What the hell is taking you lot soo loooong???

Chandy made me feel guilty the other day! I’ve been posting up little snippets of the new mixes to my youtube account and then removing them, writing things on our facebook wall like “OMFG the new mixes sound sweet… ha ha you can’t hear them”… generally in my own way trying to build anticipation of our next album. She said people might get sick of me bragging and not sharing!

stupid videos like this:

 

Perhaps you’ll all get bored and stop listening to us! NA, doubt it!  I know I’m wriggling with anticipation as Mel camps over at Jigsaw studios this week to finish the production process. Over the years it’s become clear that him and Tom work best alone when mixing – so that’s how this album is being produced.

It’s been almost exactly 3 years since we finished the last album.

Is that a long time? I guess it might be. But you have to keep in mind it took us a year to enjoy Dreadful Night, a year to write the application form to get the money for The Mutiny from the UK Arts Council (I kid you not) , and another year to write and record The Mutiny.

In total we’ve spent over 35 days recording ;10 of which were pre-production with our wizard-like- sound tech Joe….(Joe does actually share a house with a wizard called Scuzz who sleeps with his eyes open and has a beard that would make Gandalf bitter).

The recoding time has been spread out over April – August , you can’t do it all in one stint for reasons of sanity and annual leave!

Currently the plan is not to release the album until Spring 2012, the reason behind this is (WHHAAAT?). Reason for this is simple, we have a plan, we have help and we’re carrying it out – a good release is like a good revolution, it takes planning and timing.

If you want the album before then you have to get to a gig in September in the UK – or follow us on twitter/facebook or join our email list…. there’s a special edition coming for existing fans… very soon.

I hope this proves to be a successful tactic, cos the more CDs you lot buy, the more cash we have to get our name out to the wider world.

Thanks for your patience, see you around.

(PS Video teaser for the single released in Oct/Nov coming soon)

 

 

 

 

 

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Views from the World Steam Expo

We had a crazy time at the World Steam Expo – big hello to everyone we met out there! I’ve already detailed some of my (slightly disreputable) adventures over on my other blog, but here are some more photos from our trip.

World Steam Expo banner

In case I forgot where I was

Sunday Driver hotel

In a hotel lobby, jetlagged as hell

Sunday Driver Joel

Even the tropical vibe can't keep Joel awake

Sunday Driver Scott

Hushabye Scotty

Pizza

The best pizza in the universe (or so it seemed when it finally turned up and we'd been awake for about a hundred hours)

Cogbots cogs

Cogs! Thousands of 'em! Steampunk band cogs from the excellent Cogbots.

Harpnotic

Harpnotic - that woman is balancing a sword on her head!

Steampunks at World Steam expo

Some of the costumes were *amazing*

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

The brilliant (and lovely) Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, our fellow Brits on tour

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

Here they are again!

World Steam Expo panda

I played cards with an artist and a Steampunk panda

Dearborn

The Expo was great. Dearborn, however, is shit.

Sunday Driver photoshoot

The amazing Evelyn Kriete styled us for our photoshoot

Sunday Driver autograph session

Our autograph signing session (once the boys finally turned up...)

Boone's Farm Blue Hawaiian

Evelyn gifted us a bottle of this...

Boone's Farm Blue Hawaiian

...and although it contains ZERO (0%) JUICE (and a bunch of other crap)...

Boone's Farm Blue Hawaiian

...went down Chandy's face a treat

Sunday Driver vouchers

Anyone want a voucher?

Expo socks

As usual I was knitting - I managed to crank out a whole pair of socks

Hotel room cards

Between 7 of us we accumulated about 15 key cards. I have no idea how that happened.

View from the plane

So long Detroit - it's been emotional

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Chemise goes on tour

Spotted in the Greenfield Village museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

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I also liked this advert, guaranteed to give your toilet vigorous hair:

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How to Survive 2 Weeks in the Studio with Sunday Driver, if you’re a boy

Boys Have the Best Toys

As a child I was always very grateful to have been born a boy! Boys get good toys: cars that turn into robots that turn into guns; Darth Vader ; remote controlled boats. Girls get dolls; pretend horses, mini kitchen sets (OK maybe in the 80s they were more common!)….. rubbish stuff!

Of course being in Sunday Driver I’m a firm believer in bucking genres and trends… if I were to buy a pressie for a little niece, I’d prefer to get them Megatron or an air pistol opposed to that trollop Barbie.

