Blotted Science is an instrumental technical death metal supergroup headed by Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower, Spastic Ink), bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) and drummer Hannes Grossmann (Obscura, ex-Necrophagist). They started out under the name Machinations of Dementia, but after the departure of drummer Chris Adler, the band changed their name to Blotted Science.
Their long-awaited EP, "The Animation Of Entomology", was released via Jarzombek's own label on October 4, 2011. The cover art was done by Atlanta, Georgia-based artist Richard Morley of Morley Arts. This folllow-up to the band's highly acclaimed 2007 "The Machinations Of Dementia" full-length, was produced and mixed by Ron Jarzombek and recorded in San Antonio, Texas; Tampa, Florida; and drums were tracked in V. Santura's (Obscura, Triptykon) Woodshed Studios in Landshut, Germany. Mastering duties were once again handled by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Destruction) at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark.
Blotted Science – 'The Animation Of Entomology' Track Listing:
01. Ingesting Blattaria
02. Cretaceous Chasm
03. Vermicular Asphyxiation
04. A Sting Operation – I. Human Barbequed
05. A Sting Operation – II. Cessation Sanitation
06. A Sting Operation – III. Seeing Dead People
07. A Sting Operation – IV. Omitting Eyes
Some Questions For Hannes:
SDM: Do you remember the exact gear you were using during this tracking?
Hannes: I played a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive Custom with 4 toms (8", 10", 12", 14"), two kicks (22"x 18") and a 14" x 5.5" Tama Starclassic Maple snare drum. The hyperdrive shells make it possible to set up the toms super low, which was convenient for this recording. Cymbals are Meinl of course, mostly of the Byzance series. I used three hihats: 13" and 14" Meinl Byzance Extra Dry hats and 14" Meinl MB10's. I used Evans G2 coated for toms, Evans Powercenter Ceverse Dot on the snare and Emads on the kicks.
SDM: How long did tracking take and how was it tracked? mics, triggers, both, to tape or all digital?
Hannes: The drums were recorded at Woodshed Studios by producer V.Santura. The drums for the album were recorded digitally with Steinberg Cubase 6 within three days. The recording process was very difficult because in Blotted Science you need to play with inhumane precision to make your takes fit the music. That's why I recorded the song in several smaller sections, and whenever a recorded section sounded perfectly, we moved on to the next one.
We used microphones for the recording only. Then afterwards in the mix we manually added samples on kicks, snare and toms. What you hear on the final record is a mixture of real drums and triggers. Ron Jarzombek did the mix and he always wants drums to cut through loudly and agressively. The cymbals are very loud on this recording as well, because we miced every cymbal individually and thus the cymbals cut through like hell.
SDM: Has anything changed in your setup since this tracking?
Hannes: Nowadays I play a similar setup, but I play a Tama Starclassic Bubinga Elite drum set in the studio. I only use the Superstar custom when touring with Obscura.
SDM: Your thoughts on sound replacement software? wish it never existed?
Hannes: The way sound replacement is used today in most recordings is just uncreative. You could use sound replacement software in a nice way to achieve a very unique sound – but in fact mostly it is used to make drums all sound the same for any record. I think sound replacement is a great tool if you can use it in a creative way and treat every recording differently. On my new solo album "The Radial Covenant" we replaced snare, kicks and toms, but they sound very natural, because we mixed the replaced sounds with the real sounds. Thus the overall sound becomes very unique. You can also use the samples of your own kit and set a totally different EQ for them. So there are 1000 ways to make replacement sound interesting, it's mostly just not happening for some reason.
SDM: What's your favorite old-school raw drum sound? Which band and album or albums?
Hannes: My favorite old-school raw drum sound? I mostly don't really enjoy such raw drum sounds, but as long as the music kicks ass I don't care too much. My perfect image of a natural drum sound would be Dave Weckl on his album "Rhythm of the soul". Otherwise I think that "Moving Pictures" by Rush has a remarkable sound. And of course John Bonham on any recording.
SDM: One piece of advice to younger kids about to record an album?
Hannes: Making music is not a contest, it's art. You're not in a competition with someone else. Rather focus on getting the best result for the music you play which means don't over- or underplay and keep the right timing. Technique, timing and good sound are directly related. If you rehearsed as a full band without click only, then in the studio record that way too. Otherwise you will get a stiff sounding result.