The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Songsmiths and engineering

They call themselves Jerusalem. It has no religious ties whatsoever, but is an afterthought to the original name Jerusalem Cherry. The cherry was dropped and they now stand alone as Jerusalem. Lost yet?

Jerusalem is a heavy metal band that produces an original, screaming sound that takes your eardrums to a new metal height.

Initially called Jerusalem Cherry after a poisonous plant, the name helped tie in their front female singer. That’s where the cherry came in.

With a new singer and all male members, they dropped the girly second word and are now known strictly as Jerusalem.

The metal band gets inspiration from pretty much anywhere, but don’t be fooled by their hardcore music.

Rhythm, lead guitar and backing vocalist Brian Fisher said, ‘We’re not just straight-up hardcore death metal music.’

Jerusalem’s new singer, Geno Echols, has helped write more original songs for the band. Echols, drummer Greg Riggs and bass player Mike Mongo add sounds that collectively make the group a whole.

Fisher is an Audio Engineer from Dreamscape Audio and brings his technical skills to the band’s intricate songs.

Fisher’s engineering endeavors are a good addition to the band. He went to Musicians Institute in Hollywood and is a graduate of Recording Connection audio engineering school.

‘It’s very mathematical and very hard,’ Fisher said, ‘but if it’s something you love, you push for it.’

‘Engineering itself has helped me as a cost factor,’ Fisher said. ‘We’ve saved money in recording time and saved money in recording gear.’

With a recording studio in his home, Jerusalem works hard to deliver unique, quality sounds.

‘We rehearse as much as possible. We practice two to three hours a night, five days a week,’ Fisher said. The dedication is something they feel every upcoming artist needs.
Five days a week Jerusalem puts all their energy into writing, producing and editing songs.
It’s a process that could be difficult for new artists to master, but with the help of Fisher’s audio engineering skills and a home studio, Jerusalem can crank out a full song in about a week’s time.

It’s not as simple as turning on your computer music software, but the recording process can be mastered.

Their latest produced song titled ‘The Absolved’ has strong singing, strong screaming and intricate guitar and drum compositions.

How exactly did they put it together?

Fisher said it starts with the recording format. They generally use Pro Tools, a system that aids in music production and mixing.

‘It’s the best recording format as far as I’m concerned,’ Fisher said.

At his home in Los Angeles, mixing tracks is easier, more convenient and cost effective.
Once the formula for the song is ready it’s time to record.

‘We do a live recording and mic-up all the instruments,’ Fisher said. All at once, everyone in the band plays.

After the live recording, Fisher said they can go back and fix any mistakes by re-recording.
‘We’ll record only the guitar sitting in the control room and re-record new guitar tracks,’ Fisher explained. Then they do it for each additional musician.

Fisher calls it a layering process. Each musician fixes mistakes and re-records new layers to reach perfection.

‘Layering is the final step of tracking, then we start adding in and actually bring the music alive,’ Fisher said. ‘We make each instrument fit in all its parts.’

If we really wanted to get technical, Fisher said the next part would be to take it to mastering and press it so it’s CD ready.

This may sound like a lot of work in one week, but it can be done.
Fisher said, ‘We work really quick.’

For students looking to start a band and produce their own quality work, Fisher gives advice on the right way to go about it.

‘Know the song perfectly inside and out. Some bands start lollygagging and number one will waste money and number two waste time,’ Fisher said.

Preparation is key.

‘You want the song to be ready and tight,’ Fisher added.

Music major Sean Williams plays the piano and violin. He feels getting ready and practicing is the biggest advantage a musician can have.

‘If I ever want to compose my own song, I work at it until it’s almost perfect before even thinking about recording and mixing it,’ Williams said.

No lollygagging here.

‘The best thing to start with is to get lessons. If you have knowledge on how to play it makes it easier,’ Fisher said. So before anyone steps foot in a studio, some education would be helpful.

For intermediate students, Fisher believes it’s more about networking and finding the right people at that point. Another major step is finding band members that don’t clash.

‘Band members are like marriage. Everyone has to get along,’ Fisher said. One band member that doesn’t fit could be the result of a nasty divorce.

Number one in Fisher’s book is the bands vibe. Students looking for a band should look past musical ability to make sure they gel on a personal level.

Erin Salisbury is a 21-year-old student at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood who had difficulties forming a band herself.

‘When people don’t talk that’s when I had issues. You have to have chemistry, if not, nobody will go to your show,’ Salisbury said. ‘You have to love each other just as much as you love the music.’

Aside from forming compatible band member relationships, Fisher suggested getting a personal music mixing system. ‘You can work your way up to the big systems,’ Fisher said.
Jerusalem’s recording and producing process has proved to be pretty tight. With influences from Walls of Jericho all the way to Pink Floyd, their original sound will leave listeners intrigued.
‘We don’t sound like any of the bands out there. We have created our own style of song structure that makes us different,’ Fisher said.
The main thing is to create music one truly believes in. The industry may be hard to break into, but with determination, knowledgeable recording and producing skills and a love for music, upcoming artists have a chance.
At least that’s what Jerusalem is going for. Fisher hopes for people around the world to relate and enjoy the music he shares and creates. Jerusalem’s strong melodic metal sounds are only going to get stronger.

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