Chris is a guitarist / songwriter from Melbourne, Australia, founding member of The Feckers, currently working on the second album "Live To Fight Another Day", putting out a song "every month or so" with TCSO, as well as occasional gigs with Hobart based Metallica / Maiden tribute band Cunning Stunts / Seventh Sons, and solo acoustic gigs too!!!
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PIECES OF ETERNITY:
So hopefully by now, everyone has seen the cover and heard the sample from “Pieces of Eternity”?? (If you don’t know what I’m on about, go to http://www.cs-songs.com/powerfulostrichearache)I’m so happy that it’s nearly a done deal, and can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about it.
The latest there is that I’ve OK’ed a digital proof of the album artwork with the manufacturers, and pending everything going smoothly on their end, it’ll be a done deal in the first half of September!!!
Been working on the online store here, so everything will be ready to go in time for the CD’s coming back from print. Also will be doing some promo stuff for the release – interviews, radio etc. Very excited for all that!!!
Keep an eye on my associated sites over the next day or so for a full length track!!
For those who may not be aware of it, for years I’ve written songs with folks in other countries through the wonders of modern technology, and even had the pleasure of a few guest guitar cameos too. One of these collaborations is with a mate by the name of Richard “MacGyver” Anderson, and even though we never really had the money to complete a lot of our ideas so far, we never really stopped collaborating on stuff.
For a while we were really trying to bring the songs to life, but it seemed like the gods were against that happening, which lead to us shelving the idea for a while, and he went and formed a cool little band called GONE WILD, while I was finally getting some of my own stuff together.
Now that we’ve both had some progress on our own sides of the pond, we decided it was time again to team up and hopefully tend to some of those now many songs. This was penciled in to start in July 09, looked shaky for a little bit, but ended up happening and then some.
We’ve made some fantastic progress on 3 songs, which are hard rock / metal, and on those tracks basically all the drums, bass and rhythm guitar is DONE!! Speaking of drums too, we have the most unbelievable skinsman helping us out on this stuff – more on that soon.
Basically everything is going amazingly well, and while this has all been going on, we’ve been recruiting other guest singers and players, and the list is a real impressive one! And we’re not even done yet!
I’m back in the studio next week doing lead and acoustic guitars, and possibly even getting some vocals added to one of the tracks, so stay tuned!!
Started work on what will be my 2nd album in July also!! Once again with my bro Mathew Szkup on drums, and the incredible Stew Long running the controls once again. We’re four songs into the drum tracks, although Stew’s hectic schedule of late hasn’t allowed any more progress to be made on the songs thus far.
Again it will be a mixture of stuff – of these 4 songs, there’s a funk / rock / metal thing, a Harrison esque chord strummer, a piano based rock ballad, and a 10 minute epic kinda thing that to quite Stew “covers most countries on earth” in the moods it creates. Starts off thrash metal and ends up as a waltz!!
Will post more on this stuff as we chip away at it in conjunction with The Feckers stuff.
While I can’t say too much at the time of writing, it looks like I’ll be getting back onto the stage in 2009, not only in Melbourne, but also interstate!!! Stay tuned!!!
AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH:
Just have to say a big THANK YOU to Ron Thal, and Peter Hodgson for their nice words in this Bumblefoot Interview!!!
To say I’m honoured is an understatement!!!
PIECES OF ETERNITY!!!!!!!!!
– the story is a long one, but basically, years ago I wanted to and tried to do an album, and that was my title. Stuff happened along the way, and it couldn’t eventuate…..until now!!!
Maybe there was some inspiration from the new Gnr album coming out, I’m not sure, but I always really liked the title and felt like I HAD to make sure I used it. And not to mention there were some bad experiences involved with it not happening all those years ago, and it’s always nice to end things on a positive note wherever possible.
We got through things really quickly the other day at Red Planet, so now it’s onto things like finalising artwork, talking to CD pressing places etc which I’ll be onto over the coming weeks. Am also looking at a digital release of this thing that I’ll keep you all posted on.
Artwork is underway by an awesome artist by the name of Dan Verkys, a fellow Melbournian, and while I don’t have a preview available today for you guys, I can tell you that it’s looking really kickarse, and that it’s great getting the chance to work with someone as talented as Dan. Check out more of his work via the link above, or via his Deviant Art Page.
Anyway that’s about the latest for now. I don’t have a definite release date, but I’ll be working to make it happen as soon as possible. As I’ve never really done this before I wouldn’t want to underestimate. HOPEFULLY it’ll be ready by August, but I’ll have to let you know as it goes.
P.S. As well as the release of Pieces of Eternity, I’ll also be starting two new albums over the next couple of months – my 2nd album, and also a collection of stuff that I’ve written with my pardner in crime, Richard “MacGyver” Anderson over the years. More on those in time!!
Hell yeah!! Got my copy of the new album in the mail today (thanks Richard!), and am on the first listen as we speak!!
Had heard some of the tracks that I play on – “Georgia Peach”, “State of Euphoria” and “Bourbon Blues”, which before I had heard the rest of the tracks on this album was my favourite from these guys. Now I’m not sure. From what I gather, their aim in doing this album (not to mention that this new one is a DOUBLE album) was for it to be all killer and no filler, and that’s not to take anything away from their previous album, but I guess they wanted to up the ante in every way – take more risks, be heavier but at the same time more subtle, and take it to places it hadn’t been before.
From what I’ve heard today, they’ve definitely done that and them some. I literally had this big shit eating grin on my face as the first song started up. For the record this is a touchy subject matter on that first song “Silent Tears”, and it might seem insensitive of me, but that comment is purely my reaction upon hearing the music start up – it’s good to hear these guys again!!! They’re my friends and I love hearing them do what they do!!
