Friday, 26 August 2011

Rutland Weekend Television

We've been trying to get our stuff together for this acoustic gig in Edinburgh. The problem is that we have too many songs. We've now done 5 albums in 5 years and if we're been truthful there's songs we've done that we can only vaguely remember. I remember reading this book about the Rolling Stones and they were getting ready for their 1972 tour. They put  cassettes on of their old records and played them through the PA and jammed along  to learn the songs. I thought this was the height of decadence. Until last week. We put the i pod on top of a Marshall amp and relearned our old stuff. I dont repeatedly listen to our music. I do when it's getting mixed but once you put it out you have to just let it go. I used to know this reasonably famous rock singer from Glasgow and whenever you'd go to his flat he'd be listening to himself and asking you what you thought. Seemed so vain that eventually I thought why dont you just put a mirror up and ask me what you think.

We've been a studio band since 2007 and we only play occasional gigs most of which are quite haphazard. Most of the time our attention is focussed on our new record whether that's writing it, recording it or other aspects. We try and do it all quickly because music is just that day or that week. It probably seems a bit strange to people how much music we do. But then people have become used to the way record companies work which to a time traveller from the 60's or 70's would seem extremely odd.

A typical signed band takes a year to write their record. Then they'll spend 6 months recording and remixing and getting hung up about the sound of the snare drum and whether mix A is slightly better than mix G. Then the record company and agent will book gigs and try and promote the record for a year. Then the band will be so knackered that they want 6 months off. So generally there's a 3 year life to most band's records. This was all well and good in the 1980's but with the internet it's hopelessly outdated. How many good bands recently have come back after 3 years and everything has moved on. The internet means that if someone does something reasonably fresh there's another 10 bands doing the same thing within 2 weeks and the shelf life of bands and records seems to be getting shorter with each year.

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