Today sees the release of “Chance”, my new EP and first official solo release since 2014!!!
During the writing and recording of two albums with The Feckers during lockdown in 2020, I looked one day and realised that I had even more songs ready to go, and as fun and inspiring as doing The Feckers is, sometimes doing some tunes on a smaller scale is a good “yin” to the “yang” of that crazy but amazing situation we have created. I might not have looked at these songs again seriously for a couple of years, but with the pandemic hitting and so many friends losing months of work instantly, I thought of Brett, and figured that all things considered, that it might be a good “chance” to do some tunes together. Luckily for me he was keen! This whole “lets do this while we can” line of thinking, which is how I try to approach life anyway, was really apparent after something as big as what happened, and became a big theme to the songs, and meaning of the EP.
It was recorded very quickly mostly during July of 2020, with Brett busting out a track or two at a time, and myself chipping away on the remaining tracks over the remaining weekends in July and August with a plan to mix a song here and there for a while, and release it around July of 2021. Just a nice casual thing that wouldn’t interrupt anything else or be too stressful for anyone. When I did revisit things in the leadup to release, I noticed a couple of things I wanted to touch up which happened over the last couple of weeks literally.
One of my favourite moments from the creation of this EP with when the song “Who Could Have Seen” was coming together. It came about from a little idea I captured in my hotel room in Brisbane during a trip there visiting friends and family the previous year, and when it was time to record it for real it was likely going to be a stripped back acoustic song, with maybe a cajon but lots of space. I sent it over to Brett, mentioned this and said “what do you reckon”, and he responded something like “give me a couple of hours”. I had lawns to mow, so figured I would do that and come back and check my emails. Not too long after I had finished I had a version of the song from him with a drum track AND a totally cool orchestral section that he had mapped out on his keyboard. DAMN!!!
When it came down to those beautiful lines appearing on the song, there was no choice but to have real instruments playing them, which is what led me to coming across the amazing Rick Curran, a great person and player from the UK. Boy did he deliver!!!
To listen and / or purchase, check out my Bandcamp Site.
Links to more digital stores will be coming asap!!!
Words and music by Chris Szkup (Except “Who Could Have Seen” – Words and Music By Chris Szkup and Brett Collidge), mixed by Dennis Leeflang @Livelong Productions, mastered by Joe Carra @ Crystal Mastering, artwork by Dan Verkys.
Chris Szkup – Vocals, guitars, bass, piano
Brett Collidge – Drums, extra piano
Rick Curran – Strings
The new album is out September 29, but you can check the video out for audio previews. Self recorded over 2020, and was mixed by Dennis Leeflang, mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johannson, and artwork by Dan Verkys.
Visit http://www.thefeckers.net/ for pre-orders, which are available now!!
Happy to share the artwork for my new EP “Chance”, which will be coming out asap!! During the lockdown of 2020, we had such a creative rush of songs with The Feckers and when I thought about it for a second, it turned out I had even MORE songs ready to go.
Hearing about so many of my musician friends having their work instantly vanish on them, I thought it might be a good “chance” to check in with Brett Collidge and see if he was up for playing drums on a few tunes. Lucky for me he was, and it was a real pleasure to do!
On the last song we did, I sent a stripped back demo to see what he thought, went to mow the lawns, and when I got back inside there was a message that said “let me know if its too much, but…” and a file that included drums and a beautiful string arrangement for the song!!! We got Rick Curran from the UK to play those lines and it is really something!!!
I couldn’t release music without the amazing mixes of Dennis Leeflang or the incredible artwork of The Art of Dan Verkys either! Thanks to all of you guys for making me sound and look much better than I am! This is going into mastering and then will be released digitally asap. Will keep you posted.
BEHIND THE SCENES AND TACOHAT:
Me being a typical vain, arrogant musician, shooting THE cover image for the “Chance” cover took a few go’s. If I recall correctly, three shoots in total. Some I looked ridiculous in, some were a good vibe but the quality wasn’t the best, and some were really good except for me stepping outside the view of the greenscreen thus making it useless. During the process for a laugh, Dan commented on this and sent back a “Tacohat” version of the cover that just killed me!!!!
