This album has been a real labour of love since 2004. I have always loved instrumental rock since I started playing guitar way back in 1991, and was heavily influenced by Joe Satriani & Steve Vai. Satriani in particular had a way of writing that really appealed to me. His songs seemed to make sense in terms of structure and I was intrigued by his use of modes and the fact that he knew what he was doing in terms of theory. This really started me on a musical journey that I am still on today, and can't see me ever completing. I never thought that I'd be able to write an instrumental album, but here it is.
Sky Quake started with a collection of instrumental ideas, Pure Release and The Killing Man being amongst them, as well as Here at Last that became something quite different and made it onto Terra Nova. The Killing Man is pretty much as it was written although it had started as a vocal song. The guitar line plays what was going to be sung. I had the lyrics too, hence it being called The Killing Man. We did play about with this in Conspires To... however it never really work (fortunately). This is now the 4th recording of this song in it's current format that I have done. It was only when I got the Kemper Profiler that I could get this sounding how it was in my head. Pure Release has been a problem to finish for literally years. I was always happy with intro and verse but could never get beyond this. Having left this alone for a long time it all fell into place when I came back to it. It was called Pure Release as it was a direct reaction to being in Edison, where I felt like I was so restricted in what I could play, when I left I let everything come flooding out. This song is what that sounded like.
Fast forward 5 years and I wrote Beyond Europa and Orbs trying to get some extra songs together for an album, but nothing ever seemed to fit together very well and nothing ever came of it. Then Conspires To... took over. Everything went on the back burner again and if truth be told I never thought it would get done. I have since re-recorded both of these songs with the Kemper and it has made a massive difference. Everything now seems to gel.
The next activity happened in 2014 then I purchased my red Jackson Randy Rhodes offset V. A great metal guitar and it inspired me to write Flight of the Warbirds. I was at the time of writing the Conspires To... album Afterlife, and I had envisaged it feature on there, but the more I listened to it, the more it sounded like an instrumental track. I recorded a video for this at the time but have rerecorded it for the album with the trusty Kemper Profiler. It ended up being the perfect introduction to the album.
And there things sat for another 5 years! That was until March 2019 when my creativity kicked back in after a very dark time. I had a lot of music pouring out in all different directions and amongst them were Deployment To Earth and Glimmer of Light. Deployment to Earth I had written as an instrumental and I was going to put it as the closing track on Encounters. However Glimmer of Light held the key to the whole album. The sound, the space feel, everything set the scene for what was to become Sky Quake. I busily set off re-recording the rest of the songs to get them all into the same vein.
At around the same time I was set an interesting musical challenge by a fellow musician. The challenge was to write a song using only the notes A, F# and E, being allowed to drop a semitone above or below if he need arose. What came out ws Anchors For Sharp Elevations (Do you get the name now?) Something that would fit the album perfectly. But something I would not have written in a million years without the constraints.
Finally I needed a title track. I had written an introduction which I had called Ice Forest again with Conspires To in mind whilst I was writing Descending, but it never went anywhere. This song came together really quickly and in two nights it was done.
It's been a long road, and a bit of a trial and to tell you the truth I never thought that this would see the light of day......but I got there I hope you enjoy it.