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Iain Mclennan: OINKNEWS

OinkNews. Primal Park... Back on Track - June 17, 2009

Just got word from Ross (Wilson) that Primal Park will be to be released officially on CD. Yea Bloody HaH!!!

The best bit was, I had something to offer. That being my Original EMI Cassette Tape I picked up in Melbourne over twenty years ago. Somehow Gill Mathews is going to re thingo it and away we go.

It was only a spur of the minute thing that I got Ross's gig list and decided to send him a Hi. I'd almost let go of the idea of PP being re released on CD as it's been going on/off for some time. Not that it's so important in the scheme of things but, to me it's really a product of it's time. There are a couple of Live tracks that really hit hard and bring back the very moment we were being recorded at Le Bombay Rock in Melbourne. "The Mood" for example is a very tight piece of out the window/in your face, peak playing. For years I'd been waiting to throw such a feel into a number as it's a sophisticated type rhythm where timing, or the sense of time and rhythm has to be totally free of thought. When we hit the breakdown and head into the Solo, I still vividly remember being in top shape as far as fluidity was concerned. No thought... just go for it. If any thought whatsoever came into the fray the whole dynamic and spark of the track would be diminished. I still use the feel today as it's both hands and feet doing individual patterns. In other words the HH may be playing 1&a 2e&a 3e a 4e&a with the snare playing or accenting the 2 & the 4, whilst the Bass Drum pattern punches in 16th notes & accents the 1 & the 3&a. Combine that with HH accents and you've got the sucker. So any conscious thought as to counting is dismissed. For you Drummers out there, doing your Single & Double Stroke daily four hours with a hefty amount of Accented Parradiddles with time to work on your Independence is it! After four hours, you're pretty loose and the blood flows as does the sense of a Meditation. I don't do that amount of practice these days but from 16 years of age onwards, it was my daily routine. An hours break for Lunch and another four of simply letting go and playing the Kit. When I think back to the Seven night a week schedule of gigs from North East South & West touring Australia, without those very early days of routine practice, my playing would not have developed to the stage I expected. The whole notion is NOT to be consciously thinking about anything but communicating, listening and feel. Occasionally in Ariel, I would get the chance to use similar feels. "Amazon", a song written by Glyn Mason was a perfect chance to lay a Rolling Shuffle type feel to a song. Bernard Purdie, calls it the "Bernard Purdie Shuffle" which he used on numerous occasions with Steely Dan. It's such a fluid pattern to play the groove becomes infectious with many Grace notes notes essentially going unheard.

Anyway, I'm getting carried away. However, if you have the time to work on your independence whereby each Limb is doing something in Harmony or against the time and separately creating another rhythm.. Get into it now, as starting late, with few gigs about these days, you will never have the time to really sort your Chops and then... IN TWO WORDS.... FORGET THEM and play.

That's enough from me as I'm very side tracked at present, the details of which I find all consuming. Life affirming... in fact. My thoughts and sense of discipline are being tested. But I assure you for the best reasons any of us can experience.

Love to Ya all,

For those close in my life... you know well where I'm coming from.

Cheers,

Iain

To Pick up Again - June 8, 2009

Is often the most difficult process. Although the studio is moving ahead well. Now I find myself with hundreds of Back Up Files to go through and restart the process of editing, mixing etc. In hindsight, my thoughts are more wishes than practical doing . It's like, OK, for reasons beyond control everything had to stop. The stop was a huge stop. No half measures. Just stop.

Many find to regain momentum time and time again pretty much impossible as the momentum itself propels you forward with energy and enthusiasm. I allude to wishes that I had never stopped, despite the pile up that occurred. We shall see what we shall see as they say, even though I don't like to use the term "WE". I shall see what I shall see. Far too many thoughts. Too many threads of ideas that came whilst in the process of working now seem so far behind and in many cases are not as relevant to my current thoughts. Over the weekend I had the thought to simply put a Mic up and do an album of Gtr/Vocs tracks. Even that option at present seems daunting.

Time will tell as always. Time being the motivation for so many things. To love, Live, Eat & Sleep may be the natural thing to do. In all that, nothing stops regardless of what I or any of us may wish.

Just thinking and making notes as to where and what goes which way is enough for today after a long and silent weekend.

Cheers,

Iain

"Ah, The Mood Swings." - June 5, 2009

Do they ever. One day on fire. Next kind of exhausted from all the preparation and reinstalling bits and pieces. Someone once said to me many years ago... "And how are WE today?" Where the hell they get the "WE" to me, is a little confusing and at worst, condescending.
You hear it all the time. Particularly in Hospitals and those places where someone is not on the up. First time I heard it was at an early age. One thing I couldn't understand was how they knew I had an imaginary friend. Which at the time was a small transistor Radio. An impossible question to answer I remember thinking. My answer was less than forthcoming as the men & women in White Hospital Starched and Pressed Uniforms stood with Teeth exposed looking down and obviously expecting a plausible answer. It came without thinking. "I want to go home & so does my friend." Open a bag of worms I did as question after question were fired about this other... other.... "WE".

Today I still cringe when hearing these words and basically explode within the bounds of my own body. We today are quite well. Except the other isn't as hubbly bubbly as the othery. I digress. To get back on the the subject completion of all wiring begins tomorrow as WE enter a so called Long Weekend. Perhaps it's not having a day gig that throws me off when any such weekend comes around. Anything required in the name of Tech stuff is not available. Of course for others it's a great break.

6AM it will start as ton by ton of metal and rubber head to the Northern Beaches for picnics or simply a short getaway. Hopefully, the Sun willl shine for one and all and tempers will remain in order?

I do hope all have a great long weekend in whatever it is that you may or may not have planned. My luck is that only across the way is a long winding road leading to a quiet Park. Full of the tallest Gums, Willows and thick cool Grass complete with it's on suite Beach and clean, cool Water.

Cheers,

Iain

"Another Day On The River" - June 3, 2009

What a few days! People dropping in to check on the progress of the Studio. Me being concerned that Oinkmuse may have caught "Swine Fever?"

To a degree, swine fever is all about. Those whom I call friends are the Swine of life for me. To begin with, friends are few. Acquaintances many. I, like most choose my friends or vice versa. Over the last few years, many folk have come and gone.... not literally, just continued on their way in the company they chose. We are all much the same however, there is one difference. That being these few and much loved new friends are like parts of me. They with their ideas, skills and humour trigger the parts that at times I think I have misplaced. It's a rare find. That being, a friend. Warts and all. Swines, each and every one of them. Without doubt one of my favourite creatures is the almighty PIG. When together in the fellowship of Swine-hood much mirth, mayhem and exuberance is forthcoming. Yep, they are a creative bunch and most have been through the Minefield of professional entertainment. The common denominator being... Survival. That uncanny ability to carry on when many would pass by and let well alone.

