The first review of our album describes this song as “the strongest song on the album”. Please decide for yourself. You could consider this another new “old” song. An acoustic version appeared on our “Pull the Plug” EP and we recorded a demo of this song during the recordings of the Kid Dynamite tribute cover. Because of an out of tune guitar that was never released though …
And what a coicindence, this song could not have been planned better. It was originally written as a critique of Dutch right wing politics instigated by Geert Wilders and Rita Verdonk. Thank god we got rid of Rita Verdonk, but guess who will play a crucial role in last week’s installed government?
Our pen pal this week is our studio engineer Nico van Montfort. He also recorded our previous releases “Testimony” and “Pull the Plug” and has worked with almost all Dutch punk and hardcore bands. Prepare yourself for a very detailed documentation of how we recorded the album you have been listening to in the last weeks. *Nerd/engineer/musician alert!*
Please read on, enjoy the song and feel free to share it with your friends.
Nico van Montfort says
I chose to talk about The New Jew for a few reasons. First off it’s the first song we recorded during the session for this record, second it’s the only song featuring Riekus’ vintage Olympic snare drum (the quality turned out to be a bit too vintage to last through a whole song of hard pounding, let alone a whole record) and last but not least, a lot of little tricks and funny things we did during mixing are used in this song.
Since we had recorded The New Jew before for the “Pull the Plug EP” and together with the Kid Dynamite tribute song, this definitely was a song everyone was comfortable with to start. After a good morning of setting up, tuning, trying different drum heads, more tuning, placing mics, making a hi-hat muffler (yes, we had too much hi-hat in the overheads and room mics) and trying different mics this was the first song to actually get on “tape” (interesting note may be that the drums and bass for “Testimony” were recorded on 16 track tape). This time we’re recording in the Er0ck studio in Panningen and Reaper is our tape machine. Riekus is playing to a click and Willem is guiding him on guitar in the live room. It doesn’t take too long to get a decent take of drums, except for the snare drum falling apart after or during each take. First the idea was to keep one tempo throughout the song but we noticed that the bridge sounded too rushed when played in the same tempo as the rest of the song so we decided to slow it down 5 BPM in the bridge.
For the gear nerd, here’s what we used on drums (drums are Peace Paragon custom maple 24×18, 13×8, 16×16, 18×16 Tama Rockstar and Olympic 14×5 snare from 1962, Mapex black panther 14×5,5 on all other songs, Evans coated G2 on all toms, Remo coated powerstroke 3 on kick batter, coated emperor on resonant, snare is Remo controlled sound coated)
Here’s the drums channel listing
- kick inside – 901
- kick outside – 902
- snare top – SM57
- snare bottom – 906
- HH – SM7
- tom – 904
- floor 1 – d112
- floor 2 – d112
- ride bottom – 905
- OH HH side – AE3000
- OH R side – AE3000
- Room HH side – NT1 (run through distressor on the way in)
- Room R side – NT1 (run through distressor on the way in)
- Room center back – AE2500 (condenser side)
After drums it was Toms turn to make his debut on bass. He just recently bough his own bass, a customized Japanese Fender Jazz bass with US electronics and a US made neck (which is thick as hell!). Tom hadn’t been playing bass for too long when Antillectual recorded this record and he didn’t own his own bass amp yet. He had been borrowing Yvo’s Ampeg V4 and 8×10 but didn’t really make friends with either of them yet so he had been playing bass on the clean channel of his Marshall JCM800 2210 guitar head most of the time, with a SansAmp in front to tighten it up a little and add a little character. I brought my Aguilar 8×10 to the studio so Tom didn’t bother bringing the Ampeg. He accepted my opinion that it sounds much better than any Ampeg I’ve ever heard (and probably wouldn’t dare to say so if he thought differently about it) We checked out some sounds with the JCM800 and the Aguilar and were pretty excited. Then we set up my early 70’s Marquis superbass head (it was actually born as a 2203 replica but I had it modded to Bassman specs, so it’s actually a 100 watt bassman with an EL34 poweramp) We immediately agreed this sounded more like an awesome bass tone than the 800 did. So, finally, off we went! Tom’s debut on bass was a pretty rough one. I had to get angry at him more than once to make him hit his strings hard enough. It paid off though: the bass ended up sounding rock solid. We tracked the bass using 2 channels: one DI track (SansAmp) and one mic track (d112), both run through distressors on the way in.
