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WE MADE A RECORD!

by eastern -       Feb 14, 2012

We made a record…its actually two

Ok don’t freak out!...we know, we know, it’s a DOUBLE ALBUM!...we know you can sense the pretentiousness meter moving well in to the red…and what? There’s a brass band on here?...who the hell do these bums think they are?...truth is we get it!...we were as wary as you are about this whole business…sure there’s been fantastic double albums London Calling, the River, Sign of the Times, Double Nickels on the Dime, sadly though we know it as much as you do, The Eastern ain’t anywhere close to the class of The Clash or The Minutemen, Adam sure as hell ain’t as pretty as prince and they certainly can’t fill a stadium like the e-street band. They’re a fuckin' string band from Lyttelton harbour New Zealand, who live in a rapidly smoking Toyota hi-ace…and would pay for the opportunity to mow the lawns of those aforementioned acts...again “who the hell do they think they are?”…again we’re not sure…sorry!

We could offer excuses like…

when we started we thought a record a year just like the good old days would be a valid goal and one year after our second record ‘Arrows’ we were heading into to record and… well… February happened and not even considering anything else, that more than anything kept us as busy as all hell. We pulled over fifty free shows in a month in backyards, parks, tattoo parlours, living rooms, street corners and anywhere else that wanted some spirit raising. We had the recording and releasing of the ‘Harbour Union’ charity project album in the same month and then a month long Australian tour, which left Adam with glandular fever and pneumonia. That took us through to October and suddenly our album-a-year philosophy had blown out. So take this as a make up to you and ourselves!...

We could tell you it’s only six minutes longer than ‘Arrows’ even with six extra songs and we just put it on two discs to give you a break in the middle…

We could tell you that London Calling is McGrath’s favourite record and he always joked the Eastern's third album would be a double also and then someone called him on it…

We could mention that even in the digital age of immediate everything sometimes the act of sitting down, driving or walking around with something that takes a little longer may be actually kinda nice (we hope!)…

We could say that even though it’s a double it’ll still retail at a single album price in stores and at shows (the vinyl might be a little more but shit you try sending 400kgs of something from the U.S. and try keeping the price down! but it’ll be cheap as we can make it promise)…so if ya buy one it’s double for nothing right?...

We could say that this is the first record we’ve done on a label that isn’t our own and because we were so fucking grateful and humbled by their support and faith (thank you rough peel records!!!) we wanted to give them total value for money so worked twice as hard to make them twice as much music to put out…

Or that our usual producer/engineer/goodsort Ben Edwards lost the mighty sitting room studio in the sept. quake and his new one in the February quake and we wanted to prove to him that we could make something cool and lasting outside the studio environment which leads us to….

The gracious Harris family of Dallington, who being forced to move out of the house they’ve called home for over thirty years (down the road their parents lost their house they’ve had for fifty) offered their broken little house to us to record in before the insurance company knocked in down…so there we were in the mostly abandoned suburb of Dallington/Avonside and we desperately wanted to honor the space and the people who’ve lost their homes around it and make something bigger than usual and hopefully meaningful to them and to us…the more cynical amongst ya are probably playing finger violins right now…we ain’t bothered by that but just so you know there is a bunch of fiddle on the record!

 

We could offer artistic (and we use that word very shakily in relation to ourselves) reasons such as…

A lot has happened to us and where we live in the past year and we had a lot of stories to tell and a bunch of things to sing about…

That we thought it might be a bold and ambitious attempt to make something cool and big that we could be proud of. And in doing that push ourselves and our (albeit meager) abilities some. It maybe a little unexpected from a little string band such as ourselves but shit all the good stuff mostly is unexpected…and we hope this is good…

Out of the bunch songs we had for this record we actually fell in love with a swag and thought they fit and balanced each other well…and figured and hoped that you might feel the same also…

We figured that we live in a time where people don’t care about records so much and that’s cool but we love ‘em and although we’ve been real lucky so far…the luck and the road might run out and we at least wanted to say we made the most of our time and our resources and all the stories that were running around where we live and the people that live around us…

Some folks said “put it out as two records, one after the other”. We thought you’d only do that if you were chicken, good at marketing or guns and roses…we are none of those things…

Also we wanted to have the Woolston Brass Band on it, and you can’t have a brass band on anything other than a double record (that’s like clause 20 section B in the self obsessed songwriters handbook!)

And if you live in a time where people may be more interested if you put your album on a usb stick than a disc then because we’re a bloody contrary mob we said double the disc…

Is this all folly? Does it even matter?

Shit that ain’t up to us to figure out…we’ll just mutter the above and shuffle our feet nervously put the record out and back away before the whole thing blows up in our face with a whimper or even a bang…

but you know its done now and in the first week of march it’ll be out and hopefully it’ll find a place nestled in a corner of a record store somewhere or in your house or car and hopefully you’ll be glad its there…we’re just glad we got to have a shot…

its called

‘Hope and Wire’

its released on the small but mighty ‘Rough Peel Records’ and distributed by the always kind Rhthymethod in NZ and Newmarket music in Australia

it has twenty songs on it

it was produced/recorded/mixed/mastered by the

ever industrious and generous

Ben Edwards

In Dallington, Christchurch New Zealand

It’ll be available in all good community record stores and online anywhere you can buy music i.e. amplifier.co.nz, iTunes etc.

(like all our records you won’t find it in the warehouse because we refuse to offer them a discount over and above that which other record stores get…when you a buy a new release from there have a think on that)…

it’ll be available on double vinyl late march

and its dedicated to

all our friends, loved ones, neighbours and strangers in the city of Christchurch specially on the eastside

e…hope and wire