Well, once again it has been too long time since I last posted an article, and I could give you all manner of reasons and justifications, but I won’t.
Safe to say, I have been busy, not only with the new book (‘Carnival of Shadows’, release date 22 May), but I have also been working on a project with the band.
As some of you may know, I was in a band called The Whiskey Poets. We made an EP which was very well-received, and then for one reason and another the old saw, ‘Life gets in the way of you doing the things you want to do’ came into play. Basically, we continued to write and do our own thing, but as a band we rehearsed very little.
Then, when we reconvened and started work on new material, we found that the material we had not only written individually, but the material we were creating together was quite different – bolder, more ‘rock’, less country-influenced blues. And we had new gear, primarily Orange amplifiers, and they created a sound most easily and readily associated with the British classic rock explosion of the late 60s and early 70s. In a way, it was as if time apart had given each of us an opportunity to really evaluate what we wanted to achieve with the band.
The new material sounded great, and we set ourselves on a path to writing enough material for an album, and once we had done that, we figured we’d best make the album!
We were fortunate enough to secure the services of Martin Smith (bassist of ELO, now running his own studio down south) as producer and recording engineer. A flash of genius prompted a phone call and on the other end of that call was Hossam Ramzy (Platinum-selling percussionist most noted for his work with Page and Plant, Peter Gabriel, Shakira and many others), and he agreed to come ove rand work his percussion magic on four tracks. And then to master the album,we got hold of Jon Astley, he of The Pretty Things managerial fame, also responsible for mastering much of The Who’s catalogue, also a great deal of work by Led Zeppelin, Clapton, and Lord knows who else! So we had three legends on board, and now we had to step up to the plate and hit some home-runs.
Making music with a band, a completely collaborative enterprise, is certainly very different from the individual activity of writing a novel. Though the creative drive that prompts one is very much the same creative drive that prompts the other, in reality they could not be less similar. But we made it work, and with the extraordinarily accomplished and professional guidance of Martin, we cut ten tracks, two of which are short instrumentals.
The album – eponymously titled – is not yet available, but will soon be released.
I could talk endlessly about all of this, but if you are interested then you could do worse than visit the website…
Follow the band on Facebook and Twitter, and as gigs are booked and tours arranged we will get them on the gig calendar.
The single – ‘Demon Queen’ – will be available for download from iTunes before you know it, and there are tee-shirts, badges and stickers too!
By the way, I am hard at work on the book for 2015…and I will blog about that imminently.
Trust all is well with you.
Take care, speak soon.