Hawgood / Van Wey

It’s not a surprise that any collaboration between these two would be one of the musical highlights of the year; in fact, given the pedigree involved, it would almost be expected. What the real surprise is, however, is the deeply moving nature of it. “The Truth Hurts” has woven into itself that rarest of elements - a genuine emotional core; a fiercely beating heart amongst its magnificent sound design and abundant musical ideas.

The distant guitars, swooping keys and pulsing vocal loops of opener ‘Nothing You Want Will Ever Come True’ are hard to describe – like a radio dial stuck halfway between stations, with a constantly wavering focus between drone and evocative vocals, and occasional pulses of shuddering bottom end.

The swing between these two points is the artistic tension behind the record, presumably, and it is underpinned by what appears to be genuine friendship between two likeminded old souls. That the project emerged during a period of upheaval for both participants seems to give it the singular quality of a lost document; a tangible embodiment of post disaster upheaval – material worked on for years, then filtered out through two sets of hands – each molding it with their own unique perspective on catharsis.

Fluid was lucky enough to be able to catch up with both Brock and Ian for a rare chat about a project between 12 years and 3 months in the making, spanning continents and lives.

The proceeds from the record are going to worthy causes – what can you tell us about Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (JEARS), and Direct Help for Victims and Animals Rejected from Shelters?

Ian: My wife is currently working with both the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support organisation (JEARS) in Sendai and surrounding areas, as well as the Direct Help for Victims and Animals Rejected from Shelters in Japan group. JEARS was formed by three animal charities in Japan and is working incredibly hard to save and care for animals in the affected areas. They have a ‘no kill’ policy, which might seem pretty obvious to many outside Japan, but sadly the government, in its infinite wisdom, is collecting animals that are stray in the areas, and within a very short space of time they are basically killed. Its an enormous issue as many who were evacuated were not allowed to bring pets to centres for example, so they are going home to try to rebuild to be told their animal has been put down. When the area needs strong emotional support, this is just awful obviously and psychologically very damaging if you want to look at the human angle alone.  JEARS are running around finding strays and keeping them in animal care homes, as well as foster homes (including my own house which has become a mini-farm!) and trying to find their owners. They are even quickly going to centres with a kill policy to pick up the animals so they are safe. Our newbie Susie would be dead if it wasn’t for the JEARS team saving her for example. My wife lived just outside Sendai for two years so felt compelled to go and help up there. She has since organised a house she manages for JEARS, which directs volunteers to areas, houses pets before they are fostered and works as a base for the area.

Direct Help for Victims and Animals Rejected from Shelters in Japan is a very small Japanese group who are going up to areas not receiving government support for food, water, basic supplies, as well as rebuilding and cleaning up. My wife actually went up with them to work for JEARS, but ended up working with them to see what they do. The work is direct and truly amazing as they quite literally supply food and goods, as well as helping to tidy up, restock and provide any needed assistance. By this means they are able to transport food, clothing and aid directly almost every other weekend and during holidays to areas which are not getting enough or any support.

The truth is these are 100% direct and managed properly on a small-scale so they are able to have a very visible impact unlike larger charities where the money is focused on government or council affiliated programs, and not used immediately or to particularly good effect. You really have no idea what or where the money is going to, if at all and its rather embarrassing that people haven’t really done enough research into such things before donating huge sums of money, which could be used much more efficiently. Brock and I both agreed that this was the best way to help and donate, and rather than make a fuss over it, support quietly in the true Japanese spirit.

JEARS and DHVARS are the same charities being supported by the new KANSHIN compilation, is that right? I think you’re right in saying that most people wouldn’t have any tangible idea of how their donation were used with larger charities; given that you are actually on the ground there and are able to say directly, can you give people an specific idea of how these charities operate? What are the ongoing costs, how many animals are involved, how many people work for the organisations, etc?

Ian: Yes that is correct. Basically Jonathan and Dan knew we had been personally hit of course and wanted to help out. The future of the labels was a bit precarious for a couple of days until I got my head around everything and the guys wanted to support. Its pretty amazing that so many artists were willing to support so readily really and very heart-warming. I then spoke to Jonathan a little bit and he basically told me that he trusted me to use any donations as I saw fit. Jonathan actually gave us 100% of Hibernate sales for the month, which we then used to buy a lot of baby stuff such as nappies, food etc and took them up to evacuation centres.

