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December, 9, 2013

I'm back home. It's good to be back. That was a long time on the road for me.

I unplugged over the course of this release and these tours. I haven't been online much at all. That includes e-mails, and obviously, updating my website. I was approaching a bit of burnout. Sometimes the constant nature of this stuff gets to me, but it's so especially when I'm a little overwhelmed otherwise. So I checked out. I didn't bring a laptop with me on these trips, and my phone became a glorified camera that can text people. I'm sorry if your inquiries fell into that hole. I am going through them all now and will be responding as best I can.

That being said, thanks to everyone who came out to the shows. Really.

Going into this, I wasn't sure how it would pan out. I don't play in the states much, so it was really just a lot of guessing and crossed fingers. And with Europe, I wondered if people were still paying attention. I never want to assume. But it all went great. People really came out, were attentive and sweet, and it all went better than I was expecting. For sure. So thank you. And it was nice to meet so many folks while I was about. That was part of why I cut off from the internet stuff for a bit. I don't tour often, and since I was seeing people face to face I felt I'd rather spend my time talking to people like that. And I'm glad I did. It was fun and awkward and funny and humbling. Thank you.

As for the release of The Branches, thanks to everyone who picked it up, and to everyone who helped spread the word. I appreciate it. Again, it has been tough to say if people would keep checking out this whole idea of a trilogy of records, but it seems to be working. Which is really fun for me. I'm moving on to the third record without any real worry about the whole project anymore. I'm grateful for that.

A quick note to those who have written me about where I'm playing next: I don't think I'll be doing many shows this coming year. I don't tour very often. My next plans involve making a couple music videos, working on the last record in this Family Tree set, starting another Electric President album with Alex, and finally getting Clone out. I expect all those things to be super time consuming, so I imagine that's where all my attention will go. But I will talk about that a bit more once these projects are a little further along. I never like to set things in stone too far in advance. I am too scattered a person for that. But I wouldn't hold out for more shows any time soon.

But I will be recording some new tutorials and little acoustic videos. And the next bastards EP may be out as early as Spring. I have a few transition songs I think I need to record. But more on all that as I get back to work on it.

Something I put up in a couple places, but not here, was the most recent music video. Here it is ...

I have info about it in the description of the video. But I'm really happy with how it came out. We only had about 5 days to get everything together. I had to get my brother to oversee all the production stuff, and get my family and friends to help make all the costumes. I was up until 5am the night before leaving for tour to get the edit together, but I think it all worked. Thanks again to everyone involved. I really owe a bunch of folks for this one.

I have more to write about and update, as always, but I will stop here for now. Mostly because I am hungry. More soon, and I hope everyone is well.

July 18, 2013

I'm done!

I finished The Branches. It's tracked, mixed, and awaiting master. So far, every other Radical Face record has been released unmastered. In that, I had them mastered, but liked the raw mixes better and released those instead. But I think it will help this current one because of how I recorded it. Worst case scenario, I'll do what I always do ... which is waste money. Hahaha.

I am sorry for my hiatus these past couple months. I have not been online, or checked my e-mails. Sometimes the only way I can finish recordings is by cutting off from as much as possible and just locking myself away. This was one of those scenarios. I was really just working on it to the point of burning out (and not sleeping, but that always happens), and then driving to one of the springs around Florida for a day of swimming, then getting back to it (I've really fallen in love with springs here thanks to a friend of mine ... it's one of my favorite places to be now). So if you sent me a message and didn't get a response, I just want you to know that I was not ignoring you in particular. I was ignoring everyone. And now that I am finished, I will be playing catch up. If there was something urgent I missed, feel free to send it again.

So now that all the recording is done, I'm starting the artwork for the vinyl and CD. I already have the covers for the whole Family Tree set, so it's really just the booklets and posters and inserts. The record will be coming out in October, so I really gotta be quick about getting all my manufacturing in. Last album I was about 4 months late on the vinyl because I had no idea what I was doing. I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure it's here on the release date this time. Wish me luck.

Speaking of October ...

