It’s Christmas and I hear drums

Well I find myself once again, facing the Xmas season wondering where the year went, and what a year it’s been both professionally and musically.

End of Ecclesia continues to attract interest and positive review which I’m grateful for, but I’m here to say I doubt I’ll produce another album in that mode. Producing an album solely on your own where you play every instrument is a self indulgence. It’s perfectly acceptable, but if you expect a lot of folk to buy into it you are always going to have an uphill battle. EOE also had a few production shortcomings which won’t be making a reappearance in any other material I release.
From the outset, ‘When Age has Done It’s Duty’ has been very different. Lee Abraham keeps telling me ‘make it the best album it can be’ and I’m doing my best to fulfil that. Absolute top production from word go, real acoustic drums, topline artwork courtesy of Twig and a smattering of very talented musicians (Simon Rogers, Steve Thorne, Steve Dunn, Huw Lloyd Jones, Lee Abraham, Bob Dalton, Dave Ware + a few more to come) to bring these ideas to reality. Don’t worry there’s still plenty of yours truly on the album but there was certain stuff I was incapable of doing or needed a different style or direction.
So last week I fulfilled a bit of a lifetime ambition of working in a proper professional recording studio with a well known engineer and top line drummer. I’m still getting my head around the results as we speak. Steve Thorne who did the vocals for me on ‘When Age…’ suggested I use Bob Dalton from It Bites for the bulk of the drum work who was available for session work following It Bite’s hiatus. The session was booked with Rob Aubrey at his incredible Aubitt Studios.
The results were a little surprising in a very good way. Talking to Bob before the sessions it was a pleasant surprise that we shared a great love of 70s drummers, in particular the work of John Bonham. I really wanted to capture some of that on the new record, and ‘Into this World’ really provided an opportunity for Bob to let rip with those triplets. His fills were incredible on ITW,…. and bloody loud. When I got the stuff back and played it back on my system , I couldn’t stop grinning. Hairs on back of neck didn’t cover it., I was giggling like a school girl.
Bob told me he had a blast working on the album, and I think people are going to be surprised how different his style is compared to his normal duties with It Bites.
So now I’m in the midst of comping drum tracks, editing and mixing. I’m hoping to get the record out in February 2011.
Merry Xmas!

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