Songwriter, lyrics, all *guitars, bass, ***keyboards, programming, drum arrangements, **vocals/ backing vocals.
* Additional guitar/ solos on 'Is This the End?'
** Backing chant on 'More' - with Lips - the 'Anvil Chorus'.
**Vocals on 'A Cautionary Tale'.
* Additional guitar/ solos on 'More', 'People of the World, 'I Forget', 'The Sins of Our Forefathers' and 'Where do we go from Here?'
** Lead Vocal on 'The Sins of Our Forefathers'.
** Lead Vocal on 'People of the World'.
* Banjo on A Cautionary Tale, Additional Guitar/ solo on 'Get the Fuck off my Space Station', additional guitar/ vocals on 'Where Do We Go from Here?', drum enhancements.
** Lead Vocal on 'I Forget', 'Elevate', 'Numbers' & 'Where Do We Go From Here?'.
** Lead vocal on 'Is This the End?'.
*** keyboard solo on 'Elevate'
** Vocals on 'More' & 'Is This the End?'
** Lead Vocal on 'More' & 'Is This the End?'.
* Additional guitar solos on 'Numbers', backing chant on 'More'
** Vocals on 'A Cautionary Tale' & ' Where do we go from Here?'
Newsreader on 'Get the Fuck off my Space Station'.
*** fiddle on 'A Cautionary Tale, 'Where do We Go From Here?'.
Steve..Saville/ Warren Adams
* Guitar Solos on 'Elevate'
** - additional backing vocals on 'I Forget'.
** Rachel Daniel - backing vocals.
Craig J Todd
* Additional guitar solos on 'Numbers'.
Thanks to Harry 'the Bastard' for synth, patch and midi advice.
CD Booklet artwork
** Backing vocals on 'More', People of the World', 'Where Do We Go from Here?'
Recorded at Glass Planet Studios
What is Elevate?
Elevate is a dystopian Space Opera. A concept album. A vast, sprawling, engaging musical story spanning hundreds of years.
A story about greed, poverty, climate change, conceit, apathy, betrayal, murder, the end of society as we know it and its eventual salvation.
In a nutshell:
By 2050 the Earth’s population has risen to 9.6 billion. The land is over-populated. The air and water are polluted, food and clean water are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Climate change has heated the planet up faster than ever imagined, rendering many areas uninhabitable. A massive campaign has (secretly) been underway for years to explore the real possibilities of terra-forming other planets and moons to make them habitable for humans.
Oil Corporations run the planet, exploiting what little resources the Earth has left for profit. As time progresses wide scale looting breaks out across the Globe culminating in Civil Wars, then genocide as society as we know it collapses.
Commercial flights had been drastically reduced then completely withdrawn in 2040. This is ‘sold’ to the general populous as a bid to reduce the effects of Climate Change, but in reality the rich fat cats at the top, knowing that the Oil is going to run out completely in the very near future, horde what’s left for themselves.
With the invention of the matter transporter - capable of transporting humans and matter between portals - a base is set up on the moon to explore the terra-forming technology in a series of vast underground caves. The experiments are successful but 'hushed up' from the general populous.
The rich begin building a series of space stations to live 'off-world'. The 1st of these 'Adonis' becomes operational in 2082. Funded by billionaire playboy Leonard Silo. More follow in a short space of time.
As resources become even scarcer the decision is taken by the wealthy to build an armada of space-ships to head off into space to find new worlds to inhabit. Places on the armada are strictly limited and very expensive. As the fleet is completed, the rich - taking the terra-forming and matter transport technology with them – head off into Space, effectively leaving those left behind to rot.
What is left of society collapses and much of the Earth becomes a wasteland … eventually a hero arises out of the ashes and, with will and determination ‘saves’ our World.
All of this is not a new concept by any means, but it is told in a different way.
The story is inspired by such films as – Soylent Green, Silent Running, Logan’s Run, Rollerball, Blade Runner, Star Trek III (the search for Spock), Mad Max, Freejack, Gattica, Equilibrium, The Road, The Island, Wall-E, Children of Men, In Time, Hunger Games, The Age of Stupid, Cowspiracy, Divergent series, After Earth, Elysium, Interstellar, Inferno, Tomorrowland and Badland.
