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24 August 2021

"What I'm always trying to strive for is this weird hyper like, excited, crazy laser music, alien synthy stuff, it makes me really excited when I played it, and like working within these elements. " - Andy Bowles

About the 


Self-producing musician Andy Bowles of the band Pineapple Lazer shares how he recorded their album in his living room - and how he captured fantastic performances with basic recording gear.

The Production Talk Podcast - The modern way of producing music

In this episode:

  • Letting a song ripen like a good cheese or a good wine.

  • Why Andy doesn't see himself as a guitar player, but as a guy who owns guitars to make sounds and noises

  • Andy's takes on creativity, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rage Against The Machine


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Extra Content:

Contact the podcast host Jan 'Yarn' Muths at

Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.


Jan 'Yarn' Muths or, in the studio


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Jan 'Yarn' Muths Welcome back to the production talk podcast. And thank you again for joining me today. I've got a really special interview prepared for you with Andy of the band Pineapple Lazer. If you haven't heard about Pineapple Lazer yet, check him out. It's music that defies genres in many ways. And it's something that you don't come across too often. It's very out there. It's different. It's very creative, it breaks a lot of rules. And today, we have a chance to speak to Andy, the guitar player and the singer. And he's going to share the secrets of how he recorded an amazing sounding production at home with a very basic interface and with a very basic means, and the resulting mix now actually rivals that off of professional studios. So there's a lot of really good info to take out of this episode today about Andy's amazing creativity, and the recording process of Pineapple Lazer's new album. So without further ado, let's jump straight into my interview with Andy bolts of Pineapple Lazer. So welcome With me today is Andy bolts. singer and guitar player of band Pineapple Lazer. Welcome to the podcast. Andy, good to have you on board today. Andy Bowles Thanks, Alan. Yeah, thanks for having me. Jan 'Yarn' Muths It's a pleasure, mate. First of all, can you please introduce yourself and tell us about who you are and where you're from and your level of music while you are musician? Andy Bowles Cool, okay. Yeah, I was originally born in South Africa. I lived there for my childhood and growing up. And yeah, then I moved to the UK for a while. My dad's actually British, so moved over there. Study over there, studied film, and started getting some bands. It was always kind of into like metal and stuff like that. So that's kind of more into metal bands. And yeah, then it starts making heaps it weed. I don't know if I can talk about that. But that's fine. Yeah, and then, yeah, that continued, like, there was a kind of darker stage in my life. I think actually, like looking back at it. It was um, it was just me and my room writing really sad acoustic songs thinking like I was, I was kind of like, a really emotional person. And one day I remember just playing and, and I think in like, you know, it was making some good music. And then just listening to recordings, like not being high and being like, this is rubbish. Pretty much playing like one chord. And yeah, and so it wasn't, it wasn't working. And I just remember one day thinking, this isn't me. And this isn't my vibe. You know, like, I want to represent like fun, like, happy funky music. Yeah. And yeah, just, it wasn't that so I just I realized, like, this is not me. And they started moving towards like, a more high energy electric sound. Okay, with like, much more positivity. You know, and I stopped smoking weed. Because they, Yeah, I do. He will admit to me that, like, you know, I had nothing against it if it actually caught like, but I do think like, there's definitely limits for people and stuff. It's probably not a popular opinion. But Jan 'Yarn' Muths at least you explored a certain part of yourself and you know, learn something about yourself along the way, I'm sure. Yeah, yeah. And Music has always been a journey and will always be a journey for people, I guess. So that's perfectly fine. And yeah. Tell us about your music today. You know, tell us about your band. Pineapple Lazer, please. Andy Bowles Okay, so that band Pineapple Lazer is. It's an evolving project. It's never like one thing. We started. We did some reggae jams as part of 420 sound. And I be a vocalist, like a live vocalist. And one day like I have some more color. Japanese girls, little Japanese girl showed up because I'm gonna divided play trumpet. I don't know, we just started hanging out. And after a while I chatted to and I wanted to form a band. And I said to her, Hey, like, do you like kind of kind of reggae sky like sky music? And she's like, Yeah, I love sky music. And I was like, cool. Do you want to do you want to play like in a band radius guy? And she was like, yeah, and pretty much around the same time. I think even on the same night, I met this guy, Joel. And Joel played bass. And I was like, yo, do you do you want to play in sky man, he was like, ma'am, check out my budgets. And he had like scar badges on his, you know, on his jacket. So it just was like this weird serendipity? And I was like, Okay, cool. Let's do that. And then when I gone surfing about like, six months before that, I'd met this guy, Clancy, and we started chatting because he had like, all these crazy tattoos. And then we chatted himself together. And he told me the drama and I kept his number. And so I'd had his number for about six months planning on making a band and I called them up after this and I was like, Yo, I have these guys interested, do you