I know how this looks. Quit the band and release a debut solo album in the same week. It implies two things: “This is what I’m REALLY into” and “I’m quitting to pursue a solo career”. The former is true. The latter isn’t. I don’t hope to make a career out of this. It’s just some music I really wanted to make. But the timing was hilarious. At some point in February I told myself, “Get it done and put it out on the first Friday of next month, yeah that’ll do.” Then it turned out to be the day before my last gig with the band.
After playing on one track of Daniel Farrugia’s second album, and hearing Ben Edgar’s amazing Samsara, I realised these guys had cracked the code of being known as sidemen but still creating their own music. They’d both succeeded in making something that sounded like themselves, and like nobody else. Just like they do when they play with other artists. It made me realise you can make anything you want, it doesn’t have to sound like all the other music that’s out there. I revisited some ideas I’d worked on over the years, and loved listening to, which I kind of regarded as being half-finished. Like there was a melody or other section or lyrics I hadn’t thought of yet. Then I realised they sounded exactly how I wanted them to, and maybe they actually were finished and I just hadn’t realised.
I already knew what I wanted to play, I just had to play it. I took a drum machine (Roland CR-8000), a monosynth (Roland SH-01A), my Fender Bass VI, a Fender Precision, and a pedalboard on holidays over the new year and got to work. I guess the rule with this album is “If it sounds like a loop, it’s not, I sat there and played it for five minutes.” Joan has a different drum machine (Boss DR-55), but otherwise I stuck to using the same gear. Indium 49 happened on a Tascam 4-track in one afternoon including mixing. Everything else was recorded on a MixPre 10M, a machine which let me make no other decision than “Do you want to do another take or not?”. It was the antidote to recording with computers, which distract me with too many options. So it only took a few days to record everything. Trying to mix and master it myself took a lot longer…no wonder people spend whole careers getting good at that.
It’s available on Bandcamp.