Thursday, 12 November 2009

My Interview For Rock Radio

Multi-instrumentalist Paul Cusick recently released a debut album I said was ideal for fans of Porcupine Tree and Marillion, to name but two. So who is he?

Paul, the album Focal Point is your solo debut. What have you been doing up to now?

Musically I’ve been guitarist for other bands such as Gabriel, Aura and Ripped. Professionally I’m a Chartered Civil Engineer. I also have three kids.

You’re based near York?

I was born in York, spent my childhood in Scotland, attended Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, lived in Israel, USA, London and Leeds, eventually returning to York when the kids came along.

You write and play everything yourself except for drums. Was that always the plan, or had you lost faith in the band format?

I never planned to do it all myself - I just found it easier that way. When you co-write a song there are compromises, but with Focal Point I had a collection of songs and an idea of what I wanted. I had tried a couple of songs from the album within a band environment but they didn't work. The band showed almost no interest in my songs and I guess I didn't have much confidence in my writing - so as soon as their faces started to glaze over I’d just get back to playing guitar. Generally, bands I’ve been in have worked around the singer. I don’t consider myself a singer so I’d just do my bit on guitar. My approach is different now. Working on my own I take a song and imagine how a “dream band” would play it. I then develop the song with that in mind.

Having gone it alone, do you feel this is the best way to work?

I think so. I find it easy to write by myself. No pressure, compromise or egos to deal with. But things may change - I’m open to offers.

You had early interest from several record labels. Why set up your own?

I wanted to know how it all worked. I didn’t like the idea of blindly signing away a few years or a few albums to someone else. I used Myspace to get some demos out. I trawled the internet to research the ins and outs of being an indie artist. Through Facebook I started to build a fan base I could interact with. The natural progression was to set up a label, so Q Rock Records was born. I’m still learning but the internet is a great leveller.

Reviews have mentioned possible influences like Porcupine Tree and Marillion. Is that fair?

Listeners like a frame of reference and I’m flattered by the comparisons, especially when it's to bands I admire. It’s also fun to be compared to bands I've never heard of because then I get the chance to discover them. OSI springs to mind.

Do you plan to record soon, or have you already started?

I'm already recording album number two. There's no better place than my studio on a cold winter’s night.

Obviously you don’t have a band readily available for live work. When can we expect to see you gigging?

I think a band may be in order after the next album - but it depends on whether there's a demand. Only time will tell.

Posted: Wed 11 November 2009 15:46 by Martin Haggarty

Interview for Classic Rock Society Magazine Oct/Nov 2009

I did quite a lengthy interview for the Classic Rock Society ... enjoy...

Paul Cusick’s bio reads that the “………British born multi-instrumentalist started his solo music career in 2009 with the release of his debut album "Focal Point". Previously Cusick had spent years as the lead guitarist in several bands, but in 2008 his new year's resolution was to step out from behind his guitar and concentrate on his own song writing and production skills.”

Paul, your bio’s rather enigmatic introduction to you could come across that you wanted to either forget the past or concentrate on the present. For those who like to know an artist’s background, what was your earlier musical genealogy?

Forget the past, concentrate on the present? Mmm….no help needed on forgetting things as I don't have the greatest memory... Actually, the present is what it is because of what's passed before. So my musical present is I suppose a culmination of my musical past:

Looking back I started to learn guitar at school under the careful tuition of my art teacher Bob Greenwood, a great blues player, who used to have us fetch songs in to him that we wanted to play. He would transcribe them for us, and then patiently teach us how to play what we heard. I think he transcribed most of "Heaven and Hell" by Black Sabbath for me.

At school I joined my first band playing the obligatory Status Quo tracks. At University I played in a couple of bands covering tracks by Marillion, Van Halen, Queen, Alan Parsons etc. These bands were just for fun and I don't think we played more than a handful of gigs. Some people say when you join a band you get girls. Actually I just found rehearsal nights were nights that could be better spent with girls (laughs).

