Monday, 20 April 2009
Ok so without getting all " get how well deep I am", I thought I'd just explain quickly what Bright lights is about for the kind few of you that have downloaded it or listened to it on the ol' wireless.
They say that talking about music is like dancing about architecture... how arsey is that! And who the fuck first said that...hang on....googly now.....Christ it was Steve Martin. Steve Bloody Cheaper by the dozen 1 & 2 Martin.
Thats almost a big enough bombshell to make me stop writing and go and put my head in the oven.... much more fun and much, much more accurate would be "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music," by the ever sentient Aldous Huxley ( these are rather nicely sourced from an excellent website called Quotedb.com ) . Music for me is ( efficiently I think) the only religion for me, the only higher power that will always make me get down on bended knee, even if purely to play air guitar in a more back friendly position (seriously, after our video shoot I thought it was new hip time )
Bang, there you go that's about a close to anything eloquent you'll get from this blog, hold onto your hats kids becuase here's my explanation for bright lights...deep breaths.
As a 26 year lad, much of what I've defined being young has been nights out, mainly in the Uk , sometimes elsewhere, usually involving getting drunk or close to it, sometimes too close you could say. In no small way could you define not only my youth but also my friends since youth because of all of this, you go out in a gang, you slowly get picked off either by beer or girls or a kebab until you're alone again ( or occasionally not ) in bed and have to do that horrendous dry eyed awakening the next day and make an assessment on the previous nights events.
Just to be clear, I in no way regret any of this, apart from a couple of occasions which I'll leave out for the searing autobiography I'll no doubt call " Lacey, we bearly knew him, " but recently whilst out and about i've begun to feel a slight creeping unnease at it all. Not in a judgemental way, more of a gradual detachment from in, almost an envy sometimes to see people out and about living ( or at least for one evening ) a care free existence, something which for me has long since gone. Call it what you will, ' just getting older' fits the bill for some.
In one sense, Bright lights is actually caries a very whistful sentiment, although its of course buried like so much of my lyrics under a layer of ultra aggressive cynicism N.B. DON'T WASTE THESE TIMES, THEY'RE SO SO IMPORTANT AND YOU'LL LOOK BACK ON THEM WITH SUCH FONDNESS ( ahem ) even if like me its with a raised eyebrow and a roll of the eye.
In the other, its true it can come across as bitter, almost the most bitter sentiment on the record ( although not the saddest ), the grumpy old bugger in me hates seeing 18 year olds in the prime of their lives, simply because I know those times are over for me. Youngsters will always be youngsters and the gap between me and them will always get great, never smaller. My hangovers get worse and worse with age, my tolerance for liquor depleting so that now 2 beers will make me wake up feeling rough around the edges, oh the shame of it all!
Maybe that it actually a good thing, anyone in posession of any photos of me two years ago ( and my mum confirmed this, ) can see that actually far from living in my prime, I was actually an overweight and pretty unhealthy looking young man....so fuck it!
If this makes sense to anyone else let me know.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
So... I'll get to the video shoot for this when I get the pictures back from Simon our manager because they're so true gems in there, and also a more extensive thanks to all you guys and gals that came along to the set to dance to Simian Mobile Disco all evening and didn't actually get to listen to the new song at all... ( which in a way is good, it hasn't been ruined for you yet...yet? I mean ever! etc etc.) ..but I guess it is my duty to let you know a bit about the tune.
It was the second tune that was written for NHND, although in terms of finishing it was probably one of the last ones. We tend to work that way, with TIWFB Black art wasn't actually done until about 2 weeks before we went into the studio, even though we'd be playing it live for nearly 18 months. We'd be playing it with a very out of place and out of character proper chugga-chugga breakdown where Andy's bitching solo is now, hard to believe really but I guess it lead from either inexperience or just showed the last thread of timidness we felt from not being a metal band at the time. (Just to put it in context at that point Gallows, The Plight, Outcry collective, blackhole, hexes... all those guys were , like us, still unsigned and in some cases still working out what they were playing too...) If you bought any of our little one or two quid demos that we were hawking around at the time you'll know what I mean, it's a strange little bit in the tune....
Bright lights started from Jag having a riff ( THE riff, ) but it was originally intended to be delivered in a different way. We're all huge Soulwax fans and I think the idea at the outset was to re-create that really fucked up disco feel that they inject into a lot of their tunes ....
... E talking, see link above, being a good example, but it wasn't quite working for us. The original verse was sung in a clean vocal, with an almost Futureheads kind of delivery, which was cool but didn't really have the impact that we wanted, and also lead in a dubby, bass driven drop very early on. The whole tune felt more like a slow, gentle part to any record which wasn't the idea at all.
We demo at home a lot, Jag in his room with his pro-tools rig and me, no joke, across the corridor in the room with the washing machine and usually a ladder covered in drying jeans and pants, maybe a cushion and some scrappy paper with all my lyrics on...oh the art you can create in a space such as this dear reader. Anyway, I think in one dark moment Jag just told me to drop the cutesy and just get evil with it. The first line I sang was the one that stuck, " Bright lights, drifting in-front of me ", and the rest was just a load of incomprehensible swearing and spitting ( all together now ...AS IT REMAINS TO THIS DAY, BOOM FUCKING BOOM ) yes yes, well it started from there.
