|Said the Maiden - live in concert|
When you released your first album, A Curious Tale, where were you expecting it to take you and has that been achieved?
We released our first album, A Curious Tale, in June 2014. We are really proud of the recording because we self-released it and we had a lot of friends and family involved in its production, so it's a very personal thing and it was a big achievement for us. We didn't have any specific goals or ambitions when we embarked on the recording - for us it was a challenge because it was the biggest project we had undertaken at that point and we had very little experience of recording, and so we wanted to learn about the process. We also wanted to have something physical to take to gigs with us to sell! People had started to ask at gigs whether we had any CDs they could buy, and although we had a five-track EP which we recorded in 2013, we thought that we had moved forward since then and wanted something more substantial to offer.
Did your sound and the way you worked as a band change after its release?
A Curious Tale had some very positive reviews from folk magazines and websites such as FATEA and Bright Young Folk, which was really great and gave us the confidence and motivation to keep singing, keep performing and to continue to develop as a group. Having a recording available also meant that we gained more interest perhaps, through radio play and selling the CD through our website and at gigs. We also learned a lot about what works well and not so well for us in terms of recording, which was a big learning curve and helped us to move forward with our next project.
Moving forward. You’re about to release a new EP. Tell us about the thought process behind this decision and about the EP itself.
We wanted to record again before too long so that we could put into practice some of the things we had learned from our album recording, and we wanted to have something to represent us at our current stage as we continue to change and develop our sound and become stronger as a group. We thought a four-track EP would enable this nicely and decided to record two tracks with a professional producer, and two tracks live in front of an audience, to show two different sides of our sound. We approached Stu Hanna from the highly acclaimed folk duo Megson, who is also a producer, and he recorded and produced two songs for us: The Soldier and the Maid, and Dolly Parton's Jolene (as you've never heard it before!). For the two live tracks we chose Redbourn Folk Club as the setting, as the people there have been so supportive of everything we've done and we knew we'd get great audience participation from them! So we recorded two songs live at the club in October: Liz and Paul Davenport's Spring Tide Rising, and our own song, Polly Can You Swim? Jess's brother Steve and our friend Andy recorded the two live tracks and Steve has mixed them. Steve also recorded and produced our first EP and album, and we are so grateful to him and Andy for all of their help as they have done all of it fantastically, and for free.
The involvement of Pledge Music came through a need to raise funds for the studio recording, and also for a music video which we wanted make for The Soldier and the Maid. We also had some professional photos taken for the very first time, to use on our new EP artwork and on promotional material etc. So as you can imagine, all of these things have come at a financial cost which we weren't able to afford between us and so we set up our Pledge Campaign to help. Pledge Music is a 'crowd-funding' website where fans of Said The Maiden, or people who have just discovered us, can buy the new EP or the album, or merchandise and novelty items and all the money raised goes towards our project. We think it's a really great way to fundraise as it gets people involved in the process as we're actually doing it - we've kept everyone who has pledged updated with the progress of the recording, the video and the photos, so they know where their money is going! We have raised just over 50% of our goal at the time of writing this, and we have until the 10th December to raise the rest....
So, here's our plug - please visit www.pledgemusic.com/projects/saidthemaiden and pledge to show your support! You can pledge as little as £5 and every little bit helps.
What are you expecting from the release of this record? Will it alter the way you work? Where you tour? What you record next?
We are hoping that our new EP, 'Of Maids And Mariners' will be a good display of how far we've come over the last few years, and will be an opportunity for new people to listen to us if they haven't already discovered Said The Maiden. We are hoping that the new recording will be met with the same positive feedback as our previous recordings have been, and we will be sending tracks off to various radio stations - some local, some national - to try and gain some airplay. Ultimately, all of the above could in turn lead to more performance opportunities at folk clubs and festivals in 2016 and beyond, which will enable us to keep doing what we love to do most - sing for people.
Where can people purchase the new EP?Of Maids And Mariners will be available to buy from our website www.saidthemaiden.co.uk, and from us directly at gigs. We will also release digital downloads of the tracks online. The EP is due for release on the 13th December, however if people want to pre-order a copy and help us to raise much-needed funds, they can do so via Pledge Music www.pledgemusic.com/projects/saidthemaiden. You can also have your EP signed by purchasing through the Pledge Campaign.
It would be great if you could become a part of Said the Maidens journey. They are a hard working band who deserve success.
Coming soon: Life on the Road and a review of the EP.