The music is inspired, basically, by anything that has moved me since I was a child – The album, although rooted in Rock/ Prog includes such diverse influences as: New Model Army, Levellers, Teardrop Explodes. Blondie, Gary Numan, NIN, Dead Can Dance, Spear of Destiny, Yes, Genesis, Hawkwind, Kansas, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Marillion, Saracen, Arena, Pink Floyd, the Who, Sweet, Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Adiemus, Slayer, Metallica, Rammstein, Judas Priest, UFO, Rainbow, SAHB, Status Quo, Fortune, NWoBHM, Alterbridge and Orbital.
Some influences are obvious, some more veiled, but all in there somewhere … even Elvis!
The Characters and the Plot
Tells the story (for beer) in the form of a 'cautionary fable’ at the local tavern to a wide eyed, attentive, audience …
Our story begins in 2050 - an age of World over-population, high unemployment, food shortages and extreme weather fronts where the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider. The Corporations now run much of society.
Mankind has made great advancements in science, technology and medicine but only exists to serve itself. The people have everything they need, but not everything they want. .. and they want more!
As more and more land is used up to build more housing to accommodate the population boom, food and water become scarcer and scarcer. Mankind knows this is happening but, adopting its usual ‘head in the sand’ approach, pushes on creating more, buying more, consuming more - assuming and hoping that some miracle will come along and make it all OK in the end!
The corporations, knowing the stupidity of ‘the average’ to want more, consume more and breed more with little regard for consequence, capitalise on this boom and sacrifice what is left of the resources on the planet to become even richer. One day they will learn the hard way that money cannot be eaten.
As the ‘sins of our forefathers’ catches up, a grim realisation begins to dawn on the people of the World. The oceans have been over-fished and poisoned, the climate has been irreversibly damaged, the air has become over-polluted and fuel, food and clean water are becoming scarce. The poor are suffering. The rich, of course, still have the means to buy whatever they need to ensure their clans survival … for now!
Billionaire playboy and builder of the first privately owned space station, Adonis. Inventor of the molecular transportation system – capable of beaming matter between gates. The technology has been tested on the moon with encouraging results.
Only son of billionaire couple Marton and Janice Silo, he was ignored as a child and left to his own devices. His father, a procurer of floundering companies was always away on business, his mother was an alcoholic and drug addict always searching for the high, the next party or social event to cure her all-encompassing boredom.
The nanny always sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ to him as a child to get him to sleep and as a teenager Leonard became obsessed with space travel. He decided he wanted to build his own space station. This became an obsession and he worked his way through University becoming outstanding in his field. He invented the Molecular Transportation System (MTS) in 2044, selling a ‘watered down’ version of the technology (capable of moving only inanimate objects) to the highest bidders and becoming extremely rich in the process. In 2052 his dream was finally realised as his new space station ‘Adonis’ became operational.
He relocated to space and conducted his business from there using his molecular transport system to travel between Adonis and Earth. He met his wife ‘Frances’ at one of the few functions he attended on Earth. They were the first couple to be married on the moon. They had one child ‘Rafe’.
As time passed Leonard became more reclusive and became fiercely protective of his space station – never letting any craft land on it or permitting any visitors.
When a NASA shuttle found itself in trouble with engine failure requested permission to dock, Leonard flatly refused stating that this was private property and that any incursion onto his territory would be met with a swift law suit for trespass. A massive and costly mission to recover the craft was launched from Earth. News spread quickly and public opinion quickly turned against Leonard giving birth to the phrase ‘Oi, Get the fuck off my Space Station’!
He died in 2086, alone aboard his beloved Adonis - long abandoned by his wife and child who had returned to Earth many years before.
The People II
As resources begin to run out the people grow increasingly restless – their families starving and thirsty. They watch the rich behind their tall fences in their elite communities carrying on seemingly as normal, unaffected by the hardship and degradation that they themselves are going through.
Grandson of Leonard. He joins the navy at a young age working his way up to Admiral of the Fleet within the space of a few short years
Ruthless, tenacious and with the help of his family’s vast wealth, he privately funds terra-forming research on the moon. He keeps the experiments and results a secret from the general populous. When successful terra-forming techniques are discovered he heads a team of super-rich investors to construct a fleet of ships, in Space, to leave the dying Earth (taking the terra-forming technology and the molecular transportation technology with him) to find new worlds to inhabit. He sends a message out to the ‘people of the Earth’ informing them of the plan to leave the Earth and that ‘strictly limited’ places on the fleet will go on sale to the highest bidders.
After collecting everyone’s money he then vets all applicants, intent on taking only what he considers to be the best candidates with him. The fleet of Space ships is constructed and passengers board these by entering the transport gates on Earth. They are then beamed up to their allocated vessels.
