TovH Exclusive – ‘The Producer Series’: Pt. 3 – Noise
Want to record that perfect take? Write the
riff loop to crush all genitalia? Get that perfect drum tone? Need album direction ideas? Well today we have something extra special for all you aspiring musicians artists, the Producer Series. This exclusive to TovH will put you in touch with one of the leading names in metal production today, helping you get the edge over the endless stream of new bands/artists all seeking those sweet yet ever-dwindling record deal dollars. So far, we’ve tried to help you #StayTech and get down in the brown with trees n’ shit Atmospheric metal. Today, we’re going to get abrasive and delve into noise.
Once again, due to contractual obligations and other such legal restrictions imposed by those pesky record labels and other suit-wearing corporate scum, we’re not allowed to officially name the producer we’ve been in contact with. So for the purposes of this series, they’ll be referred to by their initials, B.S. I’m sure some of you more knowledgeable in the music industry have already worked out who it is, but for those who haven’t, let’s just say they’re a pretty big deal, having worked across a couple of decades, covered a plethora of sub-genres and collected ideas from all aspects of the music industry. What matters here for us though is that we’ve got exclusive access to their insights and tips on how to get noticed and achieve success through
music art. So without further ado, I’ll hand it over to B.S to run you through the 5 most important tips to make your noise the harshest noise of all.
1. MAKE IT IMMEDIATELY UN-LISTENABLE
Let’s face it, your audience want to be challenged. They didn’t come to be won-over or invited into some kind of paltry or even enjoyable experience. They want noise; give it to them immediately. Make the moment they click play so jarring that they’ll never forget what they’ve done. This serves two purposes. The first being the obvious: stand out from the competition as quickly as possible. First impressions last, make yours count. Make it so obnoxiously loud at frequencies known to cause aural trauma in humans that it has the potential to permanently damage the hearing of the listener, leaving your noise to be the last noise they ever hear. The second benefit to making the recording immediately unlistenable being that the quicker you confront the listener, the quicker those who don’t like your sounds will push stop/break their headphones, leaving only those who truly appreciate your amazing art left. The chances of getting praise and positive reviews are increased exponentially using this method.
2. NEVER LEAVE THE BASEMENT/BEDROOM
If you’ve set up your recording area correctly, it will have all the necessary elements needed to create your noise album. Ideally, it will be dark, cold and possess the kind of musty smell that will repel all visitors who could potentially interrupt the supremely intricate creation process. You need to be at one with your “instruments”. Everything you use for the recording should be within arms reach, you don’t want to have to get up and walk around, searching for what you need, only to sit back down and find the moment is gone. For this you’ll need an oversized powerboard. The fridge, toaster, fan, blender, microwaves (yes, you’ll need several), 33.6kb/s dial-up modem and any other instrument you use should all be plugged in and ready to go. Remember, if you’re finding the subtle humming of the fridge to have too much resemblance to a melody for instance, you can always add enough effects pedals to rival a Tour de France peloton and transform it into something so devoid of soul it would make the future of film himself, Michael Bay, reconsider using digital holograms instead of scriptwriters for Transformers 7.
3. ALWAYS TAG IT AS “EXPERIMENTAL”
There’s a damn good reason every noise artist has the experimental tag on their bandcamp page. You’ve gotta appear to be doing something unique and weird. Nobody wants to hear “orthodox” noise, that’s called music. The deranged types that will be listening to your noise want to both appear and feel like they’re on the cutting edge of sound. How else will they know that what they are listening to is abstract art without the all-important “experimental” tag? Even if you’re not part of the new-wave who are recording speaker-hiss through a bamboo shoot submerged in a viscous solution of cactus oil and swan bile, still tag it as experimental anyway. However, it doesn’t end there. Make sure you add the tag of at least one genre that doesn’t actually exist yet. Can’t think of one? Add “-core” to one that already exists but is somewhat defunct. Don’t glaze over this step; it is actually on-par with, if not more important than the sounds you record.
4. DON’T MAKE MUSIC, CREATE ART
This one speaks for itself. Music itself is dead. Obsolete are the archaic concepts of melody and harmony. The confines of structure are redundant. Tradition, trite. Music is dead. In its place, art will reign. You may wonder how digital sounds could ever replace the soul of organic music. How can electronic noise even emulate the feeling of the blues, let alone supplant it completely. The answer lies in you, the artist. When you push enter on that killer loop you just created, sealing shut the ouroboros of sound that will be etched in history, the listener will feel tangibly connected to you and, most importantly, your art. That 4 minute ambient factory buzzing track that increases in volume by exactly 15% with each refrain will resonate within the listeners’ hearts and minds. That is because they, like you, know that THIS is art. The future is wide open, and you’re at the forefront. Don’t fret if the plebeian masses don’t “get it” yet. In 3 years time they’ll come around and will have the 17 releases you’ve created in that time to satiate their desire for your exquisite art.
5. DISMISS OTHER GENRES
As discussed in the previous point, traditional forms of music are dead. So why pander to them? Be straight-up to those luddites who cling to the shrivelling corpse of metal. Tell them they’re tame plebs, their taste is bland, their favourite albums are tedious, the genres dull and listless. In short, they’re banal beings unworthy of your artistic creations, lacking the intelligence needed to comprehend your complex designs or the cosmopolitan awareness of art to appreciate your minimalist expression pieces. They have failed, not you. Remember, if creating noise starts to make you feel like you’re one of the horde of bourgeois conformist fools, there’s always time to move into the realm of harsh noise, making sure that only you truly understand your art.
Previously in the Producer Series: