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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A New Jersey success story...

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
- EB White

I saw that quote this morning and liked it. It's funny how other people's sentences are sometimes do better at describing things you feel than anything you could come up with yourself. I regularly quote other people in conversation, from famous people to things I've overheard in conversation...most of these are probably only half-correct due to my bad memory, but like Cary Grant said "I improve on misquotation."

I've been locked away for a few days updating our online shop. I am now of the belief that it is one of the best online shop's that a band has ever had...I just gotta sort out all the product information and photography. There will be a sale starting soon to sell the last of our old merch.

I have just seen a sketch of the new design and it's awesome. We are lucky enough to have one of my favourite artists doing it for us - his name is Matt Taylor so go check him out at www.matttaylor.co.uk

After my last post with the Alphabeat video in it, I have become mildly obsessed with that song - I found an mp3 copy somewhere and it has been rising up my iTunes 'most-played' list by the hour...although it'll have to work hard to knock "Livin' Th' Dream" by You, Me And Everyone We Know off the top spot.

I have also been listening to loads of stuff I've never really listened to before, like Kimya Dawson (yeah, yeah, I liked Juno so I checked her out, I'm a music whore at the end of the day), The Postal Service (I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I am in love with 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight' along with the rest of the world apparently), Death Cab For Cutie (a natural progression from the previous choice), The Hold Steady (once again, I am late to pick up on this, but I really like the new album and they have a brand new one out soon which I will definitely check out- 'Stuck Between Stations' is a great song).

I also picked up the new Jimmy Eat World album - not as great as some of their previous albums, but still better than most stuff around, they are an amazing band. I wish they'd bring the Jimmy Eat World/Paramore tour over to the UK.

I was awake at 2.10am last night and received two phone calls. Neither person seemed surprised that I was awake - this tells you something about the way that I live my life. I don't really have a routine, a well-defined sleep pattern or a real job. None of those things concern me.

Right, back to work - go check out some of those bands...it might make your day a little better, you never know...

Max x

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fascination

I really, really like this song, it's just so goddamn happy!



For anyone who read this blog on Facebook or any other feed-reader, click here to see the video.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How can it be cheating when there aren't any rules?

Ok, it feels like a lot has been going on recently, although that maybe just because we've been away for a few days and forgotten what life is actually like. I'll try and keep this brief so that I don't bore you too much (although you are taking time out of your life to read this, so I'm guessing you're not exactly snowed under right now huh?).

Our Kerrang review came out last week and was boringly predictable. The usual negative rant about pop-punk, then a vague mention of us at the end of the review. You can hear us chatting about it in the new podcast which will be up this week but it was no surprise. I would rather be slated for something other than simply being a pop-punk band...that's all we've ever wanted to be and it still remains a passion for me after all these years - if that's the worst thing going for us, I guess we're not doing too bad at all.

There were a bunch of less high-profile reviews that came out in the last few weeks, they will be going up on the site over the next few days. There is a wide range from 8/10 to 2/10, but mostly positive - there is a saying that it is better for a few people to love something than for everyone to simply like it, I guess with divisive reviews we got something right at least, hehe.

A lot of the reviews mention the "slick production", or "high-quality production" etc. I take these as massive compliments - everything they see and hear is done by the three of us, and I take a personal responsibility to make everything as professional as possible...because that's the kind of band I want us to be.

So with the album promo still going on, we went back into the studio this weekend to start working with some new techniques for recording drums. If the quality of recording on our old EP's was ok, and the quality on the album was good...the new recordings are going to sound f*cking awesome. We spent a little while working on it and by the end of the night, it was blowing me away what we are going to be able to do on the next set of songs.

