From left: Drew Parsons, Brian Nolan, Stacy Jones and Jamie Arentzen
Photo: Adam Elmakias
In 2008, drummer/guitarist/songwriter Stacy Jones reconvened American Hi-Fi, the powerhouse pop-rock band he formed in Boston in the late ’90s, to record Fight the Frequency, the band’s sixth album and first since 2005. Jones summoned band mates Jamie Arentzen, Drew Parsons and Brian Nolan to l.A. to work on the project in The Deathstar Studios, a private facility co-owned by Jones and his partner, Bill Lefler.
Jones says the band “worked on it in first and starts” around Miley Cyrus tours; Jones is Cyrus’ musical director on the road and Arentzen is her guitarist. The band would quickly flesh out final song arrangements, with Jones and Arentzen engineering, recording to Pro Tools with minimal outboard processing. “We cut this record live off the floor,” Jones says, “so when we got a drum track, we got bass and two rhythm guitars at the same time.” For guitars, Jones used Marshall and Bad Cat guitar amps miked with a Royer R-121 and either a 421 or an SM57. “You get the chunkiness from the Marshall but you keep the chime from the Bad Cat,” he explains. “Dial in a great sound from the amp and then you’ve got a lot of options in terms of blending the mics.”