is working long hours to make our wishes come true, sound-wise. Our hats are off for him.
torstai 1. lokakuuta 2009
perjantai 25. syyskuuta 2009
We will start the mixing of the album next thursday. The songs sound already extremely good and big. Now we have some time off until next thursday to cool our brains a bit so we can dig into the mixing efficiently.
torstai 24. syyskuuta 2009
The day ended in a beautiful way as all the guys managed to fit in the booth to record some chants. Four men shouting -- very pretty.
keskiviikko 23. syyskuuta 2009
Vesa has also sent most of the solos to the studio now. Can't wait to hear them.
tiistai 22. syyskuuta 2009
Quite typical day. Arttu did some editing until Jarmo came after three. Jarmo has now done the backing vocals for four songs and all the lead vocals. Sounds absolutely fantastic. The arrangements are very fresh sounding and I'm thrilled. Three days to go still this week.
Vesa has also been working his ass off with the solos. Got a taster yesterday what's coming. Wow! :D
maanantai 21. syyskuuta 2009
So, now it is time to start recording backing vocals and "choir" parts. That continues tomorrow.
perjantai 18. syyskuuta 2009
Jarmo had again a couple of intensive hours for his vocals. Only one fast and newest song lacks still the lead vocals. Jarmo has done an amazing job. Have to say that I got some very nice chills from some of the parts he did today. Next monday we will continue with the final song and we start the backing vocals recordings. Stay tuned!
torstai 17. syyskuuta 2009
Tomorrow afternoon Jarmo will continue recording the lead vocals. A few songs are still lacking the vocals. After that it's just backing vocals, adding Vesa's solos and mixing. I think Vesa will get his parts to the studio very soon aswell.
keskiviikko 16. syyskuuta 2009
Jarmo is taking a couple of hours each day for his singing work. His voice seems to have more and more energy each studio day.
Tomorrow the magic will continue to happen. It seems that even four of us may be hanging around in the studio that day - a new record for these sessions.
tiistai 15. syyskuuta 2009
Quote of the day: "Hey, have you learned to play that harmonica?"
maanantai 14. syyskuuta 2009
Jarmo came to the studio in later hours and started recording the vocal parts of his first song. Both guys will continue their work tomorrow.
The newest of this bunch of songs is very recent. I heard the vocal melodies for it the first time last weekend. Now the damn thing is playing in my head. Good song? No, better. Great song.
torstai 10. syyskuuta 2009
Actually we forgot to cancel that day because we rescheduled our studio times at one point. We just forgot about that day. Well no harm done. Arttu had another editing day. Jappe had send the first keyboard parts for Arttu and now was a good time to deal with those and also I guess do some overall editing aswell.
On monday Jappe and Jarmo will start really working on their parts. Next two weeks will be mostly just singing and singing and some keyboards. Vesa will do his lead parts from Helsinki. I think we've progressed quite fast and have to say that the sounds will kick some serious ass.
keskiviikko 9. syyskuuta 2009
tiistai 8. syyskuuta 2009
maanantai 7. syyskuuta 2009
Guitars guitars and more guitars.. I'm full of guitars at this moment. 6 songs filled with rhythm guitars and still more to come. I think I'll finish rhythms tomorrow and then it's time to add some lead (tiluliluliii) and acoustic parts. Last night I had a terrible liskojen yö and I was little bit tired during the whole day.
tiistai 1. syyskuuta 2009
Tero also made some minor changes to some bass parts. We had made some changes to the songs lately so we had to update the basslines a bit. We've also thought with Tero that maybe we just should release the next album as a drum and bass album because it sounds so damn good at this point already. hehe.
OK, Next monday the guitar parts start roaring and we'll maybe try to get some videos online as well. Over and out.
torstai 27. elokuuta 2009
After tuesday's editing day there will be 5 days of pause again. heheh. Then Vesa will come and conquer. He has a few days dedicated just for him. Waiting anxiously to hear the heavy riffs to the songs. They will kick some serious ass.
keskiviikko 26. elokuuta 2009
I had a good playing day. There is some difference between days, at least for me. Sometimes you are clumsy and uninspired, and sometimes... well, a little better. This was one of the better days, so it was relatively fast work today. (Much of the credit goes to Arttu, obviously.)
So, the basic rhythms are now down. There are minor things that will probably be added or adjusted, but the core drums & bass are now recorded. The next stage will be to start working on the guitar ideas in detail.
P.S. Note to Jarno: I made it, didn´t I? Bomb on Colonial 1 !!
tiistai 25. elokuuta 2009
We are making a metal album co-produced by a couple of cats. Arttu´s cats are hanging around in the studio, lying on pieces of equipment and occasionally pushing some buttons... Inserting some sleepy felines into a room can have a great relaxing effect. It´s awesome. :)
Tomorrow will be a day for more bass tracks. I hope the good pace will continue.
maanantai 24. elokuuta 2009
We took 4 hours or so to get some nice sounds from the drums and managed to record drums for 5 songs. Almost the half of album. If the final product will hold 11 songs? We'll have to see. Really nice start for the studio. Tero was the only one to hang out at the studio with me. Jappe, Jarmo and Vesa had their jobs on the way. Tomorrow will be another drumming day and let's see if Tero gets to start his parts...
(Sorry bout the movie quality. Some technical problems I try to conquer later)