Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Dave Andrews / New Material

After the last few years of movie composition, and on-off touring since 2006 with various bands including Saxon, Blaze Bayley (vocalist with Iron Maiden / Wolfsbane) and Tim Owens (vocalist with Judas Priest / Beyond Fear / Yngwie Malmsteen among others) I decided at the beginning of 2013 to concentrate my efforts closer to home, and start working on some more of my own music, which has taken a back seat over the last few years.

It's more retro than rock, and probably more luminous than loud, so please come and say hello at the new Facebook or Twitter pages, and keep in touch. I hope to see you there. Over and out. Facebook Twitter DA. Come and say hi.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Tim 'Ripper' Owens - Across Europe 2012!

September 2012!

Tim 'Ripper' Owens - European Tour:

Inventories done!
Gear checks done!
Passport, guitars, strings, iPod, phone - and even clothes . . YES yes yes!! Check check check!!

This tour will take us to venues in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal & France - and there will be LOUDNESS!

The set is killer, and is stuffed full of immense tunes and plenty of surprises, but I can't say ANYTHING about that stuff.
All in good time.

It will be very cool to be on the road with Tim 'Ripper' Owens, because he is a legendary man.
Seriously accomplished, very well respected, and very highly regarded in the world of music - but you already know that for sure, because you've been listening to Tim in Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen, Charred Walls Of The Damned, Dio Disciples, Hail and many others over the years.

It will be great to see the boys again; Claudio, Nick, Steve and Franky.
We have played together plenty of times in a previous incarnation . . . and one way or the other - there will be HEAVINESS!

Over the last couple of years on various outings - it has been a real pleasure to meet many excellent dudes and dude-esses, and visit some great venues in various countries throughout Europe.

It will be amazing to re-visit some of those venues, and to re-rock and roll with some of the friends we've met there.
Facebook & Twitter have made it possible to stay in touch with new friends really easily, which is a great thing.

A strange irony that makes me extremely happy, is that our 2012 European tour compadres are the mighty SANDSTONE, from the Emerald Isle.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - in a totally different band (2006 across the UK) . . . we toured with Sandstone for two weeks, and they are very very cool indeed.
I haven't seen the boys for 6 years, but I'm really looking forward to raising some glasses with them, and catching up.
You couldn't wish to meet cooler people.
Great lads, and they play razor sharp, slick, wicked, infectious music.
When Sandstone hit the stage - there is no turning back - and there WILL be ROCK AND ROLL.

In the Netherlands, we play with the mighty HELLSTAR, which promises to be a storming show!
In Germany, we're meeting up to play a one-off show with our old tour pals - the teutonic knights of metal known as 'MESSENGER' and in Poland, we're playing wicked night with metal giants, SOULFLY - so get ready for an apocalypse.
God damn!

I'm going to try to write a new blog on each show of the tour, and post pictures of the venue & people every night - so please come and say hello, and hang out during the shows!

Just have to say a big thanks to Tim from Bare Knuckle Pickups for some fantastic hardware and also for very kindly sending me some awesome promo stuff for the tour. Worn with pride, squire!

Some more big thankyous:
To Mark & Carol Bailey at Bailey Guitars. They are the best.
Jim at Rocktron for his invaluable technical help.
Steve Austin (presumably not the Six Million Dollar Man) at The FlightCase Warehouse. The best around.
Nolly Cadman for the additional case. Thanks a million Nolly! See you soon.
SIT Strings for their string endorsement on this tour. Super cool.
Steve, Nick, Claudio & Tim Owens too for being all-round good guys, - and to Zippy & Arnie for everything in the world.
A really sincere THANK-YOU to Franky, Stefanie, Tessa & Amy for treating me so well, and having me to stay in their home for the week. Thanks a million for all of your effort and kindness, guys.
Nice one Franky. Well done, mate. You've done a killer job.

See you sometime in the next few weeks - somewhere on tour!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Previous Albums 2006 - 2010

In 2006, I wrote and recorded my first full album for the London FILM4 FrightFest, and each year since then (up until 2010 inclusive) I have supplied the festival with it's own (mostly instrumental) annual soundtrack CD.

The festival runs for 5 days, so I always tried to keep the material was as wide-open as possible, whilst still exploring the darker themes.
There would usually be some feature tunes, and connective themes to glue everything together.
These albums were all written, performed and recorded at home - just to keep the neighbors happy.

Here is a selection of tracks from each of the albums, which is followed by a few words on each CD.

Use your mouse to scroll up and down over the MP3 player to see each of the tracks.