Some people might know that my favorite part of recording is checking out guitar sounds. That’s something Antillectual (or at least Willem) enjoys as much as I do so we brought quite an arsenal of amps in. Here we go:
Willem’s H&K triamp, Willem’s bassman 70, my ‘77 Marshall JMP 2203, Tom’s ’88 Marshall JCM800 2210, Hunk’s ’87 Marshall JCM800 2203 (modded), Gijs’ Mesa Boogie 3 channel dual rectifier, Casper’s Soldano SLO100 and as if that wasn’t enough to choose from we also brought some cabs: Willem’s Greenback 4×12 Marshall, my Greenback 4×12 Marshall, Hunk’s Blackback (pre Greenback) 4×12 Marshall, Tom’s V30 4×12 Marshall and Erik’s T75 4×12 Marshall.
We ended up using Willem or my (I actually can’t remember) Greenback cab for all the “non modern” (JCM800 / JMP / bassman) sounds and Toms v30 cab for the Mesa / Soldano sounds. Throughout the whole album we chose to use my Gibson Les Paul Standard DC on the left side and Willem’s Gibson SG Standard on the right side (apart from a few parts where we used my London city telecaster and Willems Sammick for nice single coil cleans) But that all doesn’t apply to this song anyway. For The New Jew here’s what you hear:
-left side: Les Paul + JCM800 2210 + Greenback
-right side: SG + JMP 2203 + Greenback
-choruses are an additional SG + TS9 + delay + bassman + greenback in the center of the mix
-bridge is SG + bassman + greenback
For each guitar track we were using 4 channels: 1 clean DI track (just in case), 1 channel dynamic of the AE2500, one channel condenser of the AE2500 and one room mic channel AE3000.
For The New Jew we ended up adding 2 tracks of acoustic guitars to the choruses too, to add some strum and “largeness” to the mix, backed up by a beatring. All together the track count was 84 channels for this record.
We took shifts with recording vocals. During daytime we tracked guitars and started tracking vocals after dinner, finishing 2 or 3 songs each day. Willem had a pretty long warming up routine, which included making pigeon sounds! This is the third time I recorded Antillectual and every time Willems’ singing has improved a lot compared to the time before.
We recorded all vocals through a Shure SM7, a TLAudio PA-1 preamp and a distressor.
Well, more fun stuff: mixing! A lot of cool stuff is going on in the mix of The New Jew, especially with the drums. The main thing is a lot of automation of the levels of the clean, close miced drums, parallel compressed close mics, overhead mics and last but not least the room mics. When you look at he automation lanes it looks like a work of art by itself, without even listening to it.
For some good examples listen to the pre-verse, the bridge and the outro. The pre-verse is mainly room mic, the bridge is mainly parallel compressed drums and overheads, with plenty of room mic, and the outro is all room mic.
Another fun trick we used in the mix was running all guitars and vocals through one bus and adding some slight compression on that bus. The guitars duck a little when the vocals come in to give the vocals a little bit of extra power when they come in.
The mastering itself is also an interesting thing. As you might have noticed the record isn’t overly bright or extremely loud. We decided to go for a punchy, warm and round sounding record which asks for a little more headroom to keep the low end clean. Also we did quite a lot of automation to keep the whole album dynamic and exciting. Take a listen to the intro of The New Jew and see how large the impact is when the whole band joins in.
Forget about the fascists
Forget about the communists
We are in need of a new enemy
Thank god we found one, the new jew
Without “you” we don’t know who “we” are
We need a new enemy
To consolidate those divided
Create cohesion, one national family
We are fighting wars of fear
Terrorized by intimidation
Panic and fear spreading insecurity
Their uproar against us
A natural reaction
Could you swear to react different
Under the same circumstances?
Criminalized as threat
Generalized and forced to deviate
From our biases
Biased till proven otherwise
The Netherlands used to be seen as a tolerant country. Some people and ideas that were unwelcome elsewhere found their home here. But lately things are changing. There is a tendency to put overboard our ideals of tolerance and even put them off as being politically correct or outdated. In stead current political hypes are inspired by nationalism, xenophobia and general intolerance towards anything that is not described as “Dutch”. There are mainly two politicians representing this tendency: Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders. Both originated from a center right wing party (the VVD) manifesting more and more extreme populist ideas. What is happening in the Netherlands at this moment can in no way be compared to what happened in Nazi Germany in the thirties and forties. But the atrocities springing from that period could never have happened without the trends and conditions we’re facing again today. So be aware, be very aware.
For the gear-nerds who aren’t satisfied yet, remember we still have some videos from the studio
I don’t know on what step of the nerd ladder you are if you read EVERYTHING above, but we promise you to keep it understandable for normal people next week. Our friends from No Reason Records will give their insights on us, the scene and the music industry.