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The Birth of Riversea

Hello,

I haven’t written a new blog in well over a year now. It’s not like nothing’s been happening in ‘my’ world, it’s just that I’ve been waiting on having something ‘new’ and ‘concrete’ to say about the creative side of my ‘musical’ life rather than just add another ‘RIVERSEA is coming soon…’ type blog that I’ve written since early 2007. I was sick of those (as I’m sure others were too!). I wanted to be able to say ‘ok, here’s what’s happening’ and give you something new and exciting and never been heard before anywhere…

So here it is….

RIVERSEA is coming soon…

Dooohhh… I’ve done it again!

But, really, it is… I’ve heard the 99.9% completed thing. And it exists. Honest. If all goes to plan from here, we’re looking at having all the CD units and downloads available from the end of April (at the latest). We’ve got the final ‘Master’ day on 23rd March, we’ll ‘live with it’ for a few days, make sure it all sounds cool and then we’ll be sending it to the manufactures where it will be all matched up with Ed Unitsky’s wonderful artwork and fused together in one little bundle of CD love.

I’m so excited. It’s almost like having a baby! Seriously! The love that’s gone into it has been incredible. The birth has been long and drawn out but Brendan and I have co-created our little baby and now it’s almost ready to face the Big Bad World… And the judgement of you guys, the listeners…

…Gulp…

Anyway, to try and explain about that long ‘Birth’…

The ‘pushing back’ of the release of the RIVERSEA debut (originally ‘scheduled’ for 2009) has been an ongoing source of frustration for us and has, understandably, generated many sarcastic comments on Face book and gigs because, lets face it, I’ve mentioned its ‘upcoming release’ a few times. I’ve had everything from ‘Believe it when I see it’, ‘Does it really exist?’ and, my favourite, ‘Get your finger out of your arse’! And it’s all well deserved. If you’d have said to me back in 2006 (when Brendan and I wrote our first song together) that it would be almost 5 1/2 years until our finished debut album was ‘out’, I’d have never have believed you. But that’s how long it’s taken from conception to birth (Ok, I’m going to stop this ‘baby’ thing now because it’s starting to freak me out and giving me all sorts of crazy mental images!)…

But here, as brief as I can make it, is why…

I’m sure when a lot of music lovers think about a band making an album they think that all the members lock themselves away in a remote studio, jam together on half written song ideas and eventually, over hours and hours of endless creativity, they produce the finished CD. That’s how it works for bands like MARILLION (for example) and, I’m sure, many others but that’s certainly not how it’s been with RIVERSEA….

(If only… It’s my dream for Brendan, Dave, Alex, Ade and me to go off to a great studio somewhere for a few weeks and just play and write and jam… It’d be heaven… And I know we’d probably write 2 or 3 albums worth of stuff…)

The way that the song writing process has worked is that Brendan has sent me (either via a CD or a download) instrumental tracks and I have loaded them onto my studio set up and written a vocal melody and a lyric to it at my leisure…

Because, truth be told, RIVERSEA is not a ‘conventional band’… In fact, all the ‘members’ have never even been in the same room together at the same time… This is because RIVERSEA is a song writing project… Created by Brendan Eyre and myself… An idea to create an album of songs we co-created together … To produce the very CD that is coming soon… We’ve been helped along the way by an incredible line up of friends and musicians… Including Dave Clements who has not only played some wonderful bass on the album, but helped give the whole thing that last ‘lick of paint’ with his musical know how. The footage I put up of us all in the studio together the other week was actually the first time all three of us had been in the same room together at the same time. We had such a great day. RIVERSEA have become a trio… 3 has always been my ‘number’ :o )

But RIVERSEA is also a 14-uo (if such a thing existed) because that is how many musicians play on the album. I’m so proud to know my musical friends and their playing has enhanced our song writing so beautifully…

RIVERSEA are a band that literally wouldn’t have been able to exist in the 20th century because, in many ways, we are a band connected by that wonderful invention that is the World Wide Web. The album has been put together piece by piece over the last few years and many of those pieces have been sent via attachments to emails and then melded together in the miracle of musical creation that is Cubase… (not that you’d be able to tell this by listening to the finished album, by the way, which sounds like we were all in the same room together at the same time when it was recorded!)

