The Signs EP was recorded over a couple of years from late 2011 and finally reached completion in late 2013. A whole 2 years to record a five track EP, yet the band thinks it was worth it. The EP would not sound the way it does if it was all recorded in a week. The sounds that were created came from lots of experimenting with ideas and a lot of accidents.
This was a completly self sufficient EP with all recording and producing done by the band themselves at Novasound Studios, which was a big reason for the lengthy process.
The title is a testiment that this is just a sign of things to come.
01 SECRET SURVIVOR
This was the first song Insygnia ever put together in that first rehearsal. It was from there they knew things were going to work.
The song was originally a very different song called The End. But once the band got a hold of it, it took a turn for the better and the final result was Secret Survivor. This song was also in the first batch of recordings the band ever did when their sound was still being developed and so is not quite as refined as some of their later material.
Matt's main guitar riff came from a 4watt vox amp cranked with no distortion. The distortion on his guitar came from the amp being pushed so hard.
02 IN SILENCE
Another very early song that helped shape the Insygnia sound. It also started out quite different but when Matt came up with the main guitar riff for the song, it completely re-shaped it.
While recording, Paul's vocals weren't quite sitting right in the verses. They just didn't seem to fit. So while searching for answers, the idea of placing the distorted effect on his voice was experimented with and instantly had the vocals sitting better in the mix.
Adrian's bass riff is one of the most recognizable features of the song.
03 NOT TODAY
This song is from the later batch of recordings along with Nothing Like You. Stuart had joined the band and was involved in these songs from the begining. This song never had a traditional structure of verses and chorus but rather two alternating sections that build up each time before falling away at the end for the final quiet section.
Often seen as quite a dark song, it was actually written as the opposite; rather a positive song about wanting to be a better person but always putting it off, not today, before the final section where Paul is expressing how he's putting it off no longer.
Stuart's solo throughout is fairly epic and is what glues the song together. Paul's vocals recorded quickly on this song compared to the earlier songs and a definte sign of him starting to find is own sound with origianl songs. He nailed the feel to the build ups perfectly and sang with pure emotion.
04 NOTHING LIKE YOU
Another old song that was shelved. Paul always loved the heavy riff so he insisted it be worked on and re-born. After being re-written it turned into Nothing Like You.
Adrian's dirty bass intro was once described as 'the sound of the gates to hell opening up'. True. Daniel's drums sound massive in this song and they needed to be. Paul originally recorded the bridge vocals fairly reserved because it was the best take we could get at the time. After a rehearsal one night he asked if he could have another crack. Being frustrated, he absoutely screamed out that bridge in one take and that combined with the original take really gave it that aggresive sound it needed. Another example why these songs wouldn't be the way they are had it been rushed.
This is one of Insygnia's heaviest songs and the band favourite to play live, hence why it's generally last on the set list.
An absolute epic song that was full of experimental mistakes. Orignally being deemed as too slow, the song was rocked up during rehearsals having an almost Foo Fighters feel to it. This really didn't suit the song though and so the day before recording it was changed back into the origianl slow version.
The next day, Daniel rocked up to record drums for it, having no idea what had been done to the song the night before. He absolutely nailed his takes wtih a big 80's rock sound and yet he had no idea what the vision of the song was. He killed it.
Nathan's acoustic guitar was all emotion summed into a single guitar track.
All of Matt's guitars were completely experimental sounds being created. Even down to the big solo at the end being one take that was at the end of a long night recording and only done just to see how it would sound. What came out was something special and it was exactly what the song needed.
The song needed even more epicness at the end and Nathan had this idea of an orchestra playing at the end; only problem was we didn't have and could not afford an orchestra. Nathan had worked with a violin player, Matisse, on previous recordings and so he was called in for violin. To simulate an orchestra he did 14 takes all up with each section adding a slightly different melody and building on the previous section. By the end of the song this created a wall of violins that really does give the impression of a full orchestra playing.
Another song Paul just nailed the feel of the vocals for and came together quickly.
All up this song had so many good mistakes happen and probably one of the best recorded songs because of that. What ended up happening just could not be repeated. Seems a fitting way to end the EP.