Tim's Studio Diary Corner

....settle in as the weather folds...

7th November 2003

well i can't promise i'll do this everyday, but here's what's happened in the last 24hrs....was recording vocals for 'star-crossed' last night with nick our producer, sang my voice totally out by 2am so went out to meet the other ash reprobates at a sunset strip bar. threw some darts then retired to the mansion with a bunch of LA amigos. a lot of pool was played and shite was talked. crashed out at 4. was woken at 7 by a paraletic rick blasting music. asked him to turn it down, went back to bed. today i finished 'star-crossed' and am about to sing another sweet ballad called 'solace'.

8th November 2003

ok, it's 10.34 pm. i'm sitting here listening to charlotte sing her vocals on 'solace', sipping on a gentleman jack and cola, contemplating giving up cos my lyrics will never reach the starry heights of matt-o-mac's..... but it's all about the struggle anyway....so i shall persevere.... today we've just been working on this tune. then we'll move on and do the backing vocals for 'star-crossed'.

for some shameless namedropping we went to dave grohl's hallowe'en party on saturday and got royally messed up. mark was 'jason' from friday the 13th. chaz was a witch, rick was the grim reaper but looked more like darth maul. steve strange, our agent (y'know the horseman) was batman and i was robin. we're all still recovering.... then on wednesday josh homme and brody armstong called round to the house and hung out with mark and steve, unfortunately i was singing myself hoarse in the studio so i missed all the fun.

i've been here so long i've started speaking californian, all i can think is that the record is sounding rad, you'll all be like, totally stoked!

9th November 2003

9.09pm saturday, all the rest of LA is partying hard.....and we're in the studio..... charlotte wasn't feeling the vocal thing last night, so i sang 'renegade cavalcade' instead. got back to the ranch @ 4am, hung out with rick and steve in the kitchen talkin shite. i'd just missed charlotte putting away half a bottle of jack in an attempt to get to sleep. left them to it at 5 and headed for bed. rick stayed up til 8 phoning long lost friends on the other side of the atlantic on his mobile. been down here all afternoon working on renegade. we're going a bit stir-crazy in the studio, so we're gonna head out for an hour to the beach for inspiration. we'll listen to the rough mixes on the way. along with 'invasion of your privacy' by RATT. be afraid.

10th November 2003

dear diary. boy am i glad i only undertook this sisyphean task for the last week of recording.....ah it's not that bad really....

had a productive day doing loads of guitars that sound like they're from outer space on a track currently called 'tinseltown'. in august we demoed a 10 minute 6 section epic version of it. but we decided to edit it down to just the donna-summer-meets-primal-scream-in-a-fight section and make a killer psycho tune out of it. i might be deaf from listening to it all day but goddamn, right now it sounds like a hit

i think the hamilton/homme convention involved hanging in the kitchen supping on gin'n'juice and discussing other bands names with phallic overtones (e.g queens of the boneage, jimmy eat dick etc....)

we're now going back in on starcrossed, charlotte's here and ready for some backing vocals.

alrighty, well there's work to be done, see you all tomorrow.....

11th November 2003

good day/evening to ya... had a visit in the studio this afternoon from the author jt leroy, he came down to hear some stuff with his friends speedy and astor (in a band called thistle) and their kid thor. check his books out, they might freak you out a bit but they're absolutely amazing:


after they left i put down a guitar solo for 'starcrossed'. it's pretty much finished now. we had to make the decision last night to take 2 more days to finish all the songs. changing flights and all that. we always seem to over-run our deadlines, but we just got to get this monster finished right! spent the rest of today finishing the vocal on 'renegade'. it's totally killlerrrrrrrrr!!!

about to head out for jt's party at the chateau marmont. it's a wrap party for the film of his book 'the heart is deceitful above all things'. it probably will be celebrity transcentral, he's managed to acquire a stellar celeb groupie list that would make coldplay proud....

check out the place we did free all angels at in spain, don't know if you've seen this before:


as for robin photos, i'll see what i can do. don't get too excited though. steve strange as batman was far more interesting in my opinion!

