Time rolls on and all of a sudden it seems to me that my face belongs to someone else. Still my friends and family seem to recognise it so that’s OK.
My equipment is now almost exclusively digital in both the studio and for back line although I do use Orange and Vox amplification occasionally. My studio gear is 24 track digital hard disk (for studio and live use), alongside a multichannel computer based system using Cubase I also have an 8 channel digital live recording set-up for demo and live gig work. I have switched from the Roland to an Axon synth controller for its speed capability and accuracy of tracking. If it was good enough for John McLaughlin who am I to complain?
I am still running the Rising Records label and continue to aid other musicians in bringing out their product. I produce and play backing tracks for artist’s projects, and record their efforts where appropriate. I have just finished a second album with Barry Diamond on which I once again recorded all of the musical accompaniment and his output is very pleasant. We tracked the emergence of the band ‘Severance’ had a musical partnership with ‘Psi Phi’ and are currently tracking the emergence of ‘Setsudan’.
I have been working on a number of Pig’n’aif type projects over recent years and have just produced my latest solo album ‘The Jester... Thinks...’ which brings together some overdue material as well as some new outings under that heading. That too is available under Rising Records. I have a huge backlog of demo material which I am now trying to get into finished format as soon as possible, given my current time constraints and will hopefully be collaborating with other musicians on that. This now sees a big upgrade in the work of ‘Pig’n’aif’ and sees a new logo for the project (right). This project will now become my main musical impetus going forward.
I produced a musicians joke book, which you can get free from me on application. If you have a sense of humour then you want a copy of 'The Almost Definitive Musos Jokebook' Please feel free to pass this info on to your mates so they can get one for themselves. I am also in the process of writing a book looking at the humorous side of bands and loosely based upon my past musical experiences in the business. I always hope to have that finished this year. The first chapters certainly make me laugh even though some of the background was not that funny at the time, from a personal point of view.
It recently struck me that time is getting on and it is also about time I had some cross-fertilisation with other musicians again. I also wanted to play with my son Krys live before that opportunity disappears and he is swept away in his own musical projects. He is developing into a very capable guitarist. To that end I kicked off another band project called ChinWig. This was a 5 piece line-up with myself and Krys on guitar and guitar synth, Gordon Henderson on drums (a welcome return), Mick Shedd (who I last worked with in the ToshRollo days) on vocals and Aidan Hall on bass. We looked at new treatments of some selected old Phoenix Rising material, some of the intervening Pig’n’aif material from my latest solo album as well as some purpose written material under the working title of ‘Grumpy Old Music’. More info can be found on the ChinWig website.