Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Aug 20th 2010 12:30PM by Ian Gormely
"It's taken forever but it's finally here," frontman Dave Azzolini tells Spinner. "It was silly how long it took. I'm making a rule to not take more than a year and a half between records from now on."
Azzolini says "waiting to work with the right people" led to the long gap between the two records. "We had most of the recording done within about five months," he says, but the band was keen to get Robbie Lackritz, who worked with 'Coat of Arms' co-producers Carlin Nicholson and Mike O'Brien -- the masterminds behind Zeus -- to mix the record.
With only a short window in his schedule, Lackritz didn't have time to finish all 12 tracks. Singer-keyboardist Jessica Grassia's brother-in-law Derek James happened to be quite handy, though, stepping in to mix the final two-and-a-half tracks. "Luckily Derek was there," says Azzolini. "I had no idea he was so skilled with ProTools."
The finished product is a tighter, more rhythmic album than its predecessor, intertwining vintage R&B with the band's retro-indie rock. Azzolini says it was an unconscious move, most likely spurred by "listening to everything from a lot of Spoon stuff to Radiohead stuff." But he also concedes that the band were far more confident and comfortable together in the studio this time around.
"Taylor [Knox] had just become the drummer a couple of weeks before the last record," he explains. "He wasn't as confident in his drumming and we used a lot of metronomes and a few digital drum things. For this record, the tempos aren't exactly perfect which leads to a lot of emphasis on feel. Just in terms of the grooves themselves, there's nothing forced about them, which led to the overall feel I think."
Despite being nit-picky about creating 'Coat of Arms,' Azzolini has no regrets. "Every album you learn something and we learned a lot from this one," he says. "There's a song on the record, 'Permanent Record,' that's about taking your time -- 'walk, don't run through it.' I think that was sort of the rule for this record. For me it's important to make rules and then I usually break them the next album," he says. "But the rule for this record was take your time and get everything right."