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Mike Sponza

Mike Sponza

May 16th

Let’s go on with voices today. I start with a powerful rock-blues song (in the morning!), Pete Brown delivers a soulful and deep performance, and at 3PM we’re done with all the vocal tracks.

It means that I can focus on GUITAR SOLOS!!! So, Marshall volume at 12, Les Paul, Stratocaster and go!

It’s cool to have some relaxed hours and focus only on the guitar solos - I would say it’s a dream, actually…

 

In these four days everything has been perfect, the band performed greatly, the vibes have been extremely positive.

Let’s move on!

Next stop: back vocals, horns, strings, percussions, tablas, sitar…

May 15th

Wow, what a long day… We start the vocal sessions, and believe me - when you try to erase the wrong accents you’ve used for years, it’s not an easy work. I must thank Pete Brown and Rob Cass for they work and patience in following every single word I’ve sung. It’s not something you do every day, singing in a booth in front of a super-microphone that enhances every single detail of your voice - the good and the bad ones…

At Abbey Road Studios, new ideas can arrive in any moment. Good musical vibrations are all over, and even a short afternoon break with our brilliant technician Matt Jones can change a song - in the legendary Studio 2 we find a special instrument: the celesta. It’s the one (exactly the one!) used by George Martin for the solo on “Baby, it’s you” of The Beatles and for the Harry Potter Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x9ACT3PXr8

It was the sound I was looking for on an intro of a song.

A good lesson: you can have all the plug-ins-digital-solutions-state-of-the-art-technology-futuristics-whatever. But sometimes, “all you need is a celesta”.

May 14th

A sunny sunday morning. We’re completely alone at the Studios. Just us. It’s incredible.

If they told me, when I was 15, “one day, in another millennium, you’ll have the whole Abbey Road Studios for you and your band”, it would have sounded like science fiction.

Well, here we are… it’s a great sensation. Really great.

The day has been relaxed but very productive. We’ve recorded all the songs of the album in 2 days. I mean, the basic tracks. I’ll do my vocal track in the next two days.

In the afternoon Pete Brown arrives: we’ve co-written the songs of the album, and he will be with us for the next days.

I like to invite guests on my album projects. Pete suggested to invite a young man, a rock singer: “Believe Mike, he’s great”. So, we meet Nathan James: his band Inglorious just entered the UK Charts at #10. Excellent!!!

Nathan is a wonderful rock singer, and performs greatly.

 

Tomorrow is another day. Time to sleep now.

May 13th

It’s a very strong feeling, and you don’t really realize immediately that you are going to record your music here. In the Temple, in the Vatican of rock’n’roll, in the Fort Knox of pop music, where everything started.

I’m here again, after two years, with a new project, with my old friends Roby Maffioli, Moreno Buttinar and Michele Bonivento. We’ve been sharing music for decades, and this new album is about a decade, the sixties. No nostalgia, No back to the good old days. Actually, I am taking a new musical road…

Today is the first day, and we meet Rob Cass, the producer. We’ve worked together in 2014, and it was important for me to have the chance of doing it again. Rob has the special skill of making you performing and sounding at your best - and when I feel I’ve done my best, well… I’m happy. He has also the “Ears”, which is all you need, as George Martin used to say.

The first half of the day is taken for checking all the instruments, levels, for getting in the right mood. Once you’re comfortable, you can start rolling the “tape”.

I’ve brought just one guitar, my old Fender Strat - but I’ve found a couple of new friends here. One is a great surprising instrument, a Gibson Firebird: sparkly, powerful and born for rock’n’roll. The other is a ballsy and strong Les Paul.

Roby Maffioli is using is beloved bass, the Sadowsky - sounding better than ever here.

 

TAMA Drums UK and UFIP cymbals delivered right in the studio a wonderful kit for Moreno Buttinar - so he can play with the same set he uses in the “real life” - Lucky boy!

Michele Bonivento has some juicy choices: THE Hammond RT3, 1958, has been used on iconic albums like “The dark side of the moon”, “Let It be”. It’s full of mojo!!!!

Piano wise, he seems “quite happy” with a Yamaha grand. Another lucky boy!

It’s been a long day, and we’ve recorded 6 songs (out of 10!). We’re happy. See you tomorrow!

 

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