My upcoming EP ‘Life is an Art’ can be previewed here
It will be out in full in August 2014.
I’ve also finished the material for my album, and settled on a title.
My upcoming EP ‘Life is an Art’ can be previewed here
It will be out in full in August 2014.
I’ve also finished the material for my album, and settled on a title.
I have been working on songs for my EP for some 6 months now and have finally settled upon a tracklist, mastering studio and artwork collaborations, as well as a pricing structure.
Tracklist – Life is an Art – EP
1) Introductory Atmospheres
2) Guitar & Bass
4) Rainy Day Blues
5) Night on the Beach
7) I Blame Sean
8) Dancefloor Brakes
The artwork will be supplied via a variety of my own photos, graphics, as well as the artwork of two friends and colleagues.
I will have it mastered by http://www.audioanimals.co.uk
Digital Download, itunes/Bandcamp £8
There will also be T-shirts for £13, the £1 profit will go to charity, they’re will be available in Purple or Black.
This is a silly post.
You will need:
A selection of Dance/Club music
A darkened room
at least two sets of bike lights
a box of glowsticks
your drugs of choice
1) Darken the room
2) crack some glowsticks
3) put all the bike lights onto flash mode
4) begin the music
5) imbibe your drugs of choice
6) dance like a motherf*cker
That is all..
Let’s face it, we probably all hate housework, I consider anytime not spent with my music, mates or making love, or eating a waste of my life.
Thus I have a few handy tips for housework…
1) Do a little everyday, an hour at the most
1.1) Hoover and tidy one room a day for an hour, don’t aim to finish, just to improve, this means a weeks housework is easy
2) Bathrooms; are a pain.
2.1) Every week or fortnight use your now dying sponge to clean your bath/shower, sink and toilet in that order, after you shower, easy peasy
2.2) Always keep your toilet clean, as the addage goes, ‘you’re of no use to anyone unless you can clean a toilet’
3) Kitchens; my favourite room in a house, I love cooking but it’s a process, not a ‘task’, food shoud be fun, nutritious and delicious
3.1) NEVER leave the washing up for the morning, this will always make your morning suck, even you wake up next to the love of your life
3.2) As you cook, wash up utensils as you finish with them and leave a bowl of washing water to soak pots and pans, so that as you eat you know your dishes are doing
4.2) Bedrooms; the most personal of rooms
4.1) Saving all else change your bedclothes once a week without fail, wash them with your towels that week, one load done, simples
4.2) Tidy before you sleep, it relaxes the mind and you can end the day on an achievement that means less to do the next day
To be continued….
As I’m on a partial hiatus I’ve been able to work out a couple of things;
1) A new socio-economic model based on energy and resources, [I’m a nerd and it involves stats and research, humour me lol]. I will post up my framework for people to explore and adapt when I’m happy with it.
2) The pricing of my music and my policy on merchandise.
Pricing of my Music/Merch:
Physical CDs £10
Digital Downloads, with documents and artwork £7-8 Via Bandcamp/itunes et al.
Merchandise, the only merch I’m happy with is t-shirts, in purple or black, with Logos and Name, however I don’t want there to be millions of them, for environmental reasons there is enough mindless consumerism as it is and I’d rather people had music.
There’s also the added issue of boycotting, which will starve people in places like Bangladesh, I can’t condone that, even if sweatshops are a nightmare, t-shirts would be fair trade, it seems to be the best of both worlds, I have shirts from now defunct fair trade outlets, that achieved their goals of improving societies.
That said, if people want t-shirts, I have an account with a local printers, and they would be available initially to friends and family and on request from fans.
Today wherever it is celebrated, it’s Valentines Day.
I’m neither for it nor against it, it’s a holiday of romance built around the burning alive of a heretic, it’s as mad and arbitrary as almost any festival not based on the movements of the heavens, or based on religious ideas, but hey people like to celebrate, it’s psychologically important.
I will however say this, I’m not a fan of the expectations, when I’m not single today bugs me, I’m expected to conform, I don’t express love like that, if someone needs to tell me how to do it, it’s not coming from me, and it’s an empty gesture.
When I’m single, by choice, a mixture of mine and other peoples lol, it bugs me, as well yes it is nice to have people in your life in that way, it’s also sometimes irksome, and gets in the way of your plans, means you have to deal with people defending their right to hold hands in public.
