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Defiant CD

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DEFIANT

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FRET FRET

Fret

Many moons ago I started to become very interested in the recording process. Up to that point I’d only involved in being recorded in studios with Soldier, and what actually went on in those control rooms was a complete mystery to me.

I decided I would like to have a go at learning about the recording process. My first purchase was a Yamaha MD8, an eight-track recorder that used mini discs as the recording medium . The machine came bundled with a cheap outboard reverb unit and I also treated myself to a mic, a drum machine and a keyboard. I was ready to have a go at recording some music.

As Soldier hadn’t reformed at this time I started to compose some of my own music, the first of which was an instrumental entitled ‘Cumulus’ which came out quite well.

‘Two Moons’  Released : 2001

Fret two moons by Ian Alan Dick

As this new material would be influenced by many forms of music I love I decided to give any future such projects a name to differentiate it from Soldier. I came up the idea of Fret and set about recording the first Fret album, ‘Two Moons’.

About this time I hooked up with Mark Da Costa. Mark was experienced in producing and also had done session work playing bass, and working with him taught me a lot about the recording and mixing process. Mark would also end up playing bass on quite a lot of Fret tracks over the next couple of years.

‘Overboard’ Released : 2001

Fret Overboard by Ian Alan Dick

By the time it came to recording the next Fret album I had invested in my first Pro Tools system and was continuing to learn more about the art of recording. I also began to record other musicians and was asked to master the various tracks sent in for the NWOBHM compilation album ‘Heavy Metal Attack’.

For ‘Overboard’ I teamed up with my friend Declan Burke. Dec is an accomplished musician who is heavily into prog rock (at the time we recorded ‘Overboard’ he was in a Rush tribute band). Later on he would form Darwin’s Radio and joined Frost for a while on vocals, supporting the likes of Dream Theater and Spock’s Beard. ‘Overboard’ gave me an opportunity to delve into musical paths I had never followed before and, once again, Mark Da Costa proved invaluable in the production of the album which, I have to say, I’m very pleased with.

‘Dead Of Winter’ Released : 2001

Fret Dead of Winter by Ian Alan Dick

The next album would take a different road again as this time I teamed up with Bill Perry and as a result the album has a much lighter tone. Bill’s background is much more pop-oriented and he was playing in an originals funk band named Dakota Red at the time.

I was especially pleased with how the title track turned out, and the guitar parts I did using a Strat with loads of delay. And considering Bill’s influences meant he wasn’t a natural rock musician he did a great job on the rock stuff, even playing a blistering solo on the track ‘Island’.

Soldier

Over the years I have come to enjoy the recording process as much as writing and playing music. When Soldier finally reformed and recorded ‘Infantrycide’ we used a pro studio but a lot of the tracking was done back in my own studio. By ‘Sins Of The Warrior’ I felt confident enough to undertake the whole project, and recorded, mixed and mastered the whole thing.

When it came to ‘Dogs Of War’ I made a conscious decision to hand the responsibility of the recording process to someone else to allow us all to concentrate on the songs and performances. But after that, with the knowledge and skills I’d now gained we were able to revisit many old tapes and recordings with a view to mastering them to a high enough standard for commercial release.

Where next?

At the time of writing we are  well into recording Soldier’s next full studio album entitled ‘Defiant’: we are recording the drums and bass in a pro studio and the guitars and vocals will be tracked at mine and Richard Frost’s studio.


Ian Alan Dick

November 2014