Exiting the Shadows – our 3rd album is finally HERE!
We are very proud to announce the arrival of our new album from the manufacturer. This is our 3rd full-length studio album, and it’s the first part of a new trilogy called “the Voyage”. This album, part 1, is called “Exiting the Shadows”.
Exiting the Shadows Notes on "Cut Below the Line" (and general introduction to album philosophy):
The first song on this album is a track called, "Cut Below the Line". It's a song is about confusion, self-doubt, and not being quite sure of what's going on around you, as though experiencing a dream-world, or being under chemical influence. The "line" in this case, refers to an ink mark made on the skin, in preparation for surgery, the protagonist getting ready to remove a mole from a patient's skin under local anaesthetic. But is there a "line" really there, or is he just seeing things? Also, his thinking has large gaps in it.....shards of awareness that come and go....blinking off and on, without getting a precise handle on anything. The "deep imagining so much more than normal", allows access to a self-generated illusion, that can stand-in for the real-world. But his awareness of it, and control of it, are only partial. That's why there are no full sentences, or even complete ideas in the verses. They are repeating, inconclusive, irrational. Perhaps there's hoping, in the "I might wait" line, that the effects will wear off soon. The language is somewhat nonsensical, but with a thematic purpose. "Undermined" and "Out of Time" refer to realizations that there is a problem, and the time for blissful ignorance has now expired. There are a couple of real-world inspirations for this song. The first was a story told to me by my surgeon friend, who was late for a meeting we had, as his surgery went late, because he accidentally cut the inferior vena cava (the largest of the 2 main veins going into the heart), and he said as soon as he did that, the whole abdominal cavity that had been exposed (to perform the surgery) "instantly filled up with blood". Beads of sweat were forming on his forehead as he was telling me....a mild tremor in his voice. Somehow the patient survived, no doubt partially in thanks to the Herculean effort from the entire room that followed. I remember thinking about how when I was a boy, one of my big "dreams" was to work on radios. At least then, if you make a mistake, your whole work bench doesn't get instantly flooded with blood. Imagine making that mistake....and then picking up a scalpel again. Well....I tried to do that, when writing this song. And while that story was a dramatic example of "cutting below the line", or making some irreversible major blunder, it had nothing to do with altered states. That's where the next story comes into play: I was at home, having some Friday evening drinks with friends, when another friend called me, asking if I would stitch him up. He had just been in fight, and his inner cheek got lacerated badly, and he didn't want to wait hours in the ER, so I said I'd help. But then he didn't show, and I assumed that was that. So I continued my imbibement for the evening. But then he DID show up, at my apartment, bloody face. And so at 11pm, I took him into the walk-in-clinic where I worked, unlocked the place (I had a master key), turned the lights on, gathered up all the gear, and proceeded to stitch up his inner check with dissolvable cat-gut suture. The location of the wound alone, would've made it the most difficult suture-job of my life. But being drunk did not enhance my performance, as you might imagine. It was the only doctoring I ever performed while intoxicated....probably about 3-4 rum onboard. Not official business.....not billing the government, not a patient, rather a favor for a friend, but still, not a proud moment. Not something I'd recommend. I mean, I love to enhance certain activities with creating a favorable biological backdrop. Certain substances go great with certain activities. For example, marijuanna plus musical jam, equals enhancement! But you can't just add any old drug to any old activity and expect it to work. It must be strategic, or things can go very badly wrong. For example, take that same musical jam situation, subtract marijuanna, and add salicybon (sp?) and instead of a fun jam, you get a paranoid jam, afraid of one's instrument, and perpetually trying to tune. You don't want to do acid, and then look in the mirror. Big big no no. And, unlike what is heard in urban myth, hookers and cocaine are a monumentally bad combination! Even if you can afford it, it wouldn't be remotely fun. I've never tried this personally, but I'm able to make this conclusion based on the stories I've heard, and the knowledge that having a financial incentive to 'finish', coupled with a pharmocologically-induced inability to do so, just doesn't seem to be a recipe for fun. Nothing involving cocaine, actually, is particularly fun, come to think of it. Except for maybe the first 5 seconds.....then it's all downhill from there. So on the topic of substance-enhancing activities, and what to avoid, I recommend against performing surgery while intoxicated. It doesn't appear to enhance enjoyment of either the surgeon or the patient. The song talks about a line, drawn on skin, but unclear to the protagonist. In the real- life situation (which inspired the song), there was no line. I was closing a wound, not removing a mole, so no line was drawn. But the "line" in the song does have a real-world analog.....it was the thing that was plain to anyone to see (except for me): the truth about my growing chemical dependency.
