In a recent interview with Australia's Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life, LIFE OF AGONY guitarist Joey Z discussed the current state of the band as well as the recording process for its forthcoming "The Sound Of Scars" studio album, which is acting as "chapter two" to the group's groundbreaking 1993 debut, "The River Runs Red".
"I would have to say it's the best ever right now," he said when talking about how LIFE OF AGONY is faring (hear audio below). "And I'm knocking on wood. [Laughs] Our career has been filled with a bunch of ups and downs like any other career, I may add. But right now, I've gotta say we're really high up on our roller-coaster ride and it feels really good. We just put together a killer record, as you probably heard and know by now. We're just so excited about it. We're excited that we get to go out and play these awesome songs. We're excited the world gets to hear this record on October 11. We worked so hard. I co-produced the record with [producer] Sylvia Massy, so it's the first time a band member co-produced a record. It was a lot of work. It was a lot for me to take on, but, I'm proud that I did. I'm so happy that I did. I wore two hats, basically a guitar player and a producer. The way it went down is we flew to Oregon to go see Sylvia and we did drums there at her studio. The whole band flew there. After the drums were finished, about a week after we took the hard drive home to hear it my studio here in New York.
"I have a recording studio here," he continued. "I went right into recording guitars. I drove myself crazy for about three weeks screaming at the walls, getting the performances that I wanted to get, bouncing back and forth between the computer and my guitar. I did it all organically, which means I did none, on any of the takes, whether it's bass, vocals, no cutting and pasting, none of that, 'Let me use that part here because it was good.' I played everything through which was a lot of fun. I created more of a live scenario in my studio for myself. I put a bunch of monitors, like as if I was on stage. I created this live scenario so much so that I put a giant banner on my wall of the crowd from Wembley Stadium during the QUEEN, that famous Live Aid [show in 1985]. I put a gigantic… I had a vinyl print made of the crowd from Wembley Stadium and it's still there in my studio. I didn't take it down because it looks so cool. It's like a six-foot banner. Basically, I got to stare at a crowd and at times, I was hallucinating so much during my guitar tracks, playing so hard that I could have sworn I saw the crowd moving. Literally. Literally, I guess my vision was playing tricks on me while I was tracking and closing my eyes and opening them. Literally, I felt like at times, that crowd was moving. It was kind of creepy and kind of cool at the same time. I just wanted to put a lot of that energy into the tracks and the way I was able to record myself is I would loop the song so that I could continue to play all the way to the point where I would go out of tune, then I would stop. The computer was recording the whole time, so I would capture all these hours and hours and hours of me playing these songs and tracks, then I would put it together. At least I gave myself that opportunity to really, how would you say, 'lose myself' in each song. Completely let go. That was really the only way I was able to do it. I'm really happy I did it that way because it turned out awesome."
Joey added: "Then I went on to bass. I recorded Alan [Robert] at my studio. That was amazing, pushed Alan, really, just like I would push anyone else I would record. He was really happy about that. I got some amazing bass tracks out of Alan. Then I went on to record the vocals with my cousin Mina [Caputo] out in Staten Island, New York, which is closer to Mina because she's limited in transportation. I would go out there and we would work out of WU-TANG CLAN and Method Man's studio. I know the people who own the building and got me into the studio in the daytime. It was Mina and myself every day for about a month, I would say, month-and-a-half, doing vocals during the day. It just went amazing with my cousin. She was so cool about trusting me with choosing the takes and all that. It was just a really cool experience. The trust that the band had for me was immense. Then I also did all the interludes for the record here at my house. I set up microphones around my house and I captured all of those storylines. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun at the same time. I'm just really sitting back, really proud of the whole band, and Sylvia, and the whole experience."
"The Sound Of Scars" will be made available via Napalm Records.
LIFE OF AGONY will embark on the "The Sound Of Scars" world tour, beginning in England this month with DOYLE (of MISFITS fame) and EVOLUTION EMPIRE supporting.
Photo credit: Gino DePinto