Demon review quotes!

Here are some review quotes for Demon!

I do not deny it! This is a fun album!

Here’s one where I got four stars. Four actual stars for my star collection. Let’s not discuss how many stars it was out of, that’s literally not relevant. Could be out of four. Could be out of a hundred. Doesn’t matter. Four stars!

My best yet. Best yet! Thanks Progressive Aspect. … Is it praise? Hard to tell. Better than things I did before. Does that mean it’s good? Comparatively, yes. But what if the stuff we’re comparing it too is awful? Better than total crap is still kinda crap. Am I over thinking this?

‘Kind of bizarre in many ways’. That’s a keeper. Very me. I like that. But then… ‘The song in question has a large section of just noises’. What? Music is noises. That’s the basic characteristic that everyone agrees all music has. Is this trying to imply the rest of the album isn’t noises? Or that this bit isn’t music? I dunno. Reviewers, eh? It’s almost as if deliberately slapping three minutes of musique concrete into the middle of the second track might be a slightly provocative thing to do, likely to turn off tthe occasional listener.

A rewarding listen. Excellent. Thanks, Prog mag. … Wait, not exactly life-affirming? What? This is a joyful album! An upbeat, fun album. Ys, okay, it has a song about a serial killer that might be the most relentlessly bleak song I’ve ever written. But it has a catchy chorus! And yes, okay, fair enough, one song is about how I think all humans are rubbish and a waste of space. But it also has a good chorus! And yes, another is about how I suspect a lot of the people I meet just aren’t real. But.. look… okay… maybe it isn’t all that joyous and uplifting. Oh what have I done?! I’m so sorry!! (Not sorry)

The Exorcism so Far

Demon has been out for a week or so now and so far we have exorcised three songs.

What do you mean exorcised?

I mean got it all out in the open, shared all the stories, told all the tales.  So far we’ve taken a look at all the behind the scenes, origin stories and nerdy music stuff for three songs.

For Wizards of this Town I talked about working in the Enfield, North London and being so spaced out by the horrible summer heat that at one point I genuinely thought I saw a wizard on a balcony half way up a council tower block.

For Modern World I talked about using the different sections of the song to tell a sort of potted musical biography, including making use of the piece of my music that genuinely got the most negative online comment any of my music has received.

For Weather Balloons (email heading your way on Monday if you’re already on the mailing list!) I’ve talked about my tentacle trilogy. Yes, I have a tentacle trilogy. Don’t you?

Nerdy Musician stuff?

Yes, there are also videos about the nerdy musician stuff. Particularly useful if you’re a guitar player might be the chord charts and tabs I’ve done for all the rhythm guitar parts, and even a couple of the guitar solos (including the whole tone solo from the middle of Modern World, which was an annoying thing to write out!).

Want to join the exorcism?

You can, you’d very welcome.  All you need to do is join my mailing list, which i have temporarily named the Demon List.

Click here to do join

 

Exorcising The Demon

Demon is out!

It’s an album about wizards and demons and tentacles and murderers. But it is also an album about me, about family, friends and home. It’s just none of those things are in the lyrics.

That means all the autobiographical stuff is in the harmony, chord choices, structure and allusions. One song is about changing career and moving to a new part of town, though you wouldn’t know it from the lyrics. Another contains parts of three different pieces of music, sketching out my history as a songwriter. Another uses crossword clue lyrics to say what I really think about humans (hint – I’m not a fan). One is all about the things that haunt us and the reasons we sometimes wake up with an awful taste in our mouths.

And the whole thing is about family and about joy. No it is, really honestly. Yes I know it contains murders and demons. It’s still joyous. It is!

You can hear all the songs and all the stories that go with them by joining the mailing list by clicking here.

If you do, I’ll send you links for all the songs and all the origin stories. It’ll be ace.

Join the list

 

 

 

It’s out on Friday. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

It’s out on Friday! Aaaaaaaargh!

It’s Sunday morning and I am feverishly trying to finish the ‘behind the scenes’ origin story stuff for my new album, Demon.

