Tuesday, November 6, 2012

tick tock tick tock

With the imminent arrival of a baby in the Attwood household, you’d be forgiven for thinking that theres not very much getting done at the moment with regards to Blueneck. Strangely, it seems to be one of the more productive periods for quite some time….im even updating the blog which seems to have been left alone for so long that it has cobwebs all over it. First off… a quick congratulations to Ben (Paget) and Emma who got married a couple of weeks ago. … it was a fun day … Krispy Kreme donuts as the wedding cake was an interesting idea , which I thoroughly approved of. It was nice to see all the members of Blueneck (new and old) at the wedding…its pretty rare that we see eachother outside of a musical environment these days. So Epilogue was released last month. Theres been some really nice feedback about this record. I didn’t expect quite such a positive reaction from as many people… I wanted to do something a little different before immersing ourselves into another vocal album and ive always wanted to write a record inspired by some of my favourite movie soundtracks and composers. It was very much a self indulgent period (ie highly enjoyable!) – I think it also brought out a different side to Rich’s guitar writing aswell…he came up with some really nice ideas – which I think he’s elaborated with on the new album we’re about to start recording. I think that Epilogue is very much a closing chapter to our first three albums…. But I wouldn’t rule out releasing similar records like Epilogue again… it was too enjoyable an experience to not do something similar again. New album – so we’ve been approaching this completely differently to all of the other recordings we’ve done in the past. All of the songs have been demoed (albums have always been written as we record it as opposed to prior to recording) and now we’ve started working on guide tracks at home. The past few days ive been working on programming drum patterns and rhythms in preparation for the first recording session on 1st December – Ive been sending them over to Rich…who then sends back his feedback… which is usually something like ‘its not quite right…try something else’. For some reason i always picture Rich sat by a swimming pool in the sun drinking a Pina Colada whilst giving his feedback on my ideas... Seriously though, we’re giving a great deal of thought to every detail this time BEFORE we’ve even started actually recording…. Its time consuming… and quite often I find myself still up at 3am just tweaking one last thing before going to sleep (I guess with a baby on the way I’ll be used to being awake at 3am anyway?!) I started writing the songs for this album at the same time as starting recording for Epilogue… Theyre 2 very different records – and so it was good fun working on 2 completely different projects. Whilst Epilogue was very experimental and a lot of time was spent just trying out new ideas whilst in the studio, the new songs have been carefully thought about, demoed and discussed amongst the band and producer. Quite often ive found that inspiration has come to me whilst in the car…and so most of the vocals on the demo versions have been taken whilst im driving the car – theres the sound of indicators clicking whilst I make the next right turn into a ‘drive through’ or the windscreen wipers scraping as I experience yet more typiacal English weather.… rest assured there will be no clicking indicators or honking horns on the final version of the record. Well, probably not. We are initially concentrating on just 2 tracks as opposed to working on lots of different songs at the same time. With both tracks, we plan to make videos for early in 2013…we hope to release these to you all well before the release of the next album… as a preview (or maybe as a warning) for what is to come with regards to the next record. We have one more show this year…as some of you will know it will sadly be Oli’s final show with us. Its not a bad final show though, as we will be travelling to Paris to play along with Mono. After that, we have made the decision not to tour again until the next album is completed and ready to be released. We’ll miss touring…but I think its now time to fully concentrate on this record. Hopefully the record will be ready to be released at some point towards the end of next year… I guess we’ll know a little more once we have started recording properly. Few questions answered for you that we’ve been asked over the last couple of weeks: Our Tee shirts are indeed 100 per cent cotton. There is no tablature for the piano parts – I cant read or write music. Sorry! Yes, Rich really IS that tall. no…you cannot have all of the lyrics for Repetitions. And …there MIGHT be a Christmas cover this year… a lot depends on how much time we have…. But im totally open to suggestions as to which Christmas song to cover… ??? I think im done…ive written enough to last another year I think….as always, thanks for your ongoing support Cheers Duncan x

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Epilogue and Album 4...

Hey everyone, So we have a new album arriving in October. What can I tell you about it? Well, as you probably now know it's called 'Epilogue'. It's an instrumental album, so (durr...) no vocals. We recorded it with Mat Sampson, the Repetitions producer. It's a soundtrack album, but a soundtrack for a film/story that doesn't exist (well, not outside of Dunk's head). It's not a full follow up to our third album Repetitions, rather it's album... 3.5, perhaps. A diversion that turned into a full scale journey. Without a doubt it's a "headphones" album (one to soak in with your stimulant of choice, if you can be bothered...), but it's had as much love, imagination and time put into it as any other normal Blueneck album, and we hope you like it. Meanwhile, we've already started work on what we're calling Album 4... The full vocal album follow-up to Repetitions, which we plan to release in late 2013. Most if not all of the songs are already written, as is some of the arrangement, which is kinda unique for us. In the past, much of our previous recorded work was started from scratch in the studio. I think the melodies Dunk's put together are some of his best, and the plans that we have for the recording, approach, sounds and collaborations should make this a departure from what you might think of as traditional Blueneck. 'Epilogue' is named that way for good reason... Finally, we're getting prepared to take the band out on tour in October. It's a short tour compared to last year, but we do get to stop by some new countries and play the awesome Denovali Swingfest for the first time in a few years. Then we play our last show of 2012 in Paris with Mono, which we're really excited about. I don't think any of us have actually seen Mono play live before, so we're going to be as excited as the rest of that Parisian crowd to see their show. Hope to see some of you on the road... Rich

