Paul Draper Diary
Paul Draper wrote a short diary and sent it out to fans who were subscribed to the Mansun mailing list, it contains things from the lyrics in songs, to his travels across the deep south in America and working with Chad on Kleptomania.
Firstly, thanks for taking the time to visit my new site and subscribe to the information mailing list. Apologies to anyone who got the Mansun mailing list message the other day and was confused because it implied that this message had already been sent - obviously, it hadn't, because here it is now. If you have any problems reading it, subscribing, unsubscribing etc., please do let my webmaster (Dave Nattriss) know, so he can help you out and/or make sure it works better next time. I'm hijacking the list of addresses from the 'info' list for the time being to start my egotistical and megalomaniacal recording diary, detailing my writing struggles and other such tragic tales of artistic woe (so if you were already on the 'info' list before yesterday, you've now been added to the Paul Draper diary mailing list). It's also so I don't have to post acres of inane drivel about myself on a web page - not yet anyway!
I've been scratching my head for ages thinking about what to write in this diary, and so I'm going to use it to describe the writing and making of an upcoming project, in detail, all the way to its conclusion, and then you can actually hear what I've come up with at the end. I've not done a round of interviews for a while and I appreciate that people subscribing to these lists will want to know what I've been up to, and what I'm up to now - i.e. is there any music coming? Well, the answer to that is... yes, I'm in the middle of a project right now, which I'll describe in this diary over the next few months, from the writing, demo-ing and recording sessions, up until the project's complete, and then you'll get to hear it for yourself, if you want to!
I thought long and hard about whether I should start this diary, because with other artists they're usually of "thank you to my awesome fans for buying the record" ilk, or the other favourite, "woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head" what-I've-been-doing-today crap. It sort of disturbs me that people have Internet diaries and blogs, talking about themselves for all to read, but here I am doing it. So if I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it properly - very existential! It'll be a record of the making of my current project and other stuff I'm up to musically, as opposed to "don't look at me, I'm shy, I'm really boring sitting here writing my Internet diary to thousands of people". I'm not sure how long ago it was I last posted something on the Mansun website, or if I even did, but this is effectively my first diary entry as my own entity, technically anyway.
So, the first part of the story - "I quit... I'm not a number, I'm a free..." etc. "I'm going on a writing trip" (that's me in speech marks!).
Briefly: writing trip; put 'Kleptomania' together from the fourth album tapes; worked with ex-Skunk Anansie singer Skin; put together the 'Best Of' thing with Parlophone; retrieved songs from writing trip; wrote new songs!; built studio; started making demos; woke up this morning, in that order, ish.
After returning from the U.S. very brown and twenty pounds heavier, I put together the tapes for 'Kleptomania'. It was very strange listening back to them. Prior to mastering the record, I was pulled between releasing something that was unfinished, and letting down the people who wanted to hear something (that was unfinished). Overall I thought it was only a record of a batch of aborted recordings, and so for that it was interesting enough to release. I like the songs, they're a good record of the time for me personally, and I like th em a lot more now than I did at the time - I guess it's that 'perspective' thing. 'Good Intentions Heal The Soul' is probably my favourite song of that session, and I have a soft spot for 'Harris', as the version on the record is Chad and I doing a quick live run-through - not realising at the time it would be about the last thing we worked on together for a while.
Once 'Kleptomania' was finished I met up with the singer, Skin. I knew her through someone at EMI from a while back. Skin wanted to make a rockier record than her first solo album and was looking for someone to write with - sounded good to me! So off we went and wrote about nine or ten songs, and we had some great times in Ibiza writing together. Some sparks for songs were from her ideas, some were from mine and in the end it was a team effort that made the album, with Skin also writing some good songs with her long-time writing partner Len, and also writing with Dan Wilson from Semisonic, and Linda Perry who wrote 'Beautiful' for Christina Aguilera.
After that I went along with Skin and her band to do pre-production for the album at a studio in London. I recorded what was going on during these sessions for quite a few weeks and these became the demos for the album, which were to be produced by Gordon Raphael of The Strokes fame. One track stood out for me as being really immediate - 'Alone In My Room' - so Skin and I produced that version of the track during thos e sessions for inclusion on the album, and it was released as a download-only single last November. Speaking of which, the full album, 'Fake Chemical State', came out in the UK this week, so you can check it out if you want to hear what I've been up to with her.
