Monday, 29 April 2013

Goodbye Future Steely Dan

I think the future for bands is lots of musicians with small online fan bases, a few hundred or thousand. But small audiences do leave bands without the funding to tour or make posh sounding records. Which means no more weeks of recording in quality studios with expert technicians. Who's going to pay for it?  How would a band like Steely Dan who spent months in the studio survive now? 

My friend Sid Smith made a good point in his blog about musicians from the late part of the 20th Century on his excellent blog - they worked:

"Twelve hours a day. Seven days a week. 

And when they weren’t they working full-time in their communal houses, studios or Schloss, they were out touring. 

I interview and talk to lots of modern-day players. Almost none of them work full time as musicians any more. There just aren’t the sales or the corporate support which the likes of Hillage, Baumann or Schmidt enjoyed that enabled them to give up their day jobs. 

This is not to imply that there’s anything deficient or unworthy about the musicians of today. Far from it. 

But as the hip commentators and freeium-toting futurologists cheer on the death of the recording industry, I can’t help but think something has been lost."

I think we are losing something. 

Paul Simon making albums over a long period. Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush. Will we see people making albums like that again, to that quality. Who will pay the collaborators? I know technology has advanced so that one person can make a record but do they have all the skills required to make a GREAT RECORD? 

So much of what I've done is based on good will, helpful mates and very kind contributions from talented friends I've met online. But how far can this go? 

Weird times.  

Sunday, 28 April 2013

"It's going round and round, it's a fake, I'm not stupid"

"It's going round and round, it's a fake, I'm not stupid" Mr Very Loud Heckler, Front Of Stage, learning about looping. 

And so I played a gig in Brighton and much noise and heckling occurred. Lesson learned. I followed a dubstep DJ and it was a support slot. I just laughed and shook the bloke's hand. This was followed by "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggghhhh" over and over again throughout my set. Pretty shite and I felt bad for anyone actually trying to listen (not that many of them cared) but I just got on with it. It wasn't an environment with any chance of actually winning people over, a very noisy pub full of really really pissed people and an underpowered PA. 

In some situations you can't win, although a noisy rock band would have been very useful. From now on no more doing gigs cause i just fancy it, proper shows with proper promoters and a curated line up. Lesson learned! Anyway it was a good warm up for Celebr8. In a funny sort of way I quite enjoyed it and the guys in the other bands were lovely people. I was very glad to get home after that one.

Brighton is a very odd place. 

Earlier in the week Yonks played one song at the Bull & Gate closing down shows as part of my friend Lextrical's set. That was fun and very noisy. 

Photo by our friend Amy. 

Fierce And The Dead practice went well, 7 new songs ready to record. I like it, I'm into it. 

And we saw the very wonderful Guapo and Stars In Battledress. Stunning bands. 

Busy Busy. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

How To Profit From A Ridiculous Argument

    • Background Noise oooooooooooor people could get it for free
      download Matt.Stevens.Ghost.2010torrent for free, Matt.Stevens.Ghost.2010 torrent download, download Matt.Stevens.Ghost.2010
      • Matt Stevens I believe you can no longer justify torrenting when you can listen legally for free. Makes very little sense.
      • Background Noise the lines between legalities are very blurry my friend. besides, i myself believe the ownership of music to be moot. take poetry for example; the way the words make us feel is the soul purpose of the art. therefore it is the emotion i am paying or working for. an emotion is either a chemical reaction in my own brain, or a religious or spiritual enlightenment of my soul. ergo how can an experience i (or if you must "fate) create, be subject to the ownership of a simple cog in a grandfather clock of variables? if you must spin the argument of source-fulness, your art wouldn't be wanted unless someone felt the need to accompany their emotion. so, you as the artist are subjugate to the whims of the commission. and this commissioner can get it for free. merchandise my friend. thats the way. keep up the good work
      • Matt Stevens PS Just turned this into a PDF and I'm selling it on my website - totally agree words belong to no one. BTW that's £6 please.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Please Support Electric Garden Festival

Apologies if my recent blog was in any way negative about Electric Garden, that certainly wasn't my intention, was just saying we need to cover costs - we support Ken Foster completely - lovely bloke and I hope the festival goes well, as i have said repeatedly - if you live in the are please support this wonderful festival

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Why aren't Fierce And The Dead playing Electric Garden Festival now it's not funded?


Sad news, the Electric Garden Festival hasn't not raised it's full amount to go ahead. They are staging a cut back version of the festival, sadly we The Fierce And The Dead can't afford to lose at lease £300 to play the gig with very little chance of recouping. We wish Ken all the best, he's a great fella. My friend Andy made a good point:

"The trouble is - especially after Y Prog folded - is that people won't commit until they're certain it's going ahead. But it won't go ahead until enough people commit to it. Vicious circle"

True. Once we'd paid for 2 hotel rooms (hotels more expensive on Saturday night) plus van hire and petrol we couldn't justify it without funding as we were unlikely to cover costs (our time isn't paid for but we're all losing a day where we could be working, big difference for freelancers). Often we play for nothing but to pay £300 to do it we just can't, it's not sustainable, none of us are rich. Here is the official statement from EG:

"Although we were delighted with the response to advance sales via we have been unable to raise enogh funds to hold the festival in the original intended form.

