Mike & Peter give an update on the new IQ album.
After an extended hiatus in the process and progress of the new album – for many and varied reasons (some called Kipper, the others not) – we’re finally back in the writing and recording groove. All the music is now written (although inevitably there will be some tweaks) and it’s looking like this will be our longest single studio album to date, with just under an hour’s worth of music.
Regular gig-goers will be interested to note that the two new tracks featured on the last tour, ‘Frequency’ and ‘Crashed and Burned’, will both make it onto the album. A third new track, ‘Already Gone’, which was played on an earlier tour, will probably not be included, but may well see the light of day in some other format – watch this space…
Work in the studio resumed on 5th June when Andy polished off the drums (and then played them…) and we finally got Mark involved in all things keyboards-wise-ish. I was able to complete all guitars for ‘Frequency’ and ‘Crashed and Burned’ as well as starting work on two new tracks, imaginatively entitled ‘Long One’ and ‘Closer’.
We’ll be in the studio again on 10th July when we’ll continue with guitars and keyboards, and we’ll also start work on the bass with Madame Johnny – this time sans frock, I think. (Yeah, like that’s gonna happen…)
Towards the end of July I’ll be going up to darkest Manchester where we’ll start recording the vocals with Pete in a new ‘differently-abled’ studio, ‘Chez Hilda’, which is being put together especially for the album. After his recent ‘slight cough’, Pete has purchased a brand new voice and is keen to try it out. He’ll be experimenting with a vocal range that covers the complete audio spectrum and will be extending it beyond the range of human hearing (not that we’ll know anything about this, of course). Watch out for the dangerously high vocal solo towards the end of the album...
The final mix is scheduled to take place early September and we’re hoping to have copies of the finished album ready for the ‘Eclipsed’ festival in Aschaffenburg on 22nd November.
We’ll keep you updated on how things are going, post some photos and maybe a few soundbites as things progress…
Following my exciting pneumonic adventures earlier this year (big thanks to everyone for your kind messages), I’m feeling much better now, despite having one or two more grey hairs than I had before! (It’s the stress, you know.) But, with my ‘IQ head’ screwed back on, I’ve been squawking along with the new tunes while beavering away on the lyrics and vocal melodies, and my voice seems to be doing OK, so fingers crossed on that score.
Unfortunately, I’m still the world’s slowest lyric-writer and every line gets re-written about 50 times. Of the tracks we’ve played live, the lyrics for ‘Frequency’ and ‘Crashed And Burned’ are probably about 70% there, though they still need a fair amount of work as some of them were only makeshift easy-to-remember words for my small brain to accommodate at the time. Of the tracks that had no lyrics at all, I’ve been working on ‘Closer’ recently and I think that will stay as the title of that track. This was its original working title, being the track that closes the album, but it also works as in ‘getting closer all the time’, which is kind of the direction the lyrics are heading in at the moment. I think we’ll keep ‘Frequency’ as the title of …er… ‘Frequency’ but ‘Crashed And Burned’ may well change, depending on how the lyrics turn out for that one.
‘Long One’ isn’t actually a particularly long one anymore. Now that we’ve pruned it and chopped it back, it clocks in at about 12 minutes so it’s still a reasonable length but it’s not unmanageably long (oooh, matron).
The working title for the album itself (at least in my mind) has always been ‘Frequency’, which I kind of like as it has a couple of different meanings – radio waves and stuff (which was the original story idea behind that track) but also in the sense that we’re not noted for releasing new albums very often, i.e. with any frequency. Alternatively, ‘The Magician’s Naughty Daughter’ is another popular contender…
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