Well it's been sometime since I've been able to write for this section of the website. So much has happened since the last post...a lot has changed in the last year with the band. Since signing with German label Out Of Line Recs we've seen a new creative burst with a new line up of the band and continuing the new sound started by our I Idolize You track. Our first EP 'Noise In The Machine' came out on the label last Summer and we are working towards a follow up album. In between that we have been rehearsing like crazy and those rehearsals bore fruit last weekend with our first live gig together as a new band at the legendary Electrowerkz venue in London. The feeling was immense for us, and the response blew us away. More dates coming up and some shows in Germany which we are really excited about. Check the NEWS section of the website for everything that's happening or has happened.
Meanwhile for me the show this weekend was not only a creative highlight and a personal achievement but I also got to wear a rather fantastic outfit made for me by an incredible seamstress in Yorkshire called Jo Palmer whom I was recommended for her military style design work. The brief was a special one as I wanted to try and recreate and pay homage to a suit I'd always loved as a teenager, a suit worn on the cover of one of my favourite 80's albums 'The Anvil' by Visage.
Steve Strange whom I was lucky enough to call a friend sadly passed away last year and I wanted to pay my respects by paying homage to one of his most incredible 'looks'. The original suit was created by another person I hugely admire and also had the privilege of knowing in the 90's Antony Price.
Jo was able to copy the suit from only a handful of photos of it, and we decided to make a few twists so it was unique to us by going for red trim and somewhat exaggerating the shoulders (7 shoulder pads per side no less!). But I think you'll agree Jo managed to capture the look of the suit perfectly and credit to her talent and cutting skills I felt a million dollars on that stage on Saturday night. I can't recommend her enough should anyone want something unique and bespoke designing Jo is your girl. Contact her through her website HERE or EMAIL.
Last weekend we boarded the train at Kings X and embarked on a journey upto my homeland in the North East of England. We had 3 days to fit in a video shoot at South Gare in Redcar for the forthcoming single Low Life, a family christening, and shooting family and landmarks for a forthcoming documentary about the band. Filming the video was Nick who for the last 6 months has been following us everywhere and filming for the documentary. Nick has several documentaries under his belt including several for the National Geographic Channel. He has been brilliant filming some extra segments for the video, which is the first time the band have shot a pop promo on location rather than a green screen studio in London, a very freezing cold and windy location at that on the edge of Redcar beach with a lighthouse and huge steel works as backdrop. The rest of the Low Life video will use footage that Nick has already shot for his documentary.
Shooting the documentary footage in my home town has been a chathartic experience, especially re-visiting my old comprehensive school Laurence Jackson in Guisborough, and talking to camera about my experiences of being bullied and name called on a daily basis within the walls of the school. It's the first time I've talked about the experience I had, and will no doubt come as a surprise to my family who I left in the dark about it.
Sunday was a much happier experience as we all gathered for a family christening, again with Nick documenting the event. Monday and just before our return to London we were able to shoot some final scenes for the pop video. The song Low Life is about Steady who used to be in the band a few years ago, and who sadly decided he didn't want to be on the Earth anymore and took his life and found peace. He was famous for his Polaroid camera and I wanted a scene in the video to reflect this so we captured some polaroid pictures of him on the beach being taken out to sea. A symbolic scene that I know he would have loved. It was a sad but also happy moment watching the polaroids float out to sea, never to be seen again.
All photo's here by Mandy Stockton, who kindly sent them in.
who has the horn then?
At the end of last week we spent two days shooting the new video for the forthcoming Lia Organa & Electric Prince ft Marc Massive Dead Silence single. I did a couple of new looks for the video with Olly in charge of the make-up, as you can see the horns are back after a 10 year break but given a new twist. Shaved all my hair off for this video as the make-up demanded it, which reminded me of the time i was modelling and got called up for the Boy George 'Funtime' video casting in the 90's, when at the time i had quite a lot of hair, and the part demanded bald heads, and although i was happy to do it for the role George wouldn't let me go ahead with shaving it all off just for a video, which in hindsight i suppose he was right as i wouldn't have got any other work for a few months till it had grown back.
The second day of shooting involved, black smoke, white make-up, saw eyes from two days in contact lenses and a burn't hand! Worth the pain though.
Really pleased with the footage, which is being sent off to Poland to the artist team of Suka Off , who edited and produced our Master & Servant video from a few years back. The label are looking at an end of February release, but we'll keep you posted, and were very happy to be signed with them for this single as their previous releases are amazing and credible. All the mixes are in and they sound great, big name mixes on this one and we're very excited as it's a strong package. More news shortly.
