God, this is exciting. After a few false starts, the music vid for Hands Up was shot yesterday. This time it was made with a proper crew and equipment, in various locations, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.
That’s it, I’m saying nothing more for now – you’ll just have to wait.
Started on recording the 2nd album. Apart from the vocals being tentative – and therefore weak – it was a pretty productive session. Once I’ve got all the basic guitar tracks down I can re-record the singing, then start fleshing out the songs; meddle with them till they’re unrecognizable, even. They’re all very new, haven’t been aired live (hence the uncertainty), so I’m not tied to them emotionally; if it feels right, they could be stripped down again, completely re-structured, lose the guitar… Well, it’s a possibility.
Good to be back in London – knowing I could leave – and good to catch up with friends, to be doing music.
So – a rich harvest indeed. The projected new album doesn’t even have a title, and there’s a lot of work still to do. The timing may seem a little odd, given that album #1 hasn’t yet been released; but it’s also satisfying to remind myself what all this is an aid of, namely music and all that shit. (Yeah… I’m not just stroking my own bloated ego here, it’s about laying a pure and pristine offering on the altar of the muse… right?)
Anyway, sounding good so far.
In the run-up to the album release, a series of short films I made are being hosted by God Is In The TV zine.
Here’s the first one:
The second part will be up around Tue 24th May, and so on in fortnightly installments.
I might have described these vids briefly in an earlier entry, but anyway, they’re filmed versions of previously-published stories.
By saying “filmed”, I don’t want to write cheques I can’t cash (for younger readers, those are pieces of paper – paper – that the older generation used to transmit a sum of money. It sounds crazy, but it’s true)…*
They’re lo-fi, minimal – in the strictest sense of the term – but no less entertaining for that, hopefully. Have a look.
*Note to self: be more careful with the cheap sarcasm
More fun in the capital. Every time I visit London now, a wave of nostalgia hits me – how could I have given up all this? The density, the dirt, the sense of great things doing? Well, I had little choice – but that’s another story. Besides, the feeling soon passes. It’s always good to come back for a gig, though.
So, played 93 Ft East on 28th March – and had a pretty good time, all considered. It’s interesting trying to convert a largely uncommitted audience who don’t know or much care who you are. It can go either way, but this time it worked; crested the uphill part of the gig, fought through the tumbleweed inertia moment, and by the end had largely drawn them in. Maybe it was the megaphone; I’ve always wanted to hassle people who bugger off for a smoke, and this is the ideal tool. In fact I’d better stop using it soon, or I’ll come to rely on it too much… But it helped, which was funny.
Afterward, someone told me my lyrics are “not what people want to hear” – whatever that’s supposed to mean. A compliment, in a way. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! Call me a pervert, but I was pleased. So I don’t deal in reassuring, feel-good platitudes; why is that any worse coming from a guy with an acoustic guitar than, say, two laptops and a strobe-light tied to his head? Someone explain it to me. Ah what the hell – some people dug it, the rest… just had to sit tight for half an hour.
Spent the following day in Brighton Electric Studios shooting test footage for a music vid. This is to accompany Hands Up, the second single (due in July, shortly before the album). Feels weird, miming – especially trying to play guitar at the same time and make it all look real. Can’t deny it was fun, like some kind of whole-body Karaoke. And some people do this kind of thing a lot – what does that do to their minds…?
Talk about worlds colliding. Last Monday, gigged the legendary rock oubliette Hope & Anchor, N1. I’ve a lot of affection for that place – my old band played it loads of times, and I’ve had some great nights there. It’s an old-school rock sweatbox in the best sense – the power of crowd and sound focus into a great wave of energy, driving you effortlessly, till you feel Olympian and mellow like a 1920’s crooner – even while screaming your fucking head off. Entranced!
Deliberate headlined and I guested on a few songs with them; and as before, Chris added laptop noise during my set to The Black Membrane. This time it was phenomenal – the whole room immersed in surging fog, floes and crackles. I love this shit, I truly do.
Then during the week I met up with a director about a lead part in a film. It was just one of those random things that falls into your lap out of nowhere, and would be foolish (and ungrateful to Luck, Chance, whoever) not to investigate. It seemed to click, so a few days later I went for the audition.
Not something I’ve ever done before. Daunting and alien. A very heightened experience, an atmosphere superficially informal but charged with intent: a camera, lights, a row of people sat watching, and a script I had 5 minutes to look at. I will never, ever take the piss out of actors again.
Anyway, must’ve done okay, because they want me back to screen-test with potential female leads.
Hello. My name’s Matt, and I’m weeping milky tears of joy…
Here’s the first coverage of my first single, Wet Dream Disaster, in Brighton Source magazine:
(It’s a little way down the page – I’ll archive it in full in the PRESS section presently.)
They’ve picked up on the spunk motif, which is misleading – it’s not really about bodily fluids, but why let that get in the way of a catchy title? My younger self, striving away in the musical hinterlands so pious, serious and right-on, would be elaborately and self-righteously horrified. But I’ve kept faith with my creative hopes in one important respect: no compromise. None.
Good review, too.
(EDIT: If you’re reading this in 2021 – or any year with a “2” in the middle – I can only salute your completism: I’ve just deleted the single as a separate item, so it can now only be heard on the album. It’s been a while and the back catalogue’s getting a bit out of hand… Still not keen on compromise, mind.)