Wednesday, 3 February 2016

an album

Taken from The pre-musician's guide to advanced post-musical production, b3rd edition, (2013).

---

How to make an album, by Timothy Douglas (bass).

IF you are one of those people who takes the miragic carousel of life as real (IF), then congratulations: you are living in The Modern World. In this The Modern World, among the more popular things to do is to make music for listening. Music for listening can iron out your worries/shirts, liven up a boring funeral, or make you cry at just everything that's wrong.

No wonder it so as this popular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and!!!!!!

Music, much like a plumber's tool, comes in "information boxes". These "fo-bos" are delivered in different shapes. Smaller fo-bos, called “EPs” often come as packs of four (4) or five (4) songs or “tracks”. Fo-bos of ten (and/or 11) tracks or "songs" are “albums”. “It is albums about which we for an will be looking at today.” She said.

To make an album in The Modern World, there are ten things you need to do. We will start with number four (5):

4 (5). Miss your deadlines.

A deadline is called a dead line for a reason; it is the place in space where dead lines reside.

Experiment:

  • Draw a line on a sheet of paper.

  • Did you create this line? Or have you simply caused a small part of a line that already existed to manifest? This line clearly existed before you (unless you invented the possibility of geometry! (Which you didn't!)-!!and), and so is infinite and therefore better than you. You're not even as good as a line.

  • Rest.

If you think about this as correctly as I have, you will understand that the place where all lines exist preeminently is a place to which you do not want to go. Neither is it a place you will want to think about. Steer well clear, then. Ignore the “deadlines” that punctuate your ever accelerating progress.

7. Run out of your money.

“I have all the money in the world!” said the man who never finished his homework. Why would you finish your homework when you have all the money in the world? You wouldn't. I never finished my homework and I didn't have any money. I didn't even start my homework! I didn't even have a home! I didn't even go to school! I was never even born!

Don't start your homework; do run out of money. That's the only proven formula for any success ever and is as old as time (which is quite old!).

(and young!)

3. To make an album you must run out of your money by spending your it.

If you're going to need to run out of money (see above it's quite clear), you're going to have to find a way to do it. Spending it is the most popular way to run out of your money. Aside from private healthcare and Council Tax, there are many things a person can spend their money on. Studios, instruments, make-up, guns, and a list of english colloquialisms with the names of seasons in them are the first things that spring to mind.

Think of as many things to spend money on as you can, then get some vomit-inducingly attractive person standing at a till to list them on a receipt for you until you die.

Experiment: 

  • Do exactly what I just said.

6. Maintain poor lines of communication.

The last thing you need when you're trying to do anything at all even heart surgery is people communicating with you all of your time. Ugh, I hate all forms of communication. I don't even like it when my legs communicate with my brain. Legs can get a lot more done (swinging!) if simply left to its own devices, so cease communication with all potential interactors at all your costs (which is all your things!).

2. Have distractions to you.

Invent a game with your shoes! Tie yourself up and then wonder how you did it. Make a different album! Nothing is uninteresting if you've got something else that needs doing, so distract yourself as much

9. Lose will to live.

It's 3am and you need the toilet. You go to the toilet and hoist the arc and look at yourself in the mirror. There you are; paragon of animals. There you are in your 'jamas, staring at a sheet of reflected technicolour. Your skin looks pale and your eyes look deep. You feel dizzy with thought. The world is quiet, and a sudden sense of individuality returns after years of service to others.

What am I doing?

Where have the years gone?

Stare at the mirror for twenty days or until breakfast.

“Here comes another great album.”

5. Destroy others.

If you want to commit to making an album, you will also have to commit to not committing to anything else. This includes people. The loved ones with whom you had previously surrounded yourself must take on the role of mechanical hardware, while the mechanical hardware that you work with daily should take the role of emotional confidant, object of care, and reticent repeated sexual partner.

1. Destroy yourself.

"You are nothing. You are a waste of space. You think you're so clever, but really you're a dot on a speck on an arse. Fuck off. Go on. Fuck off."
You may find yourself thinking slightly less of yourself as doubts start to creep in following months of isolation and “private creation” (and when you think about everything you've done).

This is your favourite part.

The whole point of being someone who wants to make an album is to come out the other side of the process as someone with no idea who the person who started making it was. When you start to find the music recorded by that happy ghost unpleasant and baffling, it will finally hit home that all sentient life is not only an accident, but a mistake. This realisation will enhance creativity. Destroy yourself and see for how long you can crawl through the wreckage of your spirit, screaming into the great echoing void for anything that resembles mercy. (Hint: It's a long time!)

