■ Alive 2018 | Remastered.
10 new original tracks.
■ Originally Released November 2010.
■ Remixed and Remastered and Re-Released November 5th 2018.
■ New mix, and new instruments and arrangements make this version the definitive release!
■ Purchase Alive...
£8 Audio CD
£8 MP3 DOWNLOAD
£10 WAVE DOWNLOAD
■ Track by track analysis of Alive...
■ 1 - Reality Ride
The opening track is always meant to be impacting, and this track, in my opinion does just that. I'm thinking about being on a rollercoaster ride and its similarities to our own life's ups and downs. The aggressive anthemic opening wah riff is replied to by stereo panned replies in a kind of question and answer theme. The guitar solo isnt that fast, or technical, I simply continue the thematic process.. the whammy harmonies in the middle are indicative of satriani. I would never try and get away from my satriani influence, and would never try. In all, a great stomping opening track to get you in the mood.
■ 2 - Juiced
I always wanted to write a nice fast, technical piece along the lines of a Vai track or similar.. something that would be my own trademark piece.. This contains all of what I wanted to achieve and more. Its the piece that will make me sweat more than any other at gigs!! look for the perspiration ( well, more than usual) on my face before I start this track! LOL. It uses aggressive syncopation on the opening A minor pentatonic riffs that alternates between off the beat, and on. Then the first melody line is heard, repeated twice, second time with wah on the main lead. The guitar solo uses left hand tapping with the right hand muting the strings, for a keyboard effect.
■ 3 - Alive
The main title track of any album is always a tough one, but I wanted it to be a good stomper, with a very simple riff, so I worked very hard on making sure the guitar sounded very upfront and as deep and full as I could get it. The whammy effect heard on the guitar solo was done using my latest Ibanez custom "Swirl" DNA-style guitar. It has an original Ibanez EDGE tremolo which produces a great gargle effect.. awesome!
■ 4 - Brothers
I was never able to release this 5 year old track due to copyright issues surrounding the original backing track.. So, as it was my track, I completely re-wrote it from the ground up, using all the latest studio gear I have here at my home studio. The result.. Better, Bigger, and Sonically, more how I wanted it to sound all those years ago.. Brothers has been a staple at my gigs for a long time, and finally, it will now sound MUCH better!
■ 5 - Revolution
From the opening vocoder line of "A Revolution" and the weird synth effect, I immediately launch into a great little riff I came across years ago.. A nice melody takes us straight into the chorus with more wild trem effects that really make the piece sound unsettled.. repetition of the main theme, and a great talkbox guitar solo complete one of my favourite tracks! The track is about quiet revolutions, passive revolutions, and how technology is changing our lives on a seemingly daily basis,
■ 6 - Just Can't Stop
After the last few tracks of complete madness, I wanted a nice upbeat feeling song. It's supposed to be about Summertime, and how you don't want it to end.. you just can't stop enjoying the sunshine. No big widdly guitar solos, just nice thematic melodies doubles up in octaves to make them stand out more. It has a commercial pop edge to it unlike the other rock instrumental tracks. Just something different to help compliment the album.
■ 7 - Signs
So... we come to possibly the most inspiring track for me off the entire CD.. every "test-person" who has heard this track has immediately singled out this track as their favourite..The piece was composed mainly on piano, upon which I then heard this slippy slidey guitar solo harmony thing going on.. I hated the idea of just targeting the chord tones on their own, so included these slides by putting the chord tones all along one string.. theyre quite tricky, but when I heard it back I loved it straight away!! I have a tendency to do things like that.. swing from great! to crap.. in an earshot, and vice versa.. well. It keeps me on me toes! lol.
The guitar solo has a very bon jovi-esque riff behind it, that was absolutely not intended whatsoever!.. it just popped out when I was recording it.. honest Guv! Underneath is a little synth arpeggio patch that I wrote and modified to make it sit in time with the drum track, to make it sound a bit more mysterious. The track "signs" is about things that happen in your life that you know could either turn out to be good or bad, and that waiting around for things to happen could be a good thing.. or bad. I like the form of the song, how it unfolds, exploding into the guitar solo section.
■ 8 - Beyond The Stars
I would never try and shy away from my Pink Floyd influence, and this song is my most favourite song off the entire CD, my personal favourite without a doubt..It's about never knowing what would happen should we ever get past our own galaxy, the milky way. What would be there ? Would we discover other life forms ? the sonar beeps at the beginning, signify life or "beings" showing up and as the song moves into the slow, but heavy riff, its supposed to be the spacecraft moving into the new galaxy/solar system.
I absolutely love this track, and will be playing it live at every opportunity I get.I wrote it after a really long, late recording session, just as I was packing up, I was all set to get some sleep, and this riff instantly popped into my head.. Da daaaaaaaa Da Da Daaaaaaaa.. lol, damm, and I was all ready to get some sleep! I can't tell you the many times that a complete tune has popped into my head, and ive had no choice but to painstakingly record it. At the end of the track, there is a mellow section of guitar/synth, signifying the end of the journey and returning safely back to earth...
■ 9 - It's Back
I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and have read quite a few of his books over the years.. But I loved the movie "IT" featuring Tim Curry, and always loved the ominous line that they used to say.. "It's Back!" so much so, that I wrote this groovy track based solely on that tagline..The melodies are in A/B format, with a solo in 3 parts in the middle, first part is an agressive bend with wah, second is a melodic phrase doubled in octaves, and thirdly, a harmonised solo moving up the guitar neck.. which I think compliments the main melodies nicely..From the classic rock inspired chugging opening through to the raw octave riff before the start of the melody, Im trying to create the differences between melodic, and dark.. It's Back!
■ 10 - Faith Inside
Faith Inside was an track name I had way back in 2005, when this project was initally conceived. But the track has changed a lot since then, and ended up as a great slow blues track, culminating in a anthemic rock ending.. Theres little quirks throughout the piece, like the augmented runs that appear after the (V) dominant chord, adding more tension to resolve back to the (I) and so on.. Apart from that I've kept the piece fairly straight-forward. It's all about having a degree of self-belief, which, being a musician, matters when you are writing and recording..A great piece to close the album out.
■ Thanks for taking the time to read this. I wanted to make sure that I did something a little more in depth with this album release, as I really believe, it contains some of my best ever work. Keep Rockin' and see you all at a gig sometime. Steve x