Well, that’s not entirely true. This clip of No Specific Harm was filmed in rehearsal last Friday night, 30 March.
Somehow, in a power trio configuration, we’ve managed to whittle down the grand orchestras and sweeping desert landscapes to just the three of us. This is hopefully a musical taste of the live show we’re putting together. Featuring Chad Borchard on bass and Jason Green on drums. Filmed by Renae.
Now let me leave you with some footnotes.
1. Stage socks are the new black.
2. In the 21st century some of us still have box air conditioners.
3. Wiggling the tremolo arm madly in an attempt to coax some more sustain out of the guitar at the end of the song was a bad move. In a world’s first for me, the trem arm actually broke off later that night as I tried to remove it. Stay in school, kids.
4. This was the first time we’d got together in two weeks, poor old Chad having had eye surgery the week before. It never occurred to me what a powerful effect the bright studio lights would add to the mix. Performing sans sunglasses, sans eye-patch and sans blast-shield left Chad lying on the ground in urgent need of a combination of heavy painkillers and special medicine.
What price art!
As some of you have already argued, this is the way Great & Terrible Potions was meant to be heard – on vinyl.
Well, the records have arrived, and are ready for shipping!
The album is pressed on 180 gram heavyweight “audiophile” vinyl, and factory-sealed in a magnificent gatefold sleeve designed by the great Roger Dean.
This is a limited production run and at present there are no plans for a repressing.
If you purchase the album from my Bandcamp site, you’ll get an immediate digital download of the CD version to go with it. I specifically mention “CD version” because the track running order and mix are slightly different for vinyl:
2. Nobody Dies Forever
4. Ready To Lose
5. The Conjurer
1. No Specific Harm
3. Great & Terrible Potions
A quick note on international shipping. I’m not a fan of Australia Post’s prices, especially since they have no competition. I’ve managed to minimise the shipping cost by keeping the weight of the package just below 500 grams (this saved $20!). The flat fee I’m charging is the actual cost of postage and packaging to the US, and this amount is cheaper than most other countries.
So, Great & Terrible Potions on vinyl is now available at http://bencraven.bandcamp.com. If you don’t already have the CD, you can order a combined package and save on shipping costs!
Now excuse me while I go find my anti-static carbon-fibre groove-cleaning brush.
Many thanks to Just For Kicks Music and everyone who’s bought the CD so far. Together we put Albany Creek “on the map”!
Great & Terrible Potions has been nominated for Paperlate Rock Radio‘s Album of the Year!
It’s currently up against fairly tough competition with the likes of Uriah Heep and Magic Pie, so it would help me out a lot if you could please vote for it here. Just click on the row containing my name!
Recently I was interviewed by Robert Steven Silverstein about Great & Terrible Potions, guitars, music practice, studio engineering, Roger Dean and Brian Wilson.
Plus he managed to extract some never-before-revealed great and terrible secrets about the making of the album.
Check out the full interview!
Some more reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have popped up over the last few weeks. They’re all a good read!
Cosmos Music (France)
Classic Rock Society (UK)
Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK)
Progressive Area (France)
Leicester Bangs (UK)
Get Ready To ROCK! (UK)
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (Holland)
And if you can, keep an eye out for the review in the new issue of Dutch print magazine iO Pages (#104). The one with Pink Floyd on the cover!
Now available for free download – for a limited time only - is the double A-side single release of No Specific Harm and Aquamarine.
This version of Aquamarine is a new edit unavailable anywhere else. It features a nice little acoustic guitar solo towards the end. I debated long and hard (with the other band members) about including it in the original album version. But in the end, the solo was sacrificed to give the album a rare moment of breathing space.
A single edit is different though. It’s an opportunity to cram as much information as possible into three minutes!
The single can be downloaded for free from bencraven.bandcamp.com.
Ordinarily I go for Strats with maple necks.
While I was visiting Vegas recently, I stopped in at a “Center” that sells “Guitars”. I was on the lookout for something a bit different, perhaps a US-made Les Paul.
Imagine my surprise when instead I had an unexpected affair with a sonic blue blacktop Strat sporting a rosewood neck. From south of the border! I don’t know how it happened. It just did. And I walked out with it.
Of course I’ll do my usual custom fiddling around with the hardware and electronics, but it really is a great-feeling neck and body combination. Unfortunately one or two of the harem will have to go to make way, but they knew the risks.
In the meantime, here’s some actual news.
- Keep your eyes out for the latest issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK). Word on the street is there’s a positive review of Potions in it, but I’m yet to see it.
- I recently recorded an interview with Don Cassidy at Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio. To hear it, head over to the site and find the Interviews link on the left hand side. Then enjoy, in all its glory, my seldom-heard “6am Saturday” voice.
Until next time!
Thanks to everyone who has bought the CD. The response has genuinely surprised me. In fact the first production run has almost sold out, and I’ve had to kick off another one.
In the meantime, two new reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have surfaced:
Until next time..
Hi everyone. A couple more reviews here for the new album. The first one makes some really extraordinary comparisons!
Time Off magazine was gracious enough to interview me for their issue last week. I think it’s fascinating to read the interviewer’s interpretation of my comments..
