I don’t really get to take holidays. As a freelance engineer I feel like if I take myself off to a beach to lie down for a week then not only will I forget how to mix anything, but also every band who has worked with me will be so appalled they will find someone else to work with who isn’t so lazy.
But it is good to get out of the studio, and so in my ‘down time’ I try to organise myself and my friends in Pijn so that we can go on tour, travel around to fun places and see some cool stuff. In just the last couple of months we have toured the UK and Europe, hitting up places like Luxembourg, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Bristol, and sometimes even having more than half an hour to look around.
I always feel incredibly privileged to get to do this, and it remains a goal of mine to help any bands that record with me to experience the same thing. Make a record, then go and play it to as many people as you possibly can. Go far and wide, you’ll play to some folk who just won’t get it, but the same night you could be stopped whilst loading out by someone who thinks you’re the best, it is bizarre and awesome in equal measure. Henry Rollins moment over.
Here are some wonderful bands that I met or played with whilst we were away over the last few months.
Conjurer – you don’t need me to tell you about them. Wonderful people, stunning band, fantastic tour mates. Their album ‘Mire‘ is one of the greatest metal records I have ever heard, and as usual Lewis Johns‘ production is amazing.
Slow Crush – Holy Roar Records label mates and recent UK tour buds, not only are they amazing people, but they create soundscapes that make me seem like a toddler with a delay pedal. Plus they were incredibly gracious when Belgium somehow beat England in the World Cup. Their new album ‘Aurora‘ is out in September and from what I have heard it is absolutely gorgeous. A Neil Kennedy production special.
Giver – more label mates who helped us out with a show in Cologne. I wish they had been able to play the show as well, their album ‘Where The Cycle Breaks‘ from earlier this year fills the gap left by bands such as Carpathian and More Than Life, and is incredibly satisfying punk and hardcore.
Waco – now, these guys are one of the most fun bands I have seen in years. We played with them a couple of years ago and make sure to catch up whenever possible, I cannot wait to hear the new album but until then it will be ‘Mother Mercy‘ on repeat.
Wilderness Hymnal – when I was organising the Manchester date for our latest tour, it was an easy choice for who we wanted to be part of it. Captivating live and with some amazing use of synths and a TC Helicon to create atmospheres both menacing and beautiful, I hope to see more of them soon.