After University I moved to Leeds and joined my first serious band. We were a three piece that went by the name of "Aura". Our set list included some self penned prog numbers, but we never failed to impress with a combination of covers from bands such as World Trade and Rush. I loved playing songs such as "Freewill", "YYZ", "Spirit of the Radio" and "The Pass", among many others. Alex Lifeson is one of my guitar heroes. We also combined that prog set with some popular songs by The Police. I remember I especially had a soft spot for the track "Synchronicity II".

As a three piece band it was my role as the guitarist to fill the atmospheres between the rhythm and the vocals. I think it was this requirement that helped define my guitar style. Echoes, Volume swells, Violining etc. Atmospheric sounds that turned the electric guitar from a rhythmical/ lead instrument into an ambient background instrument that harmonised with the vocals. The technical requirements of songs by Rush were thrilling to play but I really enjoyed the textures I was starting to create within our original material. But unfortunately other life demands forced me to leave "Aura" and shortly after I moved to York.

I gave up on bands for a while and started to learn my way around PC's and audio recording. But software and computer processing speeds were pretty slow 10 years ago, well they were on my home PC, so to satisfy my creative appetite I decided to look out for a new band.

I remember replying to a small ad for a band called Gabriel, a 5 piece rock band fronted by vocalist “extraordinaire” Marc Atkinson. They were looking for a lead guitarist to replace their then departing lead guitarist Colin Elsworth. He was a technically fantastic guitarist, classically trained with all the tricks needed to play most styles you could imagine. He was about to head of for the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music to pursue the craft of classical guitar.

At that time Gabriel were promoting their recently completed album "Ascension". An album that I think many of your readers may be familiar with. If not, they should be. Not only does it feature the great song writing and voice of Marc Atkinson, but guests artists such as Bryan Josh and Heather Findlay from Mostly Autumn. One particular track "Faith and Betrayal" featured an epic guitar solo by "BJ", which I remember was actually part of the audition. Anyway Gabriel needed a replacement that could cover both Colin's and BJ's guitar parts and for some strange reason I got the job.

Gabriel continued for a few years, gigging, writing new songs, releasing a couple of CDs, but drummers came and went, different members got involved in different side projects, and the momentum for the band eventually ran out. At one point our keyboard player Andy "Rob" Swann decided he would step in to play drums. To provide live drum practice, Gabriel then played as a 4 piece cover band called "Ripped". As Ripped, we just played great rock songs, U2, Train, Lenny Kravitz, Feeder, Coldplay etc - that was fun. But the fun eventually fizzled out so we stopped gigging.

After Ripped I played guitar on a couple of Marc Atkinson's solo studio albums and for a brief period joined the ranks of Riversea, a new Project he had started with keys man Brendan Eyre. I was actually in the process of writing songs for ‘Focal Point’ when we (Riversea) were offered a support slot to “The Reasoning”. We accepted the gig and then realised a set of songs had to be written and rehearsed for our debut gig at The Robin in Bilston.

To our surprise Riversea went down a storm. Sometimes you can just tell when an audience gets your songs, and the audience that night got Riversea. Unfortunately it was starting to dawn on me that I did not have enough time to both finish ‘Focal Point’ and give Riversea the commitment it needed. So I bowed out of Riversea to concentrate on my own album.

His bio continues: “Within four months Cusick had received record offers from two separate progressive rock labels. This interest gave Cusick the confidence to continue writing and recording his debut album, whilst still maintaining his career as a Chartered Civil Engineer.”
It seems quite impressive getting offers from rock labels without any previous solo track record. How did all that come about?

Yeah, and surprising. It was January 2008 and I had decided, for my New Year’s resolution, to concentrate on writing my own songs. I didn't know at that time I was going to be doing a full blown solo album. I had just created a MySpace site and uploaded a couple of songs for a bit of a laugh. Some were instrumentals and some were rough demos that featured Marc Atkinson on vocals. A couple of tracks had even been rehearsed by Gabriel, but I guess the guys never really got my songs and I've never been one for pushing them on anyone.

