A heavy metal band from Springfield, Missouri pours its energy into the studio

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For October’s SoundCheck, we’re bringing you a fun and spooky treat in the form of Transylvania. This heavy metal band includes Trent Wilson, Chris Blades, James Craven, Mike Rumsey, Reed Herron and Ran Cummings, the lead singer of the band who also works at KSMU. KSMU’s Jess Balisle sat down with Trent for a discussion about the recording process for the band’s upcoming new record and Ran provided a comment later, which was mixed up in the interview.

“We decided we weren’t going to rush this one.”

Wilson: So when you walk into Nick Sibley Music, it’s kind of a picture of what you actually identify as a traditional recording studio. The control room is elevated and overlooks the concert hall, which is this vast, gigantic room with all the instruments you could imagine being there.

cumming: There are really all imaginable instruments in there. This is not hyperbole.

Wilson: And the sound you get when a live band records there is just uncontrollable. You cannot reproduce this in a sterile room. You can not do that. A lot of the personality of our recordings has always included the sound of the room we recorded in because we mostly record live.

We did a lot more production on this particular record than in the past.

cumming: Tell me about it.

Wilson: Just because A) we wanted to, and B) we could afford it, I don’t know if I should say give the opportunity or be forced to have so much free time in the last few years with concerts so rare and the world is sort of on its head.

tag: I think it made a big difference for a lot of musicians.

Wilson: I think so too. I think so too. And we made the decision not to rush this one. We were going to work on it and do it slowly…

cumming: Nailed that one.

Wilson: …and capture the best possible versions of those songs. And I feel like we did.

cumming: God, I hope so.

Wilson: We definitely did it, we worked a lot on it. One song contained over 600 vocal takes.

cumming: The lead singer of Transylvania would like it to be known that it was pure animal cruelty that was inflicted on him.

‘That should be fun.’

Wilson: You know, working with Blades and me is not easy.

cumming: Nope. No, this is not the case.

Wilson: He probably has the sharpest ear of any musician I’ve ever worked with and some of that has rubbed off on me. I may not have the particular vocabulary to express what I want, but it can fill in the gaps and vice versa. It’s not easy to register with us.

The studio is my favorite part of being in a band. Period. Always has been, always will be. I think that’s why I probably take it a little more seriously than a lot of people. And yes, it should be fun. It should definitely be fun.

cumming: Six hundred taken!

Wilson: And Paul Carabello, the saint who worked with us on these last two sets of recordings, he is very patient with us, as anyone should be to work with the level of perfection, because, let’s be honest , Us is a local heavy metal band from Springfield, Missouri. Yes, I said it out loud. We are a heavy metal band from Springfield, Missouri. And, that can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially when we’re like, “Oh, well, that’s just a little wrong, that’s just a little wrong.” I imagine Paul left more than one night wondering whether or not he made the right career path.

cumming: I can’t wait to hear this record. One day.

You can see Transylvania live on Studio Live on Friday, October 14, 2022 at noon on KSMU.

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