Master your fears.

Posted in by CIVIL CIVIC | Edit
Imagine, dear reader, a thrill of expectancy, a call of destiny, an awesome sense of genetic superiority and God-given entitlement, the like of which has not been seen since Hitler's Thousand Year Reich was aborted in the womb.

You walk straight past all those mongoloid tourists and pathetic pop bands taking photos of themselves on the famous crosswalk, straight through the gate past the mind-numbingly puerile graffiti, up the stairs and right through the front doors of.....


Holy fucking shit. Pinch me, Grandma.

I paused before entering the building and stood on the top step smoking a cigarette to rub it in, while curious geeks lined up along the fence and stared at me, trying to figure out if I was Sting's ugly cousin, or something.

Every year, thousands of drooling retards from all-over the world are seized by a compelling desire to be photographed crossing this storied "zebra". Not us, Boss. We was here on BIDNESS!

Despite being old and bald and so broke that I had to breakfast on The Baarons' discarded toast crusts, I felt more powerful than four Bowies, two Enos and a Slash. I chatted with the chirpy receptionist and was escorted up the stairs to Room 7 for our mastering session with the highly-skilled yet amiable Alex Wharton.

Alex and the legendary EMI manufactured TG console, which made our new single sound exactly like "Penny Lane".

Alex proved to be a total bro and a wizardly engineer, but never-the-less he moaned and screwed up his face constantly, whining that our track was too long, too loud and had too much low frequency action to be cut onto a 7". Eventually Aaron had to slap his face a few times, which seemed to help, but he remained pessimistic about his ability to satisfy our demands.

Alex explains that the £80,000 cutting-needle on the mastering lathe might break if he makes the track any louder, but The Baaron will have none of it. "No guts, no glory." says The Baaron, as Evil Andy Inglis provides glare-support from the couch.

The DMM lathe, cutting our masterpiece into a copper plate.
Stacks of failed copper plate masters on the floor beside the DMM lathe. It ended up taking 46 attempts and nearly 8 hours to get the cut. Alex was weeping hysterically after about the 18th, but he soldiered on and finished the job, like a true professional.

While the B-Side was being tweaked for the lathe I ducked out to find a toilet. The photographs of Kate Bush on the walls and all the rare/vintage gear-candy had given me a painfull erection, so I was keen to "pop the top off one" so I could concentrate on the process.
But turning a corner I walked straight into a huge, dark-suited man with an earpiece and the face of a torturer. He stopped me with a flat hand to the chest which forced all the air out of my puny lungs and almost knocked me to the ground.

"Sorry mate", he gurgled "you're going the wrong way."

Behind him a door opened and another freakishly enormous thug stuck his massive head out and fixed me with an icy, "I break legs for cash, but I'll break yours for FUN!" type stare. He muttered something into his wrist microphone and I instantly knew that I was about to be stomped into jelly and thrown into a dumpster, by professionals, for reasons I might never understand.

So I quickly stepped back a pace and asked the first monster where I could find a toilet. He rolled his eyes very slightly and then took me by the shoulders, turned my whole body around with a quick, powerfull jerk and pushed me off the way I came.

Later on Alex revealed that I had strayed too close to Studio 3, where Lady Gaga was currently holed up, and that I was lucky to have escaped unhurt. Apparently her security team had already severely beaten one of the junior in-house engineers who tried to sneak in for a look.

I was this close. I could fucking smell the fame, leaking out of the air-con ducts. It was kind of cinnamony.

Anyhoo, when I gotsed back (after washing my pee-stained underpants in a sink), Andy had gone down to the cafeteria and Aaron was in the throes of a nauseatingly girlish giggle-fit, bouncing up and down on the couch and snorting like a truffle-pig. I found this confusing, since his nitrous-oxide canister was back in the car, under the drivers seat.

The source of his mirth was quickly revealed. On orders from The Baaron, Alex was busy engraving "Ben sux" in tiny letters on the master plate. I didn't dare stop him, for fear that he'd slip and scratch the audio, so now 500 vinyl nerds will learn that, yes indeed, I "sux".
I mean, assuming the fucking things sell, that is.

Alex uses an engraving tool to slander me on disc.

There's the B and the E. Damn that naughty Baaron. 

