Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anything but that bloody word...

hello friends,

we are having a little break but don't fret because we'll be back in 2008, with more shows and new records. Rich is living in Brighton playing in Hot Damn and I Am Sparticles and working for and with the children. Mark lives in Brighton too, whipping the internet into shape and drinking high-end water. Dave is touring with JOY and having a nice time co-steering Kingston-Upon-Thames into a glittering future. Lindsay is keeping it real, haunting East London working in fashion and sipping martinis.

OK, cool! say hello if you want to.

Friday, November 09, 2007

US Tour Diary

The Steal - US Tour August 2007

It's been two months since we returned home to the loving shores of Britain. It's safe to say that the trip I'm jut about to tell you about had a profound affect on me personally and I'm sure the same can be said on behalf of Mark, Lindsay & Rich too. The Steal has always been about acting on ideas, not just dreaming about things you're never going to do, if you want to do something just make it happen. Six months after we decided to "Go to America" we found ourselves packed up and ready to leave...

I wrote parts of this at home and parts of it on the road so excuse the bad English, I also received the grades E & F for English GCSE so thet'd do it aswell!

The tour really started in England, playing two shows with our old friends Set Your Goals. Kingston & Brighton are where The Steal feel at home so it felt totally natural to yet again grace the stage of The Peel & The Engine Rooms. It's been an odd year for us, I can count on one hand how many times we've practiced so it was a real stroke of luck we were able to get back in to the swing of things just before we left for the US.

After the Brighton show we headed back to Rich's house and after a few games of Wi bowling we hit the sack. Alarms ringing all at once we awake as a group and put the operation into practice. Yes, we have plane tickets, yes we have passports, no we don't have an adequate amount of clothes or supplies but that doesn't matter (I'd like to point out that even by 'tour' standards we didn't have alot of clothes, I think Rich and Lindsay had 2 t-shirts and a pair of jeans) . We did however had to make ourselves look really smart for the plane journey, I won't go into details but i'll just say that America doesn't really want punk bands in their country and as we didn't want any reason to be questioned we all wore our "Generic Male" outfit and I'll tell you it worked a treat.

After many delays at Gatwick we headed out on Zoom 101 to JFK. It was one of the first budget trips to the US and this was a pretty big factor in the tour happening at all so thanks ZOOM! We had a pretty good flight watching Shrek 3 and Simpsons...oh and a comptely clear view of Greenland which was amazing and like nothing I'd ever seen. The plane flew along the east coast of Canada down to our first destination NYC.

It took a few hours to get along with the NYC subway but eventually we made it to Brooklyn where we met up with our buddy Andreas. He's been working in New York for a couple of years as a photographer the jammy cunt. We went to his sweet warehouse conversion (exactly like you'd imagine a New York warehouse flat to be) and sat up on the roof having a bbq for a few hours with our new friends (this strangely included the dude from Masterdon that was in town that night too...weird but fun). We walked down to the edge of Brooklyn and got on to another roof of an apartment building that pretty much gave us the best view of the skyline possible and the fact that we'd finally arrived sank in. This is already the best holiday i've been on in my life.

We all slept in Andreas' room with pretty much no need for covers, this place is HOT HOT HOT. Our driver Jimmy Doyle, who we had never previously met swung by the warehouse about 10am and after a little introduction we headed into Manhatten to pick up a drum kit & bass guitar from another NY resident that once frequented the UK punk scene, Pete from the Bombjacks. Baring in mind none of us really knew Pete all that well apart from Rich and even then it'd been a good few years we were amazed at the kindness of him and his girlfriend Lindsay for lending us the majority of the gear we needed for the tour, they saved us ALOT of money and time and we owe them!

Driving down to Philadelphia was next on the the days agenda for us which was a great way to start the gigging aspect of the tour. The Church ruled, it was like a gathering of all the Philadelphia hardcore scene under one roof so we hung out with all those guys all night at the most insane Kareoke bar ever...that place went off. Went to a couple of partys around the city, ate some Philly soft pretsels straight out the oven and headed back to Josh from Paint It Black's house (with Jared too) where he lived with the bass players from Hot Cross & Dillinger Escape Plan. It was at this point I realised that the US punk / hardcore scene is quite alot like the UK one, the bands are more established and well known on a worldwide scale but they all know each other and share houses and go to each others shows just like we do.

