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Forbidden Checks In From The Recording Studio

Steve Smyth, guitarist for the reactivated San Francisco Bay area thrashers Forbidden, has issued the following update about his time at Sonic Room/Audio Voyage Studios in Livermore, California recording the band’s as-yet-untitled fifth studio album:

“Day One: We set up shop at Audio Voyage Studios, in Livermore California, deep in the East Bay Area. Very cool place, small, a couple of well-tuned rooms set up just right to do the rest of our tracking... I met Craig, Tim, and Brad there, and we began to talk about what kind of sound I was after for my rhythm tone... I had an arsenal of gear with me as well, so we began to break it out, and talk about cabinets that would be used, as well as heads. As it turned out, Craig had been using a combination of 3 amps and 3 cabinets, and when I heard his tone, I was absolutely blown away by the clarity in all frequencies, the gain factor, and the fact that you could literally hear air pushing from the speakers into the mics as well. Great tone! I wanted to get a tone that would stand on its own... After some discussion, I set up 3 heads of my choosing with 3 cabinets, 2 with Vintage 30s and 1 with 75 watters in there, and I had a monster ready to come out and play... [and] we agreed the tone I had in mind suited the tracks perfectly, and set about tracking!

“’Overthrow’... is tricky to play in that the main riff keeps pedalling back and forth on specific notes, but varying each time we play through the riff, and there’s a lot of stretching involved. This track actually got my wrist feeling a small bout of tendonitis after playing it throughout the song. In fact, there’s more than a few things I played or wrote for this album that involve some serious stretches! But it’s for the song, and in the end, that’s what matters most. [W]e decided it was best to double-track this song as well to give it more clarity, and more of a 'wall' type of sound. There is a middle section in this song where the feeling I was after was that of a ship on an ocean, being thrown violently back-and-forth on the sea during a storm. I think we got this sound in the end, so I hope you all will enjoy it. Take some Dramamine before you do! Ha ha!

“Craig and I went out for Indian food that night at a local favorite place... and plotted the next point of attack for tomorrow. From there, belly full of Chicken Balti, rice, and garlic naan (damn I’m hungry just thinking about it - ha ha!), I crashed, full, and satisfied that we had got tones and nearly one song done on the first day. For me, that was seriously one of the easiest days I have ever had getting tones, and I credit it to the team we’re working with on this album, Brad and Tim, and also Craig’s ears as well, and of course, mine.”

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