However I fear it is a fact that boys enjoy the best toys, in a response to Kat and Chandy’s entries here’s a blog of surviving two weeks in the studio, if you’re a boy:

1. Grand Auto IV (90% of all gaming should be invested in Nico), Mario Kart / Golden Eye (N64), Mame arcade games, Mortal Kombat 3 and Metal Slug 3 essential, Wide selection of DVDs (Star Wars, Hitchcock, the good Tarintinos)

Studio Entertainment

2. Lots of instruments you don’t really need. .

3. Have plenty of smokes

4. Explore your surroundings

   

McFly's Old Tour Bus

5. Keep a wide selection of ales back at basecamp.

6. Eat well – No F’ing meat slices (ie Ginsters)! Yes last night’s left over dinner, Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle,  confectionery selection:

No Gruel Here

7. Afternoon naps in Mcfly’s old tour bus, feels bizzarely like being on hoiday.

We’re over half way through now, with most of my own takes under my belt, I’m left with two major objectives to complete: tune the tanpura for trippy drones and steal an FBI Buffalo, escape the pigs and save a game with it outside my apartment!

Oh yea and finish the album!

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Northern salad and sunshine: Views from the studio

We’ve been doubly lucky this week to have a fantastic studio to record in –  courtesy of Tom Savage at Jigsaw – and fantastic weather. Here are a few pics I took last week:

Jigsaw Studios

Jigsaw studios - so cute!

 Sunday Driver Jigsaw studios

Joel and Chandy arguing about... I mean, discussing how to record one of our songs

Homemade curry

Enjoying Chandy's delicious homemade curry

North Luffingham

The view from my bedroom window at the cottage we stayed in

Chandy in the garden

Relaxing with a cuppa and a hot cross bun in the garden

Northern salad

Chandy's "Northern Salad"

Butt Lane

Hurr hurr hurr hurr - we stayed on Butt Lane

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Studio essentials: Kat

We finally made it to the studio without killing each other, and withmore than enough finished songs to make an awesome album. Right now we’re holed up in Jigsaw studios, stuck in the middle of nowhere just outside Peterborough. And to make the most of our time – and possibly to increase the chances of us all killing each other – we’re staying together in a cottage in a nearby village.

But how do you keep sane in the face of the equivalent of two weeks’ musical purgatory? Chandy’s already shared her survival guide, and here are my studio essentials.

Staying in touch with the outside world is vital, given that there are times when I’d rather talk to complete strangers on Twitter than the people in my band (only kidding, guys!). Netbook and Crackberry (plus as many Wifi passwords as I can scavenge) are therefore my number 1 essential:

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Knitting. And more knitting. And some spare knitting just in case:

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Running shoes. I may not actually make it out for a run, but at least I can make everyone else feel guilty for having made the effort to bring my kit along:

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Good headphones. So I can make it all go away and watch Nathan Fillion clips on Youtube in peace:

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Chewing gum. It goes some way to staving off the 12-hour biscuit-eating marathon that seems to set in every time we get near a recording studio. Also see: Innocent Veg Pots.

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And finally, wine. Though I’m not sure sending Joel and Chandy out to buy the booze was a good idea. Last time I looked Romania wasn’t exactly known for their wine-growing prowess. Tastes surprisingly OK though. Don’t judge me.

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Posted in Confessions, In the studio, Random | 1 Comment

How to survive 2 weeks in the studio with Sunday Driver

What do you get when you lock seven musicians up together in a darkened room for 2 weeks while the sun is shining and the birds are singing?

The correct answer is, of course, a finished album. However, don’t count your chickens. Just getting to the studio is the culmination of many months of planning, not to mention endless days cooped up in a rehearsal room dreaming up new songs and then picking them (and each other) to pieces.

It’s pretty impressive that we’ve made it to this point without killing each other. But it could still kick off over the next 2 weeks, especially since we’ll all be living in the same house together …

Fortunately I’m an old hand at this now and I know exactly what to pack for a smooth ride. So here are some tips for posterity:

Tip 1: Keep the rest of the band happy. I find the best way is with lots of home cooked indian food. Turmeric, fresh green chillies, cumin and mustard seeds are essential. To win extra credits, pack food in Tupperware boxes and dish out in the studio at lunchtimes.

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Tip 2: Keep feet warm at all times: cold feet=sore throat=no vocals. Pink fluffy slippers especially recommended, make you feel like a real rock star.

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Tip 3: Take loads of reading for musical inspiration: vocals come out great if you concoct a little story around the songs and act them out. This time my reading material includes 20 years worth of Ugandan newspaper articles (at least 19 of which are dedicated to the fabled Last King of Scotland, featured below, who has a whole song all to himself on the next album).

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Tip 4: Start getting everyone up at least 2 hours before we need to leave! A temple bell struck with a hammer works well. The smell of fried bacon also works a treat.

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I also take a picture of the Hindu monkey God Hanuman with me wherever I go. This might not work for everyone, but he keeps me sane.

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Its all feeling pretty good so far. But at the same time I have that pre-exam feeling, my insides are a jittery bundle of nerves and expectations. Recording is a weird time – it’s when a song that started off as an ephemeral concept in my head turns into a shiny CD that other people will take possession of.

But i’m getting ahead of myself… I haven’t actually sung anything yet. More tomorrow from the studio proper.

Posted in Confessions, In the studio, Random | 3 Comments