Guest Column – Getting my head into going solo… by Futurehead’s Barry Hyde

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Having harmonised with the Futureheads for solo long, Barry Hyde went solo earlier this year with album Malody. He explains why…

Making a solo album was very different to my previous experiences as a recording artist. ‘Daunting’ is the word. Where previously my share of the work load was 25 percent, now it was 100 percent. The road was going to be long and potentially dangerous. My way of getting there was to treat the experience as a puzzle or at times even an endurance test. The human body and mind can only take so much, I just kept going until I was exhausted.

Strangely I found it really hard to eat during all of the Malody sessions, I was in fight or flight mode constantly. It was incredible. The sessions were spread out over what feels like a huge expanse of time. I have always had difficulty putting past experiences in chronological order so every recording session morphs in to one growing experience. I think it was about six months in reality but to be honest sometimes reality and I are estranged.

Recording sessions are very special because if they are done correctly they can actually change reality. Past recording sessions had transformed my life. I had travelled the world with The Futureheads because of recording sessions. I had played in front of over 1,000,000 people because of recording sessions. Proceed with caution, do your best, and enjoy. Don’t spend too much time in the pub that is about 15 meters away from the studio door either. Do what ever it takes to find satisfaction. If this all sounds a bit dramatic and serious that’s because it is. I do love it though. Especially when the bulk of the work has been done on a song and it’s time to think about other sounds and start with experimentation (also known as ‘messing around’).

One of the strangest and sometimes infuriating potential pitfalls of recording is called ‘red-light syndrome’, which is a terrible affliction that leaves even the most well rehearsed in a state of shining white panic. Once a musician contracts this illness the recording session can hit a brick wall. The infected has to smash this strange psychological phenomena to smithereens as quickly as possible to avoid tantrums, tears, and occasionally, broken instruments/doors/microphones. Calm down.
Barry Hyde @TheBarryHyde

The road to perfection is riddled with booby-traps. Avoid it. Sometimes you just have to let go and accept that in fact you are a human and not an android. It’s those little faults that make records special. But I have to say that because the album is full of mistakes.

For more head to Barryhyde.co.uk.