8. Desire nothing.

You have nothing, and by now you have convinced yourself that you will always be nothing. There is nothing. Your album, then, is nothing. But you (and your friends!) want your album. By this logic then; if you desire your album, you desire nothing. Congratulations on finding the most Western route to nirvanic cosmic annihilation. Now set the levels on your input gain.

And finally of for your and with…

10. Do not divulge your secrets.

There is a reason your rooms have your doors. Your rooms have your doors so you don't have to install laser systems to burn out the eyes of sneaky trespassing bastards. Behind all albums/doors are stories and events that tell as much as the music/dungeon itself. Do not share these stories (at least as they are occuring).

Doing this is unseemly and could decrease your future income.




Follow your excellent how to guide (this one) and you will have made your album.


---



We made an album.

We recorded it and mixed it and selected the artwork.

Now that our part is over, it needs to go off to other people to have things done to it so it can make words and videos that people will find interesting. If people don't find the words and videos interesting, they might not know the music exists, and so never hear it.

We've had to come to the conclusion that this happening would be sad.

It's been nearly two years, so I think we're going to take tonight off.

It's Wednesday. There's no use in denying that.

Tim

Monday, 7 December 2015

Don't ask; I'll tell.

One night down. Who knows how many more to go?



We know it's Köln, Hamburg, and a couple of nights in Berlin. Is that difficult? Is that really so difficult?



We haven't gigged in six months. How was last night? Edgy. Sweaty. Dark. One of the good ones. One of the adrenaline fueled ones. One of the ones that remind you of your first times out. What are the songs? I swear I knew them. Run it on. They're in the back of your brain, somewhere. There's a wire running from that place to your fingers. Open that gate and let it run while your sense of self goes somewhere else about three inches over your head and all you can feel is your heavy legs. Ignore your distrust. Just play.



Madness.



Come off and say hello and sell.



The road's always dark. Even in the day, it's grey.



What is it? Aren't you excited?



Maybe. Just let's get a little rest. I don't have time to speak.



The room's a carved out cavern. Stone faces and figures and winding stairways to standing room and strange, black iron cliffs. Fairy lights and chandeliers and one of those giant mirrors that can't have been made to reflect anything in its entirety. It takes in everything and belches it back and it mingles. Curry and strawberries.



So it's underground as we wait. Kick our heels and slip on suspicious leather backstage sofas and smoke. Food? We're not co-ordinated enough, and besides I'm so nervous I could throw up a lung and besides: this headache.



What are the songs? I knew them last night. I must know them, somewhere. I can feel them a little more, tonight. I can sense what they feel like; how they look. Hmm. We're playing them, I think. We've got a little more verve...



...woah woah woah. Don't hold on to it. Let that stuff go. Let it flowwwww. That's it. You're falling down a cliff with boulders coming down on top of you. If you grab a hold of anything, you're two-dimensional. Get your skin ripped off by the wind.



No blunt nose. A knife through time at the front of my face. Get us in. Get us booked up. Berlin, tomorrow. Hamburg hostel tonight. Pack it up. Send it on. Admittedly, wait for the bar to close. It's only an hour.



The beds. We've been here before. Get to the beds. In through the stupid sequence of doors. Every hostel has them. Swipe or click or press or code or DNA sample. Get to the beds. Up in the lift. Feel like you're falling. How is everyone? Good. Everyone have a good gig? Good.



Click.



The door opens.



Hot air.



What's the hot air?



“GNNGNGGNGWWOOOAAOAAHAHHHH.”







...what's that?



It smells.



It gusts in your face.



“GGNGNGNGNGNGNWNWNWHAOAOAHHH!”



Six beds. Five for us, one for...some other. An innocent fellow traveller.



Trip over his things. Tree roots.



Slink under these covers.



His throat has its own echoes.



“GnNGn. GnnGNGh. GNBBGBGBGNGNGGNGNNGWWOWOWOOAOOAOAOOOOOOAAAAHAHDAR”



You can feel it in your ears. It rattles your pants. The intake of breath slips your duvet off each time.



Four hours of darkness get away.



I get a little sleep and wake up enough to hear the boys in fits of laughter and sunrise dough-eyed insanity.



“Oh God.” they said. Seryn cackles. Jeb takes it less like fun. The tallest. The most likely to snap. We're desperate. We're desperate.



“I'm going to sleep in the van.” said Ed; paragon of silent practicality.









