Toby Jepson premieres lyric video for lead single ‘I Won’t Be With You‘ ahead of the re-issue of his debut album ‘Toby and the Whole Truth – Ignorance Is Bliss’ (25th Anniversary).

The song is a reflection of Toby’s mindset during a turbulent period after the split of his former band Little Angels following 1993’s number one album ‘Jam’ and a final sold out show at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in 1994. “I’m not going to lie”, Jepson says, “it was a tough time immediately after LA split up. I channelled my anger, confusion and sadness into writing and recording what I now realise is my darkest work to date. ‘I Won’t Be With You’ is perhaps the clearest example of this. I winced a little when I heard it again for the first time in a few years, it put me right back in that period, but it made me realise how far I’d come and as piece of history it’s about as raw and honest as I’ve ever been.

Back in 1995 Toby engineered the entire ‘Ignorance Is Bliss‘ album himself despite never doing so before – yet, out need came invention. Friend and colleague, Bryan Adams, gave Toby the use of his Canadian home studio – the ‘warehouse’ situated in his private residence in West Vancouver B – for free, to mix the album which was completed in two weeks by British super producer and mix engineer Stephen Harris assisted by Mike Plotnikoff.

Fast forward to May 2020 and in the midst of the world’s biggest modern day pandemic, this little known gem is set to emerge again, on Toby’s own record label ‘Jepsongs Recordings‘, with a fresh coat of paint, including two previously unreleased bonus tracks as well as a full restoration remaster by Simon Francis.  Released in a ‘song book’ format containing 36 pages of production notes, hand drawn illustrations (by Toby’ s youngest daughter Evelyn), lyrics, song explanations and a forward introduction by writer, journalist, long-time friend and confident David Gailbraith (Kerrang! Magazine) this release is set to re-establish this long-lost opus as a curious bookend to the career of one of rock’s most enduring, yet largely underground artists.

Since announcing the release of the special edition of ‘Ignorance Is Bliss‘, Toby has launched a new podcast. Taking its title from the debut solo record, the ‘Toby and The Whole Truth‘ podcast series seeks to uncover the reality of what it means to live and work as a successful person in the real entertainment business. Launched as lockdown took place in March, Toby has released introspective interviews with Ricky Warwick (Black Star Riders/Thin Lizzy/The Almighty) and Saxon frontman, Biff Byford. Each episode reflects on successes, failures, mental health battles, dreams verses reality, relationship struggles, excess, boredom and the mediocrity of a world hidden from view are all tackled in this compelling series. Toby’s next guest will be his fellow Planet Rock DJ, Wyatt Wendels.

The shift in mood of experiences 25 years ago compared to now isn’t lost on Toby, “If the lockdown has proved one thing to me – with regard to how to move forward in what is now an unknown, unprecedented situation in the music business – it’s about engaging directly with those that really care; the fans, the loyal long term appreciators, the modest music lover who has always been there for me. I see the ‘Toby and the Whole Truth’ Podcast and Patreon as a way of bringing together a community of like-minded folk to enjoy a simple love of music and the arts. For so long far too much time has been spent ‘selling’ and not enough ‘giving back’ so that’s where my focus is: throw my creative arms around my friends and audience and give them something of real value”, enthuses Toby.

Listen to the podcast: https://tobyjepsonofficial.com/tobyandthewholetruthpodcast/ 

Be notified about Patreon launch: https://tobyjepsonofficial.com/patreon/ 

The podcast series and re-issue of ‘Ignorance Is Bliss‘ follows a hugely successful period for Toby’s current rock band, Wayward Sons, following the release of their second album ‘The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be’, and a month long UK/European Tour earlier this year as special guests to Steel Panther just before the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the planet.

Since entering the Lockdown, Toby has adjusted to life indoors and been entertaining audiences worldwide with a series of weekly livestream acoustic gigs covering all aspects of his musical career, including ‘Ignorance Is Bliss‘, as well as weekly acoustic video cover of tracks by his heroes, including Dio (Jepson a former member of Dio’s Disciples), Queen, The Who, ELO, and many more.

Toby and the Whole TruthIgnorance Is Bliss’ (25th Anniversary Re-Mastered) is released 17th July 2020 and available to pre-order now: https://tobyjepson.bigcartel.com/

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Lightning In A Bottle is a new consultation agency co-founded by Toby Jepson (Wayward Sons/Little Angels) and Rob Town (Stampede Press/Panic Cell).  With its core values aimed squarely at the music and what it is to be a music maker in the modern age, this new business partnership has been set up by musicians with over 30 years experience in the industry as a support platform for musicians, to help inform, encourage, support and empower them, and to bring a real, honest approach to the problems and challenges that so many bands and music artists face everyday.

Why?

It can be a bewildering and frustrating process trying to get music noticed but all too often that process is hampered by simple and easy to avoid mistakes, poor communication, not having a coherent plan, not understanding the logistics of the music industry and often spending far too little time creating the art.