The middle eight, in typical fashion always seems to be the last bit we get right, for a long while the whole song stayed at a kind of plateau, thrashing away for 3 minutes , I think once we'd nailed the drop into the bass and drum part we'd set it up right, and only in the studio did Andy start singing the final echoeing refrain in the outro, which might have been Pelle's idea, but I can't remember ( don't sue! )
Hammering it out live helped. We played it for the first time at the Great Escape show we did with Cancer Bats in the spring of 2008, at this point we'd already been playing Caynons of Static ( you've probably not heard this much yet ) into the set just to try it out, maybe shaving 20 seconds of it or so after that, I fucking wish we had footage of all of this stuff, maybe I should get better at recording our live bits and bobs....Our B-sides album if we ever make one will have one tune you've never heard and 430,000 versions of songs you know really well, we're like bloody pitbulls with tunes, it ain't dead and buried until every scrap of meat has been swallowed, fur and all. Some people call it anal, I think we'd call it care and attention, either way I think its working for us at the moment. I also have no idea how interested any of you are in reading all this , maybe I need to write it just incase when I'm a feeble old piss-riddled fart in a pair of stained cords sitting infront of the golden girls I'll like to look back on all this and go... " what a pretentious little shit you were Tom ", but what the hell eh?
We'll do a dissection of the final lyrics once you're all a bit more comfortable with it, until then here they are in the un-rated 18 plus version. As always kids....
Bright lights, drifting in-front of me, heave up all the tar in your bones, good luck with that apology, never choose how you go. Got raped, dangled in-front of me, got raped now they’re phoning your home, good luck, with that apology, never choose how you go.
Gold from tin, you can’t tell the difference.
Can’t you see all you need are different rules? Can’t you see that all you need, different bones?
All you do is fucking complain ‘bout being thrown to the wolves, keep in mind the vermin you fear have all been wearing kid gloves. Fuck dreaming.
Dead eyes drifting in-front of me, red eye is a sign that you’re done, passed out in the back of an ambulance, maybe they’ll take you home.
All you do is fucking complain ‘bout being thrown the wolves, keep in mind the hopes that you have will all be better of lost. Get ready.
Float me in a barrel down the river.
Turn your bright lights on. Bright lights, drifting in front of me, heave up all the tar in your bones, good luck with that apology, you never choose how you go, the way we go.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
...In which we stop being lazy sons-of-bitches and actually start doing some work towards getting our new record noticed. I'll apologise now for not updating this for a week or two, work and family and heavens above vinyl artwork! have been taking up so much time and it gets to the point where staring at the computer screen when you don't absolutely have to is just completely sapping, what with CSI on tv and a record player on stand by.
Still, the camp is in a good place, we've just come home from completing our 3rd stint in the Maida vale studios for the BBC, and after a good couple of weeks of bricking it quietly we actually pulled a fast one on them and played really well.
The reason for the fear is complex and leads back to our debut outing at the beeb. At the time of our first session I guess in 2006-ish, we were dropped in it during the middle of our third tour. Like ever.
The Mirimar Disaster and our good-selves have a long a fruitful friendship which began as many of these things do with a show at the Hull Adelphi. Now, I have no idea if this venue still exists, I haven't seen it on any gig schedules or tours of late; if it has gone under ( and by under I mean torn to pieces by the savage locals, or buried under a tidal wave of litter and bin bags ) then it is a crying shame, more for history's sake rather than because it holds any fond memory for us, although not for the reason than you may initially think.
It was if memory serves the first show on the tour and nipple pingingly cold, November can be cruel in Hull ( infact so can Spring, Summer and Autumn come to think of it ) and it was jet black as we arrived, both in mood and pitch. Andrew and myself we're at the stage of touring where being in a band was an excuse to reason away drinking as much as humanly from dawn til dusk without calling it outright alchoholism, we all do it ( except you edgers out there, you cheeky so and so's. ) in the early years and gradually grow either out of it or develope from the denial stage altogether and turn into Tommy Lee ( or The Plight ).
As it happened, the venue had kindly provided us with two bottles of red wine along with the usual C 'of 'C ( Band to normal folk translation = Crate of Carling ), and being the sport I was I got the whole bottle down before the show and a couple of cans just to prove to Andy that I cared. This resulted in the 15 strong crowd being treated to an extremely...lets say 'loose' perfomance from me, at one point involving the venue Xmas tree and a round of tinsle being wrapped around my sweaty throat. There is a good picture on wikipedia, which I'll copy now and posted up top.
Anyway, after throwing up red into the toilet ,we all decided ( well the rest of the band ) that a two drink maximum before any show should be inforced.
Now, i'm telling you this because if you were one of the unfortunates that heard our very first Radio 1 session, just to put it in context, it was two shows and about 6 kegs of ale later that a very hung-over and ragged throated Thomas Lacey stood in the beautiful studio vocal booth that so many greats have sung gloriously and heart warmingly in, and proceeded to bark and wheeze away into the £1500 microphone like a tramp scrabbling for a 20 pence piece. I suck in these situations and fuck-a-duck I sucked then. Ever since then, whilst most bands I sure look forward to these sessions ( as they should its a wicked day ) I've been quietly dreading them, so it was a pleasure and a huge relieve to find that we played a fucking blinder, so maybe I've put that ghost to rest...think it airs on Monday if i right, along with the first play of bright lights, so let me know what you think in the usual manner. As for the subject of drinking on tour, we'll no doubt return to that soon.
also I believe tonight is when our rather lovely website comes online, I'll spill the address after its up so as not spoil the suprise but it'll be well worth a visit, if only for the fantastic coding from our good friend Ben Crossman.
now, back to CSI.