The problem I encounter when I write a song is I actually have little confidence in what I write. Don't get me wrong, I know when my guitar parts work, that's why I enjoy playing guitar. But as a song writer I struggle with my art. And on the vocals front... well let’s just say I feel a little uncomfortable hearing my own voice. I guess most of us have that sense of embarrassment when we listen back to a recording of our own voice..., how many times do you record your answer phone message before you are happy for it to be heard by others? Imagine that amplified with the added dimensions of pitch, lyric and melody!

I don't envy the role of vocalists at all. It takes balls bigger than space hoppers to stand in front of a crowd and open your voice. As a guitarist you stand behind your guitar. It's a six string wall of defence.
Anyway I digress..., where was I? I told you I had a bad memory...., oh yes MySpace….well I started to get feedback from complete strangers that they liked my songs and some were asking where they could they buy them. This made me wonder how to proceed? The early demos featured Marc on vocals, and he kindly offered to sing on my album, but I knew if I was to proceed with a "solo" album that I would have to face my fear and sing myself. I mean Marc's voice sounded great on the demos but his style of singing didn't convey the feelings I had in my mind for some of my songs. I could have used Marc on some tracks and me on others, but again I kind of felt driven to try it myself.

My first attempt at vocals was on ‘Big Cars’. I used a voice affect that made my voice sound mega phonic. It's a trick used by many artists. It adds a certain quality to a voice but at the same time hides pitch problems. Anyway I recorded a working demo of ‘Big Cars’ and hired a session drummer, Phil Robertson, to play drums. I then emailed some Prog Rock Radio stations and asked if they would consider adding my song to their playlists. To my surprise I received offers from 2 Prog Rock labels.
I hadn't expected that sort of interest. It took me completely by surprise. Remember the idea for Focal Point was only starting to form in my head and the degree to which I was going to develop it had still to be finalised. But I was starting to think I should do the best I could within my limited resources.
I remember Marc and Brendan (Riversea) were supportive of my idea to have a go at a solo project, and Brendan was actually more enthusiastic about my offers than I was. I had been emailing both of them mp3 after mp3 of rough demos / instrumentals trying to gather feedback and to gain perspective on my ability, but the guys in Riversea were supportive and instrumental in giving me the push. (By that I mean encouragement and not that they kicked me out)

It seemed strange having 2 offers on the table and no album. Kind of a horse before the cart situation. But, in hindsight, it was only the feedback from labels and friends that made me persevere with Focal Point.

My partner, Theresa, says I hide my light under a bushel and I think I needed her blessing before I started the real work on Focal Point. During the time I subsequently spent on my album, she had to look after all the things that need looking after for a family to function.

Chartered Engineer and rock guitarist appear to be two ends of the spectrum. How do you balance both vocations?

I don't sleep! (smiles). In reality I can't balance both. I have managed to burn the candle at both ends for ‘Focal Point’ but that was only possible because I had support from my family. I am quite lucky in that I work as a freelance consultant engineer, my hours are flexible. I can work as much, or as few, as I decide. With work I decided, shortly after my dad died, that I wouldn't wait until 65 to start enjoying my retirement. He died young, well before he had time to enjoy his retirement, so I have decided to have a semi-retired life. Hence my flexible "reduced" working hours.

I am lucky enough to enjoy my work, and my music is really my only serious hobby. I would love to say I have mastered the balancing trick, but in reality I still need my professional careers as a consultant. Unless of course ‘Focal Point’ sells enough copies to justify me concentrating solely on my music. That would be a dream come true. I have ideas for album 2 and several songs are already written but..., well only time will tell.

Paul’s bio continues: “Cusick's guitar style has been compared Steve Hackett, David Gilmour, Steve Rothery and Steven Wilson. His songs draw upon the sounds and audio landscapes created by bands such as Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree, Chroma Key and Nine Inch Nails. However, the long instrumental pieces that are sometimes associated with the progressive rock genre have been replaced by catchy vocal melody lines akin to those evoked by more mainstream rock artists such as Coldplay and U2.”
There are a lot of names in that description to make the typical CRS member’s mouth water at the prospect. Do you feel lumbered, embarrassed or inspired by these comparisons?

