At Random Stories


AT RANDOM – The first recording session (Posted 30/12/2023).

Redline Studios 9th March 1991

At Random entered the recording studio for the first time in early 1991, a few short months after Nicole joined the band. Like so many other bands have done, this was about having a recording that could be used to help get gigs, as well as hopefully being able to be released to an adoring public in the (short term!) future.

Redline studios, located in Ashmore on the Gold Coast, which was run by Mick and Dean, is no longer there, however, it was a mainstay through the 80’s and 90’s. The studio was relatively inexpensive which was a big plus, particularly for a band with plenty of enthusiasm, but little spare cash.

In those days, even a cheap studio still cost material money, so the plan was always to go in very rehearsed, effectively knowing exactly what parts you were going to play.

Six hours sounds like a lot of time, but when almost two hours of that is used to set up the session (particularly getting the drums miked up and ready) and the last two hours are used to do a mix for you to take away, then there is not a lot of time in between to get the songs recorded. You have to get it right, and quickly!

The other hidden cost in those days was having to buy (or hire) a reel-to-reel tape. This is the days before digital recording, and you needed to have a reel to capture your analogue recordings. From memory, these were about $350 for a 15-minute reel.

You can see how the costs, which may seem nominal to begin with, can soon add up very quickly!

We recorded three tracks that day, “Lock the Door”, “Days Go Bye” and “Swing”. “Lock the Door” and “Days Go Bye” were included in our debut cassette EP, LIGHT BULB which we released in December 1991. “Swing” remained unreleased until the issue of the retrospective CD, SUNRISE in August 1995.

When I listen back to the three tracks we recorded that day, they definitely sound very thin and bare – it doesn’t sound like any studio trickery was added. But we learnt a lot that day about preparedness and used that knowledge each subsequent time we went into a recording studio – which was to be quite a lot from that point onward!

Nicole Salisbury, Paul McCarlie
Nicole Salisbury
Paul McCarlie
Andrew Muecke
Jono Muecke, James Grierson (Manager), Paul McCarlie, Nicole Salisbury
Jono Muecke