Saturday, 25 February 2012

A word about piracy

No-one likes to pay for stuff. Free stuff is best. We all know that.

However, some free stuff is stealing.

In advance - to everyone who has bought one of our CDs, or paid for a download of one of our tracks or albums - thank you. You are (in our opinion) deeply-wonderful human beings, and what follows is not aimed at you. Bless you all.


Our albums are available for free download all over the internet. We have not offered any album for free download. To anyone. Any free download of this album is ripping us off.

We make lots of tracks available for free, through several streaming sites (Soundawesome, Reverbnation, Soundclick, Soundcloud and YouTube, to name but five). If you want to listen to some of our music for free, then you can. Enjoy!

Then, there are some pay sites (like Spotify) that allow you to stream whole albums, for a very small listening fee. We get an incredibly tiny royalty when people do this, all perfectly legal.

The full album, in best quality, is available for download through the usual outlets - iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and about a dozen other legal download sites. It costs a few bucks ($8.99 on, which for a 74-minute album isn't bad. Of that nine bucks, we see about six, by the time everyone else has had their cut.

So, we're filthy stinking capitalist breadheads, right? Trying to screw money out of you poor suckers to fund our lavish and idle lifestyles. The hot-tub needs the marble tiles replaced, and the babes are starting to complain, better make another record, right? Servicing the Mercedes-Benz is EXPENSIVE, maaaaan! Jeeves, you worthless toad, we're out of ketamine and oysters again!

Wrong. Producing music costs money. Instruments and equipment cost money. Pressing, printing  and distributing CDs costs money. Promoting an album costs money. Making music available for legal download costs money.

We love making music. We wouldn't do it if we didn't. But it does cost us money to do it, so it's nice if we can at least break even on the deal. Which is just about what we do - break even. Breaking even is a big achievement for us.

We're not Coldplay. We're not Adele. We put hundreds of man-hours into every album, and get paid zero. We buy gear and instruments at our own expense, when we can afford to do it, which isn't often. We record in home studios because we can't afford to do anything else.

We then try to cover the costs of making the music available to you guys, just basically so that we can keep doing what we do and still pay for little luxuries like rent, food and electricity (and to stop our wives packing the kids up and leaving us). We can't afford to do vanity publishing - to make albums available, we need to cover our costs. We *just* manage this - our albums sell in tiny quantities, so every paid sale is precious.

...but this "covering the costs of production" crap is all, of course, very uncool. We should really be living in squats, dodging the police and bashing out the occasional song to contribute to the downfall of the capitalist system and generally smash the state (brothers). Music should be free! Take off your clothes and dance!

So people put our albums on file-sharing sites, presumably to teach us a lesson.

Although, of course, they do it using computers that they (in most cases) paid money for. After all, if you get caught stealing a computer, you could go to jail - better not risk that. Dropping the soap in the prison showers can ruin your whole day.

And they will, of course, pay the electricity company and internet service provider that allows them to do these things. It's just the artists who produce the music that don't deserve anything back for what they provide. We'll pay for an iPhone, natch - but music should be free. Right on!

We can't, realistically, do anything about piracy. We're not Metallica - we can't afford the lawyers. The ISPs and hosting companies can't be bothered about it - it's more traffic for them.

So - you *can* get our albums for nothing, if that's what you think they're worth.

But - if you hear some of our free tracks, and decide you'd like our album, then please buy it rather than stealing it. Who knows - if enough people do that, we may even make some more.

Now *there's* a scary thought.



Sunday, 19 February 2012

20th Feb Update

Soooo...... rehearsing this week, we gave Colgate Valentine, Karmic Vortex, Siren, Transdimension Flight and Crystal Starlight some attention. Starting to hang together now, although still sounds very empty without keys....are there *any* keyboard-players in the Oxford/Brackley/Milton Keynes kind of area who think they might want to play this gig? Email if you can give us any leads on this. Gigs are waiting, and we would *hate* to have to use MP3s again.

Dom, our drummer, has come up with the final version of the album cover art - so we've achieved our usual milestone of having the cover done before we've actually got any finished music.

Ah! Speaking of music, the demo of Intus Extra Caput Meum got finished this weekend. As advertised, there's a strong Gong influence on this one. What we really need to do now is crack on with getting finished recordings done (notably bass and vocals) and start to turn the screws a little on our guest performers to turn their parts in.

Onwards, upwards and  inwards.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Well, lookie here......

OK, we've finally decided to centralise our blog. We've had various blog-type things on various sites at various times, but it has taken until now to think "Hey, why not just have one blog on a proper blogging site? Duh!". Well, no-one ever accused us of being smart.......

For the next few months, we're working on two things - the new album, and the live band.

We've been rehearsing with our new drummer, Dom Tofield, and that's coming together nicely. We'll be bringing Jude in to rehearse the vocals once we have the music under control. We're *still* missing a keyboard-player, but hope to get that squared-away fairly soon.

We're confirmed to play the SoundFoursome event in Derbyshire in early June - exact running order TBC. There is also the likelyhood that we'll be at Onboard The Craft in September - again, TBC. Other dates as and when we know them.

Album-wise, there is a bunch of stuff floating around in demo form at the moment, plus a couple of tracks still gestating - too much for a single album, so we'll be releasing any surplus in other ways. If you're here reading this blog, then we're happy to share what's going down at the moment.

Crystal Starlight is a straightforward space-rocker, based on an old song of Dave's. We're rehearsing this as a live song as well as recording the album track.
Today is only Yesterday's Tomorrow is again based on an old song of Dave's, but we've gone for an electro-pop treatment on this. Bit of a Kraftwerk homage.
Intus Extra Caput Meum is a lyric of Dave,s, to which Milo is trying to put music. This is likely to sound a bit "70s Gong" by the time we're done with it.
Break The Chain (working title) is some musical ideas from Milo that are currently with Bridget for Wishartification.... (the "New Noun" light just came on - 3000 point bonus!).
More Light is a spacerock jam that Dave says sounds a bit like Litmus - hoping to have a special guest on this one. This might not make the album, but may well be a live track.
Child of the Sable Night is a spoken-word piece of Dave's which will get some musical content somewhere along the line. There are a couple of other spoken-word bits that will appear on the album too - if you have any of our albums, you'll know what to expect.
Jabberwocky is what you'd expect - a musical treatment of the Lewis Carroll nonsense poem. This is a rework of a track that Milo recorded in 1994. Cyndee Lee Rule guests on violin.
Nanobots is "the long one" - a narrative symphonic prog epic. This is something that Milo started writing in about 2003, but got painted into a corner on the story aspect (Yes, but what happened *then*?), until a conversation with Dave cleared the blockage.

So, only 8 songs - but you know us. Nanobots is 25 minutes, Jabberwocky is 15, Break The Chain is another 10 (at least at the moment) - that's 50 minutes with just those three.

Guests? Well, of course! Most of the collective who guested on "Lost" will be "doing a turn" for us again, and there will be one or two new faces too.....but always best not to confirm or deny things until the parts are actually recorded and in the final mix.

Check back soon - we'll post regularly here with album updates, live dates and other little snippets.

Onwards, upwards, inwards and slightly further to the left.... bit further.... no, the OTHER LEFT! .....perfect!