12th November 2003

as gerri halliwell said in rock profile, i love the gays, just letting ya know...our first manager bill is gay, and god knows what rick is, i think he's trysexual.... anyway

today was a good day, dave grohl came down to the studio and loved the new stuff. he made us play 'clones' twice. it's amazing, i was sitting there watching one of my heroes freaking out and playing airdrums to our new record. sometimes i have to pinch myself.... i spent the rest of the day doing my vocals for 'on a wave'. it's turned out, you guessed it....killer! (that's our producer nick's favourite word btw)

so yeah, other exciting news, i just bought a soundelux elux 251 microphone, nope, didn't think you'd find that very interesting....

buenos noches....

see you tomorrow....

3 days to go....

13th November 2003

it rained today for probably the 3rd time this year in LA. i loved it. i never thought i'd see the day i miss rain, but it's happened. rick did a bunch of percussion today and charlotte sang her vocals on 'renegade cavalcade', 'on a wave' and 'solace'. had a studio visit from rich costey who's going to mix the album in december, he had a big smile on his face when we played him a few tracks. he's really an amazing mixer and i can't wait to hear his genius applied to the record.

so i thought i'd answer some of your questions:

murphy i'll try and nab dave's beard for you next time he isn't looking

i think i'm too scared to release any batman/robin photos, who knows to what wicked ends they'll be used. ok maybe one day...

unfortunately el cotijo is the only studio we've been in that has a fancy website/brochure. the place we're in at the moment is pretty damn fancy, but there aren't any photos. it's decadent to say the least. the studio 'sound city' where we did all the drums and rhythm tracks doesn't have a website either but you can see it in the orpheus clip. it's a legendary studio with an amazing big live room (awesome drum sound). but it's prettty much a no frills place. mind you, every evening after dinner i do pine for it's miss pacman machine.

as for the album title, no inspiration has struck yet, things have been pretty hectic for the last couple of months. we'll get some headspace when we get home and come up with someting suitable for this monster....however i reckon we've got some good song titles to pick from if things get desperate.

don't know what the first single is going to be yet there's almost too many to choose from. i'm looking forward to hearing tav's opinion, he's got great ears for these kind of things. you see, my trouble is i think they're all great. as for guitar solos, this album has the most metal shredding and finger tapping of any ash album. we've cranked this one right up. out of the blue, on a wave, detonator, vampire love and meltown are all oozing maximum fretwank action. there are wicked tones all over the rest of the record too....

finally chad, the u47 sounds great, your stalking skills are truly frightening....

14th November 2003

the penultimate day of recording!!! actually we've got saturday on hold in case we don't finish so that was a lie unfortunately. got loads of finishing off to do. put some more guitars on solace and a sweet velvet undergound celeste on the breakdown. flew in some mellotron strings and bang it was finished. the rest of the night was spent redoing my vocal on 'orpheus'. it was the first song i sang on this session and didn't really have the vibe it should. it was a case of demo-itis, where the 1st version was so good, it was a tough one to surpass, but godamn it sounds wunderbar now. i'm glad we took the time to redo it.

fact of the day: we have now been in LA for 74 days. that's longer than david blane was in his box.

as a side note; one day someone will acknowledge the genius of candy, they might be on crack of course, but that won't stop them from recognising something good going on

loads of dark vibes on the album mcfly, evil eye, vampire love, singapore song, clones....for your wasted listening pleasure

and finally the best thing to have happened over here has got to be making the record. it seems to have been all we've done! it's been 2 months, but it's really flown by.

15th November 2003

hola, today was pretty hectic, putting finishing touches on orpheus, clones and evil eye. tomorrow is our last day and all our gear is getting picked up in the morning, as i packed up my 10,000,000 guitar pedals it dawned on me that we're actually almost done. there will be much partying to be had tomorrow night when the last rough mix goes down. short post tonight as it's 4.30 and i should get some zzzzzzzzzzz gotta say, i love making records....

19th November 2003

yep we're home, we're finished, it's done. spent the last 2 days in a jetlag, party comedown delirium paranoia thing but am starting to feel more human. 3 very weary northern irish boys boys got on a plane at LAX on sunday. chaz has stayed on to finish her own record (i reckon it'll be out early next year). we all had a wicked party at the studio on the last night invloving harmar superstar, that'll give you some idea of the debauchery....

very proud of the album, it's a good 'un....gonna mix it in december and release it in april i reckon....

later gators....