There's some great mixes coming in for the Dead Silence track I've done with L.O.E.P check out a sample of the fantastic Alexander Robotnick Mix here:
Just heard the awesome Peter Rainman / People Theatre mix also, think you guys will love the package next year, I'm hoping there will be a video for this one.
Other quick news, studio went very well indeed the other week , where I was lucky to be joined by the gorgeous and talented Maggie Kayle on guest vocals for the ballad track Low Life from the new album, can't wait for you to hear this one as its a very personal song about our much missed band mate Steady Eddie.
Ok the pressure's on now. Who would have thought that an idea made barely 3 weeks ago to rush release a single in time to capitalize on the scariest night of the year 'Halloween' whilst also planning it to be a charity single in an attempt to raise some much needed funds for an animal sanctuary in Kent would actually come to fruition, but it has and with 8 days to go till my band Massive Ego single EIGHTH DAY drops here I am hoping beyond hope and with hat in hand that we can actually pull this off and raise some cash for over 150 animals living in a sanctuary in Kent.So why a cover of this classic early 80's Hazel O'Connor track from the groundbreaking film and album Breaking Glass ?
Well it's always been one of my all time faves, so much so that as followers of my band will know I attemted an ill-fated duet of this very same track a few years back with another 80's pop 'legend' which got through to the final stage of making a video,commisioned several cool remixes only to have the 'legend' decide to pull out on me last minute and sadly leaving the project scrapped and on the shelf. That is untill about 2 months or so ago i took the plunge and re-recorded the entire vocals myself, refusing to let this one go, and with help of my friend Barry Stone re-visited the best mix by a guy called EMP mainly with a view to performing it at the Summer Rites Festival we'd been booked to perform at in September. Well as luck would have it, this very track was sitting there all fresh and itching for a release when the idea came of doing the charity track. So with a quick turn around for me especially as someone who normally likes to over ponder such things as releases, the track, sleeve, and video are ready to roll in a space of a couple of weeks. In fact it's been sent to iTunes literally 3 hours ago from writing this.
Charity singles are a funny entity, and although I had the pleasure of being involved in one last year for a HIV testing awareness charity this is my first attempt at having a go at raising some funds myself. I'd actually never heard of the work done by F.R.I.E.N.D Farmed Animal Sanctuary till 3 or so weeks ago. Those that know me will know that my partner and I became vegan a matter of months ago, after 40+ years of meat eating, and after viewing some of those horrific videos on YouTube that you either make a concious decision to ignore and flick past on your FaceBook timeline and curse the people for putting them up there for the world to see, or your curiosity is pricked and you take the plunge and start to watch the horrors inflicted on these poor animals all over the world just so that we can enjoy a burger or some cheap eggs. It hadn't been sitting well with my concience for some time, however it was one screening of the famed animal rights documentary film EARTHLINGS that over night stopped my meat and dairy consumption in it's tracks. This hard to watch yet hard to ignore film comes with a notorious tag line of 'after just one viewing of this film, you'll never eat meat again and this film will never leave you' and this turned out to be the case with us also. I challenge anybody reading this now to watch the film here http://youtu.be/qCRspwfKHmI and feel the same about our so called humanity.
Deciding to take a more pro-active approach to supporting animal rights, i attended my first protest rally just over three weekends ago in Brighton. It was under the banner of the National March For Farmed Animals and it was during some talks from animal rights protesters that i took a particular interest in a lady speaker called Marion who had a 'Jo Brand' way about her which instantly drew me into her speech, she went on to talk about her fight to launch an animal sanctuary for ex factory farmed animals in Kent, about Veganism, but not about preaching about it, instead cooking for friends, making meals for people and giving the food away, spreading the word that vegan food isn't dull and tasteless as many percieve it to be by actually letting them taste it. This simple message along with the ideals of her sanctuary led me to look her up on-line and come up with this idea of the single to try and do something to help raise some awareness and funds for them to keep all those animals in food and hay over this approaching winter. Here's some links to check out the good that Marion and the sanctuary have already achieved http://www.facebook.com/FRIENDSanctuary
So if your reading this and wondering HOW CAN I HELP?, then please do support us with this charity single release and support a worthwhile animal sanctuary in it's work to save ex farmed animals.
