New Album

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    New Album: Matt Hay

    01.11.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Matt Hay who has just released second full length album ‘Something Blue’, following on from his 2007 debut album ‘Inside Stories’, and his 2012 EP ‘Where do we go from here?’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recorded between July and November 2016 at the Surgery, with a bit recorded at home.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I produced the album with a bit help from Andrew Downes, who engineered and mixed it. With the exception of one track, ‘Love that I had’ which turned up late in the piece, the tracks were all tunes that I had been playing live with my band, The Makers, for the last few years. One of the tracks, ‘Too much to ask’ goes back about 20 years.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I wrote all the songs, and they all came to life at different times and in different ways. I’m not a very disciplined songwriter. I don’t sit down with the intention of writing a song and work on it until one comes. For me they either come or they don’t. Sometimes they come fully formed, and other times they need work. The album doesn’t really have a theme – just a bunch of songs about life’s little ups and downs.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I wasn’t consciously going for a different sound, but the album has a bit more of a blues feel to it than my previous releases. In terms of approach, one thing I wanted to achieve with this album was to add some more colours/textures to the songs, make them sound a bit different from what they do live.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Yes, I played a bit of lap steel, dobro and electric guitar on some of the tracks.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Not really, but the lead track, Last Jubilee, is probably the one that would be the single, if we were to release one.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    CDs are available at Slow Boat Records, via Bandcamp and at gigs. Downloads can be purchased from Bandcamp and iTunes, and it can be streamed via Spotify.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No plans for a video at this stage.


  • General

    New Album: Hobnail

    16.10.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Rob from Hobnail who have just released their 7th album, ‘Blue Sky Songs’, in a career that now spans 23 years.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    Basic tracks were recorded at The Surgery in Wellington with Andrew Downes Engineering. Overdubs including Guitars, vocals and some violins and percussion were recorded at Mad Dog Studio which is my home studio. I also mixed the album at home. Mastering was done by Ross McDermott at Audiosuite in Kapiti.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Caroline Easther (Drummer) and I shared production on the album. Songs were pretty well rehearsed and arranged before we started recording, although some arrangements came together or were altered during recording. Arrangements are a pretty collaborative process in Hobnail. We’ve been working together for a long time and all have ideas on what will best serve the songs.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I’m the main songwriter in the band, although this time around Jo sings 3 songs which are all covers, and Hamish sings 2, 1 of which is an original and the other written by our friend Jeff Simmonds. I write songs fairly compulsively, but find I need time and space to get any real work done. So I’ve always got tons of half finished ideas flying around, and then when I get some free time to focus will tend to finish off a batch. I think my 5 on this album came from a demo of about 15 that I put forward to the band. Themes? Life, death, love and broken hearts. Although the overall feel of the album is upbeat and optimistic. Blue Skies ahead…

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Yep. Our previous album (String Things) was a bit of a career retrospective in that we gathered songs from throughout our (then) 21 years together, and had an extensive guest list and some pretty big productions. On this album we decided we wanted to keep it to pretty much the 4 of us, with a more acoustic sound, which is reflective of our live sound.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Well, I have some really nice acoustic guitars and my home studio setup is geared toward capturing a warm sound, so mostly valve microphones and pre-amps.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Hard to say, because with 3 different singers across the album the sound does change, and we do touch on various styles across the folk/rock spectrum from song to song. That said, our first single ‘Every Single Day’ is a good place to start.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Yes – both physical CD’s and links to iTunes and Bandcamp can be had from our Website.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    After 23 years together, we shot our first ever music video for ‘Every Single Day’.


