Album or EP - Band Dilemma

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Wolfenstein666, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    Again I come humbly before my other TB'rs in search of some advice. I'll make this post as unbiased as possible.

    My band has been in the studio for the past couple weeks on and off recording our first album. It seems to be going pretty well; drums and rhythm guitars (4 guitars, a total of four tracks) are done, my bass tracks are about 50% done, and we started messing with solo's last night. We have a good engineer who is a metal guy himself, so he's working with us really well as far as getting the sound we're aiming for.

    We're a progressive thrash band (best way I can try to cram my band's weird ass style into a simple name). We have a lot of odd time signatures, and some really fast, notey, intricate riffs. It's not easy stuff to play or record.

    The album is being done on a budget. The guy that owns the studio is really doing his best to deliver the best product for us without charging us more than what he originally quoted us to do the album. It's not a ton of money we're talking about here, but it's a pretty hefty chunk of change, and getting close to the top end of what we as a band can afford to pay.

    So this is where the can of worms opens. Last night after our session our drummer and lead guitarist starting saying to me and my other guitarist that although they were ok with what they had recorded, they said they had to sweep some stuff under the rug in order to keep the pace up. Our drummer in particular seems not happy with a couple of parts on a couple of songs. Now personally, I think (genuinely) that the parts sound find, but I also understand that you're your own worst critic. So this opened up this whole ugly discussion ; they are leaning towards finishing recording, picking the best tracks to release as an EP and then rerecord the whole album ourselves after buying the equipment.

    I know first hand how my band operates. We can be brutally slow at times getting stuff done. To me, rerecording the whole album sounds like an absolute nightmare as well as a complete soul-crushing morale hit. I opened the argument yesterday that if we were interested in doing this now, we should've saved our money from the studio and invested in equipment. If we do this, I feel like the studio would've been a massive waste of time and resources, not to mention the fact that if we release an EP who's going to want to buy an album with 4 additional songs on it six months later?

    I'll admit the playing aspect of doing it ourselves would be better as time wouldn't be an issue. But we can't pretend that we can get a comparable sound in our practice room than a studio with $30,000+ of equipment. The time it would take, the money it would cost and the hit on credibility we'd take with our fans doesn't seem worth it to me.

    We've agreed for now to wait until it's mastered to make our final decision.

    Anyone have any thoughts? I tried to be as clear as possible, I'll provide any additional details upon request.

    Sorry for the long post!
    Ellery and Plucky The Bassist like this.
  2. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    what it is about tech-y metal bands and over-thinking? :p :ninja: (I say this fondly - been in similar situations myself)

    a few thoughts:
    - what's happening here is known as "scope creep" and it's the enemy of completing a project. get a goal and stick to it or *** around for ever.

    - you have sunk costs in this project. what you need to do now is aim for the best possible combination of good results vs extra costs and time.

    - if you think the parts are fine, I'm going to bet that your listeners will feel the same. if we're talking dropped beats, bum notes etc, that's a different matter - but when you're on a budget, if it's not wrong, it's right.

    - if the parts are REALLY a problem, i suggest a better use of time and money would be to scrape together a budget for e.g. 1-2 days for patch-ups, drop-ins, re-takes, and fix the affected areas.

    - you say the band are slow to get things done. nothing wrong with that in isolation, but IF you go and drop cash on a bunch of gear and start re-recording it yourselves, I predict the same situation will play out on an infinite loop.

    - shredders / tech-heads tend to be perfectionists, in my experience. your bandmates need to let go of this if you ever want to get the thing finished. you can ALWAYS play it better the next day, or the next, or the next...

    TL;DNR – I agree with you. And yes, an e.p. then same-again-but-with-a-few-more-songs is a poor end product.
  3. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    Nothing that has been recorded is 'bad'. My drummer said verbatim, "It's not bad at all, it's just not what it could be" which to me says "I'm going to &$( around with this forever and ever and still never get it right".

    I feel fine with what we've done so far in there. They are total perfectionists which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but given the current situation concessions will have to be made.

