Hi everyone and hope you've been having a great time since the last post. It's been intensely busy over here this week sorting out video uploads for the upcoming Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album (amongst other things), and in case you missed it last week, check out the lyric video for the lead single Meteor Shower (courtesy of World Beyond's Vladimir Kuznetsov) below:
And remember that the Hopes and Dreams album is available now for pre-order on Bandcamp (betterthanthebook.bandcamp.com/album/hopes-and-dreams). In case you can't wait though, you can get early access and hear/download the full album now when you sign up for $5 or more on the Nick Standing Patreon Page (www.patreon.com/NickStanding), and remember that you'll get the entire BTTB discography when you sign up too. Neat!
Onto new things and more news this week, today I have another animation to share with you from Fun Station 4 Kids, and while I'm not mixing this one like I usually do, I did compose all the background music for it! Enjoy this short educational lesson from a brand new character Smarty Moose about how a locomotive works, and I hope you learn something new!
That about wraps things up for this post. It's set to be more busy times in the coming week sorting the various video uploads as well as other preparations for the next single which releases 2 weeks tomorrow. Time sure is flying past! Until the next post though, I hope you have a great week filled with good times and thanks as always for supporting Better Than The Book, JabunAudio and my various projects. Enjoy the new video and take care!
Better Than The Book's new single Meteor Shower is out, Hopes and Dreams album pre-orders are now open, cover art revealed, Patreon rewards sent out, a schedule for what's to come, press features, mental health, synth jams and more dinosaurs!
Hello everyone and hope you've all been having a great week since the last post! It has been an intensely busy week over here at JabunAudio as you can probably tell from the title of this post, so let's get straight to it with this week's big news!
Firstly and headlining this week, after tonnes of hard work and preparation, the lead single from the new Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album , "Meteor Shower", has finally been released accompanied by a stunning lyric video courtesy of my great friend and musical collaborator, Vladimir Kuznetsov of World Beyond! Cheers Vlad! Check out the video below and prepare yourselves; this is BTTB's heaviest and most experimental track to date! I hope you enjoy "Meteor Shower"!
Not only that, but pre-orders have now opened for the Hopes and Dreams album on Bandcamp, and I'm super excited to finally reveal the cover art for the Hopes and Dreams album too:
Head over to Bandcamp to pick up a download of Meteor Shower and pre-order the Hopes and Dreams album now:
Or get even more when you become a monthly subscriber on Patreon! This month, the $1+ patrons will receive an mp3 download of Meteor Shower + the album art, $2+ patrons will additionally receive the lossless CD quality WAV file for Meteor Shower, $5+ patrons will receive the ENTIRE Hopes and Dreams album (artwork, mp3s and WAVs) right now, over 2 months before the public release, as well as press photos for the album launch campaign, and $10+ patrons will receive all that + an in-depth look into the making of track 01 of the album "The Hardest Part", as well as a special thanks in the album credits for Hopes and Dreams!
Not only that, but when you sign up, you'll gain access to the entire history of rewards for your tier including the complete Better Than The Book discography (including the One Small Step EP and Two Years On albums) + many Patreon exclusive bonus tracks and more! There's never been a better time to subscribe to Patreon than today!
