Exclusive – The Prophecy 23 Studio Diary
The German party thrash band take us on an entertaining journey behind the making of their recent release ‘Green Machine Laser Beam’.
Songwriting process done. And sixteen tracks made of mosh, thrash, action and beer-soaked steel are to be recorded for ‘Green Machine Laser Beam’ (out now on Massacre Records). And so the five brutal thrash maniacs headed for Kohlekeller Studios, Germany to produce the follow-up of their debut ‘To The Pit’ with prestigious producer Kristian “Kohle” Bonifer. Bassist Mario Macaroni and singer/guitarist Hannes “Hannemann” Klopprogge will give you an exclusive and juicy look behind the scene of a totally crazy recording-session. Will our five friends make it to live up to the success of their first record? We’ll see…
Our drummer Flo already did his parts in an unbelievably experienced way during the last few days. That is why our studio diary starts with the interesting stuff – the recording of the real instruments! We want to create a sweet sound so we check 8 different amps, 5 guitar cabinets, 12 guitars, 4 different types of strings, 23 picks, 7 pick-ups, 12 cables, 4 chairs and 13 multicoloured effects pedals. In the end we decide to take the most expensive amplifier and the most expensive cabinet – the better equipment you have, the better you play! In order to still get a dirty sound out of it we just put the cheapest pedal in front of the amp. It’s yellow and our producer Kohle named it the “Rectal Enhancer” – it lives up to its name! We take to our musicians flat in the evening and it really impresses us with a sauna, king-size beds and a well-filled fridge – even our band mascot Buzz Lightyear has its own sofa. We simply celebrate the first studio day with beer and perusing the rich store of unintentionally funny metal magazines, straight from the 80s, that we found in our flat.
We slug our guts out today. The recordings can get started immediately because of our well done pre-productions. The guitarists are practised and can tape up many parts. But sometimes suddenly our own riffs seem to be pretty tricky and Kohle wants everything exactly perfect. Fashion is also an important issue during our time in the studio. Finally we decide that joggers and shower sandals are in vogue. Hannes wears sandals out of the official merchandise collection of the German Football Association – the rest of the band mocks him and calls them “Reickskriegsschuhe”.
We are still very disciplined though: “Early to bed and early to rise makes your shredding thrashy, brutal and tight!” Can we stick that out during our whole studio-session? Debatable!
The rest of the band works on the CD-booklet and the new merchandise collection, while Hannes and Dennis are fighting with their memories (“What was that riff like?”). After a short self-examination, little nuances and new ideas are added to some guitar tracks. It’s awesome to see our songs grow from rehearsal room-recordings to big productions. Kohle is very gifted in many kinds of music and together we can give our songs even more quality. It’s Mario’s turn to cook, today. We have an all time classic dish for the studio: Pizza and a can of beer. Here we are. The discipline is lost. We have one after another and the first t(h)rash bag is fully loaded with empty cans.
On day 4 we spontaneously decide to record every riff again with a different sound – Kohle calls it the “bruzel-sound”. It provides our songs with even more aggression and attack. In the meantime Phil reached the advanced level of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on our studio console. In comparison to the guitarists of Slavery, who are currently recording their album in the other part of the studio, Phil is not even half good enough. One of those two crazy guys beat that game yesterday. Without any cheats!
All rhythm-guitars are taped up! Dennis and Hannes are glad that they can scrape off their horny skin now. On to the vocal recordings! While Hannes can deliver his thrash shouts for five songs on the first day, the rest of the band plays a combination of beer pong and strip poker. Kohle has got even more ideas up his sleeve and pushes Hannes’ performance to another level. Step by step we are starting to realize that this record will be much heavier than the debut ‘To The Pit’.
The ambient temperature amounts minus 20 degrees. It’s the coldest winter in Germany for fifty years. We had to get our beer inside and the bottle of Jägermeister is now in the fridge to unfreeze. The studio is in the middle of nowhere in the so called “Odenwald” (translation: “Forest of Odin”). We are surrounded by huge trees, deep valleys and yellow snow made by our beer thirst. That creates the perfect mood for the vocal recordings of the song ‘Ice Road Truckers Vs. the Sun’. In the evening Kohle fires up the sauna – vodka and heat is a good combination. The naked men in the front yard amuse the neighborhood and the team spirit within the band charges significantly.
Day and Night 7
Phil and Hannes are extra motivated after the hot night. They manage it to finish the majority of the vocals. It turns out that Phil is not a human being but an animal. His guttural “bree bree” vocals during ‘Don’t Step Back’ are frightening. Mario almost gets sick because of the noises – a good sign!
Skull Fist, Steelwing, Bullet and Grand Magus play a show in a nearby club tonight. We can pass the security guys although we forgot our spandex trousers – what a blast! Hannes returns to his 80s metal roots and even our new-school Phil went wild during Bullet. After some beers we decide to change ‘Captain Quick and the Pirates’ into a power metal anthem. On the way back to our flat we get lost in the depths of the “Odenwald”. Flo is trying to phone Kohle while Dennis and Mario are screaming for Dio and his guidance. We are glad that Kohle picks us up – Mario still believes that Dio is on his side.
The recordings start a little bit late today. Phil spend the night in the kitchen and Hannes is still depressed that the 80s are over – it’s hangover-time! In consequence of the current situation we decide to record the gang vocals today. All band members in one small recording cabin after one week in the studio – that’s what they call the smell of success. We start with the shouts to ‘Wake Me Up For Lunch’ and also finish the gang vocals for ‘Don’t Waste Time – Get Wasted’, ‘Captain Quick’ and the title track ‘Green Machine Laser Beam’.
Tonight, we have dinner at the local kebab shop. The owner becomes a fan of our music, but he grumbles when Phil orders a vegetarian kebab with ketchup.
The band and the producer need a three weeks break now. We are all just completely wasted.
Back in the studio! The break was necessary to get a new perspective on the songs. During the next few days we try to stay dry for the bass recordings and the guitar solos. Of course we can’t stop fooling around and the results are a jazzy blues-part, a crazy bass solo and much more. Additionally we do some special sound recordings like the opening of a beer can for the song ‘No Beer – What A Mess’ or the re-enactment of a ghetto scene for ‘We Are The Pit Police’.
Kohle comments:”We’ve got more tracks than Blind Guardian and a lower musical level than Jürgen Drews (German Schlager-Star). I’d like to see anyone else do that!”
After hard and tough days in the studio this is how we’d sum it all up -
We had a blast during our time in the Kohlekeller Studio. The sound of ‘Green machine Laser Beam’ kills! It outperforms all our old records in the matter of sound, variety, roughness and fun. The album is action loaded, sometimes fast, sometimes groovy, always with a good sense of humour and has a lot of surprises in store. Get your copy of ‘Green machine Laser Beam’ out now, distributed worldwide by Massacre Records.
Studio Photos by Kai Stahlenberg
For more studio hilarity check out their video below.
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