NEW SONG : What A Life (NOT Mastered)


Friendly greetings from a warm and muggy spring day in Mbombela. It’s been a while since the previous update but they say good things come to those who wait patiently. I must admit that this new album is starting to work on my nerves due to the fact that it is taking so bloody long, so it either must be very good or you are impossibly patient.

I’ve been sitting on these songs now for close to 3 years and I’m itching for them to be let loose into the world. Currently mixing is in progress but your guess is as good as mine when it will all be done and dusted. Keep watching this space.

What A Life is the first finished song from the new album. As with all the other tracks it was recorded, apart from the drums at Openroom Studios, at a myriad of different places and spaces. It was once again written and performed by myself, with the added responsibility of production. Engineering and production has been a tremendous learning curve and possibly the greatest challenge during this recording process. Another dimension added to this track is the mixing of Chicago based mixing engineer, Matt Dougherty. I found him through Soundbetter and he was amazing to work with. He understood immediately what I was after and delivered the final mix in no time. He has mixing credits for the likes of Megadeth, Disturbed, Alien Ant Farm and Three Doors Down. More interesting though is his work with Kitty Hall, with her song Too Crazy. Lovely sound and song.

What A Life is the question posed to one self when you review your life…some people can look back with no regrets while others are filled with regret. I hope you like it and feel free to drop a comment once you’ve listened.

I also did an interview for Swedish Blogger Robex Lundgren. You can have a peek at the Robex Lundgren Musik Blogg. Here’s a transcription of the interview:

How is it that you started playing music? I saw The Beatles’ Anthology movie on TV. I was immediately transfixed. What struck me was how their music influenced people, fashion and pop culture.

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Eksteen Jacobsz. 36. I’m the sole provider. Songwriting / guitars / vocals / bass.

Have you had other previous members? There have been numerous live members down the years but The Sick-Leaves has always been my solo project.

Did you make music even when you were young? I went for piano lessons for a while in primary school, but I only picked up the guitar when I was seventeen.

Where are you from? I grew up on a farm about 40 kilometers from a small rural town by the name of Ermelo on the eastern Highveld of South Africa.

What year did the band form? 2004.

What’s your style of genre? Rock / Alternative.

What inspires you? To find and write that elusive perfect pop song.

How often and where do you rehearse? Since 2009 The Sick-Leaves is only a recording artist.

How have you developed since you started with the music? I’d say that my songwriting has developed lyrically quite a lot since I started writing songs in 1996. Musically I keep to the trusted major, minor and minor 7th chords, but every now and then I’ll throw in a major 7th or 6th. Jazz does my head in so I never got round to the 9th, 11th or 13th chords. My arrangements also have much more dynamics now than back then.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I’m a freelance photographer and I have an import business.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? With my first two albums I was with two different labels. I can’t say that it worked for me. Yes, if you sell millions of records it might make sense, but for what I do it is only a hassle.

What made you decide to make this music? I wanted to put records out with the songwriting credits reading: Music and lyrics composed and performed by Eksteen Jacobsz.

What are your songs about? General topics also found on like a million other songs. Unless you discover a new dimension there’s nothing else really to write about but life and life around you.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Always the music. The music dictates the mood, tempo and topic.

Do you compose in a certain environment? At home. In my basement. In front of a TV. Anywhere basically where I can sit with my acoustic and strum chords.

Have you done any covers live? Missing by Everything but the Girl

What language do you sing in? English

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?

Least – 5

Most – 5 000.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? 17-55

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Currently I only have my four released albums for sale.

Where can people buy your merchandise? iTunes, Bandcamp and CDBaby.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? It’s not good for album sales but music is now more accessible than ever before. I still prefer to listen to a whole album from start to end, but the reality is that most people don’t do that anymore, so this might very well in the future change the way bands and artist record…instead of a full length album maybe just release EPs or singles.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? There are now more songs available to the public and less money per song for the artist.

Do you have any role models or idols? Two artists that influenced me a lot are Noel Gallagher and Bruce Springsteen.

Why do you think that they exist? Amazing songwriting talent and epic work ethic.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I tend to find more inspiration from older bands. I think it’s very hard for bands to have staying power these days. Labels aren’t willing anymore to invest in a band and commit to a six album record deal.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Financing.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Just keep working and do it for the love of music.

Do you have any new material? I’m busy mixing my new and 5th full length album. It’s been a work in progress for the past 2 years. It’s the first album that I’ve produced and in that regard it has been a massive learning curve.

What are your web sites?

How can people reach you? Through my website.

What are your plans for the future? Mixing is in progress for the new album by Matt Dougherty who resides in Chicago. Thereafter it will be off to mastering and then release, hopefully early in 2016.

Do you have something to add? Thank you for the opportunity to feature me. It’s a great honor.

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