New Interview – Yes Music Podcast

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Yes concert in Sydney, and I was recently interviewed for Yes Music Podcast about the experience! Fortunately I got to talk about Yes, and not myself.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Somehow in the interview I forgot to mention one of the funniest moments of the evening. During the meet-and-greet afterwards, a young girl handed poor Steve Howe a copy of the Trevor Rabin-era Talk CD to sign (yes, I find this sort of stuff funny). I could see Steve considering it for a moment, and then I think he must have decided it was best to make his fan happy.

One of the absolute highlights of my night was stalking asking Chris Squire to sign my Rickenbacker 4001 bass pickguard. I hate to think the guitar might be out of action now since I’m scared the autograph might rub off.

Great & Terrible Potions – Vinyl now available!

Finally!

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:

Side 1
1. Diabolique
2. Nobody Dies Forever
3. Aquamarine
4. Ready To Lose
5. The Conjurer

Side 2
1. No Specific Harm
2. Solace
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.

Two False Idols – 2012 remix

Some of you might know that in 2006 I released an album called Two False Idols under the name of “Tunisia”. It started out life as a band project and went through a number of changes before being branded with a solo moniker.

Two False Idols by Tunisia was a lush production with a spacious sound and dense atmosphere. A version in 5.1 surround was even released. During the making of Great & Terrible Potions my sonic preferences changed. I wanted to revisit the first album to bring out all the parts more clearly in the mix. I also re-sequenced the track running order to improve the flow of the album.

Here then is my new take on Two False Idols, this time released by “Ben Craven”, and remixed with the benefit of hindsight. You can listen to it in its entirety at my Bandcamp site (and even purchase it for as little as AUD $5).

New interview at mwe3.com

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!

 

Review Roundup

Some more reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have popped up over the last few weeks. They’re all a good read!

JerryLucky.com (Canada)
Cosmos Music (France)
Classic Rock Society (UK)
Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK)
Progressive Area (France)
Babyblaue-Seiten (Germany)
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!

What Happens In Vegas…

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.

Blacktop Strat

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.

– New reviews of Great & Terrible Potions have turned up at Progwereld (Holland), MLWZ (Poland), the Music Street Journal (USA), and JerryLucky.com (Canada).

– 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.

Potions has moved up to number 7 on the Progwereld World 10, and is currently charting at number 4 at the Just For Kicks webstore (Germany). That’s right, David Hasselhoff fans. I said Germany.

– 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.

– I’m still editing the video from the Potions album launch. Almost at the half-way point, and clips of Diabolique and Nobody Dies Forever have made their way to YouTube.

Until next time!