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Sunday, 3 February 2013

GODS LONELY MEN - Article/Review/Interview.


Chemical Landslide is the album by GLM (Gods Lonely Men) What an album....Fourteen tracks of Rock'n'Roll energy from Pete Stride, Pete 'Esso' Haynes and Nigel Moore, formerly known as The Lurkers. GLM could easily have become The Lurkers MKIII, but they are not, they've kept a link to their past but aimed straight for the future, and....Bullseye! They've hit the target! 2013 not 1977/78. The progression of time is reflected in the song-writing and playing, which sounds now and not then. There is that old Lurkers feel to the songs on Chemical Landslide, but there's something else, something a bit heavier and darker, a claustrophobic beauty and bleakness, a warm darkness that engulfs and absorbs you.

What follows is an Interview/Article/Feature on GLM. It has been constructed from some emailed questions to Pete Stride and Nigel Moore, and a phone call from Pete'Esso'Haynes.
During the conversation with Esso I probably did too much listening and talking and not enough writing of notes, and then struggling to read the hasty scribblings I did take. Anyway, enough let the show begin.
Nigel Moore - Bass

HOW COME ITS TAKEN NEARLY 30 YEARS FOR YOU GUYS TO RECORD/RELEASE MORE MUSIC?
I think we all just wanted to do different things and none of us wanted to join up and just trot out old Lurkers numbers again and again.  Happily once we decided to start recording again the creative juices flowed easily.  If it had been a painful process we would have knocked it on the head. - Nigel Moore

I got a phone call from Nigel a couple of years ago,could I meet him and Esso down the road (pub) that night to talk about getting back together and making an album, well that sounded good cos I had started playing quite a lot of guitar again after a long break and I also had some rough ideas for a couple of songs. So anyway we met up and it became clear that none of us was too keen on going out as The Lurkers yet again. we felt that the name had been very over exposed and devalued through Arturo’s efforts. Esso suggested Gods Lonely Men so that there was a clear link which old fans would pick up on, and I said lets make it a bit more punchy and go for GLM. So it was decided......- Pete Stride
WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN DOING DURING YOUR HIATUS?
Pete'Esso'Haynes - Drums
I gave up touring with the Lurkers in 1990,Ii wasnt enjoying it anymore,once Esso and Nigel had left it really didnt feel like the same band.i took a good long break from music and then around "95 I started learning about recording and mixing stuff in a small home studio .I was doing stuff with keyboards and drum machines and it was good fun for a while. I started getting back to playing guitar again about 5 years ago – Pete Stride
I went off to University directly after I quit The Lurkers but I've kept playing in bands/writing music practically all through. I even played drums (sort of) and recorded in a Rockabilly/Rock & Roll band for a while –Nigel Moore
Pete'Esso'Haynes also went to University, lived in Belfast and worked with a victims group, and has had several books published, including one called Gods Lonely Men, which takes “an insiders journey through Punk Rock while maintaining an outsiders view on society” Check out his website for more info about his books and plays.

HOW COME THE SOUND HAS BECOME HEAVIER AND THE SONGS DARKER THANTHOSE YOU DID WITH THE LURKERS?
The heavier sound just developed naturally,we didnt plan it out that way.but once i started using the more "metal"guitar sounds everything seemed to fall into place.the effect of having my voice(which is quite light sometimes) combined with the hard guitars gives a bit of an atmosphere to the material i think,makes it a bit "haunting"maybe. also the lyrics are somewhat darker than in the past but I will say more about that later.... -Pete Stride.

WAS IT A DELIBERATE MOVE NOT TO BE THE LURKERS MK3?
We wanted to add to the old Lurk's sound not ignore it. It's important to keep up your interest when rehearsing/recording songs and to do this you must challenge yourself musically otherwise you get a severe case of head rot. To my mind a band that is simply trying to recreate their old glories 30 years on is pitiful, it shows a complete lack of imagination. With 'Chemical Landslide' The Lurkers sound has been added to not ignored. - Nigel Moore

It took 3 years to record We didn't attempt to make it sound like anything different. The sound just evolved naturally as there was no pressure with recording or releasing the songs. - Pete'Esso'Haynes
WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE/REACTION TO THE ALBUM BEEN LIKE?
Really good.  We've had constantly good reviews from all publications we sent the album to and positive comments on our web site from those who have bought the album. - Nigel Moore

