Lost back catalogue
Melbourne / Vancouver / Manchester 1998-2011
By the time I turned twenty I thought I’d given up on rock music. My first band Movement had not been the success I’d hoped and I was making a name for myself as a novelist. I sold my amp, let my electric guitar collect dust and played the acoustic for my own edification. But I never stopped writing songs.
By 1997, at age 24, I was as burnt out with my writing as I had been with Movement. Although at first the arts grants had seemed generous, I realised how hard it would be to sustain my momentum, and I left the peace and solitude of Tasmania for a life of sharehouses, partying and straight jobs in Melbourne and Vancouver. Meantime, almost by accident, I wrote an album: Shadow History.
As the album grew to 20+ songs, I learned production via a series of freeform jams and improvisations (see COQ & Cottage Industry), and I kept moving. Only in Manchester in 2009 did I form the band I called Shadow History. Comprising Liverpool postpunk survivor Chris Layhe (ex-Icicle Works) on bass and brothers Leigh and Paul Eaton (of Stockport’s LP Studios) on guitar and drums, Shadow History recorded an EP (Physical Realm) and played a handful of gigs before I returned to Australia in 2011.
The problem with Shadow History was my high expectations of it: Ziggy Stardust meets Nevermind with a shoegaze twist. It was pop music – there was no way I was gonna record it lo-fi! But with basic equipment and little expertise in production I didn’t think I had any choice. Well, it’s 2017. Via the open source software Reaper, anyone with a decent laptop can, with a few bits of hardware, record to an approximation of “industry standard”. It’s entry level, but I used the set-up on Light Traveller and I’m happy with the results. Meantime I’m slowly recording the old songs, stepping out of the shadows to the light.
Byron Shire 2015-17
On the move 2003-6
New wave / shoegaze