The album title, 'What the Hell Do You Call This'? is meant to reflect the difficulty of music being categorised. Like many artists, our influences are wide and you absorb these subconsciously. So the influences on these tracks range from the soul, funk, groove energy of Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, Incognito, to the mellow ambience of Zero 7, to my love of Latin rhythms, folk melody and the edge of Rock music. There you go, clearly defined! Anyway, below is the thinking and influences to the songs. Let's see how they evolve.

The Art of Negotiation

This song evolved when I was in Australia at the end of 2012. Due to time differences I found myself up in the early hours of the morning speaking to lawyers and accountants across the time zones. It was a heavy and unbelievably exhausting process negotiating this business deal. On a couple of occasions my wife, who worked as a Occupational Psychologist for 9 years, (Business Consultant) would pass me notes just telling me to pause, leave space for the person I was negotiating with to fill. Sure enough I got more information, and learnt far more by doing this. It brought home to me those people in certain occupations have these skills. At the end of day, it's coming to a point where all parties are happy and get what they want. I had to keep coming back to this mantra of what I was actually doing. 'Give a little, take a little, you end up somewhere in the middle, you pause, you wait, it's all about the give and take'.

What The Hell Do You Call This?

We've been playing this song live for a while, but I've never gotten around to recording it. I guess I'm not sure what style of music I actually play or write. I'm not sure I actually care, but as most musicians find definition of what you do is important certainly from a marketing point of view. However, in this download age it's become less important to the listener, which suits Bassistry.

Behind These Eyes

This is my Zero 7 influenced track. I knew the mood I wanted to create, and that I wanted the parts to be displaced. By this I mean parts working in unexpected places, but fitting together naturally. So I wrote the rhythm in 7/8, and in my head started imagining parts drifting in at different times. By the time I got to my home set up I had a pretty good idea of the overall rhythmic structure. However, I had no words or theme. But it's funny how a song can just come together and almost write itself. Listening to the radio one day, there were these two incredibly articulate guys who spoke very honestly, and bravely about how the Samaritans saved them from ending their own lives. They were both professionals, they had both had personal emotional setbacks. They both articulated that the act of being able to speak to someone saved them. They highlighted the male trait of holding everything inside until the pressure is unbearable. On the surface it seemed that life was normal and they were coping. But behind their eyes was absolute turmoil. They had the courage to make that call. It struck a chord with me.

Moving On

A dear friend of mine upping sticks and leaving London influenced this track. He had his demons, and recognised he needed a simpler life. I really admired him. As they say, there's nothing more frightening than looking at yourself. And there's nothing more admirable then having it within you to make the change. So I used some of the themes of our conversations to write the words. I wanted the melancholy but I wanted the hope.

Turn It On

The chorus of this song I used on a multimedia software game Cassell and I were commissioned to write for many years back. I wrote the bass groove and any words that would fit it. So I wrote about a phone (very clichéd). However, Nicola, one my singers, put the chorus on her mobile as a ring tone. It sounded pretty good. So I decided I would finish the track. So it's a made up tale of a totally dysfunctional relationship told through the eyes of a rather obsessive woman. This isn't based on anyone person, honest! I like that idea of communication breakdowns and relationship obsession. It would be my ultimate nightmare, being in a relationship that has descended into paranoia and possession. It's great to be able to imagine it though. I wanted it dark, heavy and slightly chaotic.


This song is very much in memory of my father who passed away a few years back. I wrote it a few months after the funeral. He just received a MBE, and got that full military honours send off. As his coffin came in with his RAF hat on top, he had the tune 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' playing. I love that tune, but I just can't listen to it now, it's too painful. However, I wanted to write something uplifting and celebratory that reflected how he was. Losing a parent gives you clarity about the simplicity of life and you hone in on lessons learnt from them. He always used to say, don't ever say 'if'. I've actively tried to live by this. So I guess that's the legacy.

The People

Again, I wrote this chorus at the same session for this video game Cassell and I were commissioned to write for. The chord sequence is the most used in all of popular music. I'd normally immediately discard this, but there was something I liked about it. So I set about developing the track. I wanted a summery, feel good, obvious track. It's dedicated to my Australian partner, and all my Southern Hemisphere friends who have made their lives away from where they call 'home'. Most of them still hanker to return from where they're from. There's this connection they all have when they all hook up. It's a song celebrating what makes a place so special. You may have the weather, the location, the environment, but it's usually the people.


Sometimes childlike simplistic desires say so much more than looking at all the complex nuances of conflicts. 'Why don't they sit down and talk?' Er, it's not quite as simple as that. However, it's true, why don't they. Well, that's what I wanted to do with this track. The words are childlike and slightly naïve, as is the melody on the chorus. I also wanted a Latin/Classical flavour to the music. In many ways it's a track influenced by my mates band, Oi Va Voi. I love the sound and feel of their first album. So these are the tracks we're about to record. I hope I can get them to sound like what they do in my head. But there are always surprises when you bring in musicians with their own styles and interpretations. But that's the joy, that's the process.

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