Thursday, 27 October 2011

Burning Shed

Hi 

 

Hope you're good?

 

Thanks loads to everyone downloading my album Relic - for the moment its still pay what you want from:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

 

Where you can buy signed CDs etc. If you like my music please tell your friends about it, it makes a massive difference. 

 

Also my music is now available from the mighty Burning Shed- you can see my store at:

 

http://www.burningshed.com/store/mattstevens/

 

Burning Shed is a distribution company and they do the likes of Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, No-Man, K-Scope etc I'm really pleased to be working with them. 

 

The first Fierce And The Dead gig went well last week and we shall be performing again on Saturday :

 

Urban Bar, 176 Whitechapel Road, London, United Kingdom, E1 1BJ

 

Alongside Tormenta and Baaneex - on at 9pm. 

 

Then the following week its a solo gig opening for Panic Room. in Bury St Edmunds. Keeping busy.

 

It would be great to see you there :) 

 

Thanks loads

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.fierceandthedead.com

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

http://www.spencerparkmusic.com

mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Matt Stevens - Relic - Track By Track Part 2

Relic is track 2.

Different, heavy. Acoustic guitar, distorted bass, drums.

Bass is by Kevin Feazey

Drums - Stuart Marshall.

Gideon Coe played it on his BBC Radio 6 show the other day, this made me happy, first time thats happened.

So this one is a 10/8 shuffle. We recorded the guitars and bass first then the drums at Livingstone. I was a bit unhappy with this one until then we put the drums on, we didn't tell Stu it was in a weird timing - we just said off you go and he came up with the groove at the start which made it for me. It felt a bit flat and dangerously close to "contemporary progressive rock", Stu made it a bit more Melvins and I was really happy. Now its one of my favourite songs on the record.

The title refers to the way i was thinking at the time that it was time to stop making records, that this would be the last one. I think i've changed my mind since then. Are CDs are a relic? Is the 10 song album a thing of the past? Do you need a 10 track record when people like to pick off individual tracks? I'm not sure, I still like the format. We'll see. I know that this will be last ten track album for a while anyway, i think i've put out too much music in the last few years and I don't want to get burned out.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Friday, 21 October 2011

First Fierce And The Dead gig/final rehearsal

Here we go.....

First gig from my band tomorrow in Islington - tickets from:

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/136987

I'm doing a solo gig in the evening at the same festival.

TFATD rehearsals are going well - sounds massive. Steve is a superb guitar player and a great addition to the band. Stu and Kev are a fine rhythm section. Its sounds like a band.

Can't wait.

I tried to use my Jagmaster - bloody nightmare with the tuning so back to the Tele.

I bloody love that Tele.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Relic Track by Track - Nightbus

Next few posts are going to be on about my new album Relic, song by song, how we recorded it. You can download Relic and pay any amount or get the CD from:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/releases

Nightbus then, first song on the album. I wanted it to be punchy and direct. I wanted to show its was different to Ghost, lots of extra instrumentation. Progression, but not for the sake of it. There is a temptation that when you get a reasonably successful record like Ghost to just do Ghost 2 but that was the last thing i wanted to do. I didn't want to get bored. A few people have said its an experimental record but i think generally its a continuation of what I have done before just with bigger arrangements. I just wanted to make an interesting record. Really for me its all about the chords, i don't think its that out there or weird. Well, not when you compare it to Derek Bailey.

Kev Feazey who produced the album did the electronic stuff at the start then we overdubbed Stuart Marshall (who i play with in the Fierce And The Dead) on drums. I'm really pleased with the drums on this, we recorded them at Livingstone studios which is in North London's exotic Wood Green (you may have seen it being looted on the TV a few months ago, Wood Green, not the studio).

Livingstone is best known for Bjork's Debut and Buena Vista Social Club being recorded there but its also where everyone from Porcupine Tree to Mel C have made records. Its actually quite posh but the sounds you get there are amazing and its a wonderful environment to work in. We used the money from the Pre-Orders to finance this bit (thank you).