Honoured! By far the biggest comparison people are saying about my music is it sounds like Pink Floyd mixed with Porcupine Tree. How can I not be flattered by those sorts of comparisons? If I was being compared to artists that I hadn't heard of, or artists who I didn't enjoy listening to, then I would be worried. But to be mentioned, in a complimentary manner, in the same breath as Dave Gilmour, Roger Waters or Steven Wilson is simply an honour.

I am also being told I sound like bands I hadn't previously heard of. OSI springs to mind. I have since become a big fan of their music, and fans are always introducing me to new artists. I love it.
There is a downside, when fans of other bands get all defensive of their idols and post messages on forums insulting my music, belittling the comparisons made by others. Everyone's free to have an opinion but some of the comments posted are insulting and can be quite personal. I never started comparing my music to other bands, it’s the listeners who make the comparisons. Objective comparisons I can read and respect but why some choose to send nasty emails I’ll never know. If people don't like my music then why do they listen to it?

But on the whole, as I said, I am flattered by such favourable comparisons and touched by the number of compliments people post on my Facebook page.

Actually when I think about it I'm actually in shock at the feedback my album has generated....,

For his album, as we’ve heard, Paul sang and played all instruments himself, apart from his friend Alex 'The Groove Monster' Cromarty on drums, with Andy Edwards (FROST*, IQ) a guest drummer on the track 'Touch'.
Was it your decision to be as self-sufficient as possible with the album, Paul?

Yes. My nature is to understand how something works. I created as one of the first UK online dating agencies just because I wanted to learn about the web. I then created the network because I wanted to tie in web design to civil engineering. I have renovated numerous properties, tinkered with classic cars and had a house built in Florida. I just like doing new things. Life's too short to get stuck in a rut.

On the music front of things I love playing instruments. By choosing to play them all, I gave myself the freedom and time to experiment to my hearts content. Home recording techniques can now provide studio quality audio. It was the same with the production of the album. When you're paying hundreds of pounds a day for a studio, it makes sense to save money and do as much of it as you can at home. As I record songs the whole process is dynamic. The freedom to make changes by yourself, in your own time, is invaluable.

Obviously I had limitations..., I can't play the drums. I can programme them, but alas drums are an instrument I'm yet to attempt. Anyway, when you have friends like Alex willing to help, you willingly accept their skills. He is a star and we’ve known one another since his drumming days in Gabriel. He is without doubt a world class drummer that the world has yet to hear about.

But eventually, the recording of the drums and the final mixing I did with John Spence at Fairview Studios. You have to know your limitations.

On the artwork side of things, I had a strong idea of what I wanted, but initially I didn't have time to create the artwork. As luck would have it a facebook fan, Martin Roberts, offered to help. His Photoshop and design skills were great and we struck up a creative relationship that just worked. Our ideas gelled and we quickly gained respect for each others point of view. I love the artwork included in the CD booklet. It’s great to have a visual representation of every song. Other people offered their help as well, Mark Nowicki a graphic designer from the US and Paul Newsom a photographer from York all volunteered their art to the project. T-shirts will be next but I need to find a company I can trust to work with on that front (hint).

On the distribution front it would have been great to take my completed album and hand it over to a third party, but when I started to look into the record contracts I had been sent, there were certain terms and conditions that I considered worked strongly in the favour of the record company. I know certain clauses will always favour one of the parties to a contract, but my concern was they could hear my music and use their expertise to decide how successful my album would be for them, but I had no tangible proof as to how successfully or otherwise they could distribute my music.

The idea of signing years or albums away to an unproven entity was unappealing. That's not to say I wouldn't sign if the right offer came along, but how could I determine how good an offer was if I didn't understand its practical application.