Back to my new project... I listened through the tracks I have for it this morning and I'm really happy with about nine 'things' that I have, as they're all in different states of disrepair at the moment. I know they'll evolve further - they always do. I always do this - keep changing bits around in the arrangements of the songs. The lyrics always evolve right to the last minute as well, so titles change, even sections change. They'll probably all change or evolve eventually, and I don't know where to exactly. On previous projects I've always lost perspective once I'm working on the songs in the studio, and this one is no different. I'm at this stage where I just go with the feel of what moves me. At first I wasn't 100% sure where these songs were heading for, I didn't know how I was going to record them, and in what direction I'd record them in. As it happens, the circumstances of me working alone have dictated the arrangements and direction of the songs.
I've even worked out now that I usually like about one in four songs that I write myself. So the more songs I'm writing, the more stuff I end up dumping so as not to repeat the same old, same old. The other three out of the four songs that I don't like myself go into my song purgatory - a sort of tape store with stuff going back years that just sits there eternally, but I keep hold of all of them anyway. Sometimes I wonder if I put a project together with all the stuff from purgatory, would it be better that the stuff I finally settled on to release? Who knows, but purgatory is being closed down soon by the Pope anyway - he mu st have realised that keeping dead babies' souls in an imaginary boring waiting room for eternity wasn't such a good idea. Anyway, I digress...
So the one out of the four songs, as a rule of thumb, that I'm liking at the moment, started out as an electronic-only project, but as it's gone on, I've ended up re-doing a couple of the songs with drums, bass and guitars, as I've settled more into the idea of working predominantly alone. I'm now seeing what the original electronic versions of the songs sound like, in the complete opposite direction to where I have them now, but I don't really have a clue which direction is better, or which direction I want to go in... so there's nothing unusual there! I'm just going to keep on going as I am with these songs, and if things are a bit 'varied' then that's OK. Eventually I may lean heavily in one direction or the other, but that's once things are further on down the line. It seems like I've been in the middle of a writing stint for ages now, but without a band the writing and making of demos seems to blur into one, where I would get an idea then finish it before playing it i n with a band. That's where Chad's been helping me out - on the recording of the backing tracks, fleshing out ideas, which is pretty much how we've always worked anyway. Chad has played a bit of bass and guitar while I've been covering the other stuff.
Some of the songs we've recorded were from a writing trip I had in the U.S. I spent some time in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, and I went to Nashville and Memphis as well. I haven't gone all country and western though, and I don't intend to wear a cowboy hat ever again, but it was something I'd always wanted to do and had aborted before, so it was a good time to get out there on a sort of musical busman's holiday, hanging around the music scenes of each town. New Orleans had by far the best - not the Bourbon Street venues, but just on the edges of the French Quarter, where there are some amazing little venues with great contemporary jazz and blues bands every night, and loads of great old-boy blues guitarists, who all used to play with the Neville Brothers at some point or another. After being there just a few nights I bumped into a guy in a bar who was watching this great girl jazz singer. After talking about how great the singer was it turns out he was a big English music fan, so I had someone to show me around. I loved being in and around this town's music scene - I learned a lot and I got a lot of writing done in New Orleans. It did what I wanted it to do, helped me change direction in my writing. It was tragic to see the hurricane strike, I hope the city recovers.
I left New Orleans, across the Louisiana swamps to Memphis. In Memphis, I did the obligatory trips to Sun Studios and Graceland - it was very strange standing next to Elvis, dead in his grave. Nobody was really about at that point. I did fancy doing some Spinal Tap harmonising, but it was really, really moving as I've always loved Elvis. I only wanted to see the jungle room really - Elvis's base in the basement. Very cool, but a bit too retro though. The music scene in Memphis was too commercial, no real gravity of a scene like in Nashville. I love Jimmy Webb, but if I hear 'Rhinestone Cowboy' one more time...! "Nashville is a country-only town, boy"! Well that's what everybody told me, so I spent a few days writing something there that was completely un-country, then left. Stupidly, I decided to drive to San Francisco. Four weeks later I arrived... but that's another story. Haight Astbury is like the cavern quarter in Liverpool - nothing left - but there were some great bands in the smaller venues around the Bay area and I got a lot of inspiration just being in San Francisco, because it's one of my favourite places.
