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Tweed Jacket | For So Many Of Us In Our Mid 30's, The 1990's Are Beginning To Seem Very Far

For so many of us in our mid 30s, the 1990s are beginning to seem very far away. However, due to the potency of the Britpop culture that surrounded us in our youth, we may always carry around the songs - and the feelings that go with them from those halcyon days. I fell in love with Blur back then and journeyed with them as they evolved from cheeky social commentators to darker, experimental introspection with their eponymous 1997 album and 1999s ‘13’. In particular it was Graham Coxon’s searing, angular guitar work that gripped me. As I read interviews in the magazines of the time, I learned about lo-fi American bands he was listening to such as Sonic Youth and Pavement.

Tweed Jacket

It was the raucous, unhinged feedback and squealing high-gain tones that made so much sense to me in all that music I discovered. There’s something about an untamed guitar that speaks to me of the unpredictability of life and the inner confusion so many of us feel.

My latest EP, The Brutal Years, is a reflection on three years of depression, faith-deconstruction, facing up to my addictions, and trying to figure out who I am as an artist. After nearly 20 years of recording and gigging, I am finally indulging my influences and inspirations fully. This EP harkens to those Graham Coxon/Sonic Youth moments that are like blazing beacons to me, telling me that inside needs to be let out - even if it’s not ‘pretty’.

So I gathered my brother, who is the best drummer I know, and shares most of my convictions about music, and hit the studio for a day. We thrashed our the 5 songs quick enough for it to feel urgent but retaining a cohesive and coherent sound. Tracking guitars was done by putting various telecasters through a Fender Tweed Deluxe and a Marshall TSL 2000 head and 4x12. I used big muff and rat pedals together as well as a compressor to get the tones. Working with engineer Sean Hatton was amazing as he A/B’d the mix with Sonic Yourh’s Dirty album to get that early 90s sound I love so much. All told, the EP was made in 2 days.

I hope listeners get the vibe I am after, and that the universal themes of questions, fear, weakness and calling out for help come across. I even paid direct tribute to Graham Coxon on one of the tracks. This is an EP purpose built for 90s kids who love their indie rock. I hope they dig it.


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