Steve Merlin - Crash Course For Earth

 

Release date: November 8, 2015

 
                 
   

Story

As you probably already figured out, there's a double meaning to the title of Crash Course For Earth. Its opening track, Endangered Species Man, is about an ancient Mayan super-civilization that in their time had been allowed to "live among the gods", between the stars. Couple tens of centuries later, they revisit the Earth on a comet. They decide on a collision course to end the catastrophic developments for which the human race is responsible. Hence: a "crash course for Earth".

But I also consider the album a 'crash course for a better world' - reflecting my point of view on a number of issues: criticizing other people (giving feedback), materialism and devaluation of music and

 

other forms of art, the value of creativity, freedom and persistance, the absurdity of imperialism, the testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific, the depletion of organic fuel sources and the carelessness concerning consumption and waste, and last but not least, the feeling that I'm hardly the one to say anything about anything.

The Between Air And Wing tracks mostly deal with up-close-and-personal matters, whereas the Crash Course songs all deal with social and global issues (apart from the instrumental ones, of course). The best thing I like about the Crash Course tracks is that their subjects prove to be much better suited for progrock, because they really upset me, which I think in general leads to better progressive rock music writing. As it happens to be my favourite kind of music (especially played live), it turns out that from my point of view I saved my best songs for this third album.

Old and new artwork

Back in April 2011, Antonio Seijas finished the artwork for Crash Course For Earth a couple of weeks after he provided the artwork for Between Air And Wing, of which I especially liked the explosive colours combined with the suggestion of solitude.

At the time I still had a double album on my mind, one with two very different faces: personal and social/environmental/global.

 

But I wasn't sure about the stuff for Crash Course, although Antonio excellently transferred into visual art all that I'd handed to him: Mayans, living among the Gods for centuries, traveling around on a giant comet, finally steering on a crash course for Earth to obliterate mankind once and for all. But trying to combine all that into one picture made it simply too much to look at, too many things happening to make it a powerful album sleeve.

So I asked Lies van Haaren to paint me an oil picture of a man, lying in the grass, surrounded by some indifferently chucked bits of trash, his attention suddenly drawn by a flash in the sky - a comet, rushing down towards Earth. (Only thing he can do is point his finger, no other action meaningful, no action by any man even remotely helpful in stopping the inevitable, all mankind's actions in the past however leading up to this point in history.)

So Lies provided the painting. I think it makes a great album cover indeed. I've used Antonio's material for all the other parts of the album: the mini-poster, the case inlay and the cd-print.

For online purposes, and hopefully for visual support during gigs, to Lies' and Toni's stuff  specific track artwork will be added by Daan Mulder. Feedback Conditions, the second track on Crash Course, already has its own genuine Daan Mulder digital 3D-art sketch.

  

Steve Merlin, November 2015