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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Squeaky shoes for those old time blues!


Is it just me, or has anyone else seen the irony (in a Cockney rhyming slang way) of a Portable Toilet (Porta-loo) company in California being called and run by a guy called ANDY GUMP!
"oi oi, govner! I'm off up thee ol' apple and pears to 'ave me an ANDY GUMP!!"
I was talking to mike last night about art and music. The conversation was "how long would it take to put together a collection of work?". I responded with "As with a song, it's not the physical time needed to record or paint a painting that is important. Technically one could record a record in maybe 2 weeks, because its only approx. 45 minutes worth of sounds. And in the same way the physical time to paint 20 paintings isn't very much, It all comes down to the quality of the art."
I could probably paint 20 paintings in 2 months, but there's a high chance that 20 of those would be crap. Maybe, one or two would have a nice naive spontaneous feel, but the majority would be shallow and really not contain much substance (I'm talking about my work). In the same way as a song like Shinobi only took a few minutes to write, that's not the case with all the songs we write, some songs take months to develop, some change for the better, others for the worse (you have to go there to come back). In contrast to Shinobi, Rooftops took almost a year for us to settle on the final mix. So, although it seems like forever for us to write only 12 songs, Its 12 great songs we are looking for, and having written close to 40 songs, in millions of different forms, Its actually quite tricky to make 12 of them great. Especially since (in hindsight) some of the songs don't show their potential until the very last minute.
People can't believe that it takes so long. One person even said "they've made 4 records in the time we have been working on ours". Does that mean that they are good? I feel gone are the days that a band can have the luxury of releasing a record once or twice a year, like a snapshot of where the band was creatively at that point and all the chapters make up a career. People's expectations are so high. The band are stifled, have no room to explore creatively, every chance is the last chance. People, demand quality, there can be no fat. The risks have to be minimised, and as a result is the music becomes obvious and bland. There's a fine line between being predictable (sounding the same, stagnant yet recognisable) and bandwagon jumpers (change, creative development). The first one bores people, the second one confuses them. When a band starts, the have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The hardest thing to do is remain the same when everything else including yourself is changing. The second hardest thing is to realise what you are and be able to gauge how much change you are allowed to make whilst still retaining your own distinguishable sound and identity.
By hard, I don't mean like working in a mine or a hospital. This is not meant as a rant or a moan. Nothing annoys me more than reading about some successful actor or musician moaning about how hard they have it. This is simply a subjective perspective and discourse on the pitfalls of creativity.

The surf has been pretty small. My scooter ain't finished yet. Skated yesterday in a few pools. Fair dues, I am pretty shit. There's 7 year olds pulling 5 foot airs from the deep end, and there's me looking like a zombie on skates (an old slow moving zombie, not like one of those new zombies that bomb around, cause they'd probably rip, an I sure don't). But It'll come back eventually, maybe, if i don't cripple myself first. All those kids need to get jobs and then we'll see how good they are...f*#ckers!
Went to watch the 'Galaxy' football team play the other night. Got ridiculed by some Jock (Manhattan Beach Bro, with the flat peak baseball cap covering the eyebrows....just think OZ fest and raised pickup trucks and you'll get the picture) for looking like Beckham, grabbed me and had photo's with me saying "look everyone Beckham's cousin!!" I responded with "F*#K ME! Its Fred Durst! look people it's William Fredrick Durst!" don't really think anyone remembered who fred durst was, so the joke eventually was on me. Although, I can think of worse people to be compared to...In fact, Beckham is a bit of a heart throb right? you know, the one all the girls like and the dudes hate because all the girls like.

cool. thanks bro!

What else is new. Finally succumbed to an xbox360. booo, there goes my life! good fun. me and mike and ian shooting up the place online instead of writing songs, what could be better?
Fell asleep on the balcony on my rocking bench the other night and for the first time in 4 years, got drained dry by some bug or spider or something. It went to work on my legs and woke up...no legs!! give me hell of a fright! gone! completely eaten all up. Well, not really but close, 16 big ass bites, all of which turned like purple and all messed up. I looked like someone had poured a bag of golf balls down me tights.....picture that!
Right I'm off to got and take the Jet plane for a little ride, turn her over and stuff, then probably go buy a few more houses this afternoon, maybe a hotel or something and then take my nightly bath in pure liquid gold... ta ta for now.









p.s. new photo's up on my flickr...just search richard j oliver in people...thats me, see!

