Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Apocalypse Prediction”?
Sure, my latest single ‘Apocalypse Prediction’ is a song for our times when every week it seems there’s a new world leader threatening us all. It’s a satirical comedy song, before we get too macabre, and it deals with all the many theories that have transpired throughout history which aim to predict when the world will end. I believe it has quite a moral and thought-provoking message written in the subtext. Musically, it’s an americana and country-influenced song with a very upbeat feel to it!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I was inspired to write this song after listening to someone discuss the end of the world at a gig. I thought back to 2011 when I appeared on a radio show in Crewe that was themed around the latest apocalypse-predicting doomsayer Harold Camping, who predicted that the world would end in 2011. I wanted to write a song from the perspective of people like him.
What made you want to do an animated film rather than a live action?
The animation idea came about because the song has a very upbeat, fast-paced quirky style that I thought would work wonderfully with cartoon visuals. I don’t think it would be particularly out of place as a theme song from a programme on Cartoon Network for example. The idea of creating a live action video about the end of the world also seemed a little outside of our film-making budget…
How was the film experience?
The film experience was great. I wrote and worked with a freelance animator from Devon who I discovered through a friend’s recommendation. His name’s Alex Papanicola and his business is called Scribble Stache, I absolutely recommend him for anyone else looking to create an animated video.
How was the recording and writing process?
Writing the song was a long process, as with many of my songs. It’s very wordy and it took quite a few drafts over a few months to get it right. Recording the song could not have been more different! I recorded it and mixed it in a single day with a production company called Sugar House. Lee and Ady of Sugar House are very talented guys and they knew exactly what was needed for the track. Subsequently it’s been played many times on local North West radio stations and Steve Lamacq of BBC 6 Music decided to play it three times in two weeks on his national afternoon radio show.
What role does Cheshire plays in your music?
I feel as though Cheshire does play a part in my songwriting process. I have a song about wealth and snobbery called ‘I’m Better Than You’, which I could mischievously say is an issue close to home in parts of Cheshire! I also have a song about small town problems which is called ‘The Crisis In Northwich’, Northwich is my home town. Mostly I’m inspired to write satirical songs that aren’t about me but I suppose my Northern, rural, middle-class background does get a look in sometimes.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?
The new single is in fact the final single from my last EP which was called ‘i”m sorrdy bi’m drunnk’. It marks the end of an era for that record and you’re right, a new release is on the way. The next album will be a live album since I feel my satirical comedy folk music is best received in a live performance. However, there will be one or two fully studio-produced, full-band singles that will appear as extras on the album and the first of those will be a new single in July to August this year.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
The live show recording will take place on 28th and 29th September, two dates in Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre. I’ll be announcing that in June. I’m keeping the title of the new album and potential release dates to myself for now since it is all tentative at the moment.
Any plans to hit the road?
Big plans to hit the road later this year. As ever I’ll be making short trips to London, Yorkshire, Manchester and Liverpool over the Summer but I’m planning a joint national tour with another well-established North West act called Thom Morecroft. He’s a brilliant singer-songwriter and I’m hoping our tour will be a lot of fun. It’s the first time I’ve toured nationally with headline shows in every city.
What else is happening next in Chris Tavener’s world?
At the moment, my plate is very full with the arrangements for the tour and the live album. The live album will also be filmed so I think you could expect some produced videos or even a DVD to surface shortly afterwards. However, I am also looking to tour overseas. Despite having performed over 350 gigs last year, I haven’t yet explored Europe or anywhere outside the UK with my music. I plan to rectify that either this year or next.
Apocalypse Prediction will be released on June 2nd