Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
I didn't even expect to be making another record this year. Didn't know what I was expecting to do. However round about Easter having a bit of time on my hands, I thought I ought to maybe do another download for the website. Up in Dave's garden shed, with a little digital eight-track, the kind which young musicians buy to make their first demos on, we started work. The thing is, I discovered, a shed and a portastudio is exactly my forte. I've made perfectly good records with less. We had one mic, my acoustic guitar, a semi-acoustic bass and my old Rickenbacker. No keyboards, no proper drum kit--only some beats backed up with a few kitchen utensils for percussion. Two months later, we've nearly finished an album of almost brand new songs, most of them written a couple of days or so before I began recording them
Using classic garage production methods, we slammed things down, often in one or two takes, left them, stuck some reverb on them and mixed them to CD. Very Cleaners from Venus. When I finally air the collection, which I will do quite soon, I will ask myself: "What's changed, since I was last doing this kind of d.i.y thing?" The answer is, everything...but also, nothing. I'm probably a slightly better songwriter and musician, if a slightly less fiery one.
I shall not, of course, bother approaching any English record companies or music publishers with any of this stuff. Yeah, it's a good 'product' but I ask myself, who would care? There are one or two little labels in America and maybe in Europe whom I will consider licensing short runs in various formats to. I shan't send any review copies out --barring the unlikely event that anyone asks me to. There's no point in sending review copies out to jaded souls in London, who can't even write as well as I can, even if they could be bothered to listen. And anyway, I'm uninterested in their opinions and I don't believe that reviews, either good or bad, sell records.
I've decided that it's not important to sell huge quantities of records, only that those which I do sell, will go to people who like the type of thing which I do. I would like, in fact, for the music business and its media to have as little to do with the procedure as possible. It's sort of healthier, purer and somehow, very much more futuristic. The music industry has been stealing music from willing volunteers for decades. When, a few short years ago, the public began stealing it for themselves, the companies squealed like stuck pigs. The result, as we can now observe, is that the industry has enlisted the public themselves , on both sides of the Atlantic to join in with the inelegant international karaoke, which they call. Britain or America's Got Talent (for which evidence is scant) plus, sundry other shows of a similar nature. Eventually, the public may tire of itself and begin demanding musicians and singers again. Whether there will be any such creatures willing to perform for them again is not easy to predict, though they can hardly do so if the audience is still up there cluttering the stage.
When we finish English Electric, we'll put it up as a download with a downloadable sleeve and then, gradually let it appear in more tangible formats as and when we can. We'll let you know about this and you should tell any other interested parties. If enough of you clap, we may make another record. It's much more fun this way.