YOU KNOW THAT 11 TRACK 2017 ALBUM?
…well I think it might now have to be a double! Taking time away from what we do every day is not only important for the soul, it can be the catalyst for new ideas and creativity. And just as I like to think the distraction of music has made me better at the day job over the last year or so, the distraction of this place, the peace, the quiet, and the sense of freedom, has been important in bringing new life to the music.
So far, I have written five songs in five days. My original plan was to finish off the lyrics for the tracks already written for ‘The Breeding Ground Of Vile’ and think about the structure of the songs before putting them to bed for the few months until recording begins in the New Year. I thought I might also add a song, possibly two, because I felt there were subjects I had missed, but now I think there may be even more in the locker.
The trouble with writing an album of protest songs at a time when there is so much to protest about, is that it is hard to know when to stop. The world today seems saturated by injustice, and things are happening in this 21st century that I thought were the stuff of history. Then Donald Trump entered the political arena. Our own government is dreadful, so dreadful for the last six years that the election of Theresa May as Prime Minister felt like a step in the right direction. She comes with baggage, and one of the new songs is a creepy little number about being forever spied upon – are our lives ever really our own?
So there’s a song about being spied upon, another about the indignity of growing very old, one about our economy’s absolute dependence on investment from overseas, another about the dismissive treatment of disabled people, and one about the worsening plight of refugees. And if you think that all sounds a bit heavy, then good! We live in a world full to the brim with things that should be making us all feel very uncomfortable. Communication has never been easier yet we seem to fail to communicate properly with one another, and the disconnect seems now to be affecting relations between world leaders.
I wrote a sixth new song in the week before I came away to Eskdale, possibly the angriest repeatable song I’ve ever written. In this world where there is so much to protest about, we are not protesting nearly enough…or worse, we actually think we are! So if The Breeding Ground Of Vile helps to spark you into writing to your political representatives or getting out there on the streets to join a real demonstration, then it will have succeeded. At one point during the summer, as Cameron and his cronies fell from grace and the Brexiteers leaped like lemmings from their sinking and very badly constructed ship, I thought the original songs I had written for the album would quickly date themselves. They haven’t.
JOHN’S WORK TO DATE:
MOORSCAPE ALBUM APRIL 2016
DRY THE LIFE SINGLE JULY 2016
DRY THE LIFE EP due November 2016
THE BREEDING GROUND OF VILE – due Summer 2017