29
Apr
12

It’s about fucking time for this labour of love

I’ve wanted to record an album for as long as I can remember. Literally, not figuratively.

The time has come.

Ash Ambirge and her Intoxicate 2012 project lit a fire under my ass. If not now, when? So, now then.

Whittling down a lifetime of songwriting into 12, maybe 15, songs is heartbreaking. Being brutally honest with yourself and assessing whether, after all that writing, you have 12-15 songs that are strong enough to compose an album is…humbling. And that’s only the beginning.

Then there’s recording. Or what I like to refer to, so far, as “The ProTools Debacle.” It’s a long, long story (about 3 years long) that started with me lending my MBox, new out of the box, to my brother, and ends with me getting it back from him (it’s been sitting in a corner at his house, unused, for quite some time now), only for us to find out that it isn’t really working all that well. It works OK for about an hour, and then starts to make the most hideous noise I’ve ever heard. Which is delightful. And in the interim, I lost my ProTools install disk. Maybe it was because I moved. Maybe it wasn’t. Who’s to say. But I am now at a point where my recording vehicle only sort of works and I’m fucked for the software, even though I paid for it. So I will be turning my house upside down…again…looking for it, so that hopefully I can get rid of this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Next.

My homework now is listening. Listening, listening, listening. Because I have to figure out how I want these tracks to sound. What instruments, what effects. What drum beats for god sakes, because the reality is that I have to program drums, and I am soooo not a drummer. I have to know everything that I want, because I’ll be producing myself. So I have to listen like mad. And I have to listen to an enormous width of music too, not just the same few albums I tend to rotate, and at a closer level. I have to listen to a vast variety of music from both a production standpoint AND a writing standpoint, because there exists every possibility that I will be writing more tunes as part of this process.

So I asked y’all for listening suggestions, and you sure did come through! Here are some of the suggestions you guys have given me for listening. Haven’t heard most of these yet, but I know what I’ll be looking into. And please add more suggestions in the comments!

  • Rupert Blackman
  • City And Colour
  • Ally Rhodes
  • Ron Pope
  • Passenger
  • new Train album
  • Cady Groves
  • Lights
  • The Icarus Account
  • The Pretty Reckless
  • He Is We
  • M.T.L Band
  • Brighter Brightest
  • Young the Giant
  • Meg & Dia
  • The Cab
  • Safetysuit
  • OneRepublic
  • We The Kings
  • Parachute
  • Stay – by Mayday Parade
  • All Time low
  • Therapy
  • Courage My Love – Anchors Make Good Shoes (If You Have Issues) (@couragemylove)
  • The Beatles
  • Lydia
  • Lost in Paradise – Evanescence
  • Good Enough- Evanescence
  • @hollywoodkills
  • @Halestorm
  • Nicki Minaj
  • The Pretty Reckless
  • Hot Chelle Rae
  • @kerlimusic
  • Marianas trench (OK, a LOT of you suggested this. Who are these assholes anyway?)
  • a few of you suggested me. While I totally appreciate it, I think for this exercise, me listening to me is rather circular…YOU listening to me, on the other hand, is purely delightful!
  • Artist vs Poet
  • Nightwish
  • A Day to Remember
  • Chiodos
  • The Color Morale
  • Paramore
  • This Wild Life
  • Acres of Lions
  • Emarosa
  • Silverstein
  • The Deadhands
  • Escape the Fate
  • There for Tomorrow
  • A Change of Pace
  • Amanda Clemens
  • Of Monsters and Men
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Fun.
  • Stabilo
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • Bedouin Soundclash

I’m not content to shoot for the middle. I recognize that I will be making this record under circumstances that are less than my ideal. What would I like? A full band, a producer, and a studio full of wicked gear, and an engineer. What do I have at my disposal? My MBox, ProTools (hopefully), my Mac, a Shure 57, an old Roland synth, a couple of guitars, and me, myself, and I. I have a bass player friend who will probably play bass tracks for me. My brother will give me some technical help where he can. But really, it’s mostly down to me.

This project is about removing my own obstacles so I can do it anyway instead of seeing only roadblocks. So it’s not an ideal set of circumstances. It’s still better than not doing it. Which is exactly what I’ve done for the last 20 years. And that’s been lame. There’s really no other word for it.

So, given my parameters, I have to shoot for the moon. My own personal moon. This has to be the absolute best I can make it. It won’t be finished tomorrow. I have an extra hiccup in that my health challenges make my work love schedule on this project entirely unpredictable. I’ve had a lot I questions about release dates, and to be fair, I have no freaking idea at this point. Not one clue. I don’t have a team working for me, a machine turning the cogs behind the scenes.

You guys are my team, my machine.

Which is to say that your patience, and your support through each step of the process is unimaginably valuable to me. My promise to you is this: I will stay in conversation with you, keeping you updated on the whole process as I navigate it. And we’ll enjoy the finished product together. You’ll hear about the challenges (there have been some, as I told you, but the process is also bringing up some emotional ick that I have to wade through, and I’ll let you in on that too) as well as the successes. It’ll be a journey, a process. But I think that’s kinda cool that you’ll all be with me along the way.

Deal?

So here we go, jumping in with both feet. Break Until I Bend will get made if it kills me. Which it just might.

Apt album title for me, wouldn’t you say?

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