Mark Chadwick – Moment, the album.
What’s it all about?
The songs were written over a two year period, during which I went to rehab, gave up drinking for a year and had a good long look at myself and how I fitted into the world around me. Within this album I’m addressing that and look at the whole nature of alcohol and addiction. It picks up lots of other themes throughout but that’s the main thread of it.
The structure of the album and the way I’m exploring the songs is from the middle of your life point of view where you’re looking backwards and forwards and examining where you’ve been and where you’re going. It’s quite a traditional thing to do if you’re an artist. The last song on the album tells the story of all the things that I have seen and I think the overall conclusion is that I am, by the end of the record, at peace with where I’m at now.
The world takes a far too black and white view on addiction and alcohol. If you’re smart and you’re in Rehab you fight like a cat and dog to get out of what has been presented to you as a pretty defined programme that must be adhered to otherwise you’re deemed a failure. It’s an all or nothing approach as far as they’re concerned and that is just terrifying to people. The statistics pretty damming, 90% of addicts fail but people have to be allowed to come to their own way of dealing with it. Society doesn’t help by not really discussing what addiction is. It’s individual. One size does not fit all. And I did not fit the size but I knew I had a problem because I couldn’t stop. And I think those issues are discussed throughout the album in a sensible way and a more hopefully, insightful way.
On the Music
Playing on the album is Double Bass player, Graeme Ross, Piano player, Alex White, on Drums, Tom White and me on Acoustic Guitar, and Vocal. That was the main body of work. I had a vision of recording it right from the beginning. The other musicians wanted demos before hand and I said no. This annoyed them but I said they’d understand why. In the studio everyone was set up to hear everything .That’s the way things used to be made. Van Morrison would show up in Nashville and the musicians would be there sitting round. All brilliant musicians. He starts playing the songs. They join in. Take 3 they’ve got it. And I was using that principle of recording. So I play the song first time, they listen, second time they join in, third time it’s a take. That was it.
The whole thing was a joy to do. There was no labouring over anything. I had the arrangements already in my head. Two of them were brothers so they had a natural ESP. They were really able to work round each other. The bass players a genius and then just to over dub I brought in a trumpet later because I’ve always liked that sound and a fiddle. Every thing’s acoustic. There’s nothing electrical on it, no distortion or synthesised sound and consequently that palette creates an awful lot of light and shade. You can bring things down and up and it sounds a lot bigger than I was expecting it to sound.
The real statement of the album is an exploration of what life is like right now for somebody like me who’s lived the life that I have led and hopefully it’s an honest look at drink, life and love.
Most people don’t like to talk about alcohol issues in public unless there forced to in small rooms in public buildings under a banner. For good or ill it’s here to stay. Sometimes it’s heaven sometimes it’s hell but as someone who’s lived drinking I don’t think its anything to be ashamed of or avoid as a subject in song or life.
In a more than vain attempt to pass on advise to my son in lyrical form I wrote this. Hopefully not as puerile as Robby Williams latest and comes with the universal caveat that the forewarned is forearmed, so beware young man.
You can miss a lot in life. Most of it happens in a moment. I missed the fact that I was being mugged once on tour in the States. It saved my life that I never saw the gun. I thought my mugger just wanted to chat. We became friends. It seems the universe can be funny like that because we are all part of it and in pure physics we simply are.
There’s a photo in my local pub of men having just beaten the boundaries of Lewes. This picture was taken in 1913. They didn’t have a clue what was about to occur, we all do now and we know how much it meant. I wonder if pictures of a similar nature are being taken right now and what they could mean to future generations, and would we take a bullet for them.
CHRISTIAN AND PAM
Never shit on your own doorstep, but from where I live I have witnessed a couple of alcoholics on a daily basis and have been left to wonder why and how they get through a day. Apart from the drinking, there’s history there and love and life and they go on like we all must.
Touring allows you to be the outsider wherever you go, what if you were to kill someone or just drink yourself to death in anonymity or both? Or you could just play on your iPad but where’s the fun in that?
Not Downtown Abbey but the true story of the conception of my father,upstairs downstairs as it happened just after WW2. He took advantage she became my grandmother
The overwhelming absence of another through death, or the death of a part of yourself , where do you go from there? And how abstract emotion can become at critical points in life and death.
We can all get excited. We can say the worst or best things to each other when we get off our heads. Sometimes people stick by what they say in the morning my poorly best friend is one of those, a tonic.
When you just can’t sleep and all the reasons why fly through your head. You can feel the whole world and all it contains going through your mind. Real or imagined you wait for dawn for the final release.