Written and Performed by Joey English
Recorded by Joey English and the Kelly Bros in 2011. Mixed and MFI 2016.
We met Joey English through a local talent contest, in which he won (among other prizes) several hours’ worth of time in a local recording studio—our studio. Joey already had the structure worked out for “Beast” beforehand, and when we sat down for our first preproduction meeting, he said that he had been working on “Beast” in his own DAW, and wanted to know if we could work off of that. We said no, we couldn’t, and then we immediately said that we were joking and that we could do that with no problem.
Joey brought in a multitrack with a few vocals and both acoustic and electric guitar on it. I think he recut the vocals and some of the guitars, then added more guitars, after which we overdubbed bass, drums, and percussion. The trumpets at the end were particularly fun.
The arrangement worked so well that as a result, there had never been a “bad” mix of “Beast”, but we wanted to put together a more “definitive” mix so it could be considered finished, and so it could be shared with everyone. Joey had another version of “Beast” that he released, so this is a fun alternate version that we like very, very much.
Instead of rising and falling, some songs start small and gradually build up to a big release. "Beast" is one of those songs, and I think it works really well for that. There are lots of fun little bits and pieces going on, but the vocal performance is the real centerpiece here.
I'm also pretty happy with my drumming here. The three of us worked it out together: where the kick drum should come in, how the toms would come in, how the snare rolls would work, and how big the release would be. That's often how I'm approaching drumming in the studio: part performer, part producer. It's a little nerve wracking, actually. Writing parts is very different from performing parts, so I'm almost always starting these songs with a really crummy performance while searching for something interesting. I have to let my performer ego go a little bit while slopping through the song and trying things out.