I was an addict, and at that stage, I was in complete denial. I couldn't see it. Or I refused to see it. The illusion, that my reality was fine, was an illusion I had spent years manufacturing, and believing fully. But I eventually came to doubt that illusion. Everything was not fine. Something needed to change. And external changes, like changing ones clothes, or partner, or city, or address, or job, wouldn't help....at all. It had to be a big change.....internal.....fundamental. Gradually this realization dawned: I needed to find a new way of living.....different from what I've known my entire adult life.
This was the time for my TRANSITION. To make a TRANSITION, to becoming remedied. A transition to full health. To full growth and full potential. To "physician heal thyself!" myself. To experience freedom, in a way I hadn't fully known. I needed to ESCAPE dependancy, ESCAPE despondency. Escape the confines of my self-imposed, self-imagined limitations. Some kind of metamorphasis, or evolution, lay ahead. "The Voyage" that awaited me started with my major TRANSITION into recovery. I entered the treatment program January 27, 2011, and have been clean ever since.
This album is the first of a trilogy of material. "Exiting the Shadows" deals with the theme of escape (or transition). The next 2 albums will deal with Discovery (Epiphany)(or transform) and Return (resolution)(or transcend). And if you think we're biting off more than we can chew, or think we're just being optimistic, I'll say that as of this writing, all of the songs for the entire trilogy have already been written, and the bed tracks for all of them are recorded. Half of the second album (album 2 in the Trilogy, album 4 overall) is already mixed. So we're ahead of the game. Unlike Disney's Star Wars, we thought this whole thing through right to the end, before releasing this first part.
This 3-part story draws many references from real-life experiences. But it is not autobiographical. My own personal voyages are many: I've travelled the roads of addiction and recovery, marriage, divorce and remarriage (got it right the second time!).....grown from childhood to fatherhood, been both rich and poor...... had the incredible joy of having a son, and then the completely seperate joy of having daughter. But this trilogy is not about me, or Jim or Gil, or Remedy. It's informed by us. But it follows a fictitious character through a long voyage. And hopefully you, the listener, will recognize some of his experiences as familiar to your own. Only you will know what each song means for you, and how it relates to whatever road you are currently on. As we're all going somewhere. Even if you're staying still.....you're still moving forward through time. Total unchangability is impossible. The second law of thermodynamics, and all that.
I've made notes on some of the songs on this album, to help fill in some of the details about the creative musings that spawned them. But as in the first song, where a real-life experience helps inform a song that is, at it's core, fiction, remains true for the entire work (Remember....in the real story...there is no "line").
So for convenience sake, I'm going to give this fictional protagonist a name: Ford (as a nod to Doug Adams). It's a lot less cumbersome than saying "protagonist".
The original title for "Exiting the Shadows" was going to be "Breaching the Heliosphere". It was a reference to Voyager's exit from our solar system, and into a transitory region of space just before it reaches interstellar space, outside the magnetic influence of the sun. It's taken almost 40 years after it's launch, but
Voyager has actually successfully left the solar system, the first man-made object ever to do so. It felt appropriate commemorating the event in an art vinyl form, especially considering it's carrying a gold-plated record on it's hull, that contain "Sounds of Earth" (although the record did not contain the COMPLETE works of Johanne Sebastion Bach, as "that would be boasting", I do believe go 'ol JS made the cut). We decided to change the name to "Exiting the Shadows" as it just as well conveyed the theme of "Escape" that's riddled throughout the lyrics of nearly all the album tracks, but also infused a broader meaning into the title.
