Bassist Mick Paul, best known for his work with the David Cross Band, is releasing his new album “Parallel Lives” on June 9th. The album features guest appearances by David Cross (King Crimson) and David Jackson (Van Der Graaf Generator).
Says Mick about the new album, “I’m interested in the way our lives tend to mirror each other without us realising it, hence the title ‘Parallel Lives’. Two of the songs relate to my children who are now grown up, I can see how their lives echo mine and of course how my life has parallels with my parents and the way they saw things and reacted to events- and how it goes on through the generations. It is not a concept album in the traditional sense of having a story as such but I think there is cohesiveness to the overall content of the lyrics that tell some of my story. I also feel that the moods and general feel of the album very much reflect how I felt when I was writing it.”
Initially Mick sent Craig Blundell the first couple of tracks for him to start working on. He was working a lot on tour with Steven Wilson at the time so recorded the tracks at his own studio and sent the audio files back and Mick worked closely around these to develop the rest of the parts. The next to get involved was Sheila Maloney, the original keyboard player from the David Cross Band, who has been instrumental in not just creating piano and synth parts but with overall production values and mixing decisions.
Most of Jim Wilde’s vocals were done fairly early on in the recording process but he also contributed further ideas throughout as new songs were ready. “His harmonic work is very complex and I find that it complements what the bass and the keyboards are doing completely and works like another instrument within the mix,” says Mick.
With all the basic basses, keyboards and some of the drums completed Mick then worked with Steve Roberts to complete all the rest of the drum parts (and of course a fine selection of gongs). These were recorded at Mill Hill recording complex in London, with the help of the great engineer Fil Ross. Steve was able to put down all the tracks in two days which was truly amazing.
Mick then sent the files out to David Cross, David Jackson and Paul Clark for violin, flutes/whistles and guitars respectively. Says Mick, “Both Davids sent me at least three different versions of each solo and each part and allowed me to choose the ones that I liked the best. This worked really well and was such an interesting way to work editing the parts together so that their best ideas were retained. They have all added their own personal slant to the songs they play on to great effect and I really like the way that these tracks have turned out.”
The last person to be recorded was Dennis Mahon who lives in California. Mick met him at Cruise to the Edge and was so impressed with his singing on John Wetton covers that he wanted to work with him and see what he would do with an original song. His vocals were recorded by Fernando Perdomo at Reseda Ranch Studios CA USA.
The album was then mastered by 360 Mastering here in the UK.
During a career going back to the 1970’s Mick Paul has played with many established artists and done numerous tours and TV sessions In the early eighties he was was produced by Mike Ratledge and Carl Jenkins from Soft Machine, then became an in house session bassist for a studio in London, around 1983 started writing his own material with mixed success, it wasn’t until 1995 when Mick joined the David Cross band that he found his feet as a writer, working with David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Peter Hammill.
In 2015 whilst recording the album “Another Day” for Cherry Red records with David Cross, David Jackson and Craig Blundell that he found there was a lot of material that was very personal to him that felt more cohesive as a solo project rather than as band ideas, Mick worked closely on these with Paul Clark and Craig Blundell on the initial tracks and later on as the album developed found that Sheila Maloney, the original keyboard player from the David Cross band was instrumental in setting the ambience for later tracks.
Mick has also toured Europe with Mr. Big vocalist ‘Eric Martin’ and is also part of the recently formed ‘Fae’.
In closing Mick has this to say, “I would be very happy if everyone who listens to the album finds it a positive experience. Although the album goes through many different moods and styles, I hope the overall experience is one of exploration and hope. What I also hope is that they find out that the bass itself is such a flexible and interesting instrument and not just there for the low notes. There are some very different ways of playing the bass heard on the album that include melodies, tapping, solos, and textural accompaniments as well as all the low stuff!”