The Meeting of Richard and Paul
By thebigrockroom, Nov 24 2015 06:22PM
For this blog, we decided to pool memories of our Stanley/Livingstone esque meeting and subsequent alliance. We thought it'd be interesting to get each other's take on how we came together musically. Amazingly, our recollections are surprisely similar. Enjoy!
Richard on Paul:
So when did I first meet Paul! I've thought about this question a lot. I've thought about this question in many different situations. I've thought about the question at many different times and....still I draw a complete blank. Paul must've entered my life sometime around the late 90s, if I can kind of remember correctly. I'm sure the first link was via Chessy, possibly his uncle Pete, who was an avid fan of my band at the time. As for when we first played together, I kind of have a vague recollection it would've been at Prism's warehouse, where we went in and jammed on weekends. I know there are tapes that exist of the sessions but the exact dates are hazy in my memory and they were very sporadic to say the least.
I will interject here by saying that the more I thought about this, the more I feel it was just a very natural evolution to Paul becoming someone who I played music with. There really isn't a kind of moment when it happened as such. It just feels that it was something that just progressed very naturally to where we are today. Anyway I digress!
In the early 2000's we definitely started to play more together, we would jam at Paul May's [Drums] fairly regularly. I know that in 2003, when my daughter Jessica was born, we put together a little live project with Paul May on drums, Steve 'Chessy' Chesworth on bass, keyboards & vocals, Paul and myself on guitar. We played a little gig in a local pub called the Bickerton Poacher, after Steve's main band, the SKB band, had played their set. After this we started to jam together a lot more, again mainly Paul's [May] house because at the time it was the only place where we could actually jam.
Around 2008 is when I probably really put the idea of building my home studio into action. It took just over a year, maybe a year and a half to build. Paul was involved in helping to build various parts of it. Once we moved into the studio, that's really when mine and Paul's current musical partnership really started to get cemented. Paul May was a massive part of the studio when we first moved in, but unfortunately he became very disillusioned with everything and eventually moved his kit out and left. From this moment on it became about me and Paul. As things progressed and the YouTube channel was started we realised that between ourselves we could take care of everything we needed to musically and that we both had the same drive, enthusiasm and momentum to make this happen, to keep this going. Our eclectic taste in music met in the middle to create a kind of melting pot of everything we felt we needed say musically. It really was/is magical and I feel blessed that Paul is in my life playing music with me. We really have achieved a lot so far and we have so much more to achieve. There is so much material that is ready to be shown to the world at the right time.
He really has been an amazing sounding board for me with my own RDH project. Keeping me moving on the right track as I've wavered along the way. I sit with him working on the YouTube stuff, watching how he picks things up and he can figure things out so quickly. No matter how challenging certain things have been, especially lead breaks, he always comes up with the goods and you know, like I said before, I just feel blessed that I've got someone of such ability to be able to play with and can move forward musically with. It helps me to play better and become a better musician myself. I am in awe of his creativity. It scares me sometimes his output rate of new music. I'm so looking forward to sharing his original music with the world.
It's exciting times and I can't wait to see where we end up. We are constantly challenging each other and are constantly fighting for time to make everything we talk about doing come to fruition. As long as we keep moving forward with a smile on our faces, all will be good in thebigrockroom!
Paul on Richard:
Okay, If we’re going to go right back to my first memories of Rich, I was at his mum’s play school group and he was the older dude razzing around on his BMX all day. I’d love to say we had some kind of reciprocal musical kinship, but at around three years old at the time, I’d be pushing this brief congress into horse-shit territory.
Moving forward a few years, I’d see Rich around the village and thanks to his friendship with my Uncle and several other of my mates, I knew he was THE music head around the place! I recall sneaking into the pub at about fifteen and somehow ended up talking music with him, he’d just been on tour with Shed Seven and was impressed that I’d heard of The Dandys who were the Sheds’ support band, hey, it was the 90’s, Buckaroo!
It transpired that Rich’s band at the time were playing in the same pub the following evening, and so the pocket money got rinsed again and I showed up. I was blown away. It was heavy as hell and right up my rue. At the time, I was already into heavyish stuff like Slayer, Metallica, Sabbath etc but seeing it yards away (before they were shut down by the Fun Police) was a major eye-opener. A measure of its impact is that I immediately found out what gear their guitarist Jude used, and somehow copied it exactly… the rig I still have today.
Quite how we got together musically after that is a bit of a blur. I grew up across the road from Rich’s girlfriend who knew I played guitar, so I suspect she had a large hand in orchestrating a meeting but a meeting we had! I recall turning up for a jam at a local warehouse – turning up being the operative words….LOUD – and we rocked it out! Recordings exist that evidence my ear-blastingly loud claims. It was tons of fun just jamming with those guys, who were - as far as I was concerned - light years ahead musically, I was just glad I could keep up.
From there, we kept in touch as best as we could, I was at university, Rich was invariably on tour, until we had the opportunity to play a little gig…tempted to say a support slot, but we actually played a short set AFTER the main band! We accepted the challenge and threw the hammer down. Again, video footage of this is knocking about for you BigRockRoom completists!
After this gig, the immediacy of a deadline no longer applied so we were a bit more liberal with when we met up. However, it was around this time that Rich started getting into the idea of getting things recorded and the technology behind it. We made a few little demos, throwing down riffs and the odd Slayer cover in his back room and then over the next several years would put down an original or two. This summation sounds like it was all happening man, but in reality this took place over about five years at the pace of an arthritic slug on a marathon trek across the Utah Salt Flats…we had fun though!
It’s worthy of note to say that Rich has always been the motivator and instigator in most everything we’ve done. I’m sure that without his inner motor pushing things forward, we’d probably still be discussing starting things! This was most prevalent when it came to starting the reason we’re writing this, the studio.
Rich has always known this was going to happen, just a question of when. Everything fell into place 2009-2010 and the studio happened seemingly in a very short space of time, though many helped along the way.
I’ve always known that he was a great bass player (hey, he plays with his fingers man!) and was good enough on the guitar to do whatever he wanted, but it wasn’t until we started jamming in the new studio that I realised we had an ace drummer on our hands too. This was brought about at first from necessity, as our friend Paul, who had been in bands with Rich (and to a lesser extent, me) for many years was now playing with us less frequently, but we still wanted to jam! To this day, we work around mine and Rich’s schedule, but if it wasn’t for his push and general nous about approaching things, we’d stall very quickly indeed, even today! The story of how we got into doing the youtube channel and everything consequent are detailed elsewhere or are work in progress.