So, as is my nature, I researched the role of record companies and distribution companies and decided to do it all myself. I guess the internet has empowered the artist with the potential to do as much as they want. I combined what I learned with my background in web design and set to work promoting Q Rock Records

I also picked up advice along the way from "bigger" artists and players in the music scene, and that advice favoured my decision to stay independent.

So, what does your immediate independent future hold? The CRS had been expecting a Riversea gig earlier this year which turned out to be a Marc solo. Might we see Paul Cusick live in one form or another perhaps?

I’m having a rest. My kids are on their summer holidays so I’m spending time with my family. I’m continuing to work on promotion and distribution for Focal Point and I’m in discussion with a video production company about a possible video.

If all keeps going well, I’ll be working on a second album over the winter and then next year I will be looking for a band to gig both. I need two albums so I have enough original material to play decent gigs. That’s my plan, but a lot can change in a year. Who knows what opportunities may appear in the future?
Eighteen months ago I would never have dared to dream I would be sitting here in summer 2009 having written, recorded and released a solo album on my own record label. And to my great surprise Focal Point is also an album I’m immensely proud of.

I have learned so much along the way. From the mechanics of recording and production to reconfirmation of the spirit that exists in others to freely give help and support.

But the greatest lesson I have learned is that I can do it. I can make a News Year’s resolution and stick to it (laughs) it’s probably the first time I’ve managed that. The journey so far has been fantastic and I believe it is only the start.

Focal Point Review - Background Magazine

I discovered British born multi-instrumentalist Paul Cusick, while visiting Facebook on the internet. Facebook is a wonderful medium to meet new friends with common interests. Mr. Cusick must have had the same idea, when he tried to reach a bigger audience for his debut album Focal Point. He put an announcement for the album on Facebook that drew my attention. I asked him if I could get a copy for a review and he was so kind to send one. For those who are not familiar with Paul Cusick here’s a very short introduction. He used to be a guitar player for Peter Gabriel, Ripped and Riversea. The latter two names didn’t ring a bell for me, but that’s not of any importance. He put some demos on his MySpace-page on the internet that became very popular. Some record companies were willing to release his music, but he decided to release it on his private label instead. By doing so, he was free to record the music he likes best.

Apparently, I have the same musical taste as Paul Cusick for I got addicted to Focal Point. The music got me by the throat right from the start. Paul did an amazing job on his first album and he almost played all the instruments by himself. Why do I like Focal Point so much? Initially the groove on this album reminded me of Porcupine Tree especially Paul’s strong guitar riffs and the way the drums are played by Alex ‘The Groove Monster’ Cromarty. On one track, Touch, Andy Edwards (IQ, Frost) plays the drums. Good examples of strong grooves can be heard in the opening tune Focal Point and in Soul Words and Big Cars. Another fine aspect of this album is the way Paul Cusick creates fantastic atmospheres with wonderful synthesizer and acoustic piano sounds. Tracks to dream away by are Everblue and Touch. However, that is not all Paul Cusick has to offer. What to say about his awesome and very melodic guitar solos? They prove that he’s a big fan of musicians like Steve Hackett and Dave Gilmour. Just listen to Fade Away and Senza Tempo and you know exactly what I mean. Besides, Paul Cusick is a very gifted singer with a warm voice that never gets bored. The way he declaims the concept story on this album appealed to me either, but the combination of short soundscapes with fantastic background music really did the trick for me. It gives the music a certain tension and atmosphere that I like. It reminded me of albums made by Rain (Cerulean Blue) and Mickey Simmonds (The Seven Colours Of Emptiness). Those albums also contain a story and have the same kind of atmospheric orchestral music.

People who are interested in this fine album may download or buy the album from Paul Cusick’s website. You can listen to some new material as well. If you like Porcupine Tree and all the above-mentioned names you will have a great time with Focal Point. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Billboard Boulevards

It struck me on the way back from Manchester to York, after a recent vacation in Florida, that there was one fundamental difference between where I was and where I had just been. Soul.