“GNGNGNGWWWOOWOWOWOOOOOAAAHHH.”



No problem. Just like any other day, but longer.



"I can't do this." someone said.



The rest of us laugh.












Tiny little objects that make up the whole. Tiny little situations that come together to form the trip.



Like when I skated across the pavement on dog crap and the rest of the band convinced me I smelled like shit for the rest of the night. That was good. Crouched down in the shower with a spare toothbrush, cleaning the grip on my shoes even though I can already see that everything is clean but now here I am soaked and laughing and cleaning invisible animal stink off my stuff. Hamburg hostel save me now...



The smell was never there.



These things are great.



The gigs. Or the hosts. Or the strange hours spent in German industrial estate cold, where there are vans that sell alcohol, and you can see the whole city reflected in the river while the party starts. Or 4am sing-offs with strange Scottish tourists in smoke-thick cafes. Hallway sleeping. Strict adherement to parking regulations. Smiling. Time off. Ripped clothes. Packed shows. Backstage stretches and labyrinths. Curiousness. Funny technicians. Meaningless telephone numbers and venue hunting. Wrong turns, and laughter.



Tiny little memories that don't cohere, yet. But a great feeling of warmth and comfort and work.



And then home. And recording and a great gig, last week, in a church that was too easy to shrug without looking. Oh, yeah. Here with the choir and strings. The fucking massive light show looks nice.



If you need me, I'll be backstage with a glass of water.



So Melatonin is out, too. It's getting about in the press and that and on the bloggys and the playlists, which is nice. Got to keep hinting at what's to come. And who knows what that is?



We do. We've heard it.



We've heard it all.



You've just heard the single.



You haven't heard the whole thing, have you?



No.



No, you haven't.



See this?



Believe it or not, it's my tongue.






Tim










Sunday, 20 September 2015

Snap.

To be in a band, you must be able to take good photographs.

It's no secret that at this point in time, you need to have a visual aspect to your music. Be it big boobs (check), eye-catching hairstyles (and how), or a steel spike installed in your forehead that rams in and out forty-five times per second (installed but not near forehead); you need some eye-smash that's going to “hook” the “punters” in, in the words of the “industry”.

This has been the case since many years ago some clever-head realised that Elvis, though he had good songs, didn't need good songs. Instead, he could get away with miming along to the sound of a stick disturbing a tray of bones so long as he'd continue to wiggle his hips like a bee.

If Elvis wiggled, kids would jump and scream. It didn't matter what they heard. So true was this that coins would often spill out of the kid's pockets and fall up into their mouths, whereupon they would choke and vomit out their hamburgers and Coca-Cola. This meant that a large number of the crowd at any given concert would slip over and break their backs. Soon, outside in the cold distance, appeared Presley Ambulance Services Inc. vans. These vans  would take the crooked kids from the venue, operate on their spines, and then charge extortionate medical bills. The “Elvispitals” sole staff were Elvis androids, which meant the children would be happy to receive diagnoses of false chronic conditions leading to repeat visits, and more bills. Elvis would also personally scrape the vomit-coins from the concert floor after each performance, skating around on his blue suede shoes and singing under his breath:

Elvis Presley, gonna git yo' sick-coins.

Many sheeple don't know that the living Elvis now owns the moon, and that the phases of the moon are in fact Elvis attempting to cover the moon in its Vegas suit, which blows away and then he has to start again, frustrated and alone.

You can only achieve this level of ownership if you have a good image.

-

While it made sense in the earliest days of recorded music, over time "image" became less a means of representation, and more a means of enhancing and/or dictating the impression an artist might have on their audience. At one point, the artists smiled and wore suits, because that's what was respectable. Then people (read: the rebellious youth) started to spend money on what was not respectable, so someone had to figure out what was going on and dress artists so the growing rebellious youth didn't miss out on having something to buy. You could even trick an audience into thinking someone was not respectable when in fact they were, using their appearance.

Then it fanned out into a million different ways of doing it. Today, we're sold cartoon characters to believe in, with surrounding endorsements and cod-inspirational sentiments, rather than things to listen to and engage with on any level other than “Yes”.

It's not the rule, but it appears to be the norm.

Thanks, Elvis.

We had a photoshoot the other evening.

It can be fun to put this stuff together; figure out what a photograph might say. Be a bit cheeky with our representation. Figure out where the line between “different” and “unmarketable” sits and then gleefully kick it away because it doesn't matter anyway, and you're making this all up just to have something to moan about. These patterns are pure invention and the result of the unhealthy influence of the Frankfurt school on your dainty little mind so many years ago.

