Ten new tracks by Thee MOOT, all recorded in glorious analogue on vintage recording equipment at Gizzard Studio, London.

Dave Clark (DC, guitarist) and Nick Stone (NS, singer/songwriter) explain it all.







1) What was the moment you knew you were onto something?
(DC) Mark (bass), Freezer (drums) and I had played together for a few years and had a good understanding of what we wanted to do, but I knew it was going to be special when Nick sent us demos of the first few songs in early 2016.
2) How did this record come together?
(DC). We generally start off with an acoustic demo, work it up in rehearsal, then test it out live. I’ve usually got a picture in my mind about what guitar overdubs will work in the studio and Nick will know what vocal harmonies will add to it. We like to work pretty quickly in the studio like they did in the ’60s! We’ll usually play live and try and keep drums, bass and guitar as live takes. Then we’ll add a few overdubs later on. We should mention that we use a really cool all-analog studio in London called Gizzard, with a great engineer Ed Deegan who gets a sound we really like. It’s all recorded direct to tape and mixed down onto tape too. We use vintage recording gear and studio effects. It really does get a warmer, more natural sound that works for us. We’ve tried doing it the other way, fiddling around with software, and it didn’t work for us!

3) As an artist, you choose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
(NS) It’s not always comfortable sharing thoughts and emotions with the world but it is essential to be authentic. MOOT songs have to be meaningful for me lyrically but I want as many people as possible to hear our music, so I like to sprinkle a little humor in there as well

4) Any ideas about how to turn this one into a million-seller?
(NS) Million-seller? That’s not for us to say. Our future audience may deliver that one! Our hope is that an established artist or band will one day like one of our songs enough to cover it.

5) You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? And Why?
(NS) Jack White or Pete Shelley. Jack is one of my favorite American songwriters. I really liked what he did with the American Epic Sessions and I’ve recently revisited his Acoustic Recordings, so I’d like to learn from him and he loves English bands so I’m told!. Pete Shelley was another master of melody and I would have questioned him (nicely) about his cracking love songs. I tend to avoid the subject of love but Pete had a wonderful knack of capturing an audience with his catchy and often touching anthems.
(DC) It would be interesting to work with two true originals who created their own world and drew you in – the late Syd Barrett and Pete Townshend. Neither of them are really co-writers but it would be fascinating to see how they do it and to see if some of the processes would rub off on you. I’d also love to sit down and work out guitar arrangements with Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd. We could also talk about guitars and old Fender amps!


6) What’s the gig you will always remember and why?
(DC) We did a great gig just this month with two like-minded bands from London, The Past Tense and Trees and The Slipway. It was a small gig and we had to change the venue at the last minute, but it was a great evening and it was probably the best we’ve played. We got some new songs in the set and got great feedback about them. This tells me that we’re going in the right direction. It was nice to see some of the audience singing back the words to some of the songs on the album too.

7) When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit’?
(DC) I think lots of our songs could be hits, whatever that means nowadays. I am absolutely certain that we’ve written a few that would be massive if more people could hear them. For example, we’ve got a new one called ‘Fools Plan’ that should be blasting out of car radios, iPhones and laptops the world over!


8) Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
(NS) Much easier and more enjoyable to record! Getting our music out there is more challenging despite the advent of streaming and downloads. We are fortunate that music bloggers and small radio stations are playing our stuff and that helps greatly to raise awareness that we exist! Also, reviewers like yourself who are enthusiastic and love new original music are our new best friends!

9) Which 5 records would you bring with you for your stay on Mars?
(DC) The Beatles – Revolver, Television – Marquee Moon, The Rain Parade – Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday, Pink Floyd – Meddle

10) Recording music – what’s all the fun about?
(DC) Using your imagination to make the songs better than you thought they could be.

11) Playing music in front of a crowd – what’s all the fun about?
(DC) Obviously the connection with the audience, but I think for me the real fun is the band working as a unit that’s bigger than the sum of the individual parts. You can get real magic that way.

12) You can’t control the way people hear your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects that you think set your songs apart what would they be?
(NS) Our album is far more contemporary musically and lyrically than some reviewers give us credit for. We are sometimes labeled as mod revival or nostalgic by people who aren’t really listening to what we do. Sure we are influenced by bands like the Beatles, Kinks and Small Faces but essentially it’s melodically underpinned by the do it ourselves spirit of Punk. We write the music, arrange and record it and distribute it ourselves. And it’s all self-funded!






The songs are drawn from Barbeau’s songbook spanning from his teen years to the present day, but the all-new performances are fresh and immediate, and the bi-continental production is a cohesive and bracing dive into the essence of Antmusik across time.


As an artist, you chose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?


Comfortable? Sure. I think it’s essential. Like many people, I try to hold things together, put on a good face for the world. I’m not a vividly emotional person and I can crank out a fair amount of seemingly cheerful pop but I’m drawn to all sorts of music with all sorts of emotional range and I try to make sure my albums or my live sets are varied in this way. Sadness and anger and confusion and ambivalence are parts of what makes life so rich. Can you picture a world without Rick Danko singing “The Unfaithful Servant”? I don’t aspire to whatever inspired that song, but I’m grateful to feel it when he sings it.





