At last our album is out in the world (get it now!), free to roam wherever it wants to, free to make the same mistakes as we have and find its own little place to settle down. It seems like an age since we sat down in the Grove pub in Leeds to discuss what it would be and how it would sound… an age. Everything that needs saying about buying the album is in this bit of text that Ed wrote to be included with the download:
Firstly, we hope you like this album Architect of this Church. We are very very proud of it and if you do like it too please pass it on to someone else. Host it on your website, bittorrent it, give it to your friends, do whatever you wish! We ask only 2 things, please include this note and please use the original MP3s as they are pretty much as good quality as MP3s can get. Hell, you could even direct people to our website where they can download for it for whatever they want to pay (starting at nothing, well 1p) or get a physical copy for whatever you think it’s worth as long as you cover our manufacturing and postage.
We actually ask another thing. If you do appreciate this album but don’t wanna give us some cash there’s a number of other things you could do. Come and see us live and if you don’t or can’t do that then please please go and see a band live in a little venue. Just go and see a gig… there’s bound to be some cool bands in your town. If you like a band that you see please do buy something of theirs or buy them a drink or just go and say “hi”. They will appreciate it we promise.
If you don’t want to do that please just try not to litter and say hello to your neighbours. Ok?
Love and kisses
Hope and Social
We are a band called Hope and Social from Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK. We used to be a band called Four Day Hombre and over the last 10 years we have been lucky enough to do some wonderful things. We have played over well over 900 gigs, sometimes to 2 people, sometimes to more. On the strength of the music we have made, some occasional amazing good luck and because of wonderful people that we have met on the way who have found something in us to believe in we have been able to play in the UK, Europe, America, Canada and on one memorable occasion Accrington.
We have met hundreds of fantastic people, been applauded by some, laughed at by others and shared drinks, food and lodging with many. We’ve been ripped off, cheated, lied to, let down and had many incredible experiences and gathered some crippling personal debts.
We have never made any money. We have nearly destroyed all our personal relationships.
It’s been great.
Between July 2007 and December 2008 we made this album in a studio which we made for ourselves in the crypt of a beautiful church in West Yorkshire. In this wonderful room we wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered this album and the EP which preceded it. It took a long time cos we don’t make money and had to do other real world things… And there was some other stuff. It nearly drove us mad. It nearly split us up. But unbelievably we finished it and to us it hangs together as a whole, as a concept and we’re all incredibly proud of this thing that we’ve made and can’t wait to share it with as many people as we can.
It’s an album about believing that there is still wonder and beauty in the world, about believing in people and their possibility for good. It is about community and being part of it, that there is something worth fighting for in your own country (wherever it may be) despite all the shit that people do.
It’s also about a deep seated belief that music can do something wonderful. That it has a value which can’t be just measured with money. And that is lucky as making money is proving almost impossible for bands and musicians to do with any surety at the moment. Through mismanagement and exploitation the major record labels have managed to create an environment where stealing music actually seems to make sense. They’ve managed to destroy the only business model they had and as yet there’s nothing else to replace it… So, we’re trying other things….
You can have our album for whatever you think it’s worth. If you wanna just download and pay nothing you can. If you wanna give us £100 for it you can! If you want a CD copy just come to a gig and you can have one for what it cost us to make it or get it through our website for cost plus postage. That money goes directly to us (or directly into the big pot of debt at least). This money allows us to make more albums, do more gigs and make more music.
We want YOU to have this album, to hear it as we hope that it will enrich your life in some tiny way and we’ll do anything to make that happen. And if it does bring something to your life maybe you’ll find some way to give us something back.
This is a philosophy which we believe in very strongly at the moment. We (and so many other bands) need your support and help right now. The music world needs rebuilding and it has to happen from the grass roots. Support your favourite bands and try and support them directly. Go to gigs. Buy directly from them or from the small label that they are on. Remove middlemen wherever you can! You can make a difference. The only marketing which many bands can afford is word of mouth so please please tell people…
Like so many things music and bands are something which we take for granted but it should be remembered that bands are fragile fragile things. There is no other artform which is so visible but also so much a labour of love. So much wonderful music happens despite all the things around it… despite lack of money, despite lack of support, despite being declared commercially unviable and if we get value from that music it is OUR responsibility to try and help that music by sharing it, by enjoying and by supporting it in anyway we can.
Nothing is free. The air around us is not free. The trees and the seas and the sunshine are not free. The times when we have wonderful friends around us are not free. They are part of a bargain. An arrangement. A transaction that where value and respect exists on both sides. And if we don’t keep our side of any of those bargains then we will ultimately loose things.
So ultimately and somewhat selfishly what we’re saying is: enjoy this album and enjoy all the good things around you. If you find it in your heart to come over to www.hopeandsocial.com and say hi or give us something (hey time has value!) then that would be absolutely lovely…
Hope and Social