When the Megatrax production team was ready to tackle more indie folk albums, they knew the perfect guy to call for the job: Kenny Korade. Kenny has been writing indie music ranging from pop and rock to top charts for quite some time now and his latest feat is just as broad. Korade gives us an exclusive on the magical elements that went into making Indie Folk And Americana 1 (MX365) and Indie Folk And Americana 2 (MX366).
Megatrax: How did you start working with Megatrax?
Kenny Korade: I’ve known Derek and JC for years and recently I’ve come to know Ron as well. They are the greatest guys. JC put me on a project called Top Charts some years ago, and a couple of the tracks did really well, so I have been writing for Megatrax ever since. At this point, it feels like family. It is a pleasure being at the studio with these guys. Now, with Preston and Jonathan engineering, we have such a good camaraderie. Many laughs were had on this project!
MX: Given that you’ve done other projects for MX, how was this album different from others that you’ve worked on?
KK: Our goal on this project was to make a 100% live performed album, with all the instruments mic’d and recorded in the studio. In other words, no samples, no midi, no fakery, the real thing! I think the results justify that approach. You just can’t get such an organic sound any other way. I loved having the full run of the Megatrax studio, and let me tell you, that room sounds phenomenal. I loved bringing in so many talented singers and players: drums, percussion, violin, mandolin, as well as, of course, the guitars, bass, and vocals. This album has such a natural sound that one guy and a computer could never achieve.
MX: Can you explain some of the techniques you used to get the sound you wanted for this album?
KK: We used plenty of live room sound on the tracks. Many great records were made in that room, and the character and personality of it adds so much to the recording. We had a whole group of folks in there, stomping, clapping and banging on stuff. So organic and vibey.
KK: We had so many great tracks it was hard to choose which to use! We had percussion tracks, stomps and claps, violin, piano, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar. I’m pretty sure there is some kitchen sink in there somewhere.
We had so many pages of notes for every song that I thought my head was going to explode! JC took it all in stride though. He is great at making decisions.
MX: What do you think listeners should key into on this album?
KK: We had so many talented players come into the studio to play on this album. All these fantastic players added so much, both with their exceptional playing and with their positive creative energy. Bryan Head from Supertramp played drums and percussion. His knowledge and collection of vintage drum sounds was invaluable, and he had the perfect feel for these tracks. And I LOVE the percussion parts – that could be my favorite part of the whole recording. Paul Cartwright played some wonderful violin and mandolin. Sasha Smith played some incredibly soulful piano. Chelsea Williams is a spectacular Indie Folk singer. Ross Garin played some vibey keys. We even have an Omnichord on there! Josh Bartholemew is a fantastic singer as well. This was a serious talent pool.
MX: Do you have any favorite tracks from this album?
KK: I love the track “I’m Heading Home.” Chelsea Williams sang beautifully on it. She really has the magic.
MX: Do you have any upcoming projects either with Megatrax or elsewhere?
KK: We just finished up some ‘90s-style rock tracks. I really enjoyed getting my rock on. The ‘90s could be the most rocking of the rock and roll eras. More fuzz pedals!
Can’t get enough of Kenny Korade? Here are some of the latest Indie albums Korade has written on: