Sunday, 26 May 2013

I Have Signed To Esoteric Records

I'm very pleased to say I've signed to Esoteric Recordings and I'll be releasing a new solo album called Lucid early in 2014. Thanks for all the kind words about the announcement, I really appreciate it. 



I really like the people who run the label and they are working with some great artists including Todd Rundgren, Jack Bruce, Van Der Graaf Generator, Sanguine Hum, Steve Hackett and many more.

I've thought long and hard about this and I think it's a logical move, I can't keep up with doing everything on my own anymore with the amount of workload involved with all my other commitments. The guys at Esoteric have also helped me to get some really good gigs. 

Esoteric are an imprint of Cherry Red Records who have put out loads of stunning records over the years, including the classic Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables by The Dead Kennedys one of my favorite albums.

Thanks for all your support so far, I really appreciate it :) 

http://www.progrockmag.com/news/matt-stevens-signs-deal-with-esoteric/

A unique window of opportunity, that's what the last few years have been, blogs, podcasts, word of mouth, Celebr8,"northern prog" prog magazine,the peel, support slots, twitter,facebook, forums,CRS, Youtube, Acoustic Magazine, international stuff, UStream and much more. 

Most importantly an enthusiastic audience! 

Not sure that way of working would work again. 

Flook! Happy!

I'm going to focus on getting this recorded while Kev mixes the Fierce And The Dead record. And some interesting collaborations! 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Trojan Horse And Thumpermonkey

Off to see our friends Trojan Horse and Thumpermonkey. Both brilliant bands and lovely people. Enthusiastic audience crowd and £1.50 a can.

RESULT :)

Both brands were brilliant and we met up with lots of familiar faces and our Prog Radio friend Steve.


The Horse and the Cue.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Goodbye Fierce And The Dead

Final Fierce And The Dead gig before we take the summer off to do other stuff (I'm making a solo album, Kev and his wife Abbi are having a baby and Stu and Steve are going feral). We played at Westminster College. A proper college gig!

Kev even lectured the students before hand.

The gig went really well and the audience seemed to enjoy all 5 new songs we played. We recorded it so hopefully it'll come out at some point (at least the best played bits). Really pleased with the turn out considering it was a Tuesday and an early show (headliners finished before 9!).

Decent size crowd:



I enjoyed the support band First:


And they had a very nice Mustang 1964!!


Our first gig with the projections Kev did:


All in all it felt like one of the best we've done, we loved playing. Roll on September for more stuff :) 












Monday, 13 May 2013

Final day in the studio.

We got it done. Mostly.

We're doing one more day of overdubs but all the guitars got tracked, we went literally to the last minute.

Kev did a magnificent job of producing and engineering, so pleased with the tracks.

We used a Mesa Boogie head and the old Park 4x12 speaker and a Blackstar amp. The range of sounds was crazy.

The Mesa had 4 channels!! So much range, although I'll never be able to afford the 3 grand they cost. I am available for endorsements :) I'm not a fan of that straight Mesa rock sound but this head was so
versatile.

Steve's Pedal board:

Big Face:
Mesa head:
It had almost as many knobs round the back. (Yes, I know I've seen a lot of Carry On films too)

DL4 playing:


video

BEM label boss James came to see us. Top fella. We mostly ate pot noodles :) Read about James's visit here:

http://jamesablog.starjump.org/?p=2451

Then at 9pm it was all done, time to load up the van and head back to London.

I really really enjoyed it, made me realise how good the musicians in the band were to be honest. A few more overdubs but we're mostly there. 





Sunday, 12 May 2013

Celebr8/Day 3

Day 3

Kev and Stu recording more rhythm tracks:


Me and Steve went off to Celebr8

We were only going to be there for a few hours between recording, sadly i missed loads of good stuff including Knifeworld acoustic etc

Great....

Steve driving. 

We were doing well until we decided to get a cup of tea and hit traffic coming to the venue. Then we couldn't find the venue. We reached the venue with minutes to spare. Scary.