Anyway, I’m really going to have to make another blog on this stuff, cause I still have 13 songs to go!! You’ve gotta really appreciate the fact that they even went the double album route at all – making one solid CD from start to finish definitely isn’t the easiest task for most, but these guys have THIRTY tracks on this thing!! DAYUM!! Every one that I’ve heard so far is kicking arse!! On ya guys!!
To be updated…..
(For more info, samples, purchasing information etc, please visit: http://www.myspace.com/gonewildnz )
I’m officially done singing on my forthcoming album – unless of course something sticks out over the next few weeks that I can’t live with, but I’m sitting here listening back, and it’s sounding pretty cool. Not hearing anything that needs changing at the moment!!
People who are subscribing on Facebook would have heard all about the cold I had leading up to this session, and it was quite a worry for a while there. I went so far as to make a backup of a demo from my home setup here to take down to the studio in Tassie just incase the throat didn’t hold up. Was going to work on something new instead of wasting the day. But luckily it pulled through. Much thanks go to Lipton, Dilmah and the lemon tree out the front for their efforts in getting this album to the people this past week. I really owe those guys haha!
Anyway, we had “First Blood” to do singing on. Was a lil concerned about this one. The melodies are *just* lower than what I’d usually be comfortable singing, but at the same time, the main riffs to the song have a certain quality to them that is lost if the key to the song is changed and the riff played elsewhere. For a while I wasn’t sure which way to go with it, but I think it’s definitely come together well. Have a few harmonies to decide on using or not, but they’re all recorded, so this song is ready to mix!!!
Next up we had an intro piece for the album called “Magical Occurence”, which is a thing we did on an earlier recording ten ( ! ) years ago, but I never felt it was the right version of it.
The title, and music too is a very Kitaro kinda inspired thing that could probably go on his “Mandala” album very nicely, so I went for a Fender strat on the clean guitar to kinda replicate some of the guitar stuff on his album, which by the way is a big favourite of mine, and some of the instrument sounds are reminiscent of his stuff too, and I’m glad to say, this is the version I was hearing in my head!!
I started this one on my home setup a month or two ago, and took the tracks down to Red Planet where we added clean guitar, drums, and what has become the running joke, yet at the same time the unsung hero of these album sessions, my $300 casio keyboard for some clean chord pads.
This same keyboard was used for trumpet tones on “Tribal Eat Pop Slop” after we tried out a bunch of stuff but couldn’t find anything that worked for the song. Same thing goes here – the part was exactly what the piece needed, but the only difference was, I had demoed the song years ago and somehow remembered that the tone was called “Space Pad” and was number 73 in the sound bank, so I took it into the session especially for the part!! (No I don’t have a life!!)
The drums were good fun on this. Basically beating the hell out of two different floor toms overdubbed, then we added some reverb to give it some of that tribal thing, and it definitely adds to it and overall (I think anyway) adds a real nice and dramatic start to the album. Hopefully you will agree haha! This piece is ready to mix!!
Complete tracklisting for this thing (not in running order) is:
(I Can’t) Start Again
Innate Self Destruct
To A Scream
Tribal Eat Pop Slop
The players on this thing are myself (guitars, lead vocals, piano / keyboards, bass, extra drums), My brother Mathew Szkup (drums and percussion, vocals, guitars), and our old comrade, Dale Brewer (bass and vocals), and I’ll be posting the first sound samples from it (along with confirming the title) over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Check it out here: http://www.ozjam.com.au/interview44/chris-szkup/
ALBUM IS GETTING CLOSER!!
So we’re basically up to track 8 and 9 (of 10) for the album, and we spent some time tending to these on the weekend just gone.
One of them is a folky little number that I had recorded in the past called “October 22”, but I wasn’t completely happy with that version, and always wanted to redo it when the time was right. On this one, I added bass, two acoustics, lead bits, some flute-ish keyboard bits and lead vocals. Skube and Stew made some comments along the lines of the bass part reminding them of a “walking McCartney type thing” which is of course a massive rap that I’ll gladly take
All that needs doing on this track is backup vocal harmonies.
The other one is a hard rocker called “First Blood” on which we did some keys and trumpet bits and retouched a solo, readying it for vocalising, and after that it’s a done deal.
So we’re fast approaching a release for this thing folks – I shit you not!!
This is how the songlist for the album is looking at the moment remembering that it’s gonna be 10 tracks:
(I Can’t) Start Again
Innate Self Destruct
Tribal Eat Pop Slop
To A Scream
_______ _________ – (To be confirmed)
Last post I mentioned a new GONE WILD song I was playing some guest geetars on for their upcoming 2nd album. Well as of today, you can hear it on their Myspace Page!!
Hope you dig – I certainly had a lot of fun being a part of it!
More soon…….HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Been recording tracks for another GONE WILD song that I’m told will be going on their 2nd album. The song is a real arse kicker, and has quickly become my all time favourite song of theirs. I used my Epiphone Les Paul and am stoked with the way it’s sounding.
On the note of my album, more progress since I blogged here about it. Got a seventh track completed. It’s called “Transition” and has probably my favourite guitar solo I’ve ever done on it, which oddly was recorded on a 2nd take as I was walking back to my seat in the control room and do the part properly!!
We also did most of the guitars on “First Blood” during that same visit, so we’re getting real close now to this thing being finished. Next tracking is likely to happen in Feb and March and hopefully that will be it altogether. Will keep you posted.
Anyway, just a quick one today – off to work I go.