All the vocal parts (mine and Jan’s, Livvy’s and Louise’s) were recorded at my studio (The BARN in Copmanthorpe, York). Mark, Bryan, Liam and Adam recorded their guitars at my place too. Brendan recorded all his keyboards at his studio at home. Paul, Ash and Ade recorded all their guitars on their home studios too. The drums were recorded in Leeds. The bass at Dave’s in York.

Because here’s another thing that maybe no one outside of the band realises (and why should they?): The sad truth of it is, I’ve never even met Adrian Jones in person despite having worked on the NINE STONES CLOSE ‘Traces’ album and been in the same band as him! We’ve spoke many times on Skype (and what a lovely man he is) but at the time I recorded all my vocals for that NSC album we’d only ever communicated via email! The reason for this, for those that don’t know, is that Ade lives in Leiden in the Netherlands. And here’s part of the reason for the long RIVERSEA birth… The distance between us…

I live in Millom, Cumbria… Brendan lives in Hartlepool, Teeside… Dave lives in York… It’s a 3 hour drive from my house to Brendan’s (it’s the same for me to get to Dave’s)… Alex lives in Northallerton… Mark in Harrogate… Ashley in Denmark… You get the idea…

Arranging get-togethers where all of our ‘free dates’ match is slightly more complicated than unlocking the secrets of quantum mechanics… The ‘final mixing day’ I filmed recently was a day that was literally months in the organising…

Because another thing to take into consideration when discussing this magical world of song writing/recording is that a little thing called ‘Real Life’ can really interfere with the best laid plans etc… Illness, financial woes, house moves, work and even deaths have impacted greatly on the making of this album and sometimes (quite often, in fact) they’d be gaps of literally months where nothing moved forward in any way. We’ve all had ‘rough times’ over the last few years. Sometimes things happen that are ‘out of our hands’. Life has a way of doing that hasn’t it?

Suddenly, before you know it, days have turned into weeks and those weeks have turned into months… and we all know what months turn into, don’t we? Time flies when you’re having fun… It flies even faster when you’re making a RIVERSEA album, it seems.

So, what I really wanted to dispel with this blog, was the idea that maybe me and Brendan have been locked away in a studio together constantly for the last 5 years re-recording and re-working our tunes over and over again debating endlessly about reverb times and been mind numbing perfectionists. As you can maybe tell by now, this is not what has been going on… This album may have taken 5 years or so from conception to birth but the time actually spent ‘in studio’ is comparatively short. This is no GUNS & ROSES album (and thank God for that!)…

So there you go, I think have may have ranted on a little too long about all that and maybe nothing is clearer for the reader now (I’m still confused myself! I mean, why did it take so long??!)) but I’ve had a go anyway at trying to explain about the mystery that is RIVERSEA…

I think Brendan summed it up best when he posted on Facebook and said “Why has it taken so long? Because it just did, ok??!”

I think I might leave it up to him to write the blogs in future…

Anyway, for those that stuck with this one until the end…

Thank you

See you next time :o )

Comments

  • Daz on said:

    Great news about the album guys , i was just reading the inner sleeve notes on The Demo EP

    ”This CD of demo/acoustic versions serves as a taster to the debut Riversea album due to be released in 2009” :) )

    Its been worth the wait i am sure

  • Leo Trimming on said:

    Hi, just heard a couple of tracks on the Progzilla podcast – sounds great. Discovered your Christmas song a while ago – in my view one of THE best Xmas songs, but this new album sounds fantastic. I will defintiely be getting it.
    LEO from Totnes, Devon

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