PropertyOfZack Track-By-Track : : The Cinema (Final Segment)

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 27, 2011


The Cinema released their fantastic debut record, My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes, two weeks ago, and Matt Malpass and Leighton Antelman have been kind enough to do a Track-By-Track guide to the record with PropertyOfZack. Today we’re posting the final segment in the feature, so read up and enjoy!

She’s On My Arm Now
Matt: I think the location of where we were when we wrote this one helped bring the big epic feel to it. We were actually in a really cool cabin in the mountains for the final session. We had taken a bunch of my gear from the studio and set it up in the living room of this cabin in front of a huge window looking out into the forest. Everytime I hear this song I think about that cabin, it was just a really great atmosphere to change the pace up.
Leighton : I wrote probably 75% of the vocals for this track up at the cabin we were at. I definitely think recording and living in this epic looking area contribitued   a lot to the song. I was staying in this giant room that we turned into a vocal booth. It had a huge window right next to where I would track vocals. Every time I was tracking I could over look this big forest. It was a really cool way to get into another mood.

Matt: I think this is one of the first jamdogs we wrote after we decided to make the cinema a full project. The way we went about writing these songs for a few months was pretty fun. Since Leighton lives in LA and I’m in Atlanta it was a back and forth, I’d start a track here at the studio and normally I’d put down some kind of vocal idea when I sent him the track to give ideas of what sort of things we could do vocally. Most of the time we didn’t use my vocal ideas, because a lot of times they were really silly. On this song, for instance, the first working title was French Toast. Actually I don’t even know if Leighton remembers but the first time I sent him the idea for this song the chorus lyrics were something like “She’s thinking the west coast, I’m thinking of french toast”. Of course that never made it very far :)
Leighton : Haha yep totally forgot about that. We started this track the first session that I was out in Atlanta. I always really liked how this song came out. Matt actually did a few last minute changes to the song, because he’s a sneaky son of bitch, right before it was uploaded to itunes. The first time I actually heard this version was on itunes with the rest of The Cinema fans. Experiencing life together, no big deal.

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PropertyOfZack Track-By-Track : : The Cinema (Segment II)

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 20, 2011

The Cinema released their fantastic debut record, My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes, last week, and Matt Malpass and Leighton Antelman have been kind enough to do a Track-By-Track guide to the record with PropertyOfZack. Today we’re posting the next three songs in the segment, so read up and check back in the future!

4. Say It Like You Mean It:
Matt: I think this song might have been started during the first batch of songs we wrote when Leighton flew in the first time to start this record. The original working title for this one was Kings, and we had a pretty boring chorus on it. I think after sending the rough mix of the song to a few people at our management we got the feeling that it could be a really cool song if we changed up and completely re-wrote the chorus. So I opened the session and literally highlighted the old chorus and all the music and hit DELETE and started from scratch. Leighton came up with a really cool chorus line after he got the new music and we went from there. One thing that I really liked that Leighton did with the track the first time I sent him the initial music was to do the little stutter thing at the beginning at the song where the kick and guitar just keep repeating, we ended up using that throughout the song. That’s one thing I loved about this project in general—I never would have thought to do the stutters until he threw them in there—I felt like we played off each other pretty well throughout this song. Also I think lyrically this song took a few lines from a song called Mexico that we never finished—I think that song had a bunch of cool lines in it but since we never finished it those lyrics ended up getting picked off and put into a few different songs, is that right Leighton?
Leighton: I did end up taking quite a few different lines off of a song called Mexico and adding them to various songs. I especially enjoyed making this track because we hadn’t written a song yet with this type of feel. With a minor type groove to it. Then once we added the new chorus it was really one of the stand out tracks to me.