It is a fact that the biggest obstacle to success often resides in the music. Without great songs, without clear direction and without purpose, all of the surrounding needs and desires such as getting an agent and manager, are simply empty promises.

How?

Lightning In A Bottle provides consultation packages, that are A&R orientated but also direct one on one ‘roadmap’ planning, and workshops, mentoring, song writing opportunities and production plans that can take a band from the rehearsal room to the mastering suite and social media and marketing planning for bands of all levels of ability and experience.

“We believe that everything starts and ends with the music, and as such believes and trusts in the musician enough to ask: ‘Who are you?’ ‘What are you trying to say?’ ‘Why do you want to do this?” explains co founder Toby Jepson. “These are fundamental questions that, once answered, can become the cornerstone to a new positive creative future. This is a people business, a human experience and every ounce of that experience should go into the creation of the art.” “Without the art being truly unique, individual, wonderful, we are nothing but emulators of others ideas. If you can stand out, make your passion potent enough to captivate and enthrall, then you have a chance.”

Co-founder Rob Town picks up the story, “Lightning In A Bottle is about championing positivity for musicians. We’re living in an age where there’s an abundance of music released at rapid rates and lots of bands and music makers have aspirations that are in reality staggered few opportunities difficult to come by and harder still, maintain on so many levels. We believe if the internet and digital technology allows our community to record, produce, market and distribute at a self managed capacity, then the flip side is that online media reflects a warped mirage that can cause stress, anxiety and burnout a lot quicker. Lightning In A Bottle has been set up to help support musicians on their journey on a human to human level by people that have walked thousands of miles in their shoes and continue to do so. This is help for bands but everything comes back to the music. It has to.”

The Art Is The Heart

“This isn’t management, this is about aiding musicians find a path to stand out from and discover a uniqueness with their music whilst avoiding common pitfalls”, says Town. “We may not have all the answers but Lightning In A Bottle is passionate about seeking them and helping musicians discover a road map that can help them find a more fulfilling, empowering and positive future”, concludes Jepson.

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illustr8ors band

 New rock band Illustr8ors has just released their debut music video ‘Your Animal‘, ahead of an extensive UK tour this September with Toseland.

Featuring four white hot songs, the band’s forthcoming self titled EP (out 14th October) is sharp, drenched in groove, ladened with hooks and melody, whilst intelligent and a straight to the point collection of music. No messing about, no gimmicks…this is what rock music sounds like right NOW.
In their previous guise, as BlackWolf, illustr8ors scored tours and supports with the likes of The Temperance Movement, Winger, Blues Pills, Von Hertzen Brothers and The Answer to name a few; a nomination for Classic Rock Magazine’s ‘Best New Band’ roll of honour award, numerous playlist slots on major rock radio stations and a debut headline tour endorsed by Planet Rock Radio. However, it was time for a change. A time for a more decisive stride towards a definitive and individual sonic identity. A rebirth. That’s when illustr8ors were born.
From the initial coffee shop conversations between new producer Toby Jepson (The Virginmarys) and frontman/singer Scott Sharp, right the way through to the numerous days of recording in the studio, the aim was simple. The band was in search of a new voice, one they could call their own and one that had something relevant and relative to say.
It didn’t take long before band and producer were shedding away the fat and cutting at the bare bones of what this band were: A slick, riff loving, funked-up (slightly off-centered) melting pot of sas-mouthed rock’n’roll. Growth came quickly and the new songs came out swinging. From the immediate soaring hooks of ‘Your Animal’ to the foot-shuffling, popadelic declaration of identity that is ‘Shush Shush’, the excitement between band and producer was tangible. The end result is a selection of songs that tell the story of a unique band striding confidently forward into a contemporary music world, whilst not forgetting what it was about rock’n’roll that set their hearts alight in the first place. No throw back gimmicks. No bull***t. Just rock music as this band hears it today.

Illustr8ors 2016 UK Tour with Toseland
September:
28th Stoke On Trent – The Sugarmill
29th Wolverhampton – The Slade Rooms
30th Sheffield – The Corporation

October:
1st Edinburgh – Electric Circus
2nd Aberdeen – Tunnels
4th Hull – FRüIT
5th Chester – The Live Rooms
7th Northampton – Roadmender
8th Nottingham – Rock City
9th Bristol – The Fleece
11th Southampton – Engine Rooms
12th London – Dingwalls
13th Norwich – The Waterfront
14th Tunbridge Wells – Forum

Line up

Scott Sharp – Vocals
Jason Cronin – Rhythm Guitar
John Greenhill – Lead Guitar
Ben Webb – Bass Guitar
Thomas Lennox-Brown – Drums

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illustr8ors

Wave goodbye to BlackWolf (2014 Classic Rock Magazine ‘Best New Band’ Award Nominees + Planet Rock Radio Tour Headliners) and say hello to illustr8ors and their stunning, self titled debut EP (out 14th October 2016).

