May 2018 – schnoeds newsletter on N1M
the last weeks were one of the busiest periods I ever had in my life, at least from a musical point of view. It started with a gig of PLATFORM NO 6 in Bamberg, directly followed by the weekend workshop of PAM in Eschwege, then rehearsal sessions with the ERRATICS, recording sessions for the HIGH FIELD BANDs second album, a gig with the ERRATICS in Schweinfurt, a weekend workshop with the Platformers and another gig with ‘em last Friday. All that within just four weeks, but everything went fine, and I have to admit that I could just go on like this, but most probably all others around me would go on strike then. So I think I have to force myself to brake down a bit. Although it’s so much fun…
But one after the other.
The new album is progressing, slowly but steadily. Most of the guitars and vocals are “in the box” now, some keyboards as well, and yesterday Chris O played the drums on 10 out of the 12 tracks. The songs are taking shape now, and some of them are going to be fantastic, I’m sure. Can’t really wait for Chris D to record the bass guitars, and then it’s Nicoles and my turn again to complete the vocals. As soon as possible Isabelle will do her second round on keyboards, and then come the brass guys and special guests.
PAM celebrated the 13th weekend workshop which was an intensive and productive one again. We defined a set list for the upcoming gig in just one and a half years and worked ourselves through the songs one after the other. Just two more sessions until we’ll be gettin’ on stage…it was good to see my old mates again, even if I sometimes felt that my current speed and pace is a bit different than theirs. No wonder if you consider all my activities in these days. Anyway, we didn’t spend much time on recording but more on fine tuning of the songs as such, which I always prefer. The next workshop will be in autumn this year.
With the ERRATICS I played a gig in the Montana store in Schweinfurt, and that was great fun again. It was not a real concert but more of a walk-on-by evening entertainment event all over the town with lots of bands and artists; anyway there were constantly around 50 people watching and listening during those three and a half hours. Some of them came along, listened and stayed for the remainder of the evening. There’s still quite some guys out there that love this sort of steamy and dirty blues rock stuff. And we delivered.
Last but not least the PLATFORMERs. The ones that gave me a bit of a headache last autumn and the months after, until we played the first gig in march at the museum. That one went surprisingly well, and the next one in Bamberg was at least not disappointing. We had to do it without Dirk and Toni, but the remaining seven of us did our best to compensate, and I think it was ok. The audience was all right, at least in the second part of the set list when they were ready with eating and started to dance…it’s always painful for everyone to play during dinner time. Then came the weekend workshop, and I have to admit that I went there with mixed feelings. Everything’s been said in the strategy discussion last November, but still I had the impression that some things won’t change without some tougher and deeper cuts into our current setup and behaviour. And so I was a bit defensive in the beginning of the session, but then the atmosphere became constructive and creative, all of them gave their best and were fully engaged and dedicated to our music. We worked on two unfinished songs in the setlist and brought them into a status which I would call “ready for stage”, and we did a lot of fine tuning on other songs as well. On Saturday around 10 pm evening I felt like I could continue singing and playing with ‘em all night, and that was a deep and good experience for me again.
Last Friday we played at the retirement party of our bass player Jürgen, and it was great fun to me. There was a sort of set list, but the agenda of the party changed every 30 minutes and we had to react spontaneously which normally is not really one of our strengths. In the end I even dared to do one of the new ones, unplanned and for the first time in public, and it’s one of the few where I put the guitar aside and just sing. Which, to me and in certain way, means that I lose control over the band. But I felt that this was the right moment to do so, to rely on the band in front of 100 colleagues, to do what I tried to escape from for decades: To stand there and sing. Not more and not less. The band was a bit puzzled for the moment when I made the proposal, but then everyone bought in and they just did great. You to me are everything, the sweetest song that I can sing…a great song and a great moment.
Next week I’ll be in Tel Aviv where I’m invited to a wedding, and afterwards the work on the album will continue. Then I’ll be on holiday for the second half of June, and in July the next gigs are coming up. I’ll keep you posted on the progress, as always.
Keep on rockin’!