Calgary Alberta’s Belvedere are back with a new lineup and a killer new record “Hindsight is The Sixth Sense”, out May 14 on Thousand Islands Records (North America” / Lockjaw Records (UK/EU).
Today we have the priviledge of premiering a new playthrough of Elephant March recorded by guitarist Dan Wollach.
The band had originally planned on touring last year, but as the rona hit, they decided to get writing instead, with Elephant March coming together early. “This was one of the first songs we wrote as the new line-up” reveals Wollach. “Our first tour in 2020 had just been canceled 2 weeks before we were set to hit the road so we decided to start jamming and writing instead.”
On writing the song specifically, Wollach says “when I first started playing around with the riff I had something closer to In The Hall Of The Mountain King, but something was missing. When we added the punk-swing feel to it, everything started falling into place right away.”
Also of note is Wollach’s particularly badass double cutaway Les Paul. “I’ve loved Les Pauls ever since I was a kid and played them for most of my life. When I joined the band, Steve hooked me up with the one I play now. It’s a 2017 Les Paul Standard Double Cut-away edition, with a Seymour Duncan in the bridge pickup. I have a lot of sentimental attachment to it. Steve and I were jamming at his place and he offered it to me so that I would have a solid guitar for touring. That was the point where it really clicked in my head that this was all real. “
Like many players, Wollach has quite distinct live and recording setups. Of his live setup, he told us “I have a fairly simple setup but it sounds great and makes traveling a lot easier. I actually use an Ampeg PF-350 as my amp head. It’s a bass amp head but it has a great clean tone with lots of volume. From there it goes into a Diezel VH4 Pedal as my preamp. The pedal is an absolute powerhouse and I really do recommend it.”
The new album was produced by the band’s old guard of singer/guitarist Steve Rawles and drummer Casey Lewis.
Lewis also walked us through the crazy chain that got the guitar tone on the record.
” The rig used for recording was a Les Paul Classic and a Custom Warmoth Telecaster, each through an Electro-Harmonix Platform compressor, split to two different sources: an EVH 5150 mkIII 50w through a Mesa 2×12, miked with a Shure Beta 57 and a Sennheiser e914; and a Radial JDI, both tracked through a Midas Heritage 3000.
“In Pro Tools, the DI tracks were strapped with different plug-ins: the Les Paul was sent through a Neural Archetype: Nolly and a second DI track was heavily compressed and blended in clean. The Telecaster was sent through a Positive Grid Bias preset that I designed, and a second DI track was sent through a Neural Archetype: Cory Wong for clarity.
“So essentially the rhythm was composed of 8 tracks, 4 per side, taken from two separated performances in two guitars. Everything was blended and phase compensated to our liking and there was some additional processing on the rhythm guitar stereo bus: a spatial widener, a bus compressor, EQ and a pinch of Aural Exciter.
“The lead guitars were a mixed bag of whatever time was required at each juncture, usually various combinations of one miked cab and some sort of plug-in. “
All that work results in a ton of clarity and bite, allowing the record to rip your face off your nodding head.