You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be? 


Go back and follow along with the bass lines to “Allyson 23” and “Third Eye!” Try to count along with “Coffee That Makes The Man Go Mad.” Try to picture the ghost of my mother in “Just Passing By.” There are all sorts of tricks and odd spots in my songs that aren’t meant to draw attention, but if you notice them, they’re satisfying. I was rehearsing with a Spanish band once – we had only one day to rehearse a festival set – and the bassist noticed that all of my songs seemed to be straightforward on the surface, but that every one of them had some weird detail that required full attention. I’m not trying to impress an audience with those details, but I’m working on a few levels at once. I have a busy brain!



Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?


Well, depends on the gig! When it’s good, then maybe the songs feel good in my guitar hands and in my vocal throat, and the audience is both clearly pleased and surprised. On a good night, I can be funny. On a really good night, I can connect cosmic dots between buildings and planets. Sometimes the guitar makes the sounds we all live for. If there’s a grand piano in front of me, a different set of cosmic dots appear, unless I’m in France.


When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?


“Manbird!” But I’ve written MANY hits that turned out not to be hits!! Still, “Manbird” and “Across the Drama Pond” both have that “Hey, this is good, right??” vibe to them. Where’re my million dollars!!?


What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?


I supported Julian Cope on a few dates each of his 2011 and 2012 tours. The first date was Brighton. The gig was a blur, but I remember getting stoned with him after the gig. Days later, Julian rang me at home – I was living in Cambridge, UK – and said, “Hey Man, it’s Julian… I know you’re moving to Berlin in a few days, but do ya wanna do Bracknell?” When Julian Cope calls you at home, you say yes to whatever the question is! Bracknell was a great gig, and the only gig I did with him where I have any recollection of my own set. A lovely theatre, great crowd. Julian’s set was special that night, and he beamed “Upwards at 45 Degrees” at me as he sang. As he said to me the first time we met, “Yeah, man… I saw you vibin’!”


Which 5 records would you bring with you for your stay on Mars?


I’m always fascinated by this sort of question because there’s the risk of burning out on a beloved record, right? And am I trapped on Mars or is it a two week holiday in space? Anyway, I’m gonna be loose here and reach for records that I imagine would turn me on every time, as they already do, and give me a feeling of forwarding motion as these already do…

Sgt. Pepper – Beatles

Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell.

Clube da Esquina – Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges


Lodger – Bowie


Recording music. What’s all the fun about?


Everything! Making records is the best thing there is. I love the sound. I’m restless and often move a sound from its starting place to somewhere very other. I’m always trying to be a better singer, to make sure my vocals have the right feeling. I’ve recently picked up a new vocal mic and preamp, so to be able to put a warmer, less nasal Ant sound on tape. I love constructing bass parts, knocking around on the drums. Or being in the studio with a great bunch of musicians and a fine engineer, capturing that moment where everyone says, “Yep, that was it!” I can do it all myself, be my own band, but one thrill is working with known chemistries I have with others, or discovering new chemistries. Some musicians give you a reliable result every time, but others might play the perfect note on one song and play only the strangest, wrongest things the next time you get together. Maybe part of why I love recording so much is that no matter how much I do it – and I’m recording every single day, generally – I still feel like I’m starting out, wide-eyed. It’s all new every time.

Gary Ritchie – Head On A Swivel




On Gary’s CDBaby page, Power Pop Paul writes about Head on a Swivel: “It’s a Potpurri of Hooks, Rocking Guitars, Pounding Drums, Melodies all over the place ….. What’s not to like?”.

Power Pop Paul has taste.

SweetSweetMusic spoke to Gary about his new album.


How did this record come together?


Well, in January of 2019, I was starting to get a little antsy and felt like I wanted to record again. It had been nearly 3 years since my last album (Poptimistic). I wasn’t sure if I had anything to say or any actual tunes. So I headed back to my music room with my Guild Jumbo acoustic to see if I had anything. A half an hour later, I had the makings of (I thought) a very cool tune, “Head On A Swivel.”

Hey, maybe I do have something more in me! So I went through my notes, old demo ideas and started writing some new tunes, finished up some old ideas I had and I was off and running.

I really love the collection of songs I came up with this time. I hope the folks out there enjoy it as much as I do.


When did you decide to start asking for opinions on the new songs?


Actually, I very rarely to never ask people for opinions on my songs. I leave that up to people to give their opinions if they want. Only a couple of times will I even ask someone “What was your fave tune on the album?”.

Now, I used to ask my recording partner, Jeff King what songs he liked of mine. Generally, he would say “Let’s do all of them.” That’s why my first 4 albums had a ton of songs on them.

On this new album “Head On A Swivel” I wanted to keep it at 13 tracks and 38 minutes to keep folks interested. Many people these days don’t have a long attention span.

Fortunately, for me, the folks that like my stuff are the type to actually put on an album and play it all the way through. Most people out there these days really “cherry-pick.” Many people seem to have 1,000 songs in their pocket, maybe 2 or 3 songs from each artist. I’m totally old school. I don’t have an iPod and I don’t listen to MP3s. It’s CDs and LPs for me.