Friday, June 29, 2012

pickles ahoy there

blaa blaa blaa, havent written a post in ages, blaa blaa...you know the usual stuff! man...its nearly july already. sometimes it feels like ive stepped inside marty mcfly's delorean and am fastforwarding through time. so...quick update: Recordings - ive been in and out of the studio on a regular basis throughout the year so far as you may or may not know. The instrumental recording is now about 4 weeks away from completion - its been fun doing this project - i guess its a pretty self indulgent record - nothing on there is going to feature on the latest installment of 'now thats what i call music' (what number are they up to on that nowadays? must be like 345 or something?)! i guess a lot of it is the sort of thing that you might drift off to sleep to - so avoid listening whilst driving!...although there's the odd crash and bang here and there - we've had some fun hitting things..hard. the artwork is nearly complete...so it should be available towards the end of september album 4: we've so far approached this record in a different way to the other albums. whereas with the others we have simply gone into the studio with a loose idea and developed it IN the studio, this time we are demoing complete songs...the aim is to have a clear direction of what we want to do with each track BEFORE we take it into the studio....at present theres 16 demo versions we have to choose from. its so far been a lot of fun and also we've discovered a new found excitement for making music we're emailing eachother updates to the demos at all times of the day - so the demo versions are constantly evolving. the plan is to finalise one of these new tracks for later this year - we'll then give you a preview of it ... you'll be able to then decide if youre looking forward to the rest of the album or not! tour - sadly, because theres a lot of studio activity we arent playing live much this year. so its just a short tour in october. we're excited to be visiting new places such as budapest, but also equally excited to be making a return to dresden. we have just 2 dates left to book - im currently helping our booker with those dates as he's on a short vacation. we're hoping to make a return to krakow and also either prague or vienna...as soon as theyre booked we'll post the full itinerary. very much looking forward to seeing some of you there. on a personal note, after the tour is finished i'll have a couple of months off as myself and emma are expecting a new arrival in november - and then normal service will resume (albeit with less sleep!) we'll look to complete recording of album 4 and will coincide it with a full tour. where? dunno. you tell me. we're pretty lucky to get to do these things really. until next time dunk x

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Highway to the dangerzone

useless at keeping these blogs up to date are we. whats been happening? well we returned to Athens in January for what proved to be a great time - great show, amazing people. they made me drink too much and i was a little ill up at the acropolis (shhh) following greece, i have been spending time in the studio with Mat (producer of Repetitions).  we've been working together on some soundtrack music and i felt it would make for an interesting blueneck record.  ie an album inspired by some of the great movie soundtracks that i love (apart from the top gun soundtrack - i love that..but fortunately/unfortunately havent been influenced by it!) - so an instrumental album.....its coming on nicely i think - Rich has recently started adding some ideas which have been really interesting..you should hopefully get to hear it this year i'd think. a 'proper' follow up to repetitions is also well under way. we have demo's of what will make up the entire album and have made a start on the recording process aswell ie guide tracks and inital basic instruments recorded etc. so... 2 very different recordings on the horizon. we'll not be playing live that much this year...but we have started booking a 7 date tour for the beginning of october - we'll be concentrating on france, germany areas -Apologies to those that we'll miss out! we'll concentrate on a much larger area in 2013. 2012 was meant to be a quiet year but for music and non music reasons it looks like that's not the case! Dunk

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

buzzy eagle

Happy New Year, Christmas, etc etc..basically anything i've missed...
Well...2011 was fun...it also dissapeared before we knew it. We finished and released Repetitions and also embarked on our longest tour to date yet. Once again we met and made new friends, but were also lucky enough to catch up. and hang out with old friends too...its a very privileged position we are in.
Highlights of 2011? Theres too many to mention really - It was great revisiting places such as Dresden, Leipzig and Freising where we met up with old friends, visiting Ukraine was also an amazing expeerience. The people there were so kind and wonderful to us (except the slightly corrupt policeman that wanted to take all of Rich's money for smoking outside - maybe a lesson that smoking truly is bad for you!?). Interesting and beautiful country that i'm sure we'll re-visit at some point.
We also embarked on a short UK tour supporting The Pineapple Thief in December (great band, coming out with a new album in 2012). We dont often play many shows in the Uk, so this was a nice change. Playing as the support band doesnt always mean that many people listen to you, but I must say that the fans of TPT were an amazing bunch of people that gave us a lot of time and respect...we made a lot of new friends on that short tour. good times.
So whats in store for 2012? Well at the moment i'd have to be honest and say that from a blueneck perspective it looks quiet. We have a show in Athens at the end of January...and thats it! We're currently having talks about possible tourdates, but nothing is confirmed as yet...so it could be a REALLY quiet year...coming after a busy year it will seem a little strange i guess. Obviosuly we'll keep you updated on developments if they happen.
On a personal level, i'll be back in the studio from next month onwards working on some new songs which maybe arent destined for blueneck. i'll initially be working with just Mat Sampson which means its going to be a fun time at the very least. This new 'project' will get some kind of release later in the year (album/ep/who knows). We'll set up a new webpage/facebook page to give you updates on the project as soon as theres a name for it (theres currently a stupidly long list of name ideas but feel free to post any ideas on the blueneck facebook page!)
so thats about it for now....really looking forward to seeing some of you in Athens...and MAYBE we'll see some more of you at some point in 2012...otherwise theres always 2013..or 14... :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

