Independent DIY band all the way

Sliotar Voyage Celtic Music

It was just past midnight on Wednesday. Once again I uploaded the final files to Dropbox after exporting them about five times in the past two hours. Every time I thought I finished, I found a typo or decided to change a sentence as it just did not quite sound right, or a photo was only a pixel away from the “perfect position”. The new Sliotar album’s cover had me possessed for the past few weeks. When the album is out, you guys know what I mean, but let’s say there are 32 pages of stories and pictures. It’s as much of a short book as it is an album of some of the greatest music we have ever recorded.

Some of you guys might be interested in the technical aspects of design, so I thought I’ll share some of the processes here. If you have no interest in design, skip past this part.

Design stuff

The cover photo was an accidental shot I took of an old boat in Malahide, just outside Dublin on a sunny spring day. Photography is a big hobby of mine, and I always look for images to capture. And it was this photo mixed with the album name Des came up with, we had a concept idea. I can reveal that the album is called Voyage. It was this name that got me thinking about writing some of the Sliotar stories from over the years and include them in the CD covers. We collected few cool photos from our friends from last summers tour. We organiced a photo shoot for some more bio style band shots as well.

I started by making a mockup of the cover (the outside part) using Canva. If you ever need any quick design stuff done, you got to check out Canva! Then once we had a concept everybody was happy with, I started to do the same layout in Photoshop. The problem with photoshop is that it is suitable for individual images, but if you are doing a design for a 32-page booklet, its time to use a page laying program, These are not cheap… And I’m sure you guys understand that we are an independent band, and budgets are tight… But thankfully adobe offers a fully working seven day trial for InDesign. Soo… I had seven days time to finish the booklet… No pressure! I’m down to four days when I write this, and there still has been some last minute tweaks. Let’s hope we get the go-ahead from the printers before my trial runs out, or the price of this production is going to go up a quite bit.

Learning curve

Now it has been a learning curve as always. You see, if you do designs like these every day, you get to the routine. But I only get to do printed material as often as we have a new album coming out. So even when I have a working knowledge of most of the stuff, it always takes few days to get on top of it. I made some mistakes along the way. Once again Tom, thanks for your patience!

Now I hope that all of the work with the covers is finished, and I can move on to the next thing on my never-ending to-do list. Speaking of which, videos.

The only thing holding us back putting out new music

I asked you guys a few times already if you would know any videographers, who would like to collaborate with us, but we have no luck yet. The only thing that is holding us back starting to drip feed you guys new music is the video content. As mentioned above, we are an independent band. All of the money we can muster have gone to the production of the new album, and until that is paid, unfortunately, we cannot afford to pay for big production videos.

Now, this never held us back before. We are big embracers of the DIY mentality in the music business. So I am asking, would you want to contribute something to the videos? I am not talking about money here, although that can be an option in the future as well, but time. Do you have any interesting video footage we could use? Ideas, animation skills, video production skills, cool DIY videos (keep it clean kids!) of anything interesting, funny or whatever you can think, we’d love to talk to you. You can email me at sliotarmusic(at) Here’s a quick reminder from 10 years ago that this is the way we have always done it 😉

OK, that’s it for now. Two weeks from today we will be starting our journey, or should I say Voyage 😉

Keep it Celtic guys!

J.P. from Sliotar