This album represents ten years of recording outside of The Wildhearts family, but for me it represents even more than that. This album tells the story of the first steps I took alone in creating an independent personality for myself as a writer and as a father.
From Sonic Shake, a song that I wrote and demoed in Japan (I told the label people that I could play every instrument on the demo recording and the next day they booked me studio time. I’d never played drums before on a recording and I was really nervous. It was very exciting) and recorded in London just after meeting the mother of my first son. Soon after the recording was finished she was pregnant, and not long after that, my son, Jake, was performing onstage in Tokyo in front of a wild crowd singing his name. I’d sign autographs after the show, and Jake had signed the CD before me!
The band SilverGinger 5 were assembled to promote this album and our first ever shows were in Japan. I will never forget this period of my life. I was struggling with drug addiction and the Japanese fans showed me a more pure way of life through love and commitment, something that I am reminded of on a daily basis to this day.
After Jake’s mother and I broke up I went through a well documented depression that showed me the road to spirituality and enlightenment, and in this period the song The Man Who Cheated Death came to me via divine inspiration. The album that followed, Valor Del Corazón, was recorded in Willie Nelson’s studio in Austin, Texas, and allowed me to immortalise my feelings at the time. Since this recording I have been made aware of some amazing effects this album has had to its listeners, including someone who stopped themselves from committing suicide because of the song This Is Only A Problem. Surely the most significant compliment that a songwriter could ever be paid?
Life as a single man followed, and a period of promiscuity bore tracks such as When She Comes from the album Yoni, a record written about new beginnings and the scattered search for oneself amid the chaos of choice. The resulting album examines the theory that maybe too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. The confusion in songs like Jake and Black Windows shows a man coming to terms with limitations and, ultimately, morality.
Market Harbour followed Yoni as the journey continued towards the only conclusion that one is able to find in life, that of living in the moment and accepting tribulations as valuable, and wonderful lessons. Sorrow and loss are as much a part of this experience as happiness and discovery. In fact they are all part of the same process. It is impossible to have one experience without having them all.
The final two songs of this collection summarise this strange and educational decade for me. Freedom comes from finding happiness, happiness comes from understanding, understanding comes from experience and experience comes from things not going to plan. And just because things aren’t going to plan doesn’t mean they aren’t exactly how they should be.
10 is released through Round Records on 10/10/10