want to form a band? And he was like, yeah, totally let's let's form it. And so that was like five years ago, maybe more. And so we started as this kind of kind of like sunshine reggae ska band, and then evolved into like, really like it's just me experimenting because I'm writing the music really. So and I didn't realize what exactly it was after. And so for me music is like a journey. And so it was that rate sky like sunshine, reggae. And then it was like Calypso African, started getting into more like kind of pop punk. And like all the time recording and recording and we recorded probably like four or five VPS. And every time we'd finished recording, I'd be like, I don't like it. And we'd end the vendors credit to them, they like they would just like eat it and like we never released any of that stuff. But I was, I guess it's like an artist and you're never quite happy with your painting. And like, so I feel like I feel like it was just an exploration and there is the mental like songs. But finally it's taken us to where it is now. Which Where I think the first page the first chapter of pentacles, is actually being written, which is, it's kind of like an acid, alien synth punk band. Like, Jan 'Yarn' Muths that's a great way to describe it. I like that. Andy Bowles Yeah, that's I've been trying because people ask me like, what kind of band is it? It's hard to explain, but it's like, I'm not aiming for something normal, I guess. Like, I really don't want to write stuff. That's, that's been done too much before. And it's more like working on on influences that I like, and then seeing where that goes. And always trying to like, surprise the audience like, okay, yeah, if you listen to our releases, so far, there's been tapped out, which is like, this Sunday, actually written by, like, with a random dude. And then alien sound came after that alien sounds like, kind of synthy alien adventure, like, kind of, but with almost like a hip hop groove in the background. So it doesn't, it has elements of different things, but I always hope that audiences will be surprised, you know, that's good. Jan 'Yarn' Muths In some ways, Pineapple Lazer defies genres I hope in many ways, yeah, I can really see that and you know what, as a musician, you don't need to worry about that. let other people come up with a genre if they want to. That's good. Say, What's the story behind the name Andy Bowles for me, it was important to try and find a name that like when I said it, or when I saw it written, like, when if someone else heard it, or saw it written, they might get an idea of what that music could sound like, you know what kind of expression that might be so when Pineapple Lazer is said or written or read it's um, I don't know for me like it has all the elements that you know not like you can't crunch everything in but it has enough of the essence of what the music is and what it will become. Yeah, just want it to be like people hear it and be like, what, what is that? Like? I'm kind of curious. Okay. Yeah, and for me, it's like Pineapples represents sunshine and they're kind of like that can be sweet and delicious but they also kind of like spiky and kind of weird like even the way they shaved like you know take 100 the next two years to grow and when it finally grows, it's presented in a really dramatic way it's just a stem in the front of all of these leaves and just one kind of all this great being like a very like regal like a crown almost like just sitting there and the amount of effort and time it takes to produce that one for it you know, I don't know I love everything about them and then lasers for me is like super focused color sharp like yeah just the energy of the laser so the combining elements of like these yellows and pineapple and fruity and like focused and just color like that to me like that's what it does when I say that detonate in my head and that's the kind of explosion going off so that's what I hope like you might see in other people and I love it Jan 'Yarn' Muths that makes perfect sense to me. Yeah, that's really good. And then can you tell us about the musicians who you're working with today who's who's part of the band and what are their instruments Andy Bowles Okay, so like hey this is a call that like we're still the kind of the drummer is in yet so if anyone's listening to like a music and they want to purchase to be a drummer like that'd be cool. Yeah, right now in the band that we have here is mo Kala is Japanese she's amazingly like talented quite eccentric wild person who can be like sweetest pie and then can be a total badass ninja so she's just got this ferocious energy that's like always keeps me on my toes and like yeah, it's always unexpected like an unexpected element like you just never know you know and but at the same time she's amazing to work with because she's like that she understands in the same weird way that I don't know the things that I'm going for I don't have to explain too much and she's really onto like, on the keys and just like synthesizing weird stuff so yeah, she's a vital element and she's being the key like other member of the band you know, I'd say like jewel member of the band like it's really like you know, even though I write the music, it's really she is a vital vital part of that and yeah, and then so john john Dixon he is the playing bass amazingly talented musician, you know, like he is a weapon on guitar is playing bass and I'm playing guitar, you know? Yeah, his skills on guitar definitely outweigh mine, you know, in terms of technicality and then yeah, we've been practicing the few dramas at the moment just transitioning Tim Perry was playing drums with us for a long time and but he's you know, he's pursuing his own thing. So yeah, we were in a transition where we just looking for the other key member I guess like we tried a few people and there's some people like that some promising people I