I really hope you all had a great 2009, mine has been pretty cool, some great stuff, and only a few lows. If anything, it's actually been a pretty quiet year when it comes to work and music, I just wanted to get so much set up this year that it took ages to get it all going.
I set up my home studio which is one of my favourite things in the world, with loads of help from the Sound On Sound forums and my good friend Andrew Maunder. I also learned loads about tracking, engineering and mixing...not as much as I hope to learn in 2010 though. Now that I have my studio 99% as I want it, I intend to make more music than ever this year.
I will be spending my New Years Eve in Norwich, but whatever you end up doing, have fun and I hope 2010 turns out great for you.
I am pretty sure that I've mentioned this on here before, but its been so long since I posted that I can't really remember, but I post way more on Twitter than I do anywhere else, I am at www.twitter.com/maxshelley
My photos go up on my Facebook, so add me on there if you know me in real life.
Not posted for ages. In December last year I started to look into setting up a company, that idea has pretty much been gaining momentum since then and in the past few weeks and months I've been working flat out to get the company launched, including designing products, logo, websites and all the other stuff that comes with running a business. Been so busy working that my blog output has disappeared. I got a new touchscreen phone a couple of days ago and need to practice typing so I figured it'd be a great way to get back into it.
So that's what I've been up to. Haven't disappeared, although I have been leaving the house less often, become poorer than I've ever been in my life and seen less of my friends than I'd like, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
The band hasn't been silent either. We have a brand new song called "Get It On" on iTunes in the next few weeks and we are tracking four new songs. We've been playing live a lot recently for a whole bunch of reasons, mainly financial and practical. Rehearsing, recording, demoing etc means that we weren't finding time to book the very best shows, so we are taking a little time to make the new recordings the very best quality that we can.
Anyway, will try and get back into the routine of posting up a little more often, but no promises. Hope you are all doing ok, if I haven't seen you in a while, then I probably miss you.
No blog posts for a while, mainly due to the fact that I now use Twitter every day. I know that a lot of people aren't into it, but I like it - being limited to 140 characters is perfect for someone like me. Blog posts can't be too long, replies can't be over-thought, just put what you can fit. I am at www.twitter.com/maxshelley if you are on there.
So the purpose of this blog post is to tell you a little but about why we have cancelled our trip to Scotland for our shows up there, and moved some other shows around. Basically, it all comes down to two things that seem to run most people's lives - time and money. Last week, we played a show in Staines, which we recorded for a live album. We weren't paid for the show, and had to pay for the recording costs, petrol for the van etc. Our van required some repairs and a new MOT and we had to buy road tax for it. I'll break down the numbers. The show in Staines cost us roughly £75 for diesel and recording costs, road tax was £190 and the repairs and MOT was roughly £320. This means in one week we had to pay out around £585. We are very, very lucky as band to be able to even HAVE a van and be able to tour etc, let alone be able to pay for all of that. We basically don't have the spare cash to be able to afford to go to Scotland and get all the equipment we need to keep functioning.
Most of our shows are booked on a financial knife-edge. One merch sale is often the difference between profit and loss for us. When one of the shows pulled out from our mini-tour in Scotland, it basically took away the chance of us breaking even from the trip. It also meant that we would have had 24 hours of dead time in Scotland, which would have been fun but we all have a bunch of stuff going on with the band and our lives that mean we can't let whole days go without stuff happening.
There are the arguments that "unsigned bands always run at a loss, it's an investment" or "you shouldn't think about the money, it's the shows that are the most important thing." We also know that we'll be letting people down, both those planning to attend and the people that had arranged the shows and took time to help us. We don't make these kind of decisions lightly, we have had bands let us down and we hate it.
We can't afford to pay for the band ourselves, we just don't earn enough money. The band pays for itself and we have to make decisions like this in order to keep it going. Any money we make goes straight back into the band, which is how we afford the van, the petrol etc in the first place.
So basically, one show pulling out on us means we can't realistically afford to go and play the other shows we have booked. Say what you want, but that's the reality of it.
We have decided that we are going to use the time to get a new song recorded and mixed ahead of schedule, which means that we will have a new single out on iTunes very soon, pretty much straight after "The Girl Who Stole The World" which is now up on our website as well as our MySpace and Facebook pages. You'd think that we would make a bunch of money from that to be able to afford more tour dates? Well I don't know if you've been following the music industry recently, but it doesn't quite pan out that way.
Sorry to pull out of shows, but looking forward to recording new stuff for you to hear.
.p.s. The band that we were due to play alongside are called A Day Overdue, please go and check them out at www.myspace.com/adayoverdue - I am gutted not to see them, they were really cool to us. We WILL sort some other shows with them in the future.
