CHRIS CAFFERY Looks Back At The SAVATAGE Track “Morphine Child” – “I Had To Do All The Rhythm Guitars For This Song Three Times"
May 10, 2017, a year ago
Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery is gearing up to record a new solo record, one in which he says he will have “a lot of inspiration for” after the death of longtime collaborator and TSO mastermind Paul O’Neill. While starting the recording for his next solo record, Caffery remembered the recording of the track “Morphine Child” from the last Savatage album, 2001’s Poets And Madmen.
“As I sit and record rhythm guitars for this new record I'm working on I can't help but think of the time I recorded the guitars for this song! I wrote most of the riffs in this song, the main one in particular repeats a lot especially at the end during the counterpoint vocals. Paul was busy entertaining some European press at the time we were in the studio so Dave Whittman and I were left to get this song ready for the vocals.
“The riff had little nuances in between the chords and of course I never played the same thing over and over in a pattern. Sooo...we had a lot of fun doubling this guitar part to say the least. Now the song is very long...on Poets I was doing 4 rhythm guitar tracks. Two were with a Jackson Rhoads guitar and two were with the infamous Gargoyle guitar. This is where technology was not on our side. In this day and age of computers you could easily cut and paste all of the parts and have it electronically repeated if you wanted. Not back in the land of 2" tape!
“To make matters worse or just typical for us in the studio with Paul...he couldn't decide on the tempo for the song. Two times he decided to slow it down! Now with analog recording the drums and bass could slow down with the vari-speed and you didn't notice. Distorted guitars there was an obvious change in sound due to the change in machine speed.
“Sooo...I had to do all of the rhythm guitars for this song three times! Nowadays you can easily change tempo and it time stretches to make the change seamless in sound. Not back in the good ole days of tape machines! We worked long days back then and it took an entire 3 days to do it! ‘Morphine Child’ is three songs in length. So it was literally like doing six songs each time. Plus the clean guitars and a secret guitar that Paul always had us do for accenting. There was two tracks of that. So it was 8 tracks each time, 24 total!
“The song wound up very high on the all-time list of favorite #Savatage songs so it was indeed all worth it but it was for sure hard work back in the days of analog recording!”