metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk
  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
MORALLY WORRYING SESSION
November 2012


chris dale



As a session player the idea is that you don't judge the music or its motives. You just play your part, get paid and go home. They haven't hired you to critique their work or to insult them. Sometimes it's really difficult to bite your tongue though.

Sometimes your conscience just doesn't sit right with a song for whatever reason.

I'm a rock/Metal bass player. I don't do a lot of session work, probably because I am a rock/Metal bass player. People usually know what they're going to get when they call me. I don't play jazz or pop or any of those new fangled types of music. I play rock.

So I was quite surprised when I got a call from a music publisher who was doing a new project with some pop songwriters and producers. They'd 'worked with the Spice Girls and stuff' I was told.

Oh great, I thought.

They were doing a theme song for the pitiful England World Cup effort in 2002. It was going to be released as a single and used on a David Beckham computer game.

Yeah, so why had they called me of all people?

And more importantly was it morally right, me doing this kind of thing? Wasn't it like joining the opposition? Could I be done for treason if this was wartime?

It was a worry, but it was also a very well paid worry. So when they mentioned the fee involved I just said yes straight away and took my bass down to the studio.

And a very nice studio it was too. Olympic Studios in Barnes where Queen, Hendrix, the Stones and Led Zeppelin all recorded. The song's writers were there, Robert Davies and Rick Forster, as was the producer Wayne Wilkins.

They are all seriously talented folk, at the top of their game. Wayne was recently responsible for writing and producing that appalling Cheryl Cole 'Fight for Your Love' nonsense. Appalling nonsense it may be but it's also hideously catchy and a massive seller. There's a skill in being able to come up with that kind of thing no matter how un-Metal it may be.

Obviously looking back on it I somehow blame myself for not intervening in some way. Perhaps, if that day I'd only given him a copy of Anthrax's 'Sound Of White Noise' that day things might have been different? There's nothing I can do now but could I have spared the world Cheryl's later musical self-immolation?

Hindsight is a terrible thing, they say and that knowledge doesn't always set me sleeping right at night.

But back on that fateful day in the studio all seemed fine. Talented they all were and very friendly too. Quite a laugh actually. I forgot about the crime I was about to commit.

I got my bass out - this was the moment of truth. It's a Warwick covered in beer bottle labels and burn marks that I've never remembered the exact cause of.

"Cool", they said in unison. "What we're looking for is someone to add some rock to the track."

Phew!

It could have gone either way then. If they had said any other word than "rock" just then the session would have been over.

It turned out they'd had a bassist in before who'd done some melodic stuff they liked but they now wanted to try the same ideas with a different vibe. I gave them the rock vibe.

As it happened they got another guy in after me for another vibe and blended us all together. It was an expensive bass track for them, but I can still hear some of my funny flukey notes in the middle section. Haha, that's me!

FC Allstars: 'Football Is Life': (that's not me in the video!)



We banged through the track. I wished I'd brought my RAT pedal. But still in the back of my mind there was that nagging feeling of betrayal. I got a bit nervous, my palms were sweating and that's not good while playing bass.

It was eventually too much for me and I stopped mid-song.

"Do you mind if I ask..." I asked, but I really wasn't supposed to ask.

"Are you football fans?"

The one songwriter, I can't remember which, said: "Yeah, I've got a season ticket at..." and he named some London club.

As soon as someone talks about football I instantly forget their name, face and what they're saying. This happens mid-sentence with me and can be really embarrassing in social settings.

The other writer looked at his feet and said he wasn't really a fan. He just wrote good melodies.

That was such a relief to hear! I could open up about my fears to these people.

"I'm not going to get credited on this am I?" I asked.

Session players often don't get credited on records. They don't have egos. They don't need credits.

"Err... we're not sure", they said, looking at each other awkwardly. I really wasn't supposed to ask this.

"That's fine by me", I said. "I'd rather not have my name on there if that's OK?"

They looked puzzled so I came clean and told them all my worries.

"No offence lads, but I'm not an England football fan. I'm a Welsh Rugby Union fan. I'm from Lampeter in West Wales and if I was ever associated with an England football hit single, well my name word be dirt.

"I could never go home. My life wouldn't be worth living. I'd have to wander the wastelands for all eternity."

