Update – May 04, 2019!!

Been a big couple of months, I figure I will just do a summary of everything here since I didn’t manage to keep up with adding everything along the way!! Hope everyone is well!!

TUNES AND PARMAS WITH FRIENDS:

Early March I was at the Royal Oak Hotel in Fitzroy for the first time, and in the crowd were a few of my good friends from New Zealand!! We closed my acoustic set there with “Slackers and Wankers” and they didn’t throw us out, so that was good!! 😀

Will be back there on May the 8th @ 8.30pm!!

THE ART MASTER BRANCHES OUT:

Next up my mate Dan Verkys who has handled artwork for myself and The Feckers for 10 years and going strong, came to me with the idea of having more articles on his website to go with the amazing artwork that has always been there. He was kind enough to have me as one of the first things he did with the new format of his website. When that guy comes calling, I am THERE – I don’t mind what it is. Thanks so much mate!!!

JAMMING WITH A LEGEND:

Early April, my brother Skube had tagged me in something about local guitar legend Phil Para inviting people to come and jam with him at his gigs. Skube and I have sunk quite a few pints in the crowd at Phil’s gigs before, and I always remembered (despite the pints) how amazing he was – I HAD to do this!!

What a great bunch of guys he and his band are, and the staff at The Fyrefly where the event was held were also very lovely. An amazing night!!


LIVE AT SWAMPLANDS:

Late April I did a solo gig at Swamplands Bar in Thornbury, as part of a night that Dylan Beast runs there every week. Dylan and I used to play in an acoustic duo a year and a half ago, so it was a great excuse to catch up and play some tunes as well. We played solo sets and guested on a song for each other too. Amazing fun!!

THE FECKERS AND WHAT’S NEXT:

The next album from The Feckers is well underway and has actually begun the mixing process with Dennis Leeflang of Livelong Productions handling that stuff. The third song to be mixed is currently underway in his very good and capable hands and it is sounding KILLER.

This coming week I have the live set at The Royal Oak @ 8.30 as mentioned (May 08), as well as a two hour slot on Casey Radio as part of the Casey Beat program (May 11) where we’ll be talking and playing some songs live and studio. Should be great fun.

First music from The Feckers in five years!!!!

During the making of the second album from The Feckers “Live To Fight Another Day”, we found, as is often the case that we had too much stuff, and somehow this version of the great W.A.S.P. song “Mean Man” happened, which when we decided to throw it out there, also happened to be the first music from The Feckers in five years!!! Hope you enjoy. Head over to the official site to download it for free!!!

LINE UP AND CREDITS:

Tugra Ismail – Lead Vocals
Chris Szkup – Rhythm, lead and bass guitars, backing vocals

Dennis Leeflang – Drums, mix
Mathew Szkup – Rhythm guitar
Alexey Spectre – Backing vocals

Mixed by Dennis Leeflang @ Livelong Productions, Mastered by Maor Appelbaum Mastering, Artwork by Dan Verkys.

“Mean Man” (Written by Steve Edward Duren), originally appears on the W.A.S.P.album “The Headless Children” from 1989. That is a killer song and album, so make sure you check it out and go buy it you bastards!!

 

New TCSO single “Nobody Knows”!!!

The third in a “once a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, a hard rocker called “Nobody Knows”, which sees the founding members of The Feckers reuniting for the first time since that album’s release in 2013, with lyrics here being written by Richard Anderson, and the music by Chris Szkup.

Featuring Mathew Szkup (guitar), Rob Lundgren (vocals) and Dennis Leeflang (drums and mix) alongside Chris Szkup (guitars and bass), this song was once upon a time going to be included on a 2nd album by The Feckers, however when those plans were halted due to life getting in the way, Chris was very keen to still have the song be heard and released, especially with a new ensemble that he felt could do good justice to the track. The rhythm guitar track on the left hand side is Mathew Szkup, while on the right is Chris, which is “a mark of respect” says Chris – it seemed like when we were growing up that all the great rhythm players in the metal bands we were listening to would usually be panned to the left hand speakers, and anytime a riff would “break down” to introduce a song or so forth, it would always be panned to the left hand side. “As I owe a great deal to my brother in terms of rhythm playing, it felt right to have him panned left on the songs he plays on” says Chris.

