Firstly this week, some things to share from a refreshing trip to my hometown over the past month. Of course to start with there was the traditional yearly Easter family gathering, which was wonderful as usual and this time with a Thai twist as my mum was hosting the event. Lots of tasty food, some emotional sharing of culture and as always great to meet up with everyone again. I'm already looking forward to the next gathering!
Following that, in celebration of another successful year at JabunAudio, and reflecting on the fact that despite having played guitar for over 13 years now, I've NEVER gone down to a guitar shop and purchased a new guitar (it's always been 2nd hand or built myself (not including basses), I finally decided to splash out for that Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar I've had my eye on since last year, and what an amazing guitar it is! I must say that having played the Fender Classic Player Jaguar which is almost three times the price, apart from a little setup work that I did myself, this guitar feels and plays virtually identically, and just as importantly sounds as fantastic as its Fender counterpart too. While it's the least expensive Jaguar model Fender has to offer currently, it definitely doesn't sound or feel cheap, though does require a little attention to get started. I can't wait to record with it, and for sure this guitar brings a whole new palette of sounds to my guitar armoury. With just two single-coil pickups and the versatile electronics, the Jaguar brings more versatile thinner tones compared to my other guitars, and delievers a bite so hard that I actually use the tone control on this beast! Prepare for a brighter and punchier sound in the new Better Than The Book album; along with my trusty Yamaha Pacifica 112, this guitar's going to be a key player!
And lastly to conclude my time in Sussex, it was my 27th birthday and my GF Eva had an amazing day of celebration planned out for myself and my twin brother, Eamon: a trip to London starting with a lovely Chinese meal with a bunch of my long time friends followed by tickets to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition at the O2 arena where Eamon, Eva and I got to learn about what forces shape us and came out with who we'd be in the Star Wars Universe (<<< see who I came out as)! On top of that there was tons of concept art, promo art, props, models and costumes from the Star Wars franchise which was simply incredible! Thanks soo much Eva for a glorious day out and James, Kevin, Gelnar, and Beth (as well as Eamon and Eva) for the splendid lunch in Chinatown too! Great to see all you guys again! Among the cool gifts this year too was a portable record player from my bro so that I can take my vinyl collection (a grand total of 7 records) wherever I go! Thanks so much bro! Already spinning discs in the studio while I work!
After that it was straight up to Manchester, but I'll get back to that at the end of this blog post (exciting times ahead).
As well as all the events and festivities though, seeing friends and family and making the most of my old local haunts (Burger Brothers / Uncle Sams), one thing I really missed when I came back to my hometown was my homemade double-neck guitar. It's been about 9 months since I last got to play it due to it being in storage while building works were going on at my parents' house, but being able to finally play it again was like reconnecting with a lost part of myself. Leaving it behind again was a teary farewell and I very much look forward to a time where I can transport it safely to a new studio. Can't wait to play it again, and hopefully it won't be so long this time. On the topic other instruments, it was great to be able to play on a full size piano again too, my cello, and as my other guitars, Jazz bass and kicking out some serious punch with my Ashdown bass amp which is simply too powerful to play here. Perhaps one day I can get the full family back together in one place again, but best to wait until I'm settled down somewhere longterm. Looking forward to it.
Next this week just a reminder that my debut album as Jabun - Daydream will be released in less than a week on May 4th, and has also while I was away been approved for worldwide distribution. Horray! As detailed in the last blog post, the album will also be available for streaming in the usual places (YouTube, Newgrounds, Soundcloud, etc...) as well as available on iTunes and other major digital retailers worldwide shortly after the initial Bandcamp release. For those who do decide to purchase the album on Bandcamp though, I've included some extra bonus items such as full resolution album art, an alternative album cover + a photo from the first day of album production, just as a little thank you for supporting me directly. Can't wait to show this to you all and I hope you're all excited to hear the album next week! I'll leave you once again with the release details and the tracklist, and once again, thanks for all the support and making this album possible!
- Daydream -
Midnight, May 4th 2017
03 The Grind
10 Dreaming (Parts IV - VI)
(Total length: 43:12)
Next this week, it's been a little while in the works, but while I was chilling in Sussex a group interview I worked on with Live a Little Bit Louder (who also wrote about Two Years On when it was first released) was published! This one's all about being part of a music scene / community and the importance of supporting your community whether you're a musician, a fan or an engineer / behind the scenes kind of person. Some really great insight, advice and stories from all members of a music community in this great collaborative interview, and you'll find my contribution as Better Than The Book & Jabun towards the end of the "Bands" section. Apologies for the huge wall of text from me, I wasn't sure how much to write and I tend to waffle on (as I'm probably doing right now), but I hope the advice I lend there will be useful to anyone reading! Free free to have a read of the #supportlocalmusic project here, and leave a comment on this blog post. I'd love to know your thoughts and I hope you enjoy reading it!
Finally this week, back to my travels in the past month, and after leaving Sussex, Eva and I ventured north to Manchester and then Sheffield as JabunAudio will be moving soon! Moving dates and other things aren't set in stone quite yet, so I can't share anything concrete just yet, but as an advanced warning, there'll likely be some studio downtime again towards the end of May / beginning of June until the new studio is up and running. Exciting and nerve-racking times, but I'll keep you all updated with how everything goes and while I'll be sad to leave JabunAudio 2.1: The Bamboo Forest, I look forward to setting up a new studio soon!
That's about it for this week! Don't forget to keep an eye out for Jabun - Daydream when it comes out on Thursday and I hope you all have a great week until then. Next blog post will be this coming Friday 5th, and I'm not quite sure what'll be going on for the majority of this week. There's a lot of sorting things out to do and arrangements to be made for the coming busy month and move, so well see where the wind takes me. Until then, thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio, your local music community and all my projects, and looking forward to sharing the new album with you next week! Take care!