Unbeknown to them, Landor has oversold the tickets in order to get more funds for the project. After he has chosen who he wants to be part of the ‘armada’, he beams the surplus passengers into an underground network of caves in Mexico (a former military base) where they are sealed in and left to die.
He leaves Earth and heads off into space as Admiral of the Fleet.
The People III
With the rich having abandoned Earth to seek new Worlds society begins to disintegrate. What starts as mass protests soon escalates into full scale worldwide rioting. Then genocide as they watch their children and families die from starvation and pollution.
With no power society reverts into groups/ mobs plundering and taking what they can to survive. Only the strongest survive. The World becomes a wasteland.
As years go by some semblance of society returns to sustainable areas. Mostly tribal, but with the intelligence to school and educate its young, mankind once again learns to survive in this hostile World.
Storm Nader (the Hero)
Storm grew up in the ruins of London some 130 years after the great ‘collapse of society’.
An intelligent and inquisitive child and a keen reader, especially of science books.
As a child of 10 years old he was playing in the long abandoned tunnels of the old London Underground rail network.
Crawling through a gap in the rubble of an abandoned tunnel he sees a flickering light through a doorway. Never having seen such a strange light he proceeds further. What he finds is an entrance to one of the MTS Gates left on Earth.
Excited he investigates. The device needs a passkey to operate. Seeing a small hole in the metal railings he crawls through to the back office room and searches the cabinets and drawers. He finds a key in a broken locked drawer and inserts it into the slot. The machine hums into life. A large screen above the machine lights up showing red dots on various places on the Earth as well as some in space and one on the moon.
The console appears to be asking for a set of numbers to be inputted. The boy gingerly types in various numbers only to be met with the same response ‘Access Denied’ accompanied by a harsh electrical beep.
In desperation and resignation the boy types in his own date of birth – just on a whim – 17 12 2243 – a red dot on the screen turns green and the wall becomes a shimmering image – an image of being high above the World – of looking down on the Earth from above.
Scared and excited Storm runs as fast as he can, back through the hole in the rubble to the upper tunnels, intent on telling friends and family what he has just witnessed. As he nears the exit of the underground, in his haste he trips and falls, smashing his head on a brick and blacks out.
When he comes to he is in bed with concerned parents looking down at him. ‘What on earth were you doing down there’ they cry? ‘I … I can’t remember’ says Storm. The blow has erased the memory of the days events but a flicker of this will haunt him for the rest of his life – something at the back of his mind, lurking, compelling but not revealed until years later.
Storm eventually becomes a teacher at his local school – teaching the elements of science he has gleaned from the mish-mash of books he has been able to read.
As time goes by and with the thin air, unclean water, scarcity of food and constant extreme weather fluxes – he is forced to confront the past. He has started to receive vague flashbacks of the past, of the day in the underground, but the memory is still blurred and unclear. These flashbacks seem to be becoming stronger and more persistent and he decides to return to the tunnels to find out once and for all what was down there that was so important. Something, he understands, that may be the key to solving the Earth’s problems.
Setting out one winter’s day he returns to the tunnels. Time has eroded the landscape and Storm has trouble even finding the entrance that he crawled through all those years ago. After a search he finds it and with aid of a sledge hammer he makes the hole big enough for his adult self to squeeze through.
Descending through the maze of tunnels he eventually glimpses the familiar, erratic, flashing light and enters MTS chamber. The machine is silent.
As Storm punches number sequence after number sequence unsuccessfully into the machine a melody floats into the back of his mind and he finds himself singing the old song ‘happy birthday’ to himself. As the realisation dawns and the memory shoots back into his mind he hurriedly taps in his date of birth into the console. Once again the same red light turns green and the wall once again becomes a shimmering image of somewhere high above the Earth.
Summoning all of his will power he steps into the beam and is transported to the Adonis space station. He stands there gazing out of the window at the Moon and the billions of crystal clear stars. Gazing around he can see a ‘crown’ of what appear to be similar structures (of space stations) circling the Earth.
He explores the station, in awe of its existence. He finds a wealth of information in the library relating to the molecular transportation system which details other gates on the Earth, other space stations and a base on the moon. There is no information regarding passcodes for any of the other gates.
Selecting what he deems to be the most informative books he returns to the MTS chamber where, after punching in different, random sets of numbers to no avail, he returns to Earth through the gate he came through.
After scouring the books for clues he reads that the main library and source of information on the MTS gates is situated in a huge cave system in Sombrero Mountain, Tampico, Mexico. The books also refer to terra-forming (something he has never heard of) and states that the same library contains information on that too.
