Right, first things first let’s get this out of the way: We promised you an album in August and have given you and EP in October; what’s that all about? Well, we could say ‘what you going to do, sue us?’, but with several wives, children and tea merchants dependent upon us for financial support we can’t take that risk. So instead we humbly ask for your forgiveness and give the following explanation.
We are perfectionists – I don’t mean Steely Dan ‘record the same four bars with 1,000 of the world’s best session guitarists and pick one’ type perfectionists. More, ‘that’s great, but can you sing it in tune this time’, and ‘on the beat would be more traditional’ type of perfectionists. After all, perfection is a relative term*, and we’d love to be the world’s greatest musicians, but we aren’t. And we’d love to have session players to do the instruments we can’t play, but we can’t afford them, so we have to muddle through and do our best. But rest assured it is our best.
Summertime and the living is busy– For us musicians summer, is the busiest time of the year, and we have been super busy with gigs. To even have taken on this recording at this time of year was stupidly optimistic. Still it is this stupid optimism that makes three chaps think, ‘I’ll not bother working at a proper job and try and make money from music’ in the first place.
We don’t know what we are doing, but we do – We have paid thousands of pounds in recording fees over the years to people who know what they are doing and never been happy with the result. So we decided to do it ourselves. We are happy with the result, but there’s been a lot of trial and error and teaching ourselves as we go.
So with our excuses out of the way let me tell what we are about with this EP, via a little anecdote. When I was a lad I did woodwork at school. We were set a task to design some kind of wooden animal on a stand, you know the kind of practical task which has been really useful to me as an adult. I designed an eagle and picked out a piece of wood from the pile which I thought had a beautiful golden colour to it, an attractive dark grain running across it and a swirly knot in the middle. I cut it into the required shape and glued it to the base. I was happy at this point, proud of my work and I thought it was finished. Then the teacher said ‘now you need to stain it’. I liked the way it looked, but I did as I was told and the beautiful golden colour was gone along with the contrast between the flesh of the wood and the grain. Still at least you could feel the grain and knot if you ran your fingers across it. Then the teacher said ‘now you need to varnish it; give it four coats’. Again, I did as I was told and my rough piece of wood was now shiny and sticky feeling, but at least it still felt a bit rough to the touch; it still felt like a piece of wood. Lastly the teacher said ‘you are going to buff and polish it’, which I did. It now felt completely smooth and I was not happy. It might as well have been a piece of plastic.
I hope you this gives you some idea of what we are trying to achieve with our music, and if not just have a listen. If my old woodwork teacher is reading this I should stress that I bear him no bad feeling. After all since I can’t draw and I hacked at it with power tools, my eagle was a piece of crap anyway and looked more like a sparrow that had been run over by a lawnmower. My parents dutifully displayed it on the sideboard, before binning it at the first opportunity. I expect it’s in a landfill somewhere, but with all that varnish I doubt it will ever rot.
*Actually come to think of it I’m not sure it is arelative term. I’ll ask my Dad.