Set up and did the set and it went down well apart from when my pickup bust. But my friend Andy Tillison played some piano in the break, top fella (his solo set was also storming):



Off I went:






I went for a walk in the audience:


I must admit i love it when people clap along :) 

Photos by my mate Mike Evans:


Then I had a wonder round meeting lots of lovely "prog friends". 

Later me and Andy Tillison did a set of improvised music. I loved it, Andy is a very talented man, lovely fella. The set seemed to go down very well, spacey stuff to jazzy rock n roll :) 

Hope to work with Andy again soon. Awesome.


Then driving back to the studio to finish the album. 

Busy Busy. 

Thanks so much Steve for driving, what a lovely audience and top stuff all round. Twang and Geoff are the best. Saw some bits of the other acts, top stuff. Please have a look at buying a program, it keeps the festival going:

A unique 2CD Programme featuring rare, live or unreleased tracks from the artistes appearing at Celebr8.2 2013.
Disc One -
1) IO Earth – Kindred Spirits – Previously unreleased
2) Mark Spencer – Kings and Queens – Taken from the Twelfth Night DVD
3) District 97 – Back In NYC – Taken from the album ‘Live At CalProg’
4) Galahad – Beyond The Barbed Wire – Taken from the album ‘Battle Scars’
5) Frost* - Raining In My Heart – Previously unreleased
6) Knifeworld - In A Foreign Way – Taken from the Clairvoyant Fortnight EP
7) Threshold – Ashes – Taken from the album ‘March of Progress’
Disc Two -
1) Matt Stevens – 8.19 (Transcend Mix) – Previously unreleased
2) Alan Reed – Kingdom of The Blind – Taken from the album First In A Field Of One
3) Andy Tillison/The Tangent – Lost In Ledston – Previously Unreleased
4) Harvest – In Debris (featuring Steve Rothery) – Taken from the album ‘Chasing Time’
5) Haken - Celestial Elixir (Live) – Previously unreleased
6) Simon Godfrey/Shineback – Fears Aren’t Toys – Taken From the album ‘Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed
7) Mystery – Pride – Taken from the album- The World Is A Game
8) Arena – Ascension – Previously unreleased
Get it here:




Saturday, 11 May 2013

Studio Diary Day 2

More drums going down. It was at this point I realised:

A - As a band we were pretty well rehearsed
B - Stuart is a great drummer


No it's not our Gold record (it belongs to the Fall)

Steve's pedal board


Early night, cause the next day it was Celebr8.....


Studio Diary Day 1


We're getting there. Recording the second Fierce And The Dead album at a top secret location in the country. Actually it's Farheath Studios in Northants. 

We're set up. First couple of tracks down. It's lovely here. And it sounds amazing, we all feel really positive. 

There are donkeys


Lovely desk


Doing Drums


Actually these photos could all be captioned "Photos of Kev working"
He's doing a great job, he's very much the captain of the ship for these sessions. 

Lovely views



Natural light makes a massive difference in the studio. And a pond. 

Can't wait to try this amp later....


And today's Pedal board is....
My pedal board


Right, back to it....

We have a lucky winner









Friday, 3 May 2013

RIP Jeff Hanneman

I know exactly where I was on the 8th November, 1991. Watching Slayer at the Birmingham NEC. It was amazing. They had the Hell Awaits intro tape and they just walked forward, went into a song and started headbanging then walked back again at the end of the song. There wasn't much of a stage show. But it was incredible, the sheer power of those four men on stage. At the time a lot of metal was about props, blow up dolls, make up and fireworks. Not Slayer, this was for real.

Sheer power and precision and the best thrash metal riffs ever. War Ensemble, The Anitichrist, Raining Blood, South Of Heaven, Dead Skin Mask, Seasons In The Abyss, Chemical Warfare, Mandatory Suicide, Angel Of Death. Lead breaks edging on the avant garde, no sub Diamond Head rehashes here this was closer to Ornette Coleman with a whammy bar. No one came close for straight metal. 

It was a life changing moment for this 16 year old boy in the audience. Slayer, one of the best bands ever. 

Thank you Jeff Hanneman, a wonderful musician. RIP. 

My friend Dom Lawson wrote this excellent obituary in the Guardian today. Read it here:



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