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As I posted in my previous blog, last week marked the twentieth anniversary of the release of the AP&S album Transfusion.

I also mentioned that I’d received a fair amount of email relating to the occasion. That quickly became a lot of email. Quite possibly the most email I’ve had in response to one event ever. So much that I doubt I will ever get chance to read all of the emails. Thank you, everyone who took the time to write. It is heart-warming to know that so many of you still hold the album in such high regard. Amazingly, more people than are on my combined Twitter/ FaceBook and website pages made contact. To all of you who don’t follow me on any of those networks, please feel free to add me so as to keep readily updated about what’s happening.

Invariably, whenever the subject of Transfusion or Snapshot or, indeed, any of the catalogue that was released whilst we were getting mainstream press are mentioned, some familiar questions are asked.

Having scanned through a fair number of emails, the same questions have cropped up a lot, so I felt it would make sense to write an FAQ-type piece which will hopefully answer and explain the situation in more detail.

Many of you will have seen previous blogs I have written which address the same queries. You will know the answers, but, in order not to seem repetitive, I will attempt to include some new perspective on certain aspects.

So, without further ado, here is the Q & A, as concisely as I can make it.

ANY CHANCE OF A RE-RELEASE OF TRANSFUSION

No. Absolutely no chance whatsoever. This is a 100% unchangeable answer. Not a ‘who knows.’ nor a ‘maybe one day.’ It simply can’t happen.
Firstly, none of the recordings that were made during our tenure at MFN belong to us. We have absolutely no rights to the recordings, have and never will make a penny from them. First they belonged to MFN. MFN was then absorbed into Zomba, which was in turn absorbed into the Sony/BMG conglomerate. The latter will own the rights to all the MFN catalogue in perpetuity.
Years ago, I did make attempts to buy back the rights, but the costs would have been prohibitive. I couldn’t even afford to license the recordings.
Whilst this was a pisser at the time, the fact that I had not been able to splurge out the cost of a small country on gaining rights to the recordings came as a huge relief when, a couple of years ago, The End Records bought the license from Sony to enable them to release Snapshot in the US. I wrote a few blogs at the time following the course of events. They ran like this: early blogs: be nice to get a US release for this great album. I will do anything I can to help. Middle-period blogs: Glad it’s not my responsibility dealing with corporate idiots. Hope this doesn’t turn out to be the fuck up I feared and that The End don’t get fucked over. Final blogs: Oh dear. It’s more fucked up than I feared. Quite simply, a killer enthusiastic label bought the rights to release Snapshot in the US. They wanted new liner notes from me, plus some bonus tracks, plus new artwork. All very typical of newly-released legacy recordings. Sony said no to any changes. If the album was to be released, it had to be exactly the same as the original. Same recordings. Same artwork. Bummer, but, okay, give us the recordings and the artwork and that’s what we’ll do, said The End. The small flaw in that plan being Sony didn’t have the original masters or the artwork in question. Cutting a very long story as short as I can, Sony sold the rights to something they did not physically possess, but still imposed sanctions upon the new licensee, not allowing them to release it in an altered form. The end result was me having to send the poor conned US guys my only CD copy of Snapshot, from which they scanned the artwork, and, without masters, they were only able to do a very subdued mp3 download release.
I know that was a story about Snapshot, but it also relates to Transfusion: the masters are owned by Sony, but don’t exist…thus, there will never be a re-release.
Those who questioned the legality of this state of affairs: there’s nothing illegal about it. Sony own those particular recordings of the songs. They can do with them as they will. And, even if they’ve lost or destroyed them, they own the rights to them so can dictate what others can do with them, whether or not they exist. It’s all a bit Gulliver’s Travels, but there you have it.

MY COPY OF TRANSFUSION IS WORN OUT/ LOST/ WHERE CAN I GET ANOTHER COPY

Your guess is as good as mine. As explained in more detail above, the physical release of the album was and is nothing to do with me. I own one copy. Which I had to buy.

YOU GUYS SHOULD HAVE CARRIED ON MAKING ALBUMS

We did. The third album, Free Pawn and four Eps (recently remixed and remastered as the Ape-ology collection) were all released independently and are available from my web store. I have also released 12 solo albums, some of which are also still available here.

ANNIVERSARY TOUR/ APES GIGS/ NEW APES ALBUMS/DO MORE STUFF etc.

This is always an odd one. The mention of Transfusion triggers a torrent of ‘would be awesome to see/ hear more…’ Well, as  I have said many times, I have moved heaven and earth in an attempt to make new Apes releases a possibility, and everything that’s been recorded and released in the time since the album that provokes most reaction has been aimed at helping to make that goal attainable.
To put things in perspective: I have received more emails about Transfusion than the combined number of sales of Free Pawn and Ape-ology. The latter were produced independently, without the media advertising and fanfare that went along with Transfusion. Consequently, a lot less people know about these releases. This in itself goes a long way to explain why touring as a band remains unaffordable. We did tour when Free Pawn was released, but it just threw me even further into debt and we realised that touring was something we would not be able to consider unless we generated considerably more income from sales. There will be a new Apes album, Human Zoo at some point in the future. I've been talking about it for a long time, but life, the need to generate enough to keep a roof over my head, and other musical commitments keep intruding. The album, like my forthcoming new solo album, Sinombre, will be pledge-funded.

I have never made any money from anything that I release. This does not diminish my pride in the quality of those releases, nor does it dent my enthusiasm or optimism. Another question that has cropped up in many emails is, ‘Why aren’t you a huge name…’  ‘Why haven’t you made it?’ or words to that effect. I don’t look at things in such a sob story kind of way. The market has changed unrecognisably since Transfusion’s time. I consider myself fortunate to spend every day of my life writing and producing music. Much of it is for TV, but that is one of the few remaining sources of revenue upon which a writer can rely and the insane deadlines and high standards of production required have had an unbelievably positive influence on both my work ethic and production skills. I am not one for living in the past. Each new venture is one that I try to make better than the last. On my current (forthcoming pledge) albums, I feel I am writing some of the best songs I have ever written. The concept of ‘making it’ in the traditional understanding of the word has changed. In the current definition of the word, I am making it. Now and every day.

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