The official release date is not until next week. But....I have unleashed the new release today – “The Waters, They Are Rising”. Available for direct digital download and hard copy CD via mail order. (Most all of the 7d Media catalog is also shipping as hard copies now -- with t-shirts coming in a few weeks.)
I'm quite excited about this new recording. Namely for the general direction it is sending me. It is part one of a four CD group well in process – each of a quite different flavor. The second is gurgling up at present and seems to be pointing in the opposite direction of this one.
The next exciting thing is the beautiful opening track. A Bob Dylan cover(what?!!?) rearranged by yours truly, hauntingly sung by Dylan Nichole Bandy and recorded/mixed by Michael Cozzi. This was originally recorded as part of my score for Sonya Lea's short film “Every Beautiful Thing”. With the CD version we have fleshed out the arrangement and made some alternative choices.
March 8, 2015 Liverpool, UK flying home
Many thoughts of reflection about this tour. I must get as much of this down now (in the Manchester, UK airport) before I get home and my regular life returns.
Fripp once told me a formula for keeping a band together. I think he said it was Michael Giles who came up with it. But it might have some other character from his past. It goes like this.
You have three elements:
Any two and the group will stay together. Any less than two and it won't. All three is bliss.
March 4, 2015 Liverpool, UK
With the last show completed now it was time for several days in Liverpool. Due to the uncertain beginning of this tour we had all booked our tickets leaving room at the end to reschedule some of the UK shows. We were able to only reschedule one of them. So, one of my dreads of the last few weeks was what was I going to do for the four extra days stuck in Liverpool. I wanted to fly home but it was going to cost $1400 to do so. That wasn't possible. I looked into taking the first half of my Iceland Air flight to Reykjavik and spending a few days there, before continuing on to Seattle. This also was cost prohibitive.
So, Liverpool is was then. I will make the best of it. And, it turns out, this was the most awesome choice. I really love it here and am so very glad I had the time to get to know the place. Liverpool is full of life, compacted into a very manageable city center. A ton is going on here and the people are super friendly and bustling with energy. I have been coming to England for 30 years now and, as much I love things about the place, this city rocks beyond any other English city.
March 1, 2015 Uckfield, UK – Trading Boundaries
Great venue. Very similar to some of the Swiss shows and the the French show. More like a theater scene where there is a built in, season-ticket-holding audience who comes particularly to this venue to see what they are putting on. At least that what it felt like to me. Could be that this was a really a room full of Eigenharp fanatics who were suffering Gabriel tunes in order to feed their Eigen-Fevers.
The folks running this are super fans. I saw a poster for Toyah and The Humans for upcoming gig (with fresh Crimsonoid, William Rieflin.) When I met Tracy, one of the owners, she said that Robert and Toyah had come in for tea before.
Feb 25, 2015 Verviers, Belgium – Spirit of 66
Woke up to another shower and then descended into the sadness of knowing I would be leaving my hotel room. I stayed in there until 1:59pm, with our late checkout arranged for 2:00.
Tonight was our best gig to date. No question. Though it is amusing to us that each gig we do is “the best gig to date.”
Fantastic crowd. Really took us by surprise. I had the observation that the performance wasn't about nostalgia this evening. Meaning, people were 100% with us – inside the moment of this particular music taking place. They were not listening to a memory of Peter Gabriel from their own past. The first thing that tripped off this noticing was that no one was taking any pictures or video. (Well, there was this one guy filming Jerry the entire night. Look for it online if you want to dissect his backbeat.) But aside from “Drummer Documenter”, everyone else seemed more interested in what was unfolding between us rather than spending their energies capturing it for later.
Feb 22, 2015 day off
This is the first of three days off. Not something that anyone would ever plan during a tour. And not one that this group can afford.
We began with 15 hour drive, then 24 hours in a German truck stop. We spent over 8 hours in the truck stop's McDonalds. Our standards are so low, we loved it. Cheap food and free wifi. Though, clearly we are hitting the wall here. While trying to have simple, regular conversations you could see our brain cells retreating and swirling down the drain. Thoughts and, even, words that we were able to access just a few days ago have slipped away to the unreachable realms.
Feb 20, 2015 Milan, Italy – Cusano Milanino Teatro Giovanni XXIII
Old-ish theater. Crazy scene around the soundcheck. We are filming and recording tonight. Well, we are recording every night thanks to our amazingly awesome Berhinger mixer/monitor system. You can record the whole mix to an internal two track recorder that looks like an old cassette deck. Or you can hook up a laptop via USB and record the whole show in a multi-rack session. We are doing 32 track outputs!
