‘Diamond Teeth‘, the new EP from Byron Bay’s Toy Boats was released a couple of weeks back now, and the launch shows have been taking place in record stores around the country for the past two weekends. We caught up with Hugo Costin-Neilson this week to tell us a little more about the EP via our On The Record questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers.
Tell us about the release title. The release is entitled ‘Diamond Teeth’ which comes from the chorus of the title track, ‘Give me that jewelry store smile, show me those diamond teeth’. It’s referring to some ones happiness being priceless to you, and how you’d spend a lot of yourself to see it.
Tell us about the artwork. The artwork is a photo my friend Wave Lachish took of her little brother falling into water, I’ve been wanting to use it for a release ever since I saw it and I’m heaps psyched I got the chance to. I really wanted to use a photo for the cover because I love how they catch a moment in time and let it live on, which is something that I want to achieve with my music.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged? ‘Diamond Teeth’ will be released on CD.
Who will it be released through, and when? It was released through Resist Records on the 13th of April, 2012.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there? It was recorded at Three Phase Studios in Melbourne, It was suggested to me by a friend and after listening to some of the releases recorded there I was really into the idea.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them? Sam Johnson produced and engineered Diamond Teeth. Like with the studio a friend suggested him and after listening to a bunch of releases he recorded I was really into having him record and produce the E.P. It was really awesome recording in a studio with a producer and a big change as I’d only really recorded with my friends at their houses.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind? I had a few really definite ideas of how I wanted it to sound. Throughout the process, Sam Johnson brought a lot of awesome ideas to mind and we tried out a lot of different things to get our dream result. Luckily we were on the same page about most things and could bounce ideas off each other to add on to the original ideas I had in mind and build on them rather than completely change them.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all? A lot of The Cure, Bon Iver and American Football.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise? I love how reverby and interesting the vocals on The Gaslight Anthem’s ’59 Sound’ are and I wanted to create something similar to that with my vocals on Diamond Teeth. Apart from that I also love the production of The National’s ‘High Violet’, King Krule’s self titled e.p and American Football’s self titled record and aimed to incorporate elements of these releases into Diamond Teeth.
How long did it take to record? We recorded the tracks in a week in January and Mixed and mastered them on a couple of days in early February.
Tell us a little about the recording process you used? There were a lot of things Sam taught me about the processes used in this type of studio because a great deal of them were new to me. We recorded the basic tracks in the order of drums, guitar, bass and vocals and then listened to them and talked about if we thought they needed anything added to them and if so we’d talk about different instruments, vocal harmonies and effect pedal’s etc. that we could use to make the songs exactly how we wanted them. After we had the songs at the point we were happy to release them we listened to them the way they would be played on the release, to make sure they flowed the way we wanted them to. In the cases that they didn’t, we added a few joining pieces of music and moved some of the tracks around to make sure the E.P moved the way we wanted it to.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used? Definitely, apart from the surroundings and working with a producer, the amount of time we spent on the songs was really great as we could analyze them and really make them how we wanted them. In recording processes before Diamond Teeth I never had enough recording time to be able to really go over the songs and polish them until they were the best they could be. This was a really great thing to be able to do and I think it shows on the E.P.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do? Jonathan Niclair played drums on the record and Sam Johnson played bass and keys.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process? Keys is something I haven’t used live yet but I definitely want to include them into the show now.
Any memorable studio moments? Working with Sam was awesome and the whole experience was really rewarding and amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever forget staying up past 3A.M most nights working on the tracks and meeting a lot of awesome people. Apart from that, the Indian store down the road from Three Phase Studios was definitely a highlight. Shout out to Singh’s Indian!
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime? Everything we worked on you can find on Diamond Teeth
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live? I’ve been playing a couple of the songs live for a little while but I’m really looking forward to being able to play ‘Kids Dying Of Old Age’
How would you compare the final product to previous releases? Compared to ‘2A.M Bones’ we spent a lot more time on ‘Diamond Teeth’ and I think that really shows and allowed us to better the songs and I think it’s a definite progression from ‘2A.M Bones’.
Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release? Thank you to everyone who made this possible.
Toy Boats – Diamond Teeth
Available now via Resist Records
Purchase online now [Here].