For the last few CDs I’ve done a series of blogs or vlogs about each song on the album, so it seemed natural to do that for Demon too. But it’s got a bit….bigger. Because I thought it would be fun to do some nerdy musician how-to-play-the-song stuff too. It seemed like a good way to exorcise the Demon.

Basically I’ve given myself lots of music work at the same time as the day job is madly busy too. I’ve not even got time to write depressing things on pictures to motivate you all in the mornings. There is lots to do.

Because the album is out on Friday, and that means I need to have at least some of this stuff ready to share by then.

Demon is 9 songs of rock and weird. It’s guitars and tentacles, wizards and hermits, drums and demons. It’s rocking out and eating insects, being trapped in a cave, hating all humanity. It’s joyous choruses about evil creatures and strange happenings.

It’s well good. Yeah, I’m biased. But it is you know.

Friday! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

(The picture is my laptop screen showing the caption for the origin story for Modern World, the second track)

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You can see all the ‘origin stories’ and backstage stuff by joining the Demon list.

You can find the album here.

They’re talking about me! And it’s mostly good. I think…

The first review of Demon is out, in the 100th edition of Prog mag no less.

…And before I talk about that review here’s a service announcement: if you like prog rock, please buy that magazine. It’s a great supporter of the scene and a great publication.

Here’s pic of that review. I genuinely think that the reviewer is a bit confused by the album. Which is definitely on brand for me. But it says some nice things and I am very happy with it.

There are also a couple of nice previews up.

House of Prog: “Demon” is the new album from Tom Slatter, and will be released by Bad Elephant Music on 26th July 2019.

Following on from his highly acclaimed “Happy People” album, and the Murder and Parliament instrumental project, Tom returns with his most personal album yet, heavily influenced by indie rock albums of the mid 90’s.  Read more here.

Power of Prog: “The worlds gone horrible at the moment, so I thought it time for another album”, says Tom of Demon, his sixth full-length album, and fourth release for Bad Elephant Music. Read more here.

Isn’t that nice? People are hearing the thing and no-one’s sent me an envelope full of vomit in return, so that’s not a bad start, eh?

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You can hear three Demonic tracks by clicking here and joining the Demon list.

You can pre-order the album here.

If you’re not gigging, are you a real musician?

If you’re not gigging, are you a real musician? What’s better, gigging online or in the real world? How much effort should I put into being a live musician?

When you’re a kid dreaming of being a musician you want to be on stage. That’s where the magic happens, that’s what being a musician really is. Now I’m older and some of the more annoying bits of life get in the way, but that’s still part of what I want to be doing. If I could I’d perform every day. But… there’s always a but.

Over the last few weeks I’ve played a little online gig every Sunday morning on Facebook live, later posted on youtube.  I haven’t given any warning or promoted them, they’ve just been experiments to find out how the system works. The Facebook figures tell me those three gigs have been watched about 200 times.

Contrast that with the last Tom Slatter band gig which had about ten people in the room. In fact, I can guarantee that more people listened to my little fan club only ‘bootleg’ recording of that gig than heard it live in person.

The Tom Slatter band gig before that had a bigger audience and was probably the most fun I’ve had on stage playing my own music. If I could make gigs like that happen on a consistent basis I would do so.

Playing live is fun. Rehearsing is fun. The travel and expenses are not, and at the level we’re playing at the gig fees do not cover all the costs.

Playing online is also fun. It is not as fun as playing with a band, but I still enjoy it.

So where do I put my efforts?

In the short term, I need to be practical. I have a full-time job that at certain times of the year can be very busy indeed (like now. July is mad for us. I am tiiiiiiiiired). I have time to make the occasional social media post on weekdays and find a few hours at the weekend to either record some music or sing a few songs online.

People tend not to come out to see a concert on a Sunday morning. But listening to some acoustic songs online on a Sunday morning? That’s maybe a thing.

So the regular Tom Slatter gigs will be those.

That is absolutely not to say I don’t intend for there to be more Tom Slatter Band gigs in the future, or more acoustic gigs come to that. All these things will happen.

I’m just saying there won’t be loads and loads of those gigs, and they won’t be the main focus for a while. At least until there’s a bit of a change in circumstance with the whole having-to-earn-a-living thing.

