The one that started it all.
“A Quiet Place To Scream” is a 3-song rock EP that takes a look at the past, present and future of Crooked Forest. Recorded entirely in a tiny little room in an old King City, Ontario house with 2 microphones and some plug-ins (I didn’t even have an amplifier yet when this record was being recorded), this record was incredibly personal and the catalyst to this project as a whole.
For fans of: Rock, Punk, Blues
The idea behind this record was to spend as little money as possible while tracking and mixing. This meant using my old 2012 Mac Mini which used to be my old portable Pro Tools 10 rig. In the years leading up to this release, I was going through a lot of personal and financial trouble and had actually at this point sold most of my equipment that I had spent years building up and often times selling them for less than they were worth which hit hard when I started taking this project seriously.
At the time I was also (and arguably still am) just getting comfortable with hearing my own voice back to me and learning how to shape sounds in a way that was actually audible, but it was important to me that the record be a true reflection of all my skills then. This meant leaving in noticeable guitar mistakes and avoiding any vocal tuning like the literal plague. Did I want to spend my life editing my music or playing it? I chose playing. Plus, I sure as heck wouldn’t be using auto-tune on stage, and I’d hate for people to come to a live show and say, “Oh wow, so yeah you definitely tuned the hell out of your vocals on the record.”
I mixed the record using my existing Pro Tools rig which meant I had some sweet cracked plug-ins at my disposal (I’d come to miss these greatly when upgrading to the new service), but I was mindful of a few things here, too.
For one, the thing I was least confident in and had the least amount of experience with to date was mixing. I also didn’t have my old Yamaha HS80 monitors anymore and was doing everything on crackly old Sennheiser 280’s, so I already felt like I was starting from an uncomfortable place. The second, and it was a big one, was that I was doing all my drum “tracking” as midi programming, which meant all the kits already had a whole lot of mixing pre-done, which would sound like a great thing I assume to most other people making a record like this, but for me it felt like it crippled the entire mix experience from the jump. So I opted to do the mix as I heard it in my head, add whatever FX I felt the song called for, but didn’t try to overdo it and besides, adding too many plug-ins was really started to bog down the ol’ Mac Mini (I was afraid of it crashing for most of this record).
This method became the logic and reasoning behind all the following releases, which now looking back a year and a half later I find myself questioning, but it made the most sense at the time because from the very beginning the intention behind all of my recordings was to re-record them at a later date in a professional studio space with a real drummer on deck. In fact, I largely put together AQP2S just to shop myself to producers, labels or mixing engineers who might be interested in working with me and specifically chose these 3 songs by ways of expressing the direction I wanted my full-length record to go in. I didn’t really plan on so many releases afterwards, but sort of felt like I didn’t say all I needed to say with this one, I suppose.
I still plan on doing that, re-recording this EP and a slew of the other releases, but feel free to enjoy the tracks as they were first created & thanks for listening!