brown bears

hello again campers.
its been a while...or at least it SEEMS that way...a lot has gone on since i last wrote...we were about to embark on what was our longest tour yet...and it already feels like it was an age ago that we came back.the days have tended to blur into one massive crazy memory for me.
First off it was a great tour, full of some amazing experiences...we are so lucky to get to do what we do...thankyou to EVERYONE that came along, helped out, shouted drunken abuse at us (yes...thats you, drunken man in Cadca!!). Theres so many memories that we've come back with from this tour it would be impossible to list them all without boring you. we revisited some amazing places and discovered some equally amazing new places.
Paris was wonderful, Leipzig now feels like a second home, Dresden was as welcoming as ever, Cadca was ...well..cadca ;-) , Kiev was an amazing experience where we made some amazing new friends (and also appeared on morning TV there!! weird), Magdeburg was surreal but ridiculously enjoyable...man...the list goes on...we finished the mainland european tour in a church in bochum which was great and then the whole tour finished off with a hometown show in bristol with our friends Deafhorse and The Pirate Ship Quintet. This was the only show we played with Sandy guest appearing on cello...was a great way to end it all.
Like i said...i could go into depth about each and every show...but i wont...just ask me if you want to know my views on a specific show...i remember them ALL!
Its hard coming home and not playing anymore...but luckily we have some UK dates in December supporting the wonderful Pineapple Thief - these shows should be great...so hopefully we'll see a few of you along at one of those.
We've also now started planning for next year...it looks like late Spring we'll be visiting France, Portugal and Spain...the latter two countries are places we've never been before...so this will be cool...we'll be doing this with another Denovali band alongside us for the whole of the tour... ;-)
Theres also lots of other stuff going on in the pipeline... This week ive been in the studio working with Mat again - we're working on a couple of different projects and its so nice to be back recording again (even though this is NOT blueneck stuff)...the temptation is to just stay there, carry on recording....ive never been one to resist temptation that well...
christmas is nearly here again!!..so i guess we'll be dusting off those old christmas tracks that we've recorded over the previous years and once again offering them to you all as a free download....who knows, if theres time we may well add another this year...i REALLY enjoyed doing white christmas last year, so it would be nice to do another...i already have a couple of ideas on what to do.
like i said...this post/update could go on forever...so im trying to keep it as short as possible....so i'll leave now....oh...you may have noticed a link we put up ...it was for an HBO show promoting an upcoming big boxing match in the USA..it features Pneumothorax towards the end of the show....pretty surreal seeing your music alongside 2 guys beating the shit out of eachother...but it was nonetheless very flattering to be asked for permission to use the music...i have no idea who the boxers are...im told theyre pretty handy....so, er, good luck to you both!
theres probably other stuff i should be writing about...but it doesnt spring to mind just yet....like i said earlier...if you have any specific questions just ask....best place is tfacebook i suppose.
till later
much love

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tour Update

So we're less than a week away from starting the European tour on 11th October in Paris. Its been a hard couple of weeks - i'll explain why...
we got a call from the company that we are hiring our van from to say that we were not allowed to take the van into the Ukraine or Romania....basically the insurers would not allow it for whatever reasons they have....so we had to quickly find another company that would let us drive into these countries....most of the companies all said they couldnt do it either , but then one company said they could....all seemed fine....but then we had a call on Monday to say thatthey could not in fact do it after all...so it not only left us with no way to drive into Ukraine and Romania...but also left us with no van at all for the whole tour! stressful times.
To cut a long long LONG story short we have had to cancel 2 of our shows in Ukraine and the show in Romania....we're REALLY gutted that we have had to do this, but honestly there is no other way.....we have cancelled the shows in Lviv and Chernivitsi...but we are still able to play in Kiev as we will be taking a 15 hour train journey to get there...hopefully some of you that were coming to the other Ukraine shows might be able to make it to Kiev.
We are REALLY sorry that this has happened....we will loook into a way of playing Romania soon...I promise.
So its not pleasant news im afraid....we've really tried out bet to make everything work out as best as we can.

We play our first show for nearly a year tomorrow night in Southampton. Its going to be a new experience playing with Chris on drums instead of Johnny...but he has put so much hard work into learning the songs.

We look forward to meeting you all on this tour.....a lot!

We'll also be announcing a few more dates for 2011 very soon...keep an eye of facebook etc....

Thanks for all the support guys...xxx