The official website for the band Aloft, and their debut album Closer To Nowhere,   Billy Mrak - guitars and vocals,  Todd Brasseur - drums, guitar,  Closer To Nowhere, Aloft,  

                              About Brent and McDonald Productions



It was early autumn in Otsego, Michigan  when Aloft set up in McDonald Productions studio to record their debut album “Closer To Nowhere”. 

“I knew from my first conversation (with owner and engineer Brent McDonald) that this was the place to do this project” exclaims Billy Mrak. “As we grew closer to narrowing down our options, I kept thinking about the conversation we had about sounds and tone and vintage gear, and how I was very impressed from the experience and knowledge that Brent displayed. He was what Aloft needed.” So from a referral from the Battle Creek   band, The Sinatras, and an hour of long consultation, Aloft had a home. “Brent was a lot of fun to watch” says Todd Brasseur, “He was doing the things that I was learning to do in school and to see him trouble shoot frequencies and control the room the way he did, still excites me.” Billy adds,” During the recording process we really relied on Brent to help us overcome the challenges of performing. You see, when you only have two people playing on an album you really have to work smart, so you neglect to think when you listen to music that all these instruments are either recorded at the same time in a “live setting” and then reworked to completion or a couple parts are done at a time like, maybe, drums and guitar rhythm, until an entire tune is complete. For the most part we had to layer everything on top of each other because we only had each other to rely on. So when Todd was done with all the drum work I could look forward to a weeks worth of bass and guitar tracks. Then Todd may come back to check up on the progress and then lay down a solo or atmospheric guitar track. It was very important we had everything to a tee and Brent was a great motivator and leader for us.” Todd laughs, “Yeah, It sounds like we were totally stressed but really it was one of the greatest experiences of our life.”

So after two solid weeks and a few vocal sessions along the way, and a time that included the blackout of ‘03, a tornado, the loss of a loved one, and the worst influenza bug, Aloft emerged from the studio with a great friend, experience, and most importantly a master disc to take to the presses.

Billy reflects, “A lot of hard work went into this album, not only is it a testament and confession of feelings, it is a very personal record and I’m glad that Brent took this project on with the same enthusiasm as we had.” Todd agrees, “We could tell he was into it and I’m glad he cared enough to make sure we had the best take or made us do it until it was perfect to the ear.” Mrak “Yeah, we don’t call him The Sensei for nothing now do we!” Brent was also responsible for the string arrangement on the track “Closer To Nowhere”.





Billy continues,” You see, the band had recorded the album once before as a point of reference in our own makeshift studio. During these sessions several of the parts were written and layered on top of what we were doing at that time. I always heard strings on that song; however my synthesizer could only do so much. So as we were working with Brent we told him our problem and before we knew it I had an arrangement that was much better than what I had as background. I think Todd and I are a bit wiser now when it comes to arrangement from watching and listening to the advice Brent passed on to us.”

Thanks for the memories Brent, as we look forward to our next session.



                  More pictures of Brent   click here                                           


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