Everytime we write a new song I demo it as good as possible. Not only for the others to learn the song, but especially to be able to listen to it in an acceptable quality. Demoing became really essential for me to be able to tell, whether a song "works" or not. I mean, you are able to listen to it over and over again. Does it feel good? Does it get boring? How's the vibe? What do friends think about the song? While producing the demos I also produce the samples and sounds we will use live. Apart from all that, it also is a lot of fun.
I think it is important to say that everyting happens in my bedroom, so nearly everything is recorded in the box. Unfortunately, we're not able to record real drums here. We still give our best to make it sound good.
"To The Moon" was mainly written by my brother, while I helped musically, but most of all shaped the sound of the song and recorded the demo. The inspiration for this song came from bands like "Tame Impala" or in general the sound of 60s and 70s rock bands, which played a more progressive type of rock music. When the first verse and chorus was written, we already imagined the sound to be older, even a little dirty, but at the same time imaginative and vast - just appropriate for a theme like "moon" and everything that associates with it. We very quickly agreed to use the mellotron, playing alongside the guitar to give it this old and spacey vibe. This keyboard, that was in fact the first form of a sampler, was used by the Beatles (for example for the famous intro to "Strawberry Fields Forever") and later especially by a lot of progressive rock bands, such as King Crimson, Genesis and Yes. The next keyboard instrument we wanted to use, was an organ. I gave it a good amount of distortion to simulate the old rock-organ sound, along with a slightly bigger amount of reverb, to add to the width.
To give the sound the dirty vibe we wanted, I mixed the drums nearly exclusively in mono, giving it a little stereo room to widen the mix. In order to contribute to said vibe, there is heavy parallel compression and distortion on the drum track. I also gave the higher frequencies a cut down to 10kHz. On the vocal track the cut even goes to 6k. This creates some kind of telephone-effect that also associates with old recordings. Furthermore there is a lot of short delay and reverb on the vocals to give it this psychedelic vibe.
The last element we wanted to add to the "moon" theme were some of the NASA samples, which you can find and download from the official NASA Soundcloud account. There is a short mission command snippet after the first chorus and at the end you can hear sounds, that were recorded from saturn and a star. Especially the samples at the end add a lot to the idea of going "to the moon". It also really fits the mellotron playling along. This somehow reminds me of this tragic kind of vibe that David Bowie's "Space Oddity" evokes. I really like it a lot.
We are very happy with the outcome of song and sound. Although it's just a demo, I want to produce it as professional as possible, according to circumstances. Of course, this is nothing compared to a legit studio recording. But I hope it evokes some of the vibe we wanted it to have and is pleasantly listenable.