We hung in Philly for a few hours, went for a vegan philly cheesesteak which actually didn't live up to it's rep however if we hadn't have gone to Giana's cafe we wouldn't have met up with Team Yes! A few of us had me them at the kareoke bar but the night before as they were in town to see Armalite but we didn't know how much of a big part they would play in our lives for the next 36 hours. After going to the Rocky steps, Love park, FDR skatepark we headed to Richmond, Virginia where they lived.

We rolled into town ate some chips and gave them a call. We had a few places to go when we arrived, a kinda college party which was exactly how it is in the movies...I spent most of the time discussing UK / US politics with a student guy while the others played beer pong in the garden. We left pretty swift and met up with the Richmond girls and they took us to a bar. People still smoke in bars here as it's the tobacco capital of the states, but it was cool hanging out with everyone and talking about their area and the local music scene. We hung out all night and got up really early and went round town. The girls took us in to their group and showed us some great places to get food, let us into their houses and lives entirely. It was the coolest thing ever. We went down to the river James in Richmond and went swimming. This was amazing, I couldn't ever imagine just hanging out in a river like this back home, I had a real great time and Andreas was contantly taking photos of our sunburnt bodies.

After swimming we met up with everyone we'd met in Richmond and went out for dinner. I can't express how cool this was, it'd like we'd known them for years, the girls of Team YES!!! literally made us feel at home in the most literal sense. If we were to go home now i'd think it was already worth the money. As we were leaving things took a small turn for the worse when Rich realised his bag (containing his passport, the small amount of clothes he had, phone etc) was missing. We looked around everyones house and couldn't find it. At that point there was nothing we could do about it so we set off on the massive journey South without it.

We drove all night on our way to South Carolina, the journey was pretty horrible, more so for Jimmy as we arrived at about 10 am having driven all night and been questioned by the cops about our travelling intentions. It seemed over the top but I think they are just really concerned with drugs getting distributed around states, I think they realised that wasn't really our bag and sent us on our way.. It was now mine and Rich's birthday and we were in the furthest southern point of the trip. I went out for a bike ride around greenwood on a borrowed bike on my own. It was a great feeling to be totally relaxed and distracted from the everyday stuff that would normally cloud my life with worry. I didn't have my phone or any money with me and it didn't even matter, It was such a nice feeling to just be in a position where I only had to make short term decisions. I needed this holiday.

Ken & Ryan who were putting on that night's show took us down to another river with really strong rapids where we hung out for a good few hours. I could really do this every day, just playing around in an entirely natural surrounding without a care in the world. Amazing. I got totally sunburnt again and beat up on the rocks but that just added to the evenings performance at the local skateboard / bike shop. We're still pretty tired and not 100% on form but for us this is more about seeing the country for us, which has so far been pretty unreal!

Everyone we've met here so far has been so amazing to us, I think over here the punk scene is actually properly alternative just because of the way the country is. People have taken days out of their lives just to show us the best parts of their towns & cities and we were intergrated into things that we would have never found otherwise. Amazing! Ken & Ryan's friend Melissa made us some awesome Vegan food and made me and Rich some special birthday cake...oh yeah have a look


We left South Carolina and drove for a good few hours before we stopped for our first Taco Bell and eventually a little trip to a Mexican themed service / tourist area called "South Of The Border" that was full of huge animal sculptures and shops like "Hats of The World". We decided to buy some really short shorts and put them on straight away for an intense photo session.

We pulled up to the show in Greenville, North Carolina about 9:30 pm, we've discovered it's pretty much impossible to get to any of the shows early even with driving all day but luckily this was a late show anyway. The line up was pretty varied but we had a great show, the place went off! Alot of the local kids told us they haven't had any punk bands or anything with "that much energy" in a long time so we were pretty stoked on that. What could have been an awful show turned out to be pretty damn cool.

