Yesterday I played a solo set at the Third Annual Surrey Steampunk Convivial – and it were bloody good fun.
The event was organised by the lovely, quite mad Ben Henderson, of the band Moth. It included a Hat Stacking world record attempt, shadow puppets, corset limbo, a recreation of the battle of Waterloo and, of course, snail races.
Lots of fun, well worth attending if you’re in Surrey next February.
I played the whole of the Miser’s Will, something I’ve done live only a couple of times – material I am rather proud of. Even more pleasantly, there were actually people in the audience who knew some of my songs. Not many, but some.
Probably the last solo gig or a while, as I’m busy elsewhere for much of the year. However, there will be plenty of recorded music over the next year, and hopefully some online gigs.
The first couple of reviews of the new EP are in:
The closing title track, begins as a Rhodes lullaby for the first 28 seconds before going into the style of Camille Saint-Saens heavy inspirations of the Danse Macabre in the sinister waltz time signature and not to mention the string section, keeps the tension going in this jazzy-classical-rock sound. And it is really terrifying and menacing, but the lyrics that Tom wrote are staggering and mind-boggling.
Zachary Nathanson – Music from the Other Side of the Room
Steampunk is a genre of fiction and style that takes many forms, from a joyful celebration of Victoriana to disturbingly bio-dysmorphic body-horror; Tom Slatter’s interests tend towards the murky darkness of the latter, and his music is largely directed at articulating unsettling character-driven narratives in such a setting. Through These Veins continues his efforts in this… vein, with dramatic, cinematic songs telling stories of scientific hubris, unhealthy creative obsession and personal tragedy.
I have a new EP. I’ve written about it in the third person:
Tom Slatter Releases ‘Through These Veins’, the first of 3 releases based on the same concept
What could be more prog rock than a concept album? ‘Two concept EPs and a concept album,’ is Tom Slatter’s answer. In his continuing effort to jump on the prog rock bandwagon, Tom has made the commercially savvy decision to dedicate the next twelve months to composing and recording two EPs and one album about the same story, including a twenty minute epic to crown the whole project off sometime in the Autumn.
The first step in this cynical, conceptual sell out is Through These Veins, an EP that tells the story of a rogue surgeon who starts turning her patients into macabre living sculptures.
‘My songs are usually driven by narrative, and this is no exception. In particular I was thinking about albums like Outside by David Bowie, or Operation Mindcrime by Queensryche.
‘Plus, I saw all these English prog rock guys coining it in with their long songs and concept albums and I thought – I need a piece of that. Matt Stevens drives a limousine you know. Alan Reed takes a private jet to the studio every single day,’ said Tom
Through these Veins will be available in 3 forms:
The Pay-What-You-Want version
Tom Explains: Just the 4 tracks, no frills. You’ve got to do pay what you want these days, ever since Radiohead. I hate Radiohead.
The Paid-For download version
Tom explains: This is the one I actually want people to get. You get the four tracks, plus extra artwork and a 2000 word short story that fits in with the EP.
The Physical version
Tom explains: You get a CD with this too, plus all the download stuff. This is the best one, obviously, cos it has the higher profit margin.
Through These Veins is now available for pre-order.
The title track can be heard right now and you get the digital version on 21st Jan. The physical version will ship soon after that and there will be a pay-what-you-want version by then as well. But that version won’t have the extra artwork or the short story that this one does. You should get this one.
So, having finished recording, I am now thinking about artwork for the new EP. Last week five people won a name-out-of-a-hat competition to hear a preview, and I am rather looking forward to letting the rest of you hear the new stuff.
The new EP is called ‘Through These Veins’ and contains three narratively connected songs that are in fact related to a character named ‘Seven Bells John’. This EP, the one after it, and the full length album I’ll hopefully release half way through 2014 are all related to the same character.
As a prelude to the EP, you might be interested in the following:
I have written several songs about Seven Bells John:
Steam Engine Murders and the Trial of Seven Bells John
Seven Bells John is the character in ‘The Steam Engine Murders…’ who during that song is on trial for murder. I’m going to rework this song as part of my next full length album.
Lines overheard at a Séance
Seven Bells is also the subject of ‘Lines Overheard at a Séance’. Here we see the replies that the detective chasing Seven Bells receives when he asks about one of his previous victims.
Ironbark is also related to Seven Bells. The detective mentioned in this is the same as the one who was asking questions at the séance.
How does Seven Bells fit in?
You’ll have to wait to find that out.
Blackwater, a song I’ve demoed is about him. Finished version to come in about three months time.
A stupidly long prog song
Last but not least, the unfeasibly long prog rock song I am currently writing is all about him too.
I have a new EP nearly ready to go. It’s a concept EP, telling the story of a surgeon who is a little too creative in her medical interventions. As per usual, it’s steampunk prog rock, but with some different sounds to my previous stuff.
Steampunk? Yup, I’ll put a cog on the cover.
Prog rock? Yup, the songs go on too long and there’s no way you could dance to them.
With previous releases I’ve done a giveaway where you can get your hands on a preview version. Let’s do that again!
If you would like to hear three rough mixes of new songs, and view a video where I explain the story behind the ep, all you need to do is drop me an email (tomslattermusic AT gmail.com) and tell me you want in. I’ll pick 5 names out of a hat, metaphorically speaking, on Wednesday 13th November.
Actually, not metaphorically. I have a hat. I will pick 5 names out of an actual hat. A top hat!
Here’s a rough clatter through an acoustic version of ten minutes of what will hopefully be the centrepiece to my next full length album.
It’s my birthday this week. One more year avoiding calamity, one more step towards the grave and the sweet release of death.
So let’s celebrate!
I’m feeling pretty chipper at the mo as I’ve been making progress on the next release. This will be an ep with a couple of what are sounding like the best songs I’ve written so far.
However, that’s not ready for you to hear yet, so instead I’ve set all my music on bandcamp to ‘pay what you want*’ so if you don’t have a copy of any of my stuff, especially the latest album Three Rows of Teeth, now’s the time to get yourself a copy. Click here for the bandcamp page.
If you already have a copy, why not send someone else the link?
*Pay what you want= put in any price. You are welcome, in fact invited, to put 0 and get the music for free.
What would it sound like if Nick Cave started writing songs with Genesis after watching too many episodes of Dr Who? How many songs about replacing your body parts with mechanical alternatives is too many? Does the world need a steampunk/scifi inspired prog rock act? Tom Slatter set out to answer none of these questions, but accidentally did.
Yup, I’ve written a new biography thing for the about page. It is here.