The boys head into the studio.
Thanks for the reviews everyone!!
“Shit we did it,” smiled Ray as he looked at his band members.
“Yeah, we only have one problem?” said Otter.
“What’s that?” asked Ray.
“We need more songs.”
The three members looked over at Gerard.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
“I’ve been working on one. I’ll let you know when it’s done.”
“Where’s Frank and Hambone playing tonight?” asked Mikey.
“I have their schedule on my PC at home,” said Ray.
“I can’t wait to tell them,” smiled Mikey. Then what seemed a burst of brilliance Mikey started jumping around the guys excitedly, “You know who we should get to produce it?”
“Who?” asked the other three in unison.
“Rickly?” asked Otter.
“Dude, you know any other Goeff’s?” asked Mikey with a slight bit of sarcasm. “Besides he fuckin’ loves us. I’m going to go talk with him.”
“Mikes, this is a band decision so before you go…” Gerard never got to finish as he saw his brother on his cell.
“Hey Geoff, Mikey Way. We just signed with Eyeball and want you to be our producer.”
There was a few moments of silence until Mikey talked again this time a little depressed, “No man I understand.” More silence, “Thanks,” Mikey finally said.
The three members looked at him sadly; they already knew Goeff’s answer.
“We’re not ready to find a producer yet anyway,” said Gerard.
“But I know Goeff is the one for us. He’ll make sure that we stay true to ourselves. You’ll see Rickly will produce this album.”
The weeks passed as October slowly turned to November with the band playing their hearts out to anyone who will listen to them. The calls kept on coming from major labels in which they said thank you very much we’re not interested. They wrote a couple of more songs and even recorded some at the rehearsal studio.
In the meantime every opportunity Mikey had he bugged Goeff about being their producer and soon Gerard, Ray and Matt joined the pestering. Finally in December it paid off, Goeff agreed to produce the record.
The five of them sat down for a “pre” production meeting in the rehearsal studio that they shared.
“So Goeff, we haven’t seen Frank around the past few days, everything okay since Pencey Prep broke up?” asked Gerard.
“Yeah him and Hambone are formed another group called ‘I Am a Graveyard’ and have been playing around,” said Goeff.
“Cool,” smiled Gerard.
“Well let’s hear your ideas and really listen to some of your demos.”
Gerard started talking about what he wanted the album to be and how he wanted to help people heal not only what happened after 9/11 but their own personal lives. How everyone goes through the same shit and they’re not alone.
“Pretty cool,” said Rick. “Let’s hear all the demo’s that you have.”
Goeff threw in the tape and listened to ‘Skylines and Turnstiles’ again.
“I threw in some more guitar parts to make the song sound fuller.”
“I like it Ray, one problem. How are you going to play it live?”
Ray shrugged and said “I’ll just choose between the important parts and the not so important parts.”
Goeff shook his head in frustration, “Then why are they going on the album if it not important. It seems all the parts are important I’ll let you guys figure it out.”
Goeff listened to the rest of demos and realized that they had great ideas but Ray was certainly going to be a problem. These demos sounded better then the first ones but with the added guitars they were going to need some help.
Goeff pulled Gerard aside. “The guitars sound great, but if you want to play these great songs live you might want to think of maybe adding another guitarist. It would just make everything sound better.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Don’t think to long we’re going into the studio in a few weeks.”
Gerard was nervous about approaching the guys, especially Ray. He didn’t want to lose him because he was the best guitarist in Jersey. But Geoff was right these demos sounded so much better than they did in person. Now to find someone who was the right compliment for Ray and who believes in the same things that they did. It was going to be a tall order.
Two weeks passed and Gerard saw a depressed looking Frank outside the rehearsal studio.
“Hey what’s going on?”
“Nothing much, the band sort of split,” said Frank sadly.
“But you still have I Am a Graveyard,” said Gerard.
“That’s the band that broke up.”
“Sorry to hear that.” But in his mind Gerard really wasn’t sorry because he felt a brilliant idea coming on.
Gerard walked back to the rehearsal studio. “I think I have a guitarist that can fill our needs for making a fuller sound.”
“I don’t know,” said Ray.
“It’s Frank his band just broke up so he’s available. We all get along with him and he’s great.”