But tonight we (meaning mostly Roger Salem our promoter/guardian for many of these shows) are filming because we have some guests in the performance Two drummers from Cameroon and a dancer. Added to this mayhem is the general Italian backstage mayhem that can appear at these bigger theater shows. For some reason tonight there was a crazy amount of traffic backstage. All sorts of people coming and going. Walking around the stage during our soundcheck and coming in and out of the dressing room while we were changing or practicing.
Feb 18, 2015 Rome, Italy – Planet Club Rock
Ezra joined us on drums for "Intruder" tonight. Kudos to Jerry for bringing him up and getting him on it. This is slamming drum part, originally played by Phil Collins of Gabriel's third record (the Melting Face cover.) He got to play the fat snare. This is one of Jerry's signature drums. He has a regular snare and then a low tuned snare off to the side. And by low-tuned, I mean the nuts are hand-tightened. Super loose. For “Intruder” Jerry alternates between the two. Ezra nailed it, I have to say. Super fun and quite moving to be onstage together.
Feb 15, 2015 – Florence, Italy – day off
My son Ezra is here. Now part of the Security Gang. Due entirely to timing, he has never been out on the road with me. And so, at 17, he is finally here. Only for one week but still very, very cool.
We couldn't get right into our AirB'nB place so we went to lunch with friends of Julia Hensley (badass artist/graphic designer who did the cover on my new disc). Classical guitar luthier John Weissenrieder and his wife, baroque harpsichordist Anna Clemente.
What a treat this was. It is so rare to have the right kind of space to be with people while on the road. Oftentimes, socializing on the road can be discordant. Road life puts me in a strange, hypersensitive space. It doesn't quite work hanging out with folks for more than a short amount of time. My focus is either on the show in the evening or, on a day off, taking care of all of the things that I haven't been able to deal with due to the traveling and performing. But this afternoon was wonderful. We had a lazy lunch full with lots of interesting conversation.
Afterwards we went down to Anna's workspace and met her harpsichord. What an amazing instrument. So many strange acoustic phenomena with this thing. Firstly there were only single strings per key, unlike the piano's three. And all the strings are single steel – no wound strings.
Feb 14, 2015 Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7
Hands down our best performance to date. Sadly, possibly the worst day of the year to be doing a gig here. Carnival is on, plus it is a national holiday. So attendance was piss-poor. And couldn't have been otherwise. But again everyone there was crazy enthusiastic. There is no doubt that every single person in the room with us, for every single show, has become a fan for life.
We somehow pushed even deeper into the material tonight. “Lay Your Hands On Me” – stunning again. Getting even stronger. “Here Comes The Flood” is taking some interesting twists, as Brian and I are getting very comfortable with the phrasing of each line. In our first few shows last year there was a kind of baby-stepping through the phrases to make sure we were together. Now we just flow with it. Sometimes slowing the end of a line, sometimes leaving an extra small gap. Like real music. Actually playing music! Not tapping out notes on a continuum.
Feb 11, 2015 Truck Stop outside of Dresden, Germany
If we weren't so hysterically high on the general absurdities of our day-to-day, 24 hours in a truck stop in Eastern Germany might just do us in completely. But somehow being pushed over the precipice, just makes me mellow into the experience.
Due to very strict European bus driving regulations, our driver can only drive a certain number of hours before taking various kinds of rests. None of us seem to be able to understand these regulations. He can drive four hours then must take a one hour break. He can drive 10 hours and then must take a 12 hour break. Over the course of a week he might have to stop and take a 45 hour break. So, we find ourselves in these absurd situations where if it takes us 11 hours to get somewhere, we might have to stop at hour 10 and take a 12 hour break.
Feb 8, 2015 Wroclaw, Poland (Polish show #1) – Zaklete Rewiry
Beautiful drive into Poland this morning.
I really love it here. Poland took me by surprise the first time I came here in...hmm...probably 1997, with King Crimson. I didn't expect to feel such warmth from the people. Since then I have been back six times. Every time I feel the same.
Great venue tonight. OK, wait...I take that back. Beautiful venue. Not great for sound. This was a larger church with some amazing, modern, stain glass windows along the sides. But, a 4.5 second reverb. Thankfully we had a good solid crowd that helped soak up the reflections.