The Cheloco Sessions (a.k.a. The Vomit Sessions)

First off, let me explain the name. Cheloco is the Facebook alias for Benedikt Schalk, the guy who engineered and produced the session… it took me weeks to figure out that it wasn’t his real last name, but Cheloco is a funky word, especially if you’re speaking Spanish, so it stuck. The nickname Vomit Sessions comes from the fact that both Reuben (the lead guitarist) and I spent the night before the recording date puking our guts up. There was a bug going around my school that week. Quite a few people had nightmare stories about getting slammed by an eight hour fit of horrendous nausea… one friend even went to the hospital it was so violent. I thought I’d made it through without catching it, but the night before the session it came on like a tsunami. The first wave hit when Reuben and I walked out onto the street after rehearsing at the apartment of our percussionist, Josh Weitzer. I managed to get home on the metro, but needless to say, I didn’t get that much sleep that night. When I dragged myself back to Josh’s apartment the next day, where the session was taking place, Reuben told me that he’d done some vomiting himself when he got home… I think he just had a few beers on an empty stomach, though! Anyway, the nickname clearly fits.
I met Benedikt at a party, and we actually chatted for about half an hour before realizing we were already friends on Facebook… it’s a strange world, no? We were introduced anonymously on the web by a friend who knew I was looking to record a new demo with the band. Benedikt is a pretty diverse guy, and sound engineering is just one of many skills he’s got. Anyway, he said he was willing to record the music, so we set a date.

Aside from the aforementioned tribulations, things went extremely smoothly. Josh and Reuben were on, Benedikt’s super easy to work with, and I mustered up enough energy to belt out some tunes.

The point of recording the demo was to line up some gigs for the spring and summer, so we did it live to make it an authentic representation of how we actually sound playing together… and also ‘cause it’s much more fun to do it that way, obviously. Inevitably, there are a few little errors here and there, because when you record live it’s very difficult to edit them out due to the fact that each instrument’s microphone is picking up spill, i.e., the sound of all the other instruments. All in all, however, it’s pretty clean, and at the very least it’s an accurate snapshot of what we sounded like as a band at that particular moment in time.

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