Saturday, November 15, 2008

EP4

E and myself have both had a week off work, so we have spent some of it working on EP4.

We've mostly be working on the instrumental for EP4. This will be titled "Reverie Part 1", for no other reason, that I liked the title, when I saw one of Miss Aneila's images on Flickr (http://missaniela.com/gallery/big/2642018288).

I had a specific idea that I didn't want any guitars on the track and just to use dreamy synths and other nice things. Things didn't quite work out that way.

I started prepping for the song a few weeks ago. Setting up likely synths to use, I then proceeded to pick up my guitar and using a capo and a Varichord (tuned to minor 7th shape), wrote a new song, which will eventually have lyrics. At the moment, this is called "Reverie Part 2". The title might change later.

So we had to start another instrumental and even started with a synth. Tempo wise, people have moaned our songs are kinda slow and we need more uptempo songs. Well uptempo doesn't fit the theme of "Reverie", so we made this possibly the slowest, dirge like Hair Thieves song ever. (like 78bpm). I chose a random 100 bar limit on the song as well. (so about 5 minutes max).

Then E decided he wanted a guitar on it.

I didn't want guitar on it. A debate ensued, E won after a compromise was met. We'd use a guitar, but using the same setup as the other song, namely with a capo and Varichord, (so essentially the guitar is tuned to Bmin7 I think). Hence the part 1 and part 2 thing.

So I put the kettle, whilst E came up with a series of finger picking motifs, which we then recorded.

E also put down some seriously effected guitar.

E put a little bit of Ebow on the song too. Not very much (we still might add more later).

I then stole the guitar and came up with another motif, which we then recorded.

So ok, it is now a guitar tune. Bugger.

Then we went a bit mad recording percussion.

I have a box of shakers and wooden things and triangles etc. E then proceeded to play various hits whilst recorded them.

So far things were sounding good, though playing the guitar at that tempo is painfully hard.

When E left for the day, I added a Cello part and got some orchestral samples of Gongs to add to the percussion track. I also added some drums, just to the section I recorded. To emphasise the difference in the sections. Plus my section is happier than E's.

When we reconvened, we then cut up the percussion tracks and spread them randomly throughout the track. Adding a few more percussion samples for good measure

We then decided to add a bit of acoustic. Due to the guitar essentially being tuned to Bm7. I had to come up with something, which would be inversions of the chords I was playing over. Which was G something and a D7 something.

I didn't want to play the chords in the same octaves as I had previously, so settled for lower, this required a change of tuning for the guitar. Finally settling for a tuning of DACGBD (I think... I might be wrong).

This made the D7 chord very easy to play. But made the G something chord stupidly hard to play. But I managed it.

Listening through. Over 5 minutes long, was a bit much so we cut about a minute out of the middle, making the song just over 4 minutes long now.

We then mp3'd it up and stopped.

So that was essentially what we achieved on Monday to Wednesday.

On Friday, we decided to have a lyric writing session. Having had the instrumental to listen to, it was decided that E's weird guitar part come in later, so we edited that first.

E wasn't liking the Acoustic I put in. Chord wise ok. But he thought it sounds a bit flappy on the G chord, so wants it re-recorded at a later date.

I think the only way, we can achieve what he wants, given the G chord is only the three lower strings and the D7 chord is all six strings, so one chord is very frequency limited, the other fuller, is to have separate tunings for each chord.

Being an instrumental, we will never play this live, so it makes no odds what we do with it. So we will have a play with it at a later date.

Back to lyrics. We wrote a song a while ago called Chemistry. When I came to record the vocals for it earlier in the year, I couldn't get the lyrics to fiit the melody. Which was really annoying.

So we spent an afternoon of coffee and custard creams, rewriting the lyrics and recording a guide vocal, so I will know what to sing, when I try it for real.

So that was our week of working on EP4.

E did a lot of playing this week, more so than me. To get EP4 finished, the emphasis now shifts to me. I have to finish my guitar tracks and vocals on the old song we are re-recording. Then I need to get the vocals down for the lead track too.

Chemistry might make it on EP4, though I'd like to write another collaboration track instead and save Chemistry for the album. Not sure which way that will go.

