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Demon forum / INTERMISSION: A POST CARD FROM ENGLAND (ONE FOR RUSSEL)
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Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-08-11 14:40   » Email
Hello - Steve Watts here...


I have to admit...writing these blogs isn't easy.

So, I'm sitting outside this typical English country pub ("The Staff Of Life"; Eagles Crag, Todmorden), drinking a typical English pint (Timothy Taylors "Landlord", very nice!), and enjoying (in the words of the brilliant Roy Harper, "Just one of those days in England"...), where the sun is ACTUALLY shining; looking for some inspiration after just returning from a much needed holiday in Spain.

It's taking a while getting back to being used to the English culture; English beer; and not smoking European cigarettes (which somehow felt fine to do over in Europe) but feels somewhat seedy and inherently, a criminal, guilt-ridden activity over here.

It's been nice to take a break from DDR; Demon; everyday "normality" and to recoup the energy necessary to engage in the "fight" of it all - perhaps I should invent a DDR Olympics for strategy, stamina, endurance, and sheer bloody-mindedness?

So...in light of a more relaxed attitude (for now at least), I've decided to lock away the armory and chill out for a while...

First of all, thank you Mike for your invitation to contact both yourself and Dave Hill to discuss and sort out any "issues" regarding past business. I agree, the-demon forum is not the place to do this and have noticed since returning to England that you have removed my most contentious blog (including our online "interviews"). I can assure you Mike, that I'm no longer a child (or coward) as you accused me of being in your last reply.

It's true that I have Dave's telephone and home contact details, but as I stated when we last spoke on the phone some time ago (and you for some reason failed to comment on), it appears that I must obviously re-state, that I have attempted to contact him on many occasions by letter over a period of several years, and have either been ignored or had my requests for information inadequately replied to (whilst you on the other hand have contacted me exactly once in twenty years), which is why I've been forced to take the trouble to contact you all on a public forum.

I will however, be writing to Dave again very soon.

I would like to refrain from discussing any outstanding issues over the phone as you suggested Mike and instead, would ask you to supply your current postal address as either a text (you have my mobile number); or mail (my address is posted below), or in a PM on the-demon forum, so that I can send mail to you formally.

Also, I would ask that if Neil or any other current or past band members feel that they have any legal authority or claim to any Demon music to which my name is attached to as composer, to do the same in writing, and I will also contact them personally in due course.

Thanks.

Secondly, regarding removing contentious blogs, (and in the light of good future relations), I would ask that you also remove your post "THE WAR IS OVER" including any personal abuse that is aimed at myself by the 11th of September 2012.

Thank you.

Anyway - on with this months blog...


So...

I'm sitting outside this typically English pub thinking about what Demon songs to write about and realise that Russell has already supplied the inspiration:

"I am the High Climber - and I'm never gonna' stop"

"High Climber" is a typically English rock track in many respects, it's bold and brash (the 2001 re-master is superb by the way); it has a great riff (in Dorian mode that gives it a very "open", unresolved feeling), and some great performances from the band. If anything, I always thought that it could have been a bit "bigger" and more aggressive (and would have made a great opener to "Heart Of Our Time")

I wrote the main riff and middle section whilst Dave supplied the main song and we arranged it together in my first flat in Stoke, in a small cramped room, festooned with keyboards, and demo'd it on Dave's very basic mono tape recorder.

I was always slightly disappointed with this one and thought that we should have extended it into a much bigger track, with more full on, and aggressive guitars. My original intention was to have a synth/guitar solo battle in the middle section, but as Dave was completely against keyboard solo's in Demon for some reason, I had to fight like crazy to get this idea through; and what you hear today, is a rather watered-down version of the original intention. Dave and John both came up with some really nice guitar riffs and ideas (especially the Eventide harmoniser effects on the guitar solo on the outro).

The keyboard solo (the first and only on any Demon track), was inspired by Rick Wright from Pink Floyd (the solo on "Any Colour You Like" from "Dark Side Of The Moon"), with its heavy pitch- bending and tempo-synced echoes. The Hammond is supplied by Amazons' C3, and was the first time I'd ever attempted to play one of these monsters.

Both John Wright and Gavin Sutherland provide a pounding rhyme section (the best drum and bass duo I've ever had the privilege of playing with, although I was a bit upset when John described my Tangerine Dream inspired keyboard sequence in High Climber as "stupid"!

