When The Demons Come is a collection of songs I wrote over the past 10 years that never had a home in the musical projects I was involved in, or they had a home; but never had the chance to be finished before the projects end.
I made it a goal of mine to put these songs down on record in 2016 using the know-how ive picked up on over the years of playing in bands, recording demos, and spending time in studios. I wanted to write, perform, record and produce this record mostly on my own. Some of my favourite records have been done this way, I wanted to try my hand at it. I managed to do this in the apartments ive lived in over the last year, with the help a few good friends when needed.
I used a Zoom multi-channel mixer for many of the tracks on the album, running through an assortment of preamps that Ive collected over the years (or rented/borrowed for a week at a time). I can trace the songs back to a time and place where they were concieved, the different cities in Ontario (St. Catharines, Barrie and Toronto) and the different emotions and versions of myself at that time.
Much like the songs being written in different areas in Ontario, I moved around alot this past year; I was living in Haliburton, Glenora, Toronto and Picton – it was in the spaces I lived in that I did the majority of the tracking for the record. My approach was to keep things simple and to try and let the song guide the recording and mixing process… there was a time when I thought maybe it’d be best if I just record all the songs purely acoustic with voice; I’d convince myself that this was the best approach then I’d get my hands dirty in the studio and the song would take a new direction. I’d love it for a day, hate it for a week.
And this which pretty much my process for a year. I think for each of the songs, battles between adding instrumentation and taking away instrumentation was necessary and balanced out by the time I needed to send it out for mastering. I played many instruments on the record, some of which I have absolutely no idea how to play properly; accordian, mandolin, drums, banjo and piano to name a few. I have some elementary knowledge, but if the song called for a sound… I needed it in there, so I’d rent out an instrument from Long & McQuade, write and learn the part as I heard it in my head, hit record, save the project and return the instrument.
I was trying to be economical for this record, it was done of a shoe-string budget, thats part of the reason I decided to record it myself; because I knew I’d have the freedom to experiment without wasting anyones time (or money) but my own. Sometimes my approach to writing and recording can be all encompassing and embaressing, it was fun to be afforded this freedom by working as a bit of a lone-wolf.
However it wasnt all done by myself! Evan Dwinnell, Ben Lemen, Courtney Dubois, Emily Bos, Adrian D’Avirro, Aaron Goldstein, and Bruce Milan all played an important role in bringing their talents to the record. I also worked with Andrew Shropshire, who engineered some of the drums and vocals. We set up shop in a gorgeous little church in Avening, Ontario for drum takes; we had it set up in the nave of the church, right beside this enormous pipe organ and the preists alter. I like to leave interpretation up to the listener when it comes to song meaning and album meaning, I can say some of the general themes on the record regard love, growing pains, death, excess, addiction and god. My cousin Misha Lee is a collage artist in Toronto, Ontario – she is the one who did the album cover art for me.
Songs written, performed, recorded and produced by Dave Allen.
Mastered by Phillip Shaw Bova in Ottawa, Ontario
Mixed by Dave Allen in Picton, Ontario.
Additional engineering by Andrew Shropshire at Post Wave Sounds in Creemore, Ontario.
Artwork by Misha Lee
Layout by Dave Allen
Fall Tour Dates:
October 6th The Brownstone Orillia, ON
October 7th The Burdock Music Hall Toronto, ON
October 13th Red Brick Cafe Guelph, ON
October 21st Capers Belleville, ON
November 10th DRKRM STUDIO Orillia, ON
November 11th L’Escalier Montreal, QB
November 14th Plan B Moncton, NB
November 15th The Red Herring, St. Andrews, NB
November 16th Gus’ Pub, Halifax, NS
November 18th Ringo’s Fredericton, NB