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From The Frontline - Myke Heath Blog - January 2016

Well, it’s been a strange few weeks since we last had the pleasure of each other’s company. There have been some heavy losses and probably some heavy festive-turkey-based gains but here we are now in 2016. Back to work, back to reality, and looking forward to the year ahead, whatever it may bring. 

Unbelievably we have lost some much-loved talent in recent weeks/months: Lemmy, Bowie, Philthy Animal Taylor and Scott Weiland. There are others that are probably also worthy of mention, but those are the names that are the most significant to me. Further to that we had the shocking attacks in Paris and in particular on the Bataclan Theatre. I’m not sure of another time when there has been such an open attack on rock and roll, or of another time when we lost so many irreplaceable figures in such a short space of time. The best thing of all that music and in particular rock and roll is resilient and musicians always rally around when the chips are down. I think 2016 is going to see some significant changes for the better and I think rock music will bigger and better than ever before. It means so much to so many people that it can’t possibly go anywhere else but up. 

So what of 2016 then? Well so far, as is standard for me around this time of year, it’s rehearsing and prepping for an upcoming European tour, and The Wounded Kings album release in March. The tour is nine shows in nine days from London across to Germany, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Approximately its about 3500 miles of travel which equates to about 60 hours in the van and on the tarmac. The set time each night will be around an hour long so that’s nine hours of genuine physical effort so the playing is the easy part really! My gear is all in fairly good order already, minus a change of heads and a stack of sticks, so all I need to do is focus on playing and helping promote the tour online via the usual digital sources and social media. I’m looking forward to it. We’ll see some new sights and get to see some old familiar faces and I think we also get a hotel room nearly every night too which means I can keep my precious barnet in good shape! We have the odd show booked after the tour but we have to wait to the reaction to the new album before anyone will book us for further shows. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. To promote the album we need to play it live but to get the shows we need people to like and get behind the album. As far as the window for festivals this year it is shrinking quite rapidly so if we’re not careful it could be a quiet year ahead for live shows. Only time will tell.

I don’t do New Years resolutions but I would like to make this year a little more creative and I do plan on trying to get involved in a few more projects with other musician friends just to keep the creative muscles up to scratch and also for my own wellbeing. The more I’m doing musically the happier I am. It’s easy to become single minded with your playing and I like to stretch myself out a bit. It makes me a little more congenial to be in close confines with too. I might try and work on my own music a little more as well. We’ll see. I don’t think Dave Grohl needs to be worried though. 

So the other great thing about the New Year is the NAMM show. I’ve already spent many hours on the internet to try and scratch together any titbits of info that might give the game away on any of the new gear coming out. It’s pure gear porn and gear head geek at it’s very finest and most exciting. Each year I get a little more excited about it. I know not everybody is a fan of the event largely due to continually bashing of drums and cymbals and after a day or two it undoubtedly can grate on the most hardened music show/company rep type but it’s a very important show in my eyes and I hope one day I can blag my way into it. I came close in my music shop working days but it fell through at the last minute (cue violin and tissues). 

I had a very interesting conversation with a good drummer friend of mine the other day who was left reeling after he had seen a press shot which he was originally in but too only see that another person was in his place on the picture. To cut a long story short he left the band under acrimonious circumstances and has found it a little difficult to pick himself back up since. Seeing the photograph I think made him realise what a silly situation he was involved in and I’m sure probably just knocked his confidence a little more than he needed on top of everything else but it did get me thinking. He’s an excellent drummer and a very easy guy to get on with. Why was he so easily replaced in the photo and how easily replaced could any of the rest of us be? Now the technology has caught up, are more of us at risk of being Photoshopped out of existence? At first I thought it was really funny when he showed me the two photos next to each other but actually I’m not so sure it’s a laughing matter. There’s no rock and roll music without drums and no complete rock and roll band without a drummer. A little more respect is required me thinks. 

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