All Night Wrong (album)
Allan’s first official live album features Chad and Jimmy, and was recorded on a single night in Japan. (The title is a pun…) This seems like a reasonable representation of a Holdsworth gig, with fairly high intensity. But on this version of “Above And Below”, you can hear a pin drop…
His latest album, All Night Wrong [Favored Nations], was recorded live to stereo at Tokyo, Japan’s Roppongi Pit Inn. And even though Holdsworth hates live recordings, there is no better setting to hear a modern master at work.
You’re not a big fan of live records. Why?
Well, I have a problem known as "red-light fever." If I know the gig is being recorded, I’ll just fall apart. Couple that with the fact there are hundreds of bootlegs of my gigs out there, so it’s like, why bother? Also, I kind of believe that a live show is an event that’s only meant to be experienced by the people who happened to be there at that point in time.
Did you record multiple shows?
We were going to record two nights. But, unfortunately-and much to my horror-when we returned the second night, the engineers had torn all the mics down. I don’t know if they were paranoid about them being stolen or what, but I’ve worked in studios where people have been fired for moving mics. We thought about setting them up again, but I just lost it and said, "Forget it."
Although Holdsworth is pictured in All Night Wrong with his custom headless guitar built by luthier Bill DeLap, he still relies on his signature model Carvin Fatboy. "When we travel to Japan, I often take the headless guitar because of size limitations. Now, Carvin and I are in the process of making a headless version of my signature model, because I really like the way the headless guitar hangs on me. It’s so balanced." Holdsworth strings the DeLap with a LaBella .008 set, and his Carvin with a .009 set. His pick is a 1mm Dunlop.
Bill: What about that live in Tokyo recording, All Night Wrong (2002)?
Allan: Oh yeah. It was only supposed to come out in Japan and Sony did it. And they have that new super Audio CD player with a ridiculously high sample frequency. So they did it live to two track but at the same time they had another guy in another room who was doing a 5.1 mix of the same show. And that one actually sounded good. I just think when you’ve got that much space and it’s a live gig in a club, it just seems to be more forgiving to the music. It’s almost like you were really there, as opposed to a sterile two-track, where they always sound so...like a really bad studio recording with no vibe. You wouldn’t know that it was live, really, from the sound of it. But the 5.1 thing I think is pretty awesome for live music. You really kind of feel like you’re there.