With the first single now released for the new album I also think it's finally time to reveal the schedule of what's to come, another two single releases, the album release + all the associated rewards on Patreon:
When the lead single is released and album pre-orders open (May 10th):
- $1 / $2 patrons will receive the lead single Meteor Shower
- $5+ patrons will get the full Hopes and Dreams album + press photos
- $10+ patrons will receive a WIP+Demos package for "The Hardest Part"
When the 2nd single is released (June 7th):
- $1 / $2 patrons will receive the 2nd single
- $5+ patrons will get something else to share
- $10+ patrons will receive another WIP+Demos package
When the 3rd single is released (July 5th):
- $1 / $2 patrons will receive the 3rd single
- $5+ patrons will get something else to share
- $10+ patrons will receive another WIP+Demos package
When the full album is released (July 19th):
- $1 / $2 patrons will receive the full album + all $5 tier extras shared
After that I'll be taking a little break before we go back to our usual Wednesday schedule sharing the Jabun music back-catalog starting for the $5+ patrons on August 28th, and the following Wednesday (September 4th) for the $1 / $2 patrons. It's certainly going to be a busy and fun few months! I hope you're excited as I am :)
Next this week, I thought it'd be cool to share some of the press that Meteor Shower has already received since its release less than a week ago including some kind words from my good friend and musical collaborator Vladimir Kuznetsov (as well as the various fans on the World Beyond YouTube Channel). Check out the various press features below:
May 10, 2019 - Vladimir Kuznetsov of World Beyond on Meteor Shower and the Hopes and Dreams album (Pre-release insight)
May 13, 2019 - Meteor Shower lyric video featured on the World Beyond YouTube Channel (+ a nice write-up)
May 13, 2019 - Better Than The Book's Meteor Shower lyric video featured on ThePunkSite.com
Next for this blog post, Mental Health Awareness Week has come around on the calendar once again, and as is the BTTB tradition, and also being aware that I've been very much overworking myself lately, I wrote a post about the importance of taking breaks even if it's away from something you're passionate about. You can read on the BTTB Facebook page, but I'll also post it up here too. I hope you find it insightful:
"It's Mental Health Awareness Week and despite the new album coming very soon filled with lyrics to inspire people to be true to themselves and follow their dreams, I'm very aware that I have been working WAY too hard recently and should take a proper break.
"It's a great thing when you're passionate about what you do, as I sure am, but you've got to pace yourself and take care of yourself along the way to be able to keep that passionate fire burning. Don't burn yourself out for your dreams; keep tabs on how you're feeling and know your own signs that you're going at it too hard. If you're not feeling it, take a break; play some guitar, watch some cartoons, play some video games, brew a tea, just get away from work. Come back fresh later and you'll work better. A relaxed and balanced mind makes for better judgement and decision making which is essential for making your own path to your dreams. Sure, every decision you make may not be a good one, but at least you'll have made it out of balanced thought and not external stresses.
"Time for lunch, a break, and to slow things down a bit until the next single release. 'It's not a sprint; it's a marathon. Just keep moving forward, another day, another step.'"
And in the spirit of taking breaks, following last week's 505 Day celebrations, I had another synth jam to get away from the BTTB admin and press work for the album which you can watch below! It's just a quick camera audio video, but it was great fun to take a break and get on the synths again. I hope you enjoy the little clip:
And for those of you interested, the equipment used was:
Korg Volca Keys (Melodies) and SQ-1 (Triggering the Moog)
Roland Tr-08 (Drums)
Moog Werkstatt-01 [Modded] (Bass line)
Finally this week I have another amazing animation to share with you from Fun Station 4 Kids, a dinosaur remix of my favourite childhood fairy-tale: The Three Billy Goats Gruff! Unfortunately, I'm not doing the sound mixing for this one, but it still includes my track "See Ya Later" as the credits music. Nevertheless, the animation is as stunning as ever and I hope you enjoy T-Rex's latest adventure with some new 3 horned acquaintances! Presenting. The Thee Triceratops Gruff:
And that's about it for this post! The floodgates are open now and more Better Than The Book will be coming regularly until the album release on July 19th, so get ready for some more things ska-punky and familiar and more some things a little different like Meteor Shower, and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio, Better Than The Book and my various music projects! Next week is looking to be busy continuing with preparations for the next single release, as well as some admin goals I set at the beginning of the month, but a weekend away while I wait for some things to be sorted will be a welcome break. Until the next post, take care, thanks again and I hope you enjoy the new music and videos!
New Better Than The Book single "Meteor Shower" and pre-orders for the Hopes and Dreams album launch TOMORROW, some happy 505 Day videos + celebrating 2 years of Jabun's debut album Daydream!
Hi everyone and hope you're having a great week since the last post! It's been a super busy one over here getting everything prepared for the launch of the lead single from the new Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album, "Meteor Shower", (more on that in a moment) as well as celebrating some other special things throughout the week too! Lots of things to share this time so let's get started!
