To: Freaks Mailing List
Subject: ITCHY - SOE RELEASE/SOUNDBITES
Hi Itchy me old mate,
And now the lesson:-
Although the album was written and recorded May - September 96, Calum Malcolm was unavailable for mixing the project until November and Bod Ludwig was unavailable until late December. I chose the personnel and the schedule (Steve W had an USA tour and a wee holiday during the recording and I had a few festivals to perform!) All in all we did pretty well considering.
I don't remember ever having Summer 96 as a possible release date because no-one releases albums in the June-August phase because of holidays, lack of press, lack of money etc. It's known as a bad time to schedule. Best times for artists like myself are September, October - avoid the Christmas rush in November, December and hit everyone on the feel good factor after holidays. January, Feb, March, April May, - The first two are probably the best with an April, May, release good timing for a Summer festival season. (Big showcases and lots of touring in provincial areas to fill the gaps).
Also a May release sets up the USA for a tour in September, October. Time for the album to sink in and grow and time to prepare promotion etc for touring. I originally wanted SOE out in late September 96 but I always knew I'd be chasing it. I knew for certain in June 96 that the release would be 97 and circumstances with Calum and Bob have meant May 19th in Europe is the locked in date.
OK now the rest:-
When an album is scheduled the label has to allow for promotion and marketing.
For example a monthly music magazines June Issue which hits the shops in May requires any adverts or CD's for review in the early March. Retail requires a 4 week sell in on top of the distributor sell in which takes around 10 weeks for them to gear up. Now throw into the equation the Japanese market which requires 3 months from delivery of 16.30 manufacturing tapes until release. They also require a 4 week "window" as imports are cheaper in Japan and a simultaneous release w/wide means the Japanese are swamped with cheap CDs. Put this together. SOE Japanese release April 18th, European release May 19th. The single Brother 52 will be released April 21st in Europe (Japan doesn't have a singles market).
Before anyone asks USA release will be determined by the deal which is being sought by my manager in North America. Jim Putulski. If the USA misses a May 19th release then a date will be found either pre July or very late Summer.
What you've read above is only a very very very simple profile of the preparation of an album for release into a big nasty critical world. Believe me the machinery makes it just as frustrating for us as it does you. I hope this has been of some help to you.
To end this reply I'd like to add that Mark Wynne, our site guardian, has had a lot of serious family problems in recent months namely his child contracted a near fatal virus. Obviously the site has been on a holding pattern since December and as Mark and Julie's son Paul is now on the way to a healthy recovery so the site can become reactivated. The soundbites will be up in the next week. It ain't a conspiracy we are try to keep our shit together. Some of us just have important shit to take care of than others.
Itchy (indeed if it is you) you're aptly named. You must be a Cancerian!!!
Email 7th March 1997