I go through a brief period of panic wondering if the album is any good and will anybody like it, then I pull myself together, and remember that I spent 4 years writing and recording it and I’ve done the best job I could.
You have got the song exactly…. we are surrounded by ordinary heroes, and we might well be one ourselves. The inspiration comes from talking with people and listening to their stories.
I did find ‘Soon You’ll Go’ very hard to sing ..I kept breaking down during the recording. I feel that it is my job as a songwriter to capture those feelings that are hard to express, and seal them into a song so that under the right circumstances the same feeling can be evoked by the listener. It was written by myself and Cori Josias about my daughter leaving home to go to university.
As you say there is the heart wrench, and at the same time the pleasure of seeing them start out on their independent lives. It can also have a broader meaning about any loved one leaving.
My current fave on this album is ‘Fight On’…
No, I wouldn’t have recorded them if I didn’t believe in them… except… perhaps… the track ‘Human’s Lib’ now that’s really drawn attention to it!
As I mentioned earlier 4 years writing and a year recording… on and off of course… because there are a lot of gigs in between. The few I played at the 25th was part of the process of getting the album right, because the string parts and aspects of the arrangements were modified for the album.
Eleven songs were written for the album. There is one ‘Your Heart Has Won’ which didn’t make the main album but is on the piano and vocal album that comes on the limited edition. ‘Building Our own Future’ is available as a free download already but I think it is going on the Japanese release as an extra track.
I do listen to plenty of music and I’m sure it all has an impact on me. I think this album was influenced by the piano solos I have been recording recently more than any other artists. I am listening to Laura Marling, The Killers, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Morriston Orpheus Choir, Imogen Heap, Duncan Sheik.
I am playing the whole of the new album with the full line up of drums, bass, guitar, string quartet, and backing vocals, and of course me and piano. The second half will be the Howard Jones band slamming out the hits. Nick Heyward is doing a set in London and the Morriston Orpheus Choir is joining me in Cardiff.
I really enjoy them all. We played to 20 or so thousand at Henley this Summer which was big fun and then I played a Seminar at the O2 last week to an intimate audience of 70 which was also very enjoyable.
I do enjoy what I do and playing live is a big part of it.
I would like to play in South America one day.
We are just finishing negotiations with Warner Bros. to license my albums back off them. So when that is sorted we plan to reissue everything!
Ian Walden is a genius designer that I work with a lot, and I asked him to come up with something extraordinary for the special package of the new album and he absolutely delivered that.
I wanted a handmade type feel that reflected the new album. He came up with 12 original pieces of artwork that used embossing and foiling techniques. Each of the sp pack is unique with different card and ink combinations. The fans could request a special dedication as well as a signature. I am thrilled with the way it has turned out. The regular version reflects the design of the sp pack.
I can’t think that far ahead at the moment. I’ve got loads of ideas to do with the re-release of the Warners albums. I want to write a bunch of songs for the HJ big band for the Summer outdoor shows. Loads of things!
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