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New Aristocrats' Studio Album

 
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alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:38 am    Post subject: New Aristocrats' Studio Album Reply with quote

As most of you know, the Aristocrats were at the famous Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood earlier this month to track the next studio album which is scheduled to be released early this summer. As a managing partner in the band's record label and a huge fan, I've been following the developments very closely to see where the band could take the music after over three years of constant touring and two studio albums under their belt.

I was at two of the four Alvas residency shows after NAMM and I was able to sense that things were different and that the guys were taking the music to a new level. For one, there is a new level of maturity compositionally - not that the previous albums lacked maturity or anything like that. The guys are that much more comfortable with each other musically and instinctively understand what each other are capable of and how they can inspire each other to new musical heights.

I've been listening to the rough mixes of this new material almost non-stop for the past two weeks and the music just continues to grow on me and sound better and better with each listen. The music is initially challenging with a lot of details that may elude you during the first few listens. But with repeated listenings those details get illuminated and the bigger picture of how the parts coalesce emerges.

Then there is the sound and vibe of the legendary Sunset Sound where the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Rage Against The Machine (amongst many others) recorded what are now considered rock masterpieces. And, yes, it sure isn't cheap but we all agreed that it was time to really go for it to record and produce the best-sounding album possible. The band has grown steadily and surely over the past 4 years since its inception and is attaining new heights in album sales and tour attendance every year. So we were like, "Yeah, let's go for it. Let's make the best sounding album possible."

And, wow, does it sound great - even in the current rough mix form. There's a new level of warmth, clarity, detail, and richness that I hadn't heard before in the first two studio albums. Every little nuance of the guys' playing, from Guthrie's subtle vibrato to Marco's awe-inspiring fills and from Bryan's groovy thick bass lines to Guthrie's breathtaking fast runs all come through with remarkable articulation and musicality. Everything just sounds sooooooo good and we were all in full agreement that you get what you pay for. Very Happy

As for Guthrie's playing, he continues to get better and better. No, he's not any faster than say last year or even 20 years ago but the lines are more mind-blowing than ever: sophisticated, challenging, subtle, musical, unpredictable and now virtually devoid of any typical "shred" cliches. As far as I'm concerned, this is Guthrie's best recorded music, playing and sounds ever. Perhaps there isn't anything here quite catchy as 'Waves' but his music and playing have evolved so much since then.

After the session ended, I spent a good amount of time hanging out with Guthrie in the LA area and I have really never seen him so happy and satisfied with his own performance and the overall music that he just finished recording. He is absolutely confident that this album has his best playing and guitar sounds to date. I have to agree. It's a new level of musical maturity and evolution of Guthrie as a musician, composer and player. And, no, it's not about gazillions of notes and flashy guitar tricks. It's all way beyond that although Guthrie said some of the stuff on this album are the most challenging and difficult that he has ever played.

And then there's Guthrie's sound... It's now so organic with an almost rootsy Americana texture and earthiness. Sometimes it's raw with a Texas blues attitude; sometimes spacey with an otherworldly feel but with sweetness and refined character. Guthrie truly sounds better than ever before and I don't really think gear has much to do with that although the gear he's happy with certainly helps him play better. It's really the approach he's taking to the instrument and his touch. His playing has improved and his sound has improved because he worked on them and has always strived to get better. That's the bottom line.

You guys have something really cool to look forward to - this new album and the next world tour that will be more extensive than ever. This world tour will last nearly 18 months (with several months break here and there with Bryan and Marco also touring with Satch) covering more cities than ever in the US (about 45 dates), two separate tours of Europe, a tour of South America, and a big tour of Asia and Australia in 2016 covering even more countries and cities in these distant regions.

It's really exciting to observe and be part of this growth of this band and Guthrie himself as an artist and guitarist. The Aristocrats and Guthrie are both reaching new heights and it really seems like they are only now entering their creative peak. This new studio album will be a testament to that growth. 2014 was a great year but 2015 will be even better and by a lot. It will be an amazing year. You can bet on it. Very Happy
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alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One interesting note about this album is that Guthrie used a stock Fender American Deluxe Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds. I hear lots of single-coil sounds in the new Steven Wilson album as well. Seems the music just called for more authentic single-coil sounds and I can definitely understand why listening to the music.

