Well here we are at the end of another year, and – as is traditional – it’s time to offer a reflection of 2019:
…. but seriously, what a year! If you remember last year’s blog from me, you’ll see that I ended the year being absolutely exhausted from working on LORD’s Fallen Idols album all year. In a lot of ways, this year is ending the same.
However, Fallen Idols did indeed come out and it became the most successful, best reviewed album in the entire 30 year history of the band. We made it as high as #2 on the Australian Independent Labels charts and hit #20 on the proper ARIA Australian albums charts, and we have a very healthy inclusion in many “best albums of 2019” lists. I definitely can speak for the other guys when I say I really appreciate the support and positive vibes we’ve gotten back from everyone.
There’s very much a love-hate relationship that I have with making music.
I’m not sure what it’s like for a lot of other musicians, but for me also being the producer, arranger, recording engineer, etc. as well as being the performer, it’s a very exhausting experience, both physically and mentally. I’m lucky to be able to stand to listen to the thing that I pour my everything into for months at a time because it’s taken so much out of me, and I honestly don’t enjoy the process very much. Yes, I’m aware that my job is a studio guy and a musician, so there’s definitely a weird sense of “what the hell am I even doing” every day I fire up the audio machine to get to work.
On the other hand, there’s few things in this world that feels as powerful as absolutely nailing the part in a song you’ve been working on for ages, and it coming out exactly as you imagined it, or better. Or after the dust settles, knowing that you music has reached someone and made the same impact on them as it has to me. I’ve been told some amazing stories over the last 30 years of people using our music to help with their recovery from injury, or been their companion and guide through a very tough personal time. As a songwriter, I can’t begin to explain how humbling it is to hear that kind of thing.
I think with Fallen Idols, probably more so than anything else we’ve done, people have really grabbed hold of the fact that it’s genuine. Every song is from a personal place for us, or put forward a message or intent that’s important to who we are or what we’re trying to say. Even songs, like Master of Darkness, which is based on a movie, those movies are things that shape who we are, taps into our imagination and fuels that childlike sense that we all have, but often forget is inside us all. We’re glad you get what we were trying to do!
I had a good chat to Andy about the album and the inspiration behind it on both his main Andy Social podcast, and the excellent Nod to the Old School series. Give them a listen, it’ll fill in a lot of the blanks.
So Fallen Idols came out and I could relax for the rest of the year, right?
*deep breath* HAHAHAHA! Yeah, no. 😐
In some ways I could step back a little after being absolutely absorbed in the album for the previous year, and hand over the reins to Andy who is the mastermind behind a lot of our promo for Dominus Records, and Mark who is our champion with ESP Guitars (you guys know what big fans we are of ESP, and we make sure we keep that great relationship alive and well), but there was still some work to do with video clips and tour logistics.
Could I rest after that? Ha, no.
I immediately went back to work on the forthcoming Serenity Defiled album (if you’re reading this before Jan 3, look out for a announcement then!) and started work on the new Ilium album, on both projects I was producer and at least a guest vocalist, amongst various other things.
You can check Serenity Defiled out HERE, and if you’d like to hear what I’ve been doing for Ilium and maybe pre-order their new album that I’m on, you can check that out HERE (and if you pre-order, you get a full 6 track EP download right now).
The second FromBeyond album finally made it out, which has gotten a great reaction so far!
I’m also working as a producer and a videographer on a couple of other projects, all of which will be out before March, so it’s definitely a busy time of year for me, when most people are taking a much needed deep breath. Ask me again in March if I’m taking a break, I’ll probably already be asleep. 😉
But for now, I’m out of here to spend a very smokey night with my kid. The fires around here have basically turned the sky perpetually orange, and the sun into a weird red dot in the sky. Give a thought to the people who are doing it tough this year, and the amazing firefighters who are working tirelessly to keep everyone safe. It’s easy to see someone up on stage or in a video and think they’re cool, but the real heroes are out there putting everything on the line for us every day.
You guys be safe, yeah? See you all in 2020!