The rehearsals went great. It started off with everybody setting up their gear at my studio called "SR" (SR stands for Sonic Reality... it's not actually the Sonic Reality office but a remote studio in Miami where I engineer and produce various projects and do in-house sampling for popular music software from IK Multimedia and many other companies). It was great for Simon and I to reunite with Matt Dorsey who co-wrote and played on the album with us. Kelly Nordstrom who also played on the album isn't part of the touring line up. But, he's still very much a part of the creative team that has made the music what it is. Joining on for the upcoming tour is John Wesley who has spent many years touring with one of our favorite bands Porcupine Tree (as well as Fish from Marillion and many others). Coming in on Sunday is Jonathan Schang from the band District 97 to assist us with additional drums and keys. Jimmy Keegan of Spock's Beard will be guesting on drums on some of the European dates as well. There are a lot of complex parts on the album and Simon being a singer AND drummer... well... this may sound a little familiar! ;)
Me, Matt and Simon playing together again.
Matt Dorsey goes over one of the songs with John Wesley
Simon Collins with John Wesley loading in.
Working with these guys on the first day was an absolute BLAST! It really felt great for everybody. We celebrated with a stellar sushi dinner with Wes's friend Chip who was over the moon about it all. A memorable milestone moment. The energy in this project is so high and we're feeling it... just very genuine good vibes and that to me is what it's ALL about. The present moment and the big picture. The balance between those things with the least amount of expectations is a foundation for happiness... and happiness is itself the meaning of success. Today I feel successful because I'm here doing this! That alone is rewarding on so many levels. It's a philosophy we share as a band and that's great. Seeing the potential feels good and everyone at the label is behind us. We're already working closely together to make things happen. Our fans, friends and family are really excited and that gets us pumped.
It really is exciting to think that in just a few week's time over 2,000 people are going to be hearing our songs performed for the very first time on March 24th at the Marillion Weekend in Montreal! So grateful to Steve Rothery and the whole Marillion family for bringing us on board for that. Gratitude goes around to a lot of people for everything that's happening.
Today I'm just chilling at Sound of Contact HQ Miami. We have a new apartment near the studio that's our "rock pad" (with a rockin' kitchen... I just told Wes I'm gonna make him seafood gumbo and he nearly lost his mind! He doesn't even know too... I make a mean gumbo! I used to live in New Orleans and I reverse engineered that one). Simon and I are going to go do a little shopping for threads and a flat screen, ping pong table and other "necessities" for a bunch of rock musicians to be as happy as we can be. Making music, hanging out and telling stories, laughing, eating well, enjoying the SoFla weather... life is good!