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Gonzo Latest News: ATKINS-MAY PROJECT

Date Published: 27th October 2013


 

JON: How’s things been going?
 
PAUL: Pretty good.  A busy time working on the new album. It’s taking a bit longer than the last one, but the tracks are a lot more mature, a lot better. There are a few surprises this time around as well. A couple of lengthy tracks I think there’s at least a couple of tracks that over 10 minutes long.  Quite long tracks.  The shortest one’s a cover.  So it’s quite a change. 

JON: Wow, when is it coming out?
 
Basically as soon as I’m happy with the songs.  I am just replacing the guitars.  I have done all the vocals. I am just redoing some of the guitars...I am just trying to make it a little more in your face.  it’s quite a heavy album. 
 
JON:  I’m looking forward to hearing it.  I enjoyed the first two mightily. 

PAUL: Great. That’s what I like to hear.  We got some nice reviews across the world, which was quite good. The third one, I think this is the best one obviously. I think Al has done a cracking job on his vocals this time, he's done an exceptional job.
 
JON:  You were talking last time about a project with Rodney Matthews
 
PAUL: We’ve been doing some songs. Although he is basically an artist, he generally knows his rock stuff. One time he used to be in a band called Squid a way back.
 
JON:  That’s a brilliant name. 
 
PAUL: What a great name for a progressive band.  He did some tracks with them and he also wants to be involved with more bits and pieces. Also he’s doing quite a few websites at the moment doing things with his art and animation, and he asked me if I would just play on some of his tracks and try sprucing it up a bit. It has Al on lead vocals and I've brought in a female vocalist on some of it.

JON:  How did you and Al get together in the first place?
 
PAUL: I’ve known Al literally since the late ‘80s and we worked together in the early ‘90s, but I was actually gigging in his home town, in West Bromwich in the Black Country, and he comes over and asks me to play on some of his demos he was doing for his first album and we just became friends and kind of worked together in different guises ever since really.  

I think I’ve played on all of his albums - he's done five, and I played on all of those - and done a couple of tracks for him on that. There was a big break in between when I went off and did my thing and I was involved with the church and things like that.  And then basically we got together again – I asked him to put some vocals down on the tracks I had been demoing and we formed the Atkins May Project and just went from there really. It’s like a role reversal so to speak when I’m working for Alan I’m playing guitar and I write it’s all pretty good stuff.
 
JON:  The results work well so I think it’s a very good productive partnership.
 
PAUL: He is a good mate who you’ve kind of learned to work with I think Al now is a much more confident vocalist than he was a couple of years ago.  Now he is quite phenomenal for his age.  He’s had his 66th birthday his voice is stronger than it’s ever been.  It’s absolutely brilliant so I’m privileged to be working with him really.
 
JON:  Have you go any other projects in the pipeline?
 
PAUL: I am actually working on several things all in one go.  I’m doing a worship album, with Rodney as well, and a few special things with a couple of other bands I play for. There's a band from Brazil - I'm a featured guest on their album. A thrash metal band....

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't know whether it is my rubbish telephone system, something weird in the aether, or something wonky as Paul's end, but the conversation (which I had hoped to put out as a podcast) was practically inaudible, and Corinna did a bloody good job piecing it all together. We will return to Paul for a longer (and hopefully a more technically proficient ) chat soon

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