Thursday, November 29, 2007

See? Don't you wish I'd gone to the gym?

Anyway, if you read the post below (or is it above? Sometimes MySpace does weird shit like that), I have had something of an interesting November. At the risk of sounding like a teenager, I have experienced steady sets of emotional waves that swell and crest and break with very few breathers in between--some I have caught and ridden as far as they would take me, and others I have tried to duck under and hope for the best.

We recorded our new album during the first two weeks of the month. This experience was markedly different than our other sessions. Sure, we had a pretty big budget (for us, anyway) , so we we got to try some new ideas and weren't too worried when a bass take took longer than I'd normally prefer. And we don't have a release date, so we weren't constantly watching the clock. Our other three recordings (two EPs and an album) were made a little bit under the gun, so being able to relax a bit was a welcome departure from having to race through tracks to put out something we weren't totally proud of. Better still, we had our longtime friend and producer out for actual pre-production, and he got to mull the songs over in their rough, garbagy phase before putting them to ones and zeros. That made a big difference, and I feel like the result is much more focused, determined and even funnier than all our other records combined. It's like some of those old songs are masks, trying to be something we aren't, and while I don't hate them, they tend to embarrass me on occasion. I am finally confident that we captured who were are as people with these songs. And if, in March, when this album hopefully comes out, people gripe that the songs are darker, sadder and grouchier, well life isn't always free tamales and days off.

So our recording process was a lot of fun. And then it was over, and I realized a couple days later why I could hardly bear to sit at my desk through the day. I felt funny thinking this, but I honestly experienced post-studio depression. After all, I saw one of my best and closest friends for a couple weeks, vented a lot of frustrations, reached some new heights, and flexed my creative muscles with very little strain and head-thumping--going back to work was bound to pale in comparison. I guess it's gone now, but being sequestered in that environment made me feel like a different person, and I enjoyed being that guy a lot more than the one who clicks on a computer all day.

I am trying not to think of our two weeks spent recording as a vacation from my real life. Obviously, playing music is my career of choice; computer clicking is a means to make that a reality, and I try not to think of it as two weeks away at a Rock Band Resort (and really, since I only took two days off from work, it's hard to even call it that). Unfortunately, at this stage, as I sit with no out of town dates booked, no record to hock, no salacious stories or tales of woe to tell, music still feels like an escape. My hope is that in 2008, we'll be able to do everything we can to make our band a life rather than something to do on weekends.

If you think that's depressing, I'm sorry. I don't mean it to be, but I have to be a realist. We're getting older, after all, and the bills pile up and the responsibilities mount, and no matter how much I've tried to keep permanence at bay, it still inexorably stacks in the background like a cinderblock fence built by a contractor you don't remember hiring and workers you can't even see. But whatever. I still have a van and the debt gets paid on time, and 30 is the new 20, according to ephemeral Yahoo! Lifestyle articles , and so doesn't that make me 19? Right? Right??? That's okay. I'll keep telling myself that anyway.

But yeah, permanence, it's there; I can see it, and these days, I don't sprint from it like I used to. Shirking responsibility used to be a blatant source of pride for me, but in the past year or so, it's been like I inconspicuosly sneak around the corner, hoping it doesn't notice me. It's like, "hey, don't tell the boss, but I'm going to duck out of here ten minutes early." Thing was, it used to be twenty minutes.

So the record is a big deal, and maybe, just maybe, the contacts we've made will matter (or even exist) this time around and actually come through for us. We work as hard as we can, and I've always been one to immediately mistrust these dickheads who promise us hookups that likely don't exist. Unfortunately, where we are, we need a little lift from someone who is legit. If you're a band that can tour at the drop of the hat, you don't need these people; of this I remain forever convinced. But we're not that band. We haven't gone on a real, multi-state tour in over three years, and it's been life's looming, concrete shadow that has kept us from hitting the road longer than a four-day weekend. So while we will continue to work our collective tails off, it would really help if someone could give us a leg up. And it's not like I want to hear myself on the radio or live in a mansion; I just want to tour and for the other two guys to be able to pay their bills.

Is that whiny? Yeah, probably. In light of little perspective, I almost want to delete this whole post. If I could find my gym ID card, I wouldn't have even started it. Such is the result of getting up early with no place to go. Fact of the matter is, this isn't all that's been bothering me, and really, it's nothing new; I've been bitching about this stuff for three years at least. But it's all I'm willing to write about in this semi-public arena. I could go on with what's actually got me down and then mark it private, but what's the point of that?


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