Probe One Music POM-01, released June 2005
Zeptepi began when I first arrived in Australia in 2001. Initially it was just going to be a studio project, so I built myself a little home recording facility based around a Yamaha AW hard disk recorder, and started work. This album was finished late in 2004, a collection of songs mostly written over this three year period. Of course, the beauty of not having a band is that you can do whatever the hell you like whenever the hell you like, and a lot of these songs were recorded straight after I’d written them. Several of them were recorded a few times in different guises.
Looking back, I can see that at this stage Zeptepi was really a continuation of my band The Debutantes, that I’d left behind in the UK. I was still enamoured with the idea of building up big epic soundscapes with swirling synths and lots of layered guitars – probably not exactly the sort of sound you want to aim for in a basic home studio! Two of the tracks – Machine and Vision – were actually old Debutantes’ songs that had been written mostly by singer Reece Fairfield and rearranged by me.
The production here is, um, functional. It was a huge learning curve for me in every way, especially as I basically played everything on the album – vocals, bass, guitars, theramin, keyboards and drum programming. When I finally decided to get a band together in 2004, the new members (Bernie Dodd – drums, Justin Muir – keyboards, Stephen Oakes – bass) all contributed to the last track on the album, Circles. The overall sound is some way removed from the later Zeptepi stuff, a reflection on me leaving The Debutantes (for whom I played guitar) and trying to rediscover my own path now that I was working again as a singer/songwriter. Nevertheless, I can still look back fondly on this album and enjoy it, especially the stronger tracks such as Bad Mood Rising and Losing My Mind.
A few early versions of the tracks were released on demos in 2002-2003 including a number of songs that didn’t make the album. Some of these will finally see the light of day eventually once I finally finish mixing them!