Days I Won’t Forget – The Players
7 Apr 2022
The majority of Days I Won’t Forget was recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic in Sydney. Times were tough, but walking into Love Hz Studios was completely uplifting.
There’s a bunch of people I need to thank for making this album with me, but first and foremost there is Producer Michael Carpenter. I knew early on in the writing of this album that he would be high on my wish list, and I was happy to lock him in to start the recording process. I had known Michael socially, shared a stage over the years and we were labelmates for a time too, but I don’t think we had ever really bonded. There was a deep respect, but not a lot of hang time. But in the lead up to recording this album, I had recorded two songs with him prior, and I kinda knew then he was the best person to capture this album. Our first day of tracking the guides, which essentially is me playing the songs to a click track, was the foundation. After each song Michael complimented me; and by track 10 he was very excited. That excitement never left him throughout the process, and was the spirit I needed to get the album to the place it now is. He engineered, he co-produced with me and absolutely led that production time and time again, he played a bunch of instruments including bass and piano, mixed and mastered. Michael steered the ship when I couldn’t; organised things. And we had fun! We talked a lot about music, life, family. I absolutely recommend working with him, and I can’t thank him enough for what he did for the album to come to life.
My band of Graeme Stanley Trewin and Adam T-Bone Taylor are also my best friends. I have known them since high school. They know me back to front, inside out. To have them play on such personal songs means I know they will connect with the emotion that has inspired them. They are great players, and tremendous people. I am thankful they are on this journey with me.
Katie Brianna is an amazing singer, writer and artist. I knew early on I wanted some female vocals on this album, and I made a wish list. Katie was on it. We have been friends for a while now, moving in the same circles and this felt so right. I sent her the songs, she agreed quickly and we had her come by to Love Hz Studios. I will never forget the session; she was simply phenomenal. Great attitude, really open to direction but also very strong in what she was bringing, and bring it she did. There was a moment, and I have told this story before and will again, where she said to me something like “What kind of style do you want for this? Who’s voice?” and I looked at her and as quickly as my slow brain and mouth could operate, replied “Your voice. I want Katie Brianna”. When you make an album, you listen to it hundreds of times. You listen to guides, rough mixes, real mixes, tracklists and masters. Even now, with the album out, whenever I hear Katie on the album I get a surprise and thrill when her beautiful voice appears.
I have had pedal steel on all six of my albums now. It is not a new thing. It is one of my favourite instruments. Michael had recently formed his country band with the Banks Brothers, and in the meantime Jy-Perry Banks had become one of the most in-demand session players; he was deemed the person to bring some steel for us, and I am blown away by the finished product. I was unable to be there when he recorded, but was sent his initial sessions. They were so good, but I could tell he was holding back a little, so I asked if he could really take the lead in general in some sections of the songs, and that he did. He told me he had a blast doing this for us, and I adore what he has done.
Bruno Brayovic and I go back. Way back. One of my best friends, we met through our first bands back in the day and have been tight ever since. He has had a part in recording each of our albums, and I just knew he was the right choice for the two songs he sings on. Couple of takes for each and he was done; Michael and I were blown away by what he brought.
Without these brilliant people, this album would not sound like it does, and I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart.
I also want to express my thanks to Kurt Sorensen, a brilliant photographer and friend of mine now for a long time, for allowing me to use his art. He took the front and back cover images. Go seek out his work.
Dan Freeman put the whole art package together (vinyl, cd, digital) and did a terrific job; he was lovely to work with and completely recommended.