Echofire – Run EP

This is a project I have been working on for some time, as and when time or inspiration has allowed. Echofire is a band I was in a couple of years ago and this EP is something we started but never finished in the time I was in the band. Recorded and engineered by Tim Walker at Voltage Studios, it sat on his computer for quite some time with never any concrete plans to go back and finish it. Frustrated by this, I took the source files and have since been producing it myself. It has been some time in the making but I can finally state that it is finished. It has been a fun learning curve. I hope you enjoy it.

Liner notes

It was the closing weeks of 2014 and our band Suicide By Cop was coming to an end. Drummer and founder member Steve Ward had left in the spring of 2013 and in the intervening time, we had been attempting to continue with his replacement Liam Brook. It had been a slow process as we essentially had to start again, working through the material we had written over the previous four years whilst trying to keep things moving by writing new songs. Try as he might, Liam wasn’t taking to the older stuff (even though we all thought he was doing an admirable job). The whole dynamic of the band had changed and so we came to the decision that it was time to start afresh. We proceeded to play our last two gigs as Suicide By Cop and we finished the year on a high.

During this time we had written four new songs, which were in various states of completeness. We decided to retain these, ditch the old material and form a new band with a new name. And so, in the new year of 2015, we recruited guitarist Paul Gooding, renamed the band Echofire and set about developing the songs further.

Echofire 2015: (from top) Kaz Buxton, Paul Gooding, Liam Brook, Steve Malley, Alec Marlow

With Paul’s input, the sound of the band very quickly became more sophisticated, taking on a more contemporary heavy rock sound with a bit less emphasis on the new wave/post-punk influences. The first song we wrote together with this line-up was “Without Fire”. Musically, this was always seen as Paul’s baby and the scathing lyrics, written by Kaz really gave it some bite.

The lyrical content and approach had also changed. The social commentary present in Suicide By Cop had given way to something more introspective and reflective.

“Drink In You” can probably be regarded as the last remnants of Suicide By Cop and the last lyric I solely wrote for the band. Out of the five pieces on the EP, it was the only one to be dropped after my departure. Understandable I guess, given the desire to progress. Despite being of its time, I still think it holds its own alongside the rest of the songs.

Kaz had started writing more and was finding herself as a lyricist. Her first piece was the powerful and very personal epic “This Fight”, a dark monster of a song.

The last lyric I was involved in writing was “Run”. Kaz and I wrote it together in the rehearsal room, with crucial input from Liam and it’s certainly one of my favourites.

I think the band favourite at the time was “Ghost”, which in my opinion was definitely one of the strongest musically. I love the haunting breakdown in the middle and Kaz’s evocative lyrics are fantastic.

The recording sessions took place in the spring of 2015 at Voltage Studios, with Tim Walker. All of the instrumentation and most of the vocals were committed to disk. However, recording came to an abrupt end leading up to our first (and only) gig in the June and never continued. The files sat on the studio computer for months. Eventually, I copied the source files with the intention of finishing it myself. However, the band was going through a tough time and consequently, apart from a bit of a start on the mixing in the early part of 2016, the EP remained largely unfinished.

The difficulties we were experiencing came to a head for me and in the spring of 2016, I took the incredibly difficult decision of leaving the band. It was a very emotional time and for a while I couldn’t bring myself to even listen to the material.

In the months following, Echofire reinvented itself with a new and very strong line-up. It somehow seemed inappropriate to revisit the EP for some time to come. The new line-up needed to establish itself and I still had a few things to get out of my system. Everything was very amicable. Not only did I remain best of friends with my erstwhile bandmates but the new members Mick and Chillo are also very good friends of mine, both of whom I think the world of.

In the new year of 2018, I had finally got my home studio set up how I wanted it and named it Idle Hands. I had started working on a variety of recordings in earnest. One day, whilst looking through old files, I loaded up one of the tracks and started playing around with it. Before I knew it, I was on with mixing most of the EP.

It felt very natural and that the time was right. Echofire had released their first recordings some months before and were on with writing new material. I had seen them play live a couple of times and even shared a stage with them briefly. I was finally totally at peace and it was great to revisit the material with nothing but love for it, the only motivation being to finish it and have it sounding the best I could make it sound.

So here it is a snapshot in time, a glimpse into the potential of what might have been. A transition between what had gone before and what was to come.

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