Studio Diary – Day Eight

Today is the day the rest of us come out to play so its a hardworking day to get it all ready for them. Guitar tracks to finish off, bass lines to do and tweaking the tracks. Some tracks have lost parts along the way, some dynamics have been changed and rhythms adapted.

As the afternon goes on the re-working of our oldie is work on by Jeff and Brian. Working on the guitar arts to try to add some Slash/Izzy swagger and sweat. As we do that the others arrive!

Kodiak Jack Arrive to record Alhambra
Sunglasses indoors…Rock N Roll.

Guitarist and second vocalist Jon is here minus his bags and Singer Bryn is here with additional Englishman Tom who is here with camera in hand to get some shot.

This kind of brings and end to the working day.

The guys get a tour of the studio, check out the guitars and facilities and lots are drawn and fought for for the sleeping arrangements. The one double bed goes to Jon and Jeff, with very little resistance. After Google efforts turn up little in the way of pizza delivery we take a stroll to Ink and introduce the late comers to the USA bar life. Some sloppy’s later we wander back to the studio for a good nights sleep…

Kodiak Jack - Drums - Matt Forster
Kodiak Jack – Drums – Matt Forster

Thats about it from me as I’m done for the drums for a week or so and I’m off to see what Sacramento has to offer. Brian is going to work Bryn and Jon hard for the next few days so as little distraction as possible has ben requested!



Studio Diary – Day Seven

day 7


Drums are first up today.  The ones left to record as last for a reason..they are the ones I’m least looking forward to recording. Luckily Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta decides today is the day to visit :-/

He gets a guided tour and as with any visitor to the studio Brian gives them a blast of Brother to show them the system…sounds better each time i hear it!

Troy is itching to look at the kit and I manage to get a few snaps of him playing it, he obliges and takes a few of me too…

Tesla's Troy Luccketta drumming in the Alhambra Blvd studio
Troy Lucketta pops in to the studio while we’re recording drums.

Up first is Get Out Alive. A track that for the last how ever long I have worked hard to get the 3 fills right…up until a week ago when Brian cut them for some thing more simple, which you would have thought would be a good thing. I seem to have struggled with the simple fill over the last few days in practice! How frustrating. Luck is on my side today and I nail the whole song in 2 and a bit takes. Sweet!

Next up is a track we haven’t played for about 3 or 4 years. It was one of the first we recorded as a band but left it behind as our sound changed. Brian heard it in the time he has been following us from a far and he loves it so in a trade off for us getting Coming Home he gets this track. Ive thought of a few ideas to change it up and on the first take try them..some work some didn’t.. that doesn’t stop Brian from saying he has what he needs!? I guess they don’t call him the Surgeon for nothing… there will be more cuts in that than Katy Price, Alicia Douvall and Jodie Marsh put together!

Jeff flies through La Rue and Brian has made some adjustments so any one who heard us play it for the first time at the Deco just before we came out will be the only guys to hear it played how we originally wrote it!

With a few things in the bag Brian treats us to a Gunthers Ice Cream, its a family run parlour that has been in the same location for nearly 75 years! It’s the best!

Jeff gets back and records the oldie but a newie through the Randell and the Marshall heads…after that we have the rest of the evening off.

Kev and Jeff have an early start so just have a quiet one at a local bar while Jules, Tom Zutaut and myself check out the Frank Hannon show at a local casino.

Frank Hannon of Tesla fame
Frank Hannon Band Live.

Studio Diary – Day Six

day 6


If there was ever a sight to see it would be Jeff, in a sidecar with a stars and stripes helmet on with Brian at the helm of the Royal Enfield!! Brilliant.


Kev’s up today for some bass. Crossfire, Wasted Youth, Brother all nailed.

Jeff touches up a few more guitar parts and I record drums for Brother and Waves. Brian gives us a few hours off while he cuts it all into shape, we head off to Inks….

Back at 7 to see what the score is and we get the rest of the night off! Quick triple S later and we’re at the BE clothing launch at District30. Good night, drinks are quite cheap (£2  go…better than £12 for 2 tequilas at Dive), the entertainment is good, a local hiphop act called DLRN.  The night finished early and we head back in time for Tesla’s Frank Hannon to drop by!

He’s back in town after a few live dates and he has some guitars for us to borrow to record with. We have a good chat and he tells us about the NAMM show and The Bonzo Bash he has just played. The video of him playing is awesome, that man can slide!

After he goes we try to leave it a reasonable time before having a look at the booty..after about 30sec we crumble…the blue custom Les Paul is sweet, the Fender strat and the acoustic Gibson are great but the gem is the double neck white SG with gold twiddley bits and custom gold Tesla headstock plaques.


