Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Sting on a Trampoline

I came across an article about the recording of "Every Breath You Take" at (you guessed it) mix online. Here's a fascinating anecdote:

Recording the bass could be frustrating, Padgham says, when Sting wanted to play while jumping on a mini trampoline. “It sounds mad — and I have trouble recalling whether it was during Ghost in the Machine or Synchronicity, because we recorded them 18 months apart at the same place 20 years ago — but what was really annoying was, even at the best of times, with all due respect to Sting, who is a fantastic bass player, he's quite sloppy. If you solo his bass track, there's all sorts of fret noise and bits of dodgy playing. When he was bouncing on the trampoline, it made it even worse. But, of course, if you said, ‘Could you not bounce quite so much, please,’ he'd bounce even more. Nowadays, I'd know to say, ‘Could you bounce more please,’ and he'd probably get off it! With respect to his sound, whether he was bouncing on the trampoline or not, he always used his old Fender jazz bass, and it was never put through an amplifier. I only ever DI'd it, and in those days, it always had a bit of Boss chorus pedal on it, which made the bass sound a little thicker. Then we would overdub a Dutch upright electric double-bass that was nicknamed Brian. It was, ‘Let's put Brian on the track.’ He wouldn't emulate the whole part, just perhaps the first note of the bar.”

This reminds me of a story about the filming of "The Doors." Apparently, Val Kilmer insisted that everyone call him Jim throughout the shooting. Frank Whaley, who played Robbie Krieger, said that instead he called Val Kilmer "Asshole."

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