  • General

    New Album: Del Thomas

    05.10.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Del Thomas, who has just released his 3rd album ‘Changes Coming’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    It was recorded during May-Aug this year at my home studio – Summerfield Sound.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I engineered and produced it with some input from the other musos and Davy Gollan – a good friend who has very good ears. We recorded the rhythm tracks – drums, bass and rhythm guitar as a band in order to capture a live feel with everyone feeding off each other’s playing. Vocals and other instruments were added as overdubs. The players on the album are Dougal Speir (guitar), Elliotte Fuimaono (bass), Mo Phillips (drums) and additional vocals by Lynley Christoffersen and Jade Eru (The Tempests). I played guitar, harmonica and various keyboard and synth noises as well as lead vocals.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Some of the songs are quite old, having been written back in the late 90s but have taken on a different feel from the original versions which I played with my first band in NZ (Glass Onion). These songs are Real True Love, Think of Yesterday, Fault Line and Close as You Were. I was going through my songbook and found them and thought it would be interesting to resurrect them with the new band. And I’m glad that I did as I really like how they’ve come out. The other songs are all new, some only having been written within the last couple of months. I like to think of this as being the third volume of a trilogy of albums which started with Driving Home Alone in 2013. There’s a theme of lost love and longing which comes through many of the songs but I’ve always tried not to turn them into dirges or ‘sad bastard’ songs. Instead I prefer to connect what could be seen as sad lyrics with uptempo arrangements. I think I want to make the next album more acoustic just to show a different side to my writing.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I like to keep the sound fairly similar on all the albums as most of my favourite albums have been recorded in the old school way with everyone in the room playing together. I like the live feel that a band playing together can bring to an album. I don’t think I’d ever try to change that. Fortunately, my studio set up allows this. Having said that, there are a few different sounds on a couple of the tracks. I got a small analogue synth recently so I used that on a couple of tracks and also having the additional vocals from Lynley and Jade really added an extra something to the overall sound. Also, Dougal Speir’s guitar playing style and tone are very different to mine so having him play on several of the tracks introduces a different tone and texture as well.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    I used my old Boss 1600CD recorder all the time. It has 8 inputs so you can track all the rhythm tracks together and the built-in effects are really good. It has a nice old-school analogue sort of sound. And the built-in mastering unit really brings all the tracks together. I’ve got a couple of nice Rode NT1 condenser mics that I use for vocals and acoustic guitar – and they’re also good for using as a room mic on guitar amps. Other than that, the drums and amps were mic’d using trusty SM57’s.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    I really like a couple of the tracks – Where the Sun don’t Shine and Real True Love. Dougal Speir’s guitar and Lynley and Jade’s vocals really make these songs stand out. I also really like the last track – and title track of the album – Changes Coming as it’s completely different to anything else I’ve done before. Once again, the female voices take this to somewhere I couldn’t have achieved on my own.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Physical copies will be available in a couple of months – the CD release gig will be at the Capital Blues Club at the Hotel Bristol on 5 Oct. The album will be on iTunes and possibly Spotify.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No plans for a video at this stage but that might change.


  • General

    New Album: Opium Eater

    29.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Sam from progressive post-rock band Opium Eater, who recently signed with Australian label Art As Catharsis who will release their full length debut, ‘Ennui’, on the 12th of October.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The bulk of the material was recorded at Blue Barn studio in Wellington over the space of two very long days in September last year, with some finishing touches added later on. Vocals were recorded at Forkhead studios throughout the early months of this year.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    James Goldsmith engineered the album and we ended up deciding to have him mix it as well. This was then sent over to Audiosiege in the USA for mastering. The tracks were written and road-tested through numerous performances in the two years leading up to the recording sessions. This level of familiarity meant that we were able to knock out the bulk of the recording out very quickly.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    The blueprints for each song were mostly written by individual members of the band, which were then brought to the table to be fleshed out as a collective. I wouldn’t say that there are any specific themes going on throughout the record, however a lot of thought was put into making it a cohesive journey from start to finish.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Being our debut full-length album, I feel a lot of our process in putting this together was about us finding our sound and what we want to achieve musically and sonically as a collective. It’s funny, because we put out the ‘Canis Major’ EP in 2015, in which we were trying to explore our more textural side in a single long-form piece. However, it has felt like that one doesn’t represent us as a whole. With that in mind, it’s really good to have this one finished, because I really feel this one really does showcase all facets of what we do. Regarding the production style, we worked alongside James to attempt to really capture our live energy on through the engineering and mixing processes. This was something that was very important to us and it feels as though it has been very successful.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    The album was recorded live with most of the gear that we would use at our shows. This was crucial in capturing the aforementioned energy and overall feel. We also did a series of overdubs (mostly added guitar layers), which were captured through James’ impressive array of guitar amps. It should be said that we are also fiends for effects pedals, which were used heavily throughout the tracking process.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    This is quite a tough question as I feel that each track has a feel that is distinctive to the others on the record. We chose ‘Babelsteps’ as the lead single as we felt that it captures most facets of our sound in an immediate and somewhat palatable way.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    The album will be officially released on October 12th on a variety of digital platforms (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify) and will also be released physically on CD. We would have liked to have pressed it to vinyl as well, but unfortunately the album ended up being too long!

