Giants, Thrones and songwriting

Spent the yesterday travelling around various locations, dreaming up new music and generally being inspired.
Just spent all night back in my studio set up here in Belfast demoing the songs I’d been imagining during the day.

Giants Causeway BLEW MY MIND! Its an incredible place to visit. I also went to various Game Of Thrones locations which as a fan of the show was so cool to see, The Dark Hedges were really cool and inspiring.

More travel and writing today, hoping to go to the Titanic  museum and explain to them that the Titanic never sank, it was its sister ship – The Olympic….. look it up, its fascinating.

The weird limbo of the just finished record.

I’m in that strange middling period of time which occurs directly after finishing a record and yet before you can really do anything with it. So in that spirit I’ve done the only thing I know…. WRITE MORE and WRITE MORE WHILE TRAVELING!

Next stop is mastering the record. I love setting the track listing out and making the choices about how songs flow in and out of each other. The flow of a record is something that I’ve always cared deeply about and why listening to my music in the context of the full record is in my opinion the optimum listening experience.
In the meantime I’ve to plan exactly how I want to put this record out and what I shall do around it.

My live band is up and running now, learning the new songs and refreshing how we approach the songs from Exit Brain Left and my EP

Special mention to the breathtaking Susanne Sundfør show I saw at the Barbican, took my breath away! If you’ve not listened to her may I recommend her new record “music for people in trouble” and also the record that got me into her “Ten Love Songs” I’m going to listen to the new Chvrches record now and then write some more songs.

Always here or always not here

I’m either always here or never here, right now I’m always here but soon Ill be everywhere.
LOVE my studio room in my very own house. It’s not really a studio like “professionals” would have – I’ve always been a writer rather than a studio engineer. However I have all I need now to realise my songs and in fact…a huge percentage of my new record was made right here myself before my trip to New York where myself and Dan Weller put together the final pieces. We also returned here to do the mix which had a certain symmetry about it.
Small break in mixing right now while Dan is in Australia with his band and I’m in live rehearsals with may band! Its great getting these new songs together with the band, four songs been worked up so far.

MIXING BATTELLE#2

Back into mixing my second solo record, something so cool about mixing at home.
I’ve been around the world and back with these songs and they  feel both more guitar driven yet more experimental than anything I’ve done before, even though I’ve not tried to experiment – if that makes sense. I guess its just my natural evolution.
I definitely feel that after the trilogy of LA records I felt I’d taken rock to the limits of what I wanted to do with it and then Exit Brain Left was my total prog pop trip which I’m so proud of taking. This new set of songs feels like a combination of everything thats come before with some additional craziness.

Something thats been great this time around is that I’ve been rehearsing the songs with my live band between recording and mixing and so the live band feel has really helped shape my mixing mind.

Again I’ve played and sang everything on this record which feels fantastic! Actually I had some gang vocal help on one song and myself and my friend Brook attended a drum circle in Woodstock which we sampled so thats not just me!

I’ll write a lot more about this when Im sitting listening to the final mastered recordings. For now just know that I’m excited!

 

My Guitar and an old repair that blossomed into a lasting friendship!

I was just talking to my great friends Nigel and Danny from Leicestershire Luthier. We’ve been friends for years now and it got me to thinking how we first became such good friends. It was here! My 1965 SG Junior needed serious help after an n stage mishap! You can read all about it here  

Nigel and Danny have also created many custom guitars for me as well as maintaining them all for me.

Happy 4th Birthday Shapes of Screams

Wow four years since the release of Shapes of Screams, how time is flying!

My recollection of the making of this record are of total chaos combined with laser focus , business chaos, life chaos (not mine) death of loved ones (mine), breakdowns in the vocal booth (due to death of life and of dream) secret depressions, not secret depressions, epic life talks, Les Miserables influenced, doom laden vibes, chocolate while doing lead vocal takes (not advised by anyone) running around London with hard drives full of vocal harmonies, creating a melodic menu, recording a gospel choir, creating the first ever stereo ding dong multi layer multi insanity harmony (breakdong section)  recording an actual judge condemning me, harmonising the T Rex from Jurassic Park with the main Uruk-Hai in the battle of helms deep in the Lord of The Rings The Two Towers (and getting that played on BBC Radio One, surely a first) in D Minor, having a guitar built to play one riff in one song and also a black cat that could transfigure into human form oh and finding myself alone in the studio at points wondering where everyone was and what on earth was going on.
Unfathomable, unfashionable, unwanted and unmistakably LostAlone and unintentionally like nothing else, just the sound I hear in my head.

In the words of Nick Ruskell
“Shapes Of Screams is an album filled with first kiss adrenaline, heart bursting happiness, life affirming air guitar moments and demented genius that will leave you delighted for hearing it”

A month in America

Hey everyone!  Really happy to announce that I’ve finished tracking my second solo record out in New York and will shortly be mixing back in the UK. As always with my music I’ve pushed myself further in search of new avenues to transport my melody from my brain into the world. This record is exactly where I want to be right now. Again I’ve worked with Dan Weller with various engineer / production contributions from Brook Downton in New York and Rich Collins back home.
Cant wait to start rolling out the music for you to hear. I cant stop listening to the rough mixes.

Since finishing up the record in New York I’ve been living in a lake house in Kansas writing and recording songs with some really talented country artists – this is something I’ll be returning to many more times this year and is separate to my solo endeavours.

I’ve just returned home, enjoying a 28 hour trip from Kansas via NYC then to London then home. I’m attempting with all my will power to take a few days off for Easter before it all starts again.

Excited to mix the second record and get it into you ears.

I’ve just added a 20% discount code to all CD’s, vinyl and T shirts on my store to celebrate finishing my second record so you can head here and grab whatever you don’t already own.

20% discount off everything with the code KANSAS

Steven