Talking About Recording New Album Retrofuture
Hi, Modern Drummer “On The Beat” readers. Mike Fasano here, checking in and giving you a heads up to what’s going on in my world.
In 2004 I played on the record Ghost Tigers Rise, filling in for then Tiger Army drummer Fred Hell, who was recovering from wounds suffered from a home invasion. Later in 2004, Fred had still not fully recovered so I was asked to fill in on the Vans Warped Tour to support the record. After that tour, I resumed touring with the ’80s rock band Warrant, with whom I played in and out of as the seventh, ninth, and eleventh drummer from 2000 until Jani Lane’s untimely death in 2011.
In 2015, Nick 13 asked me to do two Tiger Army shows for his annual concert event, October Flame, as a special guest playing the majority of songs from the Ghost Tigers Rise record. Those two shows turned into the last four years being back in Tiger Army.
This past February, Ted Hutt, who produced and recorded our new album Retrofuture, cheerleaded me through thirteen songs in two-and-a-half days. A cool thing about this record is I used my vintage 1958 Gretsch Anniversary Sparkle drumkit! The sizes are 9×13, 16×16, and 14×20. These drums really fit the vibe of all the material we recorded on this LP.
Sonically, my theory for Tiger Army is tighter and brighter—fat, warm, and buttery sure is fun and feels amazing to play, but would never cut through this ensemble of sound. Using Remo Coated Ambassadors drumheads on all of the drums, I tuned them higher than normal to cut a bit more under the microphone against both the gentle melodic and the rip-your-head-off shredding guitar tones that Nick 13 lays down.
This upper tuning range also helped the drums to stand out tonally against our acoustic, stand-up phenom bass player, Djordje Stijepovic, and his combo of rich, pure, low-end bass notes with the intense click from the slap rhythms he provides as a bed for all the drum grooves to lay in. I also used my smaller and brighter assortment of Zildjian cymbals to really cut though the frequency in the mix.
Fast-forward to the present, I’m currently on the road with Tiger Army supporting the release of Retrofuture in the US, Europe, and Mexico through 2019. I’m super excited for this record to finally be out.
My day gig: I’ve also been known over the years for my Studio Drum Services business working on countless records with producers, engineers, and drummers lending a helping hand, ear, drums, and some technology with bands such as AFI, Avenged Sevenfold, blink-182, Fleetwood Mac, Garbage, Green Day, Guns N’ Roses, Mana, My Chemical Romance, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, and Weezer to name a few.
For my go-to gear I play Gretsch drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Remo drumheads, and Ultimate Ears.
Thanks to Modern Drummer and thank you for checking in. I’ll see you on the road!
Check out the band’s new video for “Devil That You Don’t Know”: