Things That Seem To “Get In The Way” Can Also Be Your Fuel
Wow… has it really been over three months since I last posted in this thing? Okay, then, where do I begin?
This has been a year of complete craziness. I recall roughly a year ago deciding that I was going to get started on demoing for my first real album in nearly a decade, with the intention to release that in the Fall of 2015, and getting started on it on September 1, 2014. I remember thinking, if I can get a demo done every week, by 2015 I should have a really good idea of what I’m going to do to put the real thing together.
Fast forward to Fall 2015, and while I am putting an album out (two, in fact), it’s not at all the one I started working on last September, and haven’t even really touched since last Spring.
I’ve never been a fan of the phrase “Life gets in the way”. I’m not saying I’ve never used it – I have – but I’ve just never really been a fan of it. Life is going on and is there and is happening whether you acknowledge it or not. It’s happening in and of itself. People tend to throw that term around as if to say things came about that fouled their plans up. It jumped into the road and veered them off course or doomed their journey early on.
That’s why I’m more of a fan of something like “Life gets in the engine.” It’s certainly not as poetic but rather than implying that Life derailed you, it might imply that it fueled you… just maybe not the way you were expecting.
And I think that’s what happened in my case.
Shortly after I started the work on the new album demos last September, my wife Emily pulled me into helping her with her short film project “Are You Listening“, which ended up taking more time than I had expected, particularly for editing. I had to put a good deal of my own work down just to complete it. In doing so, I had been far enough removed from that “habit” of working on new music that by January or so of this year I felt way behind the eight ball and not properly motivated to jump back into it and make it happen.
But I didn’t stop working on music.
Instead, I found another opportunity laying right there in front of me. For years I’d been wanting to go back and clean up all my albums, make them sound better and give them the proper packaging and distribution – the kind of stuff I didn’t have access to doing back when they were all first released. After all, online music releases were in their infancy and artists didn’t have the kind of tools that they have at their disposal now. What had kept me from going back was that firstly I knew getting started on Neon Apocalypse was going to be a bear (as most readers know the sound files for everything were spread out all over the place), and secondly a good portion of all that earlier stuff I didn’t have rights to (at the time…). I had intended to re-release Lemonymous for its 15th Anniversary in 2019, but I realized that since I’d already done a Special Edition in 2009 and all the proper files were in the same program I currently used (just an earlier version) that it would be easy to go back and clean it up. Even better, I had some really fun ideas for some remixes and alternate versions.
What followed was a month of planning and design, then about three months running two fundraising campaigns (one on this website and another through Kickstarter), and a whole heck of a lot of remixing and, in some cases, recording. In fact, I just finished mastering on Lemonymix a week and a half ago, so all told it was about six months of work. Today it’s all getting uploaded to Discmakers for the final distribution output, so I can safely say “it’s done.”
And now begins the work of preparing to make a few music videos and get the darned thing promoted and into some stores – really give it the full treatment it should have had when it first came out in 2005.
Because of all this work, the album that I had actually intended to release this Fall (and is most likely looking at a Spring 2016 release) will actually sound much better than it might have otherwise – I’d learned so much more about mixing and mastering and the programs I use that I’m actually really blessed and lucky to have taken on this project as a precursor to my new work. Sure, the new album will be delayed as a result, but it will be better. And on top of it all, I’ve already (as of today) programmed six songs for use in playing live – I’m already building my sequencing library up for when I finally get out there and perform my music in front of actual audiences – something that, for the most part, I’ve never truly done.
Life didn’t get in the way. It got in the engine and found a better way, one that I’ll be much appreciative of when all is said and done.
I hope, in the end, my listeners will feel the same way.