Subject: Fish 98 - Landing the Big One and other Fishy tales!
Dear Freaks and UnFreaked and FWO,
As I mentioned earlier in my last post there have been things going on that until now I couldn't really talk about but were in the "in progress" file. I didn't want to announce anything until everything was fixed firmly in place and signed off.
As of today I am an artist signed to Roadrunner Records based in the Netherlands.
The entire Fish catalogue will be released in the next year along with the new album "Raingods with Zippos" in Feb/March 99 and spearheaded by the new "best of.." album "Kettle of Fish" which is scheduled for late October this year. "Internal Exile", "Suits" and "Songs From The Mirror" are to be re-mastered and re-packaged with all relevant B-sides with "Songs..." having an extra recording "This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Both Of Us" (Sparks) taken from the current sessions added as well as "The Seeker" (Who) from the "Outpatients" project. These albums along with the "Vigil..."re-master will be out later this year. "Sunsets..." will also be re-released with "Do Not Walk..." included sometime in early 99 . The "lives" will be spread out through the period with "Tales..." being one of the first to be released.
Roadrunner are one of the biggest Indies around and their distribution system now means I have access to territories that so far have eluded me.
For example in Australia and New Zealand Roadrunner have their own company with the added bonus that the person dealing with me will be none other than my old label manager from EMI days, fellow Scot Bob Stevenson! :-)
In Brazil I'll be on another Roadrunner office and will now for the first time have proper distribution in South America. A tour later this year is already being talked about.
This tour will also take into account Mexico, the States and Canada. I repeat these are plans but with the promotion and distribution in place and the backing of a major company there is no reason for the tour not to take place.
In South America the distribution is through Universal (Roadrunner also have Sepultura on their roster, one of the biggest bands in Brazil) while in the USA distribution is through Sony Red arguably the finest distributor in the States. In Canada Attic records handle the Roadrunner acts and they were a company that was interested in my catalogue before the Viceroy deal. The "best of" will play a major part in my career build in these territories.
Altogether with EMI in parts of Europe and all regions covered the "Kettle of Fish" and "Raingods.." albums will have the best chance since 93 of making an impact on a world wide basis. At last I'll have the weight and backing of a professional team with International facilities at hand I have dreamt of for a long time.
Dick Bros will cease to exist and all titles will be deleted as of now with stocks being sold off in the coming months. There will be no further orders supplied to retail outlets. Roadrunner have allowed us to continue with the Mail Order operation and we will be selling all the catalogue titles through the existing set up as well as other titles that won't be available at retail outlets. ("The Haddington Tapes" and "Fishhead Curry" for example).
The weight that this takes off our shoulders and the time freed is enormous. At last I can return to concentrating on more creative issues rather than dealing with the flak and stress of running my own record company. I'll be sorry to see Dick Bros go but times and circumstances have changed and I have to move on.
The financial implications of this deal are also extremely beneficial and the income guarantees the "Raingods" project and all the Re-mastering and Re-packaging as well as giving us time to continue to sell the studio. A great deal of pressure has been taken away.
This is by far the most important event in the history of my solo career and a move that both myself and Roadrunner are genuinely excited about. The new studio album sounds brilliant and with the prospect of a greater awareness of my music and solo career created by a powerful "best of" the future bodes well.
At last a cunning plan that works!! :-)
Onkel Fish :-)
More to follow
Subject: Fish 98 - Part 2 of Catching the Big One
So with the label in place I now can concentrate on the album.
Raingods is coming along nicely and fortune has been smiling at us. Robin Boult although booked to play with Howard Jones in the USA found time to come up to the farm and contribute his skills . With Til helping out with track laying and backing tracks Squeeky and Steve Vantsis zipped along with the schedule. Mickey Simmonds arrival heralded 2 tracks to complete the "Raingods " material. The opening track "Tumbledown" is classic Mickey with a killer classical style piano leading the song.
The other track, "Rites of Passage" is without doubt the saddest piece since "Gentleman's.." and will lead the album into the 27 minute "Plague of Ghosts" epic.
The other tracks are "Incomplete" (also featuring co-writer Elizabeth Antwi on vocals), "Mission Statement", "Tilted Cross" and "Faithhealer", the Sensational Alex Harvey band song which was intended to go on the "Songs from the Mirror" re-master but has turned out far better than we thought it could (Nine Inch Nails with Violins! :-). It fits with the "Raingods" material and adds a great balance to the overall picture.
To add to the good vibes I also managed to get Steve Wilson up and he played nearly all the guitar solos and was a major contributor to the "Plague" piece, adding incredible textures and colour to a piece of writing which has surpassed all our hopes. Mark Daghorn and Tony Turrell are positively amazed at the transition of what once was an atmospheric groove piece. We are now creating" Proggroove" with bass/drum sections next to acidic folk sections next to Beat Poetry sections all topped with slabs of orchestral and lead guitar majesty! Be prepared! :-)
Calum Malcolm has also found some rare time to mix and master not only "Raingods" but also the 2 new tracks for "Kettle of Fish" as well as re-mastering all the studio catalogue albums. With Elliot Ness at the desk as engineer/producer the team is as "Sunsets" with the extra bonus of Mickey's involvement with the writing and the recording.
The tracks on "Kettle" are "Chasing Miss Pretty" and "Mr Buttons" with a full track listing being announced in the next week. This is the step I wanted to take after the high of "Sunsets on Empire". The direction is now very clear and with Roadrunner everything is falling into place to provide a platform for a major album.
The recording will be finished by the end of August giving me time to work on other projects as well as build a touring schedule for later in the year. (Please don't e me on this as all dates will be put on the site and wired to the list). Touring will not, as I have already mentioned in earlier faxes this year, be the main activity and dates will be carefully considered. There will be no European Tour to coincide with "Kettle..." and any touring will be limited and must be financially feasible at the outset . The focus has changed.
I'm already in discussion over two potential acting roles in TV Dramas for September/October both of which are very credible projects and I want to make a start on my other writing ideas later this year. The studio is booked well into late October and with interest in the property increasing I see no reason to believe a sale will go through before that time and allow me to conclude the final restructuring we planned at the beginning of 98.
Other news. The compilation video will now include "Shortcut to Somewhere" the track I wrote with Tony Banks. I was waiting on permission from the Genesis management which was granted this week. I hope to have the Video ready for the German Convention and will be announcing details on ordering next week. It will only be available through mail order and at gigs.
Mo Warden has designed the cover for "Kettle...", a fan tailed Goldfish in a glass kettle of boiling water!! She created it on computer graphics and the image will be put up on the site with sound clips from the album in the coming weeks.
I am already in discussion with Mark Wilkinson about the "Raingods" sleeve. Neil Dalgleish, who designed the "Vigil" packaging is in charge of the Roadrunner re-masters.
Robin Boult will be playing the German Convention with Frank Usher and we'll be playing a couple of the new songs in the set. Frank will be playing the Malta set as Robin is committed to Howard Jones in Texas. The new material will be played there as well (not "Plague"! :-)
The Haddington tapes will be mixed and repaired at the end of the Summer after the studio album is finished. It will be a mail order only item and limited to 3000 numbered copies. More details later next month.
Finally a thankyou to all of you who sent all those letters and e's of support during these dark recent months. Thanks also for all the help you gave us with the merchandise support without which we would have definitely gone under and never even have been able to contemplate the "Raingods" album. It's not over by a long chalk but at least there's some light now. The forward momentum has been created.
That's all for now. Take care guys and stay alive
Onkel Fish x :-)
Email 26th July 1998