It takes a village, as the old African proverb has it, to raise a child, and truth be told, while the original idea for a song might come from one or two likeminded writer/musicians, the reality is that it takes a much bigger team of like-minds to bring that song to the ears of the wider world, from fellow band members to recording engineers.
When you're a band just starting out in this crazy thing called the music industry, as much about business as it is about creativity, you need all the help you can get,
Luckily for one young Blue Mountains-based four-piece who travel as Safire Palms, there just happened to be a "village" primed and ready to help out, courtesy a Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Grant.
The driving force behind the project that sees Safire Palms - guitarist Rory Wilson, keyboards player and singer Nick Macken, bass player and singer Riley Johns and newest member, singer and drummer Bailey Brown - releasing their debut single, Jam Sandwich, barely a year after the band formed is the irrepressible Willem Hendricksen, the man behind Retro Rehash, both the Radio Blue Mountains and some pretty impressive live shows.
Committed to raising the profile of the extraordinary number of creative musical artists and bands living and working in the Greater Blue Mountains through networking, mentoring and the creation of performance opportunities, having secured a grant that would allow him to help facilitate an emerging band to not only record a debut single, but also gain valuable experience across all aspects of the process, from studio experience to press releases, video/film clip-making to press photos, Hendricksen saw the potential in Safire Palms.
"Jam Sandwich is probably the first song that Nick and I really wrote together," Wilson explains, "and it's been a song for more than a year now. Now we've got this opportunity, it's just come together."
With no studio experience, Willem introduced the band to Hibiscus Biscuit guitarist Ricardo Moreira and drummer Aiden Young, who took them into their home studio to record demos of two songs, Jam Sandwich and Hazey Days - in music industry parlance, that's pre-production. The resulting demo was then given to recording engineer/producer Stuart Cam, who runs Future State Recording Studios in Leura, where Safire Palms then cut the single proper.
Preparation for a launch of the single sees the band rehearsing at the Youth Service MYST space and Junction 142, with a press kit put together by yours truly, photography by Lona Logan, videography by Aidan Jaros-Grilli and the launch itself at Funktion at the Junction, Katoomba on Saturday October 26, presented by Retro Rehash, Blue Mountains City of the Arts and MYST. Joining Safire Palms on the night are guest vocalist Michelle James, who will also perform with Funky Horns, mentoring band Hibiscus Biscuit and The Regime.
"Everybody's got a song trying to come through them when you think about it," said Wilson. "We do it 'cause we just love it."
There's no better reason, I reckon.
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