This was a few weeks ago. I knew I HAD to post it, and would when we nailed the real cover and the release was a bit closer as well. So we had some fun with it on social media – seemed like it would be a cool thing to break up all the divisive stuff in Facebook feeds for a minute. Anyway, the gags continued, and we came up with an idea of a “World Tour” for the Tacohat EP, and the following poster came to be. Make sure you click on the QR code haha!!
As always, the BIGGEST appreciation to my mate Dan Verkys for the consistently amazing work over a long time, always going above and beyond, and laughing with us along the way!!!! 😀
See ya’s on tour!!!…..Haha!!! 😛
Will be going live tonight for #MetallicaChapterDay2 tonight at 8pm (AEST). Feel free to sign up on the video above, and also register at the Facebook event here. See you tonight!!! 😀
Here is a pretty loose version of my opening song for that night, “Your Song” at the Sloth Bar on April 08, 2021!!! I’ve never put this on an album, but it was released on Youtube a couple of years back as a tribute to my mate Kedi the cat when he passed. Special THANKS to Dean J Miller for the Audio / Video!!!! ?
So happy to be a part of this cool event for 2021!!! It features Metallica tribute acts from all over the world back to back, over June 26 and 27. Thanks Acting Like A Tasmaniac #454 for allowing me to represent us!!! Will post details on where and when to tune in to the stream when they are available.
While first waiting for restrictions to allow it, then bouncing back from an injury with my hands / arms, in February 2021, I played my first live anything since October 19 at The Sloth Bar in Footscray, quickly followed by a set at Wheelers Food Trucks and Bar in Werribee, both of which I’m appearing at again this week. To say it felt amazing to be back in a bar, drinking a beer, and listening to (and playing) live tunes, is a huge understatement.
Next week we have a Cunning Stunts double header in Hobart, which also includes an acoustic set from me to open the first show. Tickets still available for the first show, but the second show is sold out. Info below.
(Thanks as always to Dan Verkys for coming up with the awesome alternate poster for the first show that includes me on the billing!)
The new album is out October 29, but you can check the video out for audio previews. Self recorded over the last couple of years, and was mixed by Dennis Leeflang, mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johannson, and artwork by Dan Verkys.
Visit http://www.thefeckers.net/ for pre-orders, which are available now!!
The second single from the forthcoming album “Live To Fight Another Day” (due later in 2020), a fun look at rock n roll being a lifestyle, dedicated to ultimate rocker, Mr Jim Gillbanks, who has been showing them how it’s done since 1936!! CHEERS TO YOU MATE!!
This was a song Chris had sitting around not being used anywhere, and once he and Richard started collaborating on the lyrics, all these gags and references to artists we love started making their way into the song – it very quickly turned into a classic Feckers song, and one that we knew very quickly would be a single.
Raphael Gazal – Lead Vocals
Reese Morin – Bass
Pat Valley – Lead Guitar (0.02 – 0.15, 2.56 – 3.38)
Dennis Leeflang – Drums and Mix
Chris Szkup – Guitars and Backing Vocals Richard Anderson – Backing Vocals
Written by Chris Szkup and Richard Anderson. Mixed by Dennis Leeflang @ Livelong Productions, Mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johannson @ The Panic Room, Artwork by Dan Verkys.
Thanks to everyone for appearing in the video and making it even more fun for us to do. Cameos: 0.37 – Yohei Eto (Japan), 1.45 – Dan Verkys (Australia), 2.28 – Ponch Satrio (Indonesia), 2.34 – Chris Hickling (UK), 3.05 – Gorilla Elvis (New Zealand), 3.10 – Rob Smith (New Zealand), 3.20 – Anne Milne and Spider Anderson (New Zealand), 3.46 – Mathew Szkup and Jake Long (Australia), 5.08 – Jim Gillbanks (UK).
“Cheers Jimbo” cameo’s (in order of appearance): Chris Hickling (UK), Paula Gonzalez (USA), Dave Mather (New Zealand), Shannon Gillbanks (UK), Johnno “King AWOL” Troulis (USA), Jordy Gibson (New Zealand), Paul Taylor (UK), Aaron Edwards (Australia), Ponch “Bugger” Satrio (Indonesia), Raewyn Anderson (New Zealand), Richard Anderson (New Zealand), Chris Szkup (Australia).