This time last year, I wanted to leave HeKz. The band I have led since 2003 that once brought so much fulfilment and joy had become a burden. A dead weight. Unable to move forward with the music that I most believed in, it was time to adopt a new approach with like-minded musicians who shared my vision.
Over the past year, with the support of Moyano, Mark, Irina, Pieter, Adam and a couple of other musicians that you'll meet soon, the fourth HeKz album TERRA NOVA has been brought to life. There is now a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel.
I cannot commend these musicians enough. You could be forgiven for thinking that an album created entirely remotely with every musician recording their own parts separately would simply not work. Indeed, it would not be my first choice. I'm a big fan of productions that capture the energy and excitement of a band recording together. Big live takes recorded in a big studio. Something which previous incarnations of this band have tried, and failed, to achieve. But there is real chemistry here. I can't quite explain it but, even though we are all recording our parts in isolation, each musician is playing off what the others are doing. Whether it be the way that Moyano pays close attention to the rise and fall of the dynamics of a song, how Irina plays a counter-melody to the lead vocal or the way that Mark and Pieter's dual leads weave together. It sounds like a band all together in the same room having a bloody good time!
But this is a tunnel which has not been without its potholes ... or whatever the tunneling equivalent of that may be. At the beginning of last year, I boldly declared that you would have the first single of TERRA NOVA by the Spring, a vague deadline that came and went with no new music.
It transpires that finding a reliable director to produce a high-quality music video during a pandemic is a tall order and, after being let down at the last minute by a director, we decided to hold fire and find the right person for the task, rather than rushing through a video.
The song that will be the first single from TERRA NOVA has been ready for almost a year now, and it sounds magnificent! According to one of our ACOLYTE subscribers over at Buy Me A Coffee, "if the maturity in this snippet is a sign of what the new album will be like, then I think we're really in for something special!"
Naturally, we're inclined to agree, and a special song deserves to have an equally special director to helm the production of the accompanying video, and it seems that we have found just the person. We're looking forward to beginning production on the first ever HeKz music video very soon indeed!
2021 has been a very challenging year for me personally, and the ability to continue to move forward with this new music has been a source of great comfort and healing, and I'm grateful to all of the musicians who have lent their time and remarkable talents to the creation of this album. No longer a burden, they have all helped to bring the fulfilment and joy back into HeKz. Something which will be reflected in, what I believe to be, the most ambitious, exciting, diverse and emotional release of the band to date.