Because that what it really is. For the first time in years I have actually listened to the entire back catalogue of gazpacho starting with bravo and moving on from there. Why do I subject myself to these trials you wonder? Of course, as always, it is for you beautiful friends.
Kscope have announced that all of the Gazpacho albums will be released on vinyl in 2015 and as our philosophy is and will always be, quality first, we decided to engage our hero Thor at Sonovo Mastering and have him remaster every album to optimise them for the vinyl experience. This has resulted in me spending many evenings listening to the remasters and at times cringing over sounds and lyrics and at other times wondering where all that creativity came from.
I have also had Proustian flashbacks to other times of my life, and I am sorry to say, a lot of the revisiting has been unpleasant. I seem to have spent years struggling with anxiety, including panic attacks, and the memory of the feeling was pretty bad. On the other hand I also have to say that the beauty of some of the stuff has left me with great pride. To me my current favourites among the “oldies” are:
“Will To Live” from Missa – which is about the death of someone important to your life. The title is from the schopenhauer concept, Google it, and I think the tune and lyrics perfectly support each other. I have spent many days and nights in 2014 at the death beds of my mom and dad who both died within 4 months of each other and “will to live” was one of my go to tracks during this process. The other song I found helpful was “when earth lets go”, which is about how large the personality of a parent is when you are little and as a result of this, how large a loss it is to lose one.
“Bravo” itself was one of the first songs that had a special feel to it and was a defining moment in realising that we had something special going on and it is the credo of the band. It is about a guy who doesn’t grab a chance when he gets it because of his fear of failure and his subsequent bitterness and regret. Gather ye rosebuds and all that.
“Souvenir” is another goodie, and basically another way of saying what we said in bravo itself, I think the tune is gorgeous and rediscovering it was a pleasure to my battle hardened ears. Jan Henrik does a wonderful job I think. The effect on the voice was a guitar setting from my mackie digital mixer which I used at the time, and I remember agonising over what I really thought about it when I added it but looking back I think it adds an underwatery dimension that gives the song a dreamlike feel. Well done young version of me.
“Do you know what you are saying”, is another song that is moving back into my play lists. It is about love and the danger of falling in love which although it sounds cheesy when you just come out and say it like I just did, is beautifully expressed in the lyric. Steve Rothery keeps his spot in the good book as well with his airy guitars. Well done Steve.
All in all listening to all this stuff has reminded me of the old days where Jon Arne, Jan Henrik and I would meet every single Friday and Saturday and write songs while drinking ourselves into shape for hitting the bars where we perfected drinks such as the “The olive garden” which was a mixture of gin, vodka and the brine from a glass of olives. Or “vodkacreamy” which was gin (strangely) and whipped cream seasoned with tabasco. Enjoy amigo!
Not to mention the Jon-Arne special which was absolut blackcurrant and sprite liberally dashed with lime juice and insanity. Definitely something to keep one warm through the winter nights. On some occasions we’d go back to the studio after the bars closed, and listen to albums at full blast. What musical experiences we had and subsequently created. We listened to “Snowman” 10 times in a row at volume 11 right after we recorded it and it was a great night.
Needless to say I hope you all buzz out and buy all of these once they’re on the market. Don’t worry, being your ever faithful source of inside info I’ll let you know when the time has come. It will mean a lot to us as album sales are what we measure our success by, and that means your success too, as we’re all one big happy family, right?
Attendance at gigs is also something we have to work on (yes Osnabruck, especially you, but the rest of you know who are). We will be touring end of October to early November and so far we know we’ll be in Poland, Germany, Holland and the UK so with modern transportation being what it is, I expect to see most of those of you who are on this continent.
We will be playing “Death Room” and that alone is a great reason to see the show.
In the meantime, I’ll be in the bathtub with a bottle of wine and some razor blades listening to loud opera music and reading more of that Schopenhauer guy, he kept poodles so how can you not love him?