15 comments:

FUNK said...

pfft.
you're more of a heart throb than beckham!

Chris said...

What's your XBOX Live account name??

danny said...

another good read, and good to hear some stuff about the album but...

any chance next time you could give us a rough release date...or even a date that you might think about giving a release date???

MsAnnieAnnie said...

what annoys me more than people that create artwork faster than i do, are people who put pressure on me. cause then its no fun anymore. when there are people that expect a piece of art from you in the next few weeks, maybe because i said i would make one someday, then i feel like i dont have enough freedom to release the creativity, which causes no artworks at all.

one reason why i would never make this hobby to a money making job. it just doesnt work.
i'll stick with psychology.

Hikari Yamino said...

Haha, how is "Beckham's cousin" an insult anyways? Yay! You updated!! I didn't know Rooftops took such a long time to finish but it was damn worth it!!! Rooftops is one of my favourite songs!!! Man, how could the jock not know that you are The Jamie in LostProphets?! If i were there, which is totally not possible, haha, i would have sumo-ed that guy and asked for your autograph.:)

beavis said...

i like yoour blogs. you´re writing so nice. have a niiiice day :D

kerry said...

LOL at the porta-loo =p

i see what your saying about the new record, its although you cant really win either way. knock out an album in a few months & get slated cause its simply not up to scratch, or spend time to produce something which is proper quality, but then have people complain that its taking too long.
spose at the end of the day taking so long builds up the suspence eh!

"f*#ckers" - what word is that mate? it looks rather like f*ckers but appears to have another symbol? =p

thats quite funny about the galaxy match. i know who fred durst is xD hes quite a legend
but i have to say i certainly wouldnt complain about being told you look like beckham. although your obvv hotter.... =p

'mon the 360 xD
i think i speak for many when i say that it would be rather class to play online against you



ly xxx

xBECx said...

those photos of kaua'i are amazing. i walked along that na pali coast and it took so long that we walked back in the dark. i thought i was going to fall over the edge. you should come to Australia for a holiday :-)
xxx

+BRI said...

For me anyway, paintings so therapeutic. To force it or give it a time limit always worries me into producing mediocre work. Is it the same with recording ?
Its a shame the pressure is so high on producing a perfect end result. I always loved hearing the progression of an idea, when you guys used demo's of finished songs as B-sides for example. The snapshot of a band at one given time is so interesting. Like seeing the pencil sketches that built up to that infamous portrait or whatever. I guess an albums effectivly that, only on a wider timeline.
Anyway, youre blogs are always really interesting and insightful, thanks for keeping at it. woooo.

elinette said...

Great to hear from U again Jamie!=D
Actually, I think it's good that you're taking your time with the album. It will be sooo much more worth it when it comes out, and I think it's just good to wait sometimes, it makes it more exciting =)

ok..it sounds quite strange...I know xD anyways, I really like the pic with the Lostprophets-skateboarding skeleton =D very cool, suits you!

elina xxx.

nvrgrwoldnvrdie said...

Awwwwww!!!! that portaloo brings back some good download memories lolz ie: like how many people can you fit in a portaloo, the answer is nine sofar lol yes it actuly happend un fortunetly didnt get it on camera :( as i was in the nextdoor loo :D

xXx

Soo

rory said...

Sorry about the bites XD

I SO don't like when people go on and on whining on why does it take so long for a new album to come out, etc etc etc... i mean, obviously, we're all looking forward to it BUT i respect much more someone who's actually taking their time to work on what they think will be a great record than someone who release a new album as soon as possible just not to lose the succes they had with the previous one. It's all about inspiration, or it should be like that... and that's what i like about you guys :)

And BTW you need to come to Italy for a show!!! (In the south, if you please. lol)

shuanghong said...

your photos are awesome. what kind of camera do you use?

Electric Barbarella said...

i'm glad you guys are taking your time with the new record. i mean there's nothing worse than a great band releasing a horribly shitty cd due to it being rushed.

pfft. beckham ain't got shit on you.

& those photographs are stunning. i love how some parts of the world are untouched.

IThinkISawTheSkyTonight said...

Photographs = amazing.

Beckham's cousin? Ha. Isn't an insult but hey, I agree with what everyone else has said in these comments. :)

:O Rooftops took that long? Wow.

Annnd....I think it's great you'se are taking your time over the album. Makes it more exciting to see what stuff you'se are producing! :)
Keep up the blogs, tis nice reading 'em.
x