Been really busy recently, with both band stuff and a bunch of other stuff. I want to post up some information about the stuff we did recently with vodafone, but I think that's too much to type on my phone, even if I am addicted to this little keyboard. I will write about it when I make it back to a computer.
Today has been rehearsal for the two shows we have this Friday (one schools show during the day, then a private party at night which is why it's not on the website), then back to my little mixing room to work. It's sooooo good to finally get round to mixing in there after spending so long working on it. I am working on a song called "The Girl Who Stole The World", but I think it'll get renamed before being released. It's actually turning out to be one of the hardest things I've attempted to mix so far. It's a super-fast rhythm in the verse's, along with quite a sparse guitar part (it's not playing much at all) and it then has to end up in a massive sounding chorus with a totally different feel. My new room means I am pushing to make it sound better than our last mixes, but it's so hard when you are learning by trial and error. Gonna keep going and hopefully it'll end up awesome.
I'll post up more when I can, or when I get five minutes on my phone. By the way, if you are on Twitter please follow us at www.twitter.com/onedaylife
NSPCC Show, This Saturday (June 27th), The Royal Oak, Ipswich.
This is a reminder for everyone that forgets I am in a band, or just reads this blog so that you have something to talk to me about when the room goes quiet. We are playing in support of the NSPCC this Saturday at The Royal Oak, Ipswich. We are on stage at 9pm, there is a map for the venue here.
As part of some work we are doing with Vodafone, they are bringing a film crew to the show. They will be filming our set, and interviewing a few people in the crowd. Make sure you come along and get your face in front of the camera.
I have no idea why, but I am pretty addicted to this song. I've liked a lot of the Ryan Tedder stuff I've heard, but never really fell for any of it and the intro of this didn't grab me initially, but by the time the "better get your armour" lyric kicked in I was sold.
You can go to the YouTube page and click on the HQ button to get better quality audio, but you can check it out here too:
Is it just me, or does the backing singer look a little awkward with the guitar...like she got told to dress up to be a backing singer and then Dave the guitarist didn't turn up and everyone was like.."oh, hey, don't even worry about it...janine the backing singer can do it, here you go love, chuck this on...this is a blues riff in B, watch us for the changes and try to keep up...."
Terminator, Band Meetings and Regina Spektor...all good things.
Woke up late this morning after going to a late-night showing of the new Terminator movie with Dan and his gf, Maz. Holy shit that film was dark, bleak, violent and brilliant. It has none of the slight tongue-in-cheek, bank-handed humour that the second and third films had. There is no lull, no slow parts where the story lumbers along, it just beats you in the face with the oppressive post-apocalyptic violence of the Terminator world, and that's exactly what I wanted. I scarcely believed that my fully heterosexual man-crush on Christian Bale could get any bigger, but it's reaching new levels. I mean, I've loved the Terminator films and Batman since I was a kid (I watched T2 on a tiny little TV at my grandparents house very late at night when I should have been sleeping and remember being blown away with the liquid metal effects...yeah, I was a geek as a kid too, what a shock).
So yesterday we got back to band business with our first meeting for a while. Band meetings remind me of Flight Of The Conchords, but you gotta keep your shit together and you can't talk business too much at rehearsal/writing sessions as it gets in the way.
Anyway, if you don't know already, we are working on a project with Vodafone at the moment, they are coming in to talk to us about how our band works, how we use technology, how we record - just general stuff that bands do really. We are looking for some people to come and get involved with this project with us, and talk to Vodafone about being a fan of music. If you are interested in getting involved it's on Monday, 29th June 2009 near Ipswich (Vodafone/ODL will cover your travel expenses to get there, within reason) and all you gotta do is come and talk about the band, and they may well be filming you talk too.
Vodafone will also be filming at our show at The Royal Oak, Ipswich on Saturday 27th June - as well as filming the show, they will be interviewing people on camera afterwards, so if you want to get your face on camera, then get yourself down there.
In geeky studio news (I know you're all on the edge of your seats about that), I have just ordered some new microphones, stands, pop-shields and cables which makes me very happy. I started mixing properly in the new studio at the weekend and am fighting to find time to mix and write in there at the moment. If there's one thing I'm learning to do this year, it's manage my time better. I say no to a lot more things, and try and be a bit more realistic about how long things take. I seem to be doing ok at the moment, I am waiting for this to fall apart at any moment.
Seeing as my last post was Kanye West related, I figured I'd post up this remix of Beyonce's "Ego". I prefer the remix, but there is a link to the original on the youtube page if you want it. Not sure about the hundres of photos of Jay-Z and Beyonce in the video , but if you can forget about that, then it's a good tune and I love the lyrics ;)
Mr Hudson, Kanye West, Supernova and my ability to spot a great song.