Organised Fun, is a seriously awful thing, people are being blown away in Syria because well, people can’t decide which form of Islam is the right one (Answer: neither, both are wrong) and who needs to sit in the chair and wield the politcal power that grants.
The Olympics are making a mockery of the values of the way of life we’ve come to know here in ‘the west’ and of those of more humane Russians in ‘the east’. English people stopped playing cricket about apartheid, but the curling continues, so well done Putin, you’re PR campaign worked, score another historical point for Edward Bernays.
However, being alive, is what I’m fortunate enough to do, and so are those I care about, well most of them, I have some particularly personal reasons for finding today awkward and anyone who has ever lost a significant other will understand and if it hasn’t happened to you, I hope it doesn’t, it’s not something I’d wish on Hitler or Pol Pot (sure they deserve to die, but not to suffer) there’s enough suffering, made worse by religion, war, politics, stupidity anyway, without adding to it.
I obviously wish people love, up to the point where they think they’ve got the right to cut kids, because a voice they believe in or book tells them so, at that point, you’ve fallen off the humanity bandwagon and are in the mad, sad, bad camp.
So if you like celebrating love by remembering death, join in, if you don’t don,t as Mussolini once said (apparently) “the history of saints, is mostly the history of mad people” I think this qualifies as the most sensible thing he ever said, which just goes to show, even mad, megalomanic killers, can be as useful as a stopped clock.
The music is going OK too, for those of you here for that, I’m not happy putting out part finished things, but most of another song is done unless it involves vocals being missing, as I’ve asked someone if they’ll lay them down for me if she has the time, hopefully she does, and if any of you haven’t heard of Abee Hague, you will, but I won’t fan the flames anymore than that, she is good enough without the hype machine, and can do what she does.
Also nuts to you people who have a go at musicians who went to college, like Jessie J , “`dylan and so on, that’s training, lawyers do it, doctors do it, scientists do, it’s all a profession, why wouldn’t there be formal ways to learn it?
Still life can be improved, it just needs people to be honest about the causes of problems and how to solve them, like the floods, here in Somerset, sorry people have lost their homes, but living in a flood plain is stupid from the off.
It’s like George Carlin noticed, ‘think how stupid you are, 50% of people are stupider than that’.
Due to family matters this is no longer the case apologies all the best
Today I’m releasing a track from my upcoming EP ‘Science is an Art’
It’s the most experimental one there’l be right at the end, so people don’t have it interupting my more song like songs.
I’ll be putting up one more song up as well before I release digitally and a third before I do so physically.
First off this isn’t mean to be patronising pop-philosophy and feel-good nonsense, this is a mixture of actual practical tips on how to make living easier, more fun, simpler and help solve common annoyances with life.
My basic life philosophy is simple:
Life is an opportunity; take it, you’re never too old or too young to do most things.
Whilst I know this is a cliché it stands up in the real world well enough, those that risk nothing, try nothing end up with nothing.
That isn’t to say I think people should bungee jump naked whilst high on crack, just if you get the chance to do what you want over what you have to in order to live, give it a go, like my grandad said the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work and there’s always another train.
Do what you love, love what you do, another cliché but again a functional one, if someone gave me on paper the stats of my working week, 14 hour days, somtimes below minimum wage, constant grift & hustle, little chance of huge success, late nights, bad sleep, no sleep, no money at times, I wouldn’t even apply, let alone work the job, however because I effectively get to live my own dream every day, I do it, no complaints and with much enjoyment.
It is infact true, if you enjoy your work, you never work a day in you life, you just live it.
Be yourself too, this takes enormous guts and years to master, but if you’re truly being yourself everything you do should come as naturally as breathing, this is how I feel when I make music, I am utterly in sync with the world around me and removed from it at the same time, ‘the zone’ as it’s known by sports people ‘flow’ to musicians is very real and is amongst the single best emotional and phsyical states I regular experience, including sex and drugs (in which I have a fair amount of experience too).
If you feel like this when you’re doing whatever it is that moves you, pursing your passion, then congratulations you’re doing it right.