Looking back I think the majority of the urban areas I observed whilst driving around Florida lacked soul. Street after street, and mile after mile, of the arterial network of roads in that sunny state were over decorated in billboards.

I saw "Finding Jesus" beside "Breast Augmentation" beside "Who can I sue?". No theme... no coherency... simply space sold to the highest bidder.... content not important.

It became impossible to work out where you were. There were no real landmarks. Pre-fabricated buildings designed in a corporate image hid behind or below the billboards. The buildings themselves adorned with logos broadcasting to the world the colours carried by the tenants.

After several days of this you get the overall impression that some towns have no character, no identity, but simply provide advertising space to business. It's soul less and quite disturbing.

Now I'm not talking about the whole of the United States. I've driven down the west coast and spent some time in the New England and many, many places are gorgeous. So why do parts of Florida sell their soul to the world of 1-800-?

I wonder what it must be like to live in a town with no identity? Would a child growing up in such an area spend their adult life chasing branded / named products such as Nike, or would they think suing your neighbour is akin to loving them?

But the flip side is everyone is generally so happy and pleasant. "How are you today?", "Have a great day" and nothing is too much bother. The general demeanour of our US cousins simply makes ones day happier.

My return journey from Manchester required a caffeine stop at a motorway services, the dining area was wall to wall grey businessmen, either climbing in or out of their grey company cars or typing away on their grey laptops (I think grey is the new black). All the while the soundtrack was one of a small childs arcade ride blinking away in the corner. Inspiration for another Dantes Inferno.

Which side of the Atlantic hosts the worse hell?

The last time I visited the US I penned "big cars". But this dichotomy of happiness and soulness is definitely taking residence in my mind. Or is my jet-lag interfering with my rationale?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I have obsessive tendencies

Yep, I'm starting to realise I have obsessive tendencies. This fact has been been brought to light in an in depth interview I have just done for the Classic Rock Society magazine. When I reviewed my answers there was definitely a pattern.

For example when the internet was much younger I decided to create an online dating website. It still exists . Why did I do this? Well it seemed like a good idea at the time and it gave me a chance to learn web design. Anyway I got fed up with internet fraud and scams so I decided to outsource the workings of it to another company. But I had spent time learning tips and tricks about the web so I decided to apply that knowledge to my profession..., I'm a Chartered Civil Engineer in the real world. So Web + Civil engineering = , a job board for Civil Engineers. But then people asked if I had a job board for other professions... so I set up the 4 Jobs Online network , literally dozens of Job boards for lots of professions. Why do I do this? Because it's a challenge and I like to work things out. I like to see how far I can take things. I guess many of us have those little obsessions.

Now one of the questions in the interview asked why my solo album became, quite literally, a SOLO project? Playing the instruments, the artwork, my record label Q Rock and now the distribution. Well it's not all solo .. I had two great drummers on the album, a great sound engineer and friends helped on the vocals. On the artwork side I had the generous help of several people but I digress..,

I'm now trying to get my head around CD distribution! So as you can possibly gather it means I've been digging around and contacting other companies. Obviously I've got my CDs selling on Q Rock, Amazon and CD baby but when I started looking at Virgin / HMV and various other shops I thought, mmmm, time to pass it on to an established distribution company. I approached (after recommendation from a fellow musician) a company that had feeds into various retailers. They said they were only interested in all "ALL" CD and digital distribution. When I told them I have most of it covered they took their bat home.

Can you believe they wanted exclusive distribution rights? I've done all the work and it's already out there but they wanted to take control. Are they dinosaurs? Do companies actually think they can continue like that? More forward thinking companies know their role is to facilitate and improve the distribution of music. They understand that artists can pretty well do much of the work them selves. But these "Control Exploiters" still exist. Have they not been around during the last decade and noticed the demise of the big record companies? These once gigantic corporations controlled the artist, the copyrights and the supply of music to the masses. They had big money and that meant they could promote the hell out of a "pretzel" and make everyone believe there was no other alternative snack.

