Advice to Users  Tantrum

Advice to Users

(2005) Tantrum

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Maisie's Friend Tantrum

Maisie’s Friend

(1995 cass, 1999 CD) Tantrum

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Latest Album: Advice to Users, released February 2005

The full title is: Advice to Users of Life: work less, earn less, spend less and do more.

First Album: Maisie’s Friend, released November 1999

Again recorded at home, mainly in Stockbridge Edinburgh in six months in 1995. Recorded on 8 track and 4 track. In its original cassestte/demo form created a bit of a stir getting some very favourable reviews and catching the eyes of all sorts of business types. Which led to us trying to play it live which was a bit of a disaster.

In 1999 we re-released it as a cd.

Who are tantrum?

tantrum were formed in 1995 and recorded the album ‘maisie’s friend’ that summer. The album was released on cassette in november 1995 and on cd in 1999 after re-mastering it. Work begun on the second album in the autumn of 1995 but it took four years to build a working studio. After recording FAKE TAN’s first album ‘Snippets’ in 1999 and 2000 tantrum started work again on the second album in 2001: ‘Advice to users’ released in 2005. From 2005 to 2007 they worked on the second FAKE TAN album ‘Pieces’ which we hope to release in 2007. Work has begun on a third tantrum album.

tantrum are Nikki Grant and Tom Fraser on guitars, bass, vocals, drums, samples and produce the music. Additional sounds and production (on maisie’s friend) have come from Mike Wheeler (Tinkerbell’s Dope Ring, Gasgiant, Sativa Drummers, Alice Schwindel, AngeloD) and Arthur Finlay (Tinkerbell’s Dope Ring, Realm of the Shoppingtrolley, Blab).

Musically its sort of hot rock ambient lofi guitar music, sometimes with vocals, sometimes not, with quite a lot of other recorded sounds from tv, radio, out the window and stuff. The sound is guitars, basses, drums (sampled and programed), vocals, and lots of effects.

We did play lave for 2 horrific years, 96-98, whcih pretty well put paid to nikki ever singing again. Though she does but very rarely to record a particular song. But it can take a year or two per song.

Recording Maisie’s Friend

Recording  Maisie's Friend In flat in  Stockbridge Edinburgh Autumn 1995

Recording Maisie's Friend In flat in Stockbridge Edinburgh Autumn 1995

all the songs apart from tantrum egg and blue velveteen were recorded many times on 4-track before we started on the 8-track (skunk, for instance, was on version 14). Some of them were begun 10 years before.

we borrowed a Fostex A8 8-track reel to reel tape machine and we striped track 8 of each tape with time code (except the filmsongs and blue velveteen), and recorded a mono guide track of the drums for each song, and then began recording.

just about everything went through some of the pedals at some point. the pedal order changed whenever we felt like it. lots of sounds came from anywhere around the flat: tv, radio, cds, sticking microphone’s out the window, and were recorded onto 4-track and mixed down either onto 8-track or or at the final mix.

a few of the tracks were restriped and drummed when we thought the speeds were wrong.

so we recorded everything, usually, eventually, recording over the guide drums as well – depending on how strapped for space we were – and then left the tapes alone for a month.

after that we listened to them and re-recorded most of the songs in some way or another

we hired a dat machine for two days and mixed three versions of each song, spent a week deciding on which version, and about a month on the order. two songs: ‘wrestler’ and ‘salome and the new lads’ were thought too out of character to go on.

from borrowing the 8-track to having a finished tape of 8 songs took 5 months and were recorded in our flat (sitting room and kitchen) in raeburn place in stockbridge, edinburgh.

Equipment List


  • Fostex A8 reel-to-reel 8-track (b)
  • Boss 6-track mixer (b)
  • Pocket midi sync(?)(b, m)
  • Fostex X-30 4-track
  • 1/4 inch tape (s/h, b)
  • Atari 1040 (b, m)
  • big fostex 4-track(b, m)
  • DAT machine (hired)


  • Hopf (?) Troupadour guitar (b)
  • Westone thunder 1 bass (b)
  • Shure 58 Microphone
  • Roland Drumatix (b)
  • Alesis SR 16
  • TV, radio, video
  • in the flat. out the window


  • Yamaha DD1 digital delay pedal
  • Sans-amp pedal
  • Cry-baby wah pedal
  • Korg stereo chorus pedal
  • Guyatone Flanger pedal
  • yellow phaser pedal(?)(b)
  • Vox AC30 Amp & tremolo
  • Scamp compressor (b)
  • Quadraverb (b, m)

b = borrowed,   m = used at final mix and/or striping tape for timecode and guide drums. S/h – Everything is second hand, but especially the tape, apart from the Fostex X-30 4-track and the Shure 58 Microphone.