Can I pick a hit or what? The other day I posted up a video by a band called Mr Hudson & The Library. I heard the song as one of those "recommended tracks" on iTunes Genius. I must have listened to 50 or more track samples that day, most of which I ignored, but that one was different so I got the album and posted up the video here.
Later that day, I'm listening to the radio and totally by coincidence Ben from Mr Hudson is on Trevor Nelson's show, apparently Kanye West liked the stuff he'd done and invited him to work on some other projects in Hawaii, and appears on his new single, which is of course awesome. Glad to know that I have as good an ear as Kanye ;)
I just got off the phone with Dan and we were chatting about what we'd been doing for the past few weeks. Despite working really hard, I seem to have very little to show for myself. It's time like this that you have to just believe in what you're doing, and that all the seemingly endless preparation, research and testing things out pay off and you have the stamina and patience to see everything out to the end.
I still have nothing to show you, so once again I will fall back on someone else's work for everyone to see. This song is called "Picture Of You" by Mr Hudson & The Library. I know nothing about the band, but I picked up the album recently and it's great - a really laid back listen for summer. The album is called "A Tale Of Two Cities", please go and check it out.
p.s. I saw these on Mark Hoppus' blog the other day and I'm totally jealous. I spoke to the people at Ultimate Ears when I had my earpieces made, but I just couldn't afford them. This is the dream people:
You say you love me, but if you love me, where have you been?
Hey, i've been taking a bit of a break from the social areas of the internet for a little while (other than my facebook page obviously, i'm as addicted to that stuff just like everyone else), and the reasons for that are all long and boring, but everything's fine, i'm just a little bit behind and now with all this bank-holiday rubbish all over with, it's back to work (and by work i mean posting blog posts for you to read while you avoid whatever it is your supposed to be doing.)
Anyway, I will post back with some actual information about stuff we've been working on in the next few days, but in the meantime here is the video for a song that i've been banging on about for ages...it still doesn't come out for a long time, but i can't stop listening to it. hope the rest of the album is this good.
We are playing a show at a brand new venue in Ipswich, this Saturday 2nd May 2009. The venue is called QJam - it used to be called The Pool Club which is where me and a bunch of my friends played our first shows when we were young. They have stripped it out and rebuilt it as a custom-built music venue. Please come along and check it out and support new music venues.
Hey, no post for a little while as I have been really busy. I am setting up a new mixing room for us to be able to work on new recordings every day, something we've never been able to do before as we've had to rehearse, write etc in the same place. I have had to take a step back from everything else in order to fit that in along with some new work stuff I am doing. My spare time recently has been spent going out with friends and getting messed up.
I really have nothing new to report. Things are good, the weather is getting better every day, which makes me feel great about everything. New stuff is coming, slowly but surely.
In the meantime, someone showed me this video and I like little facts like this so check it out:
The dawn chorus had already begun when I went to sleep last night. I woke up and went straight to a production meeting for a project I've been working on since just before Christmas that is going to be one of the coolest things I've worked on outside of music. I got back and had a lengthy discussion about the acoustics in the new control/mixing room I am putting together at my house. The new room will solve the problem we have that our studio is out of use a lot of the time due to rehearsals and shows etc.
There is very little about my life that I am not passionate about, and little that I do not enjoy. I count myself lucky for this and do not take it for granted. I hope you can say the same, and if not are willing to work to make it happen.
It's a total slice of Americana, and I know it's not cool to like James Taylor, but f*ck it, those are some good tunes, and has a sound that's like being hugged by an acoustic guitar with big furry arms. Also, check out the music-box style drum kit/machine they have...very cool.
This is one of those songs that just seems to be speaking specifically to me. You ever find that? When you're pretty convinced that the person writing it was inside your head for just long enough to put you down on paper. If you like this, please go and check out the whole album here.
Head over to www.myspace.com/palomafaith and check out "Stone Cold Sober". It's just a sample up there at the moment, but when it's released I will post back up here and remind you to DL it. The rest of the tracks are pretty much Duffy/Lily Allen/Amy Winehouse/Corinne Bailey Rae all over again, but that track has something special.
They don't make this t-shirt any more, but I want one (minus the star in the middle, and 'loves' instead of 'likes'). I am seriously considering having our t-shirt manufacturer make me one....I clearly have way too much spare time on my hands.
I am scared to find out my capacity for self-destruction. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is a tidal wave, an all-encompassing tsunami that could swallow me whole with disregard and contempt for whoever I believed I was before. It is only through sheer luck that my life has been lacking in any kind of catalyst to trigger any of this inside me, but sometimes with just the slightest of actions, I see the person that I could become.
