Patrick Fleming of the Poison Control Center recently produced Max Sollisch’s upcoming “Dolfish” album. Fleming and Sollisch are both a part of Afternoon Records, and the record was made in Des Moines with strong ties to the Ames community.
Sollisch recorded the album in the basement of Maximum Ames artists Chris Ford and Derek Lambert, both of whom play on the album as well as Fleming, Dylan Boyle and Dustin Harmeson.
“Dolfish,” Sollisch’s solo project, gained attention of music reporters and bloggers with his debut “EP Your Love Is Bumming Me Out” before signing with Afternoon Records. He met Fleming while joining the Poison Control Center for the final two weeks of their Neverending Tour.
The two spoke in January when Sollisch mentioned he wanted to record his album in analog to Fleming, who offered to record it for Sollisch in Des Moines.
Sollisch then spent a week in Des Moines where he recorded the album. Fleming set up a track tape recorder for him that the Poison Control Center bought a few years ago.
“To have one and want to record on it is a very true way of recording,” Fleming said. “There’s no way of saving anything. If the tape runs out or you mess up, you have to get another tape.”
Boyle said that recording the album in analog captures the intimacy of the album have been recorded in a small space. Fleming added that it creates a timeless feel to record in analog.
Fleming mentioned the names of Boyle, Ford, Harmeson and Lambert after discussing the sound Sollisch aimed for on the album. Lambert provided drum tracking along with Ford, who also added organ, Harmeson played upright bass and Boyle added to the guitar tracking.
The group used the living room as playing space, where the instruments were set up and Sollisch showed his songs to the group before recording, according to Ford. The parts were composed at the site without sheet music, and many of the songs recorded 15 minutes after they were presented the first time.
“I showed up right after work, and Patrick had the apartment all decked out in recording equipment with all of them sweating in there,” Harmeson said. “I asked [Sollisch] if he had music, and he said, ‘I’m going to play a song for you,’ and it was a very high pressure situation.”
Boyle shared a similar experience to Harmeson in recording his tracks immediately after work.
“Max is an incredible artist, and I find myself an all-right guitarist,” Boyle said. “To be asked to come over and record a solo on Max’s album is an honor.”
Sollisch said that he was impressed at how well the album came together, and that it was great to work the group despite the demanding learning curve.
“To be able to do all this has been a real honor,” Fleming said of recording “Dolfish.” “To have someone put that trust in you is great.”
Both Fleming and Sollisch said they have high hopes for the album when it releases this fall now that the “Dolfish” project will receive some assistance from Afternoon Records. Sollisch also stated that he plans on touring through Ames and Des Moines this fall and looks to play with the artists he recorded with.
“If the opportunity comes around and Patrick’s willing, I’d love to come back and record another album in Iowa,” Sollisch said.