guess just for me it's I'm always looking for this like X Factor like, where it's non communicative and someone just now really trying to find someone who's really got what we're looking for, like so that it can we can finally be a team again, because yeah, like that would that would be ideal. Cool. Jan 'Yarn' Muths Thank you. You're a guitar player. Can you share a bit of information about your gear on what guitars do you play? What amps do you prefer? Andy Bowles Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, like, I guess you say you're a guitar player. Like For me, I'm like a just a dude who has a guitar, and is trying to get weird noises out of it. And what that entails is me just running it through effects, electrifying it, you know, plugging it into amps, and trying to dial in sounds and create noises with it that like I haven't heard before, or just that I find interesting or intriguing. So, I don't know, like call myself a guitarist like I think about all of the amazing guitarists in the world. And I have been playing guitar, like probably, I think I picked up a guitar and it's 15 I feel like for me, musics always been about a creative process about making melodies and searching for unusual chord shapes. And I've never really sat down and studied chords, or song structure in that way. So for good or for bad, that's where I'm at with it. And so yeah, my techniques are just like, you know, I think I like the way that like Tom Morello, and people like that approach guitar, you know, the guitars from Rage Against machine, like, if, if, if you haven't listened to that band, what that guy does with a guitar, I love his perspective, he doesn't look at a guitar like this as a guitar, or he looks, it looks like he's looking at that, that instrument, like, Oh, that's a thing that I can make noise with, like, and you know, he's pulling out the plug in, like, ramming things. And like, he's totally rewired his guitar with switches and stuff and his approach to guitar as an instrument, like, but not not like this define the thing, right? You know, for me, for him, I think it's like, it's undefined. It's like, he's just taking it as, as just a tool, and just seeing what he can do with it. Like, and that, you know, he combined his Whammy, pedals and all that crazy stuff to create the noises that he that he gets out of out of that and makes advanced, so unique and powerful, like, so he's definitely an inspiration. And I wish again, I wish I could play guitar. Like even though that doesn't, that doesn't faze me so much. It's more I think, with music, the most important thing for me is like, melody, and sophistication is not something I strive for, like, within music, just as long as the melody is solid, like, and making me feel something. Because someone can play a few chords in the right way. That really makes me it ignites something inside me. And someone can riff, like, you know, God's gift, you know, but it, it may not do the same thing to me, like, you know, so I'm just going on what feels good for me, like that might totally, you know, someone might, they might float me on other people's boats, you know, like, but that's never been so much of a driving force or curiosity, like, as well as the fact that if you like that's already been done through like the 70s and 80s, and 90s. And a lot of that stuff, those just shredding, it's like, I just really want to hear something new. Like, I often wish I was born in like the 50s, or 60s or 70s, where you could just turn the radio and just be blown away by something incredible. And during that time, it was just this explosion of like, new sounds and creativity. Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, yeah. And nowadays, you know, most of it has been done already. So if you listened to her, let's say Bohemian Rhapsody. How do you go from there? And how do you how do you further that? Yeah, so that's definitely a difficult question. So thinking outside the box is definitely the way forward. Yeah. Andy Bowles Yeah. Anyone with you know, like making a Rhapsody? I'd say like, that. For me that song, even though it's been done, there's actually very few songs that have that creative. And it's like, the creativity that Bohemian Rhapsody does, you know, like, that's something I'd love to see more of the, the flux of arrangement within that song, the vocal melodies and just that madness going on within that song. Yes. And an ending in this crazy percentage of like, rough, you know, it's like, I think that is a good example of a song that was very, like, inspired and imaginative. And Jan 'Yarn' Muths there were no limits when they wrote it. No, we're not trying to sound like anybody else. Definitely. Look, you know, if you ask me, and no, it's only my opinion. But if I had to decide for the top five songs to be ever written that Bohemian Rhapsody would be probably on the top five. Andy Bowles Yeah, it's great. It's great. Yeah, it's such an inspiration. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Jan 'Yarn' Muths And I never get sick of it. Yeah. So let's talk about your music again. So I'd like to talk about an upcoming song that is hopefully soon to be released, but the name of Morse code that is a very powerful song. And can you tell us about the songwriting process? How old is the song and whose idea is that? Andy Bowles Okay, so I like that you brought that because, yeah, anyone listening? Yan is mixing that song. And doing an amazing job at the moment. So like, I think it's pretty much it's pretty much there and I'm stoked with Blake how it sounding so yeah, to to answer that question of where to come from. I think what the song is, like, it's probably two or three years old now, which happens a lot with us, because it's, it takes a while to, for us to actually get it out. Which is something I want to work on and be more, I want to record quicker and get things out faster. But it's