I think given that there are a lot of Japanese labels, artists and stores donating, the ‘tangible’ is pretty obvious if they just tried to commit in a real way. However, yes, I suppose people outside the situation may not fully comprehend where the money is going, or not going, as the case seems to be. I can give a personal response for this quite simply though. Every other weekend or so, my wife drives up from our home (a couple of hours north of Tokyo) to Sendai where she manages a house used for volunteers. Of course, volunteers need cars, drivers, and sometimes-Japanese speakers on a basic level. People have been coming in from the States as well as from different parts of Japan. I am not sure how many are on the ground right now as its constantly changing given holidays etc, but I know that there are usually about 20 as a minimum in Japan plus people working in the States too. Its micro-managed so they cover a lot more ground than a larger charity would by comparison. Due to the difficulty of accommodation and all sorts of red tape, they will have to drive for hours a day to different centres to check on people who are looking for pets, search for animals (there are a lot roaming the streets in Fukushima in particular) and check on those people who have pets but cannot get enough food for them. My wife is on the phone all the time as well just trying to sort out where the animals can be sheltered. Some of the pictures I have seen and stories I have heard are truly disturbing and so much more could be done.

As for DHVARS, its literally a husband and wife team with some volunteers my wife knows, who are driving up with supplies and spending any free time they have helping people out, cleaning, buying food or bringing it in. The truth is that the larger charities will eventually support the worst hit areas, as will the government. These are places where the destruction is total and the clear up is immense. However, thousands of people are being ignored and left to fend for themselves in areas that were not wiped out. Of course the shocking scenes mean that places that deserve the most attention get it, but being at the expensive of other areas is ridiculous. There is a lack of food and supplies and as just small towns with not as much damage but not running water etc, they are in serious need. Their resolve is amazing and the ‘stiff-upper lip’ makes me proud to live in this country. You can get more information about what these amazing guys are doing here: www.silvervine.net/volunteer.html

On a personal level, did you suffer damage at your property/studio?

Ian: Well, yeah. We were actually sorting out our visas at immigration at the time and had left our dog and hamster at home. When we eventually made it home (we rushed but ended up on a bit of a long taxi journey given that everything came to a standstill), I had to go into the house first as we were seriously worried about our pets, especially as our drive had cracked open a bit by the time we got there. Our neighbours were outside checking if we were ok and quite amazingly, our dog was ok, albeit shaken up and surrounded by broken glass, kitchenware and large shelving. Our hamster’s cage had been a bit crushed under one of my large CD racks landing on her, but she was ok albeit stayed in her little house and refused to come out for days! We’d only just moved so we had shelves everywhere and my studio was in a bit of a mess anyway as I hadn’t had time to sort it out. I’d also ordered in a lot of gear for mastering from home as I was moving from studio work to working at home in Japan and had been saving up for that for the best part of three years. Most of it had arrived that week actually and me being I, I had taken it all out of the boxes and just stuck them loosely on my workspaces, so I lost speakers and poorly placed outboard gear so I only have myself to blame. I also lost about 5 hard drives, some of which weren’t backed-up (yeah, I know) and included projects I had been working on for days, months and years. Its just weird as some people near us lost just a few glasses, others had houses very badly damaged depending on the exact position of their house and possessions. But honestly, we were so lucky compared to others and once we realised what was happening in regards to the tsunami, it put everything into perspective really. The most important thing is that we were all safe and all together, and able to try to find out how are friends further north were doing.

How did the project come about?

Ian: I think I approached Brock about the idea of it during one of our many emails back and forth a little bit after the release of Tribes at the Temple of Silence. I set out the year after completing Snow Roads to be a year of collaboration, which ended up being over 2 years and continuous in most cases as its something that has been very different and more enjoyable than working on my own. Most of the other projects are with old friends, people I have known and worked with for a while or people who have approached me whom I respect and get on well with. To be totally honest, I only loosely approached Brock after getting to really know him as I knew that something together would be pretty emotionally charged.

I think its fair to say our approach to music is pretty different, but perhaps the music is focused on similar emotions in some ways, and very openly as well. Over time I just got to realize that Brock and I were very similar in our innocence towards music, and the purity that should be within the voice used. I don’t ask anyone unless I massively respect them on a professional and personal level, and I am a nightmare to work with usually. I get a bit caught up with things and obsessive about the stupidest details, so whilst I know I can put certain people through that, I didn’t want to put Brock through that, if he even wanted to work together. But then we got to a level personally where it was very much a case of ‘let’s see how it pans out’. I knew with Brock it would be all or nothing, so to get to that point I really had to trust him and he me. It started with an open honest assessment of who I was, we were, and the emotions therein, and Brock just responded to those emotions and nurtured them with enormous care and love, as abstract as that sounds. So, the project came about after speaking to each other a lot over a couple of years, and really, just becoming very close friends.