Not much more to say about it really...a great (perhaps unfinished) potential opening track (not to sure about the female backing vocals to be honest), and certainly one of the best tracks on this very underrated album - and of course, Dave's excellent vocal performance and slightly bitter and contentious lyrics:

"I'm a real live wire...a mega dude"

still resonate.

"Genius" is a very contrasting track and one of my all-time favourites from any Demon album. Its grandiosity is very under-rated (and I like it for this very reason). It was interesting to read a previous blog n the-demon forum regarding the progressive music of Demon being more popular to a European audience and I think that this song sums up those sentiments very well. It was a bugger to record, as although the song is essentially Dave's, the whole track is synthesizer driven and took some serious time to arrange.

It's the only Demon track on which I had to call in some extra help in the studio to program the percussion loops on a just released Yamaha QX1 Sequencer hooked up to the mighty Yamaha TX816 synthesizer that is all over this album. I'd experimented with these loop ideas using Mal's old Ibanez DM1000 Digital Delay unit (which is all over BSA), using a long 440 mSec delay setting and a hold control that allows you to sample "snapshots" of music and then overlay further sequences to create complex layers that go on indefinitely, a great effect but a bit hit and miss: much easier on a digital sequencer (the QX1 is also used to create the "music box" intro on "Grown Ups").

The sequencer is very digital and precise and perfect for this kind of work; obviously these days it would be a synch using computer software such as Cubase or Logic, but back then we had to rely on very complex (and expensive) hardware. Predictably, I ended up going way over the top with this new kit and both Dave and engineer Keith Andrews got rid of a lot of the more esoteric percussion including orchestral timps pounding away in the background. Gavin provides a secondary bass guitar groove that fits beautifully over the relentless TX816 synth bass.

The instrumental track "Summit" on side two of "Heart Of Our Time", was originally written, and intended as the introduction to "Genius", as was the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer "Secret Message" which was intended to introduce the main sequencers, Unfortunately Summit ended up as an oddly out of place track prior to "One Small Step" and the "Secret Message" ended up as an "add-on" at the end of the album.

It really is a beautiful, heart felt song, and I love the last chorus drop and then crescendo with Dave's soaring vocals and beautiful lyrics of alienation; frustration; and eventual resignation and redemption; I think that the lyrics also refer to Mal's absence and a solid determination to do the "right thing", regardless of the costs: the final soaring chorus (one of Dave's all time best vocal performances) is accentuated by my use of the Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford/Genesis bass technique, where the bass stays on the tonic note until finally releasing the tension by moving with the chord structure. I think it works here very well. John provides some lovely guitar ambiences to finalise what is in my opinion, one of Demon's most underrated and beautifully emotive songs... a real classic, and up there in my Demon top ten.

I've uploaded both tracks to YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EtjvfsrVFg

but this time, used the 2001 CD Re-Masters for their superior sound quality over the vinyl originals.

The original score to "High Climber" will be uploaded the upcoming DDR-DEMON ARCHIVE ROOM in due course.

As ever - Enjoy!

Steve Watts 11: 08: 12

Ps. All postcards and other correspondence should be mailed to:

STEVE WATTS
THE WORKSHOP OF FILTHY CREATION
23 GARDEN STREET
TODMORDEN
LANCASHIRE
OL14 5HW

Look forward to hearing from you

Pps. Many thanks to Russel (Hakan) for the inspiration for this one

NEXT TRANSMISSION: 11: 09: 12
[Edited 2012-08-12 01:24]

dEMON dUDES rEVENGE
VERY SOON...
7 posts
Reg: 4/7-12
Posted: 2012-08-11 16:00   » Email
Demon Dudes Revenge: An Adolescent Fantasy Vol.1 is OUT NOW!

CD AVAILABLE FROM:

http://demondudesrevenge.com

The CD is also available from AMAZON-ON-DEMAND U.S. at:

http://www.amazon.com/Adolescent-Fantasy-Vol-1-Demon-Revenge/dp/B008TZXD3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1344427463&sr=1-1&keywords=demon+dudes+revenge


and also worldwide as an MP3 album and single tracks from all major Digital Distributors (see DDR website for details)

"AN ADOLESCENT FANTASY" (VOL 2) IS IN PRODUCTION!