Let's start with news of what's to come. After much hard work and preparation, I'm super excited to finally announce that the lead single from the upcoming Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album, "Meteor Shower" will be launching this Friday 10th May at 6pm BST on YouTube along with a fantastic lyric video courtesy of my good friend and collaborator, Vladimir Kuznetsov of World Beyond! Not only that, but at the very same time pre-orders will be opening for the Hopes and Dreams album on Bandcamp, as well as the album cover art finally being revealed to the public! Come join the premier via the YouTube video link below (This will become a proper video once the premier has started), and keep an eye on the Better Than The Book Bandcamp page to see the new album art, album credits, and pre-order Hopes and Dreams:
Remember too that the Hopes and Dreams album has already been released to the $5+ monthly patrons over on Patreon, so if you can't wait to hear the rest of the album, head over to Patreon to receive early access to the album over 2 months before it releases to the public! I hopes you enjoy it!
Next this week, a bit of a different celebration for the 5th of May, which I'd decided this year to make an unofficial 505 Day honouring the Roland TR-505 drum machine, an unsung hero in Roland's synth history! The rest of the Roland X0X machines get a lot of love with the TB-303, TR-808, TR-909 and more recently the SP-404 having their own dedicated days of celebration by the Roland Corporation, either sharing articles or launching new products on these special days to celebrate their technology which has made a huge mark on the music industry. The TR-505 hasn't made quite as big an impact as it's siblings but is undoubtedly a charming drum machine in its own right, and on this 5th of May, the first that's come now that I actually own a TR-505, I thought it'd be nice to make some short videos to remind people of this lovely instrument an its quintessentially 80s digital character! The one I'm playing of course was a 29th birthday present from my twin brother Eamon last month, my first instrument older than I am (1986), and while I'm still getting used to programming it properly, I thought I'd do some finger-drumming for 505 Day and share it with the world. Check out the video below:
[For those interested, the TR-505 was recorded in mono through the Korg ESX Electribe (Red machine above it) adding a touch of reverb and valve saturation, before heading to my Akai MPC 1000 to capture the audio which was then synced to the video in post editing].
Here's another extra video from the same session, though this time it's just the camera mic:
Whether you're an avid drum machine fan or you've only heard about the TR-505 today, I hope you enjoy the videos above and I look forward to recording with it properly soon! No doubt this gem will be on the next Jabun album which I aim to start working on later this year. Anyways, a belated Happy 505 Day to you all, and I look forward to 808 day when I'll likely be doing a similar video with my TR-08 reissue of the classic machine (unless I get 606 or 707 in the mean time)! Fun times!
Lastly this week, a big celebration for the 4th of May as my debut chill / electronic album as Jabun, Daydream, celebrates 2 years since its release! Man how the time flies! If you've yet to hear it, then feel free to sit back, relax and have a listen via the player below (make sure to start from track 01) and feel free to pick up a copy on Bandcamp if you like it. It's been a while since I've worked on similar chill vibes, but once the BTTB - Hopes and Dreams album is out, and after another brief excursion, I hope to get back to it and start on another Jabun EP or album later this year. Looking forward to it, and while you wait, enjoy Daydream:
That about wraps thing up for this post! I hope you're all excited as I am for the "Meteor Shower" lyric video launch tomorrow so come join the premier on YouTube and check out the BTTB Bandcamp page as soon as you're done to read more about the upcoming album, check out the cover art and pick up a pre-order! I'm sure you'll love it! No doubt that next week will be busy with the promo work for the new single but there'll definitely be more to share in the next blog post so look forward to that. Until then I hope you have a great week and thanks as always for support JabunAudio, Better Than The Book and my various music projects. Take care until then, and I hope you enjoy the new and old music and videos!
I'm back! Calm before the BTTB storm, holiday fun times, photo shoots, listening parties and new old gear + setting and reflecting on more goals!