Just having the freedom to be a writer and drive from city to city without the constraints of the deadlines of being in a band during this trip were enough to dictate my writing direction, and give me a new direction for my next project. I'm still ploughing through the material I accumulated on it. I stopped in a lot of great music cities in the U.S. like Austin in Texas, which particularly stands out, but I'll tell you about them and the songs I wrote in them another time, when you can hear them. I could feel my writing style change over the months in the States, and become a bit more acoustic and laid-back. Eventually the songs dried up in the U.S. and so I came back to England to write.
So that's brought me to this point, where I now have a load of songs for my own project. Some of the working titles so far are 'Grey House', 'Lying About Who We Sleep With', 'Annie', 'Feel Like I Wanna Stay, Feel Like I Wanna Go?', 'My Life's Repeating, Again', 'Be My, Be My...' and 'Can You Ever Trust Another'.
As for other music, I've been listening to the new album by The Open recently, which has got some great tracks on it, and I'm still playing the Bloc Party album a lot. I've also been rotating Antony And The Johnsons, Outkast (still), The Fallout Trust, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys (obviously), and my oldies... Neil Young, various Beatles and The Who, Bowie, 'London Calling' [The Clash], Prince, The Smiths and 'Transformer' [Lou Reed] (still!!!).
I'd love to bore you some more but, overdubs are needed. Shit, I didn't know I could go on for so long!? Anyway, I've been sent through some Q and A's for some fansites, and I'm doing them at the moment (so don't worry, I'll send them to you very soon). I'll go into a lot more detail about the songs we're working on at the moment (some from my trip and some that I've written recently) in my next diary entry - how we're recording them, where they're from and what they're about etc., and anything else I can think of, in the next gripping instalment of 'the diary'. Fuck, I'm a 'me-journalist' already...
Diary entry #2 - 'F--k You' a.k.a. 'the middle finger salute'!
Hello and welcome to the end of April/mid-May blog/diary/drivel DAA! I know I'm a bit late, but hey, it's not like I'm having a baby or something. April's a busy time for me as I have about half a dozen birthdays in the family so my time was predominantly spent at home up north.
While back home I went out in Manchester and Liverpool and 'round my old haunts in Deeside and Chester. Chester's the same as always except for loads of new flats being built everywhere and old places being done up, even my old local The Falcon is being refurbished. In Manchester the pace of change is even faster, I can't believe they knocked down the Hacienda! O ne of my earliest memories of going out in Manchester is sneaking in there when I was about 16. In Liverpool the old haunts around Cream were dead, but I fancied this Russian restaurant round the corner which I've wanted to go to for ages and had a great night out, always a great atmosphere in town on a Saturday night - loads of busies around though these days and even more building than Manchester - is this a renaissance for the North?!! In Deeside where I grew up, in North Wales, the town looks great these days, thriving even. I called into the guitar shop Hammersound where I bough my first ever guitar aged 10, nothing much has changed in there, its even the same bloke behind the counter, nice guy, but he wouldn't really recognize me from when I was 10 and used to hassle him to let me play his Fender Telecasters.
On the way back 'darn sarf' I had a listen to that KT Tunstall album and I really love her version of 'Wonderwall', great song! She was great at the Brit Awards ('f--kin' square' I hear you all yelp, but like I give a shit!), so I whacked on 'Mexicola' by the Queens on repeat and got home a lot quicker.
Having been away since Christmas, something struck me that 200 miles north of London I'm suddenly not known as 'the Drapes', 'Draper', 'you bender', or whatever the Southerners call me, but I actually already have a name for my new project! 'R Kelly', just like R Kelly - every time I go away I forget about this appendage I've had for years! However, I'll leave the videoing of groupies in hotel rooms to other less celebrated members of the music industry. The reason I'm sharing this useless piece of information with you is because I keep getting asked what I'm going to be called. This has led me to think about the name for this whole thing/project (I'm not really professional enough to call this a project), am I going to call myself me, as in Paul Draper, I always thought my name was shit and for a few years of my life I insisted everybody call me Steve - strange but true - which was because I loved Steve Austin, the bionic man, my mum didn't mind calling me Steve but she always made me wear a T-shirt under my tracksuit which pissed me off - the real Steve Austin had a bare chest under his tracksuit, but never mind... Steve Draper sounds like an ITN reporter and I was only 6 at the time, if you get my drift? So back to names, if I had a name as cool as Trent Reznor, why would you call yourself Nine Inch Nails? I provisionally called these demos 'Monkeys On A Rock' for some weird reason (after watching Stanley Kubrick's 2001 stoned), but then Arctic Monkeys came along and that was out of the window... incidentally their album is the best debut I've heard for a very long time. My favourite band name of all time is a Japanese band called 'The Pete Best' - genius! I'll call myself 'The Paul Draper' - cool, contemporary, its got a 'The' in it. Other names being bandied around to much hilarity in the studio are 'The Internet Stalkers' or 'The Internet Stalker', 'The Paranoid Schizophrenics' - cool, but a bit long in the tooth now, so I guess I'll just have to settle ! for Paul Draper for now. I'm sort of comfortable with it, let's just hope Xfm don't play my record when it comes out as I'll die of shame when they read out my name - it's not exactly Ian Brown is it, or maybe Ian Brown thinks 'shit, I'm not Trent Reznor' and Trent Reznor's sitting there thinking 'wow,'The Paul Draper', what a great name for a band!'...