Music and Musicianship cannot be left alone as it to, becomes alone. Out there somewhere in the minds of clouds, wind & rain. It waits. It stalks. Pursues your inner most thoughts until there is no way possible to rest easy. It's that wonderful place that all are touched by. That Cubby House you may have had when a kid. Fighting off invaders of all description. Not with slings and arrows but with a beat, a chord, a note sung or screeched into the Forrest. At times every sound known to Mankind could be heard from high in the Gums behind fence palings nailed one by one to the tallest Gum creating the Supper Cubby! Many an invader, upon hearing such ranting, ravings and melodies would be stopped dead in their tracks, look about and inevitably retreat. Only to the sound of the Bush, Birds and that wonderful quiet that gives the mind a chance to catch a melody and hopefully calm the Great Warrior of imagination. Yes, a song. A word or simply a peaceful nights sleep.

Yes, I do rave and have been raving with each and every visitor to enter my gate with wide eyed smiles and calls of HI YA! See new picks posted and you will get an idea.

Never is it all wild eyed and full of enthusiasm. Such is life. To have that hour or two during the day or night, lasts for a lifetime. The River becomes calm, knowing full well it will never be complete until it falls into the arms of the Sea.

Today, being Wednesday, was a special one for reasons... Well... I have my reasons. An energetic and disconcerting aliveness. For some time I have had my doubts about many things. Puzzlement. One wonders why and for what reason any questions may arise when from what you once thought was a distant fancy becomes a deep sense of being complete. Coffee tastes as it's aroma suggests. Laughter, silence... in fact all senses are shared in a look. A look into the eyes of another. The look of such depth that all questions, answers, knowledge are totally unnecessary.

That look, is another day on the river, but one so easily missed in a Lifetime.

Nice talking and I must say for the first time, hits to this site have eclipsed those of the USA. So finally, I must be doing something right as the USA has had the majority as far as interest is concerned since the site was first created. It may not mean much to some but to me, after so many years of unreturned mail, CD send outs, reviewer send outs... it's thanks to those of you in Australia who may take the slightest interest that is most gratifying. To the unbelievable amount of contact with the rest of the World, regardless of me gigging or not, I'm dumbfounded. I cannot forget the very first hit and the country it came from..... Poland. You can read the correspondence on the reviews page. I still have to kick myself to think people take the slightest notice of some of my ranting, imaginings and thoughts.

To All, Love to you and yours,

Iain

Those Tedious Old Waves - May 21, 2009

It's been so long there's Moss growing on the rocks. The old Beach will never be returned to and the waves never ridden again. It used to be catching and riding the wave was life itself. The energy, adrenalin. Holding your breath as your face was buried in the sand.

The sand has vanished. The deep water that would surround and let you rest in it's arms. There was trust and awareness. Unspoken. Just the rise and fall.

It's time to return to the deepest water. Take the risk. Enter the rise and fall and fight the swell. Easy words when spoken in a mumble to yourself. To find that illusive new spread of sand. The welcoming heat that in turn, keeps the blood surging through veins that none lie barely visible.

What to do? Wait and hope that the tide may change? All you're doing is waiting for anothers Sea Change. Most I speak with have chased the beach many a time. Only to return, broken and weary.

The young, wild & free ride on until as is life they too are dumped with no thought. Washed up. Dressed up. Patched up. In new stitched with a new tribe. On the prowl. The prowl became a saunter. There was an odd look to these new beaches. Almost too new. Eventually, not having much choice each and every one of them turned to these new waves. Shock shuddered through each and every one of each individual. The first set were huge and propelled rider after rider headlong onto the beach. Only one thing for it. Go out for another set. In they rolled as with grateful enthusiasm each and every rider assumed position ready for the ride of his life.

Some ride>. As every wave dropped, flattened leaving all and sundry in the doldrums. No interest, no drive and the sound of laughter. Not one wave appeared as it seemed. Soon, it was clear. The only choice remain was to hang up the boards. It was done. Finished. All the experience. Everything learned and experienced. Washed away.

Days by the Beach were idol. Talk of the old sets were the main topic.

Time marched on. A new breed of riders emerged. Young men. Women. Would ride the surf without care. No skill. No experience. Didn't take long as each new day the two groups came together. Young asked questions and were answered. The life this breathed into each and every member mixed on common ground. Relationships between old and new formed.

Life began again and again.

A time of both extreme pleasure mixed with confusion and of course observed by older waves. Older and far from happy. It wasn't right. Unhealthy. Generation gap. Worst of all rumours began. "Unhealthy behaviour" became the catch cry. The result? Old riders were scorned. Once again, the beaches remained empty. Moss grew once again on rocks.

It seems the confusion, the loss continues. No one dares. Bodies drop and the thought of risk becomes out to Sea.

May you all find your deeper Sea.

Cheers,

Iain

"A Dream Realised" - May 15, 2009

For so long I have had an image of the studio in my head. It'd turned out far better than I could have imagined. Just goes to show, if you keep your mind focussed on what is you would like to achieve... it will happen. Hard work and belief pay off. No good continually thinking "IF ONLY" It's a matter of continuing regardless of how your head can play havoc with what and how you think.Needles to say, so many new ideas are starting develop and of course my attitude has returned to the place of calm.

Prior to the studio upgrade, I felt so lifeless. No place on silence or believing "It's just too hard."

Not ting this mach.

Short but sharp

Oh... Me Nerves! - May 7, 2009

6AM this morning and bingo my eyes fell from a peaceful sleep. What?! This is far too early as my last recollection was the 2AM respite when traffic eases. From dot, my nerves have spent most of the time on the outside as opposed to the inside. Nature of the beast, I presume. Something to do with a routine of beginning work at around Midnight. So many years ago working constantly as a musician, on time was usually off time for most. Though in latter years I have tried to reset my body clock I still find it most difficult to hit the pillow and drift into dreamland. Warm Milk, Vitamin B does little to stop the ever present bubble and slurp of trivia, news and the incessant obsession with moving forward.

The last two years have found me less prone to finding solace in the night shift. A time when most worldly sounds become rested. The News itself disturbs me as I am reminded this is a world, a place of consistent violence. At 6PM last week I sat and watched half an hour of video replays of horrific violence broadcast for all and sundry. One event still remains most disturbing. A brawl in which a dozen or so people who had been eating in a takeaway erupted. The most disturbing was the image of a young woman repeatedly landing blow upon blow to an others head. All caught on security camera and highlighted by a white circular cloud. I assume this was aimed at allowing us, the viewer, to catch a better visual. 6PM? And what's more repeated like a footy replay. The woman was obviously well acquainted with delivering repeated fully extended punches, complete with a Boxers stance. Nine blows and vicious to say the least. Enough for me as it had not "Made My Day!" What is it that has changed in our culture to enrage so many into such assaults? If TV were to blame as has been suggested over & over throughout time, is it necessary to show video highlights of the days assaults? In my mind, it seems it's a deliberate means of keeping the attention of viewers. No wonder kids are knifing, punching, kicking and ravaging others into oblivion. Not All kids and Not all adults... what is in the mind of editors, reporters and the like? On one hand, I can see the value in trying to identify those who have been involved. On the other... well, there is no other. Perhaps many are no longer affected by such graphic displays and take it as the norm. It is not the norm for myself or those I know and in my mind creates a false portrayal of people going about their daily lives. So, once again, I don't watch. Miss what I may, my sleep pattern may return to normal and peace of mind will ensue.