Many thanks to everyone who came along to the album launch last Friday! I’ve just got hold of the raw video footage, and hope to post some clips soon.
Hi everyone. Just a few quick updates!
My new album, Great & Terrible Potions, will be released next Monday and will be available from this website. Some advance reviews have slipped out already, and I’m excited to say they read pretty well:
The album has also been featured on prog rock radio shows in the US:
In fact, if you’d like to hear a sneak preview of three tracks (Aquamarine, Diabolique and Nobody Dies Forever Part 1), you can even download the podcast from Epic Prog.
And finally, a reminder that the album launch is happening this Friday, that is if you’re in the Brisbane, Australia area..
Venue: Caxton Hotel, Cocktail Bar (upstairs)
Address: Caxton St, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane
Time: From 7pm
Support act Luke Sorensen will be playing an acoustic set from 7:30pm, and I’ll be coming on at around 8:30pm. Plenty of time to catch up and have a drink beforehand and afterwards! And of course, CDs will be available on the night, for $20 each.
Hope to see you on Friday night!
ART MEETS MUSIC WITH BRISBANE/LONDON PROG-ROCK ALBUM LAUNCH
BRISBANE’S BEN CRAVEN COLLABORATES WITH ROGER DEAN OF “YES” AND “ASIA” FAME.
August 12 sees the official launch of a progressive rock collaboration between Brisbane’s Ben Craven and renowned UK artist Roger Dean.
Craven’s new album, entitled “Great & Terrible Potions” is a modern day progressive rock album that has been 5 years in the making, however enlisting the assistance of Roger Dean seemed a natural progression given the heavy influences of 70’s prog-rock bands within Craven’s music.
Roger Dean, who rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s through his designs for prog-rock bands Yes, Uriah Heap and Asia is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.
Just one month after unveiling new artwork for the band Yes, Dean provided the artwork for up and coming prog-rock artist Ben Craven.
Craven’s music has been gaining interest from all areas including Beach Boys/The Byrds collaborator, Van Dyke Parks.
Describing Craven’s work as “seriously well distilled and blended”, Van Dyke Parks has become a fan of Craven’s work, “I’m an admiring audient of what’s certainly going to progress from prog rockers to a large audience beyond”.
Craven’s album launches on 12 August at Caxton Street Hotel, Brisbane and the album will be launched in digital format on iTunes on 15 August. Physical CD copies featuring a fold out booklet with Dean’s artwork is also available on 15 August and is available through the website www.greatandterriblepotions.com.
The promo cds have arrived! I think they look pretty sharp:
Meanwhile I’m having a tremendous time (re)learning the guitar and keyboard parts for the new tracks I’ll be playing at the album launch. It appears that ease of performance did not enter into any criteria for what appears on the album!
Don’t forget the Great & Terrible launch is at the Caxton Hotel on Friday 12 August, from 7pm. If you’re in the Brisbane area, please come along. Entry is free!
So we’ve booked a date and venue for the launch of my new album, Great & Terrible Potions!
Venue: Caxton Hotel, Caxton St, Brisbane (Australia)
Room: Cocktail Bar
Date: Friday 12 August
Time: From 7pm
I’ll be performing some new (and old) songs on the night. Mate of mine and fellow upstanding citizen Luke Sorensen will be playing a set earlier in the evening, after which he will probably retire to the bar. We’re planning to film the show, so be sure to wear your best sandals.
Meanwhile, Roger Dean is currently adding the final touches to the artwork and it really looks unbelievable. The cover painting has already fused with the music and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to imagine one without the other now. Innit.
Of course, the new cd will also be on sale at the gig. Remember that someone has to buy it first before it gets torrented. But if you can’t wait that long, you can catch a sneak preview (or even pre-order the thing) here:
Hope to see you at the launch! More details when they come to hand…
After 12 months of tweaking, Brisbane’s Ben Craven is finally ready to release his new album with the finishing touches being made by renowned UK artist Roger Dean.
Craven’s new album, entitled “Great & Terrible Potions” is a modern day progressive rock album that has been 5 years in the making. However like all good prog-rock (progressive rock) albums, the final touches are vital.
Enlisting the assistance of Roger Dean seemed a natural progression given the heavy influences of 70’s prog-rock bands within Craven’s music.
Roger Dean, who rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s through his designs for prog-rock band “Yes” is credited with transforming the status of album covers from mere packaging to works of art.
Uncovering and updating an unreleased piece of art, Dean has provided a cover that will go down in the halls of prog-rock history alongside his most famous work for musicians and bands such as “Yes”, “Asia”, “Uriah Heap”, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.
Dean, whose bubble logo for the band “Yes” is part of rock history, also designed Craven’s new logo. Craven said, “It is an honour to be working with an artist whom I’ve grown up with and surreal to believe that he appreciates my work enough to put his name (in art) to it”.
To celebrate the release, Craven and Liquid Online Media will also be selling limited edition vinyl copies of the album complete with a traditional gatefold sleeve featuring the Roger Dean artwork.
To register your interest in the album, visit www.greatandterriblepotions.com
Craven’s album, Great & Terrible Potions, is scheduled for release in July 2011.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Shayne Locke at email@example.com.
Fancy a sneak preview of the new album?
Sixty seconds is all it takes…