Behind the scenes Mark Wilkinson has been busying himself away on the artwork as we conjure the songs and lyrics for the new studio album. We knew we were taking on a project of epic proportions and that we had to plan well ahead with regards the sleeve design and to create something very special. With recording scheduled after the May UK tour and the European tour looming in September everything has to be together and ready for production runs by mid August. Deadlines are scary but in all honesty the delays in recordings have helped both Mark and I in our preparations. He has done an outstanding job creating the leading images which we need to let fans see as I move into the pre ordering phase which coincides with the UK tour, the stages where we will debut at least 8 and probably 9 of the new songs within the setlists which will be changing across the 13 shows with 6 of the new songs performed every night among roughly 12 or so tracks from across my catalogue from Marillion and solo eras.
It’s imperative that I get everything in place in the coming weeks , from rehearsals to performance, the live recordings and filming of the shows which will be added to the DVD that is being put together by Dave Barras and will include demos, interviews from across the writing and recording period as well as a tour diary taking in my thoughts on the development of the new material. It’s going to be a lengthy and hopefully highly informative film which will compliment the album and make for a great release. Dave will be filming and editing as we go along, taking footage I will be shooting as well as other more staged episodes.
Mark of course will be interviewed as his contribution as always is essential and I have to say this time he has surpassed himself with stunning imagery and I think his finest work to date. Mark is concocting a visual extravaganza within the 100 page hard backed booklet that is presented within the deluxe version of “A Feast of Consequences”. It will contain the lyrics and other writings together with exclusive artwork and photographs associated with the songs and this will sit within a slipcase that will be the finest piece of packaging I have ever been involved with and released.
The tracks are all nominated but the running order will not be decided until I get into the studio with Calum Malcolm in June and get a better idea of how they sit together. I am confident we will have an album of recorded material that is a match for the brilliant artwork and will more than compensate for the long wait between studio albums.
The songs are sounding strong in rehearsals and have given us all a lot of confidence in performing the material. The accent on old fashioned songwriting that I decided to employ after my experiences on the Fishhheads Club tour is paying off and the strong melodies and lyrics over a firm framework of arrangements is a powerful chemistry that I am sure you will appreciate.
We are still in the forge and there’s a lot of smithery, honing and polishing to be done yet. We know the shape now and can identify exactly what we are doing and where we are going with this project. I am simultaneously nervous and excited by it all and aware that patience and attention to detail is the key to delivering a superlative album that will burn brightly and stand the test of time.
The activity surrounding the project is intensifying and I am moving into the area where I need, with your help, to make people aware of this release and to garner support on many levels including financial support.
This is a major project and investment and I am undertaking this on my own as an independent release. I am very aware of the economics out there and after the response to the Fishheads Club live DVD and the new Leamington Spa double CD and DVD I have to make judgment calls. I’ll be discussing and taking advice on how I go about financing this in the coming weeks and will be able to give more details as I approach the UK tour as I would like to have a pre order campaign in place by then.
“A Feast of Consequences” will be available as the deluxe edition as mentioned above as well as a standard CD release, a double vinyl gatefold and a download.
To give you an idea I am looking at the deluxe version at being priced at £24.99 plus VAT (20%) bringing it in around £30 plus postage. The other formats will be priced accordingly and I’d appreciate your feedback on the ideas. It will all become more clear after I have my brainstorming sessions in the next week or so. I just want to deliver something that is special for everyone and that is not dauntingly priced but covers the costs of the project which for the first 5000 units of the deluxe version plus all the attendant costs of creation including writing, recording,design and production comes in at around £90 k before I have even thought about promotion costs! As I said it’s a huge investment but one I am willing to undertake to make it all happen.
Any help you can give me regarding promotion and advertising this new studio release, my first for 5 years, is sincerely appreciated. Please spread the word around and once I get further into the detail of it all I will let you know more information. Thanks for being out there 🙂