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Nicole on Recording Oceania, 2011 - 2011-07-11
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My "Oceania" experience, July 11, 2011

Hey there boys and girls…..

It's been awhile since I've updated all of you. It's been an extremely busy summer for me thus far. The last 2 weeks I've been on the east coast visiting family, but the 6 weeks prior to that were spent working in the studio on our forthcoming album "Oceania." It was a very intense 6 weeks to say the least. I've participated in many recording sessions in my life, but this experience pushed me to a different level of musicianship that I've never quite experienced. The first 3 weeks were spent working closely with our drummer Mike. I didn't record anything, but served more as a support system for him as I felt my way through the songs. What I loved about this process was that we really played off of each other's styles and worked through our parts together. His choices directly influenced mine and vice versa. So even though we recorded separately, we were still able to create that live, organic feeling in the songs. I think the primary focus for this album was to create a natural "band" sound that wasn't so focused on technicalities. We tried to use full takes as much as possible, no clicks, and as few punch-ins as we could. The concentration was more on creating a feeling verses getting a "perfect" take. Billy really gave us the opportunity to bring our personalities to the tracks. The process for me was a very positive one because I felt totally supported and trusted. As far as writing bass lines, Billy gave me the reigns and I took full advantage of it! My goal was to put my stamp on this album without compromising the classic Pumpkins sound. I feel that because I was so supported I was able to take risks and have the confidence to follow through with ideas that wouldn't necessarily be the obvious choice. I think that I succeeded in what I set out to do which was to create a bass sound that is unique to me and also serves the album. I feel really good about the work that we've done as a unit these past few months and feel strongly that it is going to shine through in the final product. Billy and Jeff are currently working diligently on guitars while I am gearing up to work on vocals. Shortly after that we will mix, master and share it with all of you! In other news, The Cold and Lovely record is currently being mixed and should be ready for a late summer/early fall release. Thanks for all of your love and support!

xo N

p.s. For the gear heads:
The songs on Oceania tend to highlight the melodic side of my playing. I used a variety of basses that all support the lead bass lines that I play without losing the low end. Basses I used include a 63 Fender Jazz, 62 Gibson Thunderbird, 64 Fender VI, 76 P bass, 58 P bass, and a 78 Rickenbacker. Although I am a Mesa Boogie girl on stage, we experimented with a Reeves custom 225 head and an Ampeg SVT Classic 8×10 cabinet for the record and found a really great sound that was very complimentary to my style.

Source: Just one of the boys



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