You’ve had a few weeks now to digest the new Converge record ‘All We Love We Leave Behind‘ which is available through Epitaph Records. To find out a little more about it, we caught up with the band’s guitarist, and producer of the record Kurt Ballou to answer our On The Record questions this week. Expand this post for his answers. If you are yet to pick up a copy of the album, you can grab it online [Here].
Tell us about the release title.
I’m not the lyricist of the band, but to me, the title track, All We Love We Leave Behind, serves as a tribute/homage to the love ones we leave at home when we are away on tour. These are people who sacrifice a bit of their lives in support of us pursuing out passion for music and we love and thank them for that.
Tell us about the artwork.
Jake, our singer, handles all of the visuals for the band. Like every aspect of the band, he believes in developing a visual personality for the band and maintaining that with consistency throughout our discography. With this particular release, the idea was for something that was simple and stark at face value, but bloomed outwards the deeper your invest yourself in it. I like to think the same could be said for the songs on the album as well.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
The standard 14 song CD is a wallet. The deluxe CD has 17 songs and a book which contains the best version of the packaging as well as several previously released bonus tracks (2 of which are new recordings.) There is a 17 song 45 RPM 2xLP on 180 gram vinyl which I believe is the best way to listen to the record – it was mastered from high resolution files and is less compressed than the CD. There is also a “mastered for itunes” version which is a similar master to the LP.
Who will it be released through, and when?
Epitaph records and Deathwish records – Oct 9, 2012
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded at my studio, GodCity, which we’ve done for the past 4 albums. It’s a comfortable environment for us where we can work at our own pace, on gear and in rooms that we’re familiar with.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
We chose me because no one knows what Converge songs are supposed to sound like better than I do. There’s other engineers out there with more skill than me, but I think that my engineering short comings are offset by the understanding of the band and the attention to detail that no outsider would have. I’d encourage anyone to develop some recording skills and record their own music. Even if it’s not intended to result in a career, it’s a great way to learn about the process and better prepare yourself for the studio environment.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Not really. We just starting writing songs and go where the inspiration takes us. I’d rather be lead to a conclusion by a process than force a process to get to some preconceived conclusion.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
I get so much music in my day job, that I don’t listen to a lot of music for pleasure these days. I think this record was mostly influenced by the history we have playing together more than anything else
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
I wanted it to have a sense of continuity with our previous releases, but to also move in a more natural direction.
How long did it take to record?
It spanned a few months, but there was about 3 weeks of work overall.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Nothing special. We recorded one instrument at a time, got the best sounds and best performances we could get, then mixed it.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Nope. This is pretty much what we always do.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
No. We had a lot of guests on our previous album, Axe to Fall. That album’s songs felt a lot more open to interpretation to us than these ones. For this album, the songs felt like focused, live-type Converge songs, so we decided to limit the album to just the band members.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Drums and bass were similar to the live setups. I have lots of guitars and amps in the studio that we used on the record to give the songs more individual personality and depth. For me, my live rig is based more on convenience than ultimate sound quality.
Any memorable studio moments?
No. We were pretty down to business.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We have some alternate versions of a cover of Entombed’s “Wolverine Blues” that was on our split 7” with Napalm Death that we may release at some point.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
I like all of them. My favorites to play live so far are Aimless Arrow, Trespasses, Sadness Comes Home, and All We Love We Leave Behind.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
We’re a band. We make records. This is one of them.
Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release?
I think that does it. Thanks!
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Instores now via Epitaph Records.
Order the album now [Here].