II (2007)

As you’ve probably guessed, HUMANFLY II is our second album.

We wrote the songs which comprise this album over 2005/2006 and it was recorded on 10th August 2006 with our bud Ben Gardener at Hall Place Studios, Leeds.

Initially we had recorded the whole thing live in one evening in the reception area of the now demolished Sponge Studios, which was a rehearsal room in Leeds . We chose to do it in the reception as it was a large space adorned with wooden panels and we had a feeling it would sound pretty good to record in there, which it did when we listened back to the recording. A friend of ours who worked at the studio let us in after hours and if my memory serves me correctly we were there until around 4am. It was cold, hard to hear each other and as a result we ended up playing pretty badly. All of the cabs were spread out down corridors and the drums were in the main reception area. It was a neat experiment that didn’t quite work as well as we’d hoped.

I like to think of that session as a demo as opposed to a first stab at an actual recording as it enabled us to hear the songs on tape for the first time and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Funnily enough we kept pretty much everything structurally the same. The song ‘Tjarnargata’ from the final version of ‘II’ was recorded at this session and was the only thing to be used on the final album version. Dave came up with the idea for the track at the very end of the Sponge Session and recorded it using John’s guitar and a violin bow, purely for reference only, with the intention of re-recording it ‘properly’ at a later date. After listening back we liked how it sounded and decided we would use it as an introduction to the song ‘A Passage to Reykjavik’. The title ‘Tjarnargata’ comes from a street name in Iceland’s capital on which a friend of ours lived at around the time this was recorded and where Dave had stayed earlier that year.

Recording in the reception room of a practise space may have seemed like an odd choice but the idea of doing it in a space that wasn’t a studio greatly appealed to us at the time, plus this literally cost nothing for us to do and was therefore a good option.

The actual album takes of these tracks were recorded in the rehearsal room at Hall Place in Leeds, with additional overdubs done at various points over the Autumn at Ben’s house. We booked the room out for a full day and had to make sure we got all of the basic tracks done within that time frame. The room was the same one we had recorded our split 7″ w/ Kill Yourself in, so it felt a little strange being back in there to record an album, but the session went well and we were happy with the results. All of the songs were done in one or two takes. John recorded all of his vocals for the album in his bathroom at home once all of the music had been put down.

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Recording ‘II’ @ Hall Place Studios, Leeds. 10th August 2006.

At the time we recorded this, the label we were on had unfortunately folded and we were without a home. With the prospect of this never coming out, John stepped up to the plate and paid to press it onto a luscious 12″ gatefold vinyl. We pressed 300 copies and about a year later one of them found its way into the hands of a man named Dave Adelson, who owns the awesome 20 Buck Spin Records in Olympia, Washington. Dave was into the record and offered to put it out on CD, giving us international distribution. Nice.

Around this time we were about to put out two tracks on a split 12″ with a great band named Queen of Swords on Eyes of Sound Records. These two tracks ended up being tagged onto the end of the CD release of ‘II’ which, along with the split 12″ is now out of print.

Both tracks are available as a digital download via our Bandcamp page.  The original vinyl release of ‘II’ is also available there.

Reviewhttp://www.invisibleoranges.com/2008/06/humanfly-ii/

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Vinyl, CD & digital versions of the album are available at: http://humanfly.bandcamp.com/album/ii

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