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    We have had a bit of interest in this area from a few people who work within that realm, however nothing is as of yet in the works. Watch this space!


  • General

    New album: Full Moon Fiasco

    25.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Berlin based Full Moon Fiasco, who have just released their long anticipated 2nd album Summer Eyes’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was recorded in Newtown flat by the zoo, by the beach in Waikane and in a converted office (now rehearsal) space in one of Berlin´s industrial areas.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I engineered and produced the album, it was mastered by Bevan Smith. There was never a studio as such, just a mobile set up that moved around. Most of the writing happened beforehand and then the initial instrumental parts would be played live or partly live. Afterwards I added synths, percussion, vocals etc. The overdubs were done in various places depending where I was.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    For this album I wrote a lot on a guitar before hand then when I had the basic structure, the melody and the feel I would teach it to the other´s who were going to record it as well. Sometimes just starting with drums, sometimes with bass and organ or synth as well. There was also a couple of improvisations recorded in the makeshift set up live and one piece that uses samples and was built up from there. There is no theme as such. But it does contain reflections of where I was, and what was happening in waking and dreaming life.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    I really wanted it to sound like there is a subtle movement through the whole thing. Like the pitch is changing, just a little all the time over particular frequencies. It was also a more ´live´ album than the last one Cosmic Palms.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    For the live tracks I used a larger tape machine than I had used before, an 8 track reel to reel, as there were more tracks that needed to be recorded simultaneously. It wasn’t running that well though, and there was only one tape, an old Letterbox Lambs session. Once we got to the end, I would bounce down the 25 minutes of recording straight to four tracks on the computer. The reason being that I thought I had an 8 input soundcard coming, but it turned out to be only 4 and I couldn’t get another one in time! That made for some interesting on the spot mixing. Later on I did a lot of processing with different modulation devices and reverbs, layering textures under the finished tracks. Starting with tape machines and moving to digital seems to work the best for Full Moon Fiasco albums.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Not really one. They fit together quite well I think. Each adding a little piece to the whole. I do have tracks that I prefer to listen to though. Plantation for instance.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Yes! There is a limited edition run of vinyl and cassette available via Fantasy Fiction Records. But you can also listen on Bandcamp, Spotify, Youtube etc.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    There are two videos, one for Sight Unseen My Pixie Queen and one for Diamond Dancer. Both are already up online. I think there will be one more to come. But for now that´s in the works.


  • General

    New Album: Kariiiba

    14.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Wellington producer Clae Baxter aka Kariiiba, whose latest album ‘Hot Shower Muzak’ was released earlier this month.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The album was made over the last couple of years, at home in my bedroom!