The brighter picture is each and every day the Sun rises. Dogs bark and Birds twitter. People go about their daily lives in Cafes, restaurants and of course, the work place. Perhaps it's me? Perhaps, I haven't developed that thick skin that allows one to gloss over images and not be disturbed? I can't believe that as most folk, at least on the outside, remain civil.

It's now 11:03AM. Thoughts of the day are beginning to surface and my longing for the studio to be completed is at my heals. Microphones sit in front of me in readiness to be reconnected to leads and be set before Amplifiers, Drums, Acoustic Guitars and Vocals. The fun of recording never leaves me. Every time I begin a recording I learn so much about playing and letting thoughts flow from my busy head.

This, in fact is perhaps why I am not sleeping as in dreams, I am not allowing the clutter to escape. Only after this clutter is free, can I then find something which stimulates some form of creative release. Too much thinking can be a trap. Some new and fresh ideas seem to be diminished by past endeavours. Only to become baggage, rubbish never to be recycled.

Today, I wish you all a moment of absolute peace. Quiet of mind. Love of life and self.

Be kind to one another. Be kind to yourselves.

Cheers,

Iain

OinkNews... Bigpond Drama - May 4, 2009

I would have posted more pics this week however, Bigpond have decided in their grand wisdom to cut my usage. Strange as only last week I upgraded my account in the belief I must have used over ten gig of uploads & downloads. Can't fight that which is written and have had no success dealing with any of the help services. Subsequently, I did upgrade to twenty five gig/month. Well, after one week my usage was capped once again. The only possible answer I can come to is someone has been tapping into my wi fi connection. This has happened three months in a row and despite my efforts to clear the air.. nothing can be done.

So, be careful with your wi fi connection as people can log in and use your wireless system. I thought Telstra would have a record of any odd usage or at least record anyone's ISP that may have logged onto my line. Oh No!? "We don't keep any such records." If that's the case, how the hell do they have any control over who or who does not log in to your wireless connection.
More unusual is the fact I us a Mac and have never had this problem before. Then, the penny dropped. I had an old PC logged into my wireless. Not a Mac and it's the only way I can think possible that anyone could access my line. The culprit has been hurled in the bin as I'm not a a fan of Mr Gates.

Makes you wonder how secure any of us are as to the internet?

Not being concerned with other transactions on line such as eBay etc as the has to be a degree of trust. This is the world of internet and without some form of trust there would be a hell of a lot of disruption as we all now depend upon the internet to do business. Phone lines won't be around for much longer as it's far cheaper and practical to use Skype or other such services.

Enough of that! The studio continues to be developed as many changes re wiring and new software begin to test my learning skills. Although I have kept it very simple, it's easy to forget how far you have climbed in the name of recording. Not that it's become more difficult. More the point, it's simply getting your head back into the space of being engineer as well as performer. Having the mixing room upstairs is a positive. The main studio for recording is sound isolated and feels airy and pleasant to work in. Using a video feed I can communicate both visually and verbally to anyone recording. When I am doing the recording, all is controlled by a USB connection and a screen. I simply access my mix window and click record. This saves running like a madman up & down stairs after pushing record. A blessing as I used to have to click record, run madly to the kit, relax and wait for my playback. Needless to say, on many attempts, I would trip on some lead only to find myself getting to the kit a bar or two too late. Frustrating! I have no idea how I managed to do this with any success in the past although I do remember losing it quite often. Only to have to return and begin again. So, I don't advise this method to anyone. Simply connect a cordless mouse, add another screen and bingo, you're in business.

Bob Dylan has released his new album and as of this moment I'm trying to lay my hands on a copy. A physical copy that is. Many Music stores around my area have simply vanished. Gone. Some with a few copies of Faith under their wings. Downloading has affected everyone it seems and why not? When you can download your music for nothing in the first place, why would anyone start buying a physical copy? A generation of people are used to getting their music for nothing and it's highly unlikely they are going to pay in the future. For me, the best part about buying a CD on those special occasions is to have all the details of the recording, pictures and the best quality sound I can get. Kind of seems old fashioned now. But, I love the liner notes. Who played what on which track. Producer, engineers and where the album was recorded. If I want I can then bump it onto my iPod. It still amazes me at the output Dylan continues to release. So many albums. So much history and so many wonderful songs. Inspiring and a part of my whole life. Can you imagine in any way, the world Dylan lives in? A world where you are constantly on the road playing and performing to a whole new generation as well as those who have been there since dot. A friend of mine informed me recently she had just returned from Amsterdam, during which time she went to see Dylan perform. To me, as I sit and type this note it seems out of this world. Jacklyn, is of Cosmic Smile whom I have mentioned previously. I think Cosmic is the secret as to travel far and beyond, enjoy a concert by Dylan and return with a memory of such an event is one that remains forever. Few will and few do. On that note, I shall continue my battle with my on line server. A waste of good time, I can assure you.

Cheers to all,

Iain

OinKnews... Studio Update - April 30, 2009

Everything is coming together nicely regarding the Studio. Time well spent on fine details is certainly worth it. Saturday sees the wiring stage begin. Another crucial and in many cases treated as not so important. Wiring is one of the major keys to sound quality so it's not something to short change yourself on. Good connectors and high quality wire allow for a much more clearly defined sound. You want to hear exactly what you are hearing not a coloured variant. Terry Turk has designed my patch bay and thereby making the whole process so much more simple and accurate. Having spent years running behind the desk to find a plug or change a connection, I've learnt why & how a patch bay makes life far more comfortable as everything is in front of you. In & Outs are all in their place as well as leaving room to update in the future.

Slowly but surely I am adding more photos to give anyone who's interested, a clearer view of what can be done with a little thought.

Rather a short note as time is flying and Winter is setting in. If I'm to have this album complete by the end of the year, my routine has to be established again. The last year or so has been totally out of sync with what I'm used to. All well and good having a few songs to record but routine and daily in your face work hours are for me, most important. I have found I write much more freely if I simply record anything that comes to mind as the problem with conscious thought is it tends to block ideas. Leaving the Mics open and playing, ideas flow very quickly and in a very spontaneous way. There's a great freedom in letting yourself be for a while. Not being overly critical in regard to lyrics and melody. Mostly, it's the regurgitation of the known. Old songs revamped and such. Over time, it becomes tiresome. By leaving everything open and hitting record, nine times out of ten a flow begins. Ideas become less thought and more acted upon. It's something I have always loved as when I think too long I gets bogged down in the same old thing.

The new album is quite a drift from Faith as the drummer in me likes to rock a little and groove a lot. Far more up beat, yet lyrically touching on life's up and down momentum. I guess this time a direct attempt to get away from me an find some relief in the rhythm. More soul based rhythm and blues yet remaining pretty much within the context of an Album. So many songs have fallen by the wayside as they simply don't hold my attention any longer. If they don't hold mine, I can't expect them to hold anyone else's.

The important point being what's recorded has to at least, please me regardless of who, or who may not hear it. What I like about the whole process is it allows me to take chances or explore ideas regardless of criticism. As soon as you feel it must please anyone there's no point. The other side is having gathered some fine friends to add a new dimension and spirit other than my own. The fact that it's a pleasure and a lot of fun playing with people makes my life not only a happier one, but each individual has their own slant to contribute. The other side is if someone else apart from myself gets off on a track, there's a real flow of energy that takes all to another level.

