by John Lyons released 15 November 2013
I started writing for this album in February 2013-although a couple songs that made it on the final album were written before that. In February I got a call from Hitmill studios in Zürich for a songwriting project for the Eurovision Contest. I wrote the song 'Believe' that weekend together with Maury Pozzi, who is a dance music producer most notable for his hit song "Ma Cherie" with DJ Antoine.
Shortly after this, and completely unrelated, I got contacted via Facebook by Marco Jencarelli from Soundfarm Studio in Kriens, Luzern - telling me that he heard some of my music on Soundcloud and was interested to work with me if I had any plans to do a record. At that point, I had no plans and no money to do an album, although I wanted to do an album because I have a great band lineup since the past couple years, and I always knew I needed to get an album or originals happening to give us any chance to progress.
After meeting with Marco Jencarelli, it was clear that we could work together in some way. He very kindly offered that I consider to work as a freelance producer/engineer at Soundfarm. Then to get me up to speed with working in his studio, he gave me an incredible opportunity to record myself for a week for in his studio while he was out on tour. After this meeting, I began working everyday on my songwriting. I already had a few song ideas written, but mostly was just pieces, without form, without words. You see, I lost my full time job in November 2012 and had been unemployed for some months, so I had a lot of time. My job search was not going well at all, I wasn't getting many interviews and I was quite frankly depressed about my situation. I began approaching songwriting as a job, forcing myself to stand up go down in my basement home studio and work on songwriting for many hours each day and night.
Kriens, Luzern MAY 19-26, 2013 Marco Jencarelli , who is the guitarist for Philipp Fankhauser, was kind enough to offer his Soundfarm studio to me while he was on tour with Philipp's band on the Blues Cruise for a week. I managed to not only finish writing enough songs for this album, but I also learned enough of working in his studio to be able to act as my own recording engineer. I have a background in audio engineering, although not a working professional level, but I was able to pull it off. I spent more than one night sleeping on the sofa in the studio, and more than one night not sleeping at all but working 24 hours through, grabbing 4 hours sleep and then continuing. It was really a lot of work but it was a labor of love. When you care about something and have a vision, a plan, a goal - then the time doesn't matter, it goes by quickly and you find yourself able to work more than normal. The first couple days, I got familiar working with ProTools. I imported the demo tracks that I had recorded at home and set up the sessions for each song. Then I recorded some guitar parts and vocal tracks. After that, It was 2 days recording the drum parts with Simon Britschgi.Then Gabriel Spahni came and did the bass tracks in one day. Amazing! Matt Savnik came in the last day and we did a marathon 18 hour session to get all the organ / piano tracks. We recorded cover version of ' See That My Grave Is Kept Clean' and 'Way Down In The Hole' as well, but I decided not to include it on the final album.
- Felix Müller Wetzikon, Zürich July 8-9
After this week was over, I had recorded most of my songs, but there were a few songs that I did not have time to finish. I wanted to write a bridge for the song 'Believe', and I wanted to include a couple songs on the album that were not ready at the time of the Soundfarm sessions. I worked in June to finish writing 'Helengeli' and 'Believe'. I booked FM-Music Productions with Felix Müller as audio engineer on July 8 & 9 and recorded these 2 songs plus 'Waiting For You', a song I had written in 2012.
In the end, I needed to get somebody else to play the bass track on Believe, because my bassist Gabriel Spahni was too busy writing songs for his band Pegasus. Simon Winiger did me a nice favor and played the bass track on Believe. I sent him a rough idea of what I had in mind for bass, and an hour later I had his part in the dropbox. Bam!
To me another wave is a song about dealing with anger and frustration, which has always been a theme in my life. What I'm trying to say in this song is, don't take things too personally, because we are each so small in the greater view of this universe. There's many things that are beyond our control, we're just another wave on the ocean.
This song was written by Gabriel Sphani for my band. Thanks bro! I took his demo and rewrote some lyrics to make it more my style, but the basic things is all there still.
This is simply a song about hope. "Everything can get messed up, but as long as I got you - it's going to turn out ok."
This song is about being in a reality of working a 9 to 5 job and not seeing a sense to life, except for chasing money. I keep waiting for you - all of you - to buy my album, support my music - so I can quit my job and do what I was born to do - play music ( and make enough money to live from it comfortably without having to eat hot dogs and sleep on sofas)
I spent a few years of my life playing in various formations as a solo entertainer and in bands. I was often in bars, clubls, hotel lounges - and I saw a lot of what normally happens there. This song is a story about a nice looking woman at a bar, a guy who is attracted to her and tries to pick her up. or does she try to get picked up? ;-) hmmm...
Is a melancholic ballad about liking someone a lot but not feeling the comfort or courage to let them know how you really feel about them.
Helengeli is a tiny beautiful tropical island off the southern coast of India in the Maledives. I visited there with my lovely wife Daniela and my travel guitar in 2010, where I started coming up with the music for this. It's a beautiful guitar sound because it's an 'Open D' tuning on my Gibson J45R. I'm quite happy how the song ended up on the album, I really like the slide guitar sound in the heavy part of the song, I used a fuzz pedal for that tone.
I wrote this while my wife and kids were away in Italy for vacation. I decided to not join them that week so that I could work on this project. The song came out quick, and I think it's one of the most romantic beautiful 'love' songs that I have written. The bridge reminds me of the Beatles.
This really happened to me. The real letter was ' Dear John', but I changed the line to 'Dear James'...just because...
I wanted to write a funky blues in the style of Buddy Guy & Stevie Ray Vaughn - two of my influences - and this is what came out
This song just kind of happened. I was working on some song ideas in a complete other direction, then I grabbed my acoustic guitar and started playing...this. I worked n the words for 2 days and by the third day of recording demos, trying different things it was done. The vocal track and guitars were recorded in my house!
A song about a road where i grew up in South Haven Michigan. Let's just say I was a bit wild and crazy back in my teenager years - and I feel lucky that I survived this road.
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