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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Music Appreciation 101

So the new podcast is up - I wrote on MySpace about it - it's informative and you get an idea of the kind of songs that are gonna be on the record, but we wanna make it a bit more exciting to listen to, I'll get to work on that nearer the time. I have some ideas in the back of my head for it already.

Sung last night until 8pm then went out and hung out with friends for a few hours, then ate too much Subway...good night all round.

I am finally starting to get excited about the release of the album...until this week, it's been a vague idea that you could only believe in if you knew the songs as well as us while listening to rough demo's, or tracks with something missing. Blanks are being filled in at an alarming rate and once we get down to the mixing I am going to be in love with these songs even more.

I am planning something I never thought we would get to do so soon, it requires the help of strangers though, and they've always been hit-and-miss for me, so we'll see where we end up.

My view from the vocal mic...
I just want to expand on what I was writing about in the studio blog - faith in your own ideas (hey, if you've read that and this, you are in it for the long haul baby).

When you first write a song in a rehearsal, it takes courage to play it live in front of people. Something you've worked on is there to be judged by everyone who hears it.

You then record it, and have to believe that the ideas you add to the song are strong enough to make other people respond to it in some way. You risk ruining the simple idea that you came up with in that long-gone rehearsal, but you could make it something better than you thought you were capable of making, or simply make someone sing along.

The trick to it all has to be imagination. When you hear that song for the the first time, imagine what you can turn it into - where you can take it. Even now as we get closer to having finished songs, there will always be extra parts playing in my head as I sing along, because it's the listeners imagination that can bring the song to life.

Don't just listen to your favourite songs, bring them to life.

Max x

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's not as easy as I make it look.

So my dad works at this hotel/country retreat pace near my house, so he mentions that he gets to use the gym and pool etc when it's quiet - so yesterday morning we get some shit together and head down there...I worked out for the first time in months and then hit the pool. Felt brilliant afterwards, just what I needed. Gonna aim to hit it once or twice a week while he's working there, but you know how it goes with gyms...

I'm working today and off down to the studio later to make a new podcast. Matt from MySpace is gonna add pictures and stuff to it for you all to check out (he did it to the last one, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet).

Now have a large percentage of the words done for the record, just missing a few verses here and there...Should have them all finished over the weekend. I have been relying on memories a lot - been watching films and TV shows that I know will fill my head with words, reading over old things that i've written, old photos - I don't tend to write in specifics too often, but trust me when I say that everything from the past few years is in there somewhere. It's up to you if you find it.

Each song is pretty much a specific event in my life - I've tried to pick things that have probably happened to all of us at some point - and I've tried to make as universal as I can and still have it mean something to me. It's not as easy as I make it look you know (joke).

My two favourite things about writing lyrics are:

A good turn-of-phrase
All you gotta do is put familiar words in a different order/context/whatever and you got a line that'll have me hooked. Seriously, we have a song called 'Cool. Collected. Calm' and swapping two words makes me happy. I am easily pleased.

Making the words effect the music.
Ok, so this is really common in rap music. You have a line about something: "Mary had a little lamb" (for example) and then the sound of a lamb bleating plays in the background. Listen to pretty much every Eminem song for stuff like this (that scribbly pencil sound all over Stan anyone? I love that stuff). There is one that i've written in Caffeine, I hope it comes off as it does in my head, it'll sound wicked.

Ok, that's Lyrics 101 finished for today, I gotta go turn some more phrases and make more lamb bleating noises.

Max x

Monday, January 15, 2007


As well as the cracking sound of my bones, my thumbs are bleeding due to my constant digging and picking at the skin. This is a nervous habit I picked up after I stopped biting my nails. Even when I stop for a brief period, the skin that grows back is scar tissue and has a smooth texture - no prints. I am not sure why I do this, but I can't seem to stop.

I am catching up today. Got a few days off from the studio to get back on top again.

I feel good, I hope you do too.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Would you rather be a widow, or a divorcee?

My bones crack more than ever before. Most joints in my body will snap if I sit still for long enough and then stretch out. My arms sound like firecrackers when I reach out.

I have reached that serene place in my head where the fact that I am so far behind with pretty much everything is washing over me and not getting me down. I am a calm pool of clear blue water.

So Dublin was awesome, went to the zoo which is cool coz it reminds you of being a kid and a little sad coz as an adult you realise that the animals you thought were saying hello and waving when you were 6 are actually bored out of their minds and desperate to see something other than another gawking face through the glass. I'm not judging it, it's just sad.

Ready? After 4...
Back to work in the studio - catch up with us on the main page of the site as ever. This photo is all I see most days, pretty sight or what? hehe.

I picked up the No Comply album a few days ago, which is cool. Sad that they broke up, but I got to catch them live once so I didn't miss it before the end.

We had our first rehearsal in a while on Friday night - it was a lot of messing around and not a lot of work, but really good to be hanging out again. I am definitely gonna sort out a night out for us, it's been too long since we went out...all we do is sit around and talk about the album at the moment - we need a distraction.

I'll let you know what I come up with.

Max x

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This must be it, welcome to the new year.

Quick one today, I gotta get down to the studio in a minute. Hope you all had a good Christmas, mine was awesome - family, friends (although Dan was off in France in the sunshine), presents...what more could a guy ask?

New years was quiet - hung out with a few friends and a few people I'd never met before. I bailed when the hippy chick picked up the guitar and began knocking out bad oasis renditions, you know the parties done by that point.

So 2007 is looking good, the album will FINALLY be finished (see the studio blog on the front page of the site for an update.) We will be playing live again (we have our first rehearsal next Friday, we have to pay to rehearse while all our gear is in the studio...people rarely realise that we don't get paid, we have to pay to be in our band...lucky for you, you're worth it).

It was my birthday yesterday, I turned 23. Presents were good (birthday's are hit and miss usually)..I think sending my parents a link to a site where they could buy my present was a good idea. My girlfriend is taking my to Dublin for the weekend which I am really looking forward to - I'll take some photos on her camera and post them up.

Make the most of this year kid - it could be the first of many, or it could be your last, so live it up.

Max x

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