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I produced HOT SHOWER MUZAK entirely by myself! I have recently been sorting through a whole heap of unreleased music, and these particular 12 tracks came together as single project based upon a shared lush, bouncy, spicy aesthetic that I came to know as HOT SHOWER MUZAK. I have another couple of releases coming up that were created in the same way, sorting through my beats and grouping songs together based on their ‘vibe’.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Making music is like a game to me, it’s my ideal leisure activity, so the album really just stems from me mucking around and having fun in my DAW in my evenings or on the weekend.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    HOT SHOWER MUZAK to me, is music that sounds like a hot shower feels.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    My Native Instruments Maschine is my baby, I make pretty much all of my music using that beautiful little thing.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    It’d have to be ‘garlic’ for capturing the overall vibe, though swisher and ‘whipper’ are two personal favs of mine.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    No physical copy, but you can get it pretty much anywhere online: Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, iTunes, a bunch of other places.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    The whole album can be viewed on YouTube, though I wouldn’t call em ‘proper’ videos. Working on some stuff for upcoming releases though so watch this space.


  • General

    New Album: Starving Millions

    05.09.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Starving Millions, whose new album ‘V’ was released late last week.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    We recorded this album in July/August mostly in our rehearsal room at Toi Poneke. A few parts were added at Dave’s house and all the vocals were done at our friend Jimmys as he has vocal booth set up.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    We produced the album ourselves, we had complete control over every step of the process and could be quite flexible with how we did things. Throughout recording we shared the tracks on dropbox to give feedback on the mix and sound.
    Peter recorded his guitar parts first so that Sam could write lead lines at home and then bring to recording. Sam created the first half of the intro track on his set up at his house and then set to Dave for Mixing and mastering.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Dave has had these songs written for quite a while, so after he wrote the backbone of the songs, it was a case of taking it apart, adding/changing parts and putting it back together. Pete had most of the lyrics completed before recording with only a few changes made on the day of recording.
    The lyrics are mainly taking a look at the state of social and racial divisions in life and politics but trying to look with hope for improvement the current low we are in.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We wanted to stick to the dark and heavy sound of our last album but we also wanted to look to where we can branch out into our music. We shared a lot of other bands with each other and talked about what aspects we liked and wanted to play.
    Dave based a lot of the guitar riffs on the drums and then worked into a song strong structure. We approach the songs based on the fact that we will be playing them live and we want to catch the vibe. The drums were tracked live with minimal touch ups, so that we can get that sense of live sound.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    There’s no secret sauce to our recording gear. It’s the type of equipment that normally find in a hardcore punk album. Lot’s of high gain distortion, amps, Sans amp on the bass.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    ‘Us and Them’ really highlights the sound that we were aiming for in this album. It’s a bit more melodic and mid tempo than our previous album, but it shows that progression in style that we wanted.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Physical copies will be available on CD and Cassette, via Good Times Records and will also be available digitally via Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify.


  • General

    New Album: The Emptys Response

    29.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Jamie Scott Palmer, whose solo project is called The Emptys Response. A prolific musician he has recorded 11 albums & 8 EPs since 2011, and is also a member of new group Dreams are like Water. His latest (11th) album is ‘Love is the Answer’.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    In my bedroom in our very musical flat in Berhampore, over the course of the last week and a half and finished last night though I need to re-bounce and re-upload one track ’cause I noticed a glitch when I listened this morning as I drank my coffee. I’ll get onto that immediately after answering these questions.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I produced and engineered it myself DIY style at home.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I’m pretty spontaneous and tend to fly by the seat of my pants though I always have ideas, usually a theme, and moods which I bring to my albums, EP’s or single tracks. My plan was to have the album start off quite heavy, and fast. The album has a Taoist type Yin Yang aspect to it starting off dark and heavy with electronica elements to it. The 2nd half of the album is the more Yin/effeminate part. Some of the album was improvised. In fact most of it was.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Kind of but it does relate a bit to my 2nd most recent album recording called Caffeine and Painkillers in the sense that it has similar electronica elements to it. That was another quick recording, finished within 4 days while I had time off work due to a fractured clavicle injury, hence the title ‘Caffeine and Painkillers.’ I was consuming a lot of that stuff during the making of that album.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    Yes, Redrum in Reason 5.0, Reason effects, Pro Tools plug in effects, a MIDI keyboard
    (emulating various synths, basses, strings, distorted guitar loops,) my cello, a melodica, some very shy vocals saturated in effects, a Fender Squier Jaguar, Takamine acoustic guitar, a beaten up old punk rock bass guitar with wires dangling out and taped up to keep the body intact, and some other stuff.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Not really, no.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Nothing tangible/physical and no plan to do that either. It is available here.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    No. However I do plan to write up a screenplay, music vid trilogy, maybe aim for some funding via a grant for this recording of mine which is the fully finished soundtrack to the aforementioned music vid trilogy I plan to make one day, maybe next year. Here’s the link to that soundtrack.


