Before we started writing ‘The Nerve’ the four of agreed that we wanted to make an album that felt ‘live’. We love performing and wanted to convey that on the record. Despite the frigid cold of December in the Windy City, it was a fun session. All four of us were playing in the same room while the songs were tracking on tape, and so it felt like we were playing a show without an audience. Some of the songwriting had an improvisational, spontaneous quality. The piano intro to ‘Architect’ was written around midnight just as we were about to leave for the day. We were done tracking vocals for the night and figured we’d try a few ideas for that beginning. Casey messed around on the Steinway grand piano and with some low-end organ, which made a nice sonic combination. The live nature of the recording process had some drawbacks; for instance, during the final section of ‘Health’, Pete had to stop playing in order to control his laughter, as Casey was so entranced he was nearly banging his keys with his forehead. ‘The Nerve’ was an album written to be performed; we love to play these songs live.
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