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From The Frontline - Myke Heath Blog - January

Well, what a year 2014 was! It started out very differently to how it ended, but unpredictability seems to be the only constant when you’re scratching around on the fringes trying to break through. I managed to scare myself once or twice with a couple of Mick Shrimpton (Spinal Tap) style stupid accidents, play shows in 10 different countries, achieved a boyhood dream of playing on an album that got a 5-of-5 K’s review in Kerrang magazine and in the whole process managed to work one full time and one part time job and managed (just about!) to keep Mrs Heath smiling too.

Being on tour is great fun but in The Wounded Kings but we really do rough it a bit sometimes and more often than not we don’t know where we are staying. One thing I do know is that I always love playing the shows no matter what and nothing short of being hospitalised will stop me from playing.

We’ve had an ongoing battle with the record label over the contract agreement for the next album. Due to Sharie (the singer) leaving and George (the original singer) rejoining, we don’t sound the same exactly and felt it best to write and record a new album asap. The label decided that they would only pay 75% of the agreed amount on our contract for the next album. That left us trying to get out of the contract in favour of doing a crowd funded release instead but of course being a record label contract there was really no way out. It did lead to an odd conversation with the label manager who told us that nobody was interested in doing anything with the band and they had tried their best to raise our profile. The logical question following that was “why are you not willing to let us go then?” We still haven’t had an answer but they have agreed to pay the full amount originally agreed. As it turns out it may have been a bit of a shady tactic to save a few quid. Although as a consequence of all this we may have badly damaged the relationship with the record label now. We will just have to wait and see.

So, why do we do it? Why do drummers invest all that time and money just to break gear and crash on people’s floors? Good question. Is it the hope that one day you’ll be on the front cover of Rhythm magazine or do you want to one day buy an Italian sports car complete with a young Italian sports model and go flying off the road at 140mph driving around Lake Como? I think a lot about how cool it would be if when someone asks me what I do for a living I could just say “I play the drums”. That’s the dream for me right there. The other motivation is I think for most of us is that we just have to play. No glamour, no glory just a set of drums and a stage just some kind of way to release all that mental and physical energy.

So what happens next for 2015? NAMM is about to happen and I always love watching the clips posted by the very people who bring you the wonderful website you are browsing right now. With a bit of luck Paiste will be releasing some new over sized cymbals and somebody will release more “Budget Bonham” type drums. As a side note I think I might self apply “Budget Bonham” as a nickname for me! What do you reckon? 28” bass drums could be the new trend!? 26” rides!? Unlikely I think. At least most manufacturers have given up on hanging floor toms now. Truly a frightening sight to me when I see a 14” or 16” tom hanging from a cymbal stand in place of a good old fashioned 3 legged floor tom. Well honestly I’m not sure for myself personally apart from trying to shed my additional Christmas padding and to readjust to a life without lie-ins and a constant stream of whisky and port. There are some festival shows on the calendar, a new album to record and probably promote and who knows what else might pop up in the mean time?  At some point I need to tackle the thorny issue of endorsements which means I have to prepare a press kit and put together a good case for support. There is only one company I’m going to approach and I’m fully prepared to be turned down but if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?

From February I’ll have a change of employment which will be way more beneficial towards my plight and gives me the opportunity to work with people who are very supportive of my playing and an opportunity to work in a slightly unconventional manner. I am very lucky and I couldn’t have come at a better time. So in summary my New Year’s resolution is very simple: work less, do more. Just to be clear when I say work less I mean in the day job sense of working less hours, not sitting on my bum watching reruns of Top Gear on Dave and don’t mean not working hard either.

Here’s to a happy and fun filled 2015!

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