As mentioned earlier, it's a surprisingly rootsy kind of music reminiscent of American western or Texas blues-rock with old jazz-fusion and classic hard rock elements thrown in. The single-coil sounds complement the moods generated by this kind of music perfect. The music calls for more twang, bite, and shimmer and single-coils deliver those kinds of characteristics a lot better than humbuckers.
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petros



Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 77
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
One interesting note about this album is that Guthrie used a stock Fender American Deluxe Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds. I hear lots of single-coil sounds in the new Steven Wilson album as well. Seems the music just called for more authentic single-coil sounds and I can definitely understand why listening to the music.

As mentioned earlier, it's a surprisingly rootsy kind of music reminiscent of American western or Texas blues-rock with old jazz-fusion and classic hard rock elements thrown in. The single-coil sounds complement the moods generated by this kind of music perfect. The music calls for more twang, bite, and shimmer and single-coils deliver those kinds of characteristics a lot better than humbuckers.


That's interesting. Would you really say "majority." Based on the residency playlist you posted recently, I'd say it's about half-half. Of course, GG could have changed his mind about what axe to utilise in the studio and, after all, you were there yourself—unlike myself! Smile
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alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
One interesting note about this album is that Guthrie used a stock Fender American Deluxe Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds. I hear lots of single-coil sounds in the new Steven Wilson album as well. Seems the music just called for more authentic single-coil sounds and I can definitely understand why listening to the music.

As mentioned earlier, it's a surprisingly rootsy kind of music reminiscent of American western or Texas blues-rock with old jazz-fusion and classic hard rock elements thrown in. The single-coil sounds complement the moods generated by this kind of music perfect. The music calls for more twang, bite, and shimmer and single-coils deliver those kinds of characteristics a lot better than humbuckers.


That's interesting. Would you really say "majority." Based on the residency playlist you posted recently, I'd say it's about half-half. Of course, GG could have changed his mind about what axe to utilise in the studio and, after all, you were there yourself—unlike myself! Smile


I was only at the studio for part of a day so I can't say what he used for every part of every song but based on what Guthrie told me, it sounded like he used the Strat and the Tele for more like 70~80% but I can't say for sure. Listening to the album, that's kind of what I hear as well although I haven't sat down and listened to determine what kind of guitar is being used for every sound.
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petros



Joined: 26 Feb 2015
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw the official announcement concerning the new studio record title, along with a brief description of the record. Seems exciting. I'm especially intrigued as to the use of overdubs. Should be awesome; it'll also be curious how the band will approach such more heavily produced tunes on tour. Another live DVD will surely ensue! Smile
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alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say that it'll be heavily produced. It still sounds like a trio but there are more guitar overdubs here and there to fill out the rhythm parts more along with more textural effects. Having seen the band play this material live at Alvas before the recording session, the guys already have a live format worked out but I'm sure things will evolve once the album is finished.

One thing for sure: the sonic quality of this album will be awesome. It's the band's first studio album that will sound like a major label release. We didn't spare any costs on this one to get the very best audio quality possible. Very Happy
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petros



Joined: 26 Feb 2015
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pre-ordered. From what I've heard in the preview video, it's going to be one sick record!
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Carlo



Joined: 13 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all i can say is.....can't fuckin wait
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petros



Joined: 26 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd venture to guess that the main riff of The Kentucky Meat Shower is the mentioned Custom Shop Nocaster. The twang sounds like heaven! It seems, though, that the solo was recording using the GG signature model.

alexkhan wrote:
One interesting note about this album is that Guthrie used a stock Fender American Deluxe Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds. I hear lots of single-coil sounds in the new Steven Wilson album as well. Seems the music just called for more authentic single-coil sounds and I can definitely understand why listening to the music.

As mentioned earlier, it's a surprisingly rootsy kind of music reminiscent of American western or Texas blues-rock with old jazz-fusion and classic hard rock elements thrown in. The single-coil sounds complement the moods generated by this kind of music perfect. The music calls for more twang, bite, and shimmer and single-coils deliver those kinds of characteristics a lot better than humbuckers.

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