Anyway back to this month's sessions... 'Feel Like I Wanna Stay, Feel Like I Wanna Go' is the first track I've attempted with any other musicians playing on it. I first recorded a version of this late last year, it's in 3/4 timing and I had some programmed drums on it, so it sounded a bit Goldfrapp-y in the rhythm track but with a more feminine falsetto added by myself (it's the 80's fan in me!), which sounded kind of cool but sort of static as well with the guitars on it. In fact one of my golden rules in making this album is to stop singing like a girl, it was never intentional , it's just I always write in the key of A (out of laziness), which makes me sound like Jimmy Somerville (no offence Jimmy - I think that song about running away was genius!). So I wanted to see what it would sound like as a band playing it, so I called for the cavalry! Wayne Riches (Skin's drummer) played drums, and Chad and I split bass and guitar duties between us and off we went, jamming all day interrupted by the odd big spliff. 'Drugs!', I hear you say! Oh no, smoking that shit gives you paranoid schizophrenia, that's where the silly band name came from! Great! I'm happy with that one, as I say a bit old hat, but hey, its better than everyone going round saying you're a square, and always good fun when you meet some one new, just have that 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' look in your eye!
We recorded numerous takes of the backing track during one day's recording, not really with any decent vocals on it, just me shouting away in the background, and as with most recording of backing tracks, the only really important thing is to get a great feel and energy into the playing. As my plan is to try and cover as many of the instruments as I can manage myself, Chad's involvement was to just make it sound like a band really while getting a great drum take, and I'll re-do his parts properly at a later stage - but still a big thanks for him for getting the track working. This is where things gelled for the first time in the project. For the guitar-freaks, we had a Rickenbacker 330 for lead, thru my Fender Deluxe com bo amp ('Revolver'-era Beatles stylee), a Rickenbacker 4001 bass (bought in New York and shipped back here) through a Syd Barrett-era Selmer amp that I bought in Doncaster and had refurbished (as it's 40-odd years old), but sounds great - it's all live going straight to tape.
So my obsession with loops is over - I gave up trying to combine grooves and rock, that great Kasabian album put my efforts at that sort of thing to shame, so it's back to basics for me, either full electronic, or just a band (but never say never!), which is so difficult when trying to emulate my all time most respected musician - Prince (and Bowie, obviously) and trying to play everything yourself, as I'm a control freak, as anyone whose worked with me will attest to, but unfortunately to make music you have to have some sort of vision and aim for it. Always hopelessly falling short and sounding half-baked, but that's the only way I can do it. Anyway, I first had a stab at writing this song a while ago and then took it with me on a minidisc to America. While I was in Nashville I felt like I had no real understanding of the music scene there and was in two minds as to weather I should stay a few more days or just leave, and then I remembered I had this unfinished idea called 'Feels Like I Wanna Stay', which I dug out and finished there before leaving. So there's no nano-technology going on here, it's simply one of those stay/go songs - we've all heard 'em! Anyway it really rocks (rawks - this is the noughties!) without the electronic drums, and a big thanks to Wayne for bringing this track to life! I can cover the other instruments, although it's been a bit of struggle as my guitar playing has been very poor for a while now.
We also had a crack at a piano stylee song called 'Annie' - a song I've struggled with for ages, but that's been shelved to be re-recorded again next week, as I need to change the lyrics and chorus (basically everything) 'cos I'm not happy with it, so there's not much to report on that one yet.
