Music to me is like water running to the sea, it goes along the shortest lines and around the obstacles. Often in the process of making records all the delays make you wonder and ponder why and if it’s worthwhile trying to create a “definitive version” of songs.
Songs are on a continuous journey anyway and each time you catch them they will be different, whether they be a writing demo, a studio recording, or the 350th live performance. Yet the song will still remain the song, and carry its message.
How many times have we heard the stories of records that were painstakingly put together and constructed according to the unwritten laws of some music business code, yet never captured the charm and magic that their original demo recordings had?
There is a reason for this: after a certain number of times a performance becomes a reproduction. A reproduction of an earlier moment, of a time of first-hand attachment to the inner voice and feeling of the writing process and original inspiration. Later it becomes like looking in a mirror and becoming self-conscious about how things look from the outside.
So back to those shortest lines; when over the course of 2 years I find myself with a bunch of new songs finished, I feel it’s time to herd them to green pastures. First thing I do is record them for myself in a quiet space so I can hear and feel what it is they need.
Next thing I thought was taking them to Nashville, where I know some great producers and musicians. I thought of going back to Rockfield in Wales with my friend Matt Butler, who did such a great job producing some of my previous CDs. I thought of recording in The Netherlands where I know plenty of excellent people too, of course.
In the end my main aim is to convey the song and its content to the listeners. And the most direct and pure way I can see doing this is by sharing the first expression in recording, the original demo. These songs may go on and find their way to studios and records in the future yet, but this is the shortcut, “the demos that may well BEAT THE RECORD” and you heard it first