okay, I'm not. I think that sometimes when you allow songs time, you can reflect on their arrangements and you can add things that maybe you wouldn't have in the time. Okay, so sometimes it can be a blessing. So I'm not saying for all the time, other times, you could miss the boat and maybe you missed that energy, that inspiring energy that you had when you wrote the song so I wouldn't wait too long. Jan 'Yarn' Muths That's a very good point when productions take for way too long, it's really hard to keep the excitement up. And in a while somebody who listens to the product by the end of it, and hears it for the first time, I still send some of it. But it's really hard for the people involved in the production to keep this up for a very long time. Yeah, it's a fine balance, you can also see how you know, some songs need to sit there for a year. And you know, it's like an old cheese or a good way to ripen and be reconsidered and rethought several times until they actually turn into something. So morisco took took a little bit longer, you said so when you think about the writing process, is that all your your songwriting, or is that collaboration effort from the band. Andy Bowles Okay, so PayPal is a maybe it's quite a peculiar band in that sense that I don't know how many bands I think most bands rock music together. Though, for me personally, this is kind of a very personal project, because I'm quite particular about the type of sound that I'm trying to achieve. So we will start experimenting, like with writing within the band again, but early on, I sensed a lot of for me personally, it was difficult because I didn't give it a go. Though this can cause a lot of infighting, because some people will like different aspects of the music, and others might not. And so then you have a battle of like wills and who's gonna say what's going to be in that track. And that shapes the overall sound of that song. So I was finding it difficult at some stages to like to be happy with the arrangements if I if they were decided, you know, upon if the band was like really into it, but I wasn't, I felt like well I've written most of this song. So it's for me like they like worlds when you write songs it's like designing a world and then it's like you've got this idea of your world and then someone will be like Hey, why don't we stick this in here? You know whatever it is like this piece of teaser what like you like hang on like this isn't like the rest of the world makes sense. But what is this piece of cheese? They're in here like and so it affects the overall feeling of the song. Yeah, and I guess that's just something that I I'm not necessarily willing to compromise on like, because I really like to create whole worlds and that is such a personal experience that I know that I needed to be shaped in a certain way Jan 'Yarn' Muths I can see that here. So would you say that the arrangement of the song and to the life of the song itself is quite different to as it was when you wrote it as a progressive it? Or is it still basically the same song? Andy Bowles No, it's still the same song. It's still the same song actually from the live version is probably slightly different. As we've discovered with this editing process, where certain sections where we decided with too long, and we've turned them and stuff, but live we'd probably play it in the same way because we can bring that energy in, like for the live experience, or maybe for it. So that's an interesting one where sometimes something on record record doesn't translate Exactly. To live like you might able to get away with something live, but not on a record. Jan 'Yarn' Muths That's definitely the case. And it doesn't have to be the same. You know, it's okay to play differently live. Yeah, why not? Andy Bowles Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I don't think there's a restriction, but that riff was written. I live in a bus and that the original synth riff Morse code started with a synth riff that I recorded through a loop and it was using the microkorg and it's kind of like it's kind of like a rave song. So it's it's mixing a rave with like, almost metal like I don't know what it's not quite metal but you know, it's like yeah, like so it's it Yeah, that would that riff was written by me as the keyboard the synth keyboard riffs are written by me predominantly. Occasionally I she's amazing, it's like creatively picking sounds. So a lot of sounds and noises and effects come from her. They're often like you know, I'll write the riff and then I'll teach her that riff. So what the process was that was like writing the synth riff having that on loop and then figuring out a guitar rhythm that I was happy with to go over the top of that because I wanted this like kind of ferocious like very vibrant strong sound to go over it to create like this exciting, like energetic Yeah, music that would just get you almost out it's almost anti that that track it's almost because of the way the percussion is it's almost anti and talk about creative license like, and talking about that like things like drumming, I'm often like more flexible with that. I started with the drummer so I feel like I have quite a good background with drumming. So I kind of know what I'm listening for. But in terms of that drumming I in that song I've written probably 60% of that song 70% of that song. And at that point was like it needs another section like and I remember sitting with Tim and like watching was on drums and I was playing I was hanging on guitar with like, we need like it's gonna break into something else and it's gonna break into this like something completely different to where it's being the whole track. And it does that song It's like it turns into this whole it just suddenly flips and I was just like I mean even you beat like you like I don't know what like something something crazy. You tried a few beats and I was like, that's