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
Happy to announce that “Chance”, my new EP and my first official solo release since 2014, will be out on August 27, 2021, here and on my Bandcamp Page!!! I hope you enjoy these preview clips!!
It features Brett Collidge Musician on drums and extra piano, Rick Curran on strings and myself on vocals, guitars, bass and piano.
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!!!! ?
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).
There is a pretty cool event happening this Sunday (which just happens to be my 63rd birthday as well) at Whole Lotta Love, which I hope if you’re in Melbourne you’ll consider coming to!! This will be my first time playing a full set at that cool venue, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.
Since I always kinda go my own way with things too, I promise that if you live somewhere else aside from Melbourne I won’t even spam you with an invite to the event – afterall what would be the point of that?
Haha cheers guys and I hope to see you on Sunday!! 🙂
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.