Brock: It came about at the kind offer of Ian, who brought up the idea. I’m generally quite opposed to the idea of collaborations and so rarely agree to them, for one because to me music is a very individual experience, and also because quite frankly I rarely see how anything about anyone else’s vision could intertwine with my own, but when Ian contacted me, I was on board immediately. As trite as it likely sounds, I’m a massive long-time fan of his music, but much more importantly, in the time I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him in recent years, I’ve had the honor of being able to call him a real friend. He is quite simply one of the only true and honest people left in this music… so full of real and true love for what it stands for and always has, and someone who actually speaks with their music… who actually has something to say, and isn’t afraid to say it… to let the world judge the depths of his heart.

So when he contacted me and asked if I would want to do a collaboration, I didn’t even have to think about it. Even though I’m a stubborn prick who really wouldn’t even want to work with myself if given the weird science fiction chance, I knew that together we could make something special – something that would be a truly meaningful melding of both of our hearts and minds, not just some hapless attempt to smash two people’s music together. I know that though our styles are extremely unique from each other and we take a very different approach to expressing ourselves, the place our music comes from, and what we are trying to convey, is often very much the same, so I knew that together we could create something that alone neither one of us would arrive at – which I guess is the whole point of a collaboration.

The personal connection between us and our friendship played a massive role not only in the decision to do it, but in the music itself as well. For me I would never do such a thing with someone I didn’t have the ultimate respect for, or someone I considered a personal friend, as music is far too intimate and important to be played with. It’s not a game. So in working on the album, my contribution consists of both narratives on the themes at hand that comprise the majority of both of our work – loneliness, isolation, regret, sadness, but also hope, beauty and strength – but is also a kind of imaginary dialogue with Ian himself (though one-sided, so I guess that’s not a dialogue), and a way to pay tribute to what he’s done, and what he stands for. The result was, and I’m risking sounding trite again, something that was worlds beyond what either of us expected, I think, and I can only hope people love it as much as we do.

Was there a discussion beforehand of the element of sound you were aiming for, or did it develop over the course of the project?

Brock: There was zero discussion, which is what I love about it. Personally I have never sat down to make any piece of music and had even a semblance of what I want it to sound like. I only have an emotion or experience I need to get out, and the track builds itself around that, basically on autopilot. I honestly don’t know how Ian works on his own, but the great thing is, he never brought up any pre-conceived notions of what he wanted anything to sound like. Instead, he presented me with his own emotional sketches and travelogues, and knew that I would understand what I needed to understand, and do what I needed to do. At hopefully my last risk of sounding trite, there was an incredible unspoken bond between us for the whole project from start to finish; there was really never any need to speak. We let our music do the speaking. The sound developed totally on its own, until it was done, and we could sit back and listen, both realizing that in the end, it couldn’t possibly have been said better.

It also so happened that on my end, my music for the collaboration came from probably the worst depression I’ve dealt with in recent memory. This was far beyond the kind that sparks creativity – this was the kind that makes you stop caring whether you live or die. I could find meaning in nothing. Not even music. For me, it definitely seemed the end wasn’t far off. Then I got this email from Ian, and I know it sounds super lame, but it was an amazing ray of sunshine that couldn’t have come at a better time. I decided to channel the torture of the previous months in some way into the album, which was quite difficult, as it was such a stark and blank void, but one that at its core had a myriad of issues that needed to be explored and addressed if my life was to continue. So I threw it all into the music, and the end results are really the most raw and intense pieces of ambient I’ve ever had anything to do with, and ones that deal with a larger number of issues at one time than anything I’ve attempted to before.

The strangest thing was, when it was all said and done, Ian heard every last thing I was trying to say, and vice versa. Through his 12 years of recordings he made an ocean away, and my obsessive outpour over several months while sitting across the East China Sea, it turned out we had been trying to say the same thing, about all the same things. For me this was the most amazing thing about the collaboration… I don’t see how the concept of working together could have been any more beautifully exemplified, or more worthwhile. Through our often-tortured expressions of the loneliness of existence, we found we were far from alone… and in that found the beauty I know we both cling to, even in our darkest hours.

