Well, here we are at last — my first official blog. It does feel good to be reaching out to you (whoever you may be) after all this time! With the release of my new album just around the corner, it goes without saying that these are exciting times for me….and what a pleasure it is to be finally one-on-one with you.
The new album, “IN THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSE”, was recorded with many of the same musicians and friends that helped me out with my first album, “IN THE HOUSE OF STONE AND LIGHT”: Neil Taylor (Tears For Fears, and now working with Robbie Williams); Brian Fairweather (my partner from my Q-Feel days); Jack Hues (Wang Chung); and Bill Dillon (of Robbie Robertson, Sarah McLachlan, Peter Gabriel fame) all helped out on guitars. I was lucky enough to again have Jimmy Copley on live drums. He’s well known for his work with Tears For Fears, Go West, Jeff Beck and Paul Rogers. So I had an excellent supporting cast, yet again, to make me look good. The remaining instruments, and all the vocals, were played or performed by yours truly. It was a great adventure to play everything from Spanish nylon guitar to 5-string bass to all manor of keyboards.
I also took the liberty to engineer and mix the album myself at home. As always, my demos were the fundamental root of all the recorded songs, and I believe the rough, organic mood in which these songs were recorded shows the songs off in their true spirit. As the new songs were very personal, I wanted a rawness and spontaneity to be present in the home recordings. I used a great deal of vintage analog equipment to achieve this. I’m a great believer that demos are masters, and that the studio should be a church of creativity and pure emotion, and not a sterile factory. In many ways, that’s why I chose the title of the new album, “IN THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSE” (which, by the way, was the name of a famous book shop in London back, I believe, in Lord Byron’s, Shelley’s and Wordsworth’s time): Many of the songs were written, and recorded in the studio simultaneously.
Anyway, the release of the new work is, as I mentioned, just around the corner. Artwork and design, photos, electric press kits, etc., etc., are all being finalized as we speak, so …… we are nearly there. This is the first release on my own independent label, IRONINGBOARD RECORDS, and I must say, it has been fun doing it myself….a terrific feeling of freedom. Taking the responsibility to make choices that are usually not allowed the artists by the major (corporate) record labels, has been refreshing and rewarding – something I needed to do at this stage of my career.
Ultimately, it’s all about the songs for me – their emotions and their message. From as early as I can remember, the song was everything … and still is to me. Having said that, I’ll finish my first official blog and get back to the home studio, and of course to the all-important cup of tea (I am English, after all). Thanks for listening. Speak to you soon.