It's been a while, to state the obvious first.
Seeing as all our endeavours around the release of 'The Hurt & The Humour' didn't quite pan out the way we'd have liked, I decided to go back to our roots and do something completely on my own. I even decided to make this record without the wonderful help of our mastering engineer Justin Perkins, so for all it's advantages and faults the four new songs on here are as me as possible.
My whole idea with this last EP that we're releasing around 'The Hurt & The Humour' is to give back something to our listeners, followers, friends and fans whether they've been with us since the beginning or relatively new to the ride. So there's loads of stuff here that's been added both for the fun of it and to actually put a smile on your face – you the person reading this! – as well.
First off, a full circle moment with the cover as it's again a drawing by my daughter, one she actually drew just a couple of weeks after she'd drawn the cover for 'Beggar Princess'.
Second, I decided to add four – instead of the usual three – new songs to this release just because...well, who's to stop me, right?
Third, the songs themselves are not just a random selection of all the stuff "left over" after finishing the album. With 'Dead Out Of Time' and 'Suiciders' there's two songs on here that featured on my very first demo ten (!!) years ago when I started putting together what would eventually become The Fisherman & The Sea. I have to say that both versions on the new EP are vast improvements on the songs from ten years ago and 'Suiciders' especially has been an absolute blast to play live.
Fourth, with '(I Only Ever Listen To) Oasis' I'm letting myself do something I initially didn't think would suit The Fisherman & The Sea. I have tons of songs with both self-deprecating and humorous lyrics, but not quite this humorous and tongue-in-cheek as this one. I guess I didn't initially think that it would fit the more serious world of The Fisherman & The Sea, but then I realized being a goof from time to time is just, well, me, so I thought "Screw it!" and put it on here.
Fifth, seeing as I already decided to be open about my goofiness I decided to also share my crazy with the inclusion of 'I Don't Know What To Believe In Anymore' and its symphonic arrangement. Until we can afford to book a whole symphony orchestra, there's no way we can replicate this live. But that's the beauty of it; it'll live it's life as a monstrous beast of a track on the record and as something completely different at any possible future live offering.
Sixth, Nani Annette's wonderful photography has featured on every single one of our releases 'til date and 'The Bear & The Bird' will be no exception. The back cover of the new EP is a conscious nod of hers to one of our earlier releases. A little bit of visual fun, if you will. You'll only be able to see it though when you hold the actual physical copy in your hands...
I literally didn't know which song to pick from the album to feature on this EP so I just picked the one that went best with the artwork. True story. It did help however that Lazlo at BlowUpRadio had played this on his show around the release of the album and it sounded really great in between all those other tracks!
'Dead Out Of Time'
First of two songs from my first demo from ten years ago, this one was actually called 'A Broken Man' for the longest time without me ever liking the title. It always had one of the best choruses though so I knew I wanted to use it somewhere down the road. So I finally dug it up after the release of 'The Hurt & The Humour' and realized I'd actually halfway recorded a new version of it already that I just continued work on to get to the final version you can hear on the EP. It's sort of a sister song to 'Beggar Princess' in my mind, but I don't know if there's anyone who'd agree with me on that to be honest. It's definitely not the lyrics, I'll give you that.
'(I Only Ever Listen To) Oasis'
I started writing this, came up with a chorus that I thought was funny as all fuck and then realized that musically it sounded exactly like something Noel Gallagher would've written for Oasis around the Be Here Now era. So we ended up playing it last summer at our 'I Can't Alone' release party on the Espa stage and it went down a storm with the crowd although for me it was more about summer shits and giggles at that point. But after that gig I decided to do something with the song, and although it'd have been way too cheeky to be included on the album, I thought it'd be fun to go all out tribute/homage/fanboy with this song and release it here. So there you go. My apologies.
The second song from that decade old demo, this song is actually about a childhood experience when for a fleeting moment I thought was drowning in orange juice and fell to the floor. Yeah, sounds cooky, but who's childhood isn't, eh? So obviously as an adult I write a whole sinister song about the incident, right? Go figure. I actually love the song and it's one of our favourites to play live (although it does fuck up any lead guitarists wrist for the rest of the show...) and I actually like the fact it reminds me of a childhood memory. I should write more about my childhood actually, just realized. Third album, here I come! (Second's already written.)
'I Don't Know What To Believe In Anymore'
I've lost count on how many working titles this song has had. Two I can remember from the top of my head include 'Watered Down' and 'No Heroes Of Mine' both of which are cool but have no connection to the song's story despite the former actually being a line from the chorus. But yeah, looking back now I'm actually a bit sad I didn't include this on the album as it's easily one of the best songs I've ever written. It's not your typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus song either but more of a meandering wholesome musical journey that just came out like that during writing. But it would've been too massive an undertaking to finish it in time for 'The Hurt & The Humour' so I'm just going to sit here and eat it. I'm actually really proud of this song with all its unusual elements for us, like a sampled beat, a symphony orchestra and a few other productional gimmicks. I guess in lots of ways this is actually me at my purest. Might have to do a re-issue of the album now. Damn it!