We had to drive all night again to get to a place called Brunswick, Maryland where we were staying. It was a really nice proper American house, similar to the Dischord house you see in all the old Minor Threat photos with a basement and everything. It was a a shame we didn't get to hang here more as the people that put us up were yet again super nice and waited up until we arrived at 7:30 am just to make sure we had everything we needed.

After a very very short sleep we got back in the van and headed to the next show. It was at Asbury Lanes, a bowling alley in Asbury Park, New Jersey. We arrived too late to really have a look around the surrounding area but the alley itself was a 50's styled rock n' roll hang out situated right near the Jersey shore. We played a few games and drank soda until the bands started. One Win Choice were kind enough to lend us their gear and were so supportive of our efforts to come to the US off our own back they actually gave us all their pay...amazing! Also on the bill was long time friend of The Bouncing Souls, Pedro who did a couple of spoken word sets and our new favorite band Dirty Tactics. We went back to Kate (Is Great)'s house with Dirty Tactics and while the others were hanging out and inventing another fictional band my tiredness got the better of me and I went to sleep in the Chunksaah label room because it reminded me most of my bedroom with all the CD boxes around!

I got up first and sat out on the porch area for an hour or so, it was really relaxing and I had another one of those "America" moments watching the world go by. We stopped off in Redbank, NJ and popped into Kevin Smith's comic shop "Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash". It was pretty cool and all the staff that work in the shop are people you'd recognise as extras in all the films. We grabbed a coffee and a panini in a nice little cafe, it turned out the guy that worked there had been at the show the night before and he sorted us right out. Again, another instance of strangers going above and beyond the call of duty. The debate rages on in my mind, is it that people are just nicer here or is the punk scene just alot more "alternative" than in the UK and the people within that group are just really supportive of everyone in it.

An unfortunate moment of realisation came as we left for the show in Washington DC. We had simply left too late to get there in time to play, that's something that doesn't happen too often at home!

Hanging our heads in shame we went north to Long Island, NY where Jimmy lived. We had some much needed food and a swim in his pool before getting the train into Manhatten. I'd never seen anything like it, a double decker train! We went to meet Andreas at his place of work, the studio was pretty unreal decorated by shots of some of the worlds best known actors & world leaders. With our bands mutual interest in design we were all pretty keen to see some photo retouching techniques in action however the majority rule was to go to a bar. I don't drink myself so after an hour or so I got a bit bored of sitting around so when the others moved on I decided to go on a little wonder of my own. I walked from the lower east side about 50 blocks north to the Empire State / Times Square area and just walked around until about 8am. This was very cool up to the point where my bare feet in old school vans decided to give in and the blisters on my feet developed at lightning speed. I hobbled around for a bit longer, every step an absolute killer but eventually got on to the subway to Brooklyn where I caught up with the others and was able to sleep for a couple of hours.

We caught the subway into town to try and sort out Rich's passport problems at the British embassy. Everything seemed to be going well and they told him to "come back at 3" and it shouldn't take more than 30 mins...bonus! The reality however was that the embassy shut at 1pm, did the other guy even work there? who knows! So the embassy was shut and wouldn't be open again until monday which was 3 days away when we're supposed to be 200 or so miles north in Buffalo. Everybody is super tired and frustrated when we board the train to Hicksville, Long Island but Jimmy picks us up and after his family fed us up super well we're all feeling much more with it. The show was at the bar Jimmy works at, a small bar called Mr Beerys. My feet were killing but somehow as soon as we started playing the adrenalin / a shot of red bull syrup kicked in and i was able to break through the pain barrier for a solid 25 mins and we played super fast with every song back to was rad!

We fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow and awoke to find a much needed NY breakfast waiting for us on the table.

We left pretty sharpish as todays show was in the afternoon, or so we thought. We arrived at the hall in Windsor, CT which appeared to be in the centre of nowhere. It turned out we didn't play until second to last but it was a good fun show fueled by Jimmy's BBQ mushrooms / A1 sauce. We also got to see Jimmy's band "The Fad" who totally rule, they sound like a more hardcore version of Big D & The Kids Table.