You ever find yourself doing something and think, "hmmm, so this is who I am..?"
I try my best to have a pretty good sense of perspective on life. To be honest, I sometimes think my brain has glimpes of Ataraxia as I stuggle to care about things that other people find important.
Even when I do find an issue to take to heart, I find it hard to stick to. I am not a great multi-tasker and whenever I am scared, nervous, hurt or down the best thing I can do to shake it off is just to throw myself into something else as hard as possible and distract myself from it. My self-defence mechanism has become such a big part of me that sometimes it feels like there isn't anything left to defend.
What I am trying to say, and failing, is that I want you to know I do care sometimes - even if I've forgotten how to show it. Of course, you must also deal with the possibility that I really don't care and I really do just want you to leave me alone. I'll try and make it a little clearer in the future.
Does anybody else get really bummed out when your phone/blackberry/iPhone tells you you've got an email, but it turns out to be a lonely piece of junk mail that has intrepidly made it through the hundreds of spam folders and junk filters that are out there to protect me from Nigerian Princes who have fallen on unlucky times and need my help.
I need to get more emails that aren't about boring things. Most of my emails tell me things I need to know. I really want emails that tell me things I want to know, or even things I didn't even know I wanted to know. If you have this information, send it to me.
I am getting through a long to-do list at a pretty good speed, the only thing that I actually care about right now is finishing all the lyrics I have to write. Unfinished lyrics are like having the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head - I know that at some point very soon I will have to get these recorded, and it's a case of trying to work on them without worrying that they are taking too long. We have put entire songs off because I couldn't make the lyrics fit - it does not feel good.
I gotta go post out some online store orders right now, thank you to everyone who still picks up our older stuff, we loved making those records and although we are usually wrapped up in the newest thing we never forget those songs or what it took for us all to put them together. With that in mind, I put a quick thing together in the studio earlier, I'll post it up here later.
So while phoning around and trying to sort out insurance for our tour van, I watched most of Gene Simmons talking to Bob Lefsetz at Canadian Music Week '09. It did not inspire me for the future of the music industry. If you're bored, you can watch the whole thing here
I tried reading Bob Lefsetz's email blog for a while, but it was just too rambling and vague. I talk too much, but if that guy could take a leaf out of Seth Godin's blog and just write simple, concise opinions and we'd all get along better.
Anyway, new songs are back from San Diego where they've been mastered and there are just a couple of edits currently being made. Like I said on Twitter, they will be up for sale as soon as physically possible. They are the last songs to be made with the old studio. We have already started tracking new songs on the new system and I can already hear the difference.
We are working on a new area of the website, where you will be able to hear new songs straight from rehearsals. The moment they are done we will be posting them up on the website.
One of the coolest things we are working on is a song called "Life, Stuck On Repeat" which has a full horn section. This one is kinda my baby as a lot of it will be using computer production rather than just recording us playing live, like most of our songs are.
I am re-writing the lyrics and parts of the melody for the song which is at the end of this month's podcast which was called "The Girl Who Stole The World". I can't seem to get a grip on it at the moment, but it'll come, just need more coffee and liberal use of the "repeat" button on my iPod.
Livin' Th' Dream - You, Me, And Everyone We Know Everybody Knows - McFly Smile - McFly Stuck Between Stations - The Hold Steady Do Ya - McFly Fascination - Alphabeat Catch Me if You Can/Proclamation of Emaciation (featuring Travis from Gym Class Heroes) - Fall Out Boy One For The Radio - McFly Beat It - Fall Out Boy POV - McFly The (Shipped) Gold Standard - Fall Out Boy Chips Ahoy! - The Hold Steady Falling In Love - McFly Corrupted - McFly That's How You Know (As Used In The Film Enchanted) - Alan Menken Going Through The Motions - McFly Hot Soft Light - The Hold Steady The Last Song - McFly I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous - Frank Turner A Walk Through Hell - Say Anything (Coffee's For Closers) - Fall Out Boy Hey Beautiful - The Solids Friday Night - McFly ALPHAdog and OMEGAlomaniac (demo) - Fall Out Boy Lake Effect Kid (demo) - Fall Out Boy Happy Working Song (As Used In The Film Enchanted) - Alan Menken Same Kooks - The Hold Steady Sugar, We're Goin' Down - Fall Out Boy Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry You Help Them - Say Anything
No surprises in here if you've ever met me. Newest entries by far are "The (Shipped) Gold Standard" and "(Coffee's For Closers)" as I've become a little addicted to those songs.
New Kelly Clarkson album is good, even though I've only listened once so far. New Taylor Swift album is ok, lyrics are little too pop even for me, but some good melodies I guess. The latest New Found Glory album rocks, but we all knew that was gonna happen.