  • General

    New Album: Too Many Chiefs

    24.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Andrew London from new group ‘Too Many Chiefs’, which comprises the joint talent of Laura Collins, Rob Joass, Andrew London and Wayne Mason.

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    The Surgery, Wellington,

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    Lee Prebble engineer. Produced by all four members of Too many Chiefs. We had three tracks each and oversaw the production of our own songs.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    Songs all written by four songwriters individually; some recently, some many years ago. The songs represent our live show where we select our favourite originals and contribute to each other’s songs; sometimes swapping instruments. The oldest song we perform is Wayne Mason’s ’Nature’ from 1969.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    We wanted the recording to represent what happens when we perform live.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    No; just our own acoustic instruments.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    The first track is fairly representative. Wayne Mason wrote it around 2015 and plays acoustic guitar. Rob Joass plays bass, Andrew London plays lead guitar (arch top Hofner) and Laura Collins adds vocal harmony.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    Physical CDs and digital downloads available from Bandcamp.com.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Not yet.


  • General

    New Album: Disasteradio

    18.08.17 | Permalink | Comment? | By

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Disasteradio who has just dropped new album ‘Sweatshop’, his 14th release, which is currently available for free/donation on Bandcamp. Any pay-as-you-like purchase of this album also includes a sweet 6-track instrumental EP “Sweatpants”

    When/where was the new album recorded?
    I started working on most of these songs as a collection pretty soon after putting out Charisma (in 2010) – some songs on this album go back as far as 2008. I have every session and idea I’ve ever worked on arranged by year, going back that far.. so I’m always churning over old material, figuring out and refining ideas. It’s a blessing and a curse, there is always something old to work on and obsess over, but also I’m in a dialogue with all of my previous ideas, so things can get quite interesting (or frustrating!) quite quickly.

    I have always worked from home, in my bedroom, but more recently I’ve moved to a garage that I share with my partner Chloe – she’s a contemporary jeweller, so there’s always this comic mix of banging, blowtorches, beeping and drum fills in there.

    Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I’ve never worked on music in a proper recording studio (haha I have been in one once for drinks) .. having a close proximity to one’s working space is important. The way I see it, all creativity to me is a form of autobiography. Being able to capture ideas quickly and comfortably has always been at the heart of what I do. Often the process of a song is intense work on getting melodies, harmonies, rhythm and mix right as an instrumental, then I substitute the lead instrument for the vocal. This can take a week or it can take years. I started writing more instrumental stuff so adding vocals is a kind of hybridisation of instrumental and songwriting approaches. I record a lot of indistinct mumbling along to a song and try to hear what words want to come out on the melody.. like a flow-of-consciousness type exercise. If you get even one word right for a line of lyrics, you can build the words around it quite easily.

    When I’m in this productive mode I do a lot of listening to half-finished albums when I’m walking somewhere on headphones, or when I’m driving. I’m always thinking how a given part of a song might distil down, to reduce what I mean lyrically or musically to the most direct thing possible. I mastered it myself and did the album art on my own basically because I’m a control freak, also thinking about how things work absolutely occupies my mind most of the time, so learning these skills is all part of it.

    How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
    I have always loved the way synthesizer pop comments on technology, and that is always a theme, but lots of songs talk about that – “Modern Rock” is about my sort of frustrations with this essentialist, macho attachment to vintage gear, vinyl, guitar music being more “authentic” than anything else, that sort of thing. “Sweatshop” is more-or-less about how I couldn’t make a motherboard, or a cellphone, but I need one to do what I do – that without the labour of thousands of people I literally would be doing something completely different, and not knowing what to do with that knowledge as an artist.