My feet and legs still fucking kill but I find getting through the shows pretty easy...the other 23.5 hours are painful though. We stayed at Chris from Aspestos record's house with some of the other bands including Rick Johnson Rock n' Roll Machine which is a Mustard Plug solo project with Jeff BTMI playing guitar and some other cool guys. Had a chat about Billy Bragg with him and pretty much went straight to sleep.

We were in no major rush to get to Windsor, CT as it was only an hours drive at most so we stopped off at a retail park and mall complex somewhere on the way. After another quality bagel we split up and bought the necessary items like boxer shorts, socks and New Era baseball caps before heading into the cinema to watch "Superbad" which was a lot funnier than I expected so check that out when it's around in the UK. We arrived at the venue around the same time as all the other bands who all turned out to be super nice and super good. I forget the name of the first band but they were exactly the kinda hardcore that hardcore should be...these were real kids singing proper youth crew anthems about getting shit and wanting to skate. They sounded a lot like the first Bold band Crippled Youth. The singer is blatantly gonna be in a huge hardcore band in 5 / 10 years. A post hardcore / "real" screamo band called Lautrec from Chicago were next up and they ruled. Those guys were an example of what you can do in the US, they formed their band and instead of playing a first show they booked themselves an entire tour and just went on the road. Awesome, look them up. A metallic crust / hardcore band called Black Ships from Canada and a tech thrash / grind band whose name escapes me also played the veteran run community centre and were both as intense as a good village stoning. Immense!

We drove back to Long Island, NY that night and stayed with Fad guitarist Ricky. Ricky is safe as fuck and introduced us to the US version of the Mighty Boosh - "Flight Of The Concordes" and his 5 week old kitten that he found abandoned in a park. I really like Long Island, I guess for me it's like home...far enough out from the city that you don't have the bullshit attached to it but close enough that you can just get a train in anytime you want. He drove us to the train station while Jimmy was still passed out on his floor.

Today's the day we were supposed to be playing in Buffalo however as a group we decided that it was more important for Rich to sort out his passport than drive 12 hours and just worry about it. We separated in NYC for the afternoon and went about on our own little missions. I personally had about $10 left in the world so I just had another bagel and sat down for a couple of hours in Time Square, just chilling out and trying to find an internet cafe. After we all met up we realised we had nowhere to go so we gave the Brooklyn show promoter a call and even though we were 2 days early she met up with us, took us out in Williamsburg and let us stay in her warehouse apartment. Me and Pavey could see the direction the evening was taking when the others needed to get more booze at 5am so we went and huddled up on Stella's sofa and prayed to the god of social standards to make Lindsay & Rich shut up so we could go to sleep. Needless to say I was pretty tired the next day but nothing another bagel and a cup of "Good Morning America" couldn't sort out.

We had another day roaming the streets of NYC, we went all around the lower east side, a brief trip into Queens to go to an art gallery that was shut...the usual. Rich noticed a tattoo shop that one of his friends from back home worked in for a while so we popped in and 15 mins later Rich was getting a light bulb tattooed on the inside of his right arm by supposedly one of the best artists in the game!

Andreas was back from a shoot later that night so we went to another bar and waited for his arrival. We stayed in his warehouse again, that place is rad, I can't even express how much of a good space it is. Everyone was ready for bed pretty sharpish so much sleep was had by all, until Pavey's "Alarm that you can't turn off" was on an endless cycle for long enough that we all went insane, except Pavey who managed to sleep through it.

So, our last real day in the USA was here. Pavey really wanted to go and see an exhibition in Manhatten, at this point I was actually down to about $4 plus $6 on my Metrocard so I declined and Rich suggested that we go down on the Staton Island ferry so I could see the Statue Of Liberty. It was a rainy day and to be honest it didn't look all that impressive but the experience is to be had. We met up back at the apartment to do some photos with Andreas, Jimmy and other Fad guitarist Cody met us there too all set to take us to the final venue, The Charleston, Williamsburg. This was the perfect way to end the tour, some of the friends we made had come out, Pete and his wife Lindsay were there, Al Paxton from Stapleton was there aswell as other randoms from back home. It was indeed the perfect way to end the tour and one of the best shows we had on the trip. Here's the final song...