OSCURO (2006)

This was the first CD I'd ever written, and I still think that the material is (musically) the most accomplished so far from any of the other CDs - perhaps because it was the first time I'd tried to do anything like this.
The compositions have a nice dreamy, ethereal quality to them, and although it was a total experiment, - it just 'worked'.
If I was to re-edit this album - I would still probably remove a couple of tracks for timing and vibe reasons.
Artwork is courtesy of FrightFest, and was created by the one and only Graham Humphries


Much darker material throughout this CD overall, and it's my least favorite of all of the FrightFest scores, - however some of the material led me to my first movie score, and onto other projects.
It's just all too dark, and I over-analysed everything for months - and it just did not flow, perhaps due to the fact that I was very unhappy at that time.
The production wasn't very good, it's really over-compressed and half of the compositions had an unfinished vibe to them, - which was a shame because the other half really worked nicely.
I had obviously been watching Event Horizon at the time, because two of the track titles are based on dialogue from the film.
The lovely vocal performance is courtesy of a friend of mine, called Emma Brown.
Artwork is courtesy of FrightFest, and was again created by the one and only Graham Humphries.


A much happier writing process on this CD, and the whole thing took just about 3 weeks from start to finish.
After the doom and gloom process of Oblivion, I decided to just write, and not stop until it was finished.
Whatever came out, was how the album was going to sound - hence the name.
I had plenty of fun with these tunes, and it was a real breath of fresh air to write some music without any constraints.
I didn't want to make the same mistakes I'd made on Oblivion.


Just the same as ExPERIMENTAL, I had a blast writing this CD.
I used the same writing ethos from last year's CD, and included a few homages to some movie sub-genres.

I also kind-of opened the sound up on this one a little bit more, so there were more feature tracks.
Complex sequencing has always been one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and I think I really let the sequencer genie out of the bottle on this CD, and just enjoyed some good old fashioned cinematic electronica.
The overall vibe was right back to the first CD, Oscuro - which made me very happy.
I put a little video together for one of the tracks, called 'Wrecks' which hopefully you can see at the bottom of the blog.


Again - I had LOTS more fun with this one, and it has everything but the kitchen sink.
I put in some very late nights here, but enjoyed every second of the writing process.

Lots of musical bugs, devils, ghosts and other fun stuff on here.
Emma Brown re-appears on this CD for another lush vocal performance on Ghosts Of The Sea Lanes, and the ethereal spoken-word vocals are from TV voice-over artist Lucy Thorpe, who was a great sport and a total trooper - delivering my cooky dialogue in fine style.

Monday, 27 August 2012

My Guitar Building Blog!

A couple of years ago, I visited Bailey Guitars in Scotland - and over the course of seven days, I custom-built my very own guitar.

Instead of including photographs of every stage, I've just uploaded a batch at the end of the blog in case anybody is interested.

The body is book-matched mahogany, the neck is a single piece of mahogany with a beautiful snakewood fingerboard - and it plays better than my Les Paul.
It is custom cut-away in the back to fit my body, so it's a uniquely personal thing.

The circuitry is all custom wired, with 2 x volume / 2 x tone pots - very much like a Les Paul, except that on this guitar, the tone pots are push-pull for a bit more versatility and sonic control.

The pick-ups are Bare Knuckle Mules, and play very smoothly indeed.

Bailey HQ is owned and operated by two awesome awesome individuals, Mark & Carol.
Mark Bailey originally honed his guitar making skills at PRS, and these days offers courses where you go along to their workshop in Ayreshire, Scotland and custom build a guitar from start to finish from bare elements, entirely down to your own design and specifications

I could write about the build process for hours, but I'm sure it would probably bore most people to tears, so I'll just put down some basic information about key creative parts.

There is no guitar 'kit' to speak of. 
The whole thing starts by selecting your various woods for the body components - and they are selected from dried sections of raw, unfinished wood.

Surprisingly enough, the first thing I had to do was to cut the fingerboard into shape, and cut in the fret slots for later on down the line.

The neck was ripped from a single rectangular section of mahogany - rather like a big table leg.
We band-sawed the basic shape of a neck & headstock, and then ripped the excess wood out for hours, until the approximate size and dimensions were achieved.

A truss-rod cavity is routed into the front of the neck, and after the truss-rod was fitted, a fillet is then glued in place over the cavity.

After that, the fingerboard is glued and fixed into place, so we're left with something that starts to look like a guitar neck.

After that, the more detailed work starts, when fret-wire is cut to size, and individually fitted to each fret slot.
The fingerboard inlays are mother-of-pearl, and I wanted very subtle fret markers, so I used 2-mm dots for 3rd, 5th frets etc - with hidden side-dots for navigation.

Next was the body, which was made by joining two pieces of book-matched mahogany, which was later ripped into the basic shape I wanted.
Cavities are routed into the surface for circuitry, pick-ups etc.
On top of the body is fitted / glued a maple 'cap' or top, which is then carved by hand with chisels, spoke-shave, rasp and other tools until you get the desired carve depth and shape across the surface of the guitar.

The pick-ups and circuitry are later wired in, and you can get creative with your sonic control.

If you want some weird phase wiring on your pick-ups, - or if you want sexy custom ideas like Piezo pickups dropped in, then now is the time.