So a good weeks work. Progress has been made.

More soon!

Rollasoc

Monday, October 20, 2008

ITunes and Stuff

The Hair Thieves EP3 is now on ITunes. If you search for "The Hair Thieves", it should be on there. Not having ITunes installed on any PC near me, I can't check out any of it, but it does come up in the search listings.

Recording of EP4 has started. We've started re-recording an old Hair Thieves tune, that had a bit of a run out at the gigs in August. It's probably half recorded, before I got struck down with the (man) flu, so stopped working on it.

The lead track, just needs the vocals re-recording and mixed.

We are both taking a week off work next month to (amongst other things) do some recording for this and the album. We aim to write and record the instrumental for the EP in a day (much like I did with Boeotia on EP1).

So we are just left with our traditional collaboration. I need to sort this out ASAP. (Actually the lead track is a collaboration with someone we have worked with before, but given that this is the third song we have done with him, he is actually more of a silent partner honoury Hair Thief than an external collaborator).

So at the moment, we might squeeze EP4 out before the end of the year.

Gig wise, we have nothing planned for the rest of the year. I have now bought a new pedal (yes I know... don't go there), which will help me do some solo gigs that I want to undertake next year. Not sure we'll use it much for Hair Thieves gigs, but it does mean, I'll be able to play things like "The Beguiled" when E isn't there to back me up.

Album wise, we have sorted a list of songs we think will make the album. Plus I've written a new song since, which may or may not be included on it.

The biggest stumbling block at the moment is lyrics.

I haven't been inspired to write any since March 2007. I really have nothing to say, or at least nothing that I want anyone to hear.

The two years since I've moved to Bridgnorth have been hard but interesting and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Almost every aspect of my life has changed. I know there are some songs in there, I just need to find some time to get acquainted to them.

So this is something I really need to work on in the coming months. I need to get my muse back or delegate the lyrics to outside people. This is going to start next month, when (just to make myself even more stupidly busy), I'm going to do Nanowrimo and write another novel in a month. (nothing like broadcasting a hard task to the world to motivate you not to look stupid by failing!!)

So things are generally looking good and forward looking.

I'll keep you posted.

Rollasoc

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Onwards And Upwards

After our recent tour of Bridgnorth, we have reconvened to discuss what to do next.

We spent a couple of hours the other night, going through some of the 19 or so songs we currently have in progress (or ready for mixing) and drinking tea and watching videos on You Tube.

So this coming weekend we are going to start working on EP4 in earnest.

We will keep to the rough formula of previous EPs. Namely, new song, collaboration, old Song re-recorded, instrumental.

So at the weekend we will re-record the old song.

The new song (is actually a couple of years old now, but won't say what it is yet), was played at the recent gigs. It just needs new vocals. (and possibly re-record Claire's guide backing vocals). By the way it is also a collaboration with a regular Hair Thieves contributor.

I have an idea for the instrumental. I have a week off in November, so will attempt to write and record the song in a day (much like I did with Boeotia on EP1). (hopefully, my week off will coincide with E's so we can spend some time recording each day).

We think we now have enough songs ongoing to finally finish the album. The biggest issue at the moment, is the lack of lyrics, I've drafted in a previous collaborator to write the lyrics for one heavy song on the album, once we have a coherent demo version.

Bar that, I may have inadvertently ordered a new pedal. Which I'm pretty excited by. It should be fun to play with live at least. (and may be the main thing used on the new EP4 instrumental).

So, all things are good in the Hair Thieves camp and I'm quite excited about where things are going.

Later,

Rollasoc

PS, My PC dies the other week, so the website hasn't been updated with images from our recent gigs yet. I'm working on it though.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yeah Baby Yeah

EP 3 can now be purchased in both physical form and download form from CDBaby

Last night we had our first Hair Thieves gig, supporting Guns for Girls. I think it went ok. We had a few technical issues with the PA system which made it a bit difficult at times, but in a funny way.

Hopefully, some photos and maybe some video of it will be posted soon, once I've rounded it all up.

We have two more gigs this weekend.