It's a camera.

Smile.

Tim

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

"That's not what I said."

While throwing eggs at a cow (I was trying to make breakfast) the other day, a woman in drab, beaten clothes approached me, handing me a pamphlet.

“Time slows down as gravity increases!” She barked.

I didn't trust her skin and clothes because they blended in to one another.

Here gives you what the pamphlet said:


The dome has a ceiling as wide and capacious as the sky.

Beneath your feet is sand, and as you look around you see many soft shaped figurines posed as walkers. Each is attempting to make its way to the centre of the dome – the direction in which you, too, are heading.

In the centre of the dome, at ground level, augmenting the impression of vastness given by the gentle golden arches that soar above you, is a large black orb that at first glance appears lost in some orgy of vibration.

The black orb spins so fast that there can be no point of contact between perceiver and object, yet any person would insist, to any interrogator, that it is there.

You make your way towards the orb, breathing in air that thins and becomes easier the closer you get.

You start to feel light, and move with great freedom.

Closer to the centre of the dome, you notice that the sculptures change their posture. At first they were proud. Some were holding hands. Now they are separate, and some of them have fallen to their knees.

You keep walking, your arms swinging.

Your brain starts to fizz as breathing becomes so easy and smooth; you feel the thrill of gliding on ice. Your feet almost hover above the desert floor, they feel so light. Your chin rises. Your chest puffs out. Your body fixes on the orb, and you continue past the sculptures. Some of them show signs of struggling under weight.

You begin your approach, and the vibrations of the orb start to affect you. You now tilt your head and wince, but keep going as something in you says you cannot stop.

Soon your easy breaths become strange as the air begins to pulse. Now you walk and you see your skin move out ahead of your bones. The air distorts as if manipulated by heat. The sculptures around you are all on hands and knees. Some have curled up into balls and some stretch out in desperate worship of the orb that now stands over you, filling up the sky.

You continue as best you can but you feel a clash in your imagination. Every movement double takes at the rate of vibration you feel from the orb. You feel that you have already taken each step when in fact you have not moved. You see the orb and you reach out to it, but your body does not. Your hand is by your side. It rests as now, and moments ago when this feeling first arose. Your hand is out in front of you as if the task were already performed.

The sequence rolls.

And you are not there, or behind, but right here, existing as a point of past and future thought. You drop forever to the ground, inhale with limitless lungs, and now forever stretch one rough hand out towards the orb.


“What in stupid hell is this?” I said.

The lady, taken aback, shrugged beneath her rotting cotton.

“Religious... it's like religious things. It's about...look...”

She wagged a finger at the pamphlet.

“Here – this bit here. In the words.”

“I haven't got time for this! I said, “My band have got an album to finish!”

Ha ha ha! What a laugh, eh readers?!

Tim

Friday, 21 August 2015

No, go on.

You don't have to make music – the notion of actually making music carries with it too much pressure and mammalian cultural baggage.

If you were actually going to make music you'd have to confront ideas of meaning, history, non-verbal communication, evolution, sociology, ethics, technology, physics, alchemy, ontology, epistemology, psychology, economics, and how a jumped up wedding DJ with an accent can become one of the country's leading taste-makers.

These things are not only ugly to think about, but they are, as I am about to show in one quick swoosh of an outlay, entirely unnecessary.

So burn your Universities to the ground, and silence your chattering minds with Chinese synthesised liquids.

No, you don't have to actually make music, dear listener – all you need do is make something that sounds like music, and all of your problems will be solved.

GNIDAER PEEK

The beat, for example, no doubt stretches back to our most primitive states. 

  • Perhaps an accidental mutation led to us enjoying the thud of a stomped foot at some post-hunt regathering, leading to a desire to hunt more in order to celebrate more and hear more thuds
  • Perhaps the beat of some drum reminded our brains of the bodily thump of running through a clearing, again on the hunt, the synthetic memory short-circuiting our adrenal circuits and giving us some rush or other, in turn strengthening neural pathways and therefore increasing our adrenaline on a real hunt, making us better at that practical task to such an extent that those who increased their hunting ability with this ritual caught prey at the expense of other packs and survived to gave us habits that persist to this day. 
  • Perhaps playing drums just gave the most intellectually bereft a means to attract a mate, and we're all doing them a favour.