I can't wait much longer as the music simply goes in circles in my head. Lack of sleep from not letting the stuff out and into another place. That's why for me, music is the most helpful form of expression I know. Without it, I'm history.

Cheers to all,

Iain

OinkNews.. On With The Show - April 22, 2009

Another few weeks have gone and it's back to updating the Oinkmuse Studio. All is going very well with Mick back and running after the loss of his Dad. The great news is, as the construction of the Room is really making a huge difference regarding the quality of defining an individual sound. Acoustics are at times, made difficult to grasp as the language used to describe the basics are far more complicated than necessary. For me, the simple truth is what it is your ears tell you. As the room has become an entity to itself the whole process becomes very simple. Firstly, when you speak to another, there is a particular sweet spot that allows even those who are slightly deaf to hear very clearly as all unwanted reflections are non existent. No traffic noise for one make it a pleasure to actually hear without doubt what is actually said. Recording wise the reality of each instrument is more than clear. If you put your ear to a guitar body for example, the body resonates, thereby giving you a very clear picture of the tone and harmonics. In an untreated room it becomes a fight for the instrument to be heard as it really is as many other frequencies are triggered by reflections. It's always a problem for me to sleep as the slightest sound will jar me into a chronic insomniac, searching for a quiet part of the house. Music however, is rarely affected when I listen as the Brain makes all the required adjustments. To wear any kind of hearing aide or ear plugs is useless as everything sounds muffled and totally painful and disorienting. If you imagine having a speaker in your ear with less than satisfactory level controls or filters, the Brain tends to overcompensate for the overcompensated hearing device.

I've recently finished reading Eric Claptons Autobiography and he has the same problem and refuses to use any kind of hearing device as the music simply dies. By the way, if you are a fan of Claptons or simply are curios about this complicated yet down to earth man, grab a copy. For me it was life affirming reading some very personal thoughts regarding his drug & drinking days and in the way he went about ending the disease of addiction, loss and the whole Life thing. Apart from all this the amount of work and the people with whom he has played is staggering to say the least. The gruelling tour schedule he still maintains most of which is done with three hours sleep per night. He loves the Blues. He loves music as many of us do for without it, Life becomes a shadow. The music and his instrument were and remain his lifeline and have pulled him through many a dark hour. Read it, as for me it was like seeing my first drum, guitar and the excitement it generated in my soul. I cannot live comfortably without it and as far as I know, many in this world feel much the same. The feeling never goes and the journey you embark upon with whatever instrument you have chosen, becomes the deepest and closest way of expressing the very heart of you.

As I have mentioned previously, if you have always wanted to play..... do it now! For some, it means far more than to others but for anyone willing to take the step, it's a love affair and friendship that is unlike any other. The challenges are always rewarded by moments of a peace within that is undefinable. I believe in music completely as from day one, I found a place for me to be happy and fulfilled. Fulfilled from the inside and if another enjoyed?.... The warmth and depth of feeling, remain unexplainable. The tingle up the spine is beyond explanation. To mix it with a bunch of musicians and take it to another level is why each and every day music resonates always...

What a great Life it is when you do that which you love...

Cheers to all,

Iain

OinkNews... A Chip in The Old Block - April 13, 2009

With the on line community in full hyper-drive, it always baffles me each time I read a new success story regarding a Band, Author or Blog Writer. E Books are now on the board and of course Movies and Music are more accessible than ever. With the amount of technology, which at first I found exciting as Sites such as Oinkmuse allowed many individuals to place their wares, demos and opinions on line. I'm not disappointed in the least, only surprised that by now we don't have access to a Microchip which in fact could be placed in the old head allowing all and sundry to communicate not only on line but in the place called Virtual Reality.

Perhaps this technology is already well established though only available to the Armed Forces and those with access to what is more than likely, just around the corner. I get a lot of Spam re on line dating and the like as you may have noticed in the Guest-book over the last six or so months. It just makes me wonder who is talking to whom? What about eye contact from across a crowded room? In other words, the people factor. There are Virtual Worlds you can join to create and live another life. Start a business and set up house, home or hostel. Still, the people are animations and the animations are controlled by people. You can be whoever you like and be a raging success or the very Devil himself.... as knowing each selected Avatar is in fact a living, breathing other but not really,? Still, I don't get it and would much rather have the old Microchip and communicate in real time. The amount of typing it requires to say hello or the amount of Hyper Text you may have to learn to simply communicate surely requires a lot of time. Baffles me more and more. However, these are the restrictions when we are on line and what's more, it's more popular than the real thing. If I could chat online as quickly as I think, my typing skills would be Hyper Super Special. I would surely get a Speed Text Sponsorship, free keyboards would be piled at my door as in one single day I would completely destroy my super slim Mac Keyboard...

Anyway, that's how it isn't and for now that's the way it's not really, going to be... not.

To get back in real time there's been a slight delay in the studio development as the builders Dad passed away. To Mick and his Family I send my condolences . Next week we will resume from where we left off. After watching Mick work, I now wonder why on earth I took things into my own hands. If your building or even creating an area to record or use as office space it certainly pays to use a professional. So, get a budget together and get as many ideas as you can. I've learnt it's limiting to try in all excitement to do everything yourself. Just like writing and recording, good players have good ideas and add another dimension to your work. Of course finding a gang to do this with can be tricky as everyone has their own projects to consider. In fact it's great, as more and more folk are recording at home. Keeping it simple and moving ahead.

After this week has sailed by, to resume and finish this project will be a whole new ball game. The live room itself has made a huge difference to what I've been used to. I must say however I was very close to having a very good room by simply using my ears. The difference will now be fine tuning the new room itself to suit. The other and even more tricky thing to do is make sure enough air is available and what to use to keep it fresh without creating another unwanted sound source. I had this problem before and as you may imagine it got to the point where Oxygen levels were very low. This is something I'll leave to Scotty as all studios need air and so many options are available. Seems to me, the contraption will have to be in another room as the noise they make is similar to that of a Computer. A dull Hum, which really can interfere with a good recording. We'll see what the options are and for all you studio builders, I'll keep you posted.

Cheers to all,

Iain

Organ & Organisation - April 11, 2009

I don't know about you, but having made radical changes to the Studio leaves me in a huge dilemma. What is it? JUNK... Even though I'd consciously made an effort to store things in some form of order what I've found is so much junk it's difficult to even contemplate. Why the hell we collect so much rubbish is beyond me? What am I saying? It was me that went through all the rubbish and decided what was to stay and what was to go.... There are magazines, books, leads, plugs, cables, lights and some very fibrous bits of insulation that I in my wisdom thought would come in handy.

Not so. When you pick this stuff up, you should wear gloves at least or you spend quite some time wondering why the hell you are so itchy. The stuff gets into your skin as you find yourself scratching constantly. In a couple of words, it's Fibre Glass which tends to lodge sharply into your body. So beware of buying insulation without doing your research. When I bought the stuff some years ago, the most kind store-man told me "This is the stuff you're after." Yep, I was relieved as this would provide some form of sound isolation. I should have known what I was in for as I man handled some fifteen bags to the car. If you can imagine a BMW 2002 packed solid with this horrible stuff, I must have looked the absolute Gimp of all time driving home with a smile on my face ready to prepare my first wall of... Do It Yourself... Sound Isolation.