The festival will, however, go ahead.

All pledges via Fundervine are null and void and no money will be taken. We will announce revised line-up and ticket details tomorrow.

Many thanks for your support and understanding."

Info at:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The March Acoustic Tour or 3 gigs...

Last 3 gigs

1st gig supporting Lorenzo Feliciati and Colin Edwin in London

Weird venue underneath a flyover in Notting Hill. Notting Hill is nothing like they way it is in the soppy film, edgy and lots of culture. 

Great night for Rarenoise Records, lovely people and a terrific set. 2 basses could be horrible, but it wasn't, really interesting and melodic playing from two great musicians. The set was semi improvised and the level of communication onstage was remarkable. Had a chat to Colin and Lorenzo, great people. Drummer Dave Walsh was also a top player. Great night. 

2nd Gig supporting Mike Keneally and Godsticks.

Crowd outside the venue:

I've played with Godsticks many times before, lovely people, great band. Mike was really supportive and said some nice things about my music, he has some great Zappa stories (Mike was the guitarist in Frank Zappa's band and now plays with Joe Satriani). The whole band were really cool, nice people and amazing musicians, fantastic songs. Great to catch up with Sid Smith, he wrote one of my favorite books about music, a great King Crimson biog. Sid also writes for Prog, top bloke with some great stories. My very talented musician friend Roger Palmeri also came, great to see him. 

Mike Keneally Band


3rd Gig supporting Also Eden and Sankara.

I really like Wales, I like the mountains and I really like the people. A mountain:

Firstly great to catch up with my mate Matt Cohen from The Reasoning, we always have a lot to talk about. I really admire the way he has built up a following for his band over the last 7 years. Recently he signed to Esoteric/Cherry Red and the profile of the band seems to have really grown. I saw him on breakfast TV on the Prog awards last year! Matt gave me a lift to the gig and I met up with the Also Eden guys who I hadn't seen since the 2011 Electric Garden Festival, really nice guys. The gig was good, cool crowd and Lee from AE very kindly let me stay over and save on a hotel. If you like prog influenced by Marillion and other stufff you need to see AE.

On stage with Alun - Photo by Paul Johnson:

I got to play with my friend Alun Vaughan on 3 songs, he really is a great bass player. Me and him and out mutial friend Paul Dementio went for a Curry after the set and had a great chat about the state of the world/music industry. 

Nice to not be gigging for a while now, writing time!! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

If you want to make cool, weird music...

This from my friend Anil who is editor of one of the best music sites on the web:

"There is no shame in a day job: My recent postings highlighted how a day job drives Innerviews. There remains a certain element of "shame" for some artists who feel that, despite delivering high-caliber work, they have somehow failed because they can't make a go of things full time. This whole construct is a myth. I would argue that the vast majority of creative individuals have a day job that enables them to keep hand to mouth. And that holds true for even some of the most incredible musicians of our time, who fund their recordings and performances by teaching, equipment design, consulting, remastering/remixing/producing/engineering work for others, doing wedding/party gigs, running online music retail outlets, music app development, plugin design, or doing something entirely unrelated to music altogether. In fact, I have just described 95% of every musician I have ever featured on Innerviews, including some of the big "name brand" people. So, embrace the reality and just go with it. We all have to have a multiverse approach to make a go of things given the state of the world. It's just the way it is and it's totally, 100% cool."

Go visit now.

About Anil:

"Established in 1994 by music journalist Anil Prasad,Innerviews is the Web’s first and longest-running music magazine. Innerviews delivers in-depth, uncompromising interviews that enable artists to speak at length about topics that matter to them. The magazine features a wide variety of genres, including rock, jazz, world music, pop, hip-hop, and folk.
Prasad’s writing has also appeared in Guitar Player, Bass Player, Frets, JazzTimes, Relix, All About Jazz, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In addition,Innerviews content is used as part of the UCLA School of Music's course curriculum.
Prasad is the author of the best-selling book Innerviews: Music Without Borders. The eBook edition hit #1 on iTunes’ Arts & Entertainment and Music charts. The book features detailed interviews with 24 renowned musicians who share candid thoughts on the joy and pain of the creative process, their careers and aspirations, conflicts and collaborations, and the realities of today's music business. Artists profiled in the book include Björk, Stanley Clarke, Ani DiFranco, Béla Fleck, Bill Laswell, John McLaughlin, Public Enemy, David Sylvian, and Tangerine Dream.
The book has been acclaimed by media outlets worldwide. "Prasad gets artists to share their deepest thoughts about a wide range of topics, from spiritual inspiration and motives to compositional methods. A fascinating look at the thinking of contemporary artists," said The Christian Science Monitor.
"The book sets the bar for getting musicians to speak candidly and thoughtfully about their work and relation to the world,” wrote The Ottawa Citizen.
Prasad’s work has been extensively quoted in more than two-dozen music books, including In a Silent Way: A Portrait of Joe Zawinul by Brian Glasser, In The Court of King Crimson by Sid Smith, On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno by David Sheppard, and So What: The Life of Miles Davis by John Szwed."


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