Self Tort is the performing and recording pseudonym of Brian Ralston. Live, Self Tort is a Ã¢â¬Åone man bandÃ¢â¬Â performing vocals and alternating between guitar and keyboard backing. In the studio, Brian plays guitar, keyboard and does all vocals, but is assisted with production and programming by Stewart Havill of Sound Dog Recording Studios, Artarmon.
Self Tort came into existence in 2000, although its alter ego, Brian Ralston, has been playing music for 30 years, firstly with Ã¢â¬ÅSirrahÃ¢â¬Â where he played lead guitar, and later with Ã¢â¬ÅMid Life CrisisÃ¢â¬Â where he played keyboards and provided some lead and some backing vocals.
In 2000 Brian decided to go solo as a Ã¢â¬Åone man bandÃ¢â¬Â with a view to promoting his own original material, intermixed with covers. A chance opportunity arose for him to do 2 sets of three songs at the Mortdale Hotel in Sydney, Australia. After those set he was booked by the hotel as a resident performer and Self Tort was born. Self Tort continues that residency to this day.
The return to live performance inspired Self Tort to record his own material. In 2005 he commenced submitting his recorded material to various internet OMD sites, joining Mixposure (mixposure.com) in July, 2005. A number of his tracks have reached No 1 spot on the Ã¢â¬Åall genresÃ¢â¬Â charts at that site. In less than a year Self Tort has risen to the position of No 10 in MixposureÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬ÅAll Times/All GenresÃ¢â¬Â Band Charts. At the time of writing his tracks have attracted over 5,350 plays on mixposure and have been the subject of in excess of 2,200 downloads. His music has also been picked up by a number of internet radio stations including BonnevilleÃ¢â¬â¢s ichannelmusic.com. Tracks from his CD have also been played on Radio Skid Row (RSR FM 88.9) and 2EARFM 107.5.
Self Tort was greatly influenced by the music of the 60s and early 70s and by artists such as Cream, Pete Townsend, Ray Davies, Joe Cocker and Van Morrison. But after 30 years there are a myriad of influences that he has absorbed. Self TortÃ¢â¬â¢s vocals have been likened to Joe Cocker, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen at various times. The music is not genre specific. Self Tort writes as he feels and accordingly his music can find itself in rock, pop, country, blues, jazz and funk. Self Tort has even written and recorded three songs for children.
In addition, over the last 6 months Self Tort has been involved in a number of Ã¢â¬Åinternet collaborationsÃ¢â¬Â including two jazz instrumental tracks with brilliant Belgian saxophonist Alexis Van Eeckhout. Their collaboration Ã¢â¬ÅMaianbar SunriseÃ¢â¬Â also reached No 1 in the Ã¢â¬Åall genresÃ¢â¬Â Mixposure charts as did another collaboration between Self Tort, Japanese artist Shyonen, and Americans, lyricist Don Shafer and guitarist RedEyeC.
Self TortÃ¢â¬â¢s debut CD Ã¢â¬ÅN.I.CÃ¢â¬Â has recently been released and contains 15 original songs. The CD is an amalgam of rock, pop and funk, infused with powerful guitar and swirling keyboards, with a vocalist whose voice reflects a long-term smoking habit.
Other samples of Self TortÃ¢â¬â¢s music can be found at www.mixposure.com/self-tort