Unfortunatly the last day was mainly spent stressing out about getting to the airport, filling our bags with remaining merch, eating bad food and standing in ques. We flew out of JFK at 17:30 hrs and arrived back in miserable Gatwick at 6:40am red eyed, depressed and longing for a bagel.

Thank You: Jimmy + family & all of the Fad, Charles Get Outta Town, Andreas Konrath, Pete & Lindsey, Ken & Ryan, Emily, Tiffani, Michelle, Laura from Team Yes, Dan, Andy, Josh & Jared from Paint It Black, Kate (is great), Dirty Tactics & anyone who let us be a part of their lives while we were in town. AMAZING!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

C to the E, to the R, to the N, hot damn they're fine lookin' men...


My arm is getting better, thanks for asking. Turns out it wasn't broken or even fractured, just very badly bruised... LAME.

So we still haven't sorted out all those releases, haha. If anyone ever asks why we need record labels in the world it's because musicians for the most part like making music (no shit) but dislike the annoying details like sending masters off to the pressing plant for example, or deciding on artwork... Ho Hum. Maybe we should just do a Radiohead.

Anyway, in this age of enlightenment of free stuff to the consumer, thereby building and maintaining the brand, i've stuck up the entirety of our album for CONSTANT STREAMING. whoa. AND AND AND... our Radio One Lock Up Session that only two songs were ever broadcast, in a "Best of British (cleaning out the session closet)" type affair.

This is all to keep you peachy as we go through the slackest period of our existence... bear with us please.

In other news, The Dagger and I went to the line between this world and the next; the cusp of science; the future; through the looking glass; the border between Switzerland and France, last weekend. Holy shit, if we didn't have our minds blown by the end of our tour of the Atlas experiment, then the 30 hour sleep deprivation brought us through the doors for sure.

Right back to our pale imitation of life...


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rich Gets Fucked

So two fairly big bits of news today.Firstly as some of you might have seen from our myspace blog Richard"RIM"Phoenix has broken his arm skateboarding.The repercussions of this is that we are obviously gonna be out of action as a performing band for the next few months,hopefully we will be playing shows by November depending on how his arm is.We can all take solice in the fact that I have been assured he did it while busting rad air over over a hip.It seems he got over confident tweaking out his nose grab and just got cocky trying to land it in a manual.Yeah thats definitely what happened, its not like he was just carving up a concrete bowl and just fell over for no reason...nope he would never do that.....So anyway what this does allow us to do is actually get organised and finally finish off those pesky records we have been talking about for the last year,hell we might even get them done in time for our two year anniversary.Our side of the The Mercury League Split has been remixed by Dave for the 20th time and last night we re-recorded the vocals for the lightyear release.I have to say both sound pretty sweet, but then im probably biased arent I?


Monday, September 03, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Short Shorts Super Team!

As some of you may have noticed, from the fact that we played a show in the UK a few days ago, WE ARE BACK FROM THE USA!Now that the jet lag has worn off and we are begining to realise just how crappy not touring is as the wave of real life responsability crashes into the steal HQ I thought now would be a good time to say a few words.On the whole our experiences in America were amazingly positive and we are eternally indebted to certain groups of people for taking a bunch of lost brits under their collective wings and treating us like we had known them our whole lives (and not like the unwashed drunks that kept you all up when we stayed at your houses).A few words of thanks here can't really sum up how grateful we all are to the people that helped us when we were 3000 miles away from home, but suffice to say you all made it the best holiday/tour ever and we hope you stay in contact.

