Singled Out: The Trouble With Templeton
'Six Months in a Cast' was the first track that we decided to record with Matt Redlich at his incredible studio in Yeronga, Brisbane. The bass, drums and acoustic guitar bed of the track was recorded live. Initially it was quite a tricky one to capture on a recording because of how tight the bass and drums had to be to perfectly lock into the groove of the acoustic guitars' quite staccato sounding strums. While laying down the bed of the track we all slowly started to realize how much of a perfectionist Redlich is. And I mean that in the best way possible. At the time it was quite a shock to us that it was proving more difficult than recently anticipated to get a take down that reached Redlichs standards. But it is this very reason why all of us have chosen to work with him. He listens from a completely objective point of view, and delivers what he thinks in the same way. He pushes just enough for the best results whilst maintaining a friendly yet professional way about it.
Being the first recording experience together as a band, there was a fair amount of experimentation involved using a wide array of pedals, synths and sounds that we as a band had never previously been accustomed to playing. Our drummer Richie had also a fair amount of influence on the ambience of the track. Redlich secretly recorded Ritchie scuffling through one of his drum bags as he was searching for a shaker. The clanking of bells, sticks, shakers and other bits of percussion were used as a large part of the ambience particularly in the middle section. It was Redlichs idea to incorporate a Moog modulation pedal running through a live piano track. Betty's piano line during the chorus shifts up and down in octaves, and swells and retracts in fast sweeping delays that were controlled simultaneously by Tom in the control room. This method of one member playing the instrument and another controlling the plug ins or pedals is happening all over this album. It's a great way of breaking the predictability of a melody line with effects.
Because the bass, drums and rhythm guitar parts of the track were quite driving and staccato I felt it would compliment the progress of the song to include a more sustained, elongated feeling guitar line that enters after the first verse. I was hoping this would create some contrast against the dry acoustic tight grooves and balance it with some eeriness. The outro of the song was only actually written a few days before we started recording. Originally we were hoping to fill out the outro with a brass section. That idea didn't really make it since all the brass players we asked were busy and I think by the end we all started to lean towards the idea of it being more of a soaring, crowd sing along style section…
After the instruments were done, it was time for the main vocal. Tom being Tom pushed out one take and it was it. Absolutely incredible... By that stage I think Redlich really was impressed by the delivery of Toms' vocal, seeing that the recording of the bedding track seemed to take a bit longer than he would've liked. Oh before I forget, claps! Claps were a major part of this song. I remember Tom also had an exceptional clap sound, I don't think mine made the cut…
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!