Happy to report the album’s done and you can listen to it on facebook, it’ll be available at the launch gig at Glee Club Birmingham on October 26th, and you can order now
I must also let you know that the Nottingham show on October 27 has been cancelled, all tickets will be refunded or you can do an exchange for Birmingham gig on 26th.
I do hope you can make it to the show on October 26th, Peter Bruntnell is travelling up from Devon to play, which makes it a very special event.
ps:Â Last week I did an interview with Chris at Brum Notes magazine
> So, a full length album on its way – how does you feel? Relieved, excited or
> a bit of both?
You guessed right Chris, a bit of both. But mainly I feel grateful to producer Michael Clarke for capturing the sounds in my head.
>What can fans expect from the record, any surprises?
Would it still be a surprise if I told you?
There is spoken word, and some instruments Iâ€™ve not worked with before such as accordion, banjo, ukulele and theramin. We also managed to make a percussive loop out of an electric screwdriverâ€¦see if you can spot it!
Compared with my previous releases this is quite a fragile, stripped back affair, lead by my acoustic guitar and voice. Listeners might have to turn it up and really tune in to the lyrics to find the treasure.
> And for those who’ve not heard you before, how would you describe your sound
> or style?
Simple & direct.
Somebody else recently described my sound as a cross between Cat Stevens and The Streets.
One of the best things about the internet is that we donâ€™t have to read descriptions of sound anymoreâ€¦you can just click and listen instantly. www.dan-whitehouse.com
> How was the recording process itself, was it a DIY affair, or did you work
> with other musicians/producers?
This record is a collaboration with Michael Clarke, of Rogue States, he produced and mixed the album. I also co-wrote several songs with musicians June Mori (Piano) and Steve Clarke (bass).
Aside from travelling to London to capture the pedal steel of BJ Cole, the majority of the album was recorded at Michaelâ€™s flat in the Jewellery Qtr, with a wide range of welcome visits from musicians.
Michael and I began with rehearsals, coffee time, exchanging songs on email, sharing ideas and started recording in March 2011 with a 3 day session at my parents house in Wolverhampton. I went travelling for the whole of April, and then we spent 1 or 2 days a week together at Michaelâ€™s flat throughout the summer months of June and July. I have some lovely memories of the morning walk across Birmingham City Centre from my flat to Michaelsâ€¦.it only took 15 minutes, but my excitement grew with every step towards the studio! Knowing that we were going to dive in to the creative world for an entire day, and that I was truly free to express myself.
I also recorded one or two things (BVs mainly) myself at my flat and a friendâ€™s cottage out in Staffordshire.
Michael brought a lot to the table, heâ€™s a fantastic, singer songwriter, producer and plays a wide variety of instruments. Recording with him was a real treat, especially recording vocals as he really understood the fragile nature of vocal performances.
There are lots of great Birmingham based musicians on the record, Tom Livemore (Carina Round, Mickey Greany, Alt Dubstep Orchestra) played Theramin, Helen Lancaster of The Old Dance School Viola, Catherine Gough played Accordion, John Large drums and Lee Mitchell, Tom Bounford (Saturday Night Gym Club) Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Fran Lancaster and Jamie Clayton all sang background vocals.
> Like many solo performers you started off in bands when you were younger.
> Did you find that solo was a better creative outlet to make the music you
> wanted to make?
I can see benefits to both!
Other people are really interesting, and so itâ€™s great to create stuff with others regardless of whether you are solo or in a band. Other people have taught me everything I know, and itâ€™s other people who have given me the confidence to perform solo too.
Being solo allows you a lot of freedom and with the 3 EPs (Balloon/Bubble/Box) I really enjoyed treating each song as an island and collaborating with different musicians on different songs.
During the process of recording this album it felt almost as though Michael and I had formed a bandâ€¦and I think thatâ€™s the nature of any producer/artist relationship.
> You’ve made the short migration from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, do you
> find any notable differences in the musical output from the two cities?
One of the best things about the West Midlands is the variety of cultures and musical output.
>Â DoesÂ Wolverhampton itself find its way into your writing do you think?
I hope so. I think itâ€™s a Wulfrunian trait to be honest, to tell it like it is.
>Â It’sÂ produced some great songwriters over the years, most notably Scott Matthews
>Â recently, is there a natural scene or environment for musicians to flourish
>Â or is it always a case of looking to Birmingham for gigs?
Thereâ€™s a concentrated scene. I would encourage musicians to curate their own, bespoke live events to suit their music. Newhampton Arts Centre is a wonderful venue for live music, Lighthouse Media Centre is interesting too.
Musicians writing original material have to work hard. I think there is a difference between hearing and listening thatâ€™s getting lost somewhere in this digital age.
> You’re selling some pretty interesting bundle packages to hand deliver
> albums and perform at people’s houses, how did that idea come about?
Itâ€™s sort of inspired by Dave Gormanâ€™s recent project where he went around playing games at the homes of people he met on twitter, and also the interesting stuff going on at pledge.comâ€¦I think Iâ€™d like to set up a campaign on there for my next album.
> …and are you afraid of encountering any Alan Partidge-esque fan stalkers?
Not until you mentioned it!
No, I am certain that anyone who chooses to buy my album is very interesting and intelligent, both intellectually and emotionally! And I would love to meet them, sing for them, (or with them!) and have a coffee.
> Aside from the prospect of playing in a stranger’s kitchen, what’s theÂ Â strangest gig you’ve done?
Wow. Good question. Iâ€™ve been a working musician for 10 years now and done an assortment of curious gigsâ€¦.ermâ€¦.how about a Chinese New Year celebration at the Royal Courts of Justice, where the support act was an exotic dancer with indoor fireworks attached to herâ€¦or the house party where they asked be to perform on a diving board, 50ft above a swimming pool full of dancers/swimmers â€“ the load in for that one was particularly tricky!
> The Glee Club seems a natural choice for your album release gig, what is theÂ venue like for performers? The intensely attentive atmosphere must be quiteÂ Â intimidating to perform in?
Itâ€™s a beautiful place to perform. Promoter Markus Sargeant has worked tirelessly to create a listening culture amongst the audience and in doing so provides the perfect platform for artists to express themselves.
> What’s the plan after the album release? Have you got new material alreadyÂ Â in mind, or are you just hoping to enjoy this album for as long asÂ possible?
Yes I have other material in mindâ€¦I enjoy writing a lot, and have a big appetite for recording/creating.
I have recorded 5 songs for the next album, with my band and producer Ryan Pinson (he did the 3 EPs). Itâ€™s a different sound from this album: big, expansive, epic, at times frantic, and fast paced. When time and circumstance allow weâ€™ll be back in to record another 5 tracks and plan to release in 2012. I plan to set up a pledge campaign to help fund that project, the working title is Landscape.