March 4th, 2018
So it's been a while. I always think I'm gonna write more than I do, both here and on social media. But I honestly forget.
I'm not particularly into social media (shocker). I've had stints where I use it more, but not many. I sometimes wonder about this. It's such a major part of the world now. I don't have some high-horse issue with it. Sure, it has problems and affects society, but so do most things. And I think it's human nature to abuse things that are new -- we often find our limits by going too far. Does that happen with social media? Of course. But I'm not coming at it from that angle. While I like to read about these things, and I have side-line opinions about it all (I have opinions about everything, so this isn't special), my personal conclusions here are far less lofty.
I don't like my phone very much. That's the root of it. I put it away all the time. I often turn off all notifications often and only look at them when I'm in the mood, or on the toilet (it's fascinating compared to the ingredients label of my hand soap). But if I'm writing or recording, having something in my pocket that tries to get my attention every time there's a text, email, someone liked a photo of a cat, a politician proved yet again to be a dimwitted sociopath, and so on, I get distracted from what I'm really trying to do. I get less done, and I lose my train of thought. I'm not a very good multi-tasker. I like to focus on one thing at a time. I enjoy being thorough, I adore details, and I don't like feeling scattered. So I'm pretty picky about letting my phone yell at me. I sometimes think of it like "Navi" from Ocarina of Time, and have similar feelings towards it. As such, I am always behind on all things social media. I answer people hours, or days, late. I'm not instantly available, and these things slip my mind.
But I realize how this appears in our current state of affairs. Sometimes people write me and ask if I have quit. I haven't. I just don't like broadcasting my day-to-day life. I am happy to share my work once I have shaped it into something I'm proud of, but my life? Not so much. I'm not that interesting. And even with close friends, I want to see them in person. Watching snippets of people's lives from a distance isn't very satisfying, especially when I know them well. It doesn't stick for me, and I don't remember it.
This is likely all a lengthy justification of why I don't talk about what I'm doing very much. But I like writing more when I don't filter myself, and just let out whatever comes out. Now onto something with a point ...
I have been recording a lot. I have a nice sounding living room in this new place. It's working really well. But since it's been a while since I've had the peace and quiet to really write and record, I came up with an idea to get my engineering and producing chops up to snuff. I have recorded 6 cover songs. All of them are from women whose voices I love, and as of two days ago, they're all done and I'll start releasing them soon. It's been a really fun project. Instead of starting from scratch, I interpreted instead, and it let me focus on learning how to record in this new space. I'm really happy with the result. If you've come to live shows, you may have heard some of these covers. A few I have only played out once, or never. But it's nice tipping your hat to people who've inspired you down the road.
I also have two Radical Face EPs coming right after. One is called Verse/Chorus. I decided to write some songs that use standard formats, to see what happens when I'm bound to a format instead of a narrative. It's been a good challenge. The second EP is instrumental music. I've been doing more and more work in the scoring world, and I'm really enjoying it. But these tracks will not be for a film or tv project, just ones I have written that I have written for myself. I listen to mostly instrumental music, so this is something I've wanted to do for a while.
Beyond that, I know what my next full-length record is about. I have the title, the theme, and I am sketching demos and ideas for it. It's always so exciting when all those pieces connect. It feels like a little home has been built in my head, and it has tenants now. I get to add details whenever I choose, I add flesh to the bones of this new mini-world until I'm ready to record final versions. It fills most of my quiet moments, and in some strange way, gives my life some order. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I am currently in the stages of music that remind me why I love to do this. There are a lot of aspects of being a full-time musician that are just work, pretty devoid of joy or even interest. It's the hills you have to climb to keep going, and I accept it, though not always gracefully. But every once in a while the stars align and I get to really just create -- to follow ideas down whatever rabbit-holes they create and get as lost as I want. When it happens, I feel lucky.
I have also been really studying sound, mix theory, production trickery, and hunting down new gear. Both for myself, and for my studio in Florida. I will write a post about the studio soon, and how we are opening it to the public soon, and everything that has gone into that. But I will wait until I am done with the website first. But it's been really fun. I have such a good time manipulating sound, and my interest has only deepened with time. And the results have been really noticeable to me. I keep getting closer and closer to what i hear in my head. That is likely a carrot I will chase forever, but I am fine with that.
I think that's enough rambling for one day. The short form of all this: I have been busy. Lots of recordings are done and will go up soon. Lots more are almost done. A new record is shaping up. Not to mention some side projects, new things happening with Bear Machine Records, the repressing of vinyls that have been hard to find now that I have the rights back, and a bunch of other irons I have in the fire. But that can wait until the next time I remember to communicate what I'm doing with my silly little life.
I hope this finds you well, whoever you are.