cool. It's I'm nearly it's nearly like how about like some kind of like hip hop beat or something like that. And suddenly you just could get the guitars to chugging. It just goes like from this really a wall, that crazy section into it flips and suddenly go down. There's a guitar Chuck and Tim's beat of the top is something I like, and it flips, or completely over into some other realm of actually breakbeat hip hop style. And for me that was so fresh and exciting. I was like, That's amazing. You know, I'm glad that I can try. I trust his drumming so so much that I knew it was just a matter of time, before he hit the thing that was like we both knew, as soon as he played it, we both were like, Yeah, that's it like, that's, you know, that's the magic there. So I love as much as possible to allow creative freedom. But with like, there is like some cap with that like, same with john spaces, the basic baseline and stuff, I love his groups that he come up with, I don't try and stand him on that, like, if he has an idea, I'm always open to listening, because I'm always open to improving the song. So from arrangement to whatever, I'm always ready to listen, I'm not like cutthroat there has to be this way. And that, you know, and I think that's why it works, because I respect them greatly as musicians, and I respect their capabilities and what they do for the band. And I'm always there ready to listen, and wanting us all to work out the best formula for that track. And that's not to say that in the future, they may just come and just be like, Hey, what about this riff? And I'd be like, Whoa, that's amazing. Like, it's just, you know, run with that and explore it. I'm always open to it just like, at the moment, the process is like, you're working with that. And it's like, mainly me bringing a new idea because, like I said, do the chapters. And so I feel like the first half has been written in this next chapter is moving into a whole new world that's like, that I haven't explored yet. Like, neither has the man's there. That's great. Yeah. Just I'm excited for that. Because I feel like it will be a chapter like the second chapter will be hopefully will grow and with our skills and our knowledge, like into something, okay, that would be even more excited about, Jan 'Yarn' Muths and then eventually, at some stage who decided that the song had developed or ripened enough, and you decided to then record it? Yeah. And tell us a little bit more about the process of tracking the song, where was it done? Who was behind it? How did that come to be? Andy Bowles Okay. So this one is interesting as well, I think this again, maybe it's like counter culture, I'm not sure that these days, a lot of things are changing, you know, but I'd say that we recorded in studios and really nice videos. For the whole growth of the band. For the first like three years, we were lucky enough to be invited to, you know, SAE, and all these big, big studios with amazing desks. And but like I said, with the GPS, I don't know if that was reason, I think it was really the recording thing. It's more of a taste thing for me that I wasn't happy with him. But I always felt that the recording processes like, like, it wouldn't capture what we were doing. I didn't catch that and capture the spirit and the vibe, and I think music, that's not to say that it was anyone's fault, I think it's a personal thing as well, I think the longer that you the more time you're going to see yours, or the more time you record music, the more you start to understand the processes of them. And what you personally need to do to to ensure that your sound is captured in the right way. Or, you know, to be with who you work with whether the engineer has enough experience to to make stuff properly or to to know understand, like what you're trying to achieve within that. So yeah, so basically, I just was like we could record it this year. And we had just recorded some in a studio at about six months before. But it was like we had four tracks. And I was like let's do it at home. Like we have a kind of good enough sounding space, it wasn't soundproof. But we have a good enough like, it's our living room. But there's a fair amount of space in there. And I had like, I have a very basic recorder to focus right at night, which is it has eight input channels have a bunch of microphones, stands. And so we just basically tracked drums, we set up everything in the living room, all of us on headphones. And we tracked the drums for four tracks. That was the latest tracks. And that was code which you mix which you made sound amazing. And I remember you asking me where was this recording that was recorded in our living room? Jan 'Yarn' Muths That's when my jaw dropped. Andy Bowles Yeah. So it was Yeah, we recorded that. And we tracked the drums with eight different mics on their own, just covered that. And then we overlaid everything else separately. And I remember having that conversation with you. I'm saying, Yeah, what are your thoughts on this? Like, what do you thoughts on like home productions, and like, recording techniques and these kind of, you know, studio versus just home recordings. And I remember like, and that's what I love about you is that he also kind of Renegade and like, kind of, I think you just you think very logically about stuff. And practically, and I remember saying, it doesn't matter so much about where it's recorded, as it does about performance. And I'm only looking for performance, like, you know, of course, you know, each record, well the instrument definitely helps, you know, but the energy of the performance is the main thing. And like you said, you said like this equipment that you've got this focus, right, which is an 1808, which is like you can buy for a few 100 bucks, like it's still amazing gear, you know, and that the quality that you can draw through through this machine, it's good, good preamps and, and