You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who and Why?


Oh man, that’s tough. I have so many musical hero’s I’d love to do something with. But, I’ve to go with ​McCartney for obvious reasons. He’s a total Pop genius with a melody in everything he touches. It would be a blast to write with him.

Elton, the man is phenomenal, especially the earlier stuff. Great chords structures and melodies all over the place.

Nick Lowe has also been an absolute favorite of mine since his first solo album. Very witty, cool lyrics, lots of humor. He would fit my style of writing perfectly.


What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?


Well, that’s a bit tough. I’ve played some really great places with thousand’s of people. But, there is one that was very cool. We played a small place, it wasn’t even an actual club or concert hall, somesorts of art studio place that we had a record release party in. Well, a pretty good friend of our’s said he might show up…and he did! Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick came and joined us for a few tunes. Excellent and fun. He later produced a couple of tracks in the studio for us. So, yeah, that one sticks in my head.


Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?


Oh heck yeah! Getting things heard can be very difficult these days. I mean widely. Not many stations play the kind of music that I write or record. There are a few sort of “Independent” stations that still play PopRock, PowerPop, Indie Rock…etc. I love those guys!! They can get to a lot more people than I can. It really helps with selling a few more CDs too.

Now, the recording of a record, I won’t say it’s easy, but much easier than many years ago. Everyone has some sort of studio at home (and good ones) and can really hone a tune without spending a ton of money. Wherever you record you must be prepared to work at it to get things right. On this last album of mine, when I took it to be Mastered, my guy said “I can tell you guys really took great care in recording this album.” That was very cool to hear.


Which records would you bring with you for your stay on Mars?


Oh baby, that’s beyond tough. I listen to so much music!!

Well, I could easily take 5 Beatles’ albums but I’ll leave it to only one. “White Album” – Great array of songs. Love it.

Elton’s “Honky Chateau.”

Faces “A Nod Is As Good As A Wink.”

Allman Brothers “Live At The Fillmore East.”

Dwight Yoakam “This Time.”




Slumberjet – World of Sound


PowerPopAholic writes: Opening with the dreamlike harmonies of the title track it launches into a Jellyfish-like pop gem with “Round x2,” it’s driving beat marches along with a shimmering guitar lead. The band successfully navigates a variety of pop stylings from the gentle jangle of “Float” to the insanely catchy “Across The Divide,” with an earnest Elvis Costello-like approach. All the songs are good, but a clear majority are simply great.


The second Slumberjet album “World of Sound” is produced by Duncan Maitland, who has previously worked with XTC, Pugwash and Colin Hare of the Honeybus as well as being a solo artist in his own right. Also featured on the album is Keith Farrell – producer of the first Slumberjet album, this time on bass duties – and drummer Johnny Boyle who has previously worked with Marianne Faithfull, The Frames and Pugwash {to name but a few}. One time Sub Pop artist Eric Matthews features on Brass once again.


Barry O’Brien explains.



What was the moment you knew you were on to something?


I sat down with Duncan Maitland to play him the acoustic demos I had gathered, and he was very enthusiastic from the start, he felt I did the groundwork with these songs which was great to hear as I felt I did too.


How did this record come together?


After the first Slumberjet album was released my band dissolved and I decided to start writing the next album. I was also planning on what kind of album it would be. From the very start, I had many different discussions with Duncan Maitland about this and he had a keen interest in my ramblings so it seemed like the most logical thing that he produced the next Slumberjet album. Duncan had a studio and engineer in mind {Leslie Keye at ARAD Studios in Dublin} and I had for a long time wanted to take Johhny Boyle {Drums} and Keith Farrell {Bass}into the studio who are incredible players individually but together they have something special.





What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?


Slumberjet got to play The Cavern in Liverpool as part of the IPO festival in 2010 that was pretty special for obvious reasons, actually, the photo on the back of the first Slumberjet album is from that very gig.


When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?


I think “Float” off the Slumberjet album World of Sound could be a hit if I could only figure out how to get people to hear it?




Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?


In a word “yes” anyone can record now, you have albums being recorded on iPhones that if you we’re told we’re recorded in Abbey Road you’d find it hard to argue with they sound so good, getting it heard well there are so many platforms now to put your music on but I do believe if the music is good it will get heard even if it doesn’t sell a million copies.


Which 5 records would you bring with you for your stay on Mars


In no particular order The Beatles -Revolver, The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds, The Police- Regatta De Blanc, Jeff Buckley -Grace, Jane’s Addiction- Ritual De Lo Habitual



Vinyl is back, Spotify is ruling, tickets for concerts are becoming more and more expensive, everybody can record songs, social media is the marketing tool, Coldplay stops touring … how will the music industry look like in 5 years?


It’s constantly changing and evolving, the gap between the first Slumberjet album and the second is almost ten years and coming back to it and releasing “World of Sound” is a completely different ball game, everyone’s on Spotify now, I myself still buy CD’s and vinyl and I know there are people who do the same and I’d like to think there is a younger generation that is discovering buying vinyl even though it’s a small niche. Who knows where the music industry will be in 5 years’ time but I do believe it’s anyone’s game.