Once again, mastering on this track was done by Andy VanDette at Engineroom Audio in NYC, while artwork was done by Dan Verkys.

Listen in full and purchase (if you wish) via Bandcamp!!!

New Feckers single out now!!!

This is the fourth single that originally was due to be released before our album “It’d Be Rude Not To” in March. Sometimes things happen however and the song tells YOU when it’s coming out, but anyway it’s finally here!

Once upon a time I was going to do this song solo having had the bulk of it sitting around a long time before it was decided we would do it Feckers style. It features a great singer and infectiously enthusiastic guy in Carl Lindquist from Sweden, and also our old friend David Austin from New Zealand who we had written a few things with back in the early 00’s. Due to those songs not ever really happening, we wanted to finally have something with all of us playing together and this is it!

Also joining those two lads are myself and our resident crusher of heads on the kit, Mr Dennis Leeflang who also mixed the track.

As usual, artwork by Dan Verkys and mastering by Maor Appelbaum. I hope you enjoy!!

“You’re Not Alone” – Out Now!!!!

That’s right folks, the latest single is up for your listening pleasure. This is the latest in the run of acoustic songs from Chris’ acoustic sessions that took place during downtime from tracking for The Feckers debut album at Melbourne Records.

This one features Dennis Leeflang on drums and Chris on guitars, bass, keys and vocals, while the mixing was handled by Dennis also, mastering by Maor Appelbaum, and artwork by Dan Verkys.

The official video is below. It was shot a few weeks back at The Palace Hotel in Camberwell during a solo acoustic gig there. Much thanks to Richard Anderson and Stephen Titter who helped out with the shoot, and Steve Legg for having me play there!

Purchase the song here: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/youre-not-alone-single/id635688807

The Feckers – “Making of” footage!!!

Some footage captured during the making of the debut Feckers album “It’d Be Rude Not To” for you guys!!! This album will now be coming at ya very early 2013. More info to come here and at http://www.thefeckers.net/

PART ONE:

 

PART TWO:

New Feckers Single “Far From Done”, out October 03!!!

The third single from The Feckers will be out on October 03 (AEST)!!! Make sure you visit http://www.thefeckers.net/ for your copy on Wednesday.

Full personnel for the song:

Yohei Eto – vocals
Paul Jolley – piano / synth
Dennis Leeflang – drums / mix
Chris Szkup – guitars / bass
Richard Anderson – lyrics / melodies
Dan Verkys – artwork
Maor Appelbaum – mastering

For now, be sure to check out the preview video:

Update – October 7, 2010!!!

FECKER MEETS FECKER:

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This was something that had been talked about since the late 90’s when we first started writing songs together through this at the time fairly unknown thing called the internet. Living in different countries wasn’t something we were about to let stop us I can assure you. But anyway, what I’m referring to is the meeting of my good mate, Richard Anderson, which happened this past week in Melbourne, Australia.

Had a great time hanging for a week and a half with Richard, writing songs, recording, playing live (!), meeting legendary eccentric tram drivers, eating awesome rissoles and mash pub grub, drinking Fat Yaks and Egg Flips, attending Neighbours night, and even going interstate for some more recording in Hobart.

I’m still totally wrecked and catching up on sleep – I think at rough count I was missing around 14 or 15 hours of sleep from the last weekend compared to usual, but it’s all been totally worth it, and a great time that we’ll always remember!!

Hopefully I can return the gesture come 2011!!

THE FECKERS:

Had an awesome session in Red Planet over the weekend where a number of tracks were tended to, and it’s sounding bloody unreal. We’ve also had some final keys and drum tracks come in over the last few weeks as well as another vocal from Mr Hurb Jephasun (http://www.thejephasuns.com/).

While at Red Planet, I did some acoustic and bass stuff, as well as hopefully not driving Stew too nuts with tracks I had brought down for various songs that needed to be flown into the projects.

Also of note, and it’s a pretty big “of note” is some more vocal stuff that Irene Slade laid down. She was under the weather a bit from a cold, and wasn’t totally confident the voice would hold up. Luckily for all, the song required a bit of grunt.

