Friday, June 04, 2010
My new project Viscera
So. I am going to start blogging regularly now. Share my thoughts and process with you all. I started this new project - Viscera - that I am really excited and terrified about and thought it would be a good idea to sort of drag you along for the journey. I hope you are game :)
Basically, the idea behind this whole project is to release a new song every week. Starting with my first song, Breed, which I released on June 1st, 2010. I am actually hoping to top that a bit and release more than that. But a song a week is a huge challenge in its own right and seems largely ambitious. If I can do more, then bully for me. Extra songs will for the most part be for free.
The funny thing about it is when I started telling friends about my idea, most people thought I was setting myself up for disaster. The first responses usually were sort of from the "Are you crazy" variety. And I guess it sounds a little nuts in a world where most artists release an album every 2 to 3 years. But when I would think about it on my own, it made complete sense.
The thing is... I really do write a TON of music. I have for years now. There are so many songs in my computer that still have not seen the light of day. That no one knows about but me. And that has always bugged me. I tend to write about 5 songs a day. Most of them are not the best, of course. But every few days to a week, one or 2 songs pop out as great jumping off points. Things I would love to make. And I always hated the idea that so many of them might never be heard.
I have two major issues/weaknesses when it comes to Art. One - I am a huge big ugly perfectionist. I can drive people NUTS with tweaking. I can mix a song for a month if you let me. I tend to come up with so many melodic ideas and arrangements, I choke what I am making. Most people can't hear half the things I am trying to put in there. My good friend and engineer Paul Bessone says a listener can only really focus in on about 4 things at the same time with music. This includes the vocal and drums. I am always pushing that with my music (and I still think we can hear more than that - especially on the third or fourth listen). I want the vocal, drums, bass, guitar, and 4 different cool synth parts All At Once Dammit. So there has always been a dialing back of things with me. And I am cool with doing that. I think as I make music, I start understanding that it's much more about the one or 2 GREAT ideas, than the 10 cool ideas all mushed together. It saves some time too. :)
The second problem I have is laziness. I won't lie. I am hugely lazy. It's pretty much the thing I hate most about myself. Most of my life is spent fighting my procrastination. Which after deliberation - translates to fear. I get scared to put myself out there (as most people do I believe). It's really difficult to take real risks in life. Taking leaps of faith. Do things that you have no control over - you just know that you