Ray Hearne Haken
Prog drummer enlists Adam Getgood for added heaviness on the band’s fifth studio album
Why did the band go for a heavier sound on Vector?
“It was a conscious decision even before we wrote any music. It seems like most of the band was quite keen to make a heavier album. Maybe it’s just because we wanted to access more of a metal audience.”
How did you get your drum sound?
“We were helped by getting Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood involved. He’s a bit of a leader in the modern metal sound – the way he produces drums in particular. To be quite honest, Adam had such an impact, it was really nice to have someone outside of the band with an approach and an idea in mind for the sound that he wanted.
I used a new kit I just received from Natal before doing the album. The tuning was determined by Adam. One of the things he asked was, what is the overall key of the album? Being a metal band, most of our music is in D or E, with one exception on this album – there’s a song in E flat. He came up with a tuning scheme based on the tonality of the album, which was something I would never have thought of myself.
“Then he brought along a Bell Brass snare drum, this absolute tank of a drum, tuned in E, and another one tuned in E flat. I felt more than prepared, and confident that we were going to get the ultimate drum sound that really suited the music.”
How do you create your drum parts?
“We’re tweaking the arrangement, the structure of each song right up to the moment that we actually record the album. It’s difficult to finalise a drum part until I’m sure that we’ve got the arrangement we want.
“I’ve composed my own drum parts almost note for note before I record them, not leaving much to chance as far as notating almost every fill, so that each note that I play complements whatever else is going on musically.”
Do you go for full takes in the studio?
“I write in quite a demanding way for myself. I’m constantly trying to push my abilities, so it’s really difficult to get it to that stage when we’re recording. These days technology really does help us out in that sense. We can record section by section, or we can break it down into smaller bits if we need to.
“It’s tricky with this music because it’s so highly scrutinised, and it’s got this association with the band being virtuosic so that we feel like we have to nail every single note – and if there are any mistakes, people will spot that.
“It’s a tough one. We want to make the album sound real, not artificial – but at the same time we want to make it sound exactly how we want it to, and then worry about trying to play it live later.”
Out now Vector Haken