I can't remember if I played Bass or Kev did on this this one and neither can he. The guitar is a mic'd up Ibanez acoustic called an Artwood that I used on all the other records that i got for £100. I did the Glockenspiel then we built up the guitar parts in stacked triads above that. Those parts were recorded direct into Pro Tools in our back bedroom (which is now a baby room!). I wrote it on my £20 knackered Yamaha guitar and it was one of the last songs we recorded for the album. Often its seems you record/write the first song last. Odd.

I'm really proud of this one and i think it really brings in a different feel for the whole album.

Next Relic....

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Nice Video for a song from Relic :)

My friend Jonathan Grant made this - its lovely

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Music without genre/The Big Takeover Review

imgres by mattstevensguitar
imgres, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Sometimes I'd love to be in a genre:

Post Rock
Prog Rock
Acoustic
Jazz
Indie Rock
Folk
Experimental

Something like that, cosy alongside other people. Unfortunately I don't fit in. Too many solos for Post Rock, not enough for Prog. Too much improvisation for Rock, not enough for Jazz. To be honest its frustrating because it makes it a bit of a hard thing to explain to people. My attitude to promotion, the Punk DIY thing goes back to US hardcore SST, Alternative Tentacles and all that.

Here is a new review of Ghost from this months The Big Takeover - which is a magazine that i used to read religiously a few years ago:
Ghost is built for adventurous listeners attuned to instrumental prog, acoustic folk, and their local post-rock scenes. The intricate and unsettled “Into the Sea,” built upon layers of guitar, sounds like London-based Stevens is channeling both Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Adrian Belew into an indie-pop, kaleidoscopic mash-up of the former’s “Paranoid Android” and King Crimson’s “Frame by Frame.” “Big Sky” is as dense and propulsive as “Mrs. Lazarus” by math-rockers Hum. Although sci-fi processing tricks are employed, all sounds are still rendered solely upon Stevens’ acoustic guitar. With sparkling glockenspiel, the tense and undulating “Eleven” (named for its time signature) is the first track to add additional instruments. Featuring a rhythm section, “Draw” suggests a fondness both for Robert Fripp’s atonal soundscapes and recent solo material by Television’s Tom Verlaine. (mattstevensguitar.com)


I was really pleased, I never thought my music would be in a magazine like that, amazing.

So some people still like my music. Thats the weird thing, some people love it. Which is amazing. But it makes it really hard to find where the people will be who will like what I do. To be honest I don't think its that weird, its really melodic.

Reading the new issue of Classic Rock Presents prog I'd say there were only a few bands I really feel any connection with, in terms of attitude. Its the same problem you get finding collaborators, you need people who get Husker Du and King Crimson, Bad Brains and John Barry and John Coltrane and Slayer and The Zombies.

So you're totally reliant on people who listen to what you are doing to telling their friend, word of mouth and all that. I've done adverts in various places but its really hard to reach the tiny percentage of people who will be in to what I do.

So if you like my music please tell your friends :)

Thanks loads for all your support. :)

Monday, 3 October 2011

I don't really like instrumental music but....

One of the things I get is "I don't really like instrumental music but I really like your stuff". I understand.

Neither do I.

Most "rock instrumentals" are a bit noodly - solos, god why the solos. Over and over. That say nothing.

I love solos when its Bill Steer and Michael Amott in Carcass or Randy Rhodes or John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Or Bill Evans.

Sadly a lot of rock solos is the process of playing fancy lick X over generic modal vamp Y. With some added noodles. I don't get it.

I'm interested in chords and composition like Radiohead, King Crimson, The Dead Kennedys, The Beatles, Husker Du, Jellyfish,Debussy and Voivod. Chords and melodies. That feeling you get when a piece of music takes you somewhere. Emotions.

The good stuff :)

Thanks loads to everyone who has been downloading and sharing Relic :)

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