Q: To be honest I was surprised your album was a DIY project. It sounds great with a lot of clarity. Do you have any tips for our audience on how to achieve such a professional sound?
A: Thanks! Yes the whole thing is completely DIY on my PC in my teaching studio at home. I record as I write, and rarely have a song completely written before I start recording it. I lay down a basic backing track before adding vocals. Then everything else is overdubbed and arrangements can be chopped and changed as necessary. Again because it's a home project this is great because there's no deadline other than what we impose ourselves, and no studio costs to worry about. All the drums were recorded in one day in Sean's home studio and then everything else was done over time with Andy, Stuart and Sean arranging to come over for an evening at a time after work to record their other parts.
During time with other bands I’ve been lucky enough to record with some very accomplished and well respected producers and I've learned a lot about recording from them so I wasn't coming at it completely blind. I don't have any expensive studio equipment; everything is done in Cubase including mixing and mastering. It's an experimental process and I learn new tricks and techniques as I go. The Internet is great for this. If I need help I look on YouTube or forums.
My advice would be to take as much time as possible, listen to mixes/masters on different devices, and don't do everything in one listen. Come back to things several times and be prepared to make changes. Also read up as much as possible online to get tips from others.
Q: What are some of the themes that connect your album. Are there over arching themes?
A: There's not one overall theme, and there was a never a plan to make an album with one theme or message. It's just a collection of songs that seemed to sit well together as a record. Musically, more than lyrically, I spent a long time making sure I got the track listing right so there was a good balance. There are songs about love and loss, naturally, and even a political song which I suppose is difficult to avoid at the moment. But there are upbeat moments, a couple of songs that focus more on hope and happiness, and a couple of songs that were just for fun!