The making of ///pathetic.toneless.obsessions

11th July 2018
Recording drums for ///pathetic.toneless.obsessions

The origins of the main riffs and parts on ///pathetic.toneless.obsessions go back to when we were still a trio. Since the beginning of Sons of the Lighthouse we recorded every rehearsal and jam session we did which lead to gigabytes and gigabytes of material safely stored on our hard drives and cloud storages. When we decided to move on as a duo, we didn’t just want to throw all these ideas out the window and start all over again, especially since some of those ideas had already turned into almost finished songs. So we took some of those songs and started experimenting with different synthesizers and samples. We loved the change in energy and the effect the synthesizers had on the songs right away so we kept going. It felt like this newly added element gave the songs we already knew and loved a common thread. We went back and forth between meeting in our rehearsal room to write new parts and jam and meeting at my apartment to write basslines and fiddle around with synthesizers and samples. After approximately 4 months of writing and arranging parts, acquiring all the gear we needed to properly record and play over the backing tracks in our rehearsal room and refining the songs, we were ready to record the EP. We knew we couldn’t afford to go to a big studio to record, neither could we afford an engineer to do the recording for us. But we always found a way to make things work by ourselves so we didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t make this happen on our own either. I decided to take the recording and mixing process into my own hands and spent weeks reading books and watching YouTube tutorials on how to set up microphones for drums and guitars, what to do and what not to do when recording, how to mix songs and dozens of other recording and mixing related topics. Having been part of a professional recording and mixing process before, I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve.
Nik and I both took four days off to lock ourselves in the rehearsal room and record the songs: Two for drums and two for guitar. Everything went smoothly and we both perfectly stuck to the schedule. The next stage however was completely uncharted territory for me. Having seen a mixing process and actually doing it are two very different animals. So I had to go with the trusty trial-and-error method. I started adjusting volumes, adding equalizers, gates and compressors, adding effects, removing effects and deleting the whole damn thing and start all over again. But after a couple of tries I felt like I got the hang of it and the songs started sounding the way heard them in my head from the very beginning. I slowly got a sense of what buttons to push and what knobs to turn to get the results I was looking for. With every new song I approached I acquired new skills which I then applied to the songs I already worked on. I think this approach actually helped giving this record a guiding thread. For the last step, mastering the record, we decided to give the mixes into professional hands for once. The results that were sent back to us shortly after blew us away. Our good friend Sebastian Eichmeier did an amazing job rounding off the songs giving them the finishing touch.
All in all we are incredibly proud of this record and we are eagerly looking forward to sharing our music with you as well as recording the next one (probably later this year). ///pathetic.toneless.obsessions marks the beginning of a long prosperous journey of kicking ass!

The history of ///snippet.upper.laser

Photo Credit: Jürgen Hermann Krause

We’re in the year 2011. I Just graduated from high-school and moved to Cologne to pursue my dream of being a musician. My brother-in-law Leo and I decided to form a band and we started looking for other musicians to join us. First Leo talked to an old friend of his who, shortly after, hopped on to the bandwagon. So we had a vocalist, a pianist and me on guitar. We started writing some material which ended up being pretty slow-paced, singer-songwriter-style kind of music. We liked it, but we were still missing the whole rhythm section, so we posted an ad on various websites and forums, looking for a drummer and a bassist. The first bassist we met joined the band right away. The first drummer we met however, didn’t really seem to fit in, so we continued the search. Needless to say, it paid off. One day I received a very promising e-mail, so I invited the guy to our next practice session.  We invited a bunch of friends over to the practice room that night to hang out, play some music and meet our potential new drummer. Then he arrived. He walked in and it felt like we knew each other for decades… Eventually he sat down at this very beaten up drum-set we already had in the room… And this, ladies and gentlemen, was the moment this guy blew my mind for the first of many times. Without having heard even a second of any of the songs we presented him, he took our drafts and turned them into powerful, groove-driven, all-out rock songs. I was flabbergasted. In fact, I think everyone present in the room (including him) thought “what the actual f**k just happened”? By the end of the night and after many beers and great talks, our band was complete.

snippet.upper.laser Portrait
Photo Credit: Jürgen Hermann Krause

Flash forward to the year 2015. By that time we had achieved many things: We won contests, we played concerts in front of thousands of people, we recorded and released an album and we toured around Germany. But some things changed over the years and the vibe wasn’t the same anymore. This inexhaustible drive to push forward and reach new goals was gone and so was the motivation to keep the band together for some of us. So we didn’t. Left behind were three of us: Carsten on bass, Nik on drums and me on guitar. Since we couldn’t just stop being creative and make music together, we started writing new instrumental post-rock material to see where it would take us. Exploring new musical territory, none of us were really sure whether this was something to more seriously pursue or not. Almost another year went by and we came to a point where a decision had to be made. Not having played a gig in over two years, there was this undeniable urge to have a band, record records and get back on stage. Carsten, who was still unsure whether this was the project he really wanted to put all the time and effort in besides having tons of things going on in his personal life, then stepped down and it all came down to Nik and me. After unsuccessfully looking for other bassists to take is spot, we sat down and tried to come up with a plan. As you are reading this right now, you probably know we did. And oh boy what a plan that was. We knew we have the skills, the means and, most importantly, the drive to make this happen on our own. From that night on we went balls to wall, writing songs, planning recordings, executing them and creating what we are today: A kick-ass instrumental rock band!

And now, with the first EP out and our first gig under the belt, the sky is the limit!

Snippetu Square
Photo Credit: Carsten Mohr