It was 1977 when Trooper vocalist Ra McGuire prophesied in his band's hit song "We're Here For a Good Time (Not a Long Time)". As it turns out, the band is still touring strong 37 years later. In fact, the McGuire legacy looks even stronger than Ra could have predicted with his son Connor's musical career well under way and the two often teaming up on creative projects.
While Ra is currently working on Trooper's 2014 touring schedule, Connor continues to work on his EP after having just completed recording, producing, mixing and playing some drums on Ross Jenkins' latest album. "I've been recording an EP for about 3 years (I know there's someone out there who feels me on that one), but it's nearing completion. I've developed a serious case of demo-itis as I'm trying to write, record and play everything on a full band collection of songs. I keep on feeling like I need to say "Who's with me?" or "Can I get a hell y.." no... No, I won't say that."
Connor might be a one man band on his EP project but he is certainly not alone. Ra and Connor have worked on several projects together and Ra is a great fan: "As a music business professional, I can say that it's not just parental pride that triggers that. His music is deeply artistic and uncompromised while remaining accessible and relatable. Each new project gets him closer to music that is truly his own - and that's a difficult thing to do." According to Connor: "Dad and I operate more like two best friends than any sort of father-son team." From Connor's side, his appreciation of his father's talent doesn't rest on the fact that Ra has written and sung on a string of legendary hits: "When I was born, Trooper had already been a band for 12 years, so it's safe to say that by the time I was old enough to register what music I was listening to, my parents weren't exactly itching to put on their favorite Trooper album. My Trooper knowledge was low. When I finally investigated, not only did I discover that I loved a bunch of their songs that I'd never heard before, I got to pick a legitimate favorite: "It Comes and It Goes" from the Money Talks album." Connor jokes: "Apart from it being the best song ever, it reminds me that my name might have been Tyler, if a certain cousin hadn't beaten me to it."
Ra and Connor recently teamed up to make acoustical improvements to their studio in White Rock, British Columbia. According to Ra: "The room has many angles and corners - it was clearly not designed for music production! It sounded horrible in there. Primacoustic Product Specialist Jay Porter came to the rescue with a plan that wrestled down all the acoustic problems."
Jay explains his plan: "The room was definitely reverberant, and we knew that bass would be an issue. The first thing we wanted to do was cut down on the reverberation by eliminating the primary reflections with Broadway panels. Being a small room we did not want to lose too much real estate to bass traps, so the unobtrusive Cumulus traps were perfect for the front corners of the room, tucked up to the ceiling and out of the way. For some reinforcement below 100Hz, Ra was able to make one corner available at the back of the room for a MaxTrap. Finally, a Stratus Cloud was utilized above the mix position, further reducing primary reflections and tightening up the listening experience."
Ra claims that after the room treatment the change was like night and day. Connor concurs: "Untreated, the room was a fluttery mess of reverberating nonsense. Anything that I was getting out of my monitors was confused and inconsistent - which made me think I might be doing something wrong. Treated, it all fell into place. All of a sudden I was able to translate what I was thinking into something audible. I would honestly recommend treating a room over any other studio upgrade I can think of, it just magically makes all of your gear 100% better. It's also worth noting that I experimented with some DIY approaches and they fell short. Primacoustic absolutely knocks it out of the park."