I opted for push-pull tones, and my usual kill switch (which my Les Paul doesn't have - because I can't bring myself to drill holes into that!)
The kill switch always comes in very handy for convenience and effect.

The guitar was simply stained bright bottle green near the end of the build, and right away I knew it was the right colour against the various woods.
It's a few years old now, and plays better than ever.

The green stained finish looks aged, which is exactly what I wanted, although I think it could do with a slightly fresher finish now, so maybe next year, I'll revisit Mark and Carol, and strip / re-colour the guitar to it's original vibrant green, - as well as repair a few little battle scars it has picked up over the last few years.

All in all - a truly amazing way for any guitarist to spend a week, and you go home with a totally one-off guitar made exactly to your specifications - and made by your very own hands.

Incidentally, I couldn't even touch the guitar for at least two weeks afterwards, because my fingers were absolutely destroyed from 7 days of cuts, slices, rips, slips & general finger / hand injuries.
A truly unique experience and well worth every second.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tim Ripper Owens Solo Tour: Confirmed Shows

07 September: Kubox - Kuurne- Belgium
08 September: Pit - Terneuzen - Holland (With Special Guest : Hellstar)
09 September: Rond punt - Genk - Belgium
10 September: Garage - Saarbrucken - Germany (With Special Guest : MessengeR)
11 September: Schwarzer Adler - Egelsee - Germany
13 September: Slowianin Club - Szczenin - Poland
14 September: Sokolovna - Hranice - Czech Republic
15 September: Klub Progjesa - Warsaw - Poland
16 September: Red Zone - Rzesow - Poland
17 September: Piano Club - Trencin - Slovakia
19 September: Crazy Mama - Budapest - Hungary
20 September: DAOS - Timisoara - Romania
23 September: Club RBF - Sofia - Bulgaria
24 September: Gun Club - Belgrade - Serbia
25 September: Viper Club - Wien - Austria
26 September: Pekarna - Maribor - Slovenia
28 September: Rock City - Uster - Switzerland
29 September: Korigan - Luynes - France
30 September: Rock City - Valencia - Spain
03 October : Sala Imagina - Cadiz - Spain
04 October : Musicbox - Lisboa - Portugal
05 October : Sala My way - Valladolid - Spain (With Lord Volture)
06 October : Sala La Hacienda - Pontevedra - Spain (With Lord Volture)
08 October : Le Ferrailleur - Nantes - France (With Lord Volture)
09 October : Blue Devils Bar - Arras - France (With Lord Volture)

With very special guests: SANDSTONE.
Updates and venue details to follow!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Touring With Tim Ripper Owens - 2012

Moving swiftly on . . . 
I'm over the moon to be playing with the legendary Tim Ripper Owens on tour this year.

Tim's career has been nothing short of spectacular.
So spectacular in fact, that he was was nominated for a grammy award for best metal performance in 1999, and Hollywood made a movie (Rock Star) based on his rise to fame as singer for Judas Priest, with Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm, Boogie Nights, Planet Of The Apes) playing the lead, and Jennifer Anniston (Friends, Iron Giant) as his female compadre.

Tim Owens replaced Rob Halford as frontman of Judas Priest between 1996 - 2003.
During this time, the band released two new studio albums: Jugulator (1997) and Demolition (2001) - as well as two live albums; '98 Live Meltdown, and Live In London, which was also released as a live DVD.

He then took over from Matt Barlow as vocalist for Iced Earth from 2003 - 2007, releasing two studio albums, The Glorious Burden (2004) and Framing Armageddon (2007) and also an EP, entitled Overture Of The Wicked (2007).

During this time - in 2005, alongside working with Iced Earth - Tim started up metal band Beyond Fear as a side project after leaving Judas Priest, and in 2006 released studio album 'Beyond Fear'.

From 2008 - 2010, he took up vocal duties in Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising force, producing two studio albums; Perpetual Flame (2008) and Relentless (2010)

From 2009 - present, Tim fronts Charred Walls Of The Damned, which has to date released two full studio albums Charred Walls Of The Damned (2010) and Cold Winds On Timeless Days (2011)

He is also a member of a covers band called HAIL - along with a rotating who's-who cast of extremely influential and highly respected musicians including Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament) David Ellefson (Megadeth) Mike Portnoy (Stone Sour, Dream Theater) Jimmy DeGrasso (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper) Phil Demmel (Machine Head) & James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, Slash's Snake Pit) as well as many others, and in 2011, Tim joined forces with Dio Disciples, which also features Dio members; Craig Goldy, James LoMenzo, Simon Wright & Scott Warren.

Tim has played with many of the best musicians in the world, so I have to say that it's not only a huge honor to play on stage with him - it's also very very humbling indeed.

On top of this, I get to play onstage once again with my hombres Claudio Tirincanti, Nick Meganck and Steve Deleu.
I have been burning the midnight oil on the set-list, and everything is well on track for the tour in September.
Bring it on!