He heads for the docks in London and procures passage aboard a ship heading for Central America. After many months he arrives at Sombrero Mountain and with a team of workers begins scouting for the long-abandoned entrance. Upon eventually finding the entrance and with brute force he breaks into the mountain and heads down the labyrinth of tunnels. The place is vast. Outside of a large set of secured metal doors he finds the skeleton of a man dressed in military attire. Searching the rags he finds a ‘passkey’ card and swipes it in the lock. The metal doors swing open accompanied with the stench of decay. Lights flicker on revealing a downward flight of stairs. He walks down the stairs and into a vast cave. All around are the skeletons of the unfortunate ‘passengers’ that did not make Landor Silo’s guest list. There are thousands of corpses dotted around the huge cave. He dubs this ‘The Cave of bones’ and moves on in search of the library. Working his way through the huge underground complex he eventually comes across the information he has been seeking regarding the MTS gates and the ‘terra-forming’ experiments he seeks to understand.
As months pass he learns of a crown of space stations surrounding the Earth all with their own MTS gates and of the base on the moon where the successful terra-forming trials were performed. More importantly he finds the coordinates of each gate. Upon breaking in to a back-office at the top of the complex he finds a set of master passkeys. Armed with these and the information he has learned he activates the Sombrero Mountain MTS gate and beams up to the Adonis station.
He has learned that the solar powered space stations act as a power supply or battery to power up the terraforming hardware on the moon. He punches in the coordinates to the base on the moon. Once there he finds another huge underground cave network where the terra-forming experiments were perfected. The caves have atmosphere, lush, overgrown vegetation and clear running water.
Storm, elated - seeing the results decides to try the terraforming beam on the Earth, convinced that he can produce good results, The Earth would be too large to terra-form in one go, but small areas could be terra-formed and the process repeated as many times as necessary in different areas until vast areas have been successfully transformed (something the original terraforming pioneers had overlooked).
He then picks his first area to test. Something harsh, barren and virtually uninhabitable. One by one he powers up all the stations and punches in the coordinates for the test. Heart in mouth, he powers up the ray and flicks the switch …. A beam of light begins to build in the chamber as the whole base begins to shake. Similar rays of light begin to emerge from all of the other space stations. Once at full power the cannon fires and waves of light begin crashing down to Earth at the selected coordinates. The waves continue flooding down, over and over until the space station batteries are exhausted and one by one the lights go out on each station, awaiting recharging by the sun.
Storm returns to Earth to see the effects of the experiment and heads for the selected area. Upon reaching the area he sees a thick mist surrounding the impact zone. As days go by the mist rises and forms into clouds. Soon distant thunder begins to rumble as lightning flits effortlessly from cloud to cloud. As the rolling thunder booms overhead rain begins to flood down – clean pure and cool.
Within days new vegetation is growing in the green and fertile land. The experiment was a success.
Storm, now hailed as a hero by the people, returns to the moon base to begin terraforming other areas of the Earth until, as the years pass, vast areas are made habitable and fertile.
Great grandson of Landor, he has retained Admiral of the Fleet status purely through family connections. He is now 63 years old and driven slightly mad from all of his years in space. He is hot tempered and not to be crossed and would think nothing of pushing any adversaries out of the ships air lock.
The mission to find a new home to terra-form has been a failure – half of the fleets’ inhabitants being driven mad by ‘space dementia’. Many years ago the armada made the decision to turn round and head back to Earth and that voyage is now nearing its end.
As the Earth comes into view it is obvious that the planet looks rejuvenated and the skies clearer.
Moltiss demands permission to land as the fleet are running low on food …
The People IV
Moltiss’s request to land is denied by the people of the Earth, who knowing of past events of abandonment by the rich, wish to have nothing to do with them. Moltiss retaliates by threatening the people with military force saying that he will beam the army down to take what they need by force. He has no idea that Storm now has knowledge and control of the transport gates.
The people broadcast one last plea to Moltiss and his army saying ‘lay down your arms you cannot win this fight’, knowing that Storm has changed the coordinates of the gates so that Moltiss and his army will be beamed down inside Sombrero Mountain where Landor murdered his ‘excess baggage’ many years ago. The peoples plea is ignored and the army beams down unknowingly into the ‘caves of bones’, trapped.