you know, it's good enough to capture a sound in a way that it can be mixed into something. You know, what I feel is great, like what you've done done with it, and that for me is a game changer because this allows people in their own time and their own freedom to just To make these sound recordings and not be afraid of it I don't think it should be afraid of just recording at home like yeah, it's traditional to do stuff in studios but you know often I find like my favorite bands like my favorite band is like the Pixies and you know, he would record like his vocals inside of a cupboard and like you know, just do quite unusual stuff within recordings and I feel like sometimes it's it's the opposite you're actually trying to break away from that static like, normalized to perfectionist like recording sound and bringing something real, you know, Jan 'Yarn' Muths I like that word said. Andy Bowles Yeah. Because without like spelling and obviously trying this certain thing, so be mindful of you know, but even if you have spill like in your drums, maybe just keep it in there like and just like, it's bringing atmospheres attract sounds good and energetic and, or whatever sound you're going for. If it sounds good, it's good. Like, Jan 'Yarn' Muths yeah, love it, love it, love it. That reminds me of a conversation I had a couple of years ago with somebody who I admire a lot for for his skills. It's a nikto dia, who told me about when he recorded Rage Against the Machine in the United States ages ago. And he also took her I think, beaten up making recorder or making mixer, I may be wrong here on this into the rehearsal room. And they actually track there with very primitive recordings. And that's one of the most influential records for a lot of people. And definitely no had a huge effect on me. So I was really happy to speak to him once and ask for his advice. And he's an absolute legend. admire his skill, which was therefore, it was one of the earlier ones. It's been a while. And I just hope that I remember everything he said, accurately. So Nick, if you're listening, and I got something wrong, please let me know I rectify this. But yeah, he's a really nice guy. And he's really open about sharing. Cool, no, he's not holding his information. And he was really happy to sit down with me over lunch and talk and I took a lot out of it. Cool. So that was really good. Yeah, yeah. And I can think about quite a few different records that were really influential in my own musical life. And some of them were literally recorded mixing two days, sometimes in studio sometimes in the most awkward places. Yeah, there's nothing wrong about it, per se to be outside of a studio. And I guess, and the results speak for themselves. So what Tim was playing the drums, does that mean you literally put on your engineers hat, you became the sound engineer and operated, I guess there was some recording software going? Andy Bowles Yeah, we, we had a very terrible system, as well. Past recording that. I don't profess to know heaps of stuff about sound. And you know, the way things work and enjoying a good sound, understand more about levels and where they where they need to be hitting and not peaking and basic stuff. We ran it through the focus rate. And we also ran it through I have a touchmix 16. And I believe that it was going through the touchmix. And the only problem with the touchmix is that it's a great mixer. But you cannot, it doesn't it's not a it's not a door, it's not a DA w so it cannot communicate in that way with you cannot it cannot send the tracks straight to the computer. So the only way we could test whether the sounds were getting were read was to record it into that mixer and out onto a solid state hard drive, and then put that solid state into the computer, open it up in Ableton, and listen to the tracks that we got. Jan 'Yarn' Muths Whoa, yeah, well, if you're flying blind, then pretty much I mean, like, okay, Andy Bowles we do tests and listen to it and be like, Oh, yeah, let's tweak this. And that, put it in again, and find the levels. And that's how we found that that's how we that's how we Jan 'Yarn' Muths I love that. That's basically the definition of trial and error. Yeah, yeah. Tried enough times to get it right. Andy Bowles Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was a slow process. And to be honest, we probably should have just found a desk that was a DLL, we'll use that. But, you know, like I said, it's always learning from you. And like, that's just, it's a skill set that you you kind of develop over time. And I feel like it will always throw my life hopefully, always constantly be refining and learning more, because to learn about sound is magic. There's so much to it. Jan 'Yarn' Muths And how was recording yourself? Or you know, being the musician playing your guitars and vocals? Do you record yourself? Or did somebody else record you? Did you switch roles? Basically? Yeah, I think we recorded each other. Just kind of so you didn't have to be both engineer and musician at the same time? Andy Bowles Yeah, yeah, Jan 'Yarn' Muths that's probably a good idea. I find that this can can be, you know, distracting from being a musician, if you also need to operate a computer. And yeah, technically, Andy Bowles yes, I think I'm not I'm still undecided about it, like I think because if you record stuff on your own, then you're kind of free in your own time, and no one's going to ask that influence. And sometimes it can be good because because you've got all that time, you can really experiment. Like even in the recording, you can kind of still, you might still find something like Oh, actually, like, I might just change this a little bit, or, you know, play in a slightly different way. And it really makes you listen to your heart very intricately. Because before that, when you're playing with a band, you just hear everything together. And once you