I sit down with a cup of Thomas’ extremely delicious coffee usually after a solid breakfast, ginger shots( put hairs on your chest) and squeezed beetroot juice for a good clear mind and get to work. Step one is listening. I get my fountain pen out and let it hover over the page and sometimes ask Thomas to pause and take it back, or just loop it until I click etc and I just…channel the song. – @fervencydk
Live Interview September 1 at 6pm et
Episode #356 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/09/01/episode-356-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW FERVENCY
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Fervency – Calvin Batley
Our writing process is fairly stable…
I fly to Denmark and stay with Thomas. (you can call him the brains 😊 and we record) I tend to get at least some of the tracks to hear before I go to record vocals and guitars but they will be in unfinished states and in essence are a backbone to the final creation. The way we do it would horrify some people, I’m sure. You certainly finds out what you are made of when you turn up for a very limited amount of time and you must create and do the very best you can for a professional product. I think we both love our system and it hasn’t let us down. We stay fresh and creative, there is a sense of drive in both of us when we work together and we are enjoying the results. To be fair, it is also a system honed over almost ten years so we are veterans of our own self imposed mad conditions 😊. Whilst the backbone and feel of the song is composed in advance, the lyrics are not. Even certain decisions, such as, what part is the chorus, or verse, have not been resolved. So, we pick a song (usually from a pool of around 15 with intentions of putting 10-12 on an album)and go ‘let’s do this one’!
The Alpha and the Omega from the album ‘Lowering Entropy’ out 1.10.2016
The Alpha and the Omega is the opening track from our next album, Lowering Entropy’.
It is an up tempo and catchy rocker that holds a great line between energy and melodic interplay. I actually love the song, it is hypnotic and powerful. It is detail rich, so it gets better with every listen and was a true joy to sing on.
I sit down with a cup of Thomas’ extremely delicious coffee…
usually after a solid breakfast, ginger shots( put hairs on your chest) and squeezed beetroot juice for a good clear mind and get to work. Step one is listening. I get my fountain pen out and let it hover over the page and sometimes ask Thomas to pause and take it back, or just loop it until I click etc and I just…channel the song. I suppose I ask the song to speak to me and think of something cool to work with the sounds. With this track ‘The Alpha and the Omega’ it was almost instantaneous. I also ask Thomas what his working title was as I can just think ‘ummm, I like that’ and take it from there, like with the track ‘Pillars of Creation’ but he also names things ‘sketch 1’ ‘sketch 2’ etc which is useless for the purposes of stealing ideas! 😊 So I usually end up naming the songs, as with this one.
Anyway, this thundering bass line kicked in and great sounding drums, really organic and natural- a firm departure from the bit crushing, distorting and old fashioned tones we were abusing for the previous years. The change in the rhythm section feels really refreshing and changed the sound of Fervency in a positive way, just with that production choice. I was delighted and the tip of my fountain pen began to quiver as Thomas’ track started to inspire me. I had been looking for a way to do ‘Thunder, perfect mind’ a gnostic/ early Christian piece (that may have been written in Egypt of, or post, an Isis tradition) that, in essence, sees the unification of universal pairs/opposites and the divine in all aspects of life, in every moment, deed and dream. The poem is from a Divine feminine point of view and very powerful, something that is not seen often in the West ( for almost 2000 years). It is also really difficult to make work musically for a number of reasons and I wanted to avoid the specific tone of the text(as translated) but it gave me an idea. I suddenly knew what I wanted in this song. I knew what I had to write and the words flew forth!
The great difference between…
what I am writing and some relationships to these esoteric ‘equations’, is the intended personal power I apply to the reader. An invitation to every man, woman and child as an individual within a whole, a necessary and welcome participant on a journey that is made and experienced as self and part and all. Far from describing divinity as a far away thing, or saying what life is, I am writing about the path to learn for yourself with some subtle insight as to the geography of reality, ( at least with regards to the universe of this song). I hope that people enjoy that and if none of the stuff I am thinking about comes across, then I think the words are quite nice and rich and might be enjoyable on many levels.
Shares splits grows and pairs as one…
I love the lyrics and the sense of mystery in metaphor; the knowledge that if you meditate on the words information will be revealed- that the universe has answers and wishes to share them, that divinity is an ever present truth represented through you and all in existence and not an object to find and that there is a path to travel it and it is all inclusive, without prejudice, or favor and exists, with or without knowledge of it.
we have retained our dark almost gothic synths and use of analogue mischief but we have allowed the guitars and natural sounding drums to come forward. It gives the band a more modern sound and lets us interact, more convincingly, in the rock world. Vocally, I am usually sticking to that deeper male vocal sound that marks Fervency and is a part of our personality as I find it to be so sensual and cool, though we are more comfortable with what we are doing now and even in this song ‘The Alpha and Omega’ I change the vocal style for the hook bridge that the song finishes with. I love that part! It is addictive and I hear it in my mind often. This is not a band for power falsettos and foot on monitor warbling but I got a little closer in that section. Saying that though, in the future….you never know 😊 Judas Priest look out!