Andy returned from the cafeteria with a can of Coca Cola for me and, to The Baarons' joy and amazement, a napkin signed by Lady Gagas' professional dog-walker (The Baaron is a celebrity dog-walking enthusiast and has a large collection of celebrity dog-walking memorabilia).
Aaron wouldn't let me look at the scrawl on the napkin, and as I tried to twist his arm behind his back I tripped over a box of Isobel Campbell master-tapes and spilled Coke all-over the couch and our newly-boxed-up master-plate.

They say it's traditional to do some coke off the boxed master after cutting a disc. This is not what they mean.

Andy instantly gripped me by the throat and started groping around for something to stab me with, but The Baaron, swift as a cobra, put a sleeper hold on him and Andys' fingers slowly relaxed their crushing hold on my windpipe.

"The Tour starts tonight, Andy. We need this fuck-head alive." The Baaron explained.

So Inglis left the room and went in search of something else to hurt and I busied myself trying to get some water onto the couch before it stained permanently.

Cold water and cloth. Get fizzy off couch.

With our new single engraved in copper and covered in fizzy, Alex then gave us a quick tour of those parts of the building that weren't under the control of Gagas' thug patrol.

Good enough for us. We got to wander around both studio one and two, and even got a look at the studio one control room (although we weren't allowed to take snaps). I made sticky in pants. Twice.

Studio 2. Where the Beatles hung tough while Yoko slept in a bed in the corner.

Studio 1. Amongst many other things, this studio was used to record the soundtracks for the Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars and other wacky underground cult movies.

So, with our soon-to-be-number-one-smash done and dusted, we bid farewell to the rarefied airs of Abbey Road Studios and made our way to The Luminaire, to sound-check gig number one of the Civil Civic European Autumnal Assault!!! Banzai!!!

But that's another story, innit.


  1. camilla

    DANG MAN!!!
    i'll buy the vinyl, even though i don't have a record player. JUST FOR THE ENGRAVING

    November 7, 2010 at 12:38 AM

  2. RamyArida says:

    the new track is very interesting, a strange departure that's made me very curious about what directions you'll take in the future. Remember my first email when I said that CC and my band Schemes would get along famously? I feel that even more so now. You'll hear it for your self soon. In the meantime, I need to listen to this 15 more times before I can even begin to understand my own feelings on it. Totally your most odd-ball track, which is saying a lot.


    ps. in my experience very few people care about your follicular disability besides you. Can't help but notice how often you mention it, and as a kindred scalp, I gotta say don't be so hard on yourself. We're fucking musicians, not Zac Effron. the poon will come regardless.

    November 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM

  3. CIVIL CIVIC says:

    Ramy - Yeah, the old thin-dome-syndrome does get me down. I'll try to adopt your attitude.
    ....and yeah, this track's a mongrol...a bloody mongrol!

    Camilla - Hell yes, be part of history...or at least the version of history in which I sux.

    November 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM

  4. RamyArida says:

    well on the bright side, the massive levels of radiation coming off your music are likely to strike all your fans hairless anyway, making you the king of the underdogs. I don't care, that's pretty cool.

    Also, since leaving my last comment, I've listened to the song no less than 30 times, and it grows on me more every time. Ultra ultra inventive. Every one of your songs is entirely different from the last, and yet they all sound like civil civic. I can't wait for whatever's next.

    please continue making me feel insecure about my music skills

    November 9, 2010 at 3:54 AM

  5. Bec says:

    I need to go back in time about 15 years and delete a few months of my life - namely any time that I listened to Ignition by The Offspring.

    Either that or I'll just listen to this track until it becomes so familiar that it stops evoking bad 90s rock and only evokes its own greatness. That's probably a better choice.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:06 AM

  6. CIVIL CIVIC says:

    Ramy - Glad it's-a-growin on ye. We feel pretty much free to make anyone insecure about anything, so no problem there.

    Rebecca - Yep, yep. I hear that. I wish I could forget all that git-syncing to Maiden, but in a way I think we'd be smaller people without these turds in our past. No?
    No, probably not.

    Won't be that quick with the get-backs in the next few weeks. We're playing every fucking night and driving every day. But keep chiming in!

    November 11, 2010 at 10:28 AM

  7. Bec says:

    No no I agree with you; what doesn't kill us - or destroy our will to keep listening - only makes us stronger. That's certainly true of a moshpit at an Offspring concert...

    November 17, 2010 at 1:54 AM

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