In the making: t.o.t.s. “Return of the Wetlands”

OK. So we’ve been working on this CD for about a year now and today it occurred to me to keep a running journal of the remaining part of the process as there is still a long way to go. I’m going to include EVERYTHING in this thread. Days we’ve recorded, what we’ve recorded, equipment we’ve bought, promo decisions, etc etc etc. I thought that since this is our 3rd full length CD people might be interested in comparing their own experiences against ours… good and bad. I’ll also get a chance to look back and see how amazingly inefficient I am at some things. This is a not a “bragging” thread or a “what i do is correct” thread. I am going to post all of my decisions bad and good. I’ll keep this thread going until through the first tour promoting the release. I will also try to get the other members to post here with their experiences and feelings during the whole process. I’m probably not going to post unfinished songs. I’m just not a big fan of doing that and I have a hard with my stuff being heard before it’s finished. Obviously input is also welcome and all that shit. I’ll try to update things as often as possible and to give some perspective I’ll probably through it occasional normal work day shit and outside projects I’m involved in.

I’ll give a brief synopsis of what’s been going on from the beginning and take it from there… We self released a demo version of our second CD “You Knew It All Along” in 2003 and had a US and Canadian tour to promote it the same year. I released the finished version of the CD in 2005 and promoted that until late 2006 with another tour. Late 2006 we signed with Invisible Records and since then I have remixed another version of “You Knew It All Along” to clear any possible copyright issues with samples and have done the same with our first CD “God in a Box”. After I was done with all of that, I officially started working on the new CD in February 2007.

I decided to name the new CD “The Return of the Wetlands” for two reasons… 1) My brother and I grew up in a swamp (Gum Swamp to be exact) and I wanted the new CD to be more organic sounding than previous releases. More like something you’d might expect to hear from two brother that grew up in a bog. Less dependency on synthesizers for developing a song structure and a heavier use of guitars. 2) a reference to global warming.

We had no songs laid out for this CD in advance. Obviously there were lots of scratch ideas laid out but nothing anywhere close to what you’d call a song. At this point we have two completed songs and about 18 others sitting around in various stages. The two finished tracks are called “Nothin’ But a Thing” and “When the Ghosts Have Died”. Both have been released on compilations this year.

While we’ve been recording I’ve rebuilt my studio on three occasions, replaced my audio recording interface, acquired three new synthesizers (K-Station, Crumar Performer, Yamaha CS6x), a drum machine (Korg ER-1), new drum software (FXpansion Guru), a sampler (Akai s01), an effects processor and a new synth stand. I also joined a new band called “The Qualia”.

The current t.o.t.s. line up of members is as follows: Blight (my brother, bass), Lars Casteen (guitars), Ericah Hagle (vox) and myself (guitars, synths, drums, programming, vox).

As far as promotional stuff goes we’ve released two new tracks on two compilations, had some new stickers made (are not yet available) and discussed album art with a few different artists. I’ve written an article for Martin’s Suicide Girls column and I have acquired and updated the DarkSonus website as much as possible depending on available time and mood.

As far as none t.o.t.s. projects go… I work regularly with Lars with his project “The Qualia”, I need to record vocals for hEADaCHE’s new project, I am working on an SMP remix and I need to cut a video for my friends sideshow.

So here goes….

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