The hypnotic groove of the bass and drums drives…
‘The Alpha and the Omega’ forward and its up tempo feel made it a natural opener for the album with the almost crooning vocals living in a great juxtaposed space across from the rock of the rhythm section. All in all, we stepped up on this album and every song is a favorite. The Alpha and the Omega is no exception to that.
We have pre-released ‘The Alpha and the Omega’ and another track ‘The Biology of Belief’ and they are available to stream on Soundcloud and at our reverbnation site but sales begin with the release of the album, ‘Lowering Entropy’ which is out 1.10.2016 which we are plugging on to radio right now, with an 8 week campaign that is reaching out to blogs and reviewers and radio stations globally. It is our big push, as it were. Wish us luck as it is daunting, time consuming and also desperately exciting. I really do want us to be on BBC radio or DR in Denmark, El Doradio in Luxembourg etc and whilst I did not have those desires before, I do now, so we are pushing. We have a team from the U.K. doing all that stuff and I am confident that the music is on point and going to start making waves. We have many more albums in us and the first two are beautiful but this is a cross roads. A place of beginning, we are peaking in confidence with the project and what we represent as a band , composition and style.
The last Fervency album, In a Grain of Sand’,
was amazing and some of my favorite Fervency songs are there but it was on that album that we began our cross over from almost dark wave goth inspired electronica- alternative rock, to a more organic and guitar led sound, with natural sounding drums etc. We are obviously the same band and to some maybe the difference is subtle but it feels like a breath of fresh air to me. Another big difference is our production in the mastering sense. On the last album we embraced the loudness war and limited heavily so as to have loud master tracks and all of that. On this album we wanted to make vinyl records and stay ‘pure’, especially with the introduction algorithms on music and video streaming sites to normalize tracks to equivalent volumes( something none of us will have control over). This transition frees musicians/ producers to focus on production in the way they want it without the compromise of limiting to be just as loud as other records, sacrificing dynamics and quality especially when you are recording in your own home studios which, while great, are far from the best or most fully featured recording solutions available.
I really think Thomas’ commitment to tone over volume shows…
Remember, we are totally D.I.Y we sculpt from nothing until there is a finished mastered product. We live in different countries.We need to try our very best with what we have and the best way to do that is passionately. We will not be using a 30,000 dollar compressor or a neve console and yes it does make a difference but it is simply difference. I think the songs are sounding great and I am delighted to play it and share it. There is a certain satisfaction in total control over a process and Thomas can be very proud of the job he has done on this album and the attitude of avoiding the loudness wars, no brick wall limiting and going vinyl 😊 yeah baby! Records are back with all the smell and size and blurb and scratches! You will be able to order yours from our bandcamp site (https://fervency.bandcamp.com/ ) I am going to get an easy to buy paypal and credit card system up there to make it more convenient for fans. All the logistics of it will be sorted by October. For now, come and hear our pre-release songs ‘The Alpha and the Omega’ and ‘The Biology of Belief’ at reverbnation https://www.reverbnation.com/fervencydk
As for videos, they are completely necessary…
We had a great one for ‘Daddy and the Pole’ on the last album and were in the VCA awards in Luxembourg and that was fun but we need sales to justify the director and make up artist, actor and cinematographer costs. We did not quite achieve that last time, though not only was it an amazing experience it is awesome making film! People got to know our band for the first time through that video so it paid for itself in different ways and was absolutely worth it. It is so much fun! All the people, the organization….the dodgy buffet. Secretly, I think that we will not be able to go past the release of the album without making at least one video to support it. It is possible to do things ‘cheaply’ and both Thomas and I have great professional contacts and access to cameras and even willing helpers, I am sure of that but both of us are totally anal perfectionist nerds and we want it to be good and not just there for the sake of it. I am simply going to clear my mind and meditate on a video and one will appear and it will be awesome! Alignment, baby! The universe always provides 😊 watch out for Fervency’s next video all iPhone camera created, behind the back of the graveyard…it’s so hot right now! 😊
Fervency as a band sounds like…
a mix between Faith no more, Nick Cave, the Doors, Fields of the Nephilim, Karft Werk, The Tea Party, Depeche Mode..mixed together with some piquant blast beat splashes of Mayhem, a deep love of bands like Death, something slightly psychedelic infused with moderate sprinklings of Frank Zappa, all bound together in musical awesome sauce. It is the best kind of sonic soup, all the ingredients fit together perfectly to make something that is completely our own. It is a spicy brew… something Fervent.
For myself, I get up and I train..
