First Single of Rock Album drop 1st July

‘Give me Love’ will be the first single released by ‘The Taken’ on July 1st on Spotify and iTunes.

I co-wrote and produced this project last year and its really nice to be able to share the results with the world! The plan is to release a song-a-month for the next 8 months.

Right now there are no plans to tour the project, we will wait and see what the response to the music is and take it from there. If you want to follow the project head over to the facebook page.

HEISS – LEVIN – KURVES – MUSIC

So this is the first post for months! I have been going through a long period of self doubt. I seem to work hard with music. Create a lot and get bored easily. I never stick at one idea long enough for it to really create an audience. Once I get an audience I get bored. It seems to have been a cycle of my past 20 years in music making!

So my last post was early this year. What have I been doing? In summary… I have been raising my two your daughters, hanging out with my son, designing a new house, working hard with my teaching job and also working on music. There is alot going on… always it seems.

Musically I have been finishing the Levin Album. 99% there. Plus working on video content for the project. I have written 16 new songs for a project I want to work on this september. I have explored making music for kids on Youtube (with one of the videos reaching over 50k plays… not bad!). We have written 3 songs for the HEISS studio project (and shot a video for the first release). Add to this writing some new LEVIN songs… booking some gigs for the summer. Also, working with my music partner Mats on a ‘remix’ of the first Levin album. (its done! just need to upload the songs)… then finally there is the finishing of THE MESSAGES recordings, where right now Vinnie (singer) is in America meeting with some record companies.. with a plan of self releasing a single a month for the months leading up to Christmas… NOW I think you are up to date.

So you can see. My mind is in a million places. Each place is amazing. Learning to manage how I split my mind between this places it the challenge.

I am going to get back to posting on this site. I will aim to post every few days… This site is going to get a new look. So I can upload music and ideas easy. This will be the place where I offload and share (outside of the official release of material produced).

Be back soon. Welcome back. Andy

The Message… Album update

Just on my way back from the studio in Stockholm where I met with vinnie and Linn to discuss the mixing of the album. 

As always it was a really positive meeting of minds that has set us on track with the next step of finishing the album. 

We’ve chosen to work the mixes from the rough mixes we produced at the end of the recording week in the summer. They have a really great open and sunny sound to them… Miles away from the dark ‘led zeplin’ sound we started the album with. 

So next I need to produce the stems for the first four songs for mixing and get the process started! I just know it’s gunns sound great…. With a December 1st deadline I think it’s gunna roll, roll, roll from now on. Excited. 

The Message – Album Production

The Message is an album that is nearing completion… with all the songs recorded and very close to mixing. I started working on the project around 3 years ago. The core of project is around the lyrics of a very talented lad ‘Vinnie’, which has been the driving force behind the album.

Its been and on and off project with periods of intense work and periods of reflexion, to ensure that the project was travelling down the right path. Now we are at a stage where the rough mixes are really telling the story and painting the pictures well.

Next week Vinnie, me and our amazing mix engineer and guru ‘Linn’ will sit down and discuss the songs and talk about whats required to get them ready for the final mix. Its pretty exciting as I am learning that its worth spending the time on getting the songs ‘right’ and not settling for ‘okay’…. in this modern age of consumption I think we can easily fall into the trap of thinking that everything is ‘instant’ and done in a super fast time. I think it can be, but I also think that if you are producing music with people that really care about what they want to express then it is only right to make sure that you help them paint it as clear as possible.

For example this project started as a Raggae / Country project… but then evolved into a blues rock project, just purely because the lyrical content was dark, deep and demanded energy… not happy enough for the Raggae bounce! 😉

Im not sure what my goals are in all of this… Am I aiming for a successful album? A number 1? Confirmation that I am ‘good at what I do’? I am not sure… Its strange… All I am trying to focus on is getting better at my game, keeping clear at understanding what the artists I work with are aiming for and keeping everything FUN. After that… everything is a bonus.

To have a record you made, that captures a period of your life, that you are proud of… hanging on the wall. Thats surely enough!?

Laters

The power of the collective

  
Today my thoughts are on how singer/songwriters/artists can unlock new sounds through empowering the musicians they work with. 

So many times I seem to hear how the artist basically bullies his ideas into the session musician or, even worse, his/her band! It’s a control thing I think?

It’s something I’ve done as a teenaged frustrated rock star… And it’s something that I really feel seperates true artists from ego hunting wannabes. It’s sounds harsh, but basically that’s what’s going on. One person thinks they have all the answers… This can mean that you, if you are the artist, are not getting the most from the talented people around you. 

  • Everyone listens and likes different music
  • Everyone has a different musical background 
  • Everyone (should have) a special area of interest in music. 

I believe the key is to unlock and enable the musicians around you… Through trusting the skills, talent and unique points of view that they can bring you your project. 

 
 At the end of the day no one can tell if and what a ‘hit record’ sounds like… Before it’s written. So let’s forget that goal for a while. Let’s focus on growing as an artist and learning how your job is to help the musicians paint the picture you have started by writing a song. That’s it. 

That simple. Maybe you’ll have to discuss things, help musicians understand the vibe, the emotion you were thinking when you wrote the song… Maybe have a few influence tracks of the sort of vibe you think might bring the songs to life. But then you gotta let it all goKill the babies and join the group and have…. 
  
Don’t be a dictator. Don’t be a boss. Be a member of the team. 

Good luck! That’s my thoughts for today my friends. Andy. 

Killing a song by pressing record. 

Just a thought from me today. Not sure if it’s advice or just a discussion point but I’ve been working with a few people lately who sound great live but when I listen to thier demos or guide tracks the songs sound totally average. I think this is pretty common with unseasoned singer / songwriters, they haven’t learnt that playing live and recording are totally different beasts! Often they have a bit of magic or vibe live… Then when it comes to recording all the life is gone and they ‘think’ they’re searching for the perfect recording. Nothing could be further from the truth in my mind. 

It’s all about headspace in the studio. You gotta know yourself and your songs so well that it becomes second nature to ‘turn on’ the feel for the song. Often this is easier for singer/songwriters when they record straight in… For example playing the guitar and vocal at the same time. Imperfections are what makes a song sound great…. But if you can’t play your instrument or sing the song well… Then the studio is soon going to tell you when you playback the take. 

There is no hiding in the studio. You have to know your shit inside out and be headstrong enough to be able to relax and trust the sound you make… So that the only thing you need to concentrate on is finding the groove and really feeling the song out as you play through the performance. 

I believe a studio is there to ‘capture’ not to hide weaknesses. I’m gunna have more to say on this soon. But for now… This is where I’m at. Hit me up if you got any views. Andyc