Ian: Nope, none. Depending on the work at hand, I will either map things out for ages or will just go with whatever comes out naturally. I like both approaches really but my last proper record (‘Snow Roads’) was super mapped out, as have collaborations over the past couple of years been, so I just wanted to leave it open to anything really. Also, perhaps as more of a highly personal collaboration we both felt that the immediacy of straight up development would be more representative of what we wanted to do and who we are as friends. At the time I brought up the idea I was actually pretty burned from work and labeldom, I had been running incredibly low on energy and had taken some time off recording anything at all as things felt a little stunted. I then had this odd feeling one day that I should ask Brock if he would like to work on something musically together. It wasn’t because it seemed a natural fit or development for us, which it did of course, but I actually felt that it was something both of us needed at the time. I just had this sensation that something done together would be cathartic somehow, and I wasn’t wrong. The whole process has healed me immensely. On the day I found out certain things about our financial situation after the quake, we were staying in a hotel and dealing with all sorts of media wildness in regards to the quake which made everyone around us go crazy, Brock sent me the final edits of the tracks. I went into the bathroom and just cried my eyes out after hearing the first three tracks, because after all these years of working alone, in bands or collaborations, it was as if someone had turned on the lights and illuminated who I was and who I was to them, and thus who we were. The tracks weren’t just pieces about depression and isolation, which I have always felt in a way, they were about the beauty within and the music had become so much more than the sum of its parts. It was incredibly powerful to hear this development, and from a point of ‘well let’s see what we come up with’, quite remarkable.

Brock, I think you’re right, broadly, when you say it’s difficult to find integrity in the music industry. Has this project given you a more optimistic outlook on that aspect, or do you think the trend is worsening?

Brock: Like with anything really, my views on that are pretty complex, and even conflicting. This project definitely renewed a massive amount of hope and inspiration in me, not only musically, but personally, as being able to do something together with Ian really took me back to the days when music was such a pure and magical thing, and was a real reminder that at least some people still truly love music for the right reasons. And when I say ‘love,’ I mean a love you’ll actually fight for. It’s easy to say you love something, but a world apart to really lay it all on the line – emotionally, physically, monetarily, and everything in-between. Yeah electronic music is generally a quite singular event, in that it is usually made by one person and centered around their personal feelings or viewpoint – which is why it makes it all the more beautiful when others can feel where a piece of music is coming from. But the lineage of electronic music from its foundations to its ‘progress’ over the years always depended on a community of people and the symbiotic relationship music and that community had. Now it’s so fragmented and insular and fueled by egomania, it’s gone from being a uniquely individual art form that somehow lent itself to being shared by others, to just being selfish, and full of selfish pricks. And when people are selfish, they don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.

Though there are more people than ever ‘involved’ in electronic music nowadays, and so it would appear that more people than ever are laying it on the line, giving it all for love, etc, sadly the converse is true. Most are just doing it to stroke their own ego, plain and simple. And so, unfortunately, to me the trend is worsening, and I don’t think it will ever pull out of the tailspin it’s in. Wrestling with that fact has caused me to nearly leave it all behind more times than I can count, and besides the enormously kind support of so many amazing fans, the love of three people – Mike Oliver, Steve Hitchell, and in recent years Ian Hawgood, has been the only thing that’s kept me from leaping off the ledge. And so in that sense, to be able to do something with Ian of this nature was such a meaningful and unforgettable experience for me I will never be able to properly put it into words. So while yes I do believe the trend is worsening and I mostly find the modern age of electronic music sickening and abhorrent, I guess that makes the beautiful moments all the more beautiful. The beautiful moments are still there – and I’m thankful for every one, because after such a tumultuous and often heartbreaking relationship with electronic music over the past 20-plus years, the fact is, though so many times I’ve tried to cast it from my life to avoid being consumed by its Sisyphean clutches, it is my life – and without it, I’d stop living.

Was “Tribes…” the point where your paths crossed, or had you known each other professionally before that?

Brock: It was the point our paths officially crossed I guess, in the musical/professional sense, but not the first time we had ever spoken. We were actually introduced to each other by a mutual friend Mike (Oliver), one of my best friends, of Smallfish fame, who contacted me and said there was this guy Ian I had to meet – a solid, straight up cat who he recommended personally. For me the latter was all I needed to know. For many years, there wasn’t a person in the music world I would say a word to without running them through Mike first. He’s the man x10, and his word is gospel as far as I’m concerned. If he says you’re solid, you’re solid. That’s it. Especially since he knows my general hatred of people, and distaste for communicating with them.

