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Metropol

by Lunatic Calm

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about

The first Lunatic Calm album was a collaborative work between the two core members, myself (Simon Shackleton) and Howie Saunders. The writing process began back in 1996 on a set up that seems prehistoric now. We had an Atari ST, a couple of S-1000s and array of keyboards including an SH-101, Roland D-20, Nord Rack, Supernova2, a Novation Bass Station, Quadraverb, Lexicon and then various microphones, a Marshall rig, Gibson and Fender guitars & a few other bits and bobs running through a 16:4 Mackie desk.

Whilst we'd been in a band for several years together (Flicker Noise) that we initially formed with Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and John Matthias ... this was the first time we'd really set out to put together a completely self-produced album and it was a huge learning curve.

The album was released on MCA worldwide but 3 weeks before it came out we were given a cursory lesson in 'big business' and the rather heavy-handed attitude of a major label who'd invested in our early days as a band. We were told by the managing director, in his London office, that we 'had' to use our track 'Leave You Far Behind' on a national UK advert that spoofed The Prodigy. We were mortified and said a flat 'no' (they were about the coolest band on the planet at that time) but they insisted it went ahead or our album would be 'pulled'.

That week when it broadcasted there were news pieces in all the Music Press decrying us a copy-ists and lamenting our work on the advert. When we called up the label later that week, no one would answer our calls and we were effectively outcasts. The A&R man (who was lovely guy and also blameless) swiftly got the sack and there you have one of a litany of rather sad major stories that I'm sure you've heard elsewhere.

It meant that we packed our bags and focused on the American market, which worked way better for us :)

credits

released January 6, 1997

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Lunatic Calm London, UK

This was a collaborative project with Howie Saunders, a childhood friend with whom Simon played in a number of bands, including the pre-cursor project ‘Flicker Noise’. They were a duo as a writing team, but when live included a drummer, Jez Noble. The band toured the US with The Crystal Method, but were undone by major record company shenanigans.‘Breaking Point’ was, fittingly, their last release. ... more

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