Ryan Monro

Melbourne, Australia

Jackson Jackson - The Fire is on the Bird

Recorded: Jan’s house, 2006/2007
Released: March 2007.
Bass and noises on tracks 4, 7, 9, 10, 14 and iTunes-only “My Robot”

Harry and Jan both had an epiphany at MIA’s gig, I believe, and soon got in the studio to unleash MPC artillery from neath the subterranean depths. For such a sonically extreme album I felt like playing normalbass wouldn’t cut it, so I played differentbass. I think I took in all the gear I had, and just tried something different for every song.

Gear: All of it. Fender Precision Highway One, Steinberger XL-2, Hondo double neck 8+4 string. A lot of effects. Eliza: the synth sweepy sounds (there’s one right at the start) which was a Frostwave Spacebeam through a Line 6 DL-4. Probably the P-Bass through a Boss ODB-3 for the distorted bass in the bridge, then clean for the octave line in the chorus, then a bit of Digitech Bass Whammy when the vocals stop, then over to the Hondo for the little riff at the end of the chorus. A whole lot of palm muted eighth notes probably on the P-bass (triple-tracked, played over three octaves) in the middle of the song. Grab a Gun: that line was Ollie’s idea. I was just playing a bunch of stuff to figure out something that worked, and Ollie said “That one!” just when I did something in the wrong key. But it made the guitar part sound “less normal”, he said. Down to the River: the closest to “normalbass”, just shufflin’ on a P-bass, only for the second verse. Lonely Ooh: P-bass, Sansamp, and some Maxon AD-999 analog delay for that nostalgic slapback sound. They were all recorded direct, through a Sansamp Bass Driver DI (either set to clean or dirty, depending on the song), and from there into Jan’s Avalon (not sure which one…it has purple knobs though).