Ten minutes and I became ferociously itchy and could hardly breathe as the Bales of Itch began to do the damage. I pulled over. Leapt from the car doing some kind of mad dance to the hilarity of passers by. Needless to say, I continued on my way with the thought that I must be allergic to something. Allergic!!!!! The irritation lasted for days after man dragging the said bales into the studio. Lesson one learned and learned well but at this time, upon viewing large clumps of the stuff, I break out into sweat and of course the dreaded itch. So buyer beware if you are doing it yourself do it with care. As I have learned from experience.

Getting back to the astounding amount of rubbish I've collected. Be ruthless, as most of that "Oh, I'll use it one day..." can go out the window as finally you get your room back and everything has it's place.

The album itself is all backed up on disk, both CD and DVD. Fortunately all are labelled and easy to identify. Storing all your Waveforms and backing up everything is a habit that remains essential as believe it or not these forms of storage do break down over time. If you're concerned about how to store them an old shoe box or the like can be the most practical. Store all in a dry area such as on top of a Wardrobe. The use of external Hard drives is the other, if not the best way to store your precious recordings. The price has fallen dramatically and I for one have three one Terabyte Drives. Don't make the mistake of buying a cheap as cheap as Hard Drives can fail. Back up in all forms both CD's, DVD's and store carefully.

As with any musician, guitars, amps and all equipment can really clutter an area. Make a space for your guitars especially if you have room on your walls. You can now buy well made brackets which simply can be attached to any existing wall where your guitars can not only be safe and sound but are less prone to being damaged. Amps can go in all sorts of areas and don't forget, bigger ain't better. There are some great Amps now being produced. Tube
and Transistor. Amazing what sounds can be achieved with a well placed 5 Watt Amp, carefully isolated. Experiment with Microphone placement as to distance and air. Not only do you get a lively sound, so much is added to the character of a particular track. Plug Ins can also be used as well as peddles to perhaps fine tune a sound or create something that is of your own making. An Amp, A Drum Kit, Piano and as many unusual sounding kids toys can be used to create a simple yet new sound to perhaps mix in with a keyboard line or string line. Look around at all the different surfaces you have. Old boxes, Guitar Cases and you'll discover something of your own as opposed going through a Million Sample Libraries. If all else fails, use your voice to mimic a certain sound. Anything that stimulates the imagination and keeps a track sounding fresh and new.

Talking of fresh and new, I must get back to reducing the piles of junk I have accumulated. Who knows? I may find something to bang, strum or tap, thereby accumulating more of the less junk I've already discarded. Ho Hum....

Cheers,

Iain

Easter & The Light Sleeper - April 9, 2009

How many of you out in sleep-land find traffic noise a problem when trying to shut down for the night? I don't know but from my point of view trying to shut out those car horns, trucks and buses is next to impossible. It's a major road and a major nightmare. Being slightly deaf in my left ear doesn't seem to make any difference. Turn on my left side and the good ear seems to deal better than the deaf, muted, trashed left one.

You know the feeling of thinking you've had no sleep whatsoever, it's completely mind numbing. Listening to music at a certain volume doesn't have the same effect. I guess because it's in fact music and I for one cannot, or my brain cannot make any calming sounds from trucks, sirens that seem to be on mass at this time of the year. Being Easter in Aus, it's a three day weekend. I say three. However, folks take the Thursday off and head to "Domyfarkinblockin" to avoid the traffic hang-ups. Of course everyone and their Duck gets the same idea every year and of course it's bloody mayhem.

Last night was most intriguing, disturbing, creepy and until 1AM I listened to the holiday short cut fanatics burn up the Road. Not only that, my upstairs neighbour of whom I have never met decided it was time to inform his girlfriend of all her weaknesses. Starting at around 6PM! The problem was mainly... I could only hear the odd raised voice and not get a clear picture. Nonetheless, this haranguing continued until 1AM.

When you hear a couple going hammer and tong with each other it's very disconcerting. If it goes on for what seems an eternity the question comes to mind whether or not to hit the roof with the nearest object, turn the TV on full blast or simply go and bang on the door?

I once was leaving a Pub in Paddington many years ago. When I hit the pavement.. World War Three was commencing in a small car only feet from me. A couple were really at each others throats and in my naivety I tapped on the window of the car to see if everything was OK. What an idiot. Of course everything wasn't OK...

Oh God! Both leapt from the car and turned on me. Subsequently, I went down after a number of well placed thumps to the old body. Both had leapt from the War Zone and World War Four began on yours truly. The guy was not too bad as he really gave me a good one in the head. Most kind of him I'm sure... But the Woman came at me like a Banshie, teeth flashing and arms swinging. By this time I was feeling like I'd been in a Boxing Ring from the resounding blow to my head. No Bell rang and no one went to their respective corners. Instead, Molly, Mistress of Mayhem lurched into within a foot of me, then, with the grace of a Truck... leapt upon my back.

What the Hell? Her hands well clenched around my breathing apparatus and feet dug deep into my groin this was a Pony ride I would never forget.

One thing was clear, the boyfriend had no intention of getting in the way. I could see the look of almost shock when she began squealing and yelping as she continued to ride me down the footpath. I bucked and turned all to no avail as this rider had decided she was going to win the Bull Ride hands down. I made an amazing move. I tripped down the Gutter. What a great move as suddenly this wild eyed and vicious assailant went flying from my back head long into her own Car.

Silence.

Oh no, what now? She just lay there groaning. Enter the boyfriend with the sentence... "What have you done to my Fiancé?"!.. I thought to myself this is a match made in Heaven. Skull Murphy and The Witch from HELL...

Well, by this time there were a few spectators who had fallen from the Pub. Some of whom were swaying in the wind. Others who obviously loved a good Rodeo.

By now, I was gulping for air and re attaching my Testicles to no avail.

From a couple of spectators I received a crashing thump to the back followed by those winning words... "On Ya Mate... Well bloody Done!

You can well understand after this youthful experience my hesitation in banging on a neighbours door to see if anyone, anything for that matter was a problem.

IDIOT... of course there's a problem!!! To end it all, after about another half hour the couple above must have fallen into each others arms and blissfully gone to that wonderful place called.... Sorry Babe... and deep sleep.

Not me. As I grabbed a bit of paper and scribbled down some lyrics which reflected the nights events.

I must have slept... as when I found the said lyrics, they didn't make much sense as the pen I'd used had run out of ink.

Just another night. Another Human interaction and time to buy at least one bloody pen guaranteed to work in the dark and never run out of ink.

Did I sleep Well?! No I did not... and what's more I still don't know whether or not I could have saved everyone a long night by hurling a large object at the ceiling?

This morning after grabbing the Paper I noticed my neighbours car loaded up to the hilt with two... Yes Two!!! ... Surf Boards mounted on the Roof.

Off you go... and mind the GOD DAMNED SHARKS!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT EASTER!!!!!! YOU EGGS!!!

Peace & Love,

Iain

STUDIO - April 2, 2009

Well, yes it has been some time but that's what is needed when rebuilding. With the Newspapers being full of Biker Wars and so on there is some unrest in Sydney Australia. Not the time or place to go into any of it but to say the moment any type of violence erupts, particularly in our major Airport it comes as a shock that someone can be killed in full view of passengers and no one took clear action to bring such a mess under control.

