The Daily Struggles
Hey Guys. This has been a long time coming to write down my thoughts since I last blogged in June. A lot of the time I just haven’t had time or when I do things seem to be in turmoil within the band or in life goings on that I just haven’t felt like it and at points I’ve felt the band may even split up before I get to write another one of these!
I left off in good spirits in June but my positive outlook didn’t carry on much best the last post. I think at that time we all had different ideas about how much time we should be spending on the band. For me im constantly thinking of new music, constantly writing lyrics and it’s the be all and end all in my life. I kind of expect us all to feel that way. I want everyone in the band to be just as passionate and dedicate as much time to it. I understand we all have lives but I felt that we were being unorganised and making the same mistakes over and fucking over again. This culminated in a massive falling out at the end of June when we couldn’t respond to a gig offer properly. We actually did the gig but the performance was awful. I left the gig that night wanting to throw in the towel and wondering what the point was of it all. None of us seemed to be anywhere near in the same place anymore.
We did however have chance to redeem ourselves. We had a big gig in August supporting Chantel McGregor. She is a fantastic guitarist and performer. We were thrilled to be asked to join the bill. We also did really well with ticket sales for the gig. This caught the promoter’s eye as it was an out of town show for us. He really liked our performance that night and has been in contact with our manager about putting us on more shows and in front of even bigger audiences. All in all that was a great night. We performed well and we sold a lot of our merch. It was great to have a new audience to play in front of and for them to appreciate our music and take the time to come and chat and support us. Signing CD’s is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. My signature is terrible for a start!
After this I thought as I always do of trying to make sure I enjoy the ride. But things still didn’t feel right to me. Things still seemed to be slowly happening for us though. We played a great Leeds show in September at the Lending room. We headlined it and really smashed it that night. One of those gigs where everything is so loud and you just go with it. The audience were great too. Then…. After years and years of trying we finally got a BBC introducing live session! This was a great feeling.
We decided we would set ourselves a challenge of attempting one of our most difficult songs to play live for the session. It’s a tune that will be on the EP ‘Falling, Faster’ that is out at the end of the month. It’s called 616 and has a big progressive section in the middle with lots of different and intricate riffs and time signatures. Obviously we couldn’t do that for an acoustic session so we decided I would brush off my piano playing skills and make a completely different arrangement of it. We had a great time doing it and it was really great to play piano again. The session itself was really nerve wracking! We played ok I think, not perfect but overall it was a good performance. I was really chuffed that the DJ Alan Raw complimented my piano playing on air too!
We then had a meeting with Toby and Rob from lightening in a bottle. They help and mentor bands with their song writing etc. and we won a free session with them. They were really positive about our band and overall sound and were particularly interested in our song ‘Save You’. They went as far as to compare it to Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello song writing wrapped in heavy guitars. High praise indeed! Whilst we wouldn’t try write another 10 ‘Save You’s’ to try and have that sound all the time it did give me hope that we were/are doing something right and we have a bit of something different and unique. You always think you are but we are in the eye of the storm all the time. To have it verified by other industry professionals and musicians gives you that confidence in your own ability even more.
This was followed by another meeting with them and Water Bear down in Brighton. We really enjoyed it and picked up loads of cool ideas and tips on how to further progress. I love/hate learning about the industry and how best to go about it. I love learning new things and getting people’s advice who have been there and done it. I hate it because it seems like such a pipe dream a lot of the time and incredibly daunting. But if you believe in something you have to keep going and work really hard right? The one thing that I have taken away from these meetings overall is that you need to stand out and be worth checking out by people. No one wants to see a carbon cut out of someone else or someone who isn’t saying anything. This is something I believe we are doing. Im now not bothered about keeping things back in my lyrics. Im going to talk about everything. My Anxiety, my sadness at things im dealing with in my personal life, everything. It is a great outlet for me and something that I find easier to talk about through music than I ever would do just talking about it.
Whilst we may not always see eye to eye and be on the same page something we always do is front up and bring it live. We could hate each other that day and have been disagreeing on everything but as soon as we hit the stage something changes. We played an awesome show at the 02 academy in Newcastle last month as support to the mighty Deever. The place was packed and we went down great. I actually took time to enjoy the gig too which was awesome. I wish everything was conducted out on that stage, it takes you away from the reality of things and allows you to really express yourself. I really love that about performing. I can be anxious right up to going on and feel physically sick but there is no better drug than playing your own music to a packed audience and them receiving it so positively.
So as we release our third single ‘Repose En Paix’ I have very mixed feelings. People keep saying to me “You guys are doing great, you are so solid”. Yes I guess we are doing great but the reality in private is often very different to how it appears. We are doing well but I want us to do better and reach more people. To do this we need to be a unit.
I wish things were simpler and I genuinely have days where I think we will break apart because of outside differences creeping into something we created. Making music in a room together and kicking ass onstage is the simpler aspects and something I think we would be much better suited to concentrating on. Life is rarely simple I guess and if you haven’t suffered for the art it’s not worth doing is it? So we soldier on and I will keep pushing it forward as much as I can.
Thanks for reading again and thanks for your support as always.