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December 23, 2010 / John Sieger

Maybe Next Christmas, Part II: Deluxe Demo-itis

Click Here: Maybe Next Christmas Demo


Stick a cheap recording device up in your rehearsal space and you sometimes come up with the unbeatable demo from hell — one that will frustrate every attempt you make to top it or even equal it in spirit. This happened a few times to Semi-Twang. There is one song we tried with three different producers (there’s a red flag!) and they all fell short of the hellacious vibe the band achieved when nothing was at stake. This phenomena is common enough to have a name, they call it demo-itis. Yesterday’s post of this song features America’s greatest garage band, The Skeletons recording this song, and let me say — they share none of the blame for what I consider a near miss. All they did was nail the thing to floor and wait for me to come in to do my part, which should have been easy. But somewhere between here and Springfield, MO, where they live and work, demo-itis attacked this song and/or artist. I kind of forgot how to sing it. But I went ahead anyway and put a serviceable vocal on their delicious sounding track. It never quite achieved escape velocity and returned to earth with a thud. Digging around I found the better vocal was done on my home demo with the cheap drum machine and muddy mix. Given enough time and budget, I would love to revisit some of the more egregious cases in my song files to correct nagging problems like the one in this song. I think the idea comes across, but there is a big difference between a demo and a polished production.


© 2010 John Sieger/Michael Feldman

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