Email 2nd September 1998

Subject: Fish 98 - German Company Convention and Roadrunner Releases

Dear Freaks , friends and FWO,
Another long time in the wilderness and a new Eudora 4.1 to get used to and accumulate addresses on!
(Someone please pass this on to the "wild ones" on the freakout list, I lost the number!)

First of all I want to thank Juergen, Heike, Mario, Sylvia, Fritz, Petra, Olaf, Franz and Christiana for putting the day together and organising the convention on Saturday. I'm just recovering from a wonderful event that just reminded me what "live" is all about and what it all means to people. The band crew, myself and Tammi had a brilliant time and I can only bow down (as I did on stage! :-) to the efforts you all put into the occasion.
With the Trier show the night previously we were all concerned that the 11.30 pm on stage time there wouldn't affect the convention but even though the band rested till 11am before the 4hour drive to Duisberg we couldn't allow for "Stauen" or traffic jams as the English speakers have it ! Yatta drove, as he had been doing all week from rehearsals in Haddington, and with only 6 hours sleep delivered the equipment later than planned on the Saturday for the convention. I apologise to those of you left outside for a lot longer than expected but without the Trier show a European trip would not have worked as the income (or not as it turned out , the promoter hadn't been paid his sponsorship money, I'm still waiting :-( , sounds familiar?) on arrival the 6 piece "Claymore" outfit meant that soundchecks were going to be tight and a mix up between the monitor engineer and Mickey over what constituted "loops" and what were "samples" didn't help matters! The rig took longer than expected to set up leaving Joergen in a tight time situation. Rather than drop "Claymore", T42's set was cut :-( and the events were condensed into a tighter schedule to allow playback of the "Raingod's.." DAT and the videos. Es war nicht Juergen's schuld!! Es war zu viel in einem kurzen tag! (It wasn't Juergen's fault, it was too much in a short day!)

Some have commented on the sameness in the set from the 97 tour but I would like to point out that there were 8 numbers in the two and a half hour set at the convention that had been added (Mr Buttons, Chasing Miss Pretty, Hotel Hobbies, Warm Wet Circles, That Time of the Night, Kayleigh, Heart of Lothian and Worm in a Bottle) not bad for a band in the studio with limited rehearsals!!

The reaction to the DAT of the new material and to the live numbers was heartening. I hate playing new stuff cold as the reactions are always hard to judge from the stage. The analysis is evident but I think that from the response to the soundclips on the web site together with the live appreciation that you understand my reasoning behind the decision to add "Buttons" and "Miss Pretty" to the "Kettle" project rather than "Raingods"!
The band were very tight considering the lay off and the audience were behind us all the way. I was pleased my voice stood up to the rigours of endless studio work and a late gig the night before! The "Clutching" medley was a hoot to play after such a long time and was a lot more relaxed than at Haddington! I think it may reappear another time !! :-)
All in all a great and memorable day and the party after was more like a birthday party than an aftershow do!!
My sincere appreciation for all the stress and hassles you all went through to make this happen and to all of you who made the effort to get to Duisberg from all corners of Europe (and elsewhere!!) again a solid and sincere thankyou!!

"Raingods" is on schedule although the vocals on two tracks on "Plague" have been put back till after Malta. There's no rush as Calum Malcolm isn't mixing until 6 / 7 / 8 October and to rush the last vocals would be detrimental to the album. I don't want to be mooching over recordings when there's plenty time to record although the sessions will take place elsewhere as East West / Sony Records signings ,"Dawn of the Replicants " have booked my studio until the end of October!!

As expected there are elements of the fan base who are sceptical of "another Best Of.." album coming out so soon after "Yin" and "Yang" and after discussions with Roadrunner Records we have decided to give away a free CD ROM with the videos of "Just Good Friends" (95), "Fortunes of War" and "Brother 52" together with the "Kettle" album . This will be a Limited edition of 30 000 copies and they'll be available from the mail order service together with the "Misplaced" re-masters and the other Roadrunner titles.
I hope that the USA company will go for this as well but for our American friends the offer is open from Europe!!

I'm afraid I can't accept gasoline as part payment as the postal authorities get nervous!! :-)
(as a Scot whose country is a main producer in relative terms the costs do piss me off!!! BTW !! :-) Too much of an N/ F/MC topic to get into and one my English friends find a wee bit thorny !! ) :-) :-) :-) :-) No flames please, too political!!

Re the Tribute album I don't want to be the "Cold Fish" but to be honest it is very unlikely the artists some of you are suggesting will get involved with an album with no Major Company behind it!! I would personally be sceptical (and have been in the past with other suggestions re similar projects) I sincerely doubt whether some of the artists mentioned would even consider this and their management - well, do I need to say more - no disrespect to the organisers - we're playing hard ball here!! If it is to be done then it requires a Major label to back it (Hi!! Lucy!!)
It needs serious credibility to attract serious artists and again no disrespect it needs serious studio funding to make it happen!!

I'll deal with this further if you want but I would prefer if my solo stuff was done because someone admired the song rather than as part of a percentage deal on composition. If you want I will discuss this but an amateur deal will not attract Tori or Dream Theater or anyone else with a current contract! I have heard some material considered and TBH the standard is not that high to do the material justice. As an exercise, cool!!!
Let's just throw fantasy out the window here and deal with a reality check! I mean no disrespect and I understand and appreciate your intentions are pure!! I leave it at that for now! I am available for discussion on this and No! I will not forward this - it would be very uncool!!

I leave you now to listen to "Plague" rough mixes!! :-)
See some of you in Malta!! Watch out for "Raingods", it will rain!
lots of love, missed you !!
Sincere thanks again to the Company Germany, we are rising!!!

Onkel Fish x

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