The game plan

From basements and bedrooms to make-shift recording studios across the Rock (and North America for that matter) people are tuning up for this year’s RPM Challenge. 28 days, 10 songs or 35 minutes: it’s doable, and pure gonzo originality often makes for some compelling listening material. 

Here’s what some participants said about their plans and intentions for the 28-day undertaking.

Edited by Ross Mair

How would you describe what you’re working on for the RPM Challenge this year?
Can’t say for sure. songwriting is such an organic process. plus, attempting to write an album in 28 days will be sure to bring lots of surprises in itself. – Patrick Molloy

Um… ah… brilliance? or all out clusterF#$%? guess I will see at the end of the month. – Tim Barnes

It’s my first full-length album. (: … I’m really going to try to find “my sound” in this, because I ususally just write songs or riffs and leave them at that. – St. Jones Within

We honestly have no idea what our music will sound like this time around, it usually springs from improvisation but i’m certain that it will cause a few headaches. – Counter Destroyer

We haven’t actually given it much thought yet. We’re just going to a wait until February 1st and start with a blank slate, fresh and clean. – am/fm dreams

What’s one unusual instrument or technique you will be trying out?

Hmm, I don’t think any of the instruments are unusual, per se. I haven’t been playing piano all that long, so I guess the unusual technique will be guessing which notes to play… – Carpet

Whatever I can think up. Most of this will be pretty well off the beaten path. I’m on the lookout for noisy old gadgets and childrens toys! – patch

Instrument: I may try to play my wife’s bassoon. Technique: playing in tune, on time, with the melody. – warrpd

We plan on using as many instruments as we can get our hands on. There aren’t any particularly unusual ones we plan to use, besides maybe some banjo, mandolin and tin whistle. Who knows though, I guess we’ll have to see what we can come up with! – The Grand Design

The most unusual instrument I’ll be trying to incorporate is my 12 year old son on guitars. My sound is folky and his is ‘Guns ‘n Zepplins’ sort of. Should be interesting. We’re hoping to do more original songs and maybe (most likely!) some raw experimentation. – Alive Underground

Mascot or source of inspiration?

Satan! …Not really. Mainly inspiration is just you know, the typical teenage-stuff – being a pissed off angsty teen in rural Newfoundland gives me nothing better to do but write songs! :) – 28

Hmm… I’ve got a G.I. Joe Air Adventurer with fuzzy hair and beard…he looks kinda retro. I’m going to say that black and white movies will be a good source of inspiration for me, too. Los Beatniko

No real clear inspiration…life always has a way of seeping in there…but I am not aiming at any one thing. I think the winter has always inspired me to write…sad songs because of the winter blahs..happier ones because I am dreaming of the thaw. – Jerry Stamp

You wouldn’t believe how much this changes. First it was a drug addiction, next it was a rocky relationship (which I’m still considering. The only reason I don’t want to is because it’s way too generic.), and right now I think I have it centered on zombies… :D Very subject to change though. – St. Jones Within

Summer nights, days of innocence, all that touchy feely stuff. – Drugstore Cowboys

How much time a week do you plan to work on it?

If we can decrease our dependency on sleep? If we neglect other obligations like work and school? In all seriousness, it’s hard to say. But it’ll come close to being a full-time job, so 30-50 hours per week? Really, I’m just pulling numbers out of thin air here. – Basement Dwell

I plan on working on it every waking minute that I am not working, sleeping, eating or playing a show. – Jerry Stamp

We’ll probably dedicate three solid weekends to recording. Last year we didn’t start recording until Feb 10th and we were done by the 24th, hopefully we’ll get more time to spend on it this year.  – am/fm dreams

Usually I don’t allot time to music. I find I’m inspired in the moment, and work a song out to completion right away. Inception, lyrics, recording sometimes simultaneously, sometime in progression. Usually doesn’t take more than an hour in total. – The Cause

Time? Whatever fleeting patches come along…maybe even HOURS!!! – Alive Underground

Where will you be recording?

In my little man cave, where Geddy, Alex, Neil and Trey Gunn will keep an eye on me. – warrpd

I will be recording in my little studio room on an mbox 2 interface running pro tools le software. I will be using one shitty apex condensor mic., limited gear and knowledge of how to use it, but thats not the point of this anyway right? – Patrick Molloy

I’ll be holed up in my studio room at my place downtown. I’ve got decent monitors, and headphones to keep bloodthirsty neighbours at bay. – Los Beatniko

At the ol’ homestead, nothing like lo-fi recording to make your music shine. That and I have no choice in the matter. ;) – Tim Barnes

Right here in our living room, so we can piss off the folks who live upstairs, in true Counter Destroyer fashion. – Counter Destroyer

In my bedroom sitting on the edge of my bed. Just to be different I may stand occasionally. – The Cause