So I said ok, we started talking, and I realized why Mike had praised Ian to the heavens. I could see right off the bat he was a straight up, honest dude who just loved music with no other dirty ulterior motive. Not only could I feel it from his words, but also I could hear it in his music. So we kicked off a sort of email friendship, and he kindly invited me to make an album for Home Normal. I think what sealed the deal for me on knowing he was all about the love was when I asked him if he had any specific type of music or direction he was looking for (because that always puts me off) and he said he just wanted music from the heart, that he could feel. It didn’t matter what form it took. I knew at that point that this dude was for real, and so I set about making the album, which was completely different from anything that had been on Home Normal before, and which I frankly was concerned would be too different. But he loved it as much as I did, and soon after it became part of the Home Normal story – a story I’m extremely honored to be a small part of.

Ian: We’d spoken quite a bit before ‘Tribes…’ I think Mike had maybe recommended my work to Brock and Brock’s to me, so I was very aware of Brock of course, and how much he meant to Mike musically and personally. Mike and I are super close and always meet up when I go back to the UK (not so much these days sadly). And he just adores Brock on every level imaginable. If you really get to know someone like Mike, well its a privilege as its hard to know a more open and beautiful soul really, and if he says that someone is the bees knees then you take it as fact. To be honest though, I didn’t (and don’t) like reaching out to people I don’t know, and I know this is the same for Brock, so it took Mike some serious prompting for us to finally get in touch. Since we did, well its bloomed into one of those incredibly rare and close friendships in life, despite the geographical distance. I think we very quickly agreed that Brock would do a record for Home Normal and so it went from there really on a professional level.

How long did the album take to complete?

Brock: My sense of space and time is mediocre to say the least, but I think a couple months. It pretty much consumed my life, and there were days I worked on it literally from when I got up to when I went to bed. In some parts it was quite challenging to work with someone else’s material for a myriad of reasons, both because it’s often not as you would make it (obviously) or even in keys you would normally play, and most of all you always want to make sure you’re doing justice to what they’ve done, and what they’re trying to express. It can be quite complicated and in some points was much more time and effort-consuming than working on a solo project, but the end result was worth every second, as far as I’m concerned.

Ian: This is a tough question as it’s tricky to assess. In some ways, you could say 12 years, in others, a few months. ‘Lie In Lone’ for example, was written when I was at university, maybe a little after I think. But I added parts over the years but never felt it was right at all until I shared it with Brock. Brock fell in love with it and I would get these wild emails at all hours telling me he was working on this and that. It was hilarious and remarkable to hear/read. I recorded some arrangements and structures right up until earlier in the year before I swung them over to Brock and I think he was working on them for a few months. Saying that, he packed the same amount of work in those years I had into those few months I swear. It was obsessive but anything less would have taken the sheer intensity away from the album. Short answer then: about 12 years maybe, with full bloom being about 3 months I would say.

Was there any piece in particular from the record that surprised you with the way it turned out? That diverged dramatically from your initial expectation of it?

Brock: Haha I guess all of them, really, as I had no idea how any of them would turn out, but I would say the most profound example would be ‘Lie in Lone.’ That one was a bit different because we started with something that was sort of already a song, albeit a really raw sort-of rough draft of one, made by Ian like 10-plus years ago. Personally my original intention was to have the track be based more literally on the original, which it is in the beginning, but it ended up evolving into something very different from what I originally expected – which turned out to be a good thing, in my opinion. In the end it sort of morphed into a two-part narrative on his original central theme, which came out way different than I think either of us would have expected, but more amazing than I think either of us would have imagined. All I could do was go with my heart, and in doing so it turned into something much more dramatic and intense than I had originally expected. The best part was, when Ian heard the final result, he said it had completed the thoughts he had started all those years ago but hadn’t quite finished. For me, you can’t get anything more beautiful from a collaborative effort – and quite frankly, you can’t get a much more intensely beautiful track than ‘Lie in Lone.’

Ian: ‘Lie In Lone’ was the piece that scared me the most maybe, as Brock just wanted to leave everything hanging out really, warts and all. I wrote it when I was at university I think and had added instrumental elements over the years. Something about it really stayed with me but I needed other ears to really develop it and Brock was the first to hear this. I guess I was very surprised by the fact that it crossed so many boundaries on a musical level, but at the same time the spirit was very natural and not forced. It’s weird and sounds very cheesy, but there was a lot of emotion in this piece, which Brock just understood in the fullest sense and worked with, developing it in ways I could not believe. I know that is very abstract sounding and music is music, but having that closeness to someone so far away who is just 100% attuned to the spirit and emotion of the work is so, so powerful. I think overall, the whole thing didn’t surprise me at all from a musical / technical level, but on other, deeper levels, I was blown away.

