April was another busy month, to go with 2015 in general. There were some recording sessions in Northern Ireland, then back to Italy. An amp endorsement, German literature, new interviews and some upcoming things that'll happen during May. So, to recap in roughly chronological order....
» STUDIO UPDATE: Manor Park, Northern Ireland. 03.04.2015
This was the second full day in Manor Park Studios recording for the next album, as opposed to doing it by proxy. The first day was to record "George Best City" and finish the "Constellations of She" single. Things picked up a lot after that. This time I was doing a lot more live recording using the big room at Manor Park. Jacking up amps and soloing like it was the early 2000's again. The two songs that we got finished that day will be on the next album.
I'm really happy with the way the material is going now. These two songs would be the 4th and 5th that have been finished for the second album. There was really no avoiding the early release of "George Best City" given what happened, but I'm going to keep these other songs under my hat until the next album is ready for you in total. Hopefully in early December 2015. There will be another single before then, though. One of the songs might be familiar to people who've seen me doing solo shows recently, called "More Than These Eyes". It came together well in the studio and is 6 minutes long. Maybe on the forthcoming album there is more distinction between the progressive elements and the "singles". Some of the best moments on stage have been when stretching the songs.
We did jam on this one a couple of times in rehearsal so I've got an idea it will be a good part of our live set in future. In the gallery you'll see my beautiful Telecaster which I haven't taken to Italy. ;(
» BLACKSTAR AMPS - Acknowledgement of great amplifier.
I wrote a post a few days ago to thank BLACKSTAR AMPS for the fact that they're now endorsing us with their fine amplifiers. To your right you'll see my new HT Stage 60 which will be with me on stage for the foreseeable. On top of it is the HT-Dual pedal that I was already using for months before. Heats up the sound like a beast.
So, I'll speculate that the next album will sound much more valvey, saturated, warm, British and all those desirable things in varying measures.
It's a very sincere thank you to BLACKSTAR, because as an independent band, the first 5 years have been "very, very hard" to gain support and attention versus the industry. Companies like MAC Cosmetics screwed us over, showed us disregard and cost us a lot of money. Tried to exploit us and borrow some credibility while lying about what they're going to provide in return. So it's always a pleasure to point out companies who do things the right way, recognize hard work & potential and are prepared to reach down and help. Viva Blackstar.
» GEORGE BEST: Der ungezähmte Fußballer
On your right is a book that's just been published called "George Best: Der ungezähmte Fußballer", or "The Untamed Footballer".
It's by the German Sportsbook of the Year winning author Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling, published by Verlag Die Werkstatt.
Because of events that happened around the release of our "George Best City" song, Dietrich interviewed me while researching the book. When I've got my copy I'll get one of you who reads German to tell me what it says.
Continually humbled by our association to the greatest player of all time. Thanks Steve, Dietrich, Cherrie, Ralph, Sara, Federico & anyone at BBC NI & Sky Italia who's name I don't know who helped behind the scenes in getting it heard. Everyone who has bought & streamed it.
Danke euch allen. Auf Wiedersehen.
» TAX SEASON: The independent band's nightmare. Boring, but neccessary.
I usually try and leave the accounting of the band until some time I'm sitting awake overnight in an airport and have nothing else to do. Sorting the .PDF invoices into discernible order so that when I have to show the receipts I can rightfully say: "No honestly, we're broke". Truth is that UN has lost money every year since I started in 2010, that is to say it's essentially a vanity project that I've been pumping my own earnings into in order to keep it growing. The positive sign is that we're selling a lot more singles and albums recently than say, a couple of years ago. It's picking up and some people know who we are now. That said, not many of the "opportunities" for exposure pay any travel expenses, and there are hundreds of small and large expenses that people who are outside the process take for granted. Anyway, I usually do this sitting on the floor with my back propped up against a wall in the airports of Milano, Toronto, London (Stansted, Gatwick), Belfast, Roma, Amsterdam, Dublin & where ever else it has happened. So on April 6th I worked out that despite the large upsurge in income, the year still cost me personally £9,270.81 to keep UN growing. It's not a self pitying rant, it's fine, you earn money in life to spend it on something you love, and the band is showing scalability and the hint that the Profit / Loss ratio will become sustainable "in a bit". It's really just to to provide context to how much it costs to produce an album, gain exposure and compete with (sometimes beat) the major labels acts. So you'll know when I say, the difference between you supporting us by listening on Spotify versus going on the places like unquietnights.com & bandcamp to pay for a release is really significantly huge. So you people who have done it, and bought physical copies as well are amazing, and more important than you probably realise.
» INTERVIEW: La Rue Main 21.04.2015
"...UNQUIET NIGHTS are the Northern Ireland band with the name taken from a Genesis song on the album Wind and Wuthering. ‘Unquiet slumbers for the sleepers’ is the line which inspired lead singer/songwriter Luke Mathers. This, in turn, is taken from the last lines of Emily Bronte’s classic novel Wuthering Heights..."
Read the full interview here.
» INSTAGRAM - We're on there, finally.
Since it's exclusive to Android and everything, we weren't on Instagram for a ages, but we made it eventually. Someone purchased a new smartphone, and UN have a presence on there now. SO!.. If you've got an account, make sure to follow us. We already did post a lot of documentary photos on unquietnights.com, twitter and other places, but now we'll be doing it on there too. If you don't have Instagram yourself, you can still favorite UNQUIET NIGHTS on your internet browser and watch everything on our feed unfold regardless.
» UPCOMING: Roxy Bar TV w/ Red Ronnie 03.05.2015
It's recorded in the Center Gross Studios in Bologna, and seems to have a Jools Holland style of format. I've watched a couple of episodes to get acquainted. I'm doing it solo, and will do a couple of songs, plus there's other stuff that happens during the show. It's on Canale 8 of Twww.tv.
I'm told that because of the on demand nature, the viewership is extremely high in Italy, I'm not even going to type the number, it has ridiculously high viewership. All the biggest names in Italian music do it, as well as people like Bowie, Jagger, McCartney, Duran Duran, Fidel Castro (I swear) & Rufus Wainwright have done it in the shows history. On this episode, the lineup will be...
ENRICO RUGGERI, GIANMARCO TOGNAZZI, GIOVANNI BAGLIONI, ATTILIO FONTANA, SPAM, UNQUIET NIGHTS (LUKE MATHERS), MARCELLO GIORDANI, ANTONIO PASCUZZO.
So, off to Bologna I go again. Beautiful city. I'm definitely doing "George Best City", which happily is still running on different SKY Italia channels in the final scene of the Federico Buffa Racconta: George Best documentary. The number of broadcasts now is well over 100 and growing still. The other song is probably going to be "Constellations of She" or the as yet unreleased "Don't Wanna Kill For Religion". So, tune in at 8.30pm Italian time on Sunday night at roxybar.tv/roxy-bar.
Also, if you're close enough to Bologna to go, and want to be in the studio audience, that would be amazing. You can e-mail email@example.com and tell them your name. That's how to do it.