Making music has made me patient. I can’t remember if patience was a childhood trait of mine, can’t imagine it was, but relying on a muse that is on its own schedule tends to mellow a guy. Patience has become my favorite life project, hobby and pastime. I like getting better at it, crave to be better at it. If I can be patient, I can listen, and if I can listen then I can really do something worth your time.
The chronology of my upcoming album was long, and that was by design. The songs were written beginning in 2010, and I started making choices about musicians and studio in late 2011. By early 2012 Producer Steve Wallace and I were deep into arrangements and then laying down tracks in NYC, Cape Cod, and my beloved Sacramento. Twenty musicians, another 20 people on the design and business side. It always had a trajectory, and had its own momentum most of the time. And at other times it was a slog, especially because we were doing full productions of 25 songs and 7 photo shoots all while I worked a full time day job that I hated with the fires of hell and then suddenly grew to love more than any other job I’ve ever had. Still have it, and still love it, by the way.
Not that I planned to put all 25 songs on one album. I was recording enough to have a new full-length and several on the shelf for the future. So it was a lot, which I guess is kind of my thing.
These songs say exactly what I need to say these days, and are the most sonically intricate and vast I’ve ever made. There’s a different tone, too. To me, Casualties felt like I barfed my heart out through my guts. This new one is more like I barfed my heart out through my brain stem.
After all the barfing was done and shined, it was officially complete in May 2013. But its taken me until now to be emotionally ready to start releasing it, which came as a complete surprise to me. Never once in the 3 years that this record was my daily obsession did I imagine a scenario where I would finally, FINALLY finish it and then sit on it for several months. But in June I suddenly recalled how much nutball energy it takes to roll the boulder of an album release up the proverbial hill, and I just didn’t have it.
There were several reasonable reasons, i guess: things got nuts with my day job, I spent the Summer living/working in San Francisco, I’m writing a musical, but really it boils down to the fact that I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to. So I didn’t, and chose to trust that when I was ready I would know it.
So, tah dah! It’s time, and I’m gonna start releasing my new songs. I don’t know if the patience will pay off in the commercial sense, not really. The timing of these successes is just so tough to predict. But the patience has definitely paid off in the emotional sense, and I’m ready to roll.
It’s been a long time since I put out a record, and I’m hoping you’re still with me. Time to find out.