Backstage with Baldy
Sioux Falls – May 14th
Alice In Chains likes to know how they sound.
What they hear in their own ears during the show is absolutely nothing like what you hear out in the crowd.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but each band member has in-ear monitors, and each guy has his own individual mix.
So while you’re hearing a nice mix of everything out in the venue, the guys are hearing a version that may be similar to that, but with certain things mixed higher or lower, depending on the band member.
Anyway, it’s become a tradition for Sean (and sometimes the other guys) to ask me how things sounded out in the house* during the show.
*The house is tour slang for the theater, arena, amphitheater, or wherever the paying public is. Actually you probably already know that, but if you didn’t, you’re welcome.
Back to my point.
We have a new (and awesome) front of house sound engineer on this tour.
The band is always curious and concerned about how things sound to you guys who paid to hear them, so I try at some point every show to make my way out into the house to remove my earplugs and hear what you guys are hearing, and see how our new FOH man is doing.
I basically always come back with a rave review, but I found that just giving a thumb’s up and saying “Great” wasn’t really getting the job done, so on this tour I’ve tried to kick my game up a notch by combining nonsensical terminology with schoolyard vulgarity (Mom, stop reading).
I came back to the dressing room after the show a few weeks ago and decided to try my new system out. Sean asked how things sounded out front, and I informed him that they sounded like a bull moose f*^@ing a nuclear bomb.
They seemed to like that one.
Because they’re really just looking for a quick overview, not an instrument by instrument breakdown. A concise few words encapsulating the overall sound of the band is much better than saying, “Your hi-hat was a little hot”.
So a few days ago when I told them that they sounded like Satan passing a kidney stone through Hitler’s penis, they were a little taken aback, but they understood that I was simply conveying the fact that they were successfully delivering some serious sonic evil.
I’m really just painting pictures with words. Graphic, confusing pictures that have nothing to do with music really, but if you think of our dressing room and tour bus as an Alice In Chains art gallery, my disturbing word pictures are all over the walls.
Watch out Louvre…