The highly anticipated new album’s Blood Red / Viral Black available exclusively at www.thealarm.com Blood Red // Viral Black were recorded in Liverpool // Wales between October 2016 & January 2017
A collection of completely brand new material since 2010, features tracks mastered at Abbey Road Studios for both Audiophile Vinyl LP and CD Editions alongside a collectors 7″ Vinyl and Limited Edition Promo Disc. The recordings have been produced by George Williams whose credits also include The Alarm’s 2006 album ‘Under Attack’
Coming Backwards: https://youtu.be/MLtrMHeyYCg
The launch of Blood Red // Viral Black that began with a first instalment release of Blood Red has already Sold Out of all Ultra Limited Art & Limited Edition packages. Sales of Blood Red have exceeded all expectation, with fans rushing to snap up copies knowing that No copies will be made available via streaming, digital download or other retail outlets until 2018.
“Viral Black presents a very different perspective to the one listeners would have experienced with Blood Red” says Mike Peters. “With Viral Black the outlook is directed away from the heart, and documents what I see around me as I go about my daily life. The world I inhabit today is obviously very different from the place myself and The Alarm were born into, and with these songs I wanted to explore the world shaped in particular, by all that has happened to me and my family in recent times. Outside and inside the home, there’s almost no escape from the graphic images and angry voices that appear beyond the firewalls of our computer defences and into our very own sphere of life, continues Mike. “Like almost everyone I meet these days, I feel the uncertainty of the world at large encroaching upon all we know and understand. It is a reaction to all of this, that has driven the writing and recording of Viral Black. Some of the songs are fuelled with rage and sensitivity, some simply ask why? Some of the words have come from bittersweet experience and from the way life deals the cards. It’s been a cathartic experience to write as openly as I have tried to be with these songs, and I have already felt the thrill of sharing them with audiences in both the USA and UK”.
Like it’s sister record Blood Red, Viral Black will display the full spectrum of inspirations that have driven the project including some of which will take form outside of the music itself and spill over and onto the pages of the record sleeve. “Creating art alongside the music was so important to this record,” explains Mike Peters, “The Viral Black ‘emoji’ paintings I have created, have literally been forced from another set of feelings altogether. I have originated these art statements using only very stark colours, although I could never resist the temptation to incorporate something bright in the form of the Poppy, as a contrast. I have tried using my own feelings and emotions to form expressions that reflect what I consider to be positive statements amongst negative landscapes. Upbeat outcomes from downbeat situations, something I have always strived for when tested by life.”
Coming Backwards is also the featured track on the Man In The Camo Jacket – Motion Picture Soundtrack Album released on Limited Edition Vinyl Saturday as part of Record Store Day.
“When writing and recording ‘Coming Backwards’ I felt it made connections to the energy of the band that was on full display through our first ever video for ‘The Stand‘” Peters tells us. “When we first connected with audiences back in 1983 it wasn’t just because of our music, it was also through the way we presented ourselves and conducted our performances on stage. It was also transmitted through the iconic Red Poppy which I paint-sprayed across the backdrops of the video and at our early stage shows. ‘The Stand’ video and performance really lights up the screen when it appears in the Camo Jacket film and made me see connections to the past history of the band that could be brought forward and made relevant for today’s audiences, especially the kind of people we will play to on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.”
Eight years in the making, Man in the Camo Jacket chronicles Peters’ rise to fame and the subsequent health struggles that he has faced and his inspiring road to recovery. A three-time cancer survivor, Peters formed the Love Hope Strength charity, which, according to its website, uses its funds to “purchase medical equipment and supplies, raise awareness through special events, documentaries and media, and help build cancer centers.”
The new film features performances from Peters and guest appearances from friends like Slim Jim Phantom (the Stray Cats), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and many others. Peters shares additional insight into how he and director Fahad Vania brought the video concept for “Coming Backwards” to life, working at Rebl HQ, based at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, where they shot the video.
“The production team re-created the famous set of the MTV show The Cutting Edge (which was where we cut the original video for ‘The Stand’), I set to work paint-spraying the red poppy and lyrics onto the back drops and I think the performance and edit totally captures the modern spirit of the Alarm today,” he explains. “Still maverick, still making the kind of ‘stand’ that I first sang about in the original song, only this time the ‘making of the stand’ is now very real in the sense of my own come back from cancer and the work of our charity Love Hope Strength which is saving lives at concerts and festivals across the globe.”
An ultra special Limited Art Edition will feature a one off and unique inner sleeve containing an original painting created individually by Mike Peters for each of the first 100 copies.
“The idea for Blood Red Viral Black first took hold of my imagination during 2013 when I found myself writing masses of lyrics not directly linked to music in any way whatsoever” says Mike Peters. “This was unusual for me, and a turnaround from the way I have always worked before (apart from the odd exception). Whenever I found some time to spend in my writing studio, I would surround myself with (what had soon become), a mass of words and then try and put music to what I had written. At the same time, and to try and decipher some of the feeling behind what I had written down, I also began creating statement art, by either writing, painting or paint spraying some of the words that had caught my imagination onto paper materials. This random act became the conduit that would lead to the music and the unification of expression with melody. It enabled me to hear the kind of music I wanted to write, and by seeing emotion in the type of art created, I was then able to marry all the three components into one form. WORDS + ART + MUSIC = SONG. This process was integral to everything you will hear through the Blood Red Viral Black experience that will unfold between now and 2018.”
Mike Peters has been creating on and off stage art for all of his live projects since the birth of The Alarm, most notably for 1983’s video of The Stand, which featured a spray paint poppy and lyric representation that allowed the band’s MTV Cutting Edge performance to project beyond the TV screen. In fact, many pieces of one-off art have been drawn onto record sleeves, clothing, t-shirts and photos at stage doors throughout Mike Peters’ entire musical journey. “Because this process was so important to what you will eventually hear, I decided to carry the ritual into the heart of the actual recorded medium in as personal and direct way as possible. I wish I could have created a piece for every single LP and CD that will find it’s way into the world, but I have had to keep my enthusiasm in check and work to a limited edition of one hundred. I hope you enjoy what you receive and can feel the synergy I felt when writing and recording this project I have christened Blood Red Viral Black.“
The Blood Red / Viral Black campaign only at thealarm.com