Hi everyone and I hope you've had a great few weeks since the last post and a nice Easter break if you had one. It feels like the calm before the storm at the moment with not much going on over here since I got back apart from catching up on things and finishing the preparations for when the lead single of the upcoming Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album drops next Friday (10th May). I say calm, but it feels more frantic than anything as there is still much to do! Although there isn't much to report JabunAudio-wise this time, as I've only been back a few days, my time away over the past 2 weeks has been filled with many great things, so let's talk about that instead!
The first half of my time away was barely a break at all as from day one it was right back into hard work commencing with a photo shoot in Brighton for the upcoming Better Than The Book - Hopes and Dreams album's press release. We truly lucked out on the weather that day getting some great shots in glorious sunshine which I'll be editing this week, though one of my chosen locations was having renovation work done, and the back-up one had been built over since I was last there?! Overall a great but busy day hanging with friends (to ease my nerves and generate genuine smiles). A huge thanks to Roxy, Sam and Eamon for all their help!
Onto the next day (Saturday), it was finally time to reveal the album to my family and some close-to-the-project-former band-mates with a cup of tea and and a listening party and it seems like the album has a big thumbs-up from them! Interestingly, a popular consensus is that the singles while great are NOT the biggest gems on the album (but are probably more radio-friendly), with the very different "You've Got A Lot To Say" stealing the spotlight in many of their hearts. I shall say no more, you can decide for yourself when the album comes out, but from their reactions and involuntary headbanging, I can safely say this one's gonna be a banger! The album art was well received too (always a plus)!
Sunday was a family day with cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and siblings, eating and talking well into the night, and Monday was a visit to more family further away as well as playing with adorable dogs in their garden. Always great to see everyone and catch up! Tuesday was a trip to the dentist (fun...) before Eva arrived in the evening ready for 29th birthday celebrations with my twin and I on Wednesday, which was the first lazy day of trip and much needed. We ended up spending the day watching Avengers: Infinity War ready for Endgame on Thursday, before a nice meal out in the evening.
As with every birthday there was an exchange of gifts and this year was an amazing one. From Eva I finally received the Vox Bass Amplug (Gen1) that she'd outbid me on eBay around Christmas time which sounds lovely and has been great for quiet practicing with that full amp'd tone (no doubt I'll be using it for recording later too), and from my parents, tickets to Alice Cooper at the Brighton Center which are sure to take me back to my teen years! My brother Eamon as usual outdid my present to him with something simply incredible but more on that in a moment. Last year he'd bought a compact drum kit which he's been slowly adding to but said is getting a bit too big to carry solo now, so I thought I double his sounds from it by getting him some double ended mallets for timpani tom hits and soft cymbal swells, quickly switchable back to regular drum stick tone and he loved them! Eva completed the present ensemble with a stick bag to hold his new sticks and other drum hitting/tuning gear. I finally got to see the kit in full this trip too and it's great fun! I've not drummed in around 7 years (not that I was great back then) but doesn't seem like I've lost the little skill I had which is nice! I also got him an album which as an avid Green Day fan he should really have got over a decade ago, the phenomenal American Idiot. Always nice to have more music!
So onto Eamon's gift to me, he seemed determined to spread it out and present it to me in parts just to mess with my head (as usual), but no words can even come close to how amazing it was. First he handed me an envelope labelled fragile with a message telling me to empty my bowels before opening and welcome to the club. Cryptic! Inside was a very home-made looking plastic object which on close inspection I figured out must be a battery cover? The next wrapped parcel I could tell from the shape and weight was clearly a pack of AA batteries, confirming my thoughts on the previous object. Finally he presented to me a HUGE UPS box and told me to open it. I carefully cut open one side and pulled out lots of protective packaging to reveal a much smaller slightly battered red hard flight-case. Excited and with no idea what could be inside, I flipped open the metal catches to open it and was instantly speechless. Inside was an undoubtedly gigged but beautifully vintage Roland TR-505 drum machine (1986), my first vintage synth and the first piece of gear I owned that was older than me. Eamon had used his crazy good sales skills to snag a deal on eBay then spent the last month restoring and testing it with more of his crazy skills, making a new battery cover and printing off a manual for it. The club he'd been referring to was the vintage synth club of which Eamon has been a member since our teen years when he bought a broken Korg Polysix off eBay and restored it to it's amazing 80s glory, and has since amassed a small museum's worth of vintage synths and gear. It was an amazing gift and I really can't wait to make some music with it! With Vlad saying that Jabun should do a synthwave album next and the TR-505 being pretty much THE quintessential drum machine for the job, as well as Eamon egging me to make some synthwave too, I guess the new Jabun album is gonna be a synthwave one! The ideas are already brewing and I can't wait to get started!