SO, like pretty much everything we do, the point of the beat is to provide a way for us to engage in the rehearsal of cultural actions more integral to our survival than these overblown rehearsals themselves. Middle-of-the-road-bland-pop with a standardised beat and fantastical sexualised lyrics? Dislike a challenge? Good music by which to work to in one of Cameron's slave cubicles, while fantasising about “a life that doesn't so closely resemble hell”.

Maybe.

I mean, there are of course much broader hips to this, for example

BUT WAIT NOW STUPID

WHAT NEED FOR ANY OF IT?

RECALL WHAT GIFTS I HAVE GIVEN  THEE

Kick on beat one, snare on three. Add some boom to that kick and some snappy high-end crunch on the snare.

Sounds like music to me. Fuck the needless theorising.

It takes the pressure off somewhat, does it not?

Of course, it doesn't. But it at least feels like it does.

Whose are the playing cards? Who cares.

SO WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

Lucky you have learned that all you have to do is never, ever actually have fun, but just do things that make it feel like you're having fun.

At all times without end.

That's all you have to do.

Have fun doing that.

Summer's almost over.

Tim


P.S. We'll be giving musical lectures on these subjects in Germany this October. If you want tickets, you can win them, here (bring a notepad and an easel).

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A rebuttal.



“Look again at Trewin's room. That's here. That's home. That's us. In it: everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every worthwhile human being who ever was, lived out their career. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident riffs, choruses, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every bassist and coward, every creator and destroyer of music, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, bewildered child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt A&R rep, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our band lived there - in a room filled with dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

Trewin's room is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this room on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner; how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of booze spilled by all those musicians and drummers so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a room.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the music industry, are challenged by this cube of pale light. Trewin's room is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

Trewin's room is the only room known so far to harbor Phoria. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our band could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment Trewin's room is where we make our stand.

It has been said that studio-hunting is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of Phoria's conceits than this distant image of our tiny room. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish Trewin's room, the only home we've ever known.”

from Pale Shit Boys, by Carg Salan


The oft overlooked Carg “NASA dustbin lid champion” Salan could not have forseen how wrong he would be when he first wrote this on a Cornell toilet wall in 1994. At this time, the members of Phoria were still seven years old, and only three of the wet-kneed band had met (also in a toilet). In some ways, of course, Carl was prescient (who could forget his prediction that you'd remember him?), but of course in one way, the most important way, the only way that matters (what will henceforth be referred to as the curdsand way), he was wrong.

Even a cursory application of the curdsand way now dictates that the band are moving out of Trewin's room in Brighton and into a studio in a little town just along the South coast.

We're going to be right by the sea, in a little cul-de-sac, in a wood-type panelled room with no windows that smells like musical equipment. It reminds me of the places I used to play in years ago. It was comforting to be back in that kind of situation. When we went to look around I really did feel like I'd gone “home”.

It was nice. I haven't had that feeling in a while. It reminded me of why I'm in this business in the first place.

In the “vibrant” (read: overpriced and moribund) city of Brighton it's mainly rooms that double as living areas that double as offices that serve as creative spaces where you sit and figure out music. If you're doing this (frankly: idiotic) thing properly in this day and age, then your worldly possessions amount to a computer, a guitar, a bed, and an ashtray. You lock your door when your landlord knocks and you ignore the inevitable rise and fall of the sun. You're desperately seeking some new “thing” and trying to figure out the new way of getting to it. Admirable, I'm sure. Another middle-class martyr all too late for the scrapheap.

That's how it is. It's a tale as old as time.

After four or five years, there's something about this place in our career that still feels new (because it's fucking bonkers), but to step back in time and get back to stage one is refreshing and reinvigorating. Suddenly there's an emotion that's known that you can mould easily into something you can use, rather than having to deal with developing a perverse creative stamina on top of the panic and existential fear that is everything else you're doing.

So we're moving all the gear out next week into a sun-kissed, white-walled enclave along the blue-skied Sussex coast. We're right down on the beach. There's something in the air. We're going to finish stuff up and get it ready for the road.

It's going to be our little haven where we can get things done.

Oh, yeah...yeah of course...of course we'll invite you to the studio warming party. I was just going to...I was just going to say that.

Just...just let me reach for the invite over...over here...

Oh. Oh, my phone's ringing. No, you won't hear it because it's on silent yeah.

One second.

“Hello?”

“Yes.”

“Oh dear! Oh no, and it has all gone wrong has it? Oh dear and I'm the only one who can help.”

You'll have to please forgive me someone's stolen medicine from the fire brigade I'll have to sort this out by

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bzzzzzz.

You have to take your time, in life.

You cannot rush things.

