Today marks the one-year anniversary of the official announcement that I, Joe Payne, had left The Enid. Though I’m glad to have made this difficult decision, I’ve no wish to say that I celebrate the occasion. That would be disrespectful to all who supported me and the band in everything we did together. To this day I remain proud of our achievements, fondly remembering the best bits through Facebook Memories and surprise tracks appearing on my iPod Shuffle.
This last year has been a voyage of discovery for me; finding my voice; studying the depths of my art; building the confidence to go it alone – all terrifying for someone who a year ago was so completely and utterly broken. But look at me now. I’ve fixed myself up. Each day I have more buzz than the last and I walk through life with a bold and dignified step. I am now the most certain version of me there has ever been – it’s the best feeling.
But despite all the great things I’ve been seen to do this year (hosting vigils, my informal performances, judging music competitions, traveling, etc), let’s forget about the past for a minute. There is so much going on behind the scenes that I can’t wait to tell you about!
I have now finished writing and arranging my debut single, and will be heading into the studio with partner in crime Max Read for most of September to get it beautifully played and produced. I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but I’ll tell you a little about the track.
Firstly, despite my plans to write a pop song, I’ve ended up with an 8 minute epic that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard. After learning all the tricks about advanced harmony and modulation, I couldn’t resist going to town on this. For the first time, I’ve been free to fully explore my ideas independently, and realise my vision without interference. It took a lot of courage to get started, but once I did it was very liberating, indeed.
Catchy yet emotive, the song was chosen from my extensive list of unheard catalogue because of its sentiment. It’s very important to me that I am transparent with you all about what I went through last year, and talking (or should I say “singing”) about my experience with depression and anxiety could not come second to anything. The lyrics and melody came to me when I had reached my lowest point, and that’s as beautiful as it is sad.
The single will be released early 2018, including an official B Side and bonus tracks. I am planning to sync this up with a one-off event, and will let you know more about that later.
Besides my own writing, earlier this year I was invited to perform vocals for a record which has also attracted contributions from great artists such as Oliver Wakeman, Oliver Day and Pete Jones to mention a few.
I first met the writer, John Holden at an Enid concert last year when we performed at the Citadel in Saint Helens. A very humble man, he later expressed an interest in working with me on something, and when I heard his demos I was really taken in.
The songs are all very melodic, each one with a strong concept of its own. I do love a concept, after all. And for me, especially at the time when we got started together, I was itching to get back into recording and find my voice again.
There’s a lot of character voices and experimentation from me on this record, and it marks a transitional period; rediscovering what my voice wants to sound like, slowly deconstructing and rebuilding from the sound I’d forged for The Enid.
You can expect to hear more about that album ahead of Christmas this year!
Until then be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where I’ll be posting silly photos and videos on the fly while I’m in the studio. If it looks like I’m having too much fun, it’s because I am.