On 13 June 2017 the songwriting and recording project 'The World Is Mine' let to the release of an EP in progress: A collection of 8 preliminary tracks created over 12 months in 18 countries, bridging a maximum of 10.000 kilometers and 8 time zones.



It feels wonderfully weird to finally share this: Almost exactly one year after starting this songwriting and recording project, after countless hours of improvised recording sessions and an intense exchange of ideas in our band chat, we have managed to bring its six tracks to a level that we feel is good enough to publish them as Thank You George's second official release. You can find them on the project's SoundCloud profile, together with an Intro and an Outro, and we are finally inviting all of you to listen, like and share 'The World Is Mine'.

Despite the fact that we are now releasing these eight tracks we don't consider the outcome of the project a fully finished EP. We consider it a work in progress that marks the preliminary end of me writing and recording songs while traveling, us all trying to bridge the distance and the time difference to arrange the songs, and of Ali, Jan and our producer, Kiezkojote's Toby Lelushko, meeting in Hamburg to work out and record the drum- and bass lines. It feels like we have taken this process as far as we could and gotten the maximum out of it. After all we reached our goal and wrote, arranged and recorded enough material for this release.

May - December 2016

Still, with me traveling the Middle and Far East and with this project requiring us to work together without actually being in the same room, the last twelve months were an intense period in our band's history. We had a few rocky moments to overcome, especially in the very beginning of the project. But all in all, up until the end of 2016, 'The World Is Mine' was a surprisingly productive endeavor. I finished recording five songs under the weirdest circumstances next to traveling 13 countries and documenting all of this in exhaustive posts on this blog. Meanwhile, Ali and Jan worked on the tracks SAND and CHAINS during two studio sessions with our producer Toby in the late summer and early fall. They sent some thoughts and ideas which we then tossed and turned in lengthy discussions over the course of several months. The process took forever and we didn't manage to create a presentable result. Me having limited internet access more often than not, and the guys being busy with other musical projects, hadn't helped either.

Then, in November, I spent almost two weeks in Bangkok where I wanted to re-record all the songs as properly as possible. Unfortunately we hadn't worked hard enough on providing 'The World Is Mine' with a proper financial budget. Originally we had planned to do an elaborate crowdfunding campaign right after having published the first song and blog contents. But in the end we didn't manage to produce all the materials in time and the whole thing never went live. Thus the money for a studio or rehearsal room in Bangkok had to come out of my travel budget. And since studio and rehearsal rooms are about as scarce in Thailand's capital as they are in any major city in Germany, the only way you will find a halfway-decent location is if you know some local people. Luckily I had a friend there who recommended this cultural center called Brownstone.

Sadly I couldn't afford to rent their studio, so I made most of my recordings in their big rehearsal room. It was not isolated and faced a busy street. Thus all my guitar and vocal tracks featured a rather unpleasant amount of ambient noise, including cars and Tuk Tuks and motorbikes and street vendors. A major upside, however, was that I could record some tracks with the studio's Fender Telecaster electric guitar. During my last session I had to make due with the guitar only having four strings and going out of tune. Still it allowed me to add an important sound layer to CHAINS and SKY / OCEAN. Because of these shortcomings my recordings continued to lack the quality I had hoped to provide for our release. But of course these issues could be fixed by re-recording the guitars and vocals with better gear in a proper studio room. Understandably this is one of the things that will make us want to do a proper production when I'm back in Hamburg. And it's one of the things that made us underline this release's preliminary nature by naming it "An EP in progress".

January - May 2017

After sending home the recordings I had labelled "The Bangkok Sessions" I expected a boost in productivity. Unfortunately the collaboration with the guys in Hamburg continued to stretch like a rubber-band and things still took forever. We all grew impatient and frustrated and the writing of new material came to a complete stand-still that lasted two months. I was traveling Myanmar and Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos at the time and I think it's fair to say that I was suffering from a full-grown creative crisis. The knot untied when we finally were on the right track to bring SAND and CHAINS to life as full-grown-Thank You George-band-arrangements.

The motivation and excitement came back instantly. We reviewed and sorted through the rest of the material, determined to see this project through. In February of 2017 we realized that if we added one more song, and if we then managed to finish full-band-versions of at least three of the tracks, we actually did have enough material for a proper release. So we agreed on stopping the creation of new content and on working out the material that was already there. I finished BREATHE, a song I had started during the recording sessions at Brownstone Studios in Bangkok, and I wrote an Intro and an Outro. Meanwhile Ali and Jan started meeting regularly to figure out the drum- and bass lines for SAND, CHAINS and SKY / OCEAN. In the following weeks we worked our way through an almost ridiculous amount of quick-and-dirty recordings exchanged in lengthy discussions in our band chat. As with our first record "Bleed Towards The Light" the objective was to find arrangements that nobody had to just live with. Consequently the guys only recorded their drum- and bass lines after we had all agreed on a final layout - and after I had done my part of making the necessary changes to the tracks.

At this point we must thank Kiezkojote's Toby Lelushko for his contribution to the project. Not only did he take part in all those lengthy message threads and provide his thoughts and guidance; most importantly he met with Jan and Ali in our rehearsal room in Hamburg and made sure that we had at least halfway decent recordings of the drum- and bass lines to add to our final mixes. Again we couldn't spare enough money to actually buy studio time. Instead the guys had to make due with capturing the bass via line-in and recording the drums using a set of stereo-microphones in a room that was far from being properly isolated. Considering the fact that they finished the three songs in about a day, and that there was no time for do-overs, the results are best described as quick-and-dirty-recordings - yet another reason for labeling this release "An EP in progress".

The result

So you see that we would have loved to spent more time on working out the songs and more money on doing a proper production. Actually we are already planning to have another go at the material when I get back to Hamburg some time in the summer. When rehearsing with the three of us in the same room we will most likely re-think a lot of the songs and pieces. And when going into the studio some time in the fall, we might be recording a set of songs that is all kinds of different from the eight tracks you will find in this release.

But for the time being we are happy to share this interim result of this often exiting, sometimes painful creative process with you. Looking back on the project I have to admit that I wouldn't have imagined bridging a maximum of 10.000 kilometers and 8 time zones to be this hard. But I'm glad to see that we've made it through to the other side and managed to create this wonderfully weird, original, rough, and still somehow almost perfect EP. "Thank You George - The World Is Mine - An EP In Progress" is available on SoundCloud and as a Free Download.



This is the video for "Sky / Ocean", the second song from our EP in progress "The World Is Mine". It was shot partly by Jan, Ali and Kiezkojote's Toby Lelushko in our rehearsal room in Hamburg, and partly by myself while traveling Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The World Is Mine - Teaser 03

Released on 11 June 2017

The World Is Mine - Teaser 02

Released on 06 June 2017

The World Is Mine - Teaser 01

Released on 29 May 2017