However, what really did work out was a new song called 'Grey House'. It's a song pretty much about my house, which I'd painted grey, walls, skirting boards, grey carpets, the lot, but that was back in my prince obsessed days when I thought if I wrote about a colour it would make me look more interesting than I actually am (Prince and Hendrix had purple, but grey was mine... ALL MINE!). I developed a bit of an OCD obsession with everything grey, so this is my ode to my sadly deluded past. I love this track! Again Wayne covered drums, Chad played bass for purpose s of putting the backing track in, and I played very bad guitar! Although as before, I'm gonna cover all instruments except drums (I've got CDS - crap drummer syndrome, although my finest drumming moment was on 'You, Who Do You Hate?' where I managed to stay in time, in-between big breaks). The instruments were the same as the recording of 'Feels Like I Wanna...', and it took us an afternoon to nail a great 'vibe', as industry pros say. It's an upbeat-y rock track with a nod to Bowie in there for sure, but then pretty much everything I ever did had some sort of Bowie-nod - even the vary-speed vocals I've done sound like sodding 'The Laughing Gnome'.
Now I've been in two minds for a long time now as to whether I should mention this, but what the f--k, the sympathy vote'll do nicely! I had a bit of a problem with my 'f--k you' finger (that's the middle finger on my left hand to the uninitiated) - it all started at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth when we were recording 'Getting Your Way', an old Mansun track, and I was really getting into playing the bass, but this sort of blister appeared on my left hand middle finger and the more I played the more it kept bleeding... Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went to the hospital near the studio and they cut out a piece of my finger just above the nail, oh joy! The session sort of petered out, and a few days later the doctor called me to inform me the piece of me in a test tube had been analyzed and it was unfortunately malignant, f--kin' great! To cut an even longer story short, I saw a specialist who informed me it was called a Bowenoid Malignancy, and he said it was really unusual for someone my age to have it, and that the usual course of action would be to lob off my finger just below the knuckle. Just perfect, here I am trying to write an album and if I was going to get the 'c' word anywhere; I certainly didn't want this almost farcical version of it on one of the most important parts of a guitarist/songwriter's body. Anyway, the specialist said due to me trying to make this record ('Kleptomania') and being a songwriter, he'd recommend I go for chemotherapy, which I did. I had five goes in this big machine, strapped up in lead in a sealed room and guess what... it did the trick! All I've got now is a manky finger with bit cut out of it. So to everybody who keeps asking me, 'what's up with your hand', well, it wasn't the 'caught me finger in a broken guitar string that went septic' excuse - now you know. After the treatment my finger swelled up like a golf ball for months, and I couldn't really play or write for a very long time, and even now it's still a bit painful to play, but doesn't really bother me.
So to anyone who's taken the piss out of my guitar playing, f--k you with bells on (nothing like a bit of Northern vitriol!). It takes all my effort to make the string touch the f--king fret without wincing in pain, and that last Mansun tour was f--king agony with bloody puss spouting everywhere, so I hope it explains why the set was short on that tour and the songs on the album were written in weird tunings, or on the piano with my right hand. Belated apologies, but I'm sure you understand, I was just trying to keep on going and work round my comical finger, but ultimately it defeated me. The specialist told me not to be in any stressful situations or it might spread, and as I've said before, the recording sessions of the 'Kleptomania' album were just too stressful for me. Anyway I've never professed to be a great player, it was only ever a tool to write with - Spinal Tap solos were never for me - but each to their own, if you can do 'em, good luck to ya.
Being deflated about the whole 'c' thing, I set off to the States on my writing trip. I took a mini guitar to write on, a 'Baby Taylor', which was easier to play that a normal-sized guitar. I used alternative tuning and sort of wrote around the finger, and didn't really use it at all - I just sunned it a lot! Anyway, I put on 3 stone on that sodding trip, a third of my body weight! That's right, I only weighed 10 stone before and I went up to 13, but my Fat Elvis period wasn't the ubiquitous spiral into a drink and drug hell - I'd done that already - boring, got the T-shirt etc. (anyway, the best drug is Cortisone [the best gig I ever did, I kept triple jumping the monitors!] and Spanish sleeping tablets [on my writing trip to Puerto Banus]).
