From The Desk Of Ryan Monroe: Boss BR-1180

Ryan Monroe hadn’t considered himself a control freak by nature. Then he found himself at Redstar Recording in Silver Lake, Calif., with its myriad instruments scattered around, just begging to be fiddled with. For a guy who can play just about anything, it was impossible to resist. So Monroe took a breather from his continuing role as the 34-year-old bastion of versatility in Band Of Horses to record A Painting Of A Painting On Fire (RCM). Monroe hopes to tour this summer behind A Painting before things get too busy with Band Of Horses, which is finishing its fourth album with producer Glyn Johns and eyeing a September release. Monroe will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.

Monroe: About a decade ago, my brother Glennon and I were living together. One morning he nonchalantly asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I jokingly answered, “Oh, just a digital eight-track recorder. That’s it.” He said, just as sarcastically, “Yeah, OK, sure.” Our birthdays are seven days apart, and I just figured we’d get each other “get well soon, grandma” cards or the cheapest DVDs we can find like we usually do. (I wonder if he still has Boiling Point with Wesley Snipes.) Nothing else was mentioned about my ridiculous request until he came home from work and plopped it in my lap and said, “Happy birthday, Reh.” I couldn’t believe it. I was never bored with that thing around. I think it’s kind of jealous of GarageBand now, but I still dust it off every now and then, and it immediately brings back memories of spending days on end tweaking with it and writing crazy songs. It’s super simple to use, even for a caveman like myself. It has every Boss effect you can think of, a CD burner and a lot of other things that I never really needed. It’s my favorite piece of gear I have ever owned. I’ve even taken it to solo gigs just for the effects. I wrote some of the songs off my album on this little dude. I dug up the demo to one of them, which is actually the first song I recorded on the Boss BR-1180 10 years ago the same night Glennon gave me the best birthday gift ever. They’re pretty cheap now; you should get one.

“Doak 8trk” (download):

Video after the jump.

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