Life goes on for each and every one of us despite what happens day to day all over the World.

My world has been full with structural and acoustic treatment being built and installed to enhance future recording. It's been most difficult to post any news as all takes place depending upon delivery, wet weather and any fine tuning. It's most odd not having what for so long I have become used to. That being a place to play and write. With bits and pieces all over the house my mind has been in reversal. Before such recording facilities I used my trusty Walkman and it's just that I have been recording on. Using Pro Tools for me, is like using a bigger platform to sketch and write but I still use it just as I did my Walkman. I don't copy and paste or use too many Plug Ins as it tends to diminish what in fact I'm trying to capture. That being a song. Everything is recorded as is. No Compression or Equalisation. If it doesn't sound right when I hit record, it's back to tuning or Mic placement. Having the space to use live drums is a godsend and tuning is the first priority. If you find your kit or guitars sounding less than pleasing, don't think that you can fix it in the Mix. The most important thing of all is to have your instrument sounding spot on in it's natural state. Too many Plug Ins to alter this and that can simply kill the ambient sounds created by any live instrument and in my view, with so many of such Plugs available more and more music is being created with a lack of warmth and the human feel. The whole point is communicating an emotion to those who may listen. Not forgetting when playing live, unless you use a Computer as your Backup any sparkle and tingle can be flattened. Songs and Melody really affect the way we feel and to me is beyond any religion or spiritual concept or formality. When you are moved, it's as simple as that. Another person has made contact with the very soul of you. Music can help a miserable day or a personal problem evaporate as we are taken without conscious thought or demand to another part of our being. In my view the World would be such an isolated place without the sounds of Life and Music. No Birds or Creatures singing the Dawn or Evening in. Waves crashing on a Beach with the trees dancing to the wind. Yea, I know it all sounds romantic and what's more... it is. Regardless of what we have today as people. The turmoil and trouble. It's a Life worth living. It's what we have to contend with each and every day as to changing the World to suit any group of individuals. This is not going to improve all for many.

I was reading an article on happiness in the work place. The con job that if we did what we were advised to do, all would be well. Not the case in these times... with economics, trade offs and closures. Call them what you will. When a person loses a job of many years they are left with a huge hole to fill both finically and emotionally. To do what you can do and do it well generates a sense of self without which leads to poor self esteem and loss. Over the years many have been conned into believing that a steady 9 to 5 job would be the answer. For many this is so. However, with more and more people becoming disillusioned after being made redundant (a horrible word) to say the least, it makes perfect sense to do something you really love to do. Many are now finding themselves following dreams that were put on hold for much of their lifetime and are finally finding their place. Why we are constantly bombarded with the average is beyond me. Buy now and pay in 2012 for instance. People are quite normal in their quest for relaxation time as the stress of not having this or that becomes and cycle of dissatisfaction. Boom, the walls fall in with an overnight notice or a set of locked gates. Cut back. Buying electrical goods these days is a short lived investment as many are built to fall apart in a couple of years. We all know this yet the pricing is attractive.

Fortunately, we have Art, Music and many ways of finding some peace when the whole lot ends in a heap on throw out days. I for one love it as so much beautiful wood is cast aside all of which goes toward creating a new environment. One that will not fail over time and something you can do as an individual.

Regardless of the stops and starts I've had, it's a time to re group and re think what is important and simply what is not. To make progress and acknowledge what it is you are aiming for. Keep it simple, as all can change in a moment. It does happen and will continue to happen as it has throughout History. Easy to say of course as we enrol for the next relaxation sensation or purchase another diversion from what is already out there. Beaches. Forests and our own gardens or flower pots. All started very simply and in my view will end, if we are lucky in the same manner.

Each to his or her own.

Cheers,

Iain

On & On - March 16, 2009

Good to see the Guest book has settled down a little with far less links added for those other type sites.

The studio is starting to take shape with work beginning on a sub structure to support Prime Acoustic treatment along with some very nice looking Peg board. Scott-Sully-Watkins (Scotty) has come up with some great ideas as to how all shall look. Not forgetting sound of course. All will be based on an early Abbey Road type look and combined with well placed absorbers, filters and the like. A huge improvement on what I built.

The most practical and sane improvement will be having the Main Control Room upstairs. Fresh air and a comfortable place to work. As I've mentioned earlier, to work in isolation really takes it's toll. I can't forget downstairs and the way I worked. So this will be a healthy move. Needless to say, downstairs the old control room will become the Live Room for Drums and any instrument that demands a large area to breath. Plenty of room for Microphones and Boom Stands. Plenty of room for me to comfortably play. An air conditioner will keep all from going mouldy and make life underground a pleasant experience.

What's really come to my attention is any Plug Ins I may use and the demand they place on Computer Memory. All gets so technical as to jargon yet it's all very simple if you keep it that way. With so many plug ins available to all it's difficult to understand what the hell they in fact do as the language used is not for musicians. The bottom line is since these Applications have become for so many the "norm" the language used by Tech Heads etc has changed. Quite simply, if you are not sure what a particular plug in may do all you really need to do is have a go. Instead of getting paralysed by the lingo move a few dials. Push a few buttons and sooner than latter you will know what you need to know. Your ears will tell you. I remember many years ago looking at huge recording desks in many recording studios with a feeling of... hell, what's this going to do. Not much was spoken in English as the words Compressor & Limiter were slapped around. Slap itself was word soon understood as that's exactly what it sounded like.

So for me it's become a win win situation as the mathematics are of no use. The sound however is most important and sound is detected by ears, not necessarily a wave form.

Next time you are recording take your eyes off the Wave Form and listen to your creation. Don't worry about what or how as it has no bearing on your work. The other thing is to get your sound without any alteration as true as possible. Instead of Equalising etc try moving your Microphone or even changing it for another. Experiment freely and don't be trapped by what you think others may think. They won't think much if you present an overly compressed track screaming to be heard in it's natural state. Mp3's squash the hell out of your tracks so keep them alive and breathing. Everyone is getting used to the average. Sure try what you can but keep in mind where it's going and what is going to happen to it once it's on line. Mostly, have fun with any tricks and traps that may allow you to express yourself. Just remember, one day you may play it live or for your friends on Acoustic Guitar and I bet they will want to hear the song. You may try to emulate the effects using God knows what or running from room to room looking for some form of reverb. Try the Toilet as it's in this wonderful place all bounces off the tiles. Many a vocal track has been recorded in this space and shall continue as we strive towards pleasing ourselves with some pleasing recording.

Most of all, it doesn't matter to most. What matters is Melody and a great performance plus..... now listen: Having Fun...

Back soon with pictures and new ideas,

Cheers,

Iain

Slowly. Ever So Slowly - March 1, 2009

Time is moving on. As for everyone, it can either drag or flash by without much notice. For me, I've lost a little momentum and as I've mentioned on many occasions the importance of balance as we live is more important than simply ploughing on regardless off all else. A huge lesson and one that can lead to isolation and certainly a lack of a good Sun Tan...

