Chances are that some of you reading this have heard of Ceri Collins, he’s fronted bands such as Covergirl, Ortega, Hands Of Hate and at the moment, Hide Your Vices. This talented singer/songwriter is also a solo artist and is planning to release his first solo album ‘Nevermore’ through the pledge music fan funding platform.
Artists on Pledge always give a percentage of the money raised to their chosen charity, but Ceri is doing something a little bit special. Anything raised over what it will cost to actually record the album will 100% go to Ceri’s chosen charity, which is Help Harry Help Others http://hhho.org.uk/ and we’ll let Ceri explain all about it.
Can you please introduce yourselves to our readers? Hello readers, I am Ceri and you may know me from one of my 64thousand other bands I have been in over the years, some of which have appeared in Soundscape before. This time it is just me. It’s finally time to take the leap and be totally self-reliant. I thought it would be much easier, and on some fronts, like writing and all the musical aspects, it is, but the work that has to go in to everything else now is 10 times harder. I know I am not going to split up due to musical differences and I know I will always be at practice, but the admin side of it is damn hard…. But, why bother if you don’t have to earn it!
You are releasing a solo album through Pledge music, why did you chose them? I chose them because it is a great avenue for unsigned artists. They do the website side of things and it is a well-known and established business. It IS, despite what some think, exactly like a label, but without the contract and obligation. They take care of the release and keep track of the followers / subscribers you have etc but then at the end of it all, they get their cut. It is perfect for someone like me doing their first release.
You are donating 100% of everything raised, over the cost of recording, to the Harry Moseley charity, tell us about him? Harry’s story is a phenomenal story about courage, bravery and love. Harry was diagnosed with a brain tumour and decided it wasn’t fair. Not for himself, but that other people would have to go through the same thing with their families and loved ones. Whilst he was fighting his own battle with this unfathomable illness, he set up a charity called Help Harry Help Others and wanted everyone in the UK to own one of his hand made bracelets. He got an incredible amount of support on Twitter and got backing from some of the biggest stars in the country, such was the beauty and charm of this brave, kind little boy. I heard Harry’s story from his mother and from him via his blog last year at the HHHO Charity ball in Birmingham ICC, and the presentation that featured his own video diary in the last days of his far too short and incredible life was one of the most touching and sad things I have ever seen. I cannot put into words how amazing and beautiful this little boy was and one of my biggest disappointments is that I never got to meet him and tell him how much of an inspiration he is / was.
Why did this charity appeal to you so much? Everything that I have just stated in that previous question really resonated with me and I cannot thank Harry and his wonderful family enough for sharing their son’s story with us. I met his mother, Georgie, and I just wanted to do something. Something that would contribute to the legacy Harry left. His story is unreal and I really hope you can take the time to hear it from Harry himself at www.hhho.org.uk as he can tell it with so much more passion and charm than I can. He was an incredible little boy, and showed me that anyone, no matter what their circumstance, can make a difference to, and improve the world.
You reached your goal within a few days, how did that make you feel? So sorry to be THAT guy but it was actually a matter of hours hahaha. I genuinely could not believe it. The generosity shown by people so far has been fantastic and I just really hope I can sustain the interest. Even though I hit the target, I need it now more than ever to keep rolling. I want to be able to present Georgie with as much as I can, maybe in the 4 figure region and I look to be on course to doing that. I am hoping, that after it has been recorded and I get some more exposure with a preview of what to expect from the album, it will generate more interest and get more people buying it. I am taking nothing from it other than the satisfaction in doing something for a wonderful cause and to be fair, in my past experiences with bands, that is better than anything you could get from music at any level.
What form will the album take? Acoustic? Full Band? Yes hahaha. There will be songs that are just acoustic and some songs with full band, I am doing everything on it. My drumming skills are shocking though so that will be done via other means but the songs themselves will be 100% me. There is an incentive on my Pledge page to come and record gang vocals too so if you fancy getting your shout / singing on in the studio with me, please feel free to get on the case and we will have some fun.
What is your song-writing process like? There isn’t a process as such. Now it’s just me I can write what I like, when I like. There is absolutely no pressure or anyone else to please anymore and I genuinely cannot wait for people to hear what I have done. No matter what the outcome of this venture (I am expecting nothing to drastically change or any labels to come knocking, that has sailed a long time ago) I will just be proud that I have done something all on my own. There is one song on the album that I specifically wrote about my grandmother whom I lost last month and originally it wasn’t going to be on Nevermore but she would want it to be there. It’s a song about how lucky I was to have had her as family and I hope it will give others a comfort in dealing with loss too. She was completely selfless and would want it shared. That is the only song I have EVER specifically set out to write and it was the easiest thing I have ever had to do in terms of song writing.
Where and who with will you be recording the album? With Lyndon up at Redrock Studios in Aberbargoed. We have worked together on the Hide Your Vices stuff and know each other very well in terms of how we both get the best out of each other, it’s always a joy to be in the studio with him and it’s a great environment. No distractions, just work.
What have you got planned once the album is done? Keep spreading Harry’s message and get as many sales of the album as I can through various avenues I guess. I would like to be involved in some radio exposure and there will be a video shot for one of the tracks and if that helps to generate more interest in the album and my songs then great, but I have accepted that music probably will not be a career and my main income. It just isn’t realistic anymore unless you are Cowell or one of his pets. I just want to continue to write songs that I would enjoy listening to and playing live and try and have as much fun as I can with music while I am still lucky enough to be able to do so.
Do you have anything with Hide Your Vices being released or do you have something else in the pipeline? Vices is ticking along nicely. There is absolutely no rush or pressure to get anything done or start gigging by a certain time, we write and record when we can and are still finalising the line-up. Gavin, David and I are writing some good stuff and we will be with you very soon, but for now it is not ready, very enjoyable and fun, but not ready.
Thanks for answering the Questions Ceri, and good luck with it all. Pleasure as always and thank you and your readers so much for taking an interest.
Please check out the Pledge page, and all the incentives on offer and give what you can afford, not only is it a great, great cause but it definitely guarantees to be an outstanding album.
Photo credits – Colour – Jemma Dodd