Rubble, Gloves and Wires. Get ’em while they’re hot!

As well as six full length albums (seven if you include the instrumental Murder and Parliament album) and two EPs, there are several singles available on my bandcamp page.

Well not for much longer! Time is running out!

I’ll be moving those songs behind the subscribers-only paywall on Monday 16th September. They’re not up anywhere else. So if you want a copy, you’ll have to go download them now. They’re all up for free download if you want them.

Here they are:

If We Cut All Your Wires

This song is from a subscribers only EP called ‘Still Happy’. It’s a companion piece to my album Happy People.

The Gloves Are Off

In late 2018 I ran a demo song tournament. 8 of my rough demos ‘competing’ against each other in a public vote. Although it was a close run thing, this song came out on top. Even though it is about as far away from my normal songwriting as you can get whilst still being in the broad ‘rock category.

Rubble and Dust / Run

This double A side digital single thingie contains two songs connected by theme and the fact that they’re the nearest I get to straight-ahead rock songs.

“Rubble and Dust” probably has the most prominent heavy metal influence of any of my songs so far, thought it isn’t full on metal. It’s a big singalong song about mad world-leaders bringing us all to ruin. Yes, I’ve accidentally made a political comment again. I didn’t mean to, honest!

“Run” is about love at the end of the world. It’s a rocky pop song hiding 7/8 verses and at lest one funny chord to keep the nerdy muso side of me happy.

Both of these are my first attempt at mixing something rocky in my new project studio. Not perfect of course, but I’m happy with how both tracks sound.

Monday 16th of September these will be subscribers only. Get ’em while they’re hot! 

I’ve been accused of being prog…

I am interviewed!

“I’ve been accused of being a prog rock artist. I like that, but I’m not sure how useful it is because if you listen to my stuff expecting it to sound like 1970’s progressive rock, I think you’ll be disappointed. The main influences for me are David Bowie,  Radiohead, Mansun, lots of heavy metal bands, various bits of folk, Meat Loaf, the musical Sweeney Todd and my sort-of-classical composition training. I know that might sound an odd mix…”

Read more here.

Drop Dead’s Punching Above His Weight Again (lyric video)

This song has my darkest set of lyrics. Drop Dead is a serial killer, so called because he is spectacularly ugly. He drugs his victims and parades them about in public. People assume he’s actually very romantically successful despite his looks.

They don’t realise the hideous things he does. There is no light, just darkness.

Still, it’s a good song, eh? Great lead guitar stuff courtesy of Gareth Cole and great drumming from Michael Cairns

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