We are excited to announce that Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Winery Dogs, Flying Colors, Transatlantic, etc.) has contributed drums to two songs for our next studio album "Other Arrangements" (not to be
confused with the upcoming live CD "Off the Floor 02").
Chris flew to the east coast to Portnoy HQ a couple weeks ago (in between snow storms, luckily!) where Mike used his infamous TAMA "siamese monster" kit to deliver his instantly recognizable and energetic
"What a treat to watch Mike work his magic! He was always experimenting and keeping things fresh and spontaneous. Mark Evans is the same way, with that "fly by the seat of your pants" approach. Mike's tunes
really work well alongside Mark's. Plus, we did a couple other cool things at Mike's which we'll announce later. Many thanks to Jerry Guidroz for making the trip and capturing it all 'on tape.' "Other
Arrangements" is shaping up to be quite the rhythm section tour-de-force!" - Chris.
Mike and Chris at Portnoy HQ.
January 12, 2014
A belated Happy New Year to everyone...
"Off the Floor 02" is scheduled for an April 1, 2014 release. Everyone's been hard at work mixing, mastering and designing these past few weeks. We've also been busy dodging the weather and making good
progress on "Other Arrangements."
Check out a new interview with Chris at MusicWeb Express 3000 where he discusses the origins of "Off the Floor," a bit of band history and other
bits of information.
October 17, 2013
By the way, "Off the Floor II" is mixed. We're now pulling together a few tracks from our 2005 appearance at the Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest 2005) to include as possible bonus tracks (Facing Failure,
Paintings, Ballad of the Sacred Cows, and Window Dressing). Our set was recorded on 24 tracks and Terry Brown is ready to start mixing within the next few weeks. Look for an early 2014 release...
(Although..., by including a couple more ROSfest tunes we could actually release a standalone "Tiles at ROSfest 2005" disc that would run almost an hour. We'll have to take that under advisement... there's
lots of good stuff available (and a few things we prefer no one hears again!))
October 16, 2013
Tiles "Other Arrangements" Progress Report...
"It's our best work yet!!" -- Oh wait..., that's what every band/artist says now. In fact, that lofty claim (i.e. marketing hype) has been said so often and for so many years that if someone doesn't say it
music fans can only assume you're not delivering the best thing you've ever done!
Quite frankly, we're not sure how the new recording will rank amongst our catalog or even among the astronomical amount of music being released these days; but, we are working hard and to the best of our
abilities - and are definitely excited by what we've come up with.
We officially began recording in March 2013 and after subsequent sessions in June, August and September find ourselves with all the bass and drums recorded and about a third of the rhythm guitars completed.
We brought in longtime Tiles accomplice Kevin Chown to provide the bass track for "Drops of Rain" since Jeff had already played the maximum number of
notes allowed under his contract. Kevin then proceeded to play lots of notes too, so we now could say this will be the Tiles CD with "the most (best?) bass notes yet!"
On the recording front, experimentation is high on our list of priorities. We've expanded our stylistic range to include electronic & industrial grooves; and the great sounding drum room at Metro 37 Studio has inspired us to have Mark double some of his drum parts, with Terry Brown using some interesting
techniques pioneered by Glyn Johns back in the 1960s. Chris is using a diverse arsenal of acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, mandolin, Mesa amps and
mostly-vintage pedals to create some serious crunch and contrasting textures. He's even experimenting with super-heavy gauge strings (Elixir, of
course) and alternate tunings in his quest for something a little different. Especially cool, so far, are some of Terry's mic placements for ambient sounds and hiding acoustic guitars (and banjo) behind
extremely distorted guitars. Some of that distortion is coming from the Kollmanation pedal, which is a new boutique pedal designed by our old Edwin Dare
guitarist buddy Jeff Kollman.
De rigueur in the prog world is the ever-present concept album and Tiles is guilty of generally having a "theme" to each album. But, we've taken things one step farther with "Other Arrangements." It has a
storyline - a narrative that develops over the entire series of songs, complete with musical reprises and recurring themes. Maybe like a rock opera, but probably more like a "novella" - which is concerned
with personal and emotional development, like a short story. There's not a lot of how or why things happen(ed) to our main character, but rather what he (or she) copes with in the aftermath of personal
upheaval. Think "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" rather than "The Wall" or "Scenes From A Memory."
But enough literature talk... check out the photos for glimpse of what's been happening:
Chris making a not-so-inspirational point.
Tracking in the main room of Metro 37.
Producer Terry Brown and Metro 37 engineer Ryan Arini.
Mark's view from the throne.
Mark hard at work through the looking glass.
Jeff warming up at Metro 37 Studio.
Jeff recording in the control room with Terry and Ryan.
Chris hoping for a one take solo.
Chris' partial "guitarsenal" at Brown Sound in the wilderness.
Jeff at Brown Sound.
Chris sorting out sounds at home.
Chris working out preproduction at Jeff's.
May 10, 2013
Our good friend, bassist-extraordinaire Kevin Chown, has recently released a four song EP entitled "Light the Way." It's a heavy, grandiose and
melodic set of tunes featuring Kevin's debut on lead vocals and an impressive cast of stellar musicians. Also..., there's a Tiles connection with Chris writing lyrics for "Ties That Bind." Click here for the official press release courtesy of Bravewords.com.
"Light the Way" is available digitally at CDBaby and iTunes. News on a physical CD release is forthcoming.
Proceeds from Kevin's EP will be used to help pay the substantial medical bills from his recent brain surgery (to mitigate his epileptic seizures). Kevin's in the early stages of recovery and doing well.
He's also set up the Kevin Chown Brain Surgery/Recovery Fund, so please consider even a small donation if possible.
In actual Tiles news..., coming soon is the first installment of the "Other Arrangements Studio Diary." Recording started in March and we've got a lot of progress to report on!
March 8, 2013
We have been rehearsing diligently, putting the final touches on each song's basic rhythm track arrangement in preparation for entering the studio later this month. Terry Brown will again produce and
engineer for us, splitting his time between Detroit and his new studio in bucolic Muskoka (several hours north of Toronto). It's no secret our pending sixth album is entitled Other
Arrangements - an ambitious 60-minute song cycle relating the story of a man disillusioned by betrayal, his descent into darkness, and the struggles he faces coping with the unpleasant realities that
have redefined his life. What's not disclosed is if the story has a happy ending (?).
With pre-release hyperbole a new art form that would make even PT Barnum cringe - all we're willing to say is that musically "Other Arrangements" will be a progressive hard rock album full of Mark's
drumming, Jeff's bass playing, Paul's singing, some guitars & keyboards, and maybe some special guests who will play things we can't (or who are at least fun to work with!).
Somewhere during the recording process (probably around the halfway point) we'll launch our "crowd funding" / patronage efforts to help push the project over the finish line. Besides the standard signed
CDs, we'll have a variety of unique items that may be of interest like signed lyric sheets & song charts, mp3 rehearsal demos, and possibly even an instrument or (small) amp used during the recording
process. It's likely we'll have an exclusive pre-release listening party too. But, we've got a little time to get this campaign organized...
In the meantime..., you can help our recording budget by buying our music and/or t-shirts directly from us. Now's a great time to complete your
Tiles catalog or grab a cheap t-shirt!!