Six years ago, at a loss as to what the hell to do with all the songs I'd written whilst pretending to be a cocky little kid called William The Conqueror, myself and Harry, long time drummer and friend, headed to the Isle of Lewis to find some head space and record some demos. We got hit by a hurricane and only managed a couple of days where we had electricity, but thankfully those couple of days gave us the inspiration and insight to what the hell this William character was all about.
We headed home (a cool 23 hour drive), set up in my garage and roped in our other friend and long time bass player Naomi Holmes, to begin tracking what would eventually become William's first album, Proud Disturber of the Peace – a meditation on dreaming big and being too innocent to see the dramas of the world. We mixed the whole thing on headphones, still not really knowing what we'd do with it, but through serendipitous good fortune, a superb indie label called Loose decided to put the album out with all its flaws intact.
While we remain proud of that first headphone mix, as William gathered momentum and found a new home at another label (Chrysalis), we always thought how great it'd be to re-mix that first attempt at an album and get it sounding as rich and full as the follow ups (Bleeding on the Soundtrack and Maverick Thinker respectively).
Fast forward a few years and a pandemic later, I assembled the parts, keeping in all the rough edges and not re-recording anything, and handed them to the masterful Joseph Lorge, who had done such an epic job on Maverick Thinker.
As well as the new mixes, we also thought it'd be cool to get our mates at Headjam in Australia to re-imagine the artwork to match the sterling work they'd done with the other two albums.
It's been a journey, but now we feel we have all three albums looking and sounding as William would have wanted.
So they say.