A Burials Retrospective:

I’ve been thinking to write this post ever since we put our album out for free.The feelings in my mind concerning what it meant to do that have been wide ranging and vast.And I guess to make some sort of sense of them and to try and reach some conclusion I’m going to try and put it into words.

Both Marc and I have full-time jobs that although are extremely flexible, still take up alot of our lives.We spent the vast majority of our annual leave/days off either in the studio or writing/rehearsing for the album.This to me is completely understandable and nobody forced us to let the band take up so much of our free time.However, I guess i’m trying to put some perspective on how much of our lives went into the record and how much of ourselves did.It was alarming/amazing how many people went and downloaded the album for free. I mean, we gave away as many downloads in the first 24 hours than we managed to sell in the previous year.We were overwhelmed with the response from journalists and our fans alike.But it is still such a hard thing for me to accept as a songwriter.I’m wondering if the profession I’ve chosen really is the right one, and if talent is becoming less and less of a valid excuse to continue this pursuit.
I mean, without CSI there would have been no ‘Burials’ and even if there was, it would have left us so financially crippled that we probably would have disbanded by now.
In the same breath I must remind ourselves that we have indeed been incredibly lucky to even get this far.See how conflicting this is?
Mark (Bluestack Records) asked me the other day should we have released Burials for free from the offset and my gut reaction was ‘no’.He has never believed that music should be given away for free and hearing him ask that really showed me how much of an eye opener this was for all of us.
In my view, it’s a record that I feel deserves to be paid for due to all the work we put into it and that’s why we set a price on it.This may sound like somewhat unjustified entitlement on my part but those of you who who have listened to it can hopefully see why I feel this way.
Allowing people to have it for free was designed to let those who didn’t give it a chance/missed it first time around to try it and perhaps see what we were trying to do when we made it.There is so much music going around these days, the world is brimful of it.Whilst knowing that we decided to put out a record that genuinely needs time to unravel itself.The truth is, people don’t have the time to do that.And if they do, they spend it on an already established artist.Someone said to us that Burials was like a record that a band would put out as their third record.This is pretty accurate, but I love the record even more for this.
The hope is; that after our third/fourth record, (should we get that far) people will realise how stupid/brave it was to do that.We hadn’t forgotten how to write a ‘Devil In The ‘Detail’ or ‘Vacant Hearts’, we just wanted to push the boundaries of what a two-piece record could be.People that are close to us can hopefully see what we’re trying to do.
Adding Yvonne to our band was initially born out of an inability to preform the songs we wrote in the studio live, but it became quickly apparent that she had come for a specific purpose – to push us forward musically and make us the band we had somewhat deviated from on the record.
Next month we head into the studio again to begin work on our next record and I’m excited.This past week has made me wonder what value is attached to recorded music these days but each time we finish a song or play a great show, my desire to achieve as a musician is renewed again.
Thanks for reading.


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