“I don’t know our styles are different.”
“Come on let’s try it. We go into the studio less than a week and it will really help with the songs. You can record all the shit we already written and Frank will have to learn those parts but not for the record. We still need a few songs so Frank will play on those, okay?”
“I don’t know,” said Ray.
The other three looked at him with hope in their eyes.
“Okay. But if it doesn’t work out.”
“Yeah we know,” smiled Gerard.
The band found Frank outside the studio having a cigarette and approached him.
“Hey Frank,” said Gerard.
“Hey I was about to go listen to you guys rehearse if that’s okay.”
“Cool we were looking for you anyway,” smiled Gerard. “We were wondering since you’re now available if you would like to play rhythm in our band.
“Are you serious?”
“Not just a show or two.”
Frank smiled hugely, “Wow yeah I’d love to.”
“Good we’re heading up to Nada Studios.”
“With John Nacleria?”
“Yeah, heard of him?”
“Any up and coming band has.”
“So we’ll pick you up and head on up on Sunday.”
Sunday came all too soon for the band. Gerard was holding the side of his face when Matt came to the door.
“What’s the matter?” asked the shaggy haired drummer
“No idea I only know my jaw is killing me,” said Gerard obviously in pain.
“We’ll get Frank and Ray and then maybe go to the emergency room.”
“Good I’m glad someone’s talked him into it,” said Mikey.
After picking up Ray they went straight to the emergency room where three hours later they couldn’t find anything. They finally made their way up to the studio.
They knocked on the door and were met by Goeff, “Hey guys come on in.”
Goeff led them down stairs to where a studio was housed.
Frank smiled at them watching their reactions.
“Wow,” said Ray “this is too fucking cool.”
Matt smiled, “This is going to be great. I’m gonna go get my kit and set-up.”
“We’re really here,” said Mikey.
“Fuck, my jaw hurts,” Gerard said as he held it.
“Guys, you know Alex and this is John Nacleria,” said Goeff. The boys shook John’s hand.
“You guys ready to make a record?”
“Fuck yeah,” said Mikey.
The band set up and started rehearsing when John told them to stop. John counted down, “Three, two, one.” And then it started. “Sorry guys we might as well take a break, my mom’s vacuuming.”
Everyone started laughing.
Twenty minutes later the noise had stopped.
“Let’s get back to it.”
The next week they band traveled back and forth to the studio laying down track after track. After Gerard had made many emergency room visits the last doctor suggested seeing a dentist. Sure enough when the x-rays came back there was an abscess in his tooth, so they removed his wisdom teeth and gave him antibiotics and painkillers. Gerard took the pain killers, but became too drowsy to record. So Goeff and Alex took the painkillers away. This didn’t matters at all because now Gerard was in pain and was begging them to let him stop recording.
“Please don’t make me sing anymore, it kills way too much,” pleaded Gerard.
John turned to Goeff and Alex, “There’s a storm brewing outside we have maybe ten minutes of good recording time, whatever you want to do.”
Geoff and John watched as Alex went into the studio. Sure that he was giving words of encouragement as he hugged Gerard. They were in shock at the next thing that happened. Alex punched Gerard in the jaw.
“Okay Gerard, lets record.”
Gerard was so riled by what just happened he translated the emotion and intensity to the vocal of ‘Vampires Will Never Hurt You’ . When they were done it left the everyone smiling.
“That’s a take,” said Goeff. He then turned to Mikey “If you guys stick with this you’re going to be the biggest band in the world.”
After John did his part in putting the song together, he gave the band a copy of it.
They listened to it on the way home. “Fuck this is awesome,” said Gerard.
The rest of the time recording went. Because of the time constraints for the two songs Frank was going to play on he had to get demo’s of Ray’s track and go somewhere and write his parts. That somewhere was their freezing cold van with no heat. When he come back to lay down his tracks with Ray, Ray smiled because the medley for ‘Early Sunset Over Monroeville’ was absolutely beautiful and had to admit it was something he would have never thought of playing.
They finally finished the record and went back to doing what they do best. Play live. This time though they had a new guitar player and a bunch of new songs.
They went out not knowing what the future would bring.