Coady Willis of Big Business

Photo by Rose Ann Belluso

Talking About Recording Latest Album and Gear

Hello, MD! I recently performed as a guest drummer for a week with the 8G band on Late Night with Seth Meyers and it was a blast! Thank you to everyone who tuned in and made it happen.

Big Business is a two-piece band, bass guitar and drums, and we recently recorded our sixth studio album, The Beast You Are. It’s been a fun challenge to make interesting and dynamic songs using minimal ingredients. Sometimes you have to get weird.

I play a DW Collector’s series kit made of cherry wood; it’s my favorite. The cherry really adds warmth while still packing a mighty punch, almost making the drums sound a bit bigger than they really are. I have a 9×13 rack tom, 16×16 floor tom, and a 14×24 kick. The snare is a DW 8″-deep black nickel over brass. It is sensitive with tons of crack, with an almost woodsy low end. I also have a set of tuned steel blossom bells made by Pete Englehart. Advertisement

Photo by Nathaniel Shannon

For this record we really wanted to capture a sense of atmosphere, a real space for the instruments to exist and breathe. To accomplish this, we used a series of stereo room mics in addition to the close mics on the drumkit. There’s a stereo pair of ribbon microphones about eight to nine feet back from the front of the kit, pointed at the top of the kick. Next we have two small diaphragm condenser mics about fifteen feet back, pointed downwards about half an inch above the wood floor. Last are two more small condensers placed in the top two corners of the room farthest from the kit. This gave us the option of deciding how big we wanted the room to sound. If the song was dense and busy, we could just use the close room mics for a tighter kit while still maintaining some ambiance. Or we could blast the ceiling mics and Godzilla destroys Tokyo! Hope you check it out. Happy drumming and thanks for checking in!

Watch Coady Willis playing “Father’s Day” from the 2016 album Command Your Weather by Big Business:


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