Stew has her do a sing along to the track to get some level, and before they start, Richard and I are in the control room and commenting that “she’ll probably nail it on this run through”, and sure enough, she TOTALLY did!!! When we heard it back, we just went “WOOOOOOOOOOOOW”!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Cuz!!!! \m/

On another note that is Fecker related, there was an inpromptu debut gig from The Feckers this past week also.

We were having dinner at the awesome Gypsy Bar in Fitzroy, where Richard’s cousin The Titman is the chef, and Richard was having me on that “you’re playing tonight” etc. Me being a pretty laid back guy, the last thing I wanna do is as they say in Australia “cut someone’s lunch”, so there was no way I was about to get in the face of the guy who was playing.

Anyway, my phone rings, I go outside, and Richard is already talking with the guy who was very cool might I add. When I come back in, it was all arranged much to my suprise, and the performance ended up being a Fecker one, debuting one of the songs from our forthcoming album that has some interesting lyrical content. Was funny to look out while playing it and see people eating dinner and laughing at the lyrics we weren’t sure we should even touch in that timeslot!!

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Such fun. I busted out a solo song, and we did a blues jam, as well as a Queen song, which was real fitting being that we wouldn’t know each other if not for Queen. Cool!! :D

SOLO ALBUM NUMBER TWO:

So among all the progress in other areas, I’m getting a clearer picture on how I want the next CS album to go, and for now, lets just say there will be a LOT of music, and it’s gonna have everything from metal to string accompanied acoustic stuff. I’m sure you’ll dig!!

So far there are 4 full band tracks ready to mix, and maybe 7 or 8 acoustic tracks that need vocals.

GONE WILD:

The lads have summoned me to play more of a role in proceedings this time round, and I’m willing and hopefully able haha!!! I know how prolific those dudes are, so am hoping I can keep up!!

While Richard was here, we worked on some backup vocals for a new songs that Rob Smith had penned this past week. Sounding real killer.

Breakfree Recording

Kedi and Chris

Check the Facebook page for more info: http://www.facebook.com/pages/GONE-WILD-Friends/119729439767?ref=ts


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Pieces of Eternity – Reviewed by Richard Anderson!!!

Originally posted on the GONE WILD and friends Facebook page!! – Much thanks for the kind words brother!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Chris Szkup – Pieces Of Eternity (2009)
www.cs-songs.com

Chris’ solo recording career has only just begun, and what a way to kick things off !

1. Magical Occurence (2.23)
– I’ve liked this song ever since I heard a demo version years ago (it seems like eons ago). You know you’re in for a something special when a track such as this is the opener – it leads one to think a special journey is about to unfold…and indeed what it promises is then delivered.

2. First Blood (6.50)
– I’d heard a bit about this song over the course of our correspondence and know how much it meant to Chris to be able to pull this one off (as one would expect with everything on this album). What I hear is more killer riffs on this one song than some people have on their whole albums. The Brian May-style guitar harmonies really kick into life along with some Slash-type vibes thrown in for good measure (shades of Slash’s best work at any rate). The vocal on this track is definitely one where Chris’ voice is really comfortable sounding on the ears. Anyone that uses a whammy bar to such a successful conclusion as on this tune has my full and undivided attention.

3. (I Can’t) Start Again (5.09)
– Shades of The Rolling Stones here – and thats a compliment and a half, the riffs abound as one would expect when you’ve got someone of Chris’ calibre laying down the gatt work. What impressed me here was the strength of the vocal too, lots of attitude pours out in every word – and a great time i expect was had recording this tune, at least thats what I am hearing. This would be and should be a strong contender for radio play.

4. Soundtrack (4.33)
– If there were a prize for the cynical lyric of the year award – then this track would be a contender no doubt about it (I know a thing or two about this kinda thing – so trust me), nice licks are thrown down amongst an overall comfortable soundscape – this one shouldn’t scare too many grandma’s – at least musically.

5. October 22 (4.03)
– This is another song that I had previously heard a demo version of (in fact I have it lying around here amongst my archives – don’t worry it won’t end up on ebay just yet LOL). Now I know Chris’ musical tastes are pretty electic so it comes as no surprise when theres a knee’s up type number thrown into the mix – his brother Matt did quite well on the tambourine there (I have video footage of him in the studio laying this down – a good time looked to be had on this occasion). This is a fun one ya’ll – yeehaw !