Super Duper thanks go to
-Jimmy "Disco" Doyle of the Fad for driving us on the tour and not calling us idiots for booking shows that were 12 hours apart (it didnt look that far on the map!).
-Andy,Josh,Jared and Dan of PIB for sorting us out with a rad show,taking us to kareoke and letting us sleep on your floor (not to mention the 4am pretzels).
-The Richmond Horror Girls for letting us abuse both your flats and being our den mothers (and for putting up with the extra Love Knife members).
-Ken,Ryan and Mellissa for all the fun down in South Carolina as well as the birthday pie for Dave and Rich.
-Kate and the Ashbury Lanes for all the hospitality in New Jersey and for having one of the coolest venues ever.
-The Doyle household for feeding us("But what do you eat if you dont eat meat?"),cleaning us and letting us swim in your pool.
-Missy and Gemma for a memorable night/morning on the streets of New York.
-The Punknews dudes and dudettes for streaming the album and being so much help.
-Stella for a rad night out and an even radder last show.
-Simon for the amazing bbq.
-Andreas for letting us crash on your floor so many times,being such a good friend and a cool dude,Love Knife misses you Bruno.
-All the american kids that came to our shows, sorry to anyone that went to one of the shows we had to pull out of expecting to see us.
-All the promoters for taking a chance on helping us out.
-The Fad for all being cool people and for not getting angry at us stealing their singer away for 2 weeks.
-Charles at Get outta town records for putting out our cd in the usa,sorting us out with so much help and being an amazing dude.
-Pete and Lindsey for lending us so much stuff at such short notice.
-All the people at for sorting out our merch etc.
-All the people that i have no doubt forgotten to name check, sorry my memory is rubbish!

These bands are amazing check them out
The Fad, Dirty Tactics, Small Arms Dealer, Unicorn Basement, Dynamite Arrows, Eat and Run, Paint it black, One win Choice, Sensitive Ghost(sigh), Short Shorts Super Team and the amazing Love Knife.

Much Love - Check out the whole USA tour experience in the Usa Tour zine (on its way in a month or so)

x The Steal

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Roast Egg

We're playing with Dean Dirg from Germany tonight at the GYC. We lost most of our plasti-flock, but at least we'll be playing our own guitars again!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

des laser

we made it!

we're now here in america, in richmond. come on.

love you.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stream, stream, stream, stream, stream...

Those lovely chaps and chapesses at have our entire album up for stream on their site in celebration of our album being put out by Get Outta Town, you can celebrate with everyone else here and here.

We have a few more dates confirmed for the tour. Check the shows for details. ta.

ALSO we're playing tonight at the Kingston Peel, bring your dancing shoes.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Busy Bee.

For all the kids who like to sing along... LYRICS!

and and and and... i made a Steal VIRB account which we're going to use eventually to stream all our songs, I just put up the songs from the split we did with Set Your Goals last year. Bonzer.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Over the Sea and far away...

Right, for once we have a load of actual real useful information to give you. Come on.

Firstly our album, The Steal, is getting released in the United States of America!!! The wonderful chaps at Get Outta Town records are doing this with us and we're stoked that they're into the album enough to put it out over there... so much so that we'd like to collectively hug and kiss them. This is what they had to say about us...

"What would you get if you crossed Kid Dynamite, Descendents and Gorilla Biscuits? The catchiest and most incredible love-child ever, THE STEAL! UK's THE STEAL have taken the traditional forms of melodic punk and hardcore and churned it into something of their own. Packing more hooks than a tackle box into songs less under a minute long, THE STEAL has proven that be it a house show or packed venue, they understand how to keep the spirit of punk and hardcore going strong.
THE STEAL has shared the stage with such bands as Lifetime, Shook Ones, Good Clean Fun, Set Your Goals (with whom they released a split 10") and Paint It Black. Be on the lookout for these dudes to hit US shores for a northeast tour in August 2007! Just when you thought there couldn't be any catchier, faster, and more melodic music...."

...Scooter comes along and saves the day!
Anyway, what can we say Charles? flattery will get you everywhere.

This will be released in time for our second major news announcement...

Our US East Coast tour! Hooray!! As with everything we do, it's all turning out to be quite last minute. We leave next Thursday, the 9th of August and return on the 24th. Holy shit, that's a week away!
What we have so far is on the shows page, and they'll be a few more TBC's confirmed over the next few days.

