What is it like to record in Nashville?
Indolore has recorded his latest EP there. We loved his After The Rain album (review here) in 2021, and Nashville only shows more what a great talent this French singer/songwriter is. But what is it like to record there?
Indolore share their experiences with us.
All photos by Larry Niehues.
It all began with these few lines sung by Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”:
“I got tired of bein’ good
Started missing that old feeling free
Stop actin’ like I thought I should
And went on back to bein’ me”
It’s probably a bit naive to say so, but I felt called. I felt Country inside. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the middle of nothing, maybe it’s because I’m getting older and entering my fourth midlife crisis (at least). Luckily, I met Andrija Tokic (Grammy-nominated producer for Alabama Shakes), boss of the bomb shelter studio in East Nashville. He liked my demos and said “Let’s do it!”. Many feelings came over me at that moment: pride, pressure, shyness, confidence, excitement, stage fright, all at once. But, as is often the case, self-fulfilment is hidden behind our own fears.
So, on May 19th, I pushed open the studio door with my guitar and my life under my arm. A few minutes later I met Drew Carroll, the recording engineer, then drummer Dave Racine, guitarist Sean Thompson, and finally Jack Lawrence. Speaking of Jack, I remember my exchange with Andrija when he announced the casting for the sessions. I said: “THE Jack Lawrence?!” He replied “Yeah, the Jack Lawrence” from The Raconteurs, from The Dead Weather…What an adventure!
Now we’re all in the same room. I tell them about my travel woes, the atmosphere is relaxed and healthy, and the band starts to play. And then, I tell you, I could no longer touch the ground. Everything had become obvious: the call to Nashville, my French Country dream, my musical career, my life choices, my mistakes, my weaknesses and my strengths. It was all in the music that was being born under our fingers, in a sound that was unique, analog, authentic and without return.
The songs followed one another like a round of frozen margaritas with the love of your life, easily, with a smile on your face, the pedal to the metal. “C’est pas la peine”, “I gotta run away”, “We have a song”, “Carina” and then there was “Nashville”. That song wasn’t planned at all, it didn’t even exist the day before. It was born on the porch of the house Andrija lent me, a few minutes after my arrival. I knew it had to be on the record somehow.
Once all the mixes had been completed, at the very last minute, I asked Andrija to record the song alone. I owed this song to this city, which welcomed me like one of its children. When the record was finished, I came home and found myself alone again in this house, feeling a kind of melancholy. No one was there to share this emotion, to celebrate this achievement. Freedom has a price, and I was undoubtedly paying it that evening.
So I set off on foot into the neighborhood, walking for a long time along the avenues, past gas stations, liquor stores and gyms, and suddenly I froze in front of a tattoo parlour. I’d been thinking about it for a long time, but hadn’t had the guts or the opportunity. But it was time, oh yeah it was time! After some hesitation, I went in. I explained what I wanted to a large, lovable guy, and he said “Let’s do it!”. Before he could do anything irreparable, I said “My friend, please be careful, it’s my first time”, to which he replied “But it’s an honour!” 🙂 An hour later, not only did I have my soundtrack, but also my first tattoo, a paper airplane, my freedom. This is what it’s like to record in Nashville: your chest opens and notes fly out.
Thank you Nashville!
Take a listen to Nashville below. Indolore has also written about Brian Wilson in our Why I Love column, here.