2015 seems to be flying by at an alarming rate of knots. Recorded output from both projects is well underway and by autumn, both releases should be complete.
I dearly love playing with both Echofire and Dawn of Elysium. They are both very different animals. I like to keep it simple with Echofire, where I can turn up, plug in and rock out on my guitar with my mates and have some fun whilst still crafting some great songs. Dawn of Elysium is enjoyable for quite different reasons. It’s more introspective and atmospheric and technically more involved (effects, backing tracks, recording development).
The Echofire EP is presently shelved as we ready our set for the first couple of gigs. Most of the recording is done. There is just some vocal work left to do before we can crack on with mixing it. We chose to use Voltage Studios for this. I have been a regular customer at Voltage for over 20 years. Tim Walker has been and continues to be a huge inspiration to me and I have learned much from him over the years. He often brings the best out in me and has a knack of knowing what we want from a recording with any given project. I will always champion him and certainly in any band I am in which has live drums, Voltage will be my first choice.
The Dawn of Elysium album has seen me get involved with self-recording to a greater extent than ever before. I have dabbled over the years but in truth, never actually finished anything properly. I think this has been partially a confidence issue but also I now realise that I didn’t have a plan or the funds for an effective workflow. Up until recent times, hardware studio solutions were either prohibitively expensive or seemingly not flexible enough and I thought DAW solutions were a bit confusing and complicated-looking. I have owned a digital 12-track recorder for years and have done bits and bats but I guess I focused more on its limitations and gave up too easily. However, the 32-track I recently bought is in a totally different ball park and using that, along with a DAW makes for an enjoyable and simple process.
When Phil left the band in early 2013, we were left drummer-less. We had to take action and I very quickly dived into programming drums for the band. This partly forced me into a production type role and moving forward, recording the band seemed the next logical step. It took a while to take that step as we were out gigging for a lot of 2013/14. In recent weeks, it has been inspiring and encouraging to see a brand new song go from initial jam to fairly well together recording and whereas the album itself will be a culmination of the work of the last three years, I realised that future recordings can happen almost as the material is being written. This excites me from the point of view of the future development of the band and it has also inspired me to think about what else I would like to do from a recording perspective.
I have a song which was recently started with Dawn of Elysium but it didn’t work within the context of the band. This is something I’d like to start work on fairly soon as a starting point. It got me thinking along the lines of a solo release but then I figured it might be a more enjoyable experience to work with some different musicians on a casual, studio-only basis and encompass some different sounds and influences. After putting feelers out, I have chatted briefly online with three quite different people and there are one or two others which I’d like to speak to fairly soon. The possibilities are exciting and I am looking forward to devoting some time to plotting and planning later in the year.