Photo by Ryu Kasai
Quarantine Diaries: PREP Drummer Guillaume Jambel Is Making Porridge & Recording A Debut Album From Home
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, London-based drummer Guillaume Jambel, who is currently recording his debut album with synth-pop four-piece PREP, shares his Quarantine Diary.
Thursday, March 26
[8 a.m.–10 a.m.] it’s a beautiful morning in London. Or so I hear because I’m still in bed and will stay there until 9:30. Then it’s time for my first espresso of the day, and then I put my running gear on and head to the park.
[10 a.m.–12 p.m.] I run for 25 pathetic minutes (I can't manage much more) then head back home with breakfast in mind. Today it’s gonna be porridge. Porridge is the Brits' breakfast of choice, definitely not mine, but over my 20 years living in London, I’ve become quite fond of it. I do add a lot of extra stuff to it to make it less depressing, like oat milk, maple syrup, chia seeds and some weird powder my wife told me to add because it’s "good for me." While this cooks I remember that I’m in charge of PREP's current IG account so I put a record on, film it as a story and boom, CONTENT!
[12 p.m.–2 p.m.] I head to the studio (it’s the name of our second bedroom) and check my emails. Will, PREP’s manager, wants us to do a diary for the GRAMMYs website, so I reply and say I’ll do it because I know it’ll get ignored otherwise. Then I reply to some other emails, and ignore a few too… I do this while listening to my Spotify Discover Weekly, which turns out to be OK this week because it features "Sweet Power Of Your Embrace" by James Mason, a true smooth banger.
[2 p.m.–4 p.m.] Time to work on some music. I recorded some drums for our upcoming album back in December, but never got a chance to comp them. So I decide to do that right now. I launch Logic and bring up the first session of the day, a new PREP track called "Hugs" (working title). Turns out this song is very easy to comp because all these drums suck, so I move on swiftly to another one. But then it’s the same! And sadly I remember, the day of recording: I really wasn’t feeling it and I can HEAR it, the pocket was of the shallow kind… Verdict is these drums really aren’t good enough and I’ll have to to re-record them. But when?
[4 p.m.–6 p.m.] Comping is out, so I close Logic and I launch Ableton Live instead. I love Ableton, it’s so much better for putting ideas down. Here I open up a few projects, recent demos mainly. There’s one that I think is pretty solid so I work on it for a while. Eventually I bounce it down and decide to call it "Sahara Spaghetti." That title comes from something mad I just read in The Economist. "Traffickers send people and drugs north across the sands. But they have one problem: what to put in the empty trucks going back? The answer-pasta."
[6 p.m.–8 p.m.] I can hear my wife practising guitar downstairs, so I decide to do this GRAMMY diary at the same time. She asks me if it sounds good. I wonder if I should be honest with her or lie? Anyway, now it’s almost 7 p.m. and I’m starving, plus there’s a new episode of "Better Call Saul" that we must watch so I stop writing and head to the kitchen to see which apocalyptic tin we should go for tonight. And it’s me done for the day.
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, learn more about the Recording Academy's and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit the MusiCares website.