His Masters Voice - Heavy Rock and Blues Band

22 February 2016
Robyn Welsh

With their unique brand of heavy rock and blues, the four musicians from His Masters Voice have been back at the main studio recording and mixing three new tracks for inclusion in a vinyl release due out later this year.

The tracks are just about ready for digital release, but fans of first releases in general and vinyl, in particular, have much more to look forward to. The German label Kozmik Artifactz which specialises in first release vinyl is working to release His Masters Voice on vinyl for the European market later this year. This eagerly-awaited release will comprise these three latest tracks plus the first three tracks on the band’s 2014 ‘Possession’ CD which are ‘Possession, ‘Don’t’ Trust Myself’ and ‘Mourning’.

Every track showcases the talents of Jesse Sorenson on vocals and guitar, Az Burns on guitar and piano, Rene Harvey on drums and Brandon Bott on bass. Together they bring an energetic and prolific collaborative song-writing talent to their influences which include progressive rock, indie punk with a touch of Motown and acoustic guitar elements.

Every bit of it first came together at Stebbings during their September 2014 sessions for ‘Possession’, recorded on analogue. That tight, two-week project with senior engineers Tony Moan and Glen Bullen at the desk saw the band’s best work recorded and mixed over two days. The following week it was mastered by Simon Lynch and that master despatched to the CD plant where replicated, printed, and packaged discs were produced on-site in time for the album’s official release at their Kings Arms gig on September 19. That CD includes the band’s live performance of ‘Lucid Dream’, recorded at the song’s live debut at the popular central city venue The Kings Arms, in Auckland a year or so earlier.

As for the band’s next release on vinyl, a limited number among their Australasian-wide fan base will get the chance to pick up their Kozmik Artifactz release when an additional 100 to 150 pressings are released for sale in New Zealand and Australia. The plan for European distribution is for 500 pressings with supporting promotional material, schedule for mid to late 2016.

All up, it’s an exciting step forward for the band which records on its own label The Devils Blues Records. Collectively they are working hard in and around their day jobs, building their ‘live’ profile and writing songs. Their repertoire is now sufficient for them to perform a two to three hour show of their strongest material with music to spare.

Overseeing it all is the band’s producer/manager Anthony Corban who instigated the Stebbing sessions, having been familiar with the studio’s analogue technology which he and the band were keen to work with.

He felt the band were ready for the discipline of working to the constraints of recording to tape, rather than putting down take after take on a computer and taking months to put it together; working to a tight time frame and well-enough practised to commit to the process and deliver their best under pressure.

As for the ambiance within the studio, the set up included microphones used back in the 1970s and the band performing in the one main studio which delivered sufficient isolation for recording in the style of that earlier era. ‘It wasn’t about being in awe of anything, it was about bringing the guys into the studio because it was perfect for their music. Everything and everyone there was perfect for what we wanted to achieve.’

In doing so, His Masters Voice have delivered a significant body of work representing their first strong phase of writing. ‘The idea behind the upcoming vinyl release is, in some ways, to draw a line under that period and move on to newer material. ‘

They plan to return to Stebbings to record another local release, according to their manager. ‘We want to record more of our existing material and work on new material during the next year or so. Now that we have good studio experience under our belts, we see a mix of studio time and weekends away writing and putting down demos,’ says Anthony Corban.


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