Saturday, April 10, 2010

The End is Nigh

The good news is the EP has been mixed and a kind of concept for the cover derived.

The bad news is it needs a few tweaks and I need to shoot the cover.

So all in all progress is being made and the end is in sight.

In other news, we have had a bit of a chat and decided to scrap the idea of doing a complete album at this time and continue down the path of releasing (hopefully more frequently) more EPs. We shall see how things progress.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Train coming the other way

Chris has sent me the rough mix of EP4 , now with added vocal goodness and I have spent a bit of time listening and re-familiarising myself with the songs. It has been a long time with some of them!

Sadly next weekend is out due to a death in the family but hopefully after that we will be able to sit down and mix it properly ready for release to an apathetic public.

The Hair Thieves mixing process:

1. Chris sets up a horrendously complicated desk in Cubase with everything grouped and subgrouped and God knows what else.

2. We sit and move sliders about until we have a result that we are reasonably happy with.

3. Chris goes to get tea and biscuits.

4. While he is gone I fiddle with everything and end up with a mix that I think I am happy with.

5. Chris says "actually, that's not bad...."

6. I go home.

7. A small kitten walks across the keyboard and mysteriously deletes my guitar parts and/or version of the mix.

8. Chris puts it back to how it was before he made the tea.

Truly we are geniuses of the music production world and our services are available for a very reasonable fee. A packet of quality biscuits would do.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Light / Tunnel

Firstly, last week saw the end of the Hair Thieves website. It was costing too much to maintain, so we let the space lapse and we are currently in the process of getting the domain name pointing at our Myspace page.

I am very pleased to announced, that recording for EP4 has been completed. I have taken a couple days out of my busy schedule, to finish recording my vocals and guitar parts for the remaining two songs.

So we have a rough mix to play with. I need to get the songs to E ASAP so he can have a listen, then we both need to find some time next month to mix and master it and work on the sleeve.

So hopefully, we will release the EP in the spring, then start working on the album.

I have created a facebook page for the band.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Headline and Deadlines

2009 was pretty much a wash out as far as the Hair Thieves was concerned. Bar one solo support gig and a couple of open mic nights, I have hardly played at all.

Sometimes, life and other commitments take priority over having fun (not that we both didn't have fun). So in reality, we achieved very little forward momentum last year.

I feel pretty bad about this. The spirit has been there, but the application has been lacking. (Relocating to Bridgnorth has not been condusive to my creative juices)

So into 2010. New goals, new horizons, new perspectives on life. So what does 2010 have in store for us.

Well, to be honest I don't really know.

What I do know, is the website (not the URL I hasten, which will point at the myspace page) is going to die a quiet death imminently. I took most of the site down last year, it was too much to maintain and very expensive (since purchased in 2000), for the very little benefit it was giving us.

So Myspace is now the main base for all Hair Thieves related information.

EP4 will be released this year and sooner rather than later. (yeah I know).

I have secretly been working on this over the last week.

The track listing will be (not necessarily in this order)

New Opportunist
21st CSM
Reverie Part 2

Two songs (Chemistry and Reverie Part 2) are completed and are ready to have the final mix done on them (I remixed them again at the weekend).

Chemistry, is a strange one. Musically, it is all E. Lyrically it was a joint effort (E originally coming in with some wonderful lines and ideas). Since we have recorded it, it has quickly become one of my favourite Hair Thieves songs of all time.

Reverie Part 2 is the instrumental sequel to another song we haven't started recording yet, called Reverie Part 1. They are two songs using a contraption known as a Varichord, to change the guitar tuning. It's an interesting tune and totally unplayable live. (I've swapped the part numbers around since previous blogs)

New Opportunist has been a thorn in my side, since we wrote it. I have a love hate relationship with it. I love the song, but have struggled with it (It was originally slated to be on EP1). Initially, (if you read the blog back several years), it was called Carcoma, with several iterations of lyrics, before we scrapped the lyrical idea and Guy Lawton came in and supplied some wonderful lyrics. Which I have then struggled to do vocal justice to.

We did play the song live in 2008, during our short tour of Bridgnorth.

New Opportunist had vocals applied to it at the weekend. Which I was (finally 95%) happy with, until yesterday Cubase totally corrupted the files (my mistake bit rate conversion issues) and it will be quicker for me to re-record them then sort the mess out. (Yes, I took a full backup of work in progress a couple of weeks ago, thankfully). I will get those recorded this week, so it will be ready for mixing at the weekend.

21st CSM, our remake of the old Hair Thieves song, I am fairly unhappy with what we have done so far. We've reused the drums from the original, mapped to a new set of drum samples and it doesn't work. Too many cymbals and probably a drummer with 6 limbs needed. I kid you not.

So, I am going to revisit the drums and tweak them. This may mean some re-recording of existing parts.

21st CSM is still, probably, my favourite Hair Thieves song. I do love playing it and it is one of my better lyrics, inspired by a quote from Syd Barret, a quote from Richard bach's illusions and my state of mind at the time.

Then it is just artwork and decide when and how to put it out into the world. (It sounds so easy!).

So at the moment, I am totally committed to finishing the EP ASAP.

So what next after that?

Well, 2010 is the 10th anniversary of the Hair Thieves. The idea of the band was dragged kicking and screaming out the the embers of what would have been called Rubik's Duvet, in December 2000.

The original idea for the band, was simply, to collate some of the ideas I had recorded onto various tapes, since 1990 into a coherent collection and put out an album and have fun learning to record songs.

I had no plans for the Hair Thieves to be anything other than a non gigging solo thing.

So (almost) 4 EPs on, several (sporadic) gigs, many line up changes and a few sessions recording other people it's getting close to 10 years anniversary and still no album.

We have many many songs in various states of writing and recording and I have been writing more material (strangely, I'm kinda liking Open G tuning at the moment?).

So, maybe, just maybe, one will finally see the light before the end of the year. Who knows.... (I've been saying the album will be out by the end of the year, since about 2003 so don't hold your breath. ha ha)


PS. Title comes from what I'm listening to.... Gone a bit '80s retro recently.