Bless them, they fully sympathised and patted me on the back.

The good lads assured me of complete anonymity in the matter.

That said, I finished the track and took my thirty pieces of silver down the pub in time for last orders.

In the end there was some confusion over the release and England's early exit from the 2002 World Cup.

I recently noticed the same version was re-released for England's equally poor Euro Cup bid this year.

Better luck next time England but I'd rather have been playing bass on this song any day...

Max Boyce: 'Hymns And Arias'






PREVIOUS CHRIS DALE COLUMNS

chris dale DEAD KOSMONAUT: COLLABORATION OF THE UNDERGROUND SWEDISH METAL SCENE
"Hopefully I will make another one a bit quicker the next time."

April 2017

chris dale WHY DO LEAD SINGERS BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO?
Doctors will (probably) tell you that Lead Singers Disease, or LSD, is a psychological condition commonly contracted by lead vocalists...

March 2017

chris dale IS THERE ANYONE THAT DOESN'T LIKE IRON MAIDEN?
It really took me a lot of Googling to find a people somewhere that didn't like Iron Maiden but I think I've found them...

January 2017

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY- KISS SONGS THAT SOUND A BIT LIKE OTHER ARTISTS' SONGS
"They had a song called 'Open My Eyes', it's basically the same intro, we kind of copied them."

December 2016

chris dale SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: BRITISH ARMY TELLS HOW CLOSE TO DEATH BRUCE DICKINSON AND BAND ACTUALLY CAME IN 1994
"They had actually taken aim at the vehicle, taken their safety's off..."

December 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - KISS COVER VERSIONS
We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

chris dale 1066 AND HOW THE NORMAN INVASION OF ENGLAND SHAPED HEAVY METAL
These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

chris dale 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS LIVE' CD AND DVD
In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

chris dale EU REFERENDUM FROM A HEAVY METAL PERSPECTIVE, TAKING THE SWISS EXAMPLE
For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 2
...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 1
...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

chris dale BEST NEW UK BAND OF 2016 AND THE PHENOMENON OF BIGFOOT HOAXERS IN NORTH AMERICA
"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

January 2016

chris dale BRIGITTE SCHÖN: 'BRUCE DICKINSON: INSIGHTS: AN INTERPRETATION OF HIS SOLO ALBUMS
In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

chris dale THE IRON MAIDEN-GO WEST PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY
He said in one diary he had a singer named as "Bruce" noted down, a phone number and next to it he'd written "Too heavy!"

September 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: VINNIE VINCENT'S WARRIOR
The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

March 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: THE KISS DRUMMER AUDITIONS OF 1980
How many and which drummers auditioned for KISS when Peter Criss departed the band in 1980?

March 2015

chris dale MATTHEW TRIPPE RIP
Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

chris dale KISS – LOVE GUN DELUXE EDITION
In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

chris dale MR BIG – KOKO, LONODON
Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

chris dale MR BIG – THE STORIES WE COULD TELL
Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

chris dale INTENSIVE BASS COURSE WITH BILLY SHEEHAN
Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

chris dale BOOKING AGENTS vs PROMOTERS
Why your favourite band aren't playing in your home town this year and who would win in a hyothetical fight between a promoter and a booking agent.

August 2013

chris dale ROCK AND METAL PUB QUIZ
Your MetalTalk columnist hosts a regular pub quiz on our two favourite topics: rock and metal!

July 2013

chris dale COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR EUROPEAN FESTIVALS
How to learn a foreign language in a single evening with a film, a phrasebook and a few beers!

June 2013

chris dale Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
A tribute to the artist and visionary genius behind the album covers of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Rainbow, Thunder, Dream Theater and Helloween and his work on Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunworks' album.

May 2013

chris dale Daily Mail Columnist Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
A response to Richard Littlejohn's Attack on Goths, Punks and Heavy Metal fans.

April 2013

chris dale The Future Of Classic Rock Bands
What will happen to bands like Kiss, Rainbow and Van Halen in the next decade? Do you want tickets for AC/DC's 50th Anniversary of the 'Back In Black' Tour?

