Digging Deep

14 August 2013 | 4:00 am | Mitch Knox

"It started from Andrew [Walter – drums] – we built a room under his house, basically just built in his one-bay garage, and it’s semi-soundproofed, so it started from there."

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The Depths is an album The Blackwater Fever quite literally built from the ground up.

“It started from Andrew [Walter – drums] – we built a room under his house, basically just built in his one-bay garage, and it's semi-soundproofed, so it started from there,” Hicks explains. “He got a recording set-up for the drums; it's such a small space so we can't have amps blaring while the drums are playing because the amps would feed into the drum mics and stuff like that. So we did the drums at Andrew's place, and Jed [Walters – bass] and I just had our guitar and keyboard and bass just going through our headphones.”

It sounds an arduous process, but Hicks and his bandmates have come out the other side not only feeling like more learned men, but that they were able to present the album they wanted. “We're a lot wiser now in how we would go about it,” he reflects. “I'm actually recording a solo album at the moment, and it's just happening a lot quicker versus the first time we did it, recording and mixing it. To take that first serious project and take it from beginning to end, it was kind of our learning project. We didn't put it out until we were fully satisfied with it, so there was a lot of back-and-forth… coming out the other end of it, we know how we record now and how we like to record certain instruments. We definitely found our sound through the whole process.”

The hand-built recording room got some good mileage, too, when it came time to film the video for their recent single, Won't Cry Over You, a driven, resolute rumination on love lost. “We did that over at Andrew's house in the room that we did the drums,” Hicks says. “Andrew had a camera and I had a camera, and we borrowed another one, and set up some black material to black-out the room, then we just took turns filming each other … I think for a band-made film clip, it turned out pretty good.”

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the band are applying that same DIY dedication to their impending shows to showcase their compositional efforts. “We want to put together a really good setlist, and put a lot of thought into the set; really deliver these songs … I'm definitely excited,” Hicks says. And, if nothing else, the whole experience has left them in a more streamlined position for future releases, which Hicks is determined to capitalise on, so you could be hearing more from them in future. “Now that we have the ability and the gear to record and mix ourselves and take it from beginning to end, I really want to keep cranking out recordings,” he says. “I like the idea of capturing songs while they're brand new and fresh and full of energy.”