5. Picasso:
Matt: Aside from Airplanes, this is the “original” Cinema song—I think it was either this song or Airplanes that I played for Leighton the first night we started conceptualizing The Cinema. At the time I played the idea of it for him I had a really terrible structure for the song with some scattered lyrics I put together. I think in the end the only original lyrics that made it were some of the chorus lyrics, and then we both re-wrote the verse and bridge music and Leighton wrote the rest of the song lyrically. There’s only a few songs on this record where my lyrics made it to the final stages but the cool thing I think is that Leighton and I were on the same wavelength on some of these so he could hear some potential in some of the lines and just ran with it to make them better. That’s one thing I really loved about this project though, was that it was a true collaboration where we both just threw it all on the wall and just saw what stuck.
Leighton: I was actually getting really into reading this Hunter S Thompson book one time while I was out in Atlanta recording vocals. At some point in the book I came across him talking about fur coats. So immediately in my mind the line, “It’s fur coats and fashion” came out. This was actually the very first song Matt played one late night in the studio. I thought it had such a unique vibe to it when the chorus hits. So I decided to add claps to the beginning of the song one night. For whatever reason it just kind of stuck and we left it on.

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PropertyOfZack Track-By-Track : : The Cinema (Segment I)

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 16, 2011

The Cinema released their fantastic debut record, My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes, earlier this week, and Matt Malpass and Leighton Antelman have been kind enough to do a Track-By-Track guide to the record with PropertyOfZack. We will be running three segments of the feature beginning today and finishing up next week, so read up on the first three songs and check back in the future!

1. Satellites
Matt: This is a  cool one because it was literally written in 3 different countries, on airplanes, a boat, on the beach and in a cabin, in studio A and studio B of my place. I started off writing the skeleton to the music on my laptop flying to New Zealand via LA, worked on it some while I was in Big Sur, California, then worked on it while I was on a boat in New Zealand, sitting there with headphones on — actually in the bridge if you listen to the background noise it’s a recording of the atmosphere of the boat I was on while I was tracking that section, I just turned on my laptop mic and got the sounds of people walking around. After that I was headed to Tahiti so I got to work on the song on my laptop on the beaches of Tahiti while drinking Hinano, the Tahitian beer.
After I got back home I sent the track to Leighton and he demoed some vocals to it. When he flew back to Atlanta one of the many times during the recording of the record we ended up going to a cabin in the mountains for one session, and that was where we ended up tracking the vocals and some more of the music. Funny thing was after he left we both decided we didn’t like the chorus so Leighton re-wrote the chorus and we tracked those vocals on the last day he was here doing the Lydia mixes months later. It actually almost didn’t get tracked because I was so busy trying to finish the Lydia mix deadline that we had my brother track the new vocals with Leighton in the B room while I mixed Lydia.
I actually didn’t even hear the new vocals till I got around to mixing the song, which was only about 3 weeks ago. I dug the new vocals so much that I re-wrote a lot of the music to the song ANOTHER TIME as I was mixing it. So with all the revisions it took February till August to get this nailed down!

2. The Wolf
Matt: I had been listening to a lot of Lady Gaga when I wrote the first beat to this song. I think this was one of the first 4 songs we did the first time Leighton flew in to try and work some ideas out. Basically the track almost started out as a joke but Leighton was able to salvage it with the lyrics and vocals and we went back and re-worked the music from there. I think this is one of my favorites, I really like the feel of the verses.
Leighton: This was also one if my favorites right out of the gate. I actually wanted to use this one as the first single because I like it so much. But if I’m being honest it’s probably because it leans a little more towards my comfort zone with the whole indie vibe. Ha, I believe this one’s working title was submarine. 
Matt: Yeah, it was Submarine Torpedo!

3. Kill it
Matt: This is probably one of the more simple songs instrumentation-wise. Real drums, piano, and a few backing tracks. I think we were trying to go for something more simple but still powerful and catchy, kind of trying to challenge ourselves to see if we could make a good song without adding tons of layers. I think for me the bridge is my favorite part, maybe of the whole album, where Leighton put the “take one more look at me I’d better be lost in the crowd, just one more night out”, it always gets me. I’m really proud of this one, I think it turned out better than either of us expected.
Leighton: This is the song that I actually forgot about after tracking 10 songs in Atlanta. Little did I know this would be the first single off the album. It was a really simple chorus and song until late one night we were messing around on the keyboard and that I played that hook on the chorus. We both really liked it and it never changed from there. So that part was actually kind of stumbled onto.