The young punks in Emily’s Army put as much joy as attitude into their fresh, fast original songs, and their sophomore record, Lost at Seventeen, is a real pleasure. The quartet—guitarist/singer Cole Becker, bassist/vocals Max Becker, guitarist Travis Neumann and drummer Joey Armstrong—tracked Seventeen, in Jingletown Studios (Oakland, Calif., jtrecording.com) with Green Day engineer Chris Dugan and producer (and the drummer’s dad) Billie Joe Armstrong.
“We worked in Jingletown Studio A, which was refurbished prior to the Green Day records (Uno, Dos and Tre), and I think they were the second band that got to use the studio.” Improvements to the A room included installation of a restored Neve 8068 board as well as new acoustical treatments in the live room, where Dugan had the band set up in a similar configuration to the way they perform onstage.
“A good chunk of the basics were done live with the guys all playing,” he says. “We used a lot of the room, so we positioned amps in the room along with drums so everything was coming through the room mics.” Dugan placed two Wunder Audio M50s and a Telefunken U47 in a Decca Tree, plus two Neumann TLM 103s as high overheads. “Those gave us our audience perspective, if you will,” he says.
Dugan blended an SM57 and AKG 414 on Travis Neumann’s amp, and an AEA R92 ribbon on Cole Becker, who plays a Telecaster into a Divided By 13 amp. “When these guys play hard and fast, their guitar tones can be percussive and dynamic. Cole has a cleaner sound, so that big ribbon mic reacted really well.”