We’ve all been in the UK for a good few weeks now and in-between mammouth curry eating sessions, endless cups of tea and eating my own body weight in Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate, we’ve been working hard to finish these new tracks.
It was decided we should rent out a space where we could set up camp and crack on with these songs in peace. After spending weeks thumbing through the rental pages for a gorgeous little cottage with central heating next to a waterfall with lambs skipping merrily across the field and a 5-star restaurant round the corner, we gave up and instead took up residence in a damp room with no windows and a smell not unlike the “Bog of Eternal Stench” from the Labyrinth movie starring David Bowie. A similar smell was noticeable when we made the first album, so maybe we need to consider the notion that the poor odour is actually coming from one of us.
We’ve also been rehearsing some of these new tunes and gave them their first outing in a sold out show in Leeds last friday. I always think you learn a lot about a song when you play it live and feel people’s reactions to it, and luckily, they all felt pretty good. Danny even played an electric guitar on stage for the first time. It was red and he looked a lot like Hank Marvin. We also got a trumpet player on stage for a song. (Now, if that doesn’t confuse you all as to what this new record will sound like, nothing will).
At this point I would like to say a huge and massive thank you to everyone at Paiste for being awesome mo-fo’s and loaning me a lurvely set of cymbals for my time here. At the risk of getting all emotional, I love them and want to have their babies, and that’s just the way it is.
Aside from this I’ve discovered a few new things in my own life…
1. The Marc Maron “WTF” podcast: One of our old tour managers first introduced me to this a year or so ago but having recently downloaded his app for my phone…I’m hooked. Yesterday I went for a run and listened to him talk to Dick Van Dyke for an hour. I’m also really into Craig Ferguson. At the risk of upsetting Uncle Jay (as he likes us to call him), I think Craig is my favourite of the talk show hosts. I am a quarter Scottish though so you gotta keep it in the family.
2. Big Bang Theory: This had completely passed me by until now but I’m now slightly obsessed. I think I identify a bit too closely with all of them for various reasons. (i.e. Being a genius unappreciated in my own time, small in stature, dating a girl way hotter than me etc). I do have one question which if anyone can answer I’d be forever grateful: Why is there a band set up in the Cheesecake Factory? Is this normal?! This potential combination of cheesecake and rock n roll seems like a winner to me. Maybe we should do a tour of Cheesecake Factories for the next album?!
3. Electronic Drums: Ive been staying with my friend Scott in Leeds and he has an electronic drum set. This is amazing as it gives me a chance to practice, but also because they’re way easier to play than real drums. Ergo…I’m awesome.
Tomorrow I’m flying to LA for 3 days before coming home again. This might seem like utter madness but I will get to see the little lady and eat In n Out so it’s ok.
My last post may have lead some of you to worry I was losing my way a bit. All the talk of Pawn Stars, Price is Right and In n Out Burger was cause for concern amongst various family members (and some band members). However, I’m pleased to announce I’m now out of the woods. Apart from falling off the wagon for a few days with an intense “24: Season 5” addiction, I’m doing well. It’s a 12 step program. Today I even went for a run.
As part of the program it was suggested I play drums. With this in mind we all went to LA and recorded an album…which was nice. Regular readers, (and by this I mean my mum and my girlfriend’s cat) may recall that we went to Pasadena and knocked out 6 or 7 tracks before Christmas. Well, come February it was time to head back to the sunshine state and finish what we began. We’ve found a great studio at the bottom of the mountains where a nice man called Jeff makes every instrument sound like tiny drops of honey being poured in your ears.
Once all the basic tracks had been done we felt we needed some crazy synth sounds and weird and wonderful noises to make the songs come to life. Where better to achieve such musical greatness than (the slightly less sunny) Minneapolis?! Nova had made friends with a lovely bunch of people who had an even lovelier bunch of keyboards. So, for a whole week we strapped on our scarfs and tennis rackets (you know, for the feet) and made sweet sweet cray cray sounds for the album. My personal highlight was playing toy piano on a track. Nova’s personal highlight was eating half a pizza and a whole bucket of chicken wings at 1am after a night out. I wasn’t even mad…it was that impressive.
We’re now back in the UK finishing off some bits and bobs and starting to get the tracks mixed. We’re also doing a show in Leeds as a chance to learn how to play these new tunes live. I don’t think my toy piano skills will be called into action at this point but I’ve been practicing my Bruce Hornsby licks just in case.
Lastly, for any of you Twitterers out there you may have noticed my recent absence from the site. I’m sorry to announce that me and Twitter have decided to part ways. After nearly a year of social networking japes together it seems my wisdom just cannot be contained to a mere 140 characters. However, Twitter’s loss is to be Tumblr’s gain, so now’s the time to; a) sell your shares in Twitter before the inevitable crash my departure will bring, and b) join Tumblr.
Ta ra for now!