On Sunday we are playing with SheBanng at The New Inn at Bridgnorth. The event runs from 2pm to 6pm. We will be on at 5:45, for 30 minutes.

On Monday, we are playing at the Quayside in Bridgnorth (next to the bridge), we are on at 12:40 for 40 minutes.

Later

Rollasoc

Saturday, August 9, 2008

EP3

After many false starts, delays, and procrastination, EP3 is finally done and dusted (Track listing ) . I spent a happy couple of hours printing the CDs yesterday and Chris has spent even longer burning the CDs and printing the labels. You would not believe how tedious this process is.

As before, we mixed and mastered in a surprisingly short time and the results are pleasing; to my ears anyway. Now if only we could get the writing and recording done in an equally short timescale........

3 acoustic gigs coming up this month which more than exceeds our usual annual allocation.

Other news: I hit a cow with a train.

E

Friday, August 1, 2008

Buses

Finally, EP3 is finished. Only about eighteen months later than we said / hoped it would be.

Over the last two weeks, we have had a couple of sessions to mix it. Our guest backing singer came in and added icing to the cake. We was both really happy with her contribution to the track.

Then on Monday we mastered the whole thing.

The track listing for EP3 is:

1. The Beguiled (featuring Claire Francis from Francis-Bell)
2. A Journey of the Soul (cowritten with E's sister Stella)
3. Bad Consumer (written by E and Guy from Red Star Radio with slightly amended lyrics)
4. Spheno Palatine Gangleoneuralga

A very limited run of physical CDs will be created for this and should be available for the gigs in August.

It will also be made available to download from Soundclick and possibly a few other sites. More details to follow.

We will upload some of it to Myspace over the weekend, for your listening pleasure.

As I said in the last Blog, we have three acoustic gigs booked for August.
August 21st - The Black Boy (Bridgnorth) supporting Guns For Girls
August 24th - The New Inn (Bridgnorth) supporting SheBangg (afternoon gig I think)
August 25th - The Quayside (Bridgnorth), part of the Bridgnorth Music Festival.

So August is going to be busy for us, I think.

We are now looking to what to record next. I've started recording a pretty heavy track for the album. I've also started writing my first new song in two years. E is working on a new song as well.

Later

Rollasoc

Sunday, July 20, 2008

EP3

A few things, but not much to report really.

We are going to start mixing EP3 today. We are still waiting for some backing vocals to be recorded and they have been booked for tomorrow.

So the plan is to mix what we can today. Record tomorrow. Have a listen see what else needs doing and then finish mixing it in the coming week or two.

So all is on schedule for an August release.

We have now three acoustic gigs booked for August.
August 21st - The Black Boy (Bridgnorth) supporting Guns For Girls
August 24th - The New Inn (Bridgnorth) supporting SheBangg (afternoon gig I think)
August 25th - The Quayside (Bridgnorth), part of the Bridgnorth Music Festival.

So what with being one of the photographers for the music festival and Open mic nights on the 23rd, 27th and 28th, I think I'll have a pretty busy week.

E and I have started practicing together. A couple of songs need some work, but the majority were not sounding too shabby at all.

I went out last Thursday and did a solo set, supporting, The Love Jones, playing a selection of tunes off the first three Hair Thieves EPs and some older stuff. I really enjoyed the night and had some nice feedback from people.

So more news, when we finish the mix.

Later

Rollasoc

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th.

Unlucky for some.... I won't even go there........

Another quick update. EP3 is still waiting for a special guest to come in and sing some backing vocals. Then we can mix it and finish it off.

There may be the possibility of a video being made, possibly even in surround sound for one of the tracks on the EP. A good friend of mine has just written his own video editing suite in his spare time and wants something to practice on. I'm waiting for him to get back to me. Not sure if this will come off or not.

We've been officially booked to play the Acoustic gig at the Quayside for the Bridgnorth Music Festival in August. Though not official, we have also been booked to play another set that weekend. More details to follow. At the moment, it might be me on my own for the Quayside one, depends if E can get off work or not. Strings are being pulled and bribes being dished out as we speak. (ok I made that last bit up).

I've started re-working on the Hair Thieves album.. My plan at the moment, is to finish the two songs that require 7 string guitar ASAP, and then sell the 7-string. So obviously, those two songs will never ever get played live.

