I don’t know if many of you are familiar with Texas shredder Doug Stapp, but once you hear his remake of Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein,” you’ll become an instant fan. Together with Shrapnel recording artist Scott Stein, they created a guitar-centric arrangement of Edgar’s ‘70s rock classic. Michael Molenda, editor of Guitar Player magazine says, “Headbangers can get off on Doug’s killer version,” and 20th Century Guitar magazine calls it “spot-on.” Not bad for an up-and-coming guitarist. One of the great things about this explosive, in-yourface rendition is that it was all done live. Before recording, Doug had never played with Scott or the drummer, but when the guys got together in the studio, they were able to bang out the track in just three takes. What’s great about this version is that you can really feel the energy of the live performances and hear how well Scott and Doug harmonize together. I caught up with Doug to chat about the recording of the song.
What was your setup – guitars,
amps, etc. – for the recording of
I used a Carvin Legacy amp and an Ibanez
How did you record the guitar?
Well, 95% of the track was recorded live.
I think there were only a couple of rhythm
overdubs and a couple of minor miscue
fixes on guitar. Scott’s cab was in an iso
booth with one SM57 off-axis and a ribbon
mic. My cab was in a hallway of the studio
with one SM57 off-axis and a ribbon mic.
I can’t remember where the ribbons were
set – it was a pretty “live” mic job though
and the amps were super loud.
What format did you use to record the
song – analog or digital?
We recorded and mixed the whole session
in about six hours, completely in Pro-Tools.
The studio we used was loaded down in
current Pro-Tools gear and the engineer
was amazing. He really knew what we
were looking for.
Give us a little background on the song
and how you envisioned the guitar
The background actually goes back many
years. Scott was a big influence on me
when I was a teenager – I first met him
when my band opened for Haji’s Kitchen
and he was their guitarist. They did an
amazing version of “Frankenstein” on seven
strings that night and it just blew me away.
That version was originally a version that
was written by Scott and Derek Taylor
when they had the band Tommy Lamey. If
I’m not mistaken, in the early ‘90s Derek
first had the idea to do a crazy version of
the song for a show they were opening.
Fast-forwarding quite a few years later, I
emailed Scott to see if we could do that
version for my new record and thank God
he agreed. We decided to keep the song
a bit more like the original, but add our
own flavor on top. Putting sax, guitar and
keyboard parts between two guitar players
in harmony was a blast, and I have to
thank Scott, Derek, and the Haji’s guys for
putting the idea in my head to re-do this
amazing song, and of course thank Scott
for arranging the whole thing. The take you
hear is the third take, 95% live in the studio.
We were looking for a big, raw feel and
we got exactly what we were looking for
– thanks to great engineers.
The creation of “Frankenstein” in the
recording laboratory would garner even
Mary Shelley’s approval. Check out Doug’s
work on Guitar Masters, Vol. 1, available at
record stores and online. You can also listen
to Doug’s new CD, The Earth Says Hello,
online at dougstapp.com. Keep rockin’!
Emmy Award Winning Guitarist Brian Tarquin scored a Top 20 hit in the
90’s with “The Best of Acid Jazz, vol. 2” on Instinct Records and enjoyed
several top 10 hits on the R&R charts. Founder of the rock/electronica
band, Asphalt Jungle and has scored TV music for such shows as, CSI,
Smallville, MTV, Alias, 24, All My Children and many others.
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