Sam Siegler (World Be Free)
SPB: What strikes you as the biggest change in recording an album between now and your first few recordings?
Siegler: The first time I ever went into a studio to record drums was at Don Fury’s studio on Spring St. in NYC, I was 14 years old. It was for Youth of Today, they wanted to re-release their EP Can’t Close My Eyes with a new drum and vocal intro before the song “I Have Faith.” Don had a tape machine, no click track, no pro tools, none of that--so I basically just played a beat (with way too many fills because I was excited), then I believe Don just hand spliced it into the original track and Ray Cappo did the vocals. It makes me cringe a little to this day: the tempo changes, it’s a little sloppy, etc. What I learned from that was that it helps to rehearse and know what you’re doing in the studio because you have to get it right and there’s not much room to manipulate things after the fact, especially on the budgets we had.
With Pro Tools and everything that’s around now you have so many options, maybe too many. The real answer to this question is nothing has changed or should change. If you can write a good song, be tight and capture a sick version with whatever you’re recording it with you’ll be winning. That was the approach with World Be Free: one or two takes for everybody, if you fuck up we’re keeping it.