Onto Thursday, more fun was still yet to come as Andy the drummer from my very first band came over for a catch-up (after seeing Avengers: Endgame in the morning and having to hold is tongue VERY carefully!). It so happens that we all share the same birthday too (although he's a year younger than my twin and I), and it was great to catch up on everything and meet up in person again. Even though he'd not played drums in about as long as I had (though he's MUCH better than me) we managed to persuade him onto Eamon's compact kit and while hesitant to start with it was clear he was having fun within the first minute or so. It wasn't long before Eamon had grabbed a guitar and I'd dragged my small bass amp from the other room and we were jamming and playing the old songs from our teen years again, and though understandably rusty (having been over a decade since we'd last played together, and me trying to figure out the bass parts I didn't even play back in the day since I played guitar in that band), it was so much fun! It was a shame Sam (the aforementioned) couldn't be there to play bass and have the band all together again, but we had a great time nonetheless, jamming out Black Sabbath, Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult, as well as some of our own old Crow's Wing tunes. Approaching dinner, more friends came over and we made our way to town for as is tradition the best burger place in Burgess Hill: Uncle Sam's, before hanging out at 'Spoons for some drink then splitting off for the rest of us to see Endgame at the Orion cinema. No spoilers here (and don't post any in the comments either), but what a film! I shall say no more!
Friday was another lazy day ending with a less rushed than Thursday friends meet-up and dinner at 'Spoons which was great! I love those guys! Saturday commenced with the usual family coffee meet-up, which was nice as always then a lazy afternoon and evening before backing up on Sunday to head back to the flat with Eva (reading the TR-505 manual on the train). Overall it was a busy but lovely trip, with the only nagging thing being my hay-fever flaring up for most of the week (thankfully after the photo shoot), and I can't wait to put those presents to good use making music once I've sorted everything for this upcoming album's release. It's back to busy that's for sure!
There's not a lot else to report this week but I hope you enjoyed that recap of what I've been up to! Let's finish off with the usual monthly reflections! Here were the goals for April:
1) Complete my tax return
2) Renew the JabunAudio website (name and service provider)
3) Finish the album as a product and get all preparations finished for the release
4) Prep a Patreon post for when I'm away
So looks like I did well! 1), 2), and 4) are done and sorted, and 3) is mostly done, I've just got to finish editing the photo shoot which I'm aiming to be done by the end of the week. There's still a lot to prepare on the admin side of things though (prepping Facebook / Twitter posts / emails) for the album, so let's set some new goals for May with that in mind:
1) Finish editing and send off press photos
2) Make a detailed promo plan from May until September and finish preparations for the single release on May 10th
3) Sort all streaming uploads for the new album (YouTube, SoundCloud, Newgrounds, etc...)
4) Upload the JabunAudio catalogue to AdRev (less urgent)
It's mainly admin goals for the next month, but hopefully I can get back to some music making once the urgent stuff for the album release is done (while I continue with the promotional schedule of course). It's undoubtedly going to be a busy month, so wish me luck and I hope you have a great and productive time too!
That's it for this blog post! I'll be finishing off editing those press photos and sorting out the promo plan in the coming week ready for the single launch on Friday 10th, but maybe I'll get some time to start making music again too? We'll see how it all goes. Until next week, I hope you have a great time whatever you're up to and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various projects. See you for more news in the next blog post and take care!
Nick Standing; HurpADervish; Jabun!
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