    And again, I just don't know if I can take the soul-crushing disappointment that would come with doing it again.
    pudgychef and knumbskull like this.
  4. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    onnnne, twooooo, three and, four and, second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder, and a little bit worse.
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I'd push to release the EP now and save the unfinished tracks for a separate album.
  6. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Sounds like you could have used some "pre-production". That means doing your own rough recordings beforehand, with the equipment on hand. This will let you figure out where the trouble spots are and identify who needs to hone their parts more BEFORE you are on the ticking clock of a paid studio session. Also, I would have aimed at recording the best 3-5 songs with quality rather than trying to cram in too many songs that mistakes are "swept under the rug".
  7. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    We rehearsed like maniacs for this album, in addition to having the drummer hooked up to click tracks. I'm gonna borrow a quote from another post here "in the studio on a budget if it's not wrong its right". This is 100% applicable. When I say "swept under a rug" I don't mean he dropped a stick or bummed a note, he just didn't cram as much as he wanted to into I think the two verses in that song he's complaining about. If it was a huge issue I'd acknowledge it, but this is seriously some perfectionist knit-picky stuff.
  8. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    EP's nowadays are good to put out between LP's to keep the momentum of everything moving.

    EP's are also good to have if you need something short and to the point for the business end of things too.

    Re-releasing songs isn't all that motivating for anybody. You and more importantly the listener.

    Now if you have a enough songs recorded to make an LP but find yourself tossing out the ones that aren't up to snuff, thus leaving you with good songs that only produce an EP then either release an EP or wait till all the tracks are ready for the LP.

    It really depends on how soon you want something in hand. I will say either way (releasing an EP now or spending another year finishing a full length) will not be tarnishing your progress.

    But putting out bad songs can.
    matante likes this.
  9. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Yeah but every time he hears that part it will forever bug him.
    AaronVonRock and matante like this.
  10. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    This is true, and I'm not denying the impact of that.
  11. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    And I'd like to add that nothing about this album is BAD. We're all playing extremely well, to the point where he can point the things out in his parts he doesn't like and I don't notice anything. Again, I know they're not my parts personally and that they will bother him, but if someone in the band who has written bass parts around his drum parts can't and doesn't notice anything I highly doubt our average listener will be able to pick it out.
    knumbskull likes this.
  12. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    True. But your friends usually don't take notice of your bad haircut like you do. I hear what your saying. Maybe the best thing to do is step back from it for a few days and recharge. You guys might be a little cooked.
  13. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    We had this discussion last week after a full weekend and they were saying the same thing. We had two sessions this week, when we first went in everyone said it sounded better than they remember, but by the end of the second session the conversation was creeping up again. So you may very well be right.
  14. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Good luck. Hit us up with some clips when you can. I doubt we will even notice. It's kinda like when in the past I've changed lyrics for different reasons and I have to remind myself "I'm the only one that knows what use to be said and what is said now"
    Herrick and Wolfenstein666 like this.
  15. From my personal experience, I would say stick to finishing the album. It is a much better asset to have than an E.P. If they can live with it, then they should. Making recordings is not about being perfect but about capturing a performance.

    That said, how many songs is the album supposed to have?
    knumbskull, Wolfenstein666 and 10cc like this.
  16. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    10, but two are run in songs with no break. So technically 8. When we first went and talked to our engineer about what we wanted to do we told him how long the album was and how many songs. He quoted us a price for the album, which we all agreed on. We're finishing the album either way, we're just debating amongst ourselves how much of it and in what format we want to release it.
  17. 10cc

    10cc Inactive

    Oct 28, 2013
    Around 20-25 minutes for an EP
    40 minutes and above for an LP

    Ah to hell with it. Put out 10 or 8 singles:smug:
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It's not having the equipment, it's knowing how to use it. Pick the songs everyone agrees is ready to release and do so. Nowadays, most people aren't buying albums anyway. Better to have 5 good ones than 5 good and 5 meh.
  19. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    I would be inclined to agree with you, however there isn't even an ounce of 'meh' on this album which is why I'm so conflicted.
    Herrick likes this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sounds like the rest of the band does not agree - that's why I said what everyone agrees to. But I think you are more likely to sell more EPs.

    Again, unless you know what you are doing, and have plans other than recording your own album, I think you are much better off not recording yourself, not to mention to cost involved.