start recording, you're like, Okay, I'm tracking but I'm tracking with drums. So let me track my guitar over this and you've got so much space to hear exactly what you're putting in, you know, and that can be a blessing and a curse I found because it can make you think too hard about the sounds that you're creating. Whereas once all the other elements are laid is actually fine. But you might start looking at as little nuances and be like, Oh, I didn't quite attack that in the exact way or whatever. And sometimes it's important but some times with music it's very easy to get carried away and things that don't really matter and no one else would ever pick up on Jan 'Yarn' Muths okay yeah I guess you know there's a lot of experimenting to be done Yeah definitely. Okay so in other words just with a bit more time yeah and and you can actually risk to have a couple of misfires so to speak Yeah, and then just listen to rectify it and do it again Yeah, yeah, look I think you You really did a phenomenal job at recording this the song turned out really well and you know, there was really nothing wrong with it when I avoided when you showed me the fires first I couldn't believe that it was done in a in a living room. I've seen the room and there's basically no echoes or very little acoustic treatment here. Zero you also have a couple of flatmates and then that big house there yeah so did you have to just give them tickets to the cinema so they leave the house or not? So how do you how did you manage that Andy Bowles I I just remember they were cool about it. I remember just being like I think one of them was away during that so that made it easier and then everyone else was cool okay you know that no one minded like that we were recording everyone's very understanding and cool about not making what noise I think they just went out for the day and just did their thing you know because we were just doing it during the daytime so it wasn't yeah it wasn't it wasn't too intrusive It was like it was a good balance and you know there was cables and like what is that running everywhere from for a while and we did do a test we test we did a test before we actually recorded we did a test recording to see if we're happy with that. Just yeah so yeah, I think yeah, it was it was really fun I'm really happy that it turned out it was a good experiment because I don't know if we were lucky and that's just it was a stroke of luck or what but I'm glad that we gave that go because now I feel like I'm almost always unless someone can offer a great space to record him I now feel that studios are not as important as I once suspected. And I think that we have like this romantic idea of going into studios and you know it's kind of like how we always used to be like bands would of course go into studios and record their and and with you know their producers and it's a kind of big deal. But I think nowadays it doesn't have to be like that we've reached a technological age where you can get away with a lot less and still achieve great results. And I would say as bands I'm not saying they have heaps of experience but for me personally, I focus on the character of the music and the character of the recording more than like getting into sound perfect unless you want it to sound really perfect. Jan 'Yarn' Muths That makes perfect sense. Thank you That's that's very good any look just a couple of firm pressures that steer us in a new direction. One thing that I would really like to ask you is I guess a very personal question and you know you can refuse to answer this if you choose to but let's say if you had a chance to speak to that musician who you were at the beginning to yourself from five years ago or whatever that was when you started what advice would you give yourself today speaking to yourself from the beginning Andy Bowles Yeah, that's I mean like that's that's something it's almost like you know, I cannot see now but that would you know probably when I get home I've thought of something that's probably more in line but just to say to myself Um, I think it's hard to really I think it's like when you look back at stuff you're like yeah, I made a lot of mistakes though I didn't know what I knew and so I had to make mistakes I think that's part of it is part of the learning experience is like you know, I could if I could go back and if I had like an hour with with my old self I would tell them all the things straight away and to look out for and things to tweak, you know, things to be aware of. But you know, like if I didn't have an hour to like sit down explain to my old self and the thing is like, still even with the information it would help to a point but my old self would still need to make mistakes in order to properly learn because it wouldn't be significant to them like they wouldn't understand it in a way that when you've been through it then you understand you're like ah it seems Jan 'Yarn' Muths like you just described the experience very well yes okay so in other words your recommendation to your yourself would be to not be afraid of making mistakes I guess Andy Bowles yes I fail to say yeah yeah, I just believe I believe in yourself you know like just yeah like don't ever give up or be disheartened you know and look for I think it's important for bands like look for like people that you get on with and that like bring out good elements in your music and yeah and people you want to work with and like you know, it's like yeah, but it's really it's so hard like I don't know because I feel that it's it's so much it's so it's hard to personal music is so personal yes that like my advice to me. Like honestly I can't really think of anything in particular other than like yeah, just just go for it and like don't don't hold back you know, which I feel like I haven't that is good advice by itself Don't Jan 'Yarn' Muths hold back. Andy Bowles Yeah, does that go nuts in whatever