Producing Callum Gardner’s ‘Commit To The List’

How Callum and I met, got to know each other and start collaborating on new songs. I now co-produce his material and play the fretless bass in his band.

This post documents the process of producing the debut single for the brilliant London-based singer-songwriter Callum Gardner.

Commit to the List was written at a very important time for me. I’d moved to London and was eager to make some waves within touching distance of the Thames. It’s still the opening song for my live shows today and went through quite a journey from pen & paper to mix & master.

Callum Gardner

A few years ago I got in touch with Ciara Clifford, who was looking for a new bass player to play in a trio. Unfortunately, my schedule was incompatible with the required effort, but I went to her next live gig at the Nambucca.

Besides being finally able to see Joe Meek’s former studio in Holloway Road, I enjoyed meeting Ciara very much and always regretted that I couldn’t play with her.

Meet & Greet

There was another highlight that evening. The opening act was a young singer-songwriter playing vocals and acoustic guitar: Callum Gardner.

I thoroughly liked his performance and congratulated him afterwards. Ended up singing the chorus to one of his original songs for a few days! I took note of his name and followed his progress.

Sometimes things really do happen for a reason. It’s those coincidences that put you in a situation that just would never have happened otherwise. I was filling in last minute for a solo act opening at Nambucca after a friend had kindly waved my name over to an independent promoter. Two people I was introduced to during that show went on to join my musical journey, and we are still in collaboration to this day.

Callum Gardner

We got in touch and slowly started chatting. After a year or so, he asked me to be part of his new band. There was a debut single ready to produce and live gigs already planned.

Starting the Production

We met in the studio in London to record the bass track for Commit to the List.

Drums and bass came out pretty nicely in a reasonably brief time during a single session. We later recorded lead and backing vocals, along with the guitars and a viola. Had a chat with Callum about production and mixing and offered my help.

Commit to the List was my first co-production pre-business opening, and I ended up mixing and mastering the single.

From a mastering point of view, I strived to leave all the dynamics intact, making sure the perceived loudness was in line with other similar tracks I used as a reference.

Going Live

Rehearsals for the live concerts went well. I loved how quickly we all blended and how efficient the band was.

The first gig at the Century Club in London was a success. Many others followed, including our participation at the Victorious Festival in Portsmouth.

Callum Gardner and band - Live in London
Performing live with the band – Photo: Silvia Maggi

New Songs

A few months ago we started working on the production of new Callum’s original songs we’ve been playing live for a while now. We start with four singles, likely to become an EP.

We tracked the drums in Woking, while using Minutes to Midnight’s studio for all the acoustic guitars, bass and lead vocals.

Watch a short video of “Hang Loose” performed live

Performers on ‘Commit to the List’

Callum Gardner vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, production
Arlen Millwall drums
Simone Silvestroni bass, production
Paolo Clementi viola

Stream On Spotify

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