Live vs. recording now on Billy Mommo #31.
by Oskar Hovell
There are very few things I love as much as performing live with Billy Momo. Except for a few things I do with family and friends, the only thing I can think of is recording music with Billy Momo. Billy Momo is a great live band.
We haven’t always been, though. We started as a duo. It was hard to find a way to reconstruct everything we did in recording, live. There were laptops and backtracks and different complicated solutions. We barely had time to see the audience out there for all the instruments we had to focus on simultaneously.
I am ever so grateful for my band and what they’ve done to the show. Not only as a solution of course. It’s hard to even imagine us now without the crude and decadent Preacherman, the cute but mischievous Hotlips, the ever-happy Gramps, the silent but violent The Coffa, the dandy rockstar The Head. We are not only sounding (and looking) good, we are fun to hang with up there, which I think means a lot.
So, sometimes people – especially people in the music business – tell us they were surprised to see how good we are, after having listened to our recordings. Some would even say they were not that impressed by the recorded material, but almost chocked by the live experience.
Well, here’s why that is: If you decide for yourself that you want to check out a band if you believe you are going to like it, if you think you might be about to make a real discovery, you’ll give the band your best. You’ll put the music on without sending emails, feeding your kids or talking on the phone simultaneously. You may even listen to a full album instead of the random “most popular”. You might be checking out album covers, pictures or even biographies. You are digging in!
And that’s pretty much what you do every time you see a band live. You invest in the experience. You get yourself a drink, you probably brought a friend and you give it your evening. These are the proper ways to check out a band.
However, if you’re listening at home and have no specific expectations, no reason to feel like this should be right up your alley, or if it’s your job to listen to a lot of new stuff that some manager or booking agent or whatever claims to be hot shit, you won’t give it that same time, focus and energy. It would be a better investment of your time even if you were dragged down to the venue against your will.
Yes, we are great live. It’s not only the joy of our lives, it’s our job. Doing the best that can be done with the live show is a responsibility. Just like it is to use the opportunity of a recording studio to do crazy creative stuff.
So, when people say we should sound more on the recording as we do live, I say sure! But would you go home, put on any one of our records really loud, invite a few friends and make sure you got a beer in-hand at all times while listening for an hour and then see what you think?
We very well may still try sounding more “live” on recordings. It is a life of its own, the recording, and we will not try to recreate the live show. But you could try to recreate yourself as a live audience!
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