August Burns Red Singled Out Week: The First Step
The very first song I put drumstick to drums for was The First Step. I probably spent 3 days on the first 10 seconds of the song. With any record I write, it's typically the case that the first song takes exponentially longer to complete than the rest of the album. That was definitely the case with this song.
The drumbeat over the second riff in the song was inspired by the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire. I was watching that movie one night and heard a beat in the background of a horrific torture scene where the bad guy is manipulating the children he's enslaved into begging for money. I loved how the drums sounded and went straight to the practice space and wrote a similar rendition of the beat I had just heard.
My favorite part about The First Step is the chaotic section near the beginning where the snare drum hits accent the dissonant note that JB and Brent play. I love how the riff keeps going in the same direction and the drums compliment it in a number of different ways.
One interesting note about the process of recording drums for this song is the fact that I broke a stick while tracking and just kept on playing through the end. The funniest thing about it is that we actually kept the take and you can't even hear the broken stick in the mix. Strange!
The song ends the same way it begins, giving The First Step a nice conclusive feeling. The drum roll at the end was inspired by my friend Brandon (ABR videographer) who bothered me for 2 years about doing a repeating single stroke roll around the drum-kit. I wrote and recorded it for him!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!