Well, we’re all tired out so its a wrap for today…





Studio Diary – Day Five

day 5


Jeff starts the day making Kev some lovely sausage egg muffins then heads in to the studio and goes through Brian’s guitar gear. He’s up for recording today.

Kodiak Jack have the pick of the equipment while recording Alhambra
some sweet gear on offer.

One Randall head, 2 Marshall heads, a Messa cab and a Vox amp later he’s good to go! Jeff flies through takes of Crossfire, La Rue, Wasted Youth, Brother and Coming Home…

While all this productiveness is happening Jules and myself are checking out the local amenities. Macy’s, Best Buy and Abercrombie down its just Hooters to go…any why not, they do have cracking buns, baps and burgers.

Meanwhile back in the studio…Brian, Tom, Kev and Jeff go for the largest KFC known to man.

 The Angry Badger v Kodiak Matt Annual Hooters Pool Competition ends in in narrow margins with the decider going to a black ball game…though I dont think there were any winners tonight!
it all came down to this…..

Studio Diary – Day Four

Day 4…

Day starts with Kodiak Kev throwing together a fine full english, with a little help from Jeff (or Spike – from Notting Hill – as Brian now refers to him as).

During the last take of Coming Home last night I broke my last stick so a quick trip to Sacramento’s Guitar Centre sorts me out. It also means we can get the tom mount we need to go from the indie set up to a standard rock set up…I’ve earnt my tom!

Recording Alhambra used a lot of drum sticks - Matt

Studio update: We now have chairs for the dining room table and a shower curtain 🙂

Today I found out just how fluid Brian’s planning is…twice I was told I was done for the day only to go back in. I must have had a good day! I hammer through La Rue, No Surrender, Wasted Youth, Country Song and re-rerecord Coming Home and Crossfire. Its during Crossfire that another face appears in the console room. Its Tom Zutaut, ex-Geffen A&R man, you know, the guy who discovered and managed Gun N Roses and stuff…

Matt's drum notes for Kodiak Jack's Coming Home from Alhambra album

The night takes a turn for the rock n’ roll. Jules has already blagged a free pass to see Muse at the local arena, Tom Zutaut is here, Tesla front man, Jeff Keith turns up with some friends and we get a half hour of rock n roll stories.

Its late when they leave so today comes to an end. I think I’m knackered!



Studio Diary – Day Three

Jeff tried out one of the many toys Frank Hannon has left us

Day 3


The day starts in well, we’re still in Brian’s cinema room, still in the clothes we wore the day before and probably slept in…the rock n’ roll dream has started!

Brian takes us to his favourite breakfast place where a little miss understanding in accents and appetites leaves me with just a small spoon of scrambled egg on a side plate while everyone else has a piled up plates. Friend of the family, Pam, is late so her bacon is duly stolen…. shhh dont tell.

Anyways, we’re here for more than food and new friends! Back to the studio….

kodiak jack recording Alhambra with Brian Wheat
Kev laying down some bass.

Brian starts the day cutting Crossfire drums, getting them perfect and the like. I manage to fire off Brother and Coming Home. Kev gets a turn in the studio and adds bass to Brother, Jeff gets a go by rerecording a guide track too. Jules has been overseeing alot of the studio time but sneaked out for record shop no.2.

Building update: Sofa has been delivered for the control room today so we can now sit in comfort while listening to the magic happening.

Productive enough day ends well. We are invited to the Dive Bar where there is a faux new years eve party. I worked the real one so its great to have a proper one. We have our own table, much to my delight the table has a chilled bottle of vodka and 2 big decanters of fruit juice…add Sir Mix-a-lot to the equation and cue my shit-eating grin…bit let down that the mermaid doesn’t make an appearance  in the massive fish tank above the bar, but there is time for that.

Studio Diary – Day Two

Day 2 –

J Street Recorders Mixing Desk
Knobs n buttons..

After a good nights sleep we get up around 10am. The internet is down so I may have to make a complaint to reception… Today is planned as a rest day for us so we can get adjusted and a work day for the studio peeps as they finish off the tinkering and details with the desk.

I wandered to local eatery and bar called Ink that Chris (Tesla tech who is the fountain of knowledge for all good eateries apparently) suggested. Few blocks walk and I’m there. Although it  plays heavily on imagery and artwork of tattoos today it is playing some great jazz funk!

A whopping great salad bowl later I’ve mixed well with the locals so back to the studio before it is too dark!

As with most days it seems, there plan is quite fluid. The working part of the day starts with the drum set up. Mic’ing it up. As we have set it up and its still ‘fairly’ early we track our first song. A few takes of Crossfire later and Brian has all he needs. 1st track in the bag!!

