Graham, my tour manager, lives in the countryside, in the wilds of County Durham, on the side of a beautiful English valley. I’ve been stopping off here on days off on tours for about seven years now, and it never ceases to take my breath away, looking over the landscape and breathing fresh air. The view today is slightly marred by a massive tour bus, which Robert, our driver, has miraculously managed to park round the back of the house. But the effect remains the same. The last proper day off I had was in San Francisco, and as much as I love that city, I’ll take where I am right now over there any day.
We’re a mere three weeks away from the album release now. Things are starting to reach fever pitch (and we haven’t, as far as I know, had any leaks yet, which is a relief). My record labels (Xtra Mile and Epitaph) are keenly encouraging everyone to pre-order the record. There is a degree of industry machination behind this. The logic goes, that if as many people as possible put themselves down to get a copy on the day of release, then it makes a bigger impact on that day, not least by getting us a higher chart position. That then raises the profile, makes people sit up and take notice, and generally moves Operation: WorldTakeover one step closer to completion.
I’m ever so slightly ambivalent about this. Part of me thinks that people should just get the record when they want to (as no doubt they will). But at the same time, it does make sense for me and my career. And occasionally I get titbits of information which get me all excited about the pre-order drive. Apparently, for the moment, I’m about equal in pre-sales with the Arctic Monkeys, who are releasing a record on the same day. With all due love and respect for those guys, I think I can still fairly say I’m the underdog by comparison, and the idea that we might pip a band with more money, profile and industry backing, tickles me somewhat.
So the upshot of all this is for me to say that if you’re planning on getting a copy of England Keep My Bones on June 6th when it comes out anyway, please do take the time to get a pre-order in now. For starters, the good folks at iTunes have a link up now, at which you can actually preview the album tracks too – so go have a listen. For UK people wanting to pre-order physical copies, the links are to the right of this post, and there are details on which ones have what here. Americans, Europeans and the rest can get involved with pre-orders by heading for the Epitaph store.
Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, a couple of other bits and pieces. I’m happily confirmed for a full band set at Festa Di Radio Onda D’Urto in Brescia, Italy, on August 15th. We’ll also be in Vienna, Austria, on June 19th, at B72. Tickets are already selling fast, so go get yours now!
Enough of this internetting, I’m off to have a proper day off roaming the hills of the north-east. US and more UK and European tour dates coming shortly, so see everyone soon.