I spent last weekend re-reording one of the (untitled) tracks. It's pretty darn heavy as you would expect. Plus I've been re-jigging the drums and arrangement. It needs more work (maybe this weekend, maybe next). Then I can start on the other track.

So that is about it for now.

Later

Rollasoc

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's a start.

Yet another quick update......

E and myself, played a short three song set together at an Open mic night at the Bear in Bridgnorth, during the week.

Bar a quick run through at my house just before the event, we hadn't rehearsed in months. I think it went surprisingly well considering the lack of practice.

We played "Break the Casino", "Shorewards" and "Girl with two names".

So that is our annual live performance done for the year. Here is to the next one in 2009. Only joking. Hopefully, we'll do a few more this year and there is a distinct possibility that me might be doing a couple of acoustic things in August for Bridgnorth music festival. More details closer to the time.

EP3 wise, expect some news in the next two weeks. Well probably as least, knowing me.......

Later,

Rollasoc

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quick update......

Not overly a lot to report. Again my fault. This year seems to be slipping away from me. The sad reality of real life keeps intruding on my time.

EP3 news, I have started to look at finishing EP3 off. I now have my wizzy Line 6 XL3 up to date with the latest software and can now edit it on the PC. So no excuses now about loading it with sounds.

EP3 will (like the last two EPs) have a limited physical CD run as well as being made availiable online. I have purchased the physical disks. I just need to finish the music. I am going to make a concerted effort to get the CD finished by the end of May. Not sure when it will be finally released though.

One gig has been booked for August at the Bridgnorth music festival and I've expressed an interest in another gig that week also. So that should kick me up the arse to get either a full band together or, force E and I to go out as a duo again.

So hopefully, more information very very soon.

Later

Rollasoc

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Where does the time go.

Quick update on the happenings of the Hair Thieves.......

Not a lot is happening. I have a new job, which involves a sizable commute along the the hell hole that is the M6. Job is going well though and the commute isn't as bad as I thought it would be. But it has been leaving me knackered in the evenings, so not much of anything has really been done for the last month.

It is getting easier. I have restarted looking at the remaining two tracks for EP3. I've re-recorded the bass for one and played with the string section. I'm trying to arrange the other so I can get it recorded after Easter.

I've also been streamlining my recording studio. As such big chunks of it have been sold on Ebay.

In the meantime, I have also been working with local band SheBangg on their new single "Inspiration". If you read my other blogs or look at my Flickr site, then you may have come across the photos I took when they recorded the single, late last year. Inspiration on Flickr

Well, they have been around to mine and recorded an acoustic version of the track as a B-side to the single. It was a really enjoyable experience.

The single had it's official release party a couple of weeks ago. I opened the evenings entertaiment, by playing a short set, including the track "Bad Consumer" of the Hair Thieves forthcoming EP along with covers from The Wannadies, Rhiaana and Duran Duran.

The SheBangg single "Inspiration" is set for it's official release on March 31st!! To pre-order the single text the word shebangg to 82822 !! Don't forget to then download your single on March 31st!

I can't see anything productive being one before Easter now, but I do aim on getting on and finishing the EP ASAP after Easter. Honest gov...

Later,

Rollasoc

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chart Success

Alright, not much success really but it is something. The Hair Thieves have reached number 34 in the IAC Underground 40 chart with the latest recording of Apotemnophilia. Well pleased!



E

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Year

Quick update on the happenings of the Hair Thieves.

Things have ground to almost total halt. This is pretty much completely my fault. My circumstances changed last Autumn, in what was a pretty stressfull end to the 2007.

This year hasn't started well either. So it will be a few more weeks before things can get back to normal.

We have done some work on the remix we promised Red Star Radio. Hopefully, that will be finished soon.

I have also been engineering and producing a track for another band (more about that sometime soon) and I have a couple other artists to produce over the next month or so. Hopefully, then, I can spend more time kicking EP3 into shape and getting the album finished.

Oh, and a load of my guitar pedals will be going on Ebay this week, now I have a new multi-effects unit.

Later

Rollasoc