I reached at ROCK MILESTONE over the weekend, as I finished the first drafts of the whole new album! By this I mean, I had got a MIX of every single song done, ready for re-listening, re-mixing, and almost inevitably some re-RECORDING also.
There's still a little way to go before I'm ready to UNLEASH it onto an unsuspecting world, but it did feel good to have got this far. There's fourteen tracks at the moment - I says "tracks" because one of them isn't really a song at all - but the final ITEM may have less. Or possibly more. For some reason the story of BLUR recording "Modern Life Is Rubbish" has always RESONATED with me i.e. their record label rejected the first version and sent them back to record a couple more hits (which turned out to be "Chemical World" and "For Tomorrow") so I always imagine my record label (ME) listening to whatever album I have done and saying "No ME, you must got back and write two more HITS!" Unlike Blur, however, I do not have access to Producers or Free Studio Time and so largely cannot be arsed, invoking the right of THE ARTISTE (also me) to follow their instincts, but I always think it would be nice to actually DO this.
I guess I'll see what happens at the end of the NEXT stage, which is to do SECOND mixes of THE LOT then stick it all together into a vague tracklist and work out if anything needs to be dropped and/or added and/or created from scratch. I've used up nearly ALL the spare songs I had lying around - certainly the ones that are any good anyway - so it would be nice if I didn't actually NEED to go Full Dave Balfe on myself, but part of the OVERRIDING SCHEME for this album is that I'm not planning any dates until I'm totally ready. MANY MANY times in the past we have scheduled GIGS and all sorts around a putative release date, only to have to either a) RUSH everything to actually hit the deadline or b) do gigs WITHOUT the promised album available. I keep reminding myself that nobody is exactly CLAMOURING for this,so there's no need to RUSH - the Universe has gone (checks discography) ELEVEN YEARS without an MJ Hibbett solo album and SIX without a Validators one too, so I'm sure it can wait a few more months.
Having said that, I've just realised that in the six years since I or we last released an album we've had Brexit, Trump, Boris Johnson and Covid. I mean, I'm not saying all that was BECAUSE of the lack of my/our unique brand of ROCK, but you never know do you? Quick! TO THE PRESSING PLANT!