Saturday, 24 March 2012

BRAND NEW!! The Fierce & The Dead - 666...6

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Good news and bad news


Hope you're good? Things have been a bit weird here lately. I'm currently looking for help, some management/booking gigs type help. I've had a few offers (which I'm looking at).  I blame the Daleks:

So there is some good news and bad news:

Good News

The new Fierce And The Dead EP called On VHS will be available to stream tomorrow, pre orders are being sent out next week and you can still order yours at:

We've made videos and everything. 

Also - There is a great review review of the Believers Roast album that features Knifeworld, Sanguine Hum and loads of amazing stuff (and one of my tracks) in the new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog. Magazine and album out now. Check out the redesign of prog mag, it looks great.

Bad News

For reasons outside of my control the following gigs have been cancelled. Obviously this is most upsetting but there is nothing I can do on this occasion:

The Puzzle Hall
The Castle, Wellingborough. 

I hate cancelling gigs but there was no way round this one. Gutted. No more will be cancelled this year, I can't wait to play these final Relic gigs. 

More news soon. 

Thanks as ever for all your support, you know how much it means to me.


Matt Stevens

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Making a Fierce And The Dead video

Last night we made a video. For the new Fierce And The Dead EP, we're making one for each track.

Kev Feazey directed it, we wore masks. Scary masks.

It was for the song 666...6. 

Bloody hot inside those masks I can tell you with the lights and all that, in front of the camera. 

You hear the song so many times when you are tracking the performances, I still like it thou :)

You can order your EP on CD here but there are less than 20 left now for the pre orders that ship next week:

Can't wait to play you the rest of it, I'm really proud of this stuff.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

How do you keep things fresh? Time to make some changes.

Its a funny thing making records. 

The trick is to make it feel fresh and new. Different and exciting. 

What made a good album once often won't work the same again, like you can't go back to Narnia twice the same way. I think you need to work with new people and expose yourself to new ideas and influences.

A classic example of this is Bowie's Berlin sequence of records. Bowie has constantly worked with different collaborators to expose himself to new working methods. Eno famously used his Oblique Strategies cards to contrive random events and new recording experiences. (and I'm not saying I'm a David Bowie).

I think if I want to continue to make records I need to go away and come back. Find new working methods because I have hit a bit of a dead end post Relic. I've loved working with The Fierce And The Dead and I'm really proud of the new EP. Who knows how long this will continue for but I hope we can at least make another album.  

At the moment funding has become a problem, I am a new dad and have some serious responsibilites. I can't just make records, I can't support my family with earnings from music (god knows I've tried) so the time i have to make music is seriously limited with lots of non music work and i want to try and spend time with my son, when possible. 

I'm not sure when I'll make another solo record. Not this year anyway. Maybe in a few years. Maybe the next thing will be a collaboration, I'm pleased to say I've had some cool offers. I'd really like to make a record with multiple collaborators. 

I sure am going to miss it all after the next few gigs, part of me wants to keep on doing the solo loop shows but its better to move on before people get bored. 

I'd love to have a chance to tour properly but I don't think there is any more I can do on my own, I need help. We'll see. I'd love some help, but I've not quite got to the right point. Really difficult to be honest.

I've talked to a few managers...we'll have to see how things work out.  

All change.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Do fans think musicians are rich?

"Most current musician make most of their money from touring and performing live, I paid £28 for a ticket to Bloc Party in 2008; i'm a big fan of theirs so I was happy to pay, but, £28 x 2000? £56,000 for ONE GIG, say they do a tour of 50 gigs.. £2.8 million. Obviously, you'd have to then pay for accomodation, transport, venue fees, extras (food, petrol etc), but that can't be more than £1-1.5 million. And that's a band that were just becoming mainstream when they split up. Imagine if you were the likes of Take That, Lady Gaga and you could choose to charge £50+ per ticket. Millions." 

This is a comment on a blog post in the Independent about how rubbish royalties are on Spotify. 

Sadly most bands don't make a lot from touring, especially at the 100-400 people at a gig point. If you earn £1000 a night but hotel rooms for 6 people and the van (plus advertising, etc etc) are £1200 you have still lost money. Production costs can be high. Most bands need to sell merch to survive. 

Another comment on the same blog:

"oh yeah cuz spotify is how musicians make there money! they can all shut up and stop whining the greedy morons, there absolutely minted in the millions and they complain there not gettin paid enough by a website? new talent will have no problem for the new generation."

Blimey. Thanks for that. Most musicians are really having a hard time at the moment. Another one:

"What are you talking about. Yes they have all those costs to cover, however if a musician is signed to a record label, the label will cover all those costs anyway. Also don't you realize those costs are what they are BECAUSE of the amount the artists are paid?"

Yup people really are that naive that they think record labels cover the costs if you are signed to one. Signing to a record label doesn't make you wealthy, quite often the opposite!

What we need to do is educate the public. Labels rarely pay advances these days (apart from very rare majors) - its just not what happens anymore. 

My music is available on Bandcamp, pay what you want. If you choose to pay for it I will be able to afford to make records, if you don't I won't. This is the reality for musicians these days:

I've been very lucky to have the support of an amazing online audience, most people don't have that. 

Thank you for all your support. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Why Isn't Jason Falkner really famous?

Jason Falkner is one of my favorite songwriters. She Goes To Bed is amazing, really great. He has this knack of writing songs that make me feel both happy and sad at the same time.

He is probably best known for playing in Jellyfish but it is his 2 solo albums from the 90s (Author Unknown and Can You Still Feel?) that i like best. Check out the chords.

This is from his latest album:

The chorus is amazing. 

How is this fella not more well known? Its worrying that someone can be that good and no one knows who he is. 

I saw him play live in London once in front of a small audience, great gig, the audience sang the harmony parts!

Why is it that so many amazing musicians never gain an audience? 

So many great bands/artists never get a fair chance and there is no greater example than Jason Falkner. 

I bet everyone reading this could name at least one great musician who never really got heard.....


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