This album is the first physical work we've put out in 9 years. So in a way, this record is our exit from the shadows, by bringing new work to light. We hope you enjoy this album. And in alignment with it's general theme of "Escape", we hope it allows you to escape from your world, into our world, to appreciate a shared sensory experience with us, and everyone who hears this work.
Production Notes: "Cut Below the Line", like all of the songs on this record, was recorded and mixed in a Roland VS2480 hard disk recorder (24bit, 44.1kHz), and mastered using mastering tools in Sonar and Wavelab. The drums were all recorded at CrestHill studio in Halifax, direct into the VS2480's brilliant AD converters and preamps. For the uninitiated.....it's really old digital tech....but it's still excellent sounding, and so worked for our purposes. We relied heavily on our Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II (a real one!) for compressing vocals, bass, and guitars. This album was also our first use of strictly LCR mixing. That is to say, each track is panned in only one of three ways: 1) Extreme Left, 2) Centre, 3) Extreme Right. No other option allowed (though I often made exception for this on the drum panning).
This makes for a sound palette that's maximizing the use of stereo contrast, and differentiates it as unique in Remedy's cannon so far. And in the area of interesting trivia, this is the first use of ripped paper in a Remedy song. The very first drum notes (an open high hat) are immediately preceeded by the sound of a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 sheet of looseleaf being ripped lengthwise, fairly close to a heavily compressed condensor microphone. It took several experiments to find the right distance from the mike, and the right speed of ripping. Turns out, the fastest rip, is not the loudest rip. Who'd of thought?
"the map" "THe Voyage", will be described in 3 albums, representing the 3 phases of the journey: Phase 1) Departure. Phase 2) Discovery Phase 3) Return Phase 1) Theme: Escape "Exiting the Shadows". Glyphs: TRANSITION. CHALLENGE, COMBINE Phase 2) Theme: Epiphany "Mechanical Epiphany". Glyphs: TRANSFORM, EXPLORE, CREATE Phase 3) Return (resolution) is represented by albm 3 of the Trilogy, "Vehicular Serenity (Driving back to Earth)". Glyphs: TRANSCEND, UNDERSTAND, CONNECT (The glyphs that are bolded above, appear on the "Exiting.." CD, with the glyph that represents the current CD colored differently than the other 2, which represent the upcoming 2nd and 3rd albums in the "Voyage" Trilogy). So each album has 3 glyphs that help describe the album's theme. Another view of "The Map" (glyphs in "The Voyage"): album 1 album 2 album 3 rel to self transition transform transcend rel to world challenge explore understand rel to others combine create connect Again the bolded glyphs above represent what's printed on album 1, "Exiting the Shadows". They represent a cross-section of the 3 different types of relationships one can experience...... relating to oneself, to external environment, to other individuals. One interesting part of this: the last row (relating to others), might also describe the process of creating music in a band: Combline (the players), Create (the music), Connect (to the listener). "Exiting the Shadows" Credits: All Music and Lyrics by Steve Harley, except "Walk a Mile" written by James Bond, Steve Harley, Andrew White and "Escape to the Rhythm" written by James Bond, Steve Harley. All arrangements by Remedy. SOCAN 2018. The Band: James Bond -Bass, Loops Steve Harley -Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Loops Gil Roy - Drums, Percussion Guest Musicians: John Peer: Wurlitzer Piano on "Walk a Mile" Morgan Cruickshank: Guitar Solo on "Gettaway Sticks" Graphic Design: James Bond Manufactured at PutitonCD.com Recorded, mixed and mastered at Cresthill Studio Produced by Steve Harley
more notes on the remaining album tracks to follow shortly.
Thank you very much for reading these notes! I’m glad you’re still here!