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