I am always baffled at how and when real isolation begins. As though one thing in life is all important regardless of the impact it may have on the nervous system. Like living at the North Pole. Little light for God knows how long or being in Outer Space for a year or two. Of course, people who do this kind of work are highly skilled and disciplined re their eating, sleeping and waking hours with a huge support group behind them. It's easy to forget you are not in Space or in the ice and snow but on Earth complete with a 24 hour cycle.

No prizes for being aware of that. However like all Human beings, it's easy to forget and become a Hermit in the name of no distraction as what he or she may do is all important and must be done. Those tyrannous words such as must,should, better and many more can become a real problem. To illiminate such words is to change your way of thinking. For me, it's simply a matter of completing what I have begun in a stress free state of mind. After all... music is fun and a primal way of expressing yourself. Gets the ugliness out and at times something beyond explanation takes over. Those simple moments are all it takes to allow you to express yourself in the most base form. So for me the days of any kind of grand standing as to success are far removed from what it is that motivates and propels me into continuum.

Each day as I walk to the shop for whatever it sounds as if there is a war going on as people are honking,screaming and at times leaping from their cars to gain an extra foot. An extra physical foot may help? They could walk and be free of the nightmare. I'm trying not to honk at myself as nerves jump through the system and totally divorce the mind of any kind of constructive thought. A habit. A routine. Whatever. All that stuff has to stop. As I said before to continue is to enjoy the moment and that moment for me is simply a chord, a note or colour. That's the fun illusive though it may be.

So, to wind up... slowly... ever so slowly is the only way to appreciate what we have and what we may deliver in spirit and fulfilment. If it touches another... the reward is twofold and essentially all there is. So I say to myself: are you happy? Are you living,breathing with limbs in tact? Fortunately the answer is yes. For so many others this is not the case yet time and time again, against all odds, the human spirit rises as another eases into a smile.

All the best to you and yours,

Cheers,

Iain

Ups & Downs - February 16, 2009

You may have noticed the site has been down for some time. To those of you who have contacted me I appreciate your kind words. No point going into any details. Needless to say, six years underground, to my naive surprise, ain't that great for mind & body. So, I did what any normal being does and crashed.

One thing you learn to appreciate is time and the pressure upon which we sometimes find ourselves under. That demanding drive that tends to forgo the outdoor life as in bubble of "I have to get this done." Enough to say that all is delayed for about a year with plenty of life activities. One year can seem a hell of a long time yet in my experience, they seem to fly by.

The goal remains the same yet health and good spirits take place of precedence and one year is nothing in the scheme of things.

With Australian news being tragically reporting on fires in Victoria and those who have lost all, it hardly seems worth driving oneself to ill health for the sake of a song or two.

One year rest and good behaviour should se a new and brighter side emerging from thoughts and allow plenty of time for the process to restore itself. Enough of that.

Like many, I shall be more involved in the day to day ways of living healthily and restoring a routine by which one can see the trees.

Thanks so much to those who found it odd to click and find an empty space only to persist in writing quizzical and endearing letters of.... what's up Doc?

All is up and running, but I shall continue at a much slower pace which suits me.

I do hope all is well with those who have had a little insight and not bombarded me with... what the? As we all have our ups & downs.

Makes Life interesting to see the inside of your Brain in full colour film, shot from a multitude of angles. An incredible organ that demands one takes ones time regardless of what you think you are, should be, may be or never be.

p>Cheers to all,

Iain

Studio Progressing - December 20, 2008

After several weeks of ridding superfluous amounts of Leads. Power Chords and bits and pieces, I am no closer to any real action until Christmas has had it's day. I now have bags with odd scribbles on them telling me what's in what and a heavy case of Hay Fever. Fortunately over the next couple of weeks one of the lads will be in to help clear the bunker and do some serious digging.

Mind you, I don't regret any of it as this time round things such as Carpentry will be done by a professional and not yours truly. Truly. I mean that. I am not going to allow myself any further Shock Treatment or the Impaling of staples into my tender hands. Well. not so tender anymore. I have calluses in all the wrong places as we speak and my hands now tend to shake a little as old calluses have been disposed of.

Looking back over what I achieved previously, I'm amazed. I have no idea where the energy came from, nor the enthusiasm to continue.

I think you'll relate to this as it all comes down to the Music. If I hadn't the passion which has been with me since a small boy, I wouldn't have felt the need. It was simply a matter of waking up one morning and thinking... Stuff it, I'm going to build a Studio as I'd spent a fortune on Demos all to which came to zilch and some gimp sitting in a High chair with a grin on his face saying "I don't hear the single".

I love that saying now as it reminds me of the Classic "Elvis Has Left The Building" Some of those said Musicians come A&R men have faded into the sawdust and realised (hopefully) that the above words are nothing to do with Music as such. More to do with "The Look Of Today" of which they is now yesterday, and the rest of us keep on going. No Stardom or Million Dollar Wheelchairs, just a blind Freddy look and a bunch of once signed artists now unsigned.. Back to doing what they do best... playing covers. I applaud the stamina as to going back to the same old dirge must be less than thrilling.

Anyway the point being, listen to no one and believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe you may come out with some self respect and a happy life with music. I've posted some ruff designs of what is to be the new Studio and shall keep you posted as the lads and myself progress.

The aim is to finish "Disconnected" and do a few gigs in San Francisco whilst hawking my catalogue of songs to anyone prepared to listen. Another aim I have had for many a year.

Cheers to all and have a great, safe Christmas, as who know what wishes may come true having "The Look Of Yesterday.

By Now,>p>

Iain

Is Christmas Coming Back to You? - December 5, 2008

I suppose for many, it never really went away. For others, years of Petrol Strikes, Advertising out of price Kids Shoes and the the never ending upgrading of the old to new really put the bite on.

For me, it's a resounding yes as I can smell the Pine in the air and catch, as I'm driving past houses covered in Santa, blow ups the size of which I've never seen before.

It could well be a bit of Age catching up, but no, there's a different vibe inside. A feeling of Spirit more than anything. The Kids have well grown up and it's the Grandchildren who are going to have that sleepless night wondering what's in the Green One, the Blue and the like.

The passing of many Decades, good and Bad. The highs and lows of work, creativity and of course the huge truck load of Re Issued this and that for all to re live at more than affordable prices.

All this has just begun to hit after a couple of thoughtful years. What to do next? Will I write again. Play Golf and most of all catch up with some very well worn buddies and a couple of new. So many new folk have I met both in Australia and from all around the World. I'ts going to be difficult to find the time, let alone the flight schedule to see so many. That's it I guess, it really doesn't mater as they're all with me now. Walking down the Road and bang in pops a memory that has me in fits of laughter. Even the thought of what they themselves may be thinking or doing.

Those who can let go of past Battle Fields fought together as Musicians must have lost it as for me there is a huge amount of affection to those I served time with. That's what makes it so special. The Ego's are gone as each and every one of us simply keep on keeping on. Bit harder to get the Bones in place to shake some number. However, not that long

So here it comes this odd time off year. The Summer heat breathes all around us as we do what we do.

