Jul 2012 - 2nd Album Rumours, Tom Petty & more RTÉ 2fm.
It's that time again to let you know about the things that happened involving UN during July. There's some more RTÉ 2FM play, a twitter question about plans for the next album, a reverse question from me & some stuff about Tom Petty.
» R T É 2 F M - M O R E U N Q U I E T N I G H T S O N J E N N Y H U S T O N
Last month's blog included the RTÉ 2fm play of Burning The Tracks from June 20th. Here's another from June 26th, which I didn't have time to post in that update. Thanks to Jenny Huston for playing it again (obviously). This time the Rolling Stones track was "Gimme Shelter" too, which I've requested on radio more than 724 times myself anyway.
» S E C O N D A L B U M R U M O U R S
I was asked a couple of times on Twitter when we're planning to release a second album, and not feeling it was a 140 character topic I promised I'd write more about it in this month's blog.
We do plan to release a second album, definately. Although probably "soon" is the wrong word to describe the timeframe. You'd think this is because we're planning to suffer with the "difficult second album" syndrome that bands seem to get. Not true though, in actual fact the main problem for bands such as ourselves is just the money involved in finishing an album. "21st Century..." turned out to be totally worth the effort & money, but was very hard coming up with the money to first master the tracks, duplicate the album and then promote it. Not to mention the equipment purchases, hard drive failures and electrical noises that need expensive solutions to cancel. And obviously paying for bills, food & travel like everyone else has to do, as well as the fact that we still lose money to play most gigs.
» S E C O N D A L B U M - R E C O R D I N G P L A N S
So with the above having been said, it required starting work immediately after finishing "21st..." to have any reasonable confidence that there would be something finished to release within a couple of years. Thoughts of the second album were actually ongoing during the making of the first. I've kept a spreadsheet with the titles of songs from the first (and second!) albums as headings, and the pool of songs for each underneath. As a matter of fact "Someone's Love on Drugs" was written to be on the second album, and then became a late inclusion on the first. I wanted to lend something a bit darker in tone, and because of that it turned out to be a better record in my opinion.
The plan is to release a number of singles between now and the second album, so that you'll have new stuff to hear, and we can maintain a presence on the radio hopefully. As I said above, the main obstacle to smooth recording is the money, and although "21st..." is selling a good number of units (more than anyone in the band genuinely expected), it hasn't yet broken even. Happily though, we do now have some money saved up from royalties and album sales in the UN paypal account. So rather than recoup the money back myself for the outlay on the first album, it will just be rolled over to help with progress on the second. It's a great feeling to see the music earning money though, similarly like it is to see strangers listening back-to-back on somewhere like Last.fm, having chosen to buy the whole album instead of download it. Which then leads me conveniently on to the next topic..
» T H O U G H T S O N K I C K S T A R T E R . C O M
Have any of you have heard of Kickstarter.com? It's a website which has allowed independent artists like Amanda Palmer and Franz Nikolay (ex-pianist of The Hold Steady) to harness their fanbase and be able to raise (quite a lot of) money to complete their albums in exchange for different kinds of tributes to the fans who pledge money. We're giving thought to starting a campaign there at some point incase anyone wants to support the making of the second album in this way. If any of you feel that you probably would want to do that, please let me know your thoughts.
» Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Lucca, Italy
I saw Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers @ Lucca Summer Festival (Tuscany). Dehydration was risked, but we overcame the hurdles required to get front row (and center). As anyone who follows anything I say or write will know, Tom Petty is in my opinion one of the greatest songwriters ever (especially in the Rock genre), so it was truely great to see him. Clicking the large Flying-V logo below will take you to a photo album from the gig, and some of Lucca itself.
I had been to The Rolling Stones and Springsteen's E-Street Band a handful of times, but never Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers because of their reluctance to tour in Europe during my lifetime. There are other greats in the history of Rock & Roll, but I would be lieing if I said any were as great in my estimation as the three mentioned above.
» C O U P L E O F H E A R T B R E A K E R S K E E P S A K E S
Another perk of the front row is that Scott Thurston threw me his guitar pick after "American Girl", and I got Tom's aswell from "Bugs", the silent Heartbreaker. They're a lot heavier guage than I usually use but I'll start recording with them, so maybe some of the Heartbreaker's magic can rub off on the next album. Should also say hello to Gary from Arizona (Steve Ferrone's drum tech) for the chat & snare drum recording advice before the gig. Mike Campbell has got two UN badges from the gig too. Definately the most underrated guitarist in all of Rock & Roll.
» R E C O R D I N G D I A R Y - T H E 2 N D R E C O R D .
You'll remember that we kept a photo diary about the recording of 21st Century Redemption Songs (the first album), and the plan is to do it again during the second album. Hopefully we'll be able to provide you with some interesting stuff this time around too. For example, here's a Gibson Midtown that I've just got to keep here in Italy. There's also my "Booth on the Move" for recording vocals. Click on Uncle Keith below to see where the photo updates will be kept.
» C H O R D B L O S S O M . C O M - G U E S T B L O G
I mentioned a few months ago that Chordblossom wanted me to write a recurring guest blog about the trials of being in an upcoming band. They've been lining up other contributors which stalled the process for a while, but apparantly that's sorted now and from what I've heard they should be high profile people in Irish music and worldwide. So that's definately worth a read. My first blog was mostly about things I did in music leading up to Unquiet Nights, but I'll be writing in future months a lot more specifically about all things UN. I'll post it here when I've seen it myself.
» A L S O I N J U L Y 2 0 1 2 . . .
New radio this month included All Over The Place Radio (New Jersey), who've been playing "Silent Picture Show". Also, we're finally releasing "We Were The Ones" as a single on August 6th, and I'm confident enough to guess that there'll be something interesting radio wise to report in the next blog. That being in terms of another large commercial station to add to the growing list. "But, I feel I've already said too much". Picture someone like Robbie Coltrane saying that, as the Russian in Goldeneye with his fur coat up around his face in sub-zero temperatures. That type of style.
» D O N ' T F O R G E T . . .
21st Century Redemption Songs is available physically using Paypal, or Bandcamp for £8 + P&P. It comes with a booklet, liner notes & the same 10 songs as the digital version, which is available at all these stores also.
All the best...