Friday, May 05, 2006

Mysterio Meets Vampirella

If we ever had a "hit" this was it. Both bands - Tall Poppies and Julia's Rain - performed the song over the years.


I wish I could re-record this one above all others - this version was done just after Julia's Rain was formed, and it wasn't quite where I wanted it. It developed into a better, "rockier" version, as the years went along.

The song was named after a Spider-Man villain - although it had nothing to do with him!

Speaking of comic book characters...


There's an interesting story about how this one was recorded. We had limited studio time (time really IS money in a recording studio), and when the drummer laid down the bed track, his drums had a technical flaw (a squeak, as I recall) which only became apparent after he had left town on a tour with another band. We didn't have time to wait for his return to re-do it, so I thought the song wasn't going to make the album. Then, one night while engineer Laurence Currie and I were listening to playback, he hit upon the idea of taking the drums out altogether, except for the kick drum, which would serve as a sort of a heartbeat. We tried it, and it seemed to work. I suggested that the kick drum start out softly, low in the mix, and increase as the song went along, giving the feel of the approaching vampire. That worked even better. Then, to add some atmosphere, Laurence and I put a guitar on the floor, hit the effects pedals until we got the right mix, and sat back and tossed coins, cups - whatever we could find, at the guitar strings, which is where the swirling atmospheric sounds you hear come from.

Live, we rocked the song up - we once did a very "White Wedding"-esque version on a live television performance (which someday I'll post here). But the fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants creativity of the much moodier album version (which we never duplicated live) is one of my fonder memories of the music career.

Paul Kimball

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