Standard of Living
I’ve had many different standards of living, when I was younger my dad had a very good job in Advertising and Marketing we were minted, wanted for nothing and I went to a private school (public for my UK readers), I was comfortably upper-middle-class, whatever that means, I’ve also live on the breadline, the dole and the streets, I personally dislike both of these extremes, having everything or nothing is no-where near as decent in my humble experience as being comfortably able to pursue your goals.
Tips & Tricks
Wash, this sounds basic and stupid ‘parent advice’ but it is important, keep yourself clean, take showers, baths whatever you like, it makes you feel better and protects your health.
Eat well, and learn to cook, it saves money, is very social, and keeps you occupied, I love the fact for around £5 I can make restaurant quality food in my house crack open a bottle of red-wine and enjoy my own work with friends for a fraction the cost of a night out.
Clothes, do not spend a fortune, simple as, buy from charity and thrift stores, discount outlets, make your own and buy on sale, I have lots of very nice clothes, for any occasion and have never paid full price for them, thus giving me money to save for buying new shiny guitars. Despite having suits I spend most of my time in jeans & t-shirts, I just feel slightly dressed up in anything else and get paranoid about spilling food, drink, oil, etc on myself I don’t like not being able to do whatever I need to or move easily in anything I wear. Learning to repair your own clothes is highly useful too.
Washing your clothing, do this as often as needed, always have plenty of clean underwear, this is way more important than clean jeans, like many normal people I’ve worn the same jeans for a week, but made sure I have a clean undercarriage. I will mention ironing here too, avoid it at all costs, it is an utter waste of time, most people don’t notice, really nice clothes suits and good coats as almost always dry cleaning items anyway, you can press you clothes under your mattress, and if you’re ironing your underwear you need help.
Live frugally, this is essential, life has loads of unexpected costs, I took my car into a bollard in a parking lot/car park at the end of last year, if I didn’t have a bit of spare money about I would have been screwed, as it was I could cover it, and still had enough left to put towards a newer vehicle this year.
Learn to drive or master public transport, I have to drive, amp cabinets do not fit on trains, this is a fact, however you’ve got to get the knack of getting about, life is about moving.
Partying/Drugs, my basic personal policy on drugs is simple, I don’t and never have touched any hard drugs, they kill, destroy careers and are an utter waste of time, everything is a matter of personal taste and circumstances. I would say this, if you don’t get off getting drunk or high, don’t do it, if something does bad things to your head avoid it, if you enjoy something socially, and it doesn’t become your life, fine, it’s a moderation thing.
In short, enjoy a beer, cocktail or glass of wine without becoming an alcoholic, a joint without becoming a stoner (a very dull way to live), and if it doesn’t suit you don’t do it.
Dance, dance is immensely fun, social, good exercise, relaxing and escapist, you also have the added bonus of being very close to sweat,y happy, nice moving and attractive members of the opposite sex, I can see no negatives in going out dancing. Like the death cab for cutie song states; stay young, go dancing.
Don’t act your age, I was never really a teenager until my 20’s and have a permanent child-like way of living and viewing life, remember; growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
Read, watch films, listen to music, go to the theatre, visit art galleries and museums, there is so much culture all over the world we’re drowning in it, don’t drown learn to swim and enjoy seeing how far from the shores of the ordinary.
Be kind and supportive towards people and respect them, I owe my life to the support of my friends and my mum, simple as, I could have died, sunk, or smashed my life apart many times were it not for these people, I owe them everything, and in return I look out for them.
Respect yourself, value who you are, what you do and how you do it, self respect is the start of being respected and the basis for being in any kind of human relationship, my best friends don’t always quite understand why I do what I do, many of my family & family friends think I should ‘get a proper job’, I tried this, it sucks (as I’ve mentioned before) I do what I do because it’s part of who I am as a person, without it I would loose a huge part of my self-worth and lessen my own life for the sake of steady, easy conformism, this I am not prepared to do. Music isn’t so much something that I do, so much as something I can’t help doing, it just happens, no matter what I start out I always wind-up doing it some capacity.
Have a side of your job that’s relaxing and lightweight, for me this is DJ-ing, compared to writing and performing music, I find it easy, but it has the added bonus of earning me money, keeping me musically involved, and performing. Whatever it is you do it’s a good idea to find a lightweight version of it.
Take time off, this is vital and I need not explain why.
Travel and meet people, you never know who you’re going to meet, or when, how or possibly even why, just keep moving with life, as Bruce Lee said “be water my friend, it can crash or it can flow”.