Storm offers Moltiss and his army a deal – ‘Leave this World in peace, or rot inside your prison’. Moltiss, proud and defiant refuses to give in, stating that he ‘would rather die than give in to their rules’. His army generals realising that they will all die there of starvation summon a meeting with Moltiss and (like Julius Caesar before him) stab Moltiss to death. The army then surrenders to the people and agree to leave this World in peace, never to return.
They are allowed to leave the caves and beam back to their ships to spend the rest of their days, circling the Earth in orbit, growing increasingly insane from ‘space dementia’.
The Unsavoury bit …
Elevate is Inspired by current events and the society of today - the seemingly total disregard for our environment and the planet we live on.
As people become increasingly obsessed with the virtual world, they become less engaged in the real world. Virtual friends, virtual pets, virtual shops, virtual places to explore. One day mankind will learn the hard way that you cannot breathe virtual air or eat virtual food or drink virtual water.
I choose to introduce a hero to ‘save or World’ as I like to think that we have the capacity to work together to pull our World back from the brink of disaster – pollution, starvation, overcrowding, poisoned water, climate change and exhaustion of resources.
Will I be disappointed? Probably, yes but I choose salvation because it’s more constructive than screaming “Oi, You lot!!! – You’re all Fucked!!!” from the rooftops …
We are all aware (in the back of our minds) what is going to happen, but most choose to ignore this, living only for today with little regard for the future.
Climate change is very real, yet a vast section of society stills views it as propaganda – even those at the ‘top’. If there were posters everywhere stating ‘Climate Change WILL kill your children’ then maybe more would take notice, but not many …
The main cause of Climate Change - Animal agriculture - is being ignored and played down - even the groups that appear they are here to 'save the World' don't mention it at the risk of becoming unpopular and losing subscriptions!
With events occurring in todays society, it is far more understandable that people are shocked and outraged by some deluded idiot blowing up a load of children in the name of his God, than bother about the fact that it was 2 degrees hotter this year. Climate change is perceived as something that we need to sort out in the future as we are only currently experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms of it in most areas. But it is VERY REAL and, make no mistake, it WILL kill you and your children if left unchecked!
Doing a little research into this, some experts seem to agree that around 2050 society as we know it will collapse.
From the Guardian: 7 July 2002
Earth 'will expire by 2050'
Our planet is running out of room and resources. Modern man has plundered so much, a damning report claims this week, that outer space will have to be colonised.
Earth's population will be forced to colonise two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week.
A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.
In a damning condemnation of Western society's high consumption levels, it adds that the extra planets (the equivalent size of Earth) will be required by the year 2050 as existing resources are exhausted.
That’s 15 years old now. What have we done in the last 15 years to combat all of this? Pretty much FUCK ALL!
From the BBC Earth site:
As it stands now, the world's population is over 7.3 billion. According to United Nations predictions it could reach 9.7 billion people by 2050.
So, in an age of dwindling resources – where will all of the resources to feed, clothe, house and employ all these people going to come from?
You do the maths …
The wind farm campaigns were supposed to eventually be generating 10% of our power, but the people don’t like the look of them as it ‘spoils their view’. Talk about small minded! I would say that the two roughly dug shallow graves of your children in your front garden is really going to ruin your view!
Since very young my ethos has always been to protect ‘Mother Earth’ as without her we can’t live. It hurts me to see they damage we inflict on her each and every day. The more research I do on this, the more it has become obvious to me that the Earth will live on long after we have eradicated ourselves through ignorance, greed and stupidity. We are just a blink of the eye to her. A bunch of insects scrabbling around in the dirt, no focus or vision, only concerned with the here and now and our own circle of family and friends. Intelligent enough to be able to do something about it but just too selfish and blinkered to be able to see 30 years into the future.
Yes I know that people will be sitting there going ‘Oh for gods sake, stop moaning you miserable git! It’ll all be fine” … But if I, knowing about all of this, did absolutely NOTHING, how could I live with myself? How could I look myself in the eye? Should I just say “You know what? Fuck It – Just give me another beer!”
People just don’t want to face that fact that we are actually on the verge of extinction. Why would they? It would mean that they would have to get up off their lazy arses and actually DO SOMETHING … which seems like hard work compared to staring at a screen all day, paying little regard to the real World outside them and what is happening...
We would rather stick our fingers in our ears and go ‘la la la la’ rather than face the truth. It’s unpleasant, unsavoury and ‘a proper downer’ and who wants to be downed?
An ‘Inconvenient Truth’, 'The Age of Stupid' ... a 'Cowspiracy' ...
If mankind’s time on this planet is seen as a 24 hour clock then it is now 23:59 … and counting!