Recording and mixing took 8 days, with a total of 75 hours of work.
“Anywhere but Home” suite gestation time: 12 months.
“Freedom Supermarket” was composed by Sebastiano Benatti after an odd sentimental experience in summer 2009.
Tommaso Mangione wrote an orchestral version of “Freedom Supermarket” based on the “electronic version” of the song appeared on the website of the band in august 2010.
Tommaso Selleri left the band a few days before recording started due to personal divergence; even if the musical parts were already been recorded, more than 50% of the keyboard material (including nearly all of the strings and some synths) in the “Anywhere but Home” suite were re-recorded for the final mixing using MIDI and synthetizer software.
The keyboard sounds on “Freedom Supermarket” are exactly the same of the “electronic version” appeared on the net on august 2010, except for the synth solo.
Although Dropshard played “Freedom Supermarket” and “Images of Mind” in their shows for over one year before the recording of the album, the “Anywhere but Home” suite was introduced to the public the 4th of september 2010, two months before the recording sessions. For technical reasons, the suite was cutted from “A New Beginning” untill the end, replacing that parts with an alternate ending. Unfortunately, there are no recordings of this event.
All the additional percussion works were engineered and recorded in 15 minutes.
All the lyrics in the album booklet were adjusted in real time by Enrico Scanu and Tommaso Mangione during mixing. This process also helped finding a few mistakes in the recordings that have been instantly re-recorded.
30% of the recording time for the drums was used for Freedom Supermarket, which occupy only 15% of the entire album.
The sound effect at the beginning of “A New Beginning” was played by Alex Stucchi with his bass effect called “Whale”. This effect was used during the first shows of the band for an instrumental song called “Also Whales Grieve”.
Sound engineer Guido Fioravanti was ill for the first 6 days of recording.
Both the bass effect sound and the drums at the beginning of “A New Beginning” until the lead comes in and the flute at the end of “A Cold Morning” were improvised during recording.
The main picture on the cover artwork (a painting by Pietro Trivelli) was hung on a wall in the Dropshard ReHouse – the Dropshard private rehearsing room. After several discussion of what they were going to represent on the cover artwork, Dropshard looked at the picture behind them and felt that this was the perfect match between words, music and vision of what they’re going to record; they immediately decided to use that painting on the final artwork.
The original artwork design by Tommaso Mangione was entirely supposed to be about lighthouses, because one of the working title was in fact “The Lighthouse”: lots of clouds and sea, and of course lighthouses in almost every page of the booklet. When the title was setted as “Anywhere but Home” the idea felt down, and the only lighthouses appearing on the final artwork were the flying one on pages 4 & 5 – a Tommaso Selleri idea – and the sketch in the credits page.
Working titles for the album: “The Lighthouse”, “A Self-Odyssey”, “Being Complete”. The band also changed titles of the songs almost at the end of production; other titles for “Anywhere but Home”: “House of the Crows”, “War of Mirrors”, “In Sun and Dust”; for “Changing Colours”: “The Journey”, “Far Away from All”, “Carried by the Sea” (with this title the sound effect in the middle of the song was supposed to be a ship sailing instead of a train passing by), “The Round Crossroad”.
“Images of Mind” was the first track composed for the “Anywhere but Home” suite, and the only to be played during Dropshard shows before recordings.
Almost all of the Dropshard compositions have a “working number” that identify the number of the theme composed by Sebastiano Benatti and used for the song. For instance, “Images of Mind” was n° 227; “Freedom Supermarket”: 285; “Changing Colours” and “A New Beginning”: 281 & 282. “Portrait” was n° 190, “Awake” n° 199.
The bass line from “A New Beginning”, minute 1:34, is a reference to a song from italian progressive rock band Banco del Mutuo Soccorso: “La Conquista della Posizione Eretta” from “Darwin” (1972).
All the “Anywhere but Home” and “Dropshard” writings on the album artwork were hand-written by Rosangela Campagnoli, one of the first fan of the band, who wrote 8 pages full of writings. In the artwork, the name “Dropshard” appears always in different styles.
Early images of the album cover shows the name of the band and the title of the work at the bottom right of the front page; during production, Dropshard decided to move the writings from the front cover to the tray side, because they felt that a writing here would damage the impact of the painting.