So to continue the categories of last years post (I can’t believe posts have been reduced to one a year! How terrible of me):
1] In Musical News: Winter People went on our first national tour around Australia. It was a pretty fantastic experience. Probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, period. The headliner sold out almost every show we played, so even though we were opening, we got to play to large and enthusiastic crowds – who were surprisingly receptive given the relative stylistic gulf between the acts. I got to see a lot of Australian cities I’d never seen before, I got to see the inside of many boring airports, and stare at the back of our hire van for hours on end. Touring is a little like I imagine heroin must be: on tour, all I want is a rest from touring, but back home, all I want is to get back on tour!
In further musical news: we start recording our debut studio album in five days. These past three weeks, I’ve been running myself ragged preparing our demo tracks, since the time we have in the studio is relatively limited considering the somewhat complex arrangements. The biggest news on this front is that we’ve been talking to Peter Katis, mixer/producer whose worked on all The National records, Sigur Ros, Interpol etc. about mixing the record. Now, we haven’t yet been able to have him commit / sign-on-the-dotted-line, because he’s still working out his schedule (and we don’t have a hell of alot of money to offer), BUT the fact that he has expressed his interest in our music is quite surreal. If I’d been told a year ago that we would be talking to him about it, I would have been highly sceptical of that eventuality. The current plan, is to finish all tracking in February and then I’ll go over to the States in late March to mix the record with Peter K.
Sideline Musical News: I am really hoping to get another Thomas North recorded this year as well. I’ve got songs that have been sitting around for weeks, months, or years; cluttering up my head, so I’m keen to get them on record and forget about them awhile. My engineering-mixing know-how has grown in leaps and bounds since The Life And Times, and I’m keen to apply it to the more idiosyncratic side of my song produce.
2] In Novel Writing: prose writing actually goes quite well. Time and other creative commitments are the central enemies of writing. During the intensive rehearsal period before tour and tour time itself, I decided it would be prudent for my mental health to take a break from writing every morning. Thus, the deadlines I have previously set myself have invariably swelled and fallen back, but after tour, I did finish the second major section and have since been re-editing and re-writing these passages. The manuscript will be of quite an unholy length for a first timer (somewhere in the 200, 000 – 250, 000 words range I think) – but I’m confident that with enough hard and precise revision it will be a thematically-stylistically cohesive, if epic, work. My current plan of attack is to wait until the tracking for the Winter People album is complete, and then settle down to editing and rewriting Part Two until I’m satisfied with the flow and structure, and with the safety of an integrated and flowing Part One and Two behind me, I shall begin my frontal assault on Part Three!
3] University: finished, degree complete, confirming my first year’s impression: “What a waste of time”. Its not that I didn’t enjoy the environment, I just think I am not cut-out for institutional learning, and more importantly for me, I generally found university to be an unwanted and disruptive distraction from creative work. I am only glad I attended University for the sake of a few brilliant, engaging and mind-expanding philosophy courses.
4] Riversend: Riversend is sore need of a redesign. Version nine it’ll be, if you can believe it. My visual web skills, while they’ve never my strong suit, have certainly improved these past years (and its probably been two or three years since Riversend received a makeover). The new site, whenever I get around to designing it, will be less content heavy I think. A quality over quantity approach. Chucking my juvenile creations into the offline archives and presenting only the best of the best.