Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Base camp reached.

When climbing Mt Everest, your base camp is around 5,500 metres high - you reach this place, rest and acclimatise, and then resume a climb to a peak you may not ever reach.

I am at my base camp.

Last night we completed all the vocals for our yet to be named second album. Now there's just some strings to add to a few songs before the final mixing and mastering processes begin.

Our first single has been chosen and that's headed to be mixed within the next seven days before being released in New Zealand late next month.

At this point, personally, I feel immensely satisfied. I love every song that will be on this album and I love what the band has gone through to create them. We found our motivation, planned our climb, put life aside and set out for another journey in which we'll poke our minds into the sight of the world's examining eyes. Right now these are our songs, we are the sole-owners and we can treasure listening to them.

Very soon they will be songs of the world, not ours. And that's where the climb resumes - a climb you can plan on little but hard work.

We're planning on conquering our mountain - but if we fail trying, at least wherever we fall, having come this far, we're going to have a view to always remember.

Monday, July 25, 2011


An awesome and, rather timely, look at the process of creativity in people and how that process can be potentially channeled and controlled.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A passage to ponder...

"Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man."
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So close....

Album tracking is tantalisingly close to being finished...but for now, it goes on...

At this stage, we've pretty much finished tracking 95% of every song we're recording for this album and now we're adding the very final touches to each track before they're mixed.

For most of this week Si, Nick and myself have been in Studio 203 adding guitar, percussion and vocal backing tracks to songs and we're at the point now where we only have to add some strings, a wee bit more percussion and a few vocal bits and pieces to songs in order for it all to be 100% tracked.

The next step is to pre-mix the tracks before mixing happens - we'll be pretty much rough-mixing the tracks, complete with our desired effects on instruments/voice, as well as making the sessions as simple as possible for whoever we get for the final mix.

Hopefully that will all be sorted within the next 10 days and then the songs will effectively be set free into the arms of people who make the songs sound like they do in our dreams - and then to the world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Everything slows in winter, except the wind. And the fast wind only encourages escape. My mind craves a richness of ingredients to balance the crawling hideaway. A selective richness in food, drink, company and music.

This winter I have discovered some new ingredients to add to my regular musical intake.

Firstly, an album from a band well-versed in creating the perfect wintery escape - Smart Flesh by The Low Anthem.

It is a complete album (not two or three hyped tracks mixed with some co-written bullshit), it tells a story and, like a good story, takes you through a range of situations and emotions on its way to delivering you an experience. Every song seems to have a purpose and I like that. If you like Eels, Band of Horses, Noah and the Whale, Great Lake Swimmers etc, then you'll like this album.

My second recommendation comes for a band that I'd never heard of before and very much stumbled upon - yet it's their third studio album. These guys are called Hey Rosetta! (the exclamation mark might've been important to them about five years ago) and the album is called Seeds.

They've apparently been quite acclaimed in Canada, winning awards etc for a number of years - but to me none of that really matters - just one listen to this album got me hooked and I feel like the more I listen to it the more I will enjoy it. It's one of those albums, and maybe on of those bands, that has a lot more depth to it than one can first notice. And, like The Low Anthem, this album is complete.

Definitely listen to this one if you are a fan of Glen Hansard, Okkervil River, Arcade Fire, etc...