So as I sit at the laptop trying to work out what on earth I am going to write about, I’m currently sat listening to an album that I used to sit and do my homework to when I was at secondary school because it ‘made me concentrate’ – apparently. (Smashing Pumpkins – Machina/the machines of god)
So as we look at releasing our 2nd album, my first full album in the band (as I only played on 4 songs on the Neurotica album), it does make you think about the journey that we have all been on together. Firstly, there’s the introduction of me, having audition to pass, passed it, writing ‘Shock and Bad Taste’ together (first time the 4 of us wrote together), going to the studio, recording, sitting with an almighty hangover listening to what we have done, wondering whether I was to ever play with the band live and join them fully (as I was hired as a session drummer for the album recording). Then the moment came at our next meeting, getting ready to play live, one song into the rehearsal, was asked to join! #boom #doneit
We had a secret gig in Stourbridge that we played before the main Kickstarter party. I remember turning up, looking at the drum kit thinking ‘this looks like my first drum kit,’ having to get the car matts to put onto the bottom of the kit to secure it down! Kickstarter party was a blast, such a hot gig and then I knew…wearing shorts was the way forward! Gig’s flew by with us playing one or two gigs a month touring our 1st album. We went to places like Coventry, Coalville, Manchester, London, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch (there are more but I just can’t remember). The highlights for me were playing Rebellion and Nice and Sleazy Festivals. These were truly amazing experiences for all of us, especially Rebellion as the morning of the gig, you could cut the nervous tension between the 4 of us with a knife. Nice and Sleazy was great, even if Matt and me had some car trouble getting there and back (funny story for another time). Those two gigs I’d say by far are my favourite gigs.
The next year we decided to take it easier as all of us were getting married (in the same year weirdly). We had already started working towards the next album, with one song being showcased at a Birmingham gig. Work started on the next batch of songs which was a great for me as I was dying to get my hands on new material. The sound of the band has changed…we are so much faster than the earlier stuff, and each song has grown and become a different sound. This is probably my fault as I’m the one who is meant to keep time…but you can have so much fun when a song is played faster.
Before we went into the studio, I had a complete job career change, I’d left my managers role and started as a drum teacher at Pro Music Tuition and for myself. This has given me the opportunity to do what I love doing, making music and playing drums whilst being able to coach students in their musical path. This also led me to start having conversations with Shaw Sticks thus joining their Artist Pool as well as uFiP cymbals. Certainly two things being ticked off my bucket list here! Go and check them out as they are really great products!
Album Recording; Well you probably watched the video that we released along with the information about our album release tour but over the two weekends, I had the most fun being in the studio, turning our phones off and just creating the music that we had written. On the 2nd weekend was my birthday party weekend which gets a little hazy after the drums were put to tape! This was the first time that I was able to record using my new cymbals and drum sticks.
My favourite song off the album is probably Nar’s as because of the history behind it; being that it was the first song that we had written for the album and has a funkier groove behind the song. Most of the album from the drums point of view is influenced by dance music probably because of the amount of Trance Music I was listening to at the time we were writing.
The album was quite easy to record apart from Stompy as this was only completed the day before we hit the studio. The pull on Velma’s guitar part makes it an interesting song to play. The song seems to have a completely different section in the middle is because it was a different song! We just joined the two together!
So after the mini album tour, Hannah and I are expecting our first child in November and then it’s back to normal in 2019 for another year of promoting/touring Exquisite Corpse.