Other things that should know about is the 2 shows we're playing with Set Your Goals before we head of to the US of A... Next tuesday in Kingston at the Peel, and the wednesday in Brighton at the Engine Rooms. these should be a lot of fun, and it'd be nice to see some friendly faces before we head off into the great unknown of TOUR...
"this is a car park, not a hotel.
this is a packet of crisps, not a meal.
give me my bloody job back.
this is a tour, not a holiday."

Thursday, July 05, 2007



No smoking in venues again!

My lungs may now have a chance to return to their normal state after all.


Download this.

It's great.

Our music video for breakout (at last!) -

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

goodbye, half a million quid

The high cost of selling out

You've got the band, you've got the talent (or you'd like to think so) - all you need now to make the big time is that killer hit ... and about half a million pounds. Dave Simpson reports on the price of fame or, more realistically, the cost of squandering money on a lost cause

Friday June 29, 2007
The Guardian

Advance: £150,000
An advance is the money a record company gives to the band when the contract is signed - it's cash the label plans to recover from the earnings the band will make from future CD and download sales. It is meant to cover the band's living expenses over the cycle of a recording, releasing and promoting an album (which is usually around 18 months). The advance is split between the four members, and the manager will take 20% off the top. That works out as less than pounds 35,000 each over a year and a half, which isn't enough to make throwing TVs out of hotel windows a viable financial option.

Recording costs: £100,000
A hundred grand, staggering as it sounds, is an average figure for a band to spend on recording an album. They'll have run through the recording in a decent studio with a reasonable producer - for that kind of money they can't afford to spend eight weeks rerecording one tom-tom. A chunk of the money - around £30,000 - will go to whichever whizz kid producer is entrusted with the task of turning tuneless reprobates from Rugby into a collision of the Beatles and the Stones. More will go to recording engineers, remixers, as well as towards studio hire and the costs of mastering the record.

Videos: £90,000
In 1995, Michael Jackson's record company spent more than $7m making the video for Scream ($53,000 alone was spent on breaking guitars), but a band can now make a decent promotional tool for as little as £5,000, though a major label will spend more than that to get a shot at rotation on MTV2. A new act would ideally be partnered with a hip promos director, such as Wiz (who shot Kasabian's Empire but charges a minimum of £80,000), but it's more likely band and label will reach a compromise, maybe £90,000 for videos for two songs shot by someone who'll work for less.

Advertising and posters: £95,000
The age-old industry tool of a "blaze" of publicity has not got any cheaper. A half-page ad in NME might cost £5,000, while an advert on MTV2 or Kerrang! TV costs £10,000 per single (that's the price of airtime plus the costs of making the ad). A good poster campaign costs £10,000 per single and £15,000 for an album, but posters can be wasted money, as our expert explains: "All Saints had a massive comeback campaign but the record bombed. You can't take those posters down, whereas if they'd booked TV airtime they could have switched it to a different act."

Clothing: £200
Many rock bands don't spend money on stylists, at least until they're in contention for glossy magazine covers - they're scruffy blighters because their fans think filth looks cool. Generally, the only time a rock band will shell out on outfits will be for a certain look for a video, and that's covered by the video budget. "Bands like Hundred Reasons or the View have not spent money on clothes," says a music industry expert, "although we recently had to give one band's manager £200 to get them some new trainers, because their feet smelled."

Touring: £40,000
Bands start to make money from touring once they're successful, but before that the record company must pay to send them round the country, with a sound man. Rising bands typically lose around £20,000 over three UK tours in a year this way. Bands seeking to get major exposure as support to an established act may even be forced to pay to get on the bill, depending on how unscrupulous the headliners' management is. More money - another £20,000 - goes on travelling to TV and radio sessions and hiring equipment. Bands claw this back through merchandising: a £10 T-shirt makes six quid a time for the group.

