Recording the first pieces

The first three tracks of Primal Maze were recorded in two places, Finnvox B and ShedStudios.

Finnvox B is undoubtedly the most legendary recording studio in Finland, established in 1967. But how the hell did we end up in there?

After a period of songwriting and rehearsal in the summer of 2018, the band looked for a recording and mixing engineer who was highly skilled and would share our musical aims. Amongst a few candidates, Juhis Kauppinen visited our rehearsals and after a short discussion, we had a gut feeling that he would be the right guy for the job. In this meeting, Juhis listened to our playing and suggested that in order to capture our performance and energy, the drums and bass could be recorded live at Finnvox B. Juhis knew the place well since he had worked there as an engineer. To us, the place gave extra chills but also made us even more focused. A shared intention was to record band’s energy and sound in a straightforward way.

On Friday, October 5, 2018, we brought our gear to Finnvox and set up our instruments ready to be fired up. The following morning, after a short warm-up and too many cups of coffee, the whole band started to play and drum and bass tracks for ‘The Call of the Highway’, ‘Look Down’ and ‘Erase You’ were recorded. Janne and Hannu played superbly. In this session, Ville’s vocal and guitar tracks were recorded as a reference for future sessions.

After a few days at Finnvox, we took our guitars and amps to Juhis’s ShedStudio. ShedStudio offered a painless environment to record both the guitar and vocal tracks. Even though Jussi and Ville used a rather simple set-up, mainly Les Pauls and Mesa amps, it was clear to us that the recording and mixing should nurture each song and its objectives. Except for a piano theme in Look Down and a synth at the end of Erase you, we didn’t use any plugins or virtual instruments on the guitar or the drum tracks.

A lot of emphasis was put on vocal tracks because Ville’s vocal capacity is a great asset to the band. In practice, vocal tracks were done one song a day. Ville had finished the lyrics and melody lines so he could focus on the essence of the songs and give the best performance. After the effort put into ‘Erase You’, Ville’s ribs felt tender for a few days, but all in all, going crazy in the recording booth was great fun.

At the beginning of November, all tracks, including the vocals were finished. The band was highly involved in the post-production process and mixing was made in close cooperation with Juhis and Primal Maze in order to achieve band’s intrinsic musical goals.