Alexisonfire Facebook Last August, Canadian post-hardcore darlings…
- Posted on Jun 3rd 2011 3:00PM by Lonny Knapp
"If 'Little Hell' wasn't the frontrunner before we got into the studio, after the first four days it was the obvious choice," Green tells Spinner. "We basically stacked the deck against ourselves and went in to try and make a record."
With producer Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie, At the Drive-In) at the helm, Green dialed back the technology, traded computer software for an old-school analog tape machine, and tracked the album at Catherine North Studios, a recording facility in a converted church.
But when the sessions got bogged down before they began, Green, who also plays in Alexisonfire, was ready to pull the plug.
"I had never experienced a day in the studio where I left not getting anything accomplished. I was so frustrated and so defeated, I just wanted to quit everything," he says.
Green recorded his minimalist sophomore effort, 2008's 'Bring Me Your Love,' at the same converted church, and had great results. His return was a tribute to Dan Achen, the studio's owner and co-producer of that album, who passed away suddenly in early 2010.
"I wanted to pay homage to Dan, and I thought that once we got in there we could stir up the old magic."
This time, the magic was elusive. The studio's open-concept design made it impossible to isolate sounds, and while Achen could coax killer sounds from the unique space, he took those secrets to his grave. At the time, Green thought otherworldly forces were sabotaging the sessions.
"I called everyone and said, 'We have to switch studios.' I thought Dan was pissed that we were there," he jokes.
The technical glitches eventually gave way to inspired performances. With eleven tracks peppered with organ, pedal steel and piano, 'Little Hell' further establishes City and Colour as a critical and commercial threat.
Fans of City and Colour's more intimate efforts could be put off by the lush production; the first single, 'Fragile Bird,' with it's Hammond B-3-powered bass line, is borderline funky. Green says that he doesn't mind shaking up preconceptions.
"Before I made the record I decided that I don't want to make people dance, I just want to make them cry. But after we recorded that song, I knew I had to take that back. It's a sexy song," he says
You don't get to be a member of two successful recording acts without hard work and discipline. Dallas Green has certainly paid his dues. When technical issues had him ready to throw in the towel, he reminded himself that sometimes you have to go through hell to get heaven.
"I remember when I was starting out, trying to get people to listen to my songs, and realizing that they weren't going to just walk over and listen," he says. "When I remembered that nothing good comes easy, the clouds broke and the sun shone down."
center> Follow @Spinner on Twitter | Like Spinner on Facebook