01 July 2008

The Tangent news

Direct from Andy Tillison:

It has been some time since I communicated with you and for this I apologise. For various personal reasons I once again am on the move, still caught between France and England. There just might be a song in there somewhere. Stay tuned.

The Tangent is on the move too, making plans, some of which will come as a bit of a shock to you all. The first piece of good news is that we plan to make another Tangent album later this year and well into next. With that, though - in true, classic, Tangent and Prog fashion - will come another round of personnel reshuffles. This one will be a major one. It is not a set of decisions that I have taken lightly. Nonetheless, after long and careful consideration I have decided that we will move forward on this next album without Jaime Salazar, Krister Jonsson and even Jonas Reingold.

There are a number of reasons for this decision - some of them that old classic Rock n Roll cliché 'Artistic differences' and some of them far more practical and down to earth than that. They are, however, decisions that had to be made. And yet I must say that I will particularly miss Jonas Reingold who has encouraged and supported both myself and particularly our manager Ian from the very beginning. To Jonas, in particular, many many thanks and let's let our musical and business paths cross again sometime!

In some important ways, though, these decisions bring matters in line with the reality of things. The most recent album "Not As Good As The Book" was largely made by myself, Guy, Theo and Jakko - and Guy really hasn't ever been given enough credit for his role both within and outside the band. It is, at least commercially, the bands most successful album yet, however it was very sad to have to leave someone who is so keen on the band's work at home, (Theo Travis and Jakko too). Both Guy and I would count ourselves as composers and arrangers rather than virtuosos, but in the end, to me, probably to Guy too, having people in the band who are committed mentally and spiritually to the music is more important than the very best musicianship. The dream of turning the Tangent into a real band has been very difficult to achieve. The next move puts us back into the "project" territory in some ways, but as we came from that beginning, it won't present any of us with a problem.

One thing that I have learned in life, of course, is that every time a door closes in one place another door opens somewhere else. So....on a more positive note .... this is what comes next - we hope. I have asked the band Beardfish to collaborate with us en masse: the whole lot of them! After all, we had a sizable chunk of another band on our first two albums, we're just switching bands ;-)

On tour this past month with Beardfish, I can only say that I was amazed at their abilities, their youthfulness and their vigour - but most of all their belief that Progressive Rock can be an important part of their world; a world in which they are in their mid 20s. I only missed their set once on an eight day tour, and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them, they played with a gusto that I envied and had a brotherhood which I missed so much within my own band. I became very good friends with them all, and even got invited to guest with them onstage in Belgium, where I really messed up an organ solo on their behalf. However, I left the tour wanting to work with them, and put the question to them just a few weeks ago.

The good news is this. In reply to my offer, the Beardfish have replied with an enthusiastic "YES." As a result, they will form the core of the new band, which will debut at Summer's End (with hopefully and in all probability Guy, Theo and Jakko - thus making an 8 piece band!!, we will keep you posted on this). Several important points:

1. The Tangent and Beardfish will continue to exist, record and perform in their own right
2. The Tangent's lineup will still be variable at concerts depending on location, budget etc.
3. Rikard from Beardfish will also play keyboards and sing some vocals for the Tangent alongside me... back to 2 keys players as it should be!
4. Theo Travis and Jakko are still in the Tangent, how their roles develop is a matter of time and work, and we cannot predict how these two guys will find the new band who they have not yet met. However from day one both these people have been totally into the music and philosophy of the band and their early response to this change has been positive.
5. In mind of adapting to audience sizes and costs this does give both bands and promoters an opportunity of touring and playing at festivals as part of two band 'package deal'..

I think people are used to the fact now that The Tangent is and most likely will always be ever evolving. I really see this as a positive experience for both band and audience. To those that doubt, all we can say is "look what we did since (fill in blank here) left..." and trust that we can continue to create alert and challenging music for some time yet.

Maybe the anti-Tangent faction will say that it will spoil Beardfish, but be rest assured these guys are far too strong to be spoiled by me.

Of course, after all that I have said, I will finish by saying an enormous "thank you" to the three departing guys who in their time were an undoubtedly powerful force in making the Tangent what it was and still is. These were among the very best musicians I have ever had the pleasure to work with, I count myself lucky to have had this opportunity.

Now- here comes the future. It's good to be scared again.

Andy Tillison

1 comment:

firefly said...

I wonder if TFK will let Jamie Salazar back in now to at least jam with them, again? I know TFK just got a new drummer though.
And so now Jonas can also maybe write more with Roine with his extra time...