Something about One More Thing
OK, here's my first blog in relation to One More Thing, the band Tony and I conceived in the Autumn of last year, and in four short months has reached the late stages of completing an entire album!
Because of the way that Tony and I work, my role at this point is by far the easiest one as it is Tony who has the responsibility for doing the vocals, additional instruments and doing the production and mastering that turn it into something you might want to listen to!
So, a quick history.
I first met Tony in 1999, when he took over vocal duties with ReGenesis - a Genesis tribute band focusing on the "Gabriel Era". However, performing someone else's material on stage is a completely different thing to recording original material in the studio.
Nevertheless, over the intervening years we have worked together on a number of studio projects. I've contributed to some of Tony's solo work and other collaborations, and we also reworked an album full of Peter Gabriel numbers for an album called "Excellent Words". I think that's where the seeds of One More Thing were sown, in particular there's a version of "White Shadow" which sounds like some of the arrangement ideas we've tackled with One More Thing.
Anyway. Fast forward to 2018. We had been working on a re-release of "Excellent Words" and thought we'd spice it up with a couple of extra songs. There's a version of "Moribund the Burgomaster" which we were particularly pleased with.
We have a very good way of working together and rarely argue (I've had to talk him out of putting bagpipes on every song a few times and he takes a dim view of my insisting on incorporating wobble board and swanee whistle on ballads) so inevitably we have discussed, on and off, the possibility of doing a whole album of original material.
Finally, we kicked off in October 2018. I had, for the last year, been kicking around ideas for a solo album but I'm appalling at finishing such things and also, while I can sing a bit (I always get an audience clapping their hands - over their ears) it's not really a "lead vocalist" type of voice. So I sent Tony a piece that I had started, consisting of a backing track and some vague lyrical concepts.
Tony immediately came back with some great melodies and a huge number of ideas regarding arrangement. Based on his melodies and surprisingly useful improvised lyrics, we soon had the song completed between us. We were off! The song finished up on the album as “Making it Great Again”.
Something that's surprised both of us, I think, about One More Thing is that, given that both of us are instrumentalists, the album that we've made is very much song-based and relatively concise. No twenty minute keyboard solos or Inuit fertility chanting! We’re saving that for the next album.
There are nine songs and one instrumental. The album, whilst not exactly being 'pop', is nevertheless broadly accessible with memorable choruses and such. To me, it sounds like something you could put in your record cabinet next to albums by Sting, Seal, Peter Gabriel and the like. It's not a period piece - arrangement wise we are using all the tools available to the modern musician. So we hope it has broad appeal!
At the time of writing, we are working on one of the more epic pieces on the album, a song called "Man on the TV". All the songs are written, and after "Man on the TV" there are only a couple of pieces to complete, and even then they are probably 80% done. Artwork is in development, and the business side of things is also in progress, so - forward we go!
I am VERY excited about this collaboration, it's proving to be a joy to do.