Listen to KING FOR A DAY rough working demo at:

http://soundcloud.com/demon-dudes-revenge/sets/demon-dudes-revenge-an/

Plus DDR: DEMON SoundCloud COMING SOON!


ENJOY! Steve Watts 11: 08: 12
[Edited 2012-08-11 16:02]

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-08-11 16:05   » Email
...
rdd
11 posts
Reg: 4/4-12
Posted: 2012-08-15 06:07
Steven,

Nice post,

In your post you talk about a "secret message" I don't have this on my CD - was it a limited edition? Can you still get it?

Roger Dunn

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2012-08-16 14:43
Nice opener and nice blog Mr Watts.


but as Dave was completely against keyboard solo's in Demon for some reason


Strange really as I heard he was/is a fan of Genesis AND Pink Floyd!

slightly bitter and contentious lyrics


Yes. From a lot of Dave's lyrics, one can tell of his contempt (which I do understand) for the 'go-getter', the greedy and this, I believe, extends into the music business with lyrics on Hollywood, Big Chance, Commercial Dynamite etc. Unfortunately, I don't believe such fervent views helped Demon in any way, shape or form - but at least they didn't 'sell-out'.

I really like 'Genius' Steve, although I find the chorus a little 'empty' in the context of the rest of the composition.

the final soaring chorus (one of Dave's all time best vocal performances) is accentuated by my use of the Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford/Genesis bass technique, where the bass stays on the tonic note until finally releasing the tension by moving with the chord structure. I think it works here very well.


Re Genesis: I DO love the way Tony Banks (in particular) experiments with chord/tempo/time changes in general. I have some score of his, and I look at chord sequences that simply shouldn't work theoretically - chords just don't move diatonically - but result in being extremely powerful - very clever and one needs to invest time into his work to appreciate it I feel. I could always detect aspects of this in Demon with Steve Watts.

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-08-17 22:57   » Email
Hi Giles

Glad you enjoyed the blog. I'm always surprised by the large numbers of people who view them every month, but find it disappointing in how few feel un-confident to actually reply or engage in conversation or debate...perhaps these outsiders will feel more confident to engage in these topics when the DDR-DEMON ARCHIVE FORUM is activated on the DDR.COM site later this year. This will allow fully uncensored blogs from DDR and DEMON fans past and present, to be uploaded to the site, and will also allow users to upload; store, and share their own personal archives.

I've been thinking about a lot of the points you have raised regarding Demon Giles, and will reply to the relevant posts you have made in a full upload soon (presuming there are any of your posts left after judicious censoring!!...good job I copied them!).

Some of your comments I agree with fully, some I don?t, and others I think, are open to debate and wide personal interpretation: it will be interesting to open some (hopefully adult) discussion regarding these, and fingers crossed, all petulance; playground gang-warfare, and general ?fuck you? thuggery, will be kept to a minimum, whilst those who wish to engage in open, adult debate and discussion still can!

Those "chosen few", who feel obliged to act as though they own a first-class ticket and fight for the lifeboats, have I suppose, every right to do so. A shame though: I think it would make a nice change of scene for them to stick their heads above the parapet, smell the roses, and actually converse and fully engage in the reality of the moment, instead of slinging insults from behind a barbwire fence that remains firmly entrenched in some rose-tinted, half-baked, mythological past. Fingers crossed for progress eh?

(First Class tickets are due for collection.)

Speak soon and as ever, a huge thanks to both you, and everyone out there 'standing in the shadows' in Third Class, for your heart-felt support, understanding, enduring patience, and pertinent observations.

Expressing The Heart

Steve Watts 17: 08: 12 (no man-love necessary)
[Edited 2012-08-17 23:01]

Steve Watts 2001
134 posts
Reg: 5/12-11
Posted: 2012-08-18 00:16   » Email
rdd wrote:

In your post you talk about a "secret message" I don't have this on my CD - was it a limited edition? Can you still get it?



Hello Roger - thanks for your post...

Yeah...its kind of a shame the "Secret Message" was ignored on the CD "Heart Of Our Time' CD issues as it's developed something of a cult-status, and was certainly (at least as far as I'm aware), the first time that this had been attempted (even beating Pink Floyd...my all time heroes...for innovation on a rock album). I had to fight like mad to get the thing included at all and had to endure a huge argument/debate with Mike and Dave during the recording sessions.

