Band photo portrait by Michelle LoBianco (left to right Robbie Woll [lead guitar], Dan Avedis Masotti [guitarvocalskeys], Desmond Smith [BassBaritone guitar], Harrison Kravis [drums])-min
Photo by Michelle LoBianco
New Music

Behind The Scenes of SUPERSWELL’s “Wax Poetic”

4 mins read

Last year, we introduced SUPERSWELL in our deep dive, “9 Under the Radar Brooklyn Alt Rock Indie Acts Worth a Check” as a burgeoning force within Brooklyn’s eclectic music landscape. Their blend of indie rock, grunge, and punk, coupled with an unwavering quest for authenticity, quickly earmarked them as a band with a distinct sonic signature and ethos. Fast forward to the present, SUPERSWELL has embarked on a new chapter, pushing their creative boundaries further with the release of “Wax Poetic,” the lead single off their forthcoming debut EP.

“Wax Poetic” sees the band veering into uncharted territory, merging the angst and energy of metal with their foundational sound, creating a track that resonates with the urgency and despair of contemporary climate anxieties.

The song pairs distorted drums and detuned guitars with raw, screamed vocal lines, encapsulating a sense of impending doom. Yet, rather than preaching or offering optimism, it reflects a resigned awareness of our collective inertia, with frontman Dan Avedis Masotti intoning the bleak acceptance of our shared fate: “If it’s burning down, we’re burning with it too.”

Photo by Michelle LoBianco (left to right Robbie Woll [lead guitar], Harrison Kravis [drums], Brian DiMeglio [producer, mixer], Desmond Smith [BassBaritone guitar], Dan Avedis Masotti [guitarvocalskeys])
Photo by Michelle LoBianco (left to right Robbie Woll [lead guitar], Harrison Kravis [drums], Brian DiMeglio [producer, mixer], Desmond Smith [Bass, Baritone guitar], Dan Avedis Masotti [guitar, vocals, keys])
This sonic evolution is underscored by the band’s collaboration with Brian DiMeglio, a seasoned producer known for his work with other Brooklyn acts such as Stay Inside and Superbloom. DiMeglio’s approach to the production of “Wax Poetic” was meticulous, aiming to strike a balance between the track’s inherent dynamism and a more nuanced, textured sound.

Dropping alongside “Wax Poetic,” SUPERSWELL rolled out a slick behind-the-scenes video, giving us a backstage pass to their process.

DiMeglio shared his insights into the production process, emphasizing the dual nature of the track: “This whole track dances between delicate softness and chaos so a lot of the production choices were in an effort to highlight that.”

One notable technique was the use of a second parallel microphone on the vocals to achieve a whisper layer, reminiscent of the Deftones, which added depth without overwhelming the mix.

Biggest thing on this one was using a 2nd parallel mic on the vocals (Telefunken m80) to get a super up front whisper vocal layer (Deftones style). It was a little too dynamic at first – so I blasted it through 2 1073-style preamps in series to really blow it out, give it some sizzle and keep things even. It’s almost more a texture you feel than something you hear super loud.” – says Brian.


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The drums received particular attention, blending electronic samples with live drumming to achieve a powerful, radio-ready sound inspired by “Hybrid Theory.”

To achieve this, DiMeglio combined various samples and ran them through specific equipment to enhance their impact, while also incorporating innovative effects to maintain momentum and add depth.

We wanted a larger than life sound here so blended a lot of things together, I’m really into mixing electronic drum samples into the live drums. Was listening to ‘Hybrid Theory’ a lot while working on this track and I’m in love with the rock/hip hop hybrid drum sounds they’ve got going, so that definitely inspired me. I really wanted that radio rock punch. I think for each kick and snare there’s 4-5 sounds blended together (SP 404 and LinnDrum sounds are some of my favorites I scooped from Samples From Mars, as well as the Steven Slate drums).” – explains Brian.


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After blending the sounds together, I ran a few things through the Fulltone OCD which hugely shaped the identity of the drums on this track. The kick and snare went through together which glued them in and really got some thwack I hadn’t hit before. The distortion really helps them cut through the mix without being too loud – which leaves a lot of room for the vocals to sit in the middle. After that I took the room mic and blew it out too, blending that in gave a unique sense of depth especially on some of the big cymbal hits.”

A couple spots where cymbal hits went through the Soundtoys Tremolator (sometimes I use the Fulltone Supa-trem too) and that was Harrison’s idea. I’ve done a similar trem FX before as transitions (ending of Stay Inside – Steeplechase) and I think it fits really well here to spice things up in the 2nd verse to keep it moving.”

The guitars, too, were a focal point, with the addition of a baritone guitar enriching the track’s sonic landscape. This, along with strategic placements of softer elements like piano and acoustic guitar, added layers of complexity and contrast, enriching the overall texture of the song.

Baritone guitar was also huge on this one. The entire track is doubled with a lower transposed version of the rhythm guitar parts that just added some slank and chug otherwise unachievable. Big shout Gretsch for making that killer Baritone.” – says Briand.

Lastly in the continued effort to balance softness and chaos, we placed a few softer things throughout the track – a single note piano line mirrors the verse guitar hook, and a picked acoustic guitar carries through the bridge to a different dimension. I was happy with how it sounded before we added these, but there was just an extra sparkle that wasn’t there before once I heard it all together.”


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As SUPERSWELL gets ready to drop their debut EP, “Wax Poetic” shows us how much they’ve grown and their eagerness to try out new sounds.

This move into a heavier style highlights their range and cements their role in Brooklyn’s diverse music scene. Engineered by Brian DiMeglio and mastered by the Grammy-nominated Will Yip, this track gives us a sneak peek at the band’s shift towards a darker, more introspective vibe, setting the stage for an EP that’s expected to dig deep into a mix of genres and feelings.

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