On the same note, Kev thinks I may have a form of OCD when it comes to recording. Even though we were only messing around and not actually recording anything for release, I insisted on taking time to do everything as if we were making another album. He kept talking me out of it and telling me to get on with it. He may well be right, but with the drums now sounding so good, I intend to become obsessive about vocal production. I am virtually unable to listen to music now without straining to hear every harmony and technique being used. I want to have more heavily compressed and set-back backing vocals, much more layering of lead vocals and I want to have a longer break between recording the vocals and mixing them - you don't care about any of these things but I am typing as I think so just go along with it. Basically I want to make our voices sound better, poppier and fuller. Just nod and agree.

There are some cool things in the pipeline, and if they come off it will be awesome. I hate it when bands say stuff like that, but it really is the case that most things that happen to a band are only confirmed at the last minute, and some of them never happen at all - so it's better just not to tell anyone in case it never happens. If you know us personally, just ask and we'll spill our guts without thinking twice.

We played a bunch of shows recently but if you want the lowdown on them you'll have to read the tour journal on the lifers. I will post in there later today.

So - other than band stuff what's been going on? Well, I've been feeling a lot better about life in general really. When I was about 15, I was yet to become consumed by music and wanted to be an author, or a writer of some sort (this urge has not left me, but I have zero time for it at the moment - it'll happen one day though), I had mentioned this to my sister who in her usual sarcastic way said, "shouldn't you write something then?" I believe I had been out drinking the night before, a common occurrence during my teen years due to suburban boredom, and replied "They say you should write what you know, from life experience - but how can I do that without going out and living life?" She looked at me and seemed to be devoid of a witty comeback - my family's relationships are based on witty comebacks so this was rare. "Hmmm, good point". I took this to be a positive response at the time, mainly because it seemed to sanction my teenage irresponsibility with alcohol and occasionally deviant behaviour - but it's also something I try and remind myself of when I can. I throw myself into work to avoid feeling shitty about things, but sometimes feeling shitty is the correct response to a situation and it is what you need to do to get through to the other side. Life can also become boring without the highs and lows...and as much as they suck, I try and relish them and see them for what they are, which is another experience to make you wiser, smarter and better equipped to deal with life.

I know I am doing ok. I hope you are too.

Max x

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A distinct lack of vanilla iced latte's...

Despite paying my phone bill and extortionate broadband prices at home, I find myself using my laptop and my mobile broadband more and more. Emails and websites are less of a grind when the scenery around you is changing and you can watch the world go by. The view from my office window is into my neighbours garden. I am not even sure that these people exist as I have never seen them in their little patch of suburbian paradise (or grass as it's also known). Right now, I am in my home town using the public library as it's warm, quiet and for some unknown reason the coffee shop a few doors down from here doesn't get any reception...life's a bitch sometimes right?

This is the view in front of me right now:


The guy in the beautifully crafted stained-glass window is Francis Bacon and the thought has hit me that if the people at 3 mobile were as meticulous as him in their pursuit of scientific breakthrough, I would probably be in the coffee shop with a vanilla iced latte and great reception right now rather than here. I don't know if that's irony or just my mind lumbering after a long week...whatever.

So we've played three shows this week with one more to go, a couple of days off and then three shows next week. All the shows have been cool this week, a couple of highs and lows I guess...I made a lot of mistakes on Monday but I don't think too many people noticed or cared, they were all jumping around too much :o)

I have loved being back playing shows again - it's kinda lifted me out of the funk I was in, although being home kinda kits a little hard sometimes. I would gladly be gone for longer - life away is just finding enough plug sockets to keep our equipment running and chatting about bands. Life at home is real and bad things can happen which have to be thought about, dealt with and then thought about some more.

One of these real life problems saw my mum and dad get on a flight to the other side of the world this morning. You know a crisis has arisen when it involves travelling to another continent. I don't want to go into it on here, because it's not me that's directly affected right now, but it's still on my mind.

So we made it through to the final of that Battle Of The Bands. The final is tomorrow night (Sunday 10th Feb) but I hold no hope of winning and that doesn't bother me in the slightest. If you want to come, details of the show are up on our tour page.

Ok, back to work I guess. I'll try and find somewhere even more picturesque to write from next time...but don't hold your breath.

Max x

 
 
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