It’s on Amazon, Bandcamp and iTunes too.

I should probably just let the music speak for itself, but releasing this song bursts a dam that’s been holding back so many emotions, bad decisions, frustrations and so much more besides.

I enjoy playing bass in They Theory immensely and we’ve got some cracking gigs booked this year. They took me in as I was, they didn’t ask for anything really, I played bass like I do and they just smiled and went with it. It’s a heavier band now because of that but they seem happy enough. This all makes me glad and was one of things that kept me playing and shook me out of my dwam last year.

In The Violet Signs it was a different story. The band grew from a time that was a musical limbo for me, confidence and creativity were at an all-time low and I was just happy to still be playing. Through time my chops came back a little and I found myself writing some nice melodic parts, although the glacial pace we worked at saw so many good ideas fall by the wayside. Still, three songs were recorded and although disquiet grew in the band throughout this time for various reasons, it was the last song we did though that finally snapped me out of the daze.

The Violets played a gig in Glasgow and it was okay, I was happy enough on the night. It wasn’t without issue but I’m not throwing anyone under a bus lest I deservedly join them there. Afterwards though there was some lingering weirdness in my mind and when I heard back the many videos that emerged later I couldn’t believe how weak it all sounded. I’d cut back on the fatness of the guitar to suit the nature of the music and on all but one song it sounded awful. I didn’t recognise the man on stage with that Flying V at all.

What the hell was I doing there?

Recording was booked, recording was cancelled, recording was rebooked elsewhere. I had already quietly signed out of all the bands social media accounts, I had one foot out of the door when the booking process was happening but these folks were my friends (I think?) and I went into the studio to lay down my guitar tracks with optimism.

Loved the recording day, great studio, great engineer and we played pretty well. There was the usual occasions of frustrating oddness but as we sat with takeaway on the control room floor listening back I was happy.

Then the mixing came and I went. Just one step at a time then I eventually said “whatever” and just muted everything and pretended it wasn’t happening.

“We need to mix it so people will like it on their phones”.

The engineer ran out of patience with the ever more ludicrous requests, handed the files over and shut the door. That was embarrassing.

The recording was saved by an old friend of mine and Stevie’s who finished the song at his home studio where he is a low key multinstrumentalist darkwave globally successful artist. The song was released.

There was relief. And I refused to do a video for it. We were done.

I looked at my guitar setup and it just wasn’t mine. eBay fixed that fast and Stevie and I were back in jamming on whatever came out of us. Happiness mostly.

The song you’ll find from the advert above, EightyThree, grew from a regularly visited riff and became the front runner quite fast. We have pretty much a full album worth of songs in various states of completion now, might get to some of that too.

We recorded the song on the afternoon of the 28th of December ’23. I did some rhythm guitars live in the room with Stevie’s drums and then I layered more guitars, the bass and vocals while Diane the engineer and Stevie cajoled and encouraged me through the control room window. All the lead guitar licks and solos are from one take, and that was the first take too. No structure, no melody, just fuzz, wah and a big grin. It really is like coming home.

Have I learned anything from all this? Oh I think so.


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