Milk N’ Honey is a culmination of four well-versed musicians that hail from different corners of North Carolina. With a compelling sound of melodic instrumentation and picturesque lyrics, MNH takes their combined influences to carve a new path in the rock n’ roll genre. Claiborne Williams, Lead Vocalist & Rhythm Guitar, talks about the inspiration behind their track “Riverbed” from their album, Floor of Diamonds.
Describe the composition “Riverbed”. What inspired you to write this song?
Riverbed is a song that came quickly. I had an idea for the verses to make the lyrics glide their way between a grooveable guitar part. I also knew that I wanted a slow chorus with harmony that juxtaposed the steady rhythm of the verses. Essentially, I wanted to capture how someone would breathe, then reflect that dynamically into music. The song is about being stuck in a place, accepting it, and moving on from there. Lyrically, in the first verse I combined a few lines to make it seem like a spiral out of control, hopeless, but still with motive. The second verse is all about the recognition of that place and all of the frustrations that come along with it and eventually leaving that place behind. The bridge is the breakdown of all of that emotion flowing into a chord progression that feels like you’re underwater grasping for something or someone to hold on to. The chorus came simply from the symbolism of a river but I meant for it have different effects as the song progressed. With all of the context, it changes meaning as it moves. When we started work on it, I remember that everyone knew what they were going to play. It was like we had played it before but it came naturally with little changes before taking it to the studio.
Describe the recording process of “Riverbed”.
(Not gear talk)
The recording process was fairly straight forward. We began by tracking acoustic guitar and scratch vocals, then drums, bass, and the rest of the guitars and vocals. Normally things would have been done a little more precisely but with everyone living several hours away from each other and only having a few weeks to record the EP it was probably recorded in about 4 days. It was a really fun process and made us even tighter as a band.
(for all the gear heads)
We recorded the alum using Pro Tools 10 and a Universal Audio Apollo Quad. The preamps in the Apollo sound great, but for vocals we used a Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4M and a Telefunken CU-29. Most of the drums for the EP were recorded with a simple mic set up for the sake of time. We had a d112 on the kick, 57 on the snare, and Studio Project C1’s for the overheads in a recorder man arrangement. For Tuesday morning it was the same thing but only one overhead (CU-29) to get a 60s style drum sound. The exception is Riverbed, we had everything mic’ed for that song, toms, rooms, two kicks, the works. I wanted a really produced sound for that song.
As far as instruments go we used Clai’s Ibanez acoustic guitar, Ryan’s Fender P-bass going direct in, several strats going through a custom Megatone amp for Brian, and Chabon’s vintage Ludwig Classic Maple drum set with Zildjian cymbals.