Over the unbearably hot and sun-drenched weekend, PILGRIM stopped by the infamous Ron's Wrecker Service to begin yet another recording session for an upcoming secret, classified government-funded musical project. Aided only by a roaring fan and an unending suply of alcoholic beverages, the band and the engineer, Ron Rochondo himself, spent a dozen or so hours hunched over mixing boards, guitar cabnets and speaker cables trying to perfect the masterpieces that were to be found on PILGRIM's next big endevor.
Waking early in the morning on Saturday and packing the cars full of our equipment, three tired-eyed young pilgrims set off north-bound on Highway 95 towards Medford Massachusetts on our way to the luxorious wood-panled domain of Ron Rochondo, the fabled and legendary recording engieneer and head mechanic of Ron's Wrecker Service. Ron greeted us with a nod of his hat, a lucky shot into his spitoon, and a warm smile. We exchanged gifts of cheap thirty racks of High Life and Pabst (as is the custom at Ron's) and set off straight away, wasting no time, unloading the cars and setting up our gear in the studio for the long recording session that was to follow.
Over the next day and a half, in a ritual manner too sacred and devine to be scibed here in this text, PILGRIM layed down three fat slabs of doom metal onto the ever spinning tape wheels of the four track recorder. From the strike of the first chord, the unbearable vibrations shook spirits out from their slumbering dens within our intruments and pushed them out into the stale air of the dark studio. They danced and flared in the air like the smoke of a thick inscense or a burning cigarette. They sang along with the dark melodies, sometimes even appearing audibly on the tapes themselves as a short, brash delayed cry that took the listener by surpirse and rendered the take useless. This spiritual mayhem, guided by our fingers and hosted by Ron, who sat in front of the spinning tape in a motorcycle helmet and a white sleeveless El Paso, Texas t shirt, finally died down in syncracy with the setting sun. There was much editing to be done, and we stayed up into the late hours of night to finish what we had started.
Upon awaking the next day, we all felt tired and depleted, like something from within us was missing. The recording had surely, I figured, captured all of our souls onto the hissing cassette tapes and refused to give them back, as if there lived a greedy demon who dwelled deep within the confines of the plastic and magnetized ribbon of the tape and required our melodies and song structures for its nurishment. Exposed to the repitition of frequent playbacks while editing left us in a deep hypnosis and made us far more familiar with the music we had created than we would all ever actually care to be, being that the music was so intensely dark, sinister, depressing and chaotic.
Now, a few days later, here I sit in the solitude I so dearly missed on my visit to the Shop, reflecting upon this weekend's adventure. Having a few days behind me and some time to recuperate, I have re-approached the recordings with fresh ears and mind, to find that the songs I had sweated and slaved over in that oily, rag-filled garage were hearty, soulful and powerful. Over the past few days I have been so tired, so restless, so exhausted, but I now attribute this lack of energy to the amount of soul and passion that was poured like wax in a mold into the songs we had recorded together as a band.
What an odd few days it has been. There is undoubtedly magic in this music, of this I am certain, and when this music becomes available to touch your ears, I'm positive you'll feel the magic too.
A special thanks to Ron for dedicating his skills to PILGRIM's progress and to his lovely wife Sam for letting us run a stinky, sweaty muck in the studio.
Hails, until we speak again,