aspects and the other thing is I would say it's like it feels really important is to find the truth. You like find like Like I was saying for years I've smoking weed in my in my bedroom, making these acoustic Songs like sad acoustic songs. And I got to a point where I realized, this isn't me. Like, that's not who I am. It's not what I want to express. And it's not what I want to be known for. I want to be known as the guy who made sad songs. But that might be someone else as well. Like, they might be like, I want to be known as the dude who made sets. Yes, yeah. So if that's your thing, that's your thing. But what I realized was that I wasn't genuine to myself, and the kind of creation music I was making wasn't truly what was inside me. And I think that's what I'm always trying to strive for is like, this weird hyper like, you know, excited. Crazy, like laser music where alien synthy stuff, for whatever reason, that's inside me, like, and for whatever reason, it makes me really excited when I played it, and like working within these elements. So you know, I think it's important to ask yourself those questions like, ask yourself, honestly, is this my music? Is this for me? Because people can tell. And if you write from you, looking for what's really inside you and really try and find that, then I think your expression, like it might take a while to get used to an expression, but your expression will be genuine and hopefully fresh to the world instead of mimicking something that's been done before and trying to emulate and trying to strive for a sound that you quite like but isn't quite you. Okay, I think it's, I just want to hear originally. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay. So, if a listener would like to find out more about you and your band, where should they go to? Where would you find more about? Find out more about Pineapple Lazer? Andy Bowles Yeah, so we're anywhere any social media stuff on Facebook, we have Facebook and Instagram. Yeah, those are the two our two main, like places, I guess. Oh, and like, we're on Spotify. So if you're on Spotify, you can listen there. We have our next music video is already done. We just the track is in the mix. It's called lookout. We just released a kind of teaser on Instagram of a behind the scenes Docker that my friend Johannes from beer cinematography or photography Satori film, he has been helping us with his shot like he's helped you all the videos pretty much so. Yeah, so like, yeah, yeah, Spotify, Instagram, Facebook. And then just if you're local, like lookout for, like, if we got stuff playing anywhere, and you wanna come check it out live, I would say, like, aim for the live experience as well, because we love the videos and that, you know that that element of it. But yeah, it's always like an exciting experience to experience music, live, Jan 'Yarn' Muths family. Really good words. And thank you so much. I think it's about time to wrap it up. You shared so much phenomenal wisdom with us today. And it's really great for me to see what you know, what kind of a musician you are, and how passionate you are about what you're doing and how you found your absolutely unique way that I have never seen a mirror image of you anywhere. You're really unique. And that's really what I'm taking out of this compensation. So and, you know, for our listeners, if you could see you know, this aura around you when you speak and that sparkle in your eyes when you speak about your music. That's really, really, really amazing to see. So thank you so much for for stopping by today. And we'll be looking forward to hearing Morse code release hopefully very soon. Andy Bowles Yeah, yeah, thanks. Yeah, I really appreciate by coming into this and you invited me? Yeah, like, yeah, you're a legend and to anyone listening. If you're ever considering I'm going to give you an a plug now. If you're ever considering working with someone, you know, like Yan is an amazing engineer. And yeah, his wisdom and his knowledge of sound is like truly creative and driven. And yeah, I've really super enjoyed, like, you know, I know we've got more tracks to mix in the future and like, even so far, like just your dedication to, to bring in the mix out to like, you know, where you are happy with it, which I really like as an etiquette make you say, I will not stop until I'm happy with it. And think that's like, you know, that's fundamental. If you're engineering your mixer is like excited about your track, then you've got you're probably doing well. So thanks. Yeah, I really appreciate it. Jan 'Yarn' Muths Thanks, Andy. Good, cheers. Really appreciate that. Thank you. Wow, what an interview, I took so much out of this Andy's perspective on production in general and the way he progresses on creativity and music and how they work as a band, while there's so much gold in there. So I hope it was useful to you as well. You can find Pineapple Lazers, music and other streaming platforms. And also of course online, check him out on Facebook and follow them. Yeah, thank you so much for joining again. today. I have just one big question to ask you. If you've enjoyed yourself so far, if you've got something for yourself, please do me a huge favour and click on the Show Notes for this episode. And on the top, there is a button to rate my podcast. I'm hoping to do a lot more interviews and I've got some amazing ideas of phenomenal musicians that I want to speak with for you. And to get some of the high profile musicians that are going to speak to I really need to get a lot of followers and amazing ratings because that's what these people want to see before they come into an interview. So if you want to get more of these, please do me a favour, go to the show notes. Read this podcast, give us a review. That will be much appreciated. Thank you so much. I'll speak to you soon. Bye for now.
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