Actually I am very chuffed with the reaction to the album,we have had some of the best reviews we have ever had. I think people realise that we are putting a lot into it and genuinely trying make exciting and current music that isn’t stuck in the past.
Also we have just started to get some airplay on underground and college radio in the States which should help to get our name out there, we know its gonna be a slow process but that’s fine.
- Pete Stride

It was recorded live in a small box room, using no click track or funny trickery. The drums were recorded in one take, which gave a raw live feel, with no time to be flash as we had limited resources. - Pete'Esso'Haynes

Esso feels that GLM have a broader sound than the punk bands of today, with poppy melodies and dark lyrics, he then talked about getting the album played on Metal/Rock Radio Stations, and went on to say that the band are proud of the album. (...and so they should be.)
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WERE EXPECTING A LURKERS MK3?
Yes.  This was a concern all through recording, would the old Lurk's fans reject it.  Luckily this has not been the case. - Nigel Moore

The band were not restrained by boundaries or barriers. - Pete'Esso'Haynes

Pete Stride - Vocals/Guitar.
Now I'll hand you over to Pete Stride to talk us through the recording of some of the songs on the album and how some of the lyrics came about. Although Pete is the main songwriter, as Esso pointed out GLM are greater than the sum of their parts. Here we go then....Pete's thoughts about the albums recording, and some of its significant songs.

Now is the Winter
Very important song for us,it was the first and also the basic GLM sound was developed during its recording. When we began I had the opening riff and the verse and a rough chorus,it sounded ok but needed a bit extra. We decided that halfway through there would be a total stop and there would be some kind of solo guitar part which would lift things up. so we tried it a few times but I wasn’t coming up with anything very exciting,then out of the blue I switched to a big metal guitar sound I had programmed into an old digitech stomp box and just started playing this really nasty but cool riff the others joined in one by one and we just played that riff for about 3 minutes,when we stopped we all just looked at each other and said "that’s it,that the fucking sound" .Once the song was recorded I did a mix of it which was ok but simply not loud enough to compete with pro stuff,I sent it off to a mastering studio I found online. A couple of days later the man from the studio called,he sounded a bit shocked,he said all the dials in his studio had all gone straight into the red and he wasn’t able to work with it. Esso made some calls and Pat Collier was recommended , we took a long drive across London to Pats studio and he said no problem he would mix it for us and he ended up mixing the whole album eventually.
Beyond the Pale
We wanted to try and do something that wasn’t 4/4 time and also had a quiet/loud dynamic like Nirvana,think it worked out well and is maybe my best vocal, think I had all the vocals recorded within an hour or so which is pretty good its also got some impressive drumming from Esso.
Chemical Landslide
Probably the most obvious "single"on the album, very tight arrangement and plenty of attack. Nigel came up with the end chorus section which really lifts the song towards the end. maybe the vocal is a bit light but I think it works ok.
When we came to record Landslide coda we still had our guitars tuned down from some earlier songs and I don’t think the key was great for my voice but we were running out of time so we let it go.
Every nights a story
With this song the whole sound came together and it became the benchmark for the songs which followed Pretty good vocal and a big bonus for me was having some space to let rip on the lead guitar for a change.
Army of angels
We were going for a real metal sound on this one,don’t think we quite managed that but its meaty stuff and a nice big chorus too.

Now here is a little bit from Pete about the lyrics: 

Often the lyrics just come into my head without really thinking about it and I will write them down and try an make sense of it all later,I think it is important for me to work like that because I feel that I am getting some kind of emotional "truth"that way, also I have steered clear of trying to force concepts into songs on this album. There is a definite darker feel to the words now which I wasn’t particularly aware of until other people started mentioning it. Hopefully its not actually depressing though, I think maybe a lot of it is simply to do with getting older and going through all the things which that entails, my mum was extremely ill and only just made it through and I also lost a good friend who died ,so it all has an effect on you,

I'd like to thank Pete, Pete and Nigel for taking the time and effort to make this post happen, but for more importantly recording and releasing, a very special album, one of the best I've heard in a long while.  Right then....That's it for this article/interview/feature, all that's remains to be said is to get hold of a copy of the album. It drops you down then picks you up while punching the air and kicking the ground at the same time. Lurkers fans will not be disappointed, because some of the tunes on Chemical Landslide are the best that The Lurkers never wrote. Get hold of a copy from their web-site.  There are no immediate plans for any GLM gigs, but they do intend to play live in the not to distant future.  

1 comment:

Doug said...

Another good tip from Nuzzy!Thanks.