Animals As Leaders In-Studio Video Sees the Band Experimenting with New Gear Called… Microphones?

Animals As Leaders have posted this very brief video of new drummer Matt Garstka at Swinghouse Studios in Los Angeles, tracking drums for the band’s next release. Yes, it looks like only a photo that I have linked below, but if you click it you’ll be brought to an Instagram video in some inefficient existential nightmare maze.

The video is only 12 seconds long (although even in those fleeting moments Garstka’s performance impresses), but the real shocker from this footage is that he’s playing at all, and not just programming everything. (Again, click that image below to play the video.)

Okay, fine, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but in all my research into the AAL’s sophomore album, Weightless, it remains unclear if any drums were actually mic’d up during the recording process. According to this interview, former drummer Navene Koperweis programmed about half the drums in Cubase and the other half were “live.” Yet in the behind the scenes video for the album’s recording (see below), there were no actual microphones on the kit, and I can’t imagine that corner of a dry wall room is where they would have tracked. It looks more like they just needed a shot of some drums for a video.

Note the brief shots of electronic percussion pads? Perhaps when Koperweis referenced “live” drums, he meant drums that he performed on an electronic kit, so only midi was taken from his takes, not audio. Conversely, those shots could have been his actual tracking if the drums had trigger pads built inside them, but that’s uncommon. That’s not to slight Koperweis’ playing, since there have been countless videos showing him nail all of those parts. But I’m simply curious: is Matt Gartska the first musician to be tracked with a microphone on an Animals As Leaders record?

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.