I practice. I work on my book, internet social media stuff for Fervency, or my solo stuff Ravensong. I do it every day and there are simply not enough hours. I love it. I practice guitar and bass guitar and can record. It is fair to say that I have shifting periods/waves through out the year. Two months ago I was solely focused on finishing my fantasy book ‘The Intas Chronicles: Boodicca’ which I am going to start promoting and trying to
publish hopefully this year or next. It is a long process. Then it was Fervency time and all my heart and soul has been there since. When the album is released we need to work on a tour. We want to tour with some cool bands. Logistically, it has to be serious like opening for a larger act for a few weeks or months. That is what we want and are up for. I have a booking agent and he is always trying to get us to play in different countries around Benelux and some folks in England too, for festivals and other things but we have been playing it coy. Now, like the sultry temptresses we are, we are right up for it! Thomas can tell you himself about his day when you catch up to him, hopefully in the near future, but mine is about practice, rehearsal, writing, admin and learning. One thing Thomas and I do share in our morning routines is a love of juicer machines for ginger shots and other diverse vegetable goodness! He converted me…I am hooked. It hurts but in the right way!
If life is music and music is life…
not recognizing that is where the confusion kicks in…or, I can be less facetious and agree it is tough. You just have to decide who you are and stick to it. If you are a musician then be one. That’s it. If you have bad influences in your life, get rid of them- they taint your work and you can’t be happy. Whilst that may be easier said then done, it is what will happen, or you will decay and stop just before you wither and die inside. There is nothing wrong with being a tourist. There is nothing wrong with anything but if you are a musician then that is what you are doing. Just practicing and working on finding and playing gigs and writing/creating is more than a working day, every day and then there is sleep and eating. As artists there is the essential cavorting and celebrating of life, so everything else needs to fit around that. Many of us would not have kids etc because of it. Those people are not wrong (however neither are they right) the point is a musician recognizes the total and life long commitment to the craft and all the things that go with it and embraces it completely willingly as it is your nature, your being, a description of you as you define you including, the good the bad and the loving! They way to truly create balance, though, is through good communication and to embrace all your tasks. Eat well, exercise, make love in all its wild variations and train. To have a life that is inspiring so there is music to make! Balance is a bi product of surrender in the spiritual sense. A better way to say surrender is embrace. You embrace your tasks (whatever they might be) when you stay present in the moment and are emotionally engaged. Positive thinking not as an intellectual subject but an emotional state might be another way to look at it, thus balance is not an admin juggle at all, it is not physical it is in your mind. The way you behave and why. It pertains to appreciating the five minutes practice you just had before you ‘had’ to cook dinner, instead of whining about it.
I am not political in that way…
Love one and other is important. Everyone has that opportunity and challenge every moment of every day. I am interested in the nature of reality and our songs reflect that. I am a part of the evolution of this, our amazing human species and universe, and can see that we are very much on the right track, not the wrong one. I have no one to fight, or change, or modify, other than myself and I would like to think of that change as growth from appreciation and choice and not dislike of self and replacement programming.
What you like others do too…
Feel no doubt. Just do your thing from a place of love and enjoy it. Hang out with people who like you for your greatest passions(music), especially lovers and potential partners. The world needs you! Share your self with it. Live in it be inspired and share yourself again.
I am not sure I am note worthy….
I try and appreciate and better myself. I can be mildly amusing at times…at least I think that’s what thrown rotten fruit means…. I know I am making the best music of my life and I am extremely motivated. I think the world needs us on its radios and in its lives and we are here to provide! I did not stop and after 10 interesting if rocky years I feel ready to conquer. That is note worthy. Take it on the chin. You are who you are. Be you.
I am starting to like twitter…
It is so casual and easy and people are not potentially offended by interactions, far from it the twitter community embraces bonding and interaction. Facebook is starting to be a personal site and that is great but after the death of myspace it has been a bit weird for musicians and the unwritten conventions of what is spam, what is appropriate or not etc need to be observed, after all maybe someone does like your stuff but they want to find it in their own way. Music is for hearts and souls and it is personal, some dude ramming adds at you is horrific. Twitter has magically found away to stay personal and do business, make connections and have fun. You don’t feel like a heel reaching out there. Facebook, I predict, will be barren for the music world soon (not entirely of course) at least in the reach out and make a fan sense. Maybe adverts that a person can click on will be better in that page climate….I don’t know. Anyway, twitter…twit…twit…twoooooo!
I am in Luxembourg and it is all a go!
Jazz and sausage festivals, orchestras, rock, metal it is happening. Tiny little place with thriving community, access to three large countries. Regular venues with all sorts to enjoy.
Fervency needs to arrange a string of dates for logistical reasons
and so we are waiting to commit to anything until after release in October, whilst trying to arrange things now but it is possible and we have offers.
There you go playing straight in to my hands!
Plato it is then, ‘Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.’ Plato
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