Indie duo Georgia Wonder, aka Stephanie Grant and Julian Moore, are currently locked away in a music shop working on their album project Made In Nevada. The pair have been handed the keys to Portsmouth's long-established music shop Nevada Music where they are using the Aladdin's Cave of equipment to record their forthcoming album.
The band have just released Siren, the second single from the project, which takes on a different direction to their usual material and shows how recording the album entirely in-store has had an effect on their sound.
Stephanie and Julian took some time out from recording to talk to us about their DIY project...
Who's idea was it to record the album in a music store?
Steph: It literally dawned on the two of us when we popped in one day to buy some guitar strings. We're always looking for new ways to do things, and we suddenly realised that if we couldn't afford to take the stuff out of the shop to record our new album with, we could ask if we could just use their gear in the shop!
Why did you choose Nevada Music in particular?
Julian: Apart from being the largest music store on the South Coast, I remembered the store from when I was at school - and at that time it was a much smaller corner shop in a different part of town around the corner from my house. I used to spend hours in there messing around on different bits of kit. So even though they didn't know Georgia Wonder at all when we asked if we could use their new store, I remembered their attitude from before and thought it was worth a shot!
Did you enjoy the recording process?
Steph: We're still recording and have quite a few more tracks to go. It's great fun having access to hundreds of guitars, amps, keyboards and stuff and it's also nice when new gear comes in that some people may not have got their hands on yet!
How did it differ from the way you've recorded tracks before?
Julian: In the past we've used the instruments we own. We do have some nice equipment, but one of the drawbacks is not having choice - if you really want to make a good recording you need access to lots of instruments. Having a store full of gear has made a huge difference to the way we record - we now go and get the guitar for the job out of a selection of hundreds, instead of using the same old guitar and trying to make it fit. The same goes for amplifiers, keyboards - everything in fact.
Did you face any difficulties/constraints?
Steph: I was sitting there the other day while Julian was trying to record some guitar parts and the guy in the demo room next door kept turning everything up to 11 while he played 'that' Guns n Roses riff. The walls shook and we had to stop for a bit. We try not to get in the way of regular punters coming in the shop, although sometimes that's quite tricky!
Were any other musicians involved in the recording process?
Julian: So far it's just been the two of us, although that may change in the next few songs.
Did you go into the music store with some rough ideas, or did you start from scratch?
Steph: Our latest single 'Siren' was a bit of everything. We had a groove and some lyrics; we put the bulk of the track down in the store but then were missing a verse. The chorus suddenly came together one evening and then Julian had to go back in the shop and lay down some more twangy guitars. Once again the great thing about doing stuff in the shop is we're able to pick the right guitar with the right twang and put it though the amp with the most twang too!
Do you have any similar projects up your sleeve for the future?
Julian: We've got some other ideas we're working on but it's a bit too soon to say right now. We'll keep you posted!