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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
EPISODE TWO: RECORDING BASS AT STEVE HARRIS' HOUSE
February 2011


chris dale



So right, where in the whole wide world would you want to record Heavy Metal bass? At Steve Harris' house, right?

That's where we did the drums and bass for the new Tank album! It's called War Machine... plug, plug (it's really good, you'll love it!)... anyway, we got a chance to go there 'cos Grav, our drummer, also plays in Voodoo Six with Tony Newton on bass, and Tony is a man of many talents...

I'd known Tony over the years, as a top chap who liked a beer at the Royal George every now and then. I'd seen him rock out with Dirty Deeds and stuff. It turns out he's also a top recording engineer. I'm not just saying that 'cos he's a mate and he did us a good job. He's proper pro! He's been recording Maiden and Kiss live for their instant live CDs! He never told me this stuff!!

tony newton
Tony Newton, Voodoo Six and Tank recording engineer.

Anyway so we're in this studio of Steve's, and its really relaxed. I've been in some posh studios in my time, wasting record company money on plush sofas and French menus but Steve's place is basically a barn for a live room with a recording suite stuck above. It totally reminded me of jamming with school bands in outhouses in Wales, very earthy and natural. A great place to record.

This is the room that Maiden have rehearsed and recorded albums in and it's awesome. I thought there'd be Maiden gold discs on the wall and tour posters about but no, very low key.

There was one of Steve's precision basses hanging around, not in a glass case, but actually just there, leaning against a PA speaker, about to fall over. Was it the blue one from the Powerslave tour repainted? No, I'm getting in way too deep here... I'm here to do a job.

steve harris
Steve Harris. God.

Well, sort of... there's a Mötley Crüe plectrum on the floor. How did that get there? Was that from the Shout at the Devil or Theatre of Pain supporting Piece of Mind or Powerslave in Europe? No, must have been a more recent festival. No, no... you're right, I'm here to do a job...

So, Grav lays down the drums, we all play along live, it's rocking.... Mick's telling us stupid stories, Cliff's supping an ale, Doogie mentions he's been here before.

grav
Tank drummer Grav lays down his parts

I don't know if you know but our singer, Doogie White was up for the Maiden job when Bruce left. He auditioned in this very room. Shit! He's played with Maiden in this very room. What songs did you do?

"I had to learn tons of them," he said. He laughed about how he messed up the beginning of Number of the Beast with them... in this very room! With Steve and Dave and Jannick and Nicko... in this very room!

So then I've got to do some bass playing. It's OK. Stay focussed. It's not Steve's room, it's my room now. I'm here to rock out on bass.

steve harris chris dale bass
Steve's bass and my bass

What song shall we do first? Judgement Day? Why not. Let's rock... Tank 2010! Come on!

That's when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a bit of laminated A4 paper.

No worries, Judgement Day...

What's on the paper..?


Tank. Cliff, Chris, Doogie, Mick, Grav

Count in, two three four...rocking! "You love yet you loathe me, I am divine". C'mon Doogie! C'mon Tank! "Judgement Dayeee-yeah!" F*ck yeah! what's on that bit of paper?... oh it's a Maiden setlist... wonder what's on it..? Wrathchild? oh, cool... Fear of the Dark... yeah hehehe... Number of the Beast, shit that's the song Doogie did in this very room!

SHIIIITE! I've just dropped a big clanger of a bass pooper in verse three, not like "uh-oh, no-one will notice" but like the chain coming off your push-bike uphill...

OK, Judgement Day, take two!

Maybe this isn't the best place to record bass.

Too many distractions....
iron maiden setlist

Click here for Tank Official

PREVIOUS CHRIS DALE COLUMNS

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - KISS COVER VERSIONS
We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

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These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

chris dale 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS LIVE' CD AND DVD
In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

chris dale EU REFERENDUM FROM A HEAVY METAL PERSPECTIVE, TAKING THE SWISS EXAMPLE
For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 2
...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

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...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

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"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

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In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

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September 2015

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The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

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Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

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In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

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Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

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Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

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Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

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August 2013

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July 2013

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December 2012

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Thoughts on the lastest Kiss album after hearing it a few times. It is indeed a great album!

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Absolute proof that we bass players (including Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan and Bob Daisley) are the best people in the world. Fact!
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The tale of how back in 1994 Bruce Dickinson and his band of merry men (including myself) found ourselves on our way to the besieged city of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.
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Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
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October 2011

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July 2011

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June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
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iron maiden



 

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