So my Vegas Elvis period really did come from Vegas! It was actually a very un-rock'n'roll burger comparison test. I wanted to see who made the best burger in the whole of the U.S. I tried 'em all - In-N-Out Burger, Jack In The Box... but the clear winner was Denny's! Anyway I'm back to just over 10 stone now - Mick Jagger: eat your waist out! And I'm about as healthy as I can expect to be after pummelling my body for the past decade - it's not in exactly what you'd call great shape, but it's good enough to make a record, except for that one bit. I knew it would happen at some point anyway - I predicted it in my song about the subject.
The whole US road trip was great though, but I'm not going to tell you too much about that, as I do want to get back into the States at some time! Needless to say I ended up in some sticky situations, like driving 'round Dallas with some bloke in this massive Caddy, toting this silver gun - there is photographic evidence somewhere, but I haven't got it, so I'm sure someone somewhere will try to blackmail me with it at some point down the line... join the queue buddy - people love blackmailing rock'n'rollers! I want to find the blackmailer who secretly filmed us all doing drugs in the band - well that's what you anonymous letter-writers keep telling me... big f--kin' deal, 'rock star does drugs'... wow, I could be a cross between Pete Doherty and David Gray - oh well, it's either that or back to the biscuit factory, as a mate of John Lydon used to tell me!
Sorry if you're not enjoying this, but these are the first essays I've had to write since school and I just don't really know what to talk about - I just can't talk shit or lie thru my teeth to sell records, I really don't care that much, I'm sick of telling people what my favourite cheese is (Cheshire, obviously... I mean Wensleydale's OK, but it doesn't have the crumbly texture, and my home county cheese of Lancashire is similar in texture but not quite as dry... bollocks, right, back into roc k star bullshit mode! Next thing I'll be telling you is what my favourite colour is... BLUE!).
I mean, it's not exactly NME interview material, but what can you do! As this is all stream-of-consciousness writing, and I've just mentioned the NME... I should go into some detail about NME, because over the years that's the biggest thing mentioned in all the letters I've got - why NME never liked the band. To put the record straight about NME, when I grew up in Deeside in North Wales, NME was the highlight of the week for me - it's hard to envisage in the age of the Internet, but I relied on NME and Melody Maker to tell me what music to get into, it really was the only source of information on ne w guitar music. When I went to college in Eltham, south east London, it was a revelation to me that you could buy the music press on a Tuesday and not have to wait until Wednesday like back home, so I'd go on the train every Tuesday to the west end and buy NME and Melody Maker, and find all the best gigs for the coming week in and around London, and thought I had a real scoop over my mates back home.
Anyway it was me who shafted the band's relationship with NME by refusing to do an interview about 'Little Kix', although to be fair, most music critics thought the band was shite anyway! But as I say, I just couldn't do the rock star bullshit thing, my interviews sounded self-obsessed (true!) and miserable (also true!), so I just didn't want to talk about it. I'd already gone along with the whole fiasco for too long and certainly wasn't going to try and big it up or diss it to the NME! But at least I've dipped my toe back into the world of interviews and I've finally done my first post-Mansun interview with thedownloader.co.uk which you can check out here. I've also done a Q and A for the pauldraper-music.co.uk fansite which you can check out here, and some questions for the forthcoming pauldraper.net site here. It's great that there are fans putting up fansites already, before I've even got music to play you, and thanks so much for the faith - I just hope my music doesn't let you all down. If you want to join in the fun, check out those sites and their forums, where you can meet some other fans of my music that doesn't even exist yet (a bit like being religious, believing in something that doesn't actually exist - you just have faith in it!) - there's also draperview.com, and I'll keep you posted if any others come onlin e. I know an equipment site is coming, so you'll get an insight into what guitars and amps I'm currently using, if you are that way inclined! There's also an official MySpace page that Dave's set up for me again, you'll have to have some faith here as there's no music up yet. Next month, hopefully, but please go ahead and join up and spread the word as such (now this f--king blog thing has gone to my head, I really do sound like Ron Hubbard!). It's at http://www.myspace.com/pauldraperofficial , and is not the other comical one that someone set up, and just for the record once again: f--k right off you Internet stalkers!
I'd also like to mention the passing of a bit of a hero of mine - the great Duncan Ferguson. The only disappointment of my career so far is not to get a mention on Toffeeweb for giving the blues their only Number 1-connected record. I got a load of blue noses in Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, and I subliminally chanted 'Duncan, Duncan, Duncan Ferguson' at t he end of the first Mansun album. As for the campaign for keeping Parr Street open, I'm right behind it. Liverpool shouldn't lose this place - it's great for the city's music scene and just a great studio in general.