As I mentioned in my last update, I booked a US tour. I don't tour often, and especially not stateside. It's interesting having something like this booked when you don't play often, because no one really knows if people are really gonna show up. Myself included. So we guessed, and we'll see how it goes. I'm sure it'll be fun either way. I'll be adding those dates to the "Shows" tab later tonight, and they've already been posted on my Facebook page. So that makes two weeks stateside, a break, and two weeks in Europe. It doesn't cover a ton of ground, but it's what I've got. And I'm sure I'll tour again and hit more places. It just might be a year or two. Hahaha. Oh, and I forgot to mention before, on the European tour my good friend and collaborator on Clone, Rickolus, will be opening. It'll be fun to tour together again. I think the last time we did so with our respective solo projects was in 2003. Ten years. Holy crap.

Other than that, I will be putting together a live set for everything over the next couple months. It's always an interesting process, coming up with a show. Whenever I record, I do so without any thought beyond the record. I never consider how I would play the songs live and I can go a little apeshit on my track counts (my recording process isn't super streamlined). So it's a bit of a challenge figuring out how to get the music across with just a handful of people. In truth, it's very rare that I can play the songs the way I recorded them. I typically rewrite them completely. I take the chords, the melodies and words, then figure out how to get the general idea across with a small group. Sometimes they wind up a lot louder, or a lot more distorted. Other times, they become a lot simpler and streamlined. The live versions are definitely different, and occasionally, drastically so. I actually enjoy doing this, so it's not a problem personally, but I also realize that some people expect to hear something very similar to the CD when they go to shows. If that's the way you lean and you plan on coming and seeing any of these, I apologize in advance. Hahaha.

Also, I lied about something in my last post. There's going to be another delay on Clone. I'm sorry. I've laid out everything I need to do for both that release and for The Branches, and there simply is not enough time. I'd end up shortchanging both releases if I tried to get them both out before the year's end. So Clone will happen at the very beginning of next year. Once I'm back from tour, I can focus on just releasing that. Oh, and Alex and I will be starting another Electric President record soon. I need to take a break from the Family Tree set for a little bit and we've been talking about making some kind of dance record for a while now. So we're gonna start once I have some free time to record again. But I will post more on that as it comes.

I also have a couple music videos I wanna shoot for The Branches, but I will start on those once all the manufacturing is in. It'll be a couple weeks at least.

Well, I better get back to work. I should be a little better about updating things now that I am not losing my mind and recording non-stop. Sleeping again will be good too.

I hope everyone is well.

May 18th, 2013

Hi, folks. It's been a while since I properly updated. For the most part, I've been burying myself in this record and ignoring almost everything else. It's the only way I know how to make things sometimes, putting myself into that little bubble. So I haven't been keeping up with e-mails very well, nor updating my sites or editing tutorials or any of that stuff. It's just been rehearsals to get the band together for shows and recording. And my usual sleep troubles whenever I do this.

But leading up to this, I went through the process of converting my garage into a recording space. I live with one of my brothers, and we moved into a place with a two-car garage middle of last year. As soon as I could I started the process of sound proofing part of it, mainly so I could have a place to record drums. For the past 12 years (holy crap ... I'm getting old), I've always done drums for albums at my friend's houses. They were always cool about it, but I've still never liked having to take up other people's space and time to do it. It also slowed the recording process down a lot. I'd often have to wait a few days to a week to lay down certain parts of songs, which can be frustrating both creatively and for meeting deadlines. But that's all different now. I can track drums in my garage, and between this space and the shed, I can do everything I need to do on my own schedule now. It's kinda hard to explain how exciting this is for me. I can't tell you how freeing it is for me.

So The Branches is really getting close. I've been shaping the material for a long time, but there's always something that happens during the process where it all clicks. It changes from "I think this is the record I'm making" to "I know exactly what record I am making." And once it solidifies like that, it's always really exciting for me. I suddenly know how to finish all the songs, and how they will slot together, and what they all mean in the larger context. I had that light bulb moment a few days, so I've been pretty elated these past few days.

Also, since I am getting close to done, I can have proper news concerning a release and some shows. The record will come out in Fall (likely early October), and I've booked a small European tour for November. I will also be doing a two-week run in the US, which is being finalized now. I'm trying to keep everything at two weeks so I don't burn out. And the idea is to just do them a bit more frequently and cover different territories with each outing. So I'm only playing 4 countries this trip in November, but I plan to come back in Spring and play some of the places I missed. So if I'm not reaching you on this run, I will try to on the next.