Retail and displays: £53,000
Not many people know that those eye-catching window displays in record shops are actually bought and paid for. Getting the likes of HMV and Virgin to stock and put up instore promotion for a CD costs around £10,000 for a debut single, £18,000 for a higher profile follow-up and £20,000-£25,000 for an album. Similar deals are done for piles of beans in supermarkets, although you wouldn't put them in your CD player.

Photos: £10,000
It will take a top rock photographer to turn the four former butchers and builders from Plymouth into four budding and brooding Johnny Borrells. A master of the moody image such as Kevin Westerberg (famed for shots of the likes of REM and Thom Yorke) won't take the lens cap off for less than £10,000, and that's before the cost of hiring studios, lights and so on. Luckily, a lesser name can do the whole package for under £5,000, while for those on a particularly tight budget there's always the photo booth in Boots.

Conquering the internet: £20,500
It costs around £3,000 to create the band's website, but you've also got to hire a publicist to bring the band to the attention of music websites, make tracks available digitally and pay someone to update a band's MySpace site. Another bare minimum of £4,500 (£500 a month over nine months) goes on paying a firm to set up "street teams" - armies of highly motivated whippersnappers who promote a band because they love them. Street teams themselves don't get paid, but they get to meet the band at the soundcheck, get a T-shirt and a copy of the album. Flyers and other tools for these pesky kids add another £3,000.

Creating a buzz: £36,000
Around £12,000 goes on retaining a TV plugger for six months to take your video to the TV stations. That is vitally important when a show such as Later with Jools Holland can massively raise a band's profile. "Later's not easily pluggable, but you wouldn't get on the show without a plugger," the Guardian is told. "They'd never put a band on who they stumbled across in the pub." You need a different plugger to get you on to radio, and another publicist to deal with the print media - and you'll be paying them the same as the TV plugger.

Total cost: £594,700
Launching a band is ludicrously expensive, but it's not all dead money. Of the expenses quoted above, the label will generally recoup around 50% of video costs once the band starts to sell records, and they can also claw back some of the costs of touring, recording - and, of course, the advance will come back once the band have earned that much money from sales. But the rest is lost, and as our expert puts it: "Obviously, if the band flops, all is lost." And that's the key point: most band are destined to fail. So, goodbye, half a million quid.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

women in love

Monday, June 18, 2007

Drugs and Violence


In response to some rumours we've heard recently, yes, A&R men & women we would like to be taken out for free dinners and drinks...

We are a flexible bunch, into everyone getting involved, if it's your money you should have a say we think... Tell you what, i even watched MTV2's red button chart today and enjoyed at least 5 songs on it... We are capable of writing pop songs that would blow your mind too so we're definitely worth investing into for the future, if this hardcore malarky doesn't create a market in the mainstream alternative field then as i say, we're flexible...

A few requirements maybe contained within future contracts though, and to save some hassle i'll outline a few of the more important ones...

- The budget and resources must be made available for the writing and performing of our 'looped universe theory' song at the centre point of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

- Help with starting the first ever franchised hardcore band, whereby we need never leave our homes to go on tour, we have auditioned counterparts all over the world "rocking the face off every motherfucker in the room" simultaneously. Meaning we don't get bored of playing the same songs, over and over and over again and develop unwanted drink and drug habits from the sheer boredom of our glamorous lifestyles.

- U2's old zoo tv stage gear.

- Someone to write our second album for us, we can't be bothered, we can give you the outline... we just need someone to 'fill in the gaps' like music and the actual words.

- Sign our unborn children into the contract too. They'll thank us when their older.

- Let us write an album (i guess number three this will be) about how everyone likes us but that's really shit because no-one really understands us really and we're all lonely because it's lonely being a star and we get sad and have had some problems but we're working through it but it's not all that great at the top you know it's a bit shit. And it'll be a bit awkward and not that good because we'll deliberately be trying to be something we're not and experimenting really badly and trying to show people we're not confined to this box you put us us in man, we're totally something else, get off my case, etc... BUT You will have to make it a hit record or else we'll complain that you're a shit label and did market us properly or advertise it well enough, you shits.

- During the 2 months that the people who liked us at your label are still employed there we get to decide what everyone wears.

there are more... we can discuss these at dinner.