Admittedly, I've never fully revealed the full extent of the message and it's implications (the "real" secret message was hidden behind a "red herring" that was actually itself the real "red herring" that revealed the actual secret message) -

"BEHIND IT ALL THERE'S SO MUCH MORE" (from "THE LINK")

(you may have read my recent (censored) blog "THE SECOND STAGE:THE LINK TO NEW GROUND" which will slowly begin to unravel over the following months)

...interestingly enough, Chris Ellis, ex-Demon Bassists (to whom the "real" hidden message is aimed at), actually appreciated the attention, when after this message was eventually found (by inputting it into a Sinclair Computer and hacking the code), Demon fans began to contact him at BBC Radio Stoke to claim the "MYSTERY PRIZE"! that they were told they would receive - obviously Chris (or any one else apart from me and the hacker) knew absolutely nothing about this... (I think I eventually revealed the "Chris" prank to Dave sometime later). That level of the message was meant to be an ADOLESCENT PRANK!

Interestingly again, the actual REAL message is revealed in the "red herring" itself, (as the actual secret Chris Ellis message is the REAL red herring).

This was the beginning of my original idea for "DEMON DUDES REVENGE - AN ADOLESCENT FANTASY". I was trying to convey (in perhaps a retrospectively, rather clumsy and pathetic adolescent attempt, a serious personal message to the Demon public (and myself), that something wasn't/isn't quite...right in the camp) and that "FACTS" are often, (and often intentionally), miss-leading. Our adolescent persona is often woefully inadequate at dealing with or expressing confidently, our opinions of these "FACTS": we trust in adults far too willingly; adults who are, more often than not, trying to come to terms with their own losses of childhood and adolescence, and their own view point of the "FACTS"; which invariably over time, become distorted, or idealised.

Ironically, its appears that it's only as an adult (if we indeed choose to), that through experience we can retrospectively take control of and possess understanding of the adolescents we once were and the regrets we created and still have to endure. Only through acceptance of our present reality and by "killing off" that adolescent part of ourselves that clings onto a vague reality of the past, can we truly "move on" and grow.

Regardless of my attempts to take control of my personal adolescent fantasy (i.e: Demon, and my own personal musical future, and future adult life), what remains of the original secret message idea is certainly I think, unique, and brilliantly executed by Steve Parry Thomas (hi Steve!) (you might have seen his Dad throwing clay pots on "The Generation Game"; both he and his Dad were brilliant craftsmen).

I was terribly angry when his name was, I thought, impertinently omitted from the "Heart Of Our Time" album cover. The "Secret Message" only appears on the vinyl version of the album, and it was only due to my dogged insistence that Steve's name eventually appeared (in memorandum), two years later on the following album, "Breakout":

"Thanks to Stephen Parry Thomas for his help"

How sad! and I apologise Steve profusely for such lack of respect. There's really no need to hack the-demon forum any longer; you have my full and loyal respect.

Anyway...if you would like to hear and discover the secret message... follow the YouTube link below. To read a further story of it's place within the context of "Heart Of Our Time"...read my Demon Forum Blog:

THE LAST ONE TO DROP

which I've recently re-posted!

All the best Roger and thanks for your contact...rdd eh?

BEHIND IT THERE'S SO MUCH MORE

Steve Watts 18: 08: 12
[Edited 2012-08-18 01:49]
rdd
11 posts
Reg: 4/4-12
Posted: 2012-08-19 14:33
Thank you Steven for your long post!

I just wanted to know how to get a copy!

I have now been told the I can get the message the german import CD. The cat number is ZYX Metallic CD1006.

There just happens to be someone selling on ebay, looks like I will have to set up an account to get a copy!

many thanks,

Roger Dunn

russel
Sweden, Örebro
261 posts
Age: 50 years
Reg: 2/5-06
Posted: 2012-09-04 10:14   » Website
Hello Steve.
Thanks for the informative stories of the past who you share it with us.
I appreciate them very much and are a bit like writing is not the best at dialogue about the details you share: (

Regarding your and Demon camp's doings, I would not put myself in this, because it always ends with that someone wants to take someone's side of the story, which I have not been involved except in addition to listening to the end result.

/ Håkan L
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