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4 December,
2009

It’s been a while since I started the album and sadly it will still be a while yet before I’m done. So I put together a small sample of what I’ve been working on so you can get a taste of Burn It.

Burn It Teaser

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12 July,
2009

I released Run Away ahead of the album so I could get some experience beforehand. There’s a lot of steps I wanted to figure out, from making a final mix to promoting the release. I’ve already learned a lot I wouldn’t have otherwise.

It’s also a good way to test out new ideas. Here’s one such experiment: Run Away is now available for free in full quality. Go ahead and download yourself a copy. The song is still available on iTunes to purchase for anyone that wants to support the band.

My second idea is one I care a bit more about. Fear Salesman is a socially conscious band and I’d like to make that aspect of the music a little more explicit. So from now on 20% of all sales for Run Away will be given to Child Find. Helping missing children has long been a cause I’ve believed in and is a perfect fit to be the first charity I can assist with my music. Now iTunes purchases support both the band and a worthy charity.

So checkout the free download, read about Child Fild and, as always, let me know what you think.

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15 June,
2009

I hate it when a song takes a long time to get going. Sometimes I’m listening to my my iPod and a song’s been playing for ten seconds and it’s still so silent I can’t tell which song it is. Or after listening to the same song for five minutes I’m getting bored. Most often I decide I don’t feel like putting up with any more and skip to the next track.

So I try to get the song over with. It’s like life: from birth it’s just a countdown to death. Once a song has started I’m already trying to get to the end. Long bridges, drawn out intros and their ilk are a waste of time, like actors performing melodramatic deaths. I want to make the most of the time I’ve got. I don’t want listeners wondering if my album has something better to do—three-and-a-half minutes of “na na na” isn’t the most interesting thing they could listening to.

My principle:

So stop gratifying yourself about how moody your guitar riff is and sing some fucking vocals, play the energetic part, and move on.

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9 June,
2009

Official video for Run Away.

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19 March,
2009

I used to have a weird-but-catchy song called Pink Pick. I even performed it once. However like most of my songs it wasn’t finished, particularly the lyrics. Weird is fine with me but they were also a bit formulaic, which clashed quite a bit with the guitar that kept changing its form.

So I ripped it into bits, rewrote nearly all the lyrics including the chorus. And thus Burn It (or burned, I’m not quite done yet) was born.

Now Burn It is getting flushed out and given a bass part and drums, etc, so it can appear on my album. I’ve been fighting with the drums, particularly how they work in the bridge near the end of the song. Nice rock drum kits that work in the verse and chorus can’t hold up the bridge. Not even a harp helps.

The breakthrough was using some beats a bit more house than rock. Check it out.

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19 August,
2008

I’ve been playing around with the first track on the album, You Broke the Rules, and I’m generally not happy with the intro, especially since it begins the entire album. This is the song I’ve been playing around with the most lately.

Currently it’s a double bass that leads into the guitar (acoustic with a touch of distorted electric behind it) then come the drums, vocals etc. Last night I decided the guitar part – the guitar part I’ve been playing for years – might be what feels wrong so I started to play around with other sounds. When I tried a harp it felt like a breakthrough. Of course, late at night all kinds of things sound good that aren’t but even now I’m not sure this is a mistake.

For your amusement, here is about 3 seconds of the harp with the distorted guitar behind it: harp clip.

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5 August,
2008

I’ve never been happy with any snare drum in my songs. I’ve gotten to the point that I loathe the snare.

This week, while I’m on vacation, I’ve been reading books on recording and mixing. Jeff Strong has given me new insight into my problem with the snare: “For many recording engineers/producers, the snare is almost a signature.”

I think what I need is actually more appreciation for the snare. With some effort perhaps I can find the sound that feels right.

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22 July,
2008

I’ve finally done it: bought the domain for my band. Some band – it’s just me.

The two things that stopped me from doing it earlier was indecision regarding the name and a desire to have more music done first. Then I realised I can always change the band’s name (and thus the site’s URL) up until the first album is released.

As for having more music finished first I realised that I have a lot of ranty things to say about music and the industry and I might as well get started now. So check back every so often and you’re likely to find my thoughts, updates on the progress of my album and maybe even a few clips of what I’m working on.

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