Whats Conkin?- A monthly feature bought to you by Conquistadors [What’s Conkin #3]

April 16, 2012

The vibrant melodic, math pop-rock Birmingham based 4 piece Conquistadors or Conks for short are good friends and a familiar name to the site. Each month throughout the year, the four men have their own monthly feature here at Circuit Sweet. As we hand the site over to Conks for their What’s Conkin? feature we can assure you that the band will keep you entertained, shocked and in hysterics at their stories. As Conks have settled into taking over the site we leave you in the good hands of the men and their third instalment…

What’s Conkin’? #3: Just for the Record
By Adam Jaremko

So you’ve formed a band, written your hit songs and had full sex with a woman. What next? Well, remember those hit songs you’ve written? To save the time and effort of playing them to conk hungry fans again and again, you can capture that magic on what music fans are calling a CD. 


 Once you’ve done this you can sit back and watch the moula (money) roll (come) in (in).

This issue of ‘What’s Conkin?’ will hopefully give you an insight into our experiences whilst recording. Getting locked in a studio for 14 Hours, using underwear to enhance a drum kit and waking up next a horse’s head. Enjoy!

Studio – Sam Manville’s Bedroom (Birmingham)
Circa – 2005/6
 Engineers – Sam Manville
 Record – Ave Maria (song)

This was the first time we’d ever recorded and consequently the first time we could sit back and hear ourselves together for the first time. The second day we arrived we were welcomed by Sam’s mum who explained he wasn’t home so, equipped with sandwiches (thanks, Mrs. Manville), we went on to record ourselves for the first 4 hours of the day, Sam stumbling in at a later point. Although not our best recording, we found that getting the song down put us in good stead for future recording sessions.

Studio – De Montfort University (Leicester)
Circa – 2007/8
Engineers – Simon Irving and Jonny McElroy
Record – Out of Experience (E.P)

We recorded live and overdubbed sections throughout this E.P. Our anticipation beforehand helped when we finally arrived in the studio because this was the first time we would hear ourselves ‘properly’ recorded, like Sting or some other singer like Sting.
 Our focus was to work hard, and after one weekend and over 30 hours of working hard we’d made our first E.P. Getting locked in the studio grounds each day (so we could record through the night) was odd but probably helped us psychologically, except for when we ordered some fast food. The Pizza box slid through the gates like a dream but the chicken dippers and Fanta were a nightmare.
 Aside from encountering our first recording studio as a band, we also came away with our first E.P of which we are still proud today. More importantly, we also came away with this photo of Andrew Palmer (drums, snorts.)

Studio – Convolution Rooms and Secret Lab Studios (Hinckley)
Circa – 2008/9
Engineer – Johnny Fowkes
Record – Bake Your Cake and Eat It (song)

Balls out and raring to go we arrived at Kasabian’s practise studios. Did we meet them? No. Did we hear them? Not really. How do we know they were there? Someone told us and that’s all we need for reassurance. We spent two days recording probably our favourite song we’ve written, ‘Bake Your Cake and Eat It’. Again we recorded live but this time we had minimal overdubs. I remember my fingers crying and my sanity prodded but we emerged with something energetic and true to the recording process. Having played the song at least 25 times we felt more comfortable with each other and recording the gang vocals at the end of ‘BYCAEI’ was the cathartic ending we needed to punctuate such a solitary process.
 As with every recording experience, we’ve always remembered to have a laugh. Near to the recording studio in Hinckley was a antique shop called ‘The Glory Hole’ and as funny as it was at the time, it definitely had more of an impact when talked about live on Radio by our Drummer. He also said the F word (Fuck) and snorted twice.

Studio – Gem Building, Shapes’ Lock Up (Birmingham) and Buckley’s Bedroom (Coventry)
Circa – 2008/9
Engineer – Richard Buckley
Record – Plans (E.P – Unreleased)

After each time we’ve recorded we’ve tended to take a break from gigging and write as many new songs as we can. After recording ‘BYCAEI’ (which would later end up on the Rochelle, Rochelle E.P) we took some time out and came up with the idea of doing a 6 track E.P called ‘Plans’ which would give us our first chance to create a concept E.P.
 Palmer makes another appearance again in this article, this time for pulling a muscle in his chest. Let’s just say it happened during a really intense impression of a dog barking, because that’s exactly what happened.
 Sleeping on floors and grabbing whatever time we could to record resulted in, sadly, an unfinished E.P called ‘Plans’. We had fun and thank Buckley for taking time to put up with us. We did come away with the song ‘Jozef’ from ‘Rochelle, Rochelle E.P’, every cloud……is a cloud.

Some say making this video during recording was why we didn’t finish –

Still coming soon.

Studio – Secret Lab Studios (Hinckley) & Mad Hat Studios (Wolverhampton)
Circa – 2010/11
Engineer – Johnny Fowkes
Record – On Tape (E.P)

‘On Tape’ was our most recent E.P and definitely the most collaborative. From the music to the artwork we called on our friends to get this project finished. Recording the guitars first at Johnny’s Flat was quite an experience. A heavy night the day before resulted in myself waking up next to a heater and hobby horse. These two things will never enhance a hangover.
 Moving on to Mad Hat studios, we recorded the drums. We were kindly lent some cymbals by Wiz (&U&I) and after Palmer returned with them he slowly realised he’d picked up another band’s equipment. I say slowly realised; he knew as soon as we had an irate call from the drummer from said band saying something along the lines of, “We really need them to play a gig.”
 So with (accidentally stolen) drums all set up we realised we needed a snare stand. If you’re a drummer, this is a necessity; I think John Bonham once said “A snare stand is a necessity”. Or something like that.
 Two hours, seven irate dogs, and a dressing gown clad lady later, we had our snare stand and we were ready to rock. Then we realised we needed a clamp for the floor tom. If you’re a drummer this is essential. If you don’t have one, to quote John Bonham, “You can always use a shoe and a sock to hold the drum up instead”. And he definitely said that. And that’s definitely what Andy somehow did.

We’ve been a band for just under seven years and during that time we have had one main objective and that is to get together and see what we can create. Like Sting. Recording has been a huge part of that objective because no matter how much you prepare you’ll always add more, and we like that.
Conquistadors are currently writing songs for an album they hope to record later in the year. You can check out some of the songs and E.P’s mentioned above at 

The EP is also available via I-Tunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/on-tape/id436891439
We can’t wait for the followup instalment Until then get closer to the four by checking their links below.
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