I hope this month's blog has been a decent read (if not, unsubscribe yourself from the mailing list and f--k off!), and I hope I can add something a little different over the months... some video footage and music, so you don't just have to read my drivel. I might even post an entry when you're least expecting it, to be really rock'n'roll, like guerrilla journalism - it's all me arse isn't it really?! Next time hopefully I'll have some music to play you, so it's going to be a challenging month! F--k... what have I let myself in for, there's no gping back boy!?
News Dated: Wednesday, November 18, 1998
Hello its Paul, Well, Im not sure what to write this time, so I'll just empty out whats been in my brain today, well, firstly, it still wories me to this day if I should have put 'The Most to Gain' on 'Attack of the Grey Lantern' as the second track, it really should be jammed between The Chad Who Loved Me and Mansuns Only Love Song, but it got edited out at the last minute (sorry about any spelling by the way, Im disc... well you know, anyone who'se ever had a letter from me will vouch for that. Also I always thought The Chad Who Loved Me should have been a single, as thats my favourite song, OK so its not commercial, but you all know our stance on commerciality. Mavis..........Who is Mavis that is what most interviewers ask me.....well she/he is a fucking transvestite isn't he she, it's probably me but even I'm not sure. Chad and myself have written some songs this week for the next album and for the next EP which we are hoping to put out in January, we wrote a track called ! 'Church of the Drive thru Elvis' which started out as an idea of Chads which I really, really loved, as usual, we will record them in chronological order, so we wont hold good songs back for an album, theybe out asap. I know a lot of the Mansun Family wanted to know why I Care wasn't on SIX, well its the chronology thing, it has a certain pureness to it, maybee were stupid and nieave (spelling HELP!!!) by not holding tracks back for LP's but we believe in ourselves and dont believe in the business part of the music business, we never have and never will. Er... what was I talking about, can't remember well anyway Serotonin, every year millions of people are diagnosed with depression, which is very misunderstood, or are plagued with insomnia, er what time is it, fuck......, This manifests itself as chronic fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbance, head aches, restlessness, irritability, quickness to anger, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Habitual sleeplessness, night after night is classified as insomnia and may take the form of an inability to fall asleep when first going to bed or waking during the night. Transient episodes of depression and insomnia are part of everyday life. Shit, its 4.25am, I need to get out more, cant wait to get back out on tour, by the way the Oct tour was the best ever. Anyway, I really like the words to Rebel Without A Quilt, they sort of said a lot to me at the time, while Im at it on that EP the lead guitar on verse 2 of Vision Impaired should of been louder, but thats life. Chads written some stuff for our next recording session which he played me today, some of it blew me away, theres this piano track which Im convinced could be the next single, but we'll get to it asap. Dark Mavis (not me in a Dress, but the real life one) showed us the footage from Bristol and Brixton today, I must admit I really buzzed on it, you lot, i.e. The audience, were the start of the show, fucking rocking, anyway, here is a list of the songs were working on at the moment....
1.My life is my own
3.A new beginning
4.The repair man
5.how to loose friends and influence no one
6.what it's like to be hated
8.An error of judgement
10.The trains run on time
11.I can only dissapoint you
12.Sountrack for two lovers
Well there you go, an insight into what Chad and me have been spending our time doing. And another thing about EP2 Cathy Pitkin, I can't remember who she is, oh yeh, she was FIZZ in Elderado, who I had a crush on when I was a kid, well we all know Life is a series of compromises, well, we learned the hard way, in verse 2 of Drastic I always sing 'were so fuckin plastic, when we do it live', thats because that was the original lyric, but when we recorded it, it was gonna be a single instead of Wide Open Space, and Wide Open Space was gonna be the B-Side, with me..., OK, so fuckin became, were just made of plastic, well it never needed to be made instead of fuck and to this day Im fucked off about that, and thats how I learned life is a series of fucking compromises, well it doesn't have to be and thats why were so stubborn about what we do now, never compromise your integrity for some sort of gain, its just not wort it, remember, a fuck is always better that a made (should that be maid).....weve got alternive versions of The Greatest Pain and Moronica fromthose early recording sessions but I can't remember how they go....yawn........., fuck I've got to go to bed.....I've got a terrible migrane today so I can't get to sleep............take it easy... Love always to The Mansun Family Drapski............ P.S. I believe in my own God........