Please join the event page here https://www.facebook.com/events/451996231513504/
tell your friends, link it everywhere you can or copy the press release at the end of this note and paste it onto your page, and watch the count down to the release date on Halloween with some exclusive clips along the way till the exclusive video launch for the track whhich we launch at midnight on 30th October on this very event page. And finally the single is being released on Halloween through iTunes, Amazon and all the major download sites. One track to download with the knowledge that all the profits will go to a deserving cause. Impassioned plea over, go to it and do what you can for the animals.
Well it's been sometime since I last wrote but there's been so much happening. The year has been a strange and sad one at times, with the deaths of two close friends in the space of 6 months, Dave at the beginning of the year and in July the totally un-expected news that close friend Kevin had diagnosed with Cancer, was admitted to hospital and died a few short weeks later. Thankfully I got to see him in the days before he passed, but it's a shame that all the good memories I have are replaced more often then not with the image of Kevin lying in the hospital bed, and it's so hard to shake off this memory in favor of the real friend that I miss dearly.
I guess this darker period has also been reflected in the current writing sessions i've been doing for the new album. I pleased to report that the writings going well, although not something I want to rush as this is in all sense and purpose my debut release as far as writing the tracks myself, and I'm both excited and happy to be doing this at long last. Yes the previous albums have had a couple of self penned tracks on there, but the majority have been covers and I'm so ready and happy to be moving away from that scene. To be given an albums worth of material by the lovely Aidan Casserly and Empire State Human to write the lyrics to and collaborate with is a great honor in-deed and to be honest has come at the right time for me professionally.
I've just come back from a creatively rewarding and relaxing break in the French countryside (although the 10 hours driving through France to get there was hardly relaxing), where I managed to get the bare bones down on a handful of new tracks lyrics, one with the working title of New Model is getting there and been a long awaited therapeutic release of words in getting a previous unprofessional dealing with an ex associate off my chest. I've never realized the power of putting pen on paper when you have a bug to bare, I can recommend it. There's also a strong theme and direction for the album coming through in the writing process and with one track Sound Of The Download already produced in the studio and performed live already at Summer Rites a few weeks ago, another studio session due in the next few weeks for a 'big electronic ballad' the albums at a good stage. Whilst in France I even managed a first for me, writing a new track and recording it in the space of a few days the result is a track called Dead Silence which was something of a last minute collaboration with L.O.E.P. yet it's turned out really great and looks to be getting a release date soon.
The passing of my friend Kevin in particular has made me question lots about myself and change situations around me that I felt weren't doing me any favors mentally, physically or professionally. So literally in the space of a few weeks i've gone from being a huge meat eater which never sat well with me to being a much happier Vegan, I'm attempting again to quit smoking once and for all, 11 weeks free from smoke and my lungs seem pleased. Professionally I'm undertaking projects that i can enjoy the creative process for, and standing up for myself over business matters.
So with lot's of new stuff in the pipeline, and the ability to now update this website personally, keep checking back as it's all about the NEW. Keep it Massive.
deep in thought and words whilst in France.
You might have noticed we've had a bit of a spruce up through out the whole website and to add to this will be my new blog where you'll be able to keep up to date on a more regular basis with news about the band and what we are up to. We are currently writing the new album, which will feature 9 original new tracks, 3 of which have already been written and demo'd and will be taken into the studio shortly for my vocals to be recorded. Vocal recording I'm pleased to say will be in the capable hands of our good friend Barry from the remix/production duo The Alias. The new album is a collaboration with the wonderful Empire State Human who are a band from Ireland that create the most beautiful electronic music...Google them. I can exclusively reveal 3 track titles from the as yet un-named album, they are 'Sound of the Download Leaking', 'Low Life' & 'Sustiva Dreams'.
I had the pleasure of touching base with one of the original Massive Ego members Stuart 'Barnaby' Moffatt who has been a 'missing link' for many a year. He got in touch on FaceBook and we've been reminiscing about the old days when he played bass in the band...yup way back in the mid 90's Massive Ego had guitarists! If proof were needed check out the live video section of the site for some newly up-loaded footage from around the time we were part of the 'Romo' scene (the short lived new romantic 90's revival spear headed by journalist Simon Price and Melody Maker) at the club 'Arcadia' which was run by Simon at the legendary Madam Jo Jo's in the heart of Soho..there you will see Stuart on bass guitar alongside our other original member Dan Black on lead guitar..whom has gone onto BIG things with his own music.
Ok that's all I can tell you right now, but keep an eye out for loads of new site content coming soon..including those much anticipated Massive Ego t-shirts which we've been hand making using original lino-print techniques onto lovely Guildan tees..they look great and we will have them up shortly to buy on the new sites store, alongside some other band related objects.
Keep it Massive kids