Matt's drum set up for the first port of the Alhambra recordings

Its about 1am by now but Brian asks if we fancied watching a movie back at his place to wind down…hell yeah!

Off to the cinema room we saw yesterday. Inglorious Bastards rounds our night off. Kev and Jeff stay up to watch another film but I hit the sack in the spare bedroom down stairs as I will drumming in the morning.



Studio Diary – Day One

“Just a small town girl…” (well, boy)

Early morning calls all round for day 1…up and about for 5:30am, last minute bag checks, which pocket is the passport in, have I got enough socks, which pocket is my passport in, do I have my dollars, which pocket is my passport in..the usual stuff.

So after a quick fill up we were off. Straight forward journey to Heathrow, no delays or problems of note. A Starbucks and washer water top up at Fleet doesn’t really count I suppose.

Check in was straight forward enough and next to no time we’re boarding.

United Flight UA5...our home for the next 15hrs

Despite our research uncovering a list of absolutely naff inflight movies, once on board there were loads of great stuff!

The hi-light and low point was definitely Rock Of Ages. I may do a separate review but as an overview… its awful, cheesy, camp, cliche ridden, nothing is as bad in life as Russel Brand’s Brummie accent, the love story twist just odd, Tom Cruise’s version of Axl Rose is as bad as Mr Brand’s accent…the good points about the film are also all the things mentioned above, those plus CzJ is still looking good in leather at 60 (or what ever she is these days).

Our first taste of USA is Houston. Cowboys and Nuns in the airport is about as bizarre as we would have expected. Immigration was as easy as could be expected. Grilled but passed all the questions with an B+ mark I think.

2nd flight was easy too and we land in Sacramento at 8pm their time. Shortly after the main man turns up in his Mini, supercharged-turbo-shit-off-a-shovel type and his lackey, ‘Lips’ in a truck.

Quick guided tour of the city and a stop off at his house. We start in the East wing with the kitchen area where a personally signed and messaged Led Zep CD is casually tossed on the table with the usual clutter people have on their kitchen tables…the walls are filled with Ross Halfin shot limited prints, all no.1 of what ever run, and a wall full of gold discs from the Tesla back catalogue. Then he opens the door to the Cinema Room! Its about the size of the old Gosport Cinema I think!

Quick stop for some supplies and off to the studio. Its still work in progress. Dave Grohl’s soundman is trying to find the source of the buzz on channel 30 or something and a guy who is now on his 25th hour of work that day is soldering and wiring in other parts of the desk. Vocal booth is being padded and Tesla’s tech is hanging the massive TV in the kitchen area. Through the ‘to do lists’ we can see this is going to be a fantastic place when all done.

Its now about 7am UK time and the hours have caught up so off to bed.

Californian sunset from 3,00ft
Californian sunset from 3,00ft

Kodiak Jack Press Release – Brian Wheat (Telsa) Will Produce The Next Album

Tesla's Brian Wheat to record Kodiak Jack's next album - Photo by Ross Halfin

After a successful 2012 playing gigs up and down the country, several festival slots and plenty of airplay, the time has come for Kodiak Jack to move on…

The debut album Your Death: My Glory received critical acclaim across the board with Room Thirteen calling it “an album that sounds truly epic”, Uber Rock declared it “a top notch debut album, chock-a-block with catchy anthems” and Classic Rock magazine stated “Their debut is assured and urgent”… That however was then, and this is very much now.

January 2013 will see Kodiak Jack returning to the studio to record their sophomore effort and confident that they can eclipse their debut with their best songs to date.
We are very proud to announce the band will be recording the new album at J Street Studios in Sacramento, California and that Brian Wheat, bassist with US rock giants Tesla will be taking on production duties.

Having worked with the likes of Deftones and Papa Roach as well as Tesla and Soul Motor, we are excited to be able to follow in the footsteps of some of the USA’s finest exports.

Brian has become a fan of Kodiak Jack over the past year, so when the opportunity to work with him came up we all naturally jumped at the chance. With his experience on both sides of the mixing desk combined with his ear for a rock anthem we couldn’t wish for a better choice to lead Kodiak Jack to the next level.

Brian will be coming over to the UK for a week of pre-production before we head over to the States to begin the recording process. Ahead of this Kodiak Jack will be playing at the Deco in Portsmouth on Saturday 19th January and unveiling some of the new tracks from the album for the very first time. We may just be able to get Brian along to attend as well…

Recording begins on the 27th January for four weeks, during this time we will be filming a documentary of the sessions and there will be daily blogs from members of the band so you can keep up with the progress of the album.

Kodiak Jack and Angry Badger Records would like to thank everyone for their on-going support and look forward to being able to share the new material with you all very soon.