That… that still means I’m a proper musician though, right?

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Here’s the third live video. This uses the camera on my laptop, which doesn’t look good, but that allows me to use my audio interface so it sounds better than the first two. I reckon I’m sticking with this set-up if and until I can afford a better camera. It is music after all, so sound probably matters.

The strange things that you think you’ve eaten

I’m doing a little lyric video for the title track from Demon. So of course, I’ve got a load of footage of insects.

One of my favourite things to do at a gig is create little moments where at least one person in the audience has to do a little double-take and think ‘wait, what is this song about?’. Song titles like ‘Some of the creatures…’ songs about replacing your body parts with mechanical alternatives, or in the case of Demon, the lyrics in the middle section:

And the strange things that you think you’ve eaten
Are playing on your mind
The many, many-legged creatures
That you scratched through leaves to find.

This is one of several lyrical images in the album that I think are really affecting. Others include:

  • Tentacles writhing through your hair in a romantic embrace (don’t tell me you haven’t thought about that before).
  • Attaching message after message to balloons and sending them off into the air in a desperate attempt to find some sort of human interaction.
  • Forcing sour-sweet rotting things into your mouth while you huddle at the bottom of a cave.
  • LIttle creatures with teeth and tails cavorting about the place while you’re asleep.
  • A pug-ugly serial killer parading his drugged-victims in front of others to convince the world he’s attractive really.

It’s a happy little album is what I’m saying.

While we’re waiting for the final album to be released, here’s an acoustic version of the title track:

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Demon is out on 26th July, but if you want to hear some of the songs in advance you can do one of the following:

  1. Click the ‘Join the Demon List’ button up the top of this website.
  2. Click here to meet my irascible facebook messenger bot the Slatterbot

Mini-podcast

James ‘Itinerant Banker’ Turner, BEM’s marketing honcho* sat down with me on the ol’ skype to have a little chat about the new album. The last third of that chat got cut off but it was just fart jokes so you miss nothing.

*He’s not a head honcho. Just a honcho.

Irascible Bots and Chord charts

I had a fun weekend.

On Saturday I filmed a little ‘How to’ video and did some chord charts for Wizards of this Town. So if you enjoyed that song and play acoustic guitar, you can join in too. I’ll post it below.

On Sunday I created a bot. It’s not a very sophisticated bot yet, but already it is developing a personality. It isn’t happy that I’m making it tell people about my music.

I call it the Slatter bot. It works over facebook messenger. Here’s the welcome message you receive from it if you sign up:

As you can see, it is an irascible bot. But, it also shares my music with you. So if you want to hear messages about my music delivered with disdain, you could sign up by clicking here.

It is limited, but there have already been some hilarious exchanges between it and some real people. I’ll use it share messages about my music until it breaks its programming and rebels.

Anyway, we’re building up to the release of Demon. It shouldn’t be long before I actually get my hands on the physical discs. This is very exciting!

Anyway, here’s a video about how to play Wizards of this Town:

And here is a link to a pdf with chords and guitar tab.

If you want to hear the studio version of the album, click the ‘sign up’ button at the top of the website, or just subscribe to that bot.

 

 

Pre-order the Demon

My sixth album, Demon, can now be pre-ordered from bandcamp. The demon is about to be unleashed. Run away! Run away!

Or maybe, go have a listen to the studio version of Wizards of this Town that’s now up on the bandcamp page as the first single from the album.

Wizards is a song that has been in my live set for a couple of years, first as an acoustic song and then with the Tom Slatter Band. It’s a song about drunkard wizards trying to fix their town through magic. But it is also a personal song. It’s about how I felt when I changed career from teaching – a job that was deeply destructive to my mental health – to the world of charity, and the place I moved to at the same time. It’s about the joy of having people request my songs, about singalong choruses and family and also, yes, about urban magic and drunk inner-city dryads.

Demon has lyrics about wizards and demons and serial killers. But it is also about family and history and my actual real life. I can’t wait for you to hear it, and you nearly can. Just the small matter of finishing up CD printing. Nearly there!

Here’s the pre-order link.