April 2013

chris dale Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
The fun I had working as an extra on the 'Ava Adore' promotional video and why dog mess should always be avoided.
March 2013

chris dale Ten Years On Total Rock
Good times as a Radio DJ playing my favourite tunes, making mistakes and talking to Queensryche, Dokken and Geezer Butler.
February 2013

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY I: An Entire Album Full Of Unrelased Songs
How Kiss could make a great record this year by looking back at their old demos. We get to hear them all here.
January 2013

chris dale Kiss Reformation Magick
How Alex Dickson and I unwittingly caused the Kiss 1996 Reformation during our South American Tour with Bruce Dickinson.

December 2012

chris dale Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
Steve Goldby and I get to ask the singer of QueensrΓΏche all the questions we ever wanted to know the answers to.
November 2012

chris dale Morally Worrying Session
As an occasional bass session musician, at what point does one call the line and say that enough is really enough?
November 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Review
Thoughts on the lastest Kiss album after hearing it a few times. It is indeed a great album!

October 2012

chris dale The Best Invention Of All Time
Absolute proof that we bass players (including Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan and Bob Daisley) are the best people in the world. Fact!
October 2012

chris dale A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
My son Archie and I get to ask Rudy Sarzo (legendary bass player for Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Queenryche and Dio) everything we ever wanted to know about Kiss Make Up, Steve Vai and Cuban Politics.
September 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
The tale of how back in 1994 Bruce Dickinson and his band of merry men (including myself) found ourselves on our way to the besieged city of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.
June 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
The second part of the story, telling of the practicalities of playing a heavy metal gig in a besieged city.
July 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
August 2012

chris dale Managers v Producers
Why do bands need managers and producers and more importantly who would win in a hypothecial fight between the two?
May 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
Predictions of what the upcoming Kiss album may sound like. I think it's going to be pretty good!
April 2012

chris dale London Venue's Nazi Past?
For years I'd heard rumours of the Kentish Town HMV Forum being a former Fascist or Nazi venue. One day I decided to research it more closely to find its true dark past.
March 2012

chris dale How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
The time that just for a second, I thought I might be the new bass player for Ozzy Osbourne.
Feburary 2012

chris dale Metal Evilution
Theories about the orgins of Heavy Metal from Creationists and Evolutionists put to the test in a study of the recordings of Def Leppard and AC/DC by producer Mutt Lange
January 2012

chris dale Take Your Pick Competition
This was a competition but still have a look at my cool collection of guitar picks from the last century! Can you guess the original owners? Here's a clue, there's some Dokken, Dio and Kiss in there.
December 2011

chris dale The Pandora's Box Of Pop
What do you do if Banarama offer you their backing vocals for a heavy metal session?
November 2011

chris dale Tank Tour Diary
The Tank Tour of Scandinavaia and Poland including our show supportting Judas Priest.
October 2011

chris dale Festival Stage Collapses
What caused the tragedies at 2011's Ottawa Bluesfest, Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium?
September 2011

chris dale Bruce Air, The Early Days
Recollections of flying across the American Mid West on Bruce Dickinson's ''Balls To Picasso' US Tour in 1994.
August 2011

chris dale European Festival Round-Up
My reviews of the best bands while I was with Mr Big on the European Festival circuit this year, including Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Judas Priest.
July 2011

chris dale Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
Let's compare live clips of Rhandy, Jake, Zakk and all the other guys who have played lead guitar for the Ozzy Osbourne band. Who do you think is really the best?
June 2011

chris dale Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist gives his repsonse to our thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne's various guitarists before and since him.
June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
How Japan coped in the wake of the earthquake/tsrunami/nuclear disaster of 2011 seen from the view of a roady on the Mr Big Tour shortly after the events.
May 2011

chris dale 10,000 Tank Albums!
How us having ten thousand listeners might well be the end of the music industry as we once knew it.
April 2011

chris dale Death Metal Session
Recording death metal for polite customers with Mikee Goodman from Sikth and Jay Graham from Ravens Creed.
March 2011

chris dale RIP Gary Moore
My happy recollections of the late great Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011). A legend and a good guy to laugh with.
February 2011

chris dale Recording Bass at Steve Harris' House
The tale of how we recorded the bass tracks for the Tank album ' War Machine' at Iron Maiden HQ!
February 2011

chris dale A Column About Columns
How I got asked to write columns for MetalTalk by editor Steve Goldby and how I got it wrong from the very start.
January 2011










 

metal talk © All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.