We caught up with the New Jersey metal fusion outfit Concrete Dream and asked them to list five things they learned about recording new music during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were inspired to make music once the reality of a lockdown settled in. We recorded two songs early on, one was our new single, “Called Out.” Looking back, here are a Five things we learned along the way.
Everything in the world changed for us, for everyone. It hit us personally and it his us as a group. You either suffer through changes in life or you adapt and survive them. We saw that jobs, entire industries, could disappear in the blink of an eye. At the time, like everyone, we had no idea when or if they would ever return. The shock of it all and then the feelings of fear and uncertainty quickly led to the first song we wrote, our last release, “Contagion”.
Thankfully technology has made the recording process easier and easier over the years. Song ideas are jotted down and then demoed right in your bedroom. So #1 – you don’t need a dope studio to make good songs. The process was not a lot different from how we began pre pandemic except this time we were all separated from one another and that felt off. We gained a deeper trust in each other and our capabilities but not being able to jam the songs out felt different. We missed the energy of everyone together in a studio writing, debating ideas and experimenting. We did our best to stay connected, playing guitar or going over lyrics with each other over FaceTime, but when it came to the recording we did a mix of remote and in person studio time. We “flew in” a lot of the guitar and bass stuff and had our producer Ricky work on the tracks solo. #2- the band didn’t need to be in the studio together to lay the track. Vocals were something that needed to be done in person so we planned a trip to Ricky’s studio and recorded with him. He had been recording bands during the pandemic and had COVID outbreak at his studio. He was cautious with the process moving forward so it was only Jeremiah and Alejandro who drove out to record the vocals with him. Our Feature artist on “called Out” Chris Tito from Zoume sent his track in and Ricky mixed it into the final product. We were grateful he fit us in and got the work done with the pandemic in full tilt.
Once the songs were mixed, we wanted to shoot a music video. We got some relief in the NY/NJ area as things opened up a bit. We put together a small crew of talented people to shoot it. Everyone was excited to create again and even with a small team we got a masterpiece out of the Contagion video shoot. The video was all about destruction and isolation and the treatment was well thought out so we didn’t need a lot of money or resources to make it work. #3 was a valuable lesson in moving forward that with a focused plan and vision nothing can stop you from creating something dope.
(#4) we learned how to stay connected with our fans. We were on social media commenting and connecting to people all over the globe. With the future of shows in question, we knew this was the best way to reach new people and keep conversations going. When playing live, we loved going to a new place and meeting people and talking. Social media was an outlet that allowed us to do that still. Between FaceTime and doing “live streams” we know no matter what happens in the world around us we can keep our bond strong with each other our fans, the scene and persevere and take care of everything we hold sacred. #5 If you want to do something bad enough you will make it happen.