Are there plans for future releases together?

Ian: Right now I think we just need to give this record its space to breathe fully.  But given the success of the record, for my part I would work with Brock again in a heartbeat. I think once you find someone who you can work with so easily and so openly, its something to hold onto. We will be working together as he has another release on Home Normal this year, and we are in regular contact of course. We both have projects we are working on now, but I am sure that we will set some time aside to work on more things when the time is right for both of us.

Brock:  No specific plans, but we’ve both already agreed that we’d love to do it again, and I can say from my end that we will definitely make that happen – although how I can say unilaterally that I will make a bilateral cooperation happen, I don’t know. How very American of me.

You mentioned other Home Normal releases, can you tell us anything about them, and are there any other things in the pipeline for you both?

Brock: Well I can’t speak for Ian of course, but I’m very excited to have my second full-length for Home Normal coming up later this year, titled ‘The First Day,’ a quite complex narrative that spans a ton of time and events, which I’ll spare you the details of for now as I’ve rambled a lot already so far. I’ve also got a second album coming up for Glacial Movements (a series of interpretations of Netherworld’s ‘Morketid’), a 12” collaboration with ASC on his Auxiliary imprint, and a few upcoming surprises both under bvdub and a couple other monikers, familiar and otherwise. But I know whatever I have in the pipeline pales in comparison to Ian. That guy is the dictionary definition of prolific.

Ian: Brock has recently completed ‘The First Day’ which is kind of the follow-up to ‘Tribes…’ and one of the most incredible records I have ever heard to be honest. It’ll be out later in the year but we haven’t set an exact date yet. As for myself, well…things have been building up for over 2 years now since the last recordings I made (‘Snow Roads’). A lot of people think I release all the time but the truth is in over two years now I have only released a live album through Under The Spire and a re-issue of Tents and Hills on Humming Conch. I haven’t actually released anything I have recorded in the last three or so years now, which of course means this year is going to be crazy.

In the next few months the first of two Kinder Scout (w/ Jason Corder and Danny Norbury) releases will be out. The first will be out on one of my favourite labels – Preco – called ‘The Writing Life’. The second was originally a collaboration between Jason and myself, but we expanded it to include Danny as well (and this form Kinder Scout as the three of us) and will be out on Home Normal towards the end of the year. Jason also has a Juxta Phona record out in a few months on NKR which I appear on. The Whaler’s Collective (w/ Gareth Davis, Felicia Atkinson, Miko and Ryonkt) will have its debut out on Home Normal later in the year. Sometime either this year or next, the Lantscap (w/ Forrest – Warren Kroll) debut will be out on Infraction. Gareth and I have also completed an album of outtakes from The Whaler’s Collective (although the pieces are very different) called Night Shots, which will be out on 12″ from Champion Version.  Tim Diagram (Maps and Diagrams, Hessien) and I are well on our way with some pretty incredible sounding work, which will probably see the light of day this year. As well as this I am putting the final touches to the Rion album (with Ryonkt again), tying up the work I have spent the past 12 years on with Ben Jones (who runs Home Normal with me), and finally completing the Tiny Isles debut (originally a collaboration with Christopher Hipgrave which expanded to a full blown super-group including Jason Corder, Hecanjog, Konntinent and Talvihorros, plus guest vocalist Miko). There are a few more ongoing projects, which should be kept secret for now I think, but I will also release a long form live studio session album to celebrate Resting Bell’s 100th release. It’s going to be a pretty damn busy year!

“The Truth Hurts” is available from the Nomadic Kids Republic website now. Priced (with shipping) lower than most downloads of immeasurably lower merit, the proceeds go to the deserving causes listed above.

Hard to call album of the year before even the halfway mark, but it will take an almighty offering to usurp this contender.


Join the Conversation


  1. says: Richard Allen

    Agreed ~ and I’m happy that the hamster is okay! :) Brock, I’m glad you stayed alive to help make this enchanting piece of music. You do make a difference ~ without creative beauty, we’d all be in despair. Ian, keep up the good work, it’s not only inspiring, but a solid counterbalance to the louder, more selfish stories of this world.

  2. says: Dan

    Huge thanks Ian/Brock for taking time to get involved in this x
    As always high fives to A. Gibson for his continuous hard graft ;)

  3. says: Ian

    Agreed all round, and Alex is a star. Rich – thanks mate, means a great deal coming from your fine self as Brock said

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