Featuring four white hot songs, this forthcoming ep is sharp, drenched in groove, ladened with hooks and melody, whilst intelligent and a straight to the point collection of music. No messing about, no gimmicks…this is what rock music sounds like right NOW.

illustr8ors is a different animal to BlackWolf. Whilst the band line up remains the same; this young five piece from Bristol, UK have been on a musical journey of discovery, both as a band and as individuals. Simply put, this is illustr8ors.

In their previous guise illustr8ors scored tours and supports with the likes of The Temperance Movement, Winger, Blues Pills, Von Hertzen Brothers and The Answer to name a few; a nomination for Classic Rock Magazine’s ‘Best New Band’ roll of honour award, numerous playlist slots on major rock radio stations and a debut headline tour endorsed by Planet Rock Radio. However, it was time for a change. A time for a more decisive stride towards a definitive and individual sonic identity. A rebirth. That’s when illustr8ors were born.

 From the initial coffee shop conversations between new producer Toby Jepson (The Virginmarys) and frontman/singer Scott Sharp, right the way through to the numerous days of recording in the studio, the aim was simple. The band was in search of a new voice, one they could call their own and one that had something relevant and relative to say.

It didn’t take long before band and producer were shedding away the fat and cutting at the bare bones of what this band were: A slick, riff loving, funked-up (slightly off-centered) melting pot of sas-mouthed rock’n’roll. Growth came quickly and the new songs came out swinging. From the immediate soaring hooks of ‘Your Animal‘ to the foot-shuffling, popadelic declaration of identity that is ‘Shush Shush‘, the excitement between band and producer was tangible. The end result is a selection of songs that tell the story of a unique band striding confidently forward into a contemporary music world, whilst not forgetting what it was about rock’n’roll that set their hearts alight in the first place. No throw back gimmicks. No bullshit. Just rock music as this band hears it today.

 illustr8ors self titled debut EP is released 14th October 2016.

Lineup

Scott Sharp – Vocals

Jason Cronin – Rhythm Guitar

John Greenhill – Lead Guitar

Ben Webb – Bass Guitar

Thomas Lennox-Brown – Drums

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Blackwolf - pledge

Rising stars of the British rock scene, Blackwolf have announced they’ve teamed up with PledgeMusic for their second album, the follow up to 2014’s debut ‘The Hunt’.
Since its release, the Bristol five piece have toured with The Answer, Winger, Blues Pills, Von Hertzen Brothers and more. And if that wasn’t enough, in association with Planet Rock Radio BlackWolf headlined their first UK tour and were nominated for ‘Best New Band’ at the Classic Rock Magazine Awards.
So where do you go from there?  Frontman Scott Sharp explains “As proud as we are of our debut album, we knew we couldn’t stay on the road forever; we needed to get back into the studio. Producing the second album sooner rather than later was always on the cards.”
Enter Toby Jebson. The former Little Angels frontman is no stranger to juggling life on the road and recording/producing critically acclaimed albums (his production credits include The VirginMarys, ToselandThe Answer, Saxon). “I think this new album will enthrall and impress in equal measure. This is a band stepping up and finding themselves. I’m very proud to be involved” says Toby.
“Toby’s really helped shape our perceptions and gain the clarity we needed. What we once thought we should sound like has evolved into what we COULD sound like, which is far more exciting for us and our fans. It’s been a revelation working with the man” summarises Sharp. “Creativity is what music is all about and working with Toby and PledgeMusic is exactly where we need to be right now. It gives us the flexibility to explore beyond normal conventions and bring a legitimate album to market.”

PledgeMusic M.D. PAUL BARTON knows all too well the challenges the music industry faces and they play a major part in championing new artists, giving them the opportunity to present their passion via their ingenuis platforms “‘I’m extremely pleased BlackWolf have joined us at PledgeMusic to bring their exciting new album to the fans!  The band teaming up with Toby Jepson is a match made in rock heaven and I can’t wait to hear the results!  I look forward to watching BlackWolf achieve great things with the new album and I’m proud PledgeMusic can be a part of it all.”

BlackWolf and Toby Jepson are currently recording the as yet untitled second album at Vale Studios. The new release will be mixed by Stephen Harris (U2, Santana, Kodaline, Kula Shaker) confirming that something special is waiting in the wings.

More news to come…

For now, head over to BlackWolf’s PledgeMusic page to get the latest updates and discover more:

 

City Of Thieves

This is City Of Thieves​ and their debut single / lyric video ‘Incinerator’.

Formed from the ashes of London’s Four Wheel Drive, City Of Thieves are set to be a major force on the UK rock scene.

Produced by Toby Jepson​ (Toseland, The Answer, The VirginMarys) mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica, Slipknot) and mastered by Simon Francis (Kodaline, Kaiser Chiefs, Primal Scream) ‘Incinerator’ brings together a team of collective talent and is the first taste of something special.

With a debut EP to be announced and live shows in the works, there’s lots of news to come from City Of Thieves

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