MR2 Kickstarter Project (And no, it’s not a Toyota!)

Some of you may be aware that before this colonial life I sang in a band.

Since my departure in 2011 Morpheus Rising have released an album, Let The Sleeper Awake, performed at the Cambridge Rock Festival, undertaken a second UK headline tour and, more recently, supported Panic Room on their 2013 SKIN tour and signed with an American Independent Label. Oh, and they’ve snagged Nigel Durham (ex Saxon/Oliver Dawson Saxon) as their new drummer.

You can hear (and buy) the debut album here:

The lads are now working on the, as yet untitled, follow up to Let The Sleeper Awake. They’ve written some of the material and are now beginning the process of recording, mixing and producing the album with a forecast release of December this year. They’re also planning the tour to support the album.

For those of you involved in the music industry in any way, shape or form I need go no further by way of explanation.

For those of you who aren’t, the process of recording an album and preparing for its release is inordinately expensive (even considering what is achievable in a home/project studio these days). Certain aspects need to be recorded in a ‘proper’ studio, costing 10s to 100s of pounds per hour, then it needs to be mixed and mastered, the CDs have to be manufactured, also costing hundreds, promotion has to be arranged, you don’t want to know how much that costs, and then there’s the touring… Think fuel, food, accommodation, venues, equipment, drinks, and then double your estimate.

Gone are the days of bulging record label wallets opening up for advances and so bands now need to fund this process themselves. This is where sites like Kickstarter come in.

Kickstarter allows artists, designers, developers etc to let people know what they’re planning and to ask them to stump up some cash in advance of receiving the final product. Yes, it requires a little faith, but it also offers special incentives.

This is where Morpheus Rising are just now. They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to allow them to complete their new album.

After just seven days of the project’s 30 day target they have raised over 75% of their goal! This is where it gets tougher… All the friends, family and current fans have seen the adverts about the project, now it’s time to spread the word. I really hope the band reach their goal and release a great follow up to their debut.

You can help make that happen.

Visit their Kickstarter page and pledge your support.

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Panic, at the disco… And friends in high places.

It’s been a strange few weeks. As far as work is concerned, while I’ve made a decision regards my future. I’m still ramping up to the tour in August. With that in mind the hours are getting longer and the work is (meant to be) getting harder, more frequent, more frantic… The strange thing is, it isn’t!

Yes, last week was a long week, the hours were bearable, just, the working environment was bearable, just, and the training was bearable, just! (And I was the one running it!) But the company throughout was great, all involved remained positive, there was a tangible level of optimism in the air and, all in all, the opportunity to get to know those who will be following my lead over the next year or so was a very welcome one and I have come away with a more positive feeling than I had prior to the exercise.

I wasn’t aware quite how tired I was by the end of it all until I tried watching the Heavy Metal Britannia shows on the Friday night, waking up at 01:45 on the Saturday morning on the couch wondering where the last 4 hours had gone!

All that lethargy was dispelled on the Saturday night when I ventured out with Pete and Gibbo to The Duchess to catch a gig. This was no ordinary gig though, it was a date I’d been bigging up with everyone I could over the last 3 months trying to ensure a decent crowd for what is fast becoming one of my favourite bands.

As I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier entries I saw Panic Room towards the end of last year and immediately made a note of their next night in York. This was it. Since the last gig I have purchased the limited edition version of their new CD Satellite which includes Little Satellite, a 4 track bonus EP if you will, and I’m so glad I did! At least 3 of these tracks featured in what was a very similar set to the last gig as well as the full band version of Blood Red Sky (again) and a mixture of tracks from Visionary Position and Satellite. There seemed to be a little tension at the start of the set with the sound not quite hitting the mark but as the night progressed everything settled down and the band seemed to ooze confidence. There were a couple of ‘interesting’ moments, not least the dead battery in Anne’s acoustic and the Marmite introduction to I Am A Cat (you either love it or hate it!).

The band were great and everyone enjoyed the performance. It was nice to catch up with some friends at the gig and the comments from all were positive. Once such person was John Merrick who had missed the gig before Christmas for some reason and saw the band for the first time tonight.. He commented on the fact that the band sounded so much ‘more’ live than on their CDs, something I hadn’t really thought of until he pointed it out, but when you consider the sheer power of tracks like Dark Star on the CDs then that’s definitely saying something.

Once the show was over we continued the night’s revelry at The Duchess for a while (including a fair amount of air guitar and rock god posing) before heading off with the members of Panic Room to another local establishment for a few drinks. It was nice to be able to catch up with Andy at this point as he’d been lighting the gig! Before this I managed to nip back stage and chat with both Anne-Marie and also Chris Johnson who had been the first support of the evening, it was odd to be sneaking in back stage, especially to see Anne-Marie as the last time we’d been there it had been a complete role reversal at our gig in December! (And Anne, I’m still waiting on the photos from that show!).

The last part of the night seemed a little surreal to me. You must understand that, before I became an acquaintance/friend of any of these people, I was a fan and that’s an attitude which is hard to shake off. So imagine how I felt when we ended up at the birthday celebrations of Heather Findlay with Anne-Marie, Chris Johnson, Bryan Josh, Liv Sparnnen etc along with the rest of the guys from Panic Room!

It was a great night, everyone had great things to say, both about the gig and the aftershow, the following day and I’m now waiting patiently for Anne to get on with recording some of her solo material… With all the other projects she’s involved in I may be waiting quite some time. Not to worry, I’m a patient man, and if it means more nights like Saturday I’m all for it!

Right, I’m off to start my homework!

All the best,

Grae