I’ve met Carlos Santana, I was playing my PRS outside The British Museum on summer in London, this dapper chap in a trilby came over complimented me on my guitar, playing, shook my hand wish me well and walked off with his lovely looking wife, I was with my mum at the time, and she gave me an odd look and asked who it was, I said “I think that was Carlos Santana” she took a brief look (being a fan, she bought me a copy of Caravanersai when I was younger) and was kinda surpirsed but not, as a Londoner she used to regularly meet ‘famous’ people on the tube.
This kind of thing is another reason why I love London so very much, no city on earth is quite the same.
Thanks very much for reading,
The Stuff in my Hands, namely my guitars
I’ve played guitar for some 17 years, in that time I have acquired, used, bought & sold and more importantly; played many hundreds of guitars, the few I have represent the crème de la crème of those I’ve come to use.
My Guitars & Instruments
A pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster, in lake placid blue I don’t need to tell you why this is an insanely good instrument, it is many times older than I am.
PRS Custom 22 in Green, excellent guitar indeed.
Indie ES-355 copy, lovely guitar, solidly good for blues.
Two handbuilt ‘Mojo’ guitars built by a former guitar shop owning friend of mine who now lives and works in LA. They’re loaded with Bare Knuckle pickups and made of rare woods, utterly lovely unique things, I have two of only four in existence.
Custom self made Fender Strat. With a 60’s Gibson bridge humbucker, standard middle line pickup and a tele neck pickup, in purple.
Martin DX1AE, lovely modern Electro Acoustic
Tanglewood Professional Folk Electro Acoustic
AXL 12-String acoustic, that does the job.
An old beat up Freshman acoustic guitar that I’ve taken all round the world.
A Ukulele that’s purple, I can actually use it as well.
A Mandolin, again I can use this.
Yamaha 250 Electric bass, a solid 4 string bass guitar with a nice tone.
Fender Classical Guitar.
Yamaha PSR 530 Keyboard.
I have an inordinate amount of guitar effects, I like to be able to sculpt any tone I hear on a record or anything I can think up, no matter how odd.
These are spread across three pedal boards.
BOSS, distortion, metal, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Univibe, Flanger, Loop Station and Tuner.
MXR, Phase90 and Blue Box.
Vox V847 that I had true bypassed by an engineer mate of mine.
EHX Soul Preacher compressor and Nano Big Muff Pi.
A custom built Overdrive in which you change the chipsets to get various tones I have a Tube Screamer chip, Germanium and Classic Fuzz.
Seymour Duncan Fuzz Box.
Zoom B2 Bass effects pedal.
I have both solid state and valve amps, I prefer valve, despite the upkeep costs, it does just sound better.
Fender Mustang modeling amp, containing very good digital captures of all their classic amps and good onboard effects.
Marshall HDFX100, nice bit of kit, does what it says on the tin.
Marshall Acoustic 50, lovely honest amp.
Blackstar HT1 lovely piece of kit, all of their stuff I’ve ever used is, I will be getting a 100W head of theirs some time soon.
Selmer Treble & Bass 100 a vintage EL34 amp, absolutely dreamy amp.
Two Marshall JCM 900’s with greenbacks, nuff said.
I use Red5Audio microphones brilliant stuff, industry standard specs and have never let me down.
Alesis Firewire 8 mixer, I use firewire for latency reasons, USB doesn’t have the bandwidth.
Horn Compressor, simple solid mono compressor I have rigged into the effects chain of my mixer.
Numark mixdeck express, a handy outboard system for capturing samples, and scratching.
Akai turntable purely for vinyl playback pleasure purposes.
Tannoy AL10 Active Monitor pair, and very good they are too.
Roland PRO 300 Production keyboard, passes the Ronseal Test.
Main production computer 27” imac, 16GB Ram, 1TB Hard Drive, etc.
Laptop 15” Macbook Pro, 8Gb Ram, 500 GB hard drive.
I use Logic 9 and LogicX (very good this)
Guitar Rig 5
Traktor Scratch Pro 2
That’s about it, however the most important element is yours truly, I could be stripped of all these pretty things and for £2000 be back up and running with a decent guitar and laptop in days, it isn’t about the kit you use, although that does help, the best thing is having the musicality to make it with anything.