But the internet has meant listeners can browse and find niche music themselves. They don't need to wait until Mr Big has told them what to listen to. So by virtue of these alternative music streams seeded by independent artists, there is no need for old school monopolies. So why do some distribution companies need to continue this "exclusivity" ethos?

There are benefits I suppose. You can control where you distribute to. It makes it easier to know you are the only hand that feeds the demand. You can control your prices as you are the gatekeeper to the retail world.

But for every dinosaur, I am also coming across companies who are willing to work with me to help promote / resell my music. Faith is restored.

I welcome the day when the dinosaurs are laid to rest. I think these dinosaurs are preying on the naivety of others so the can monetize on their success. If I have to put all my eggs in one basket, it had better be a basket woven from the finest materials with an endless supply of everything good dripping into it.

You can spare me the "We've got our risks, and our costs to cover". Guess what? We all have risks to cover!

Anyway I blame my obsessive tendencies for trying to understand the distribution process. But I figure it's been my obsessive tendencies that have driven me to write songs, play every instrument, produce my own music and discover new and interesting things throughout my life. But there is a downside. I also discover annoying things.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

What Happens Next? (I thank YOU)

Well things are starting to settle here after the "staggered" launch of my Focal Point. What with sorting out all the posting, updating websites, the distribution of the album and the MP3s across the myriad of websites etc. It's been none stop for what feels months... actually it has been nearly 18 months since I decided to do a solo album. Time flies when you're having fun.

What next? Well I feel like one does when returning from a great holiday. You know that feeling you get..., you want to avoid the mundane and you want the adventure to continue. I'm sure it will. But I think a little break is now in order. My "babies" have flown the nest and I wait impatiently to see what interest they can generate. Will Focal Point be my one and only? Who knows?

I do know I have enough songs for album two ( I even have a working title..., "P-Dice", you heard it here first) but it boils down to time and money, as most things do in this world.

Will "Focal Point" sell enough copies to finance "P-Dice"? Perhaps.., only time will tell. I know I have my fingers crossed.

But I must admit I was a little disheartened to see a "Fan" had posted the MP3 Files of Focal Point on his blog for all to download for free. It's my blood, tears and sweat that went into creating those songs and he thinks he has the right to give them away. Perhaps he would like it if I came to his house and took something of his away without a by or leave?

I guess there will always be those that think it's ok to steal when its done from the privacy of their own home and no-one gets hurt. I'm not a multinational music publishing company with assets and limitless resources, I'm a "working joe" who writes music in his spare time like 99% of the world songwriters. I cleaned out my savings to get this project done to a standard I am happy with. I could go on about piracy but I'll probably leave that for another blog.

No the main reason for this, my first real blog is to say thank you. The feedback and reviews I have read have been unbelievable. The messages I have been sent over the last few months have been encouraging and supportive.

As a solo project I have been locked away in my studio, week in week out, laying down every layer of sound, note by note, beat by beat, emotion upon emotion. But it sometimes gets lonely staring at the same 4 walls but getting feedback along the way has been a crucial part of my journey.

Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE doing it. I obsess at the wonder of hearing a song develop from a few words, a riff or even an idea. There is something magical in music that I'm sure we all feel.

Why do we feel it? Well I think its down to:

Q's first law.


If you can capture an emotion with music then your job is done. This is no chicken and egg situation. You need to be able to feel it, then you need to communicate it and Art, whether it's in form of music or dance, is the method used. ( There I go again another subject for another blog)

OK back on track.... press pause.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

My First Blogger Post

This is my first blogger post? Well I think it is... I signed up for blogger a few months ago but forgot I had it. Then recently I spent time updating my website and realised my information and the places where I post information were spread far and wide. What does this mean? Well it means I spend too much time online....., most of you reading this probably feel the same way?

So I'm rationalising my online presence and consolidating where I will be posting. I think if I post at blogger I can them spread it into Facebook etc so I only need one place to post. Well best laid plans and all that....

So there you have it, the reason behind my first blog is to test out is functionality as I potentially use it for my one place typing my thoughts.