Hello, MD readers! “Faced” should feel like a sophisticated pop song cloaked in the sounds and forward-motion of a melodic hardcore punk band. In other words, we strived to use the sound of fury in the service of craft songwriting. That’s the way I hear our new album, The New Sidewalk.
There’s a lot to talk about here, but I’ll just point out some crucial things to look for. I decided to evoke the punishing style of Ben Koller (Converge) when writing my parts for “Faced.” Although it’s a busy song, there are essentially only three parts to it. Here’s what I call them: the A section is “A Punk Fanfare in 5/4 and 6/4;” the B section is “Trying to Maintain Escape Velocity in Your New Spacecraft Brand Vessel;” and the C section is “Crisis Mode.”
Take note of how we take different elements from the “Fanfare” section and mix and match them throughout the song. Right off the bat, we play the “Fanfare” three different ways. In fact, as familiar as those elements sound throughout the song, there are no exact repeats of that section. Even the “Crisis Mode” section is built up from the deconstructed pieces of the “Fanfare” section and played over a new key. Check out the way the shredder triplet guitar lead over the straight 8th notes creates a swirling tension.
Another cool thing to look for is how we use dotted-8th-note pulses to anchor the song, but then use them to intentionally throw you off balance in the “Escape Velocity” part. I’m playing a Yamaha Maple Custom kit with a snare drum made by Precision Drum Company. Normally, my whole kit is Precision Drum Co. The snare is a 6-ply 5.5×14, and I just refitted it with Yamaha Vintage wood hoops.
With Such Gold, my Precision kit consists of a 10×13 rack tom (6-ply), 14×16 floor tom (8-ply), and an 18×22 kick (8-ply), and all the drums have 6-ply reinforcing rings. For cymbals, I’m using Zildjians: 14″ New Beat hi-hats, a stacker with a vintage 18″ Avedis on bottom and a 17″ A Custom crash on top, 20″ Constantinople Hi-Bell prototype ride, 22″ A Custom Medium ride, and an 18″ A Medium-Thin crash. I’m using Tama Iron Cobra pedals—a Power Glide single-bass pedal and the strap drive Iron Cobra hi-hat stand. They fit my feet perfectly. My bass drum never moves, thanks to the KBrakes I have in place of the rubber stoppers that came on my spurs. They’re basically little feet, each with 256 stopping points on the bottom. I’m also playing Promark 419 sticks. The heads are Evans Power Center or G12 on the snare, clear G2s on the toms, and a coated EMAD on the kick.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think at mattcoveydrums on Twitter. Here is the video: