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Doing a PhD for the past five or so years (which I have passed by the way, did I mention?) means that I haven't had a huge amount of time to do ROCK. This hasn't been quite as much of a problem as it might have been for GIGS due to the twin facts that a) there haven't been many gigs for anyone for the past two years and b) it's not like people have been ASKING us to do them!

Similarly, RECORDING with The Vlads has been off the table - hard as it might be to believe from the available evidence, but we do usually (not always!) like to at least TRY to practice songs before recording them, and that's not really been an option. Then when we HAVE been able to get together it's been for a GIG, a practice for a gig (we like to do these at LEAST every four years whether we need to or not), or BEST OF ALL just for a curry.

I've still be WRITING songs mind you, and thus a bit of a BACKLOG has built up. The trouble with THIS is that some of the songs are about Pertinent Modern Issues which may not BE Pertinent or Modern by the time we eventually get round to doing them. Recording an album generally takes at LEAST three years for us, unless we really knuckle down and try to do it quicker in which case it takes FOUR.

SO, when I finished the PhD (I did mention that didn't I?) I thought "Hang on, why don't I just do a SOLO album then?" After all, I have the EQUIPMENT to do so, and I have learnt a LOT about MIDI through being in Jane and John, so I could apply that to some of my solo songs too. It would also, I thought, be FUN to do something where I was in full control myself, after all these years of doing the PhD where I was constantly either writing something agreed with other people, waiting for their approval or filling in FORMS to let me move to the next stage.

THUS I consulted with The Validators who bravely gave their ASSENT to the plan, and since then I've been pottering about programming drums, struggling with How Notes Work On A Pretend Piano, and generally messing around with an album which, I think, is going to be called "Back In The Office", for LO! its subject matter is very work-based. I think MAYBE it'll be out in the summer, but I shall provide more information about it ANON!

posted 30/3/2022 by MJ Hibbett

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Congratulations Dr Mark on completing your PhD!
posted 30/3/2022 by Dr Matt Parry

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