Tomorrow, I'm goin' to nick down to the local Garage and buy me a piece of Pine. Throw some do dads on it, add a new set of (oh yea) Solar Powered Xmas Lights and haul arse this living, breathing Pine tree and find just the right spot for it. A little shopping and some letter writing..(Stuff the Email) and enjoy a moment of relaxation with a glass of water and a Bowl of fruit and make a few calls. Just to hear some of the voices I haven't heard for Years. Ring the Kids, reminding them of course to Video everything. Then, more than likely return to re building the Studio and planning the new release. Ever so relaxed though. The tension is gone (for me at least) take a few photos and enjoy the Day. The Night. The Day. The Night.... as for all of us, Life goes on. May not be so peaceful elsewhere, but hey, by being a little peaceful myself is perhaps the very Spirit that may surround us all.

So to all, as this 2008 December draws a crowd to it's last encore, I do hope you all feel at ease within for even a few days.

All the best for Christmas and 2009

To some very special people all over, I love you all.

Cheers

Iain

Webmaster... That's Me - November 27, 2008

I'm still getting a hell of a lot of Links to Fuck Me sites. Now, for one, I've said this a t least once. It's not the place. The Guest book is simply that... for guest who may want to say hi. Any links so porn sites are not welcome and shall be bounced back. If that fails however, off goes the guest book. I simply don't have the time. OK?

Now some news. The Studio is still down. It's been far too long and for reasons beyond my control because for some odd reason a group lot seem to feel it necessary to control me,

More than disappointing and callous to say the least. However, regardless of these terrorists, somehow I shall re build the Mongrel thing again. As you know, putting a Studio together and maintaining it is for me essential.

I can only hope that some common sense will enter the arena and those who bother me will find someone else to interfere with. The gear is in good shape, but after pulling it down in expectancy of what was offered, which by the way was conveniently ignored for another. Usually what people say, they do. That has been my experience up until a year ago.

Now it's a matter of reading between the lines and hopefully seeing the bullshit and from where it comes. I have been unwell for some time (I wonder why) so now regardless of push, shove or deliberate misleading information, I shall rebuild. Such a waste as the new Album "Disconnected" is at mixing stage and there are quite a number of new songs inspired by the above. Believe me, trust the Banks. You know exactly where you stand and that your project will go ahead.

Yes it's most boring but well worth telling. If you've been doing what you do for a lifetime, no one has the right or wrong to deliver false hope. Those of you who have spent many years recording and writing songs I am sure have not come up upon this kind of childishness. It's just a warning that for some folk it's a pile of fun to destroy that which you love and is on the most part, your life.

Cheer's to all, as I do hope to report some more pleasant and refreshing news in my next post. Meanwhile, I'm back to the Hospice...

Iain

One year Gone - November 16, 2008

Thanks to al who have sent mail regarding issues about music and people. It's always gratifying to hear anothers opinion or experience, particularly when things have been going less than well. Not that it's a world changing circumstance as we all go through our rough patches. However this year I have felt to be a particularlarly disappointing one personally. The positive is life goes on and with that fresh idea, in the creative sense can be most uplifting.

To those of you who have called and written, I am most grateful and happy to say that slowly I'm getting back on my feet. Boring to say the least. But the learning curve of life has no boundaries. People are people as we all know. We have choices to let others get the soft spots or not. Damaging it is. Seriously damaging as to feign ignorance is a ploy obvious to all.

As you may have noticed I'm deconstructing the Studio so I can create a more live acoustical sound. It worked for "Faith" so I don't want to lose the ambience I have already. More the point, I simply am getting rid of certain frequencies that bug me. Certain Mid Range and Bass frequencies that make things a little hard to capture in their raw state. Standing Waves, which sit directly behind can be a pain. As can the sounds that find their way through Door seals, window seals and the Doors which separate the Mixing Room from the Live Room. I'm also building small isolation booths for different instruments. By that I mean letting the sound out without any other sounds getting in. Most important for acoustic instruments which rely on a natural ambience. If there is little resonance the is little sound, it's as simple as that.

We shall see what we shall see, otherwise, it's time to go bush.

Once again thanks for the kind words and simply said, I'm most grateful.

As things improve I shall keep things up to date.

My best to all.

Cheers,

Iain

A LITTLE MORE REST - October 29, 2008

UNFORTUNATELY, AS SPIKE MILLIGAN BRILLIANTLY SAID... "I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL." ILL I AM, BUT AM MAKING PROGRESS.

IF YOU TRY TO DO TOO MUCH, THE INEVITABLE HAPPENS.

THE ALBUM IS ALMOST COMPLETE, HOWEVER, AS I HAVE ALLUDED TO PREVIOUSLY THE RUG HAS BEEN PULLED FROM UNDER MY FEET. NOTHING NEW.. JUST TIRESOME AND DISRESPECTFUL. COMING FROM THE MOST UNEXPECTED AND A PLACE I ONCE FELT HAPPY.

I SHALL BE BACK AND HOPEFULLY THE NEW ALBUM "DISCONNECTED' MAY REACH THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN SO KIND.

TO ALL, YOU ARE MY LIFELINE AND FAMILY. IN THAT, MUSIC REMAINS HONEST AND TRUE.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH AS I LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW LIFE AND THE CHANCE TO EVOLVE WITH NO HINDRANCE.

CHEERS,

IAIN

I'll Be Back - October 8, 2008

I regret a personal interference requires me to be away. The point is, to keep going against all odds. Including those I believed to be the very support, foundation upon which we place our greatest trust.

You may face up to all your mistakes. Make amends if necessary and turn your life around.

There are many, that we just cannot please.

The album is on the shelf. Complete. String arrangements and some Harmonies are to be added.

To all my new and old friends, another unnecessary wall to confront. Perhaps this will improve my craft. To be better than I know I can be and like all, search for improvement and the joy that only music can give.

This site will remain. The Guest-book has and is most amusing... EXCEPT....... I do not subscribe to any links regarding Pornography. This is a Music site for all, not a dumping ground to solicit illegal Links. Unfortunately, I shall have to turn it off. See Links Page if you require help in any way.

There you go... for those who know, I'll see you soon.

All the best to such a supportive and genuine lot from all corners of the World.

To me... This is a success.

Cheers,

Iain

Time Fades Away - September 22, 2008

Just a quick note to catch up. Slowly but surely after 9 months... I can get my foot in the door of the studio.

Amazing who'll do what. When. I mean really just fuck off.

The band is crackling. I'll see you soon.

That's it.. got to go.

Hope the Pics of absorber helps Eric.

Cheers,

Iain

There's No Stopping - August 27, 2008

For months I've been re thinking and at last begun work on re building the studio.

I received an email the other day from a young bloke in Texas. His question? "What does Laid Back mean?"

The simple answer is feeling the melody of the particular song. Without that, you won't feel the dynamics. The two & fro of the rhythm. Much is done with click tracks, as you mentioned. The problem is people tend to give you the down beat.. As in 1. Think of any count by catching the + (1). It's a breath. Prepares you mentally to lock into and control the tempo, dynamics and anyone who may be pushing or "Laying Back" too far.

There's is no playing behind the beat as it doesn't sit. Get the feel from the singer, if he/she is uncomfortable with phrasing, it's your job to pull everyone back to the groove. Call
it what you like. I prefer Musical.

That all there is...

Cheers,

>p>Iain

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