Also, I will have more people to play with me this time. I recently added a bass player, and for the Europe tour I will also have a viola da gamba player with me (he plays on the new album as well). So it'll be fun to see where the arrangements go now that I'll have more folks helping out. I'll write more about that as rehearsals get further along.

Anywho, the dates are up on the "shows" tab now, and on my facebook page. So if you have any interest in coming out, those will be the places to check for dates.

Now, Clone will also be coming out this summer. If it kills me. Hahaha. There have been tons of weird hurdles with this project, and I may have to scale some of the release ideas back in order to get it out. I'm running into those "there's only so much time in a day" kind of hurdles. But it's gonna happen one way or another. So more on that soon as I figure it out.

I have more to say, but my food's getting cold. I hope everyone is well.

March 4th, 2013

It's been a while since I've posted. Sorry about that. When I start recording, I tend to let a lot of things slip. And I don't just mean updating my websites -- with life in general. I just start losing track of things. Bad habit.

Anyway, that explains most of what I've been up to. I've been recording for "The Branches". I am currently about halfway through the 16 songs I have planned, and these will make up both the second volume of "The Bastards" and the album itself. Whenever I start recording, the songs always take on sounds and directions I wasn't quite expecting, but I'm glad. I like not knowing exactly where I will end up. But so far, so good. And it's really great to be using more instruments in the arrangements again. Been working with metal lately (the material, not the genre) and it's been fun collecting those sounds for percussion.

Anyway, I will talk more on that when it's all closer to finished. I hope to be done in May, and plan to have the album out in Fall. Fingers crossed I don't run into too many hitches along the way. Or get to obsessive and start recording everything over again.

Beyond that, I've booked a couple shows in the US for May. Weird, I know. But here are those dates, if you have any interest in coming out:

May 10th - Richmond, Va

"Friday Cheers" at Brown's Island. All ages. Starts around 6, will probably go on around 8.

May 24th - Portland, OR

The White Eagle. Not sure if there's an age limit. Doors at 8:30.

May 26th - George, WA.

Sasquatch Festival. Yeti stage. Sold out. Not sure what time, but probably mid-afternoon.

May 27th - Vancouver, BC

The media Club. 19+. Doors are at 8:00.

And that will be it for a while. After I'll be busy with the whole process of getting the record printed and distributed and such. But once the album is out, I will likely do a small run of shows in UK/Europe and a handful more in the US. I'd also like to try to get over to Australia at some point. But this is all a ways down the line.

Beyond that, I finally have my ducks in a row concerning Clone. I know, it's WAY late, and for that I apologize. We've been trying to find a good time to put it out between both our schedules (Rick and I), and I've also been kind of a weirdo about how the album is going to be manufactured. We're not doing CDs. We're releasing the album on laser-engraved crystal thumb drives, and it will be a pretty limited run. This is the mock-up of the product:

And the drives will come in a tin-case, also laser-engraved. I like lasers. I'm pretty excited about it in general. We wanted to do something more unique with the release, and I've never made anything like this before. The drive will come with the album, the stems for the album and the transcript that explains the story.

So all this is in production now. Should be done within the next 3 weeks. Beyond that, I'm working on the website for the album with my brother, and I will begin on the animations shortly. A special thanks to everyone who wrote in offering help. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I am just now getting to those e-mails. The holidays wound up being somewhat crazy, and then between personal life things (I'm getting older and trying to figure out what that means ... haha) and recording I have not been on top of much of anything. And I feel guilty about it. I've already started remedying these problems. I will hopefully get back to everyone soon. But yeah. Sorry. I'm a turd sometimes.

Oh, and the forum. Registration has been busted for a little while now. I installed some plug-ins to keep the spam bots out, but in the meantime made it impossible for actual humans to sign up. A.K.A., I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm working on sorting it out. I'll post a note when I get it in working order.

Anyway, I have some more little videos to post, among other things, and will hopefully get those up soon. But until then, I hope everyone is well.