What’s taken so long?
I read somewhere at the start of the recent pandemic madness that when it’s over, and you haven’t learned a new skill or didn’t do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do, then time was never the excuse…you’re were just lazy.
I’ve written, recorded and produced with, and for, other people for decades but never for myself. I’ve not really had much to say or express to the world and any songs I had written by myself weren’t garnering any interest from singers or bands. So those songs have been lying around gathering digital dust for at least ten years.
Then on March 23rd 2020, the nation was asked to lock themselves in their house for at least 3 months. We all panicked a bit, we had to work out how we were going to pay bills and then I said to myself “this was the time I was going to finally get that ‘solo’ album finished”.
Earlier this year I attended the funeral of a well known controversial Bristolian, musician, producer and colleague, Paul Whitrow. A much acquired taste of a gentleman who consistently rubbed people up the wrong way but he did listen to one of my songs, titled ‘Greed’, and made his feelings about it quite clear…
“Why the fuck are you smothering the vocals with stupid effects? Stop hiding yourself and just tell the listener how you feel and bloody sing it”.
He of course was spot on. I believed I couldn’t sing and so I absolutely disguised every note with effects, distortion and reverb. With hindsight I could see I was pretending that that’s what I wanted it to sound like.
Then a bit later on that year, after my thought provoking critique from Paul, my Dad finally lost his battle with Cancer on 7th October 2015. I now had things to say and music was always my way of expressing anything that I couldn’t share face to face.
What to name the album?
In the tradition of my ultimate music heroes RUSH, I wanted a title that wasn’t just a repeat of a song title, it needed to be a lyric from one of the songs. So, I started to read all the lyrics to find a witty little phrase and suddenly noticed how many times I was unconsciously referencing the erosion of truth. Since 2016 with Brexit and Trump the world looks like it has completely come off it’s hinges and of course with COVID-19 we all find ourselves in the biggest mindfuck in peacetime. In the past we had ‘False Flags’ and ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ and today we have ‘Fake News’ and ‘Firehosing’.
In the song ‘Taken For A Ride’ there’s a phrase I came up with called ‘Subtefuging Rhetoric’ which, when suggested as a title, no one in the ’inner circle’ could remember it, or even spell it, so that was out. But it was summing up what most of the album seemed to be about. Then again there were a couple of songs about death.
So, TRUTH and DECAY emerged as the two guiding topics and said together also suggest the erosion of truth and a pun on tooth decay to boot! Not a phrase to be found in any of the lyrics, but a lot easier to recall!
I’ll be delving into more stories about the evolution of the musical journey of the songs and the recording of the album over the coming weeks, so please stay tuned for more.