Zervas and Pepper
News and updates from the band on albums, tours, festivals and more
Tuesday, 16 April, 2013

Making 'LifeBringer'

Making 'LifeBringer'

Making 'LIFEBRINGER' … Shamans, Ghost Dancers and a Dystopian future..

Hey all, We've had a pretty hectic few months recently, That's hectic in a good way!, However we do apologise for the wait since our last post. So with the release of our 2nd album 'LIFEBRINGER' imminent, We thought we'd share with you a little bit about the forthcoming albums creation,songs and  inspiration etc. We're really excited about the release and we hope you will be too!

So at the start of 2012, feeling a little burnt-out from juggling day jobs and growing music commitments we saved up our pennies and took off for a much needed break across the pond to LA. We rented a house deep in the canyons and took our guitars and needless to say it wasn't long before we started getting the odd idea for songs and within a few days we were on a roll. We often use our travels for inspiration but certainly hadn't set out to write almost an entire album on the trip, but we were buzzing with new ideas and inspiration, it just happened!

We started to get in to the idea of telling an epic story in a 3 minute song. The first song we wrote with that in mind was 'Buffalo Crow'. Whilst in LA we picked up a leaflet for 'Shamanic Medicine' that is used today for fighting addiction, we felt that made for the beginnings of an epic internal fight. 'Buffalo' tells the tale of a persons journey to find a legendary medicine man to cure his addiction, there he witnesses a sacred ritual that changes how he sees the world forever. In case you were wondering the song's first chorus contains an ancient and profoundly spiritual native American principle "Saa naghai bik'eh hozho",Which when translated into English roughly means "Infinite harmony and balance of all living things".


On the subject of shamans, bizarrely on a return trip later in the year this time with our Bass player Andrew Brown we stayed in a house in Nichols Canyon once owned by The Beatles Publicist Derek Taylor. It's current owners told us that in the 1960's Taylor's-then tenant had believed the house was haunted, after performing a séance and some kind of exorcism they surmised that the house was haunted by an existential Indian Chief. A fact that we found pretty freaky... but really cool at the same time, especially being as we had written a couple of native Indian inspired songs.. So continuing the trend with this co-incidence we the penned the track 'Ghost Dancer'.


We never did spot the friendly ghost but Paul did see a real dog riding a real motorbike, but that's another story!! 


Next came the song 'Lookout Mountain', we wrote this early hours of the morning on returning from a party on Lookout Mountain Ave in Hollywood, a mixture of jet lag and Whiskey made for an all-night writing session and finished up with a really pretty song. Looking out over LA's massive City sprawl with a multitude of police and news helicopters circling overhead we penned 'Living in a Small Town' a warning that all small towns are eventually heading towards becoming 'super-cities' at some point and it seemed that every time we watched the news there was another riot somewhere in the world, it kind of felt like the human race was hurtling towards disaster.


We returned home with around 15 strong ideas for songs. Over the following months we recorded and released 'Buffalo Crow' and 'One Man Show' and then got to work on refining the tracks we'd started whilst we were away, Ultimately some songs fell by the wayside while others developed once introduced to the band set up. We had a period of rehearsal with Andrew Brown (Bass) Jack Egglestone (Drums) and Simon Kingman (Guitar) and on Jan 1st 2013 we headed to Music Box Studios with Llion Robertson to lay down the rhythm tracks. We then egan four weeks of recording at our home studio. Laying down acoustic/electric guitars, Vocals and synths and then bringing in session Musicians Jon 'Catfish' Thomas, Lee Goodall, Niamh Ferris, Krissy Jenkins and Rob Pugh for some specialist overdubs. Its safe to say we had a blast recording the album! With such great musicianship and commitment from everyone involved we feel we got the very best out of the songs, We hope you think so too.


We then headed back the Llion Robertson for the mammoth task of mixing the record. It was a frantic but fun time. We were slightly up against it time-wise as we were heading out on tour late February and were keen to get the album mixed before we went. For the final part of the recording process we returned to Donal Whelan at Hafod Mastering for that all important finishing touch.


Artwork for 'Lifebringer'

Whilst at a gallery in LA we stumbled upon the work of Logan Maxwell Hagege, A extremely talented artist who's paintings we instantly fell in love with. We were particularly enchanted by his southwestern portraits and we felt the songs we were writing sat beautifully with the characters he was painting and we soon became friends. One painting which really caught our eye was his depiction of a vintage 'Kachina' doll which to us looked like some kind of time-travelling storyteller and seemed the perfect image for the 'Cosmic Folk Rock' feel that the album was now leaning heavily towards. We were blown away when Logan kindly agreed to let us use his painting for the cover. Please check out Logans awesome work and visit  http://loganhagege.com/ Incidentally 'Kachina' when translated into English means 'LIFEBRINGER'. 


Keep your ears peeled  for the forthcoming Singles 'Jerome' and 'Sure Fire Bet' on the
airwaves very soon!! Thanks for dropping by, 



At Logans Studio

Andrew & Paul hard at work