You cannot constantly race the clock.

You have to take the time you are given, and more, if you need it.

You cannot run the risk of the bee you just resuscitated being trapped in the van with the five of you, should he not get out on time.

That's why I wrote the rulebook.

But Trewin didn't have time to read the rulebook.

So he picked the bee up from the tarmac at the ferryport and let it rest in the van as we waited to board, slowly nursing the little dot back to health with the caramel from a Mars bar.

I could have had that.

The bee came to life as we tumbled across the bridge thing, into the belly of the ship. We hadn't let the little thing out to rest when the call came for us to board.

We are not the types to give up on ill bees. You should know this by now.

So as it rose like a tiny sharp zombie, we all started shouting and panicking and flailing our arms. Because it's a bee. And it was flying around in the van. And real men don't cry. They flail.

We fanned it out through the open side-door (Trewin was hanging from the van – encouraging the thing out like it was a nervous fawn) just before we disappeared into the hole. We watched it buzz its way through the various criss-crosses of metal and the ship's rigging. A dot of the sky was being redacted by a pissed-up censor.

We would not have got so panicked were we not so rushed.

We needed more time to feed the bee.

We didn't have more time to feed the bee.

We didn't have time to do anything – we were due in Norway in two days.


Evidently, we had not had the time to read the booking arrangements for the hostel, either, as after a sixteen hour drive along the dizzying and never-ending tongue of the Autobahn we discovered we had not fulfilled the criteria for a late check-in.

Never mind. Laugh.

Death laugh.

Where's open?

Where will have us?

The clock hands start spinning.

There's a place. It's big.

We have to go to bed now. We have to be up in four hours.

Oh, we've already slept. Where next?

Tick tock.

Gothenburg.

Drive.

What's this now where's this?

Nice people, and a nice flat down by the river. Have a brisk walk. Flick through Swedish television. Nothing's good. Give nothing a chance. Flip, flip, flip. Down your beer, don't sip it.

We have to be in Oslo tomorrow, and I don't know where I am.

Get up and get out.

What's outside the window?

Trees.

What's the scenery like driving through Scandanavia?”

Trees.

Where are we?
Oslo.

Get in. Set up. Good. Soundcheck. Nice. Everyone's nice. Hello, yes. Yes, thank you. OK, great.

Soundcheck finishedNO TIMEget onstage whoops no time sorry good luck.

Blast it. Every beat played punctually and every applause coming no more than 1.7 seconds after the end of each song. Good. We've got a schedule. Thanks to everyone for being so kind.

Where are we going? Bar. Downtown. How long? Twenty-minutes.

One hour later. Still walking.

And Norway doesn't sell alcohol on a Sunday. Did you know this? I didn't have time to read up on it before I left. I drank mine too fast.

Dry. Sobering.

So we have to get there quicker.

Jeez, get on with it, right, drink it up and laugh and spend and get into the hotel in 3 a.m. Norwegian perfect daylight. No bedsheets. They cost extra. You pay for their quality, no doubt.

So now morning and your brain's a needle on a scratched record and sprint back up to the festival site in the hot sun.

“You drive to Norway for one gig? Are you crazy?”

Don't answer him, Seryn – we've got to go. We're on a very tight schedule and if we break it we will die.

Crash, bang, wallop through to late nights in Copenhagen and Cologne (I don't have time to find the o with the umlaut) to very efficiently let good generous friends catch up with us on our race to a grim and abandoned finishing post that doesn't exist.

Quick. Up and out, again.

The ferries are on strike. The roads are clogged. Quick we have to make it.

We have to get there.

There's no time.

The sun stands still and the people walk around their dead cars, gesturing. The queues span around you in a circle and a police car slips by every second.

Time is passing us.

Our lives are bleeding out.
I can feel it.

I can feel it.

We're being crushed by a million still tyres.

Our fuel is burning.

I can feel it.


So, you have to take your time, and not rush things.

Just as soon as we hit our stride in the journey, it was time to come home.

Just as soon as we started making stories, ours was over.

So take your time with it. Rest a little, or get up and do something in the blackness.
We have nothing ahead of us, now.

One festival, close to home. And Europe...later. Much later.

The album is roasting. Slow roasting. We've covered up the timer with our pants and are drowning out the ticking by screaming.

We're doing nothing but peeping through the little window with our thumbs over our heads, pressing the button for the little yellow light.

We're taking the necessary time.

We're not rushing.

I'm going to lie motionless on the floor, hoping somebody feeds me a Mars bar.