I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something this week. Okay, I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but it’s been a long time since I’ve completed an entirely original piece of music. Probably since late 2013. That may not seem like a long time, but a lot has happened since then, including the birth of my first child and the complete reconstruction of three of my albums.
And on top of that, things seem to have “gotten in the way”. For instance, when I started demoing for this album back in the Fall of 2014, I really thought it would be done by the following autumn. Instead, I took a detour through the production of my wife’s first short film, took on a lot of freelance jobs to pay bills, and then went head-first into editing a feature documentary.
I’m not even going to get into the things that pushed album work back in 2016. But they were there.
It turns out there may be a real reason that this album is going to be called The Art of Tactful Procrastination. And the funny thing is that’s a title I had for it as far back as 2006!
My own art is messing with me.
So, needless to say, completing the instrumental recordings for one of the album’s songs is a big milestone for me. It means that I can get this done, and not only that, but I will. It feels amazing to know that I could carve out a little piece of time and actually get something done with it, amidst all the chaos in the house.
Whipping Up “The Storm”
I truly can’t wait to get this song completed! It’s the last song on the album – a dark, powerful rocker that comes in quiet and eerie and builds to an insane climax. If you checked out the A Work In Progress… album teaser promo, what you hear there is taken from demos finished in 2014. Listening to the below and comparing it to that promo, you can really hear a difference.
The main thing that makes this song work is the use of an effect that I play off my Line 6 AMPLIFi FX100 (a gift from my brother), that utilizes a Fuzz Face distortion, lots of feedback delay and a pitch bending effect. It’s very similar to one used by The Edge on U2’s “Mofo” and “Gone” (both from 1997’s POP), but I modified it to fit within the tones of this song and not take off or become uncontrollable (which too much feedback in the delay can contribute to).
Yes, there are some vocals in this current iteration, but those likely won’t be what I use – those are also taken from the original demo. I will probably perform something relatively similar, however.
Next I have to complete the lyrics, and then sit down and actually record the vocals.
But the way I typically do things is, once I get the music down, I leave the song alone for a while and work on another one. After I work on one or two more I’ll come back to this one, listen to what I have and determine whether or not there’s anything I want to change or add.
In the meantime, I’ll be writing lyrics (because usually by this point I’ve decided that I’m fine with the structure of the song), and testing out different vocal harmonies. It probably will not be until I’ve finished the music for all the other songs on the album that I come back and finally put vocals on this song. I usually reserve vocals for that last bit because I often need to leave the home-studio environment (and the noise) and move my portable studio to a place I can really focus and perform. And it’s just easier and more time-efficient to be able to do that practically all at once.
So stay tuned – there’s more coming! I can’t wait to show you what else is coming up!
And, please, share!