Richard - POE!!

6. Transition (7.31)
– What a delightful wee number we have here (it didn’t seem like it was that long when I listened to it the first time, which is usually the sign of brilliance) – Chris might well forgive me if I compare this soundscape to some of Mark Knopflers better known works (at least as far as the mellow vibes are concerned). This track is an absolute stunner, just when your mind is transfixed on the sublties, out comes this rather awesome piece of lead work – I wish I could play like that! (now you know with Chris and Rob Smith around why i don’t even bother ! LOL)

7. To A Scream (9.44)
– Given the length of this number I fully expected that this would be something special – long tunes generally hold my attention longer than most as I know the challenge put into creating such masterpieces. As far as pushing the boundaries are concerned, this tune does so in spades. The killer licks, the vocal effects, the highballers – they all work bigtime. Lyrically this is my favourite song on the album, in fact this song as a whole has just the right attitude to have me grinning like a chesire cat…there’s blues, metal and even some funk going on there – I dig bigtime ! I might also add that the drummer is tighter than…well I better not ellaborate, but rest assured it kicks all kinds of ass!

8. Lost Soul (4.17)
– I was so glad to hear a track where the piano comes to the fore, thus proving once and for all that Chris is more than just a brilliant exponent of the axe merchand variety of human being. This is one of my favourite tracks on this album also. Knowing that Chris is a huge fan of Roger Taylor (Queen – not Duran Duran, although he may be a fan of his too) so it comes as no surprise that there would be the kind of song on this album that reminds me of Roger’s best work (I could imagine him singing this number) – funnily enough the lead guitar solo once again reminds me of that other Queen chappy. Melody abounds – and I love melody, in fact I would go so far as to say that the vocal refrains are quite dreamy (but hey anything would be after “To A Scream” wouldn’t it ? LOL)

9. Innate Self Destruct (5.26)
– This was the first track that I heard completed during the recording sessions of this album, I remember telling Chris how much I was into not only the usual (tight as playing/instrumentation), but also I really REALLY digged the vocal on this one – particularly pleasing to me was that there were backing vocals in there that added to the overall feel of the song, more than ably (in fact I’d like to hear this cat tending to the backing vocals on some other tunes in the future). It might seem weird to think a metalhead would have a toe-tapper (this is the second one) on their debut album – but Chris defies all the rules and does what he does because he makes the music he digs. Again this is another mighty effort and another album highlight for me. Check out when those guitars come in – it’s like going a round with Rocky, cue the air guitars mofos! This is a rock ‘n’ roll orgy on this here tune, someone pass me a cigarette!!!!.

10. Tribal Eat Pop Slop (7.15)
– Closing off the album where we started from – this song is completely nothing like I had expected. I’m not going to ruin it for the listener by saying exactly what’s going on here, but this song is the kind of track that offers up allsorts of weird and wonderful imagery – a contender for a video treatment perhaps? This is one compelling wee ditty that draws the listener in, it had me guessing what was coming next, quite hypnotic in its rendering, it’s a perfect album closer I reckon.

Kudos to Matt and Dale for their efforts on this here album – you have served your apprenticeships well – keep up the great work lads!

In closing I am happy to see that my brother in rock has realised his dream of having completed recording his debut album, the sky is now the limit…I thank Chris for his contributions and inspirations to our shared endeavours and now feel blessed to know his solo material will inspire as well – I feel that time will be kind to this chap and his talents and I look forward to helping Chris achieve the goal of achieving a few more of his dreams, i’m proud to call this dude my brother in rock !

Tasmania has finally bred their own form of rock god (this album confirms it even though I already knew this from our previous endeavours of working together) – even though Melbourne will no doubt claim the bugger LOL

I have to extend a congrats to Dan Verkys (www.guardenofbandthings.com) for his amazing artwork that ties it all together rather nicely – extending the whole visual vibe i’m getting from this platter….kudos all round there man! (which you can see my niece Kayla was mighty impressed with too 🙂

Kayla - POE!!

Here’s to album’s #2,#3…and then some !

Richard - POE!!

– Richard Anderson (GONE WILD, The Feckers)