OK Steve Fess Up

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by TaySte_2000, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I've been listening to the grace and gratitude mp3 and while it is fantastic (I mean really really amazing). It sounds generally quite simple I can figure out if this is the sort of thing u could get away with on a dl4 or not.

    Can you give me some idea of how you came up with this track.

    Also this songs playing with my head no matter what mood i'm in it seems to fit. When I first heard it I was chilled out and quite happy, it seemed quite cheery. Now i'm a bit depressed and down and it seems like that to.

    Was there any sort of message that you were trying to convey in this song or is it open to interpretation.

    I have noticed as well in my opinion your musical career has never been better yet your music seems darker and more depressed, or have I got the wrong end of the stick. I guess what i'm trying to ask is how can you always be so happy and helpful yet write and play this dark music.

    I'm sure more will come to me but i'll leave you to answer those for now.
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Steve,

    how did I come up with it? I think the initial loop actually appeared first in someone's lesson as an example of something or other - the lesson is lost somewhere in my head, but the hook stuck. I recorded a version straight away after that lesson (which I may stick in the streetteam stash at some point soon), but it was a bit rough so I rerecorded it for the CD, and now prefer the new version.

    The melody just grew out of an improv thing over the top. The 'pad' sound that comes in half way through is generated by running the main loop through my second MPX-G2 that also has the Kaoss Pad in its effects loop - so you've got two delays and a very long reverb on there to create that pad like sound.

    Most of the new album is a bit darker than before (though there've been dark-ish moments on all the albums) - I guess I just find it easier to channel that side of my mood into music, than I do playing happy poppy stuff. There's one funky tune on it (Shizzle - MP3 on my site), but even that isn't completely jolly... Part of it is just searching for music of significance - trying to find sounds that match up to what's going on in my head. The album's title forms a theme - Grace and Gratitude - and my thought process was quite a sombre one, especially around the time of the Euro Elections when there seemed to be so little grace evidenced in the political rhetoric - lots of talk about the rights of the English, lots of talk about 'them' coming here and taking 'our' jobs, but not much gratitude for what we've been given, no sense of it all being chance that we happened to be borne in a country that doesn't have a military dictatorship, where very few people live in fear of being shot or tortured or of starving to death... We have so much to be grateful for, that we've received by grace - Grace by definition is 'unmerited favour' - I feel overwhelmed by it sometimes.

    So with all that deep sh!t going on in my head while recording the album, it's going to add a certain Gravitas to the sound, you'd hope...

    On top of that, the stuff I've been listening to recently has largely been robust 'serious' music - David Sylvian, JBK, Sigur Ros, Mogwai, Theo Travis, David Torn, Zakir Hussain - combined with very highly melodic music - Eric Roche, Muriel Anderson, Mo Foster, Trip Wamsley, Rob Jackson... and that seems to have influenced a lot of the sound of the record.

    So after all that - who knows? I dunno if anything of the theme will be audible to people listening, and don't really care - as I say on the sleeve notes, the theme is about where I'm at with it, rather than about a statement I'm trying to make...

    hope that helps... :D

  3. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Yep thats great.

    I didn't mean the album had turned into a somber piece of doom and gloom but I feel the other stuff had feeling but still remained in a jazz sense where as this seems a bit more extension of the soul sort of area. Grace and gratitude has taken its place as my fav track of yours of all time.

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the album. Infact I think you should send me an advanced copy so I can start posting reviews left, right and centre. :D

    BTW gonna buy John Lester's album in the next few weeks I love the songs i've heard of the site (Who says mp3's are a bad thing)