    The album starts quite angsty which was intentional, over the production of it I had a knee injury in 2012 which meant I couldn’t walk for a number of months, so I had to grow through that experience as well. I was stuck in bed for most of the summer of 2012 so that was part of the name of the album “Sweatshop”.. I remember one night feeling quite down but I came across the astronaut Sunni Williams giving a tour of the International Space Station and got quite obsessed with it – I found it quite heart-warming to know that these people were always floating around me in this tiny enclosed space when I was stuck inside my house, like they couldn’t go outside either.. kinda weird to say but anyway that is why the album cover has this space station theme.

    The album ends quite optimistically and finishes with the song “Oh Yeah” which was the final song I wrote too. More recently I got into feeling more grateful in life and kind of letting go of my own attachments, that sort of thing. So there’s this kind of redemptive arc through the album I guess.. it begins with older songs that are quite angsty and ends with a kind of absolution.

    Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
    Working on this album over the last six years meant I’ve taken on a lot of different ideas and influences. The biggest early one was Electric Light Orchestra’s album TIME (1981) which I absolutely got obsessed with, I really love Jeff Lynne’s percussive, heavy layered pop approach from this period and still listen to that album all the time. Also I started my side-project Eyeliner in 2012 which is original MIDI vaporwave. Eyeliner put out three albums over the time I have been working on Sweatshop, and that project was much more of an exploration of jazz harmonies, lots of stacked chords and a big move away from a major-minor type sound into a much more delectable, ambiguous palette of notes. So Disasteradio has absorbed those ideas a bit as well. “Unleash The Free TV Revolt” was my attempt at Disasteradio doing a slowed-down vaporwave type sound, that almost “samples myself” if that makes sense.

    I also was consciously moving towards more of a lyrical, pop song approach, away from more instrumental stuff as I was able to express those ideas more freely with Eyeliner (which has no singing). More recently I’ve really gotten into the lyrics and composition of Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) & Tom Petty. There are a lot of fake guitar power chords from an old VST plugin called ReFX Slayer in there too, and I made sure it was strongly timed and robotic, and helps to push this driving, power pop type pulse.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    99% of the album is software – virtual instruments. I’m struggling to remember putting any hardware at all on it. Since Visions (2008) I’ve always composed on high-speed gaming type PC desktop machines that my good friend hands-me-down after he upgrades (it’s important to have patrons!) – I’ve loved working with computers since I was six years old – we got a Commodore 64 in the late 1980s – and being able to repair, maintain & upgrade my own hardware has meant I can keep things running for a long time. Music software is such that any mid-spec PC can do a lot of things, so using second-hand hardware makes things even easier, plus you give older tech a longer life.

    Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
    Really hard for me to single out any one song as I consider all of them so different, but I’m really glad I finished “Free WiFi” which I started in 2008, it begins with a snippet of lyrics but meanders off into a kind of jam / 12″ remix breakdown territory, with sounds that invoke radio and communication. I’ve always wanted to write a song like this that references the same sorts of things that bands like OMD, Kraftwerk and Thomas Dolby were doing in the 1980s – music about radio in a kind of romantic, nostalgic sense. That song covers a lot of territory for me, both time-wise and culturally.

    Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
    We are working on vinyl later on in the year but it’s available on most streaming services (Apple, Google Music, Spotify etc) as well as iTunes, and free or pay-as-you-like on Bandcamp.

    Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs?
    Me and my best bud and #1 video maker Simon Ward have been working on a video for “Oh Yeah” that should be out pretty soon. He moved to Melbourne but we work regularly together on some animations and art projects via the web, but because we are in different countries he has made a virtual me that we can use in videos with crazy 3D graphics. It’s at least as fun as the Gravy Rainbow vid, promise you that!


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