Well then, it’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog and a whole lot of stuff has happened in that time. A few life changing moments have occurred, enough pain and suffering to bring down an elephant, but we must move forward. Some wonderful people have moved on to the next life, who are greatly missed but, the world keeps turning and so must I.
As I recall the last blog I wrote was before we released The Lights Of Distorted Science Album, in fact I think it was just after the Radiostasis EP so I’ll try to remember the arduous process of recording an album under the everyday influence of cannabis (which I’ve now finally stopped).
I’m sure by now you all know the story of how our albums start off, and it’s down to the pure genius that is Josh Watson. He comes in one day with a CD full of songs he’s written and we go away, learn them, add our own touches and “perfect” them over time. Seems simple yes? Wrong! It’s amazing how we are still friends after this process starts, but I think that is something that separates us from a lot of bands, we have the ability to criticise without offending each other. If someone does get offended then, they need to and take their face for a shit, because it’s only the music that suffers in the long run. Ultimately, we all have the music as the sole priority, feelings can wait. TLODS took quite a while to complete as it was a self-produced/self-funded piece and our first attempt to create an album entirely which we kept under our hats until its release. It was incredibly hard to not play these songs live because we were bursting at the seams to show them off but we felt it was imperative to save it till release time. It was a great idea but in the long run felt like we were trusting our own judgement that this was going to be what the fans wanted and that they would be perfect for live performance. We were lucky but not without much fiddling of the set. For the first few outings I needed to use lyric sheets because, honestly, I didn’t have to “learn” the way you usually do by performing live as most of the learning process was in the studio, it becomes second nature when you play them to people, and, even more honestly, I was smoking far too much to remember it alone without it being second nature. Genuinely though I think TLODS was/is an amazing album and that pinnacle point where we found “our sound”.
Moving onto Imitation Sun, it started really well with the bunch of songs Joshy brought to the table. They stunk of Captain Horizon. Almost oozing with this genre-less texture of emotive, political and masturbatory lyrics. The sound however, again, was for us to work out, fight over and argue about our own personal favourites. This time we were using them in the set as they became more solid, gauging people’s reactions to them and generally getting that feel of where to go with it. The Dark seemed to be an overall favourite amongst the crowd and also the one that went through the most transformations overall. It was exciting doing it this way again but not in dribs and drabs with one song a month being written. We were gigging a lot and even went on a tour with a Canadian band Diatessaron, who are just fantastic if you’re into your prog and even if you’re not they are fantastic. Fun times for me though came to an end for a little while. My marriage started to fall apart which, although, I thought could be repaired at the time, never really did. My brother in law died and my other sister was going through a tough time with her own personal life, so my family as a whole felt like it was falling apart and there was nothing I could do. Eventually, with all the other stuff, my marriage did fall. I couldn’t have been very productive at all.
It must have been hard for the lads having to deal with me at that point in my life. I suppose I was wandering around in a daze avoiding the reality of the shit storms that were brewing in front of my eyes and realistically, burying my head in the sand. As much as I had my personal issues to contend with and struggling to want to do anything at all, I needed the band more than ever. But we were recording now so the gigs had slowed right down and our studio looked like a bomb had hit it and was damn near impossible to rehearse, although we did. My head was a mess. I was smoking like it was going out of fashion, if I could have done it all day I would have but every day was enough apparently. I was fortunate to enough to live with a friend who, realistically without his positive outlook on life I’d probably still be living with my head up my arse. For which, I’m eternally grateful.
The work that the lads put in to Imitation Sun was incredible, mine however, was just to turn up and sing. Usually blazed. It’s a little annoying when I look back at it now, so I can only imagine how they felt. It’s not the answer to anything, it’s just a cover up. I thank them with all my heart for sticking by me and being so understanding with me because we got through the process and have something incredible to show for it. I wish I could tell you all exactly what they did but I was too dazed, all I know is we have a brilliant record and it’s all thanks to our beautiful fans for helping fund this rollercoaster. So from me to all of you, thank you!
As for me now, I’ve moved into my own place, met someone incredible who I’ve fell head over heels for (didn’t expect that to happen) and I’ve actually turned my life around. I’ve stopped smoking weed, in fact, I’ve stopped smoking altogether. All I’m hoping for now is that we can get around a bit more and make this band the biggest thing to come out of the midlands since coal.
Again, a huge massive thank you to everyone for funding Imitation Sun, for supporting us, believing in us and helping us keep our dream alive. I love you all.
Peace, Love & Bananas!