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Where to now?

Added by David on 25-May-17

One question that comes around time and time again is this - Where do we go from here?

We have quite a decent back catalogue of old releases but not many new releases. We sold a lot of music licenses through our licensing activities with Shockwave and Magnatune but they're slowing down now and we've not been able to generate new licensing outlets for some time. I'm still mystified as to why certain music licensing operations (DeWolfe, AudioNetwork etc) won't even listen to our stuff even though we've sold hundreds of licenses. I suspect that competition in this area is huge and we're basically just minnows.

We've done numerous gigs, a few low profile events, but many decent, well publicised outings and yet we're still not making much headway in to the local scene.

Probably not a good idea to get me started on the whole European scene. We've headlined many, many sets at the Awakenings concerts and yet we're never, ever invited to play anything of any size on the continent, probably because we don't mix with the in-crowd the way we should if we want to get ahead. Worse, we're also massively overlooked by many of the UK organisers too although we're aware of some personal connections and financial arrangements which make certain gigs all but impossible for the time being.

In short, it just isn't happening. And it's difficult to justify ploughing so much money into this and other adventures when the returns are so low. So goes the business logic anyway.

But then... hang on a moment. Let's stop and think, shall we?

Is this all about money? Is this all about being noticed, about being lauded by your peers or building a stonking great fan base. It might be if this was all about money.

But it isn't.

This is about doing something that will last. This is about working at a set of skills, learning, developing, enjoying the process rather than the journey. That's the art side of my brain working its magic.

However, I am all too aware that without any proper releases then this really is just a vanity project, a self-indulgent yawn-fest, just a wannabe nobody anonymously banging away in a scruffy back bedroom making tunes that nobody will ever hear.

This isn't what this project is about.

So, to remedy this situation, we've extensively redesigned the Thinking Metal web pages in an attempt to make them more user-friendly and more mobile-friendly.

More so, I've also sketched out a vague release schedule which I'll refine over the next couple of weeks, and which will feature a small number of EPs, probably two or three, and then proper releases from both SkinMechanix and Ion.

We have two major gigs coming up in short order, Temple, which is a private concert for friends only, and the Ramones 4 gig in August. We'll be scheduling these releases around those events so... come back soon.


Added by David on 22-May-17

OmniSphere has been on my wish list for a few years but, nice though it looked on paper, it was always difficult to justify when so many other areas of the studio required urgent attention. For instance, many years ago, I decided that SKinMechanix would tend towards a more guitar-based sound and, as a result, I worked hard on getting exactly the right sound through exactly the right instruments. Except that it never quite worked. I was never, ever happy with overall tone or the balance of the guitars. Seasoned guitarists would insist that all I needed to do was practice, practice, practice and the tone would come so... I did... I genuinely practiced ... but it never quite happened.

And then I migrated to Logic Pro, which was a total God-send. Freedom at last. No more bloody Cubase.

I started adding new modules and sample libraries, new virtual instruments and updated real synths. I sorted the guitar with a sample library called Shreddage, which sounds very, very authentic to my ears.

And with Shreddage installed and SKinMechanix finally moving in the right direction, I started to put some pennies away towards OmniSphere.

And then the car packed up.

That was three months ago and, since then, we've had a thoroughly miserable experience as one thing after another went wrong with the bloody thing.

In the end, Jules just said "Go and get OmniSphere before all of our cash is wiped out on that sodding thing..." and, well, The Sphere is here.

How will it fit into the studio? Having pushed the guitars in the right direction, the next step is to get the rhythm section moving into a fusion of rock and ... weird shit for want of a better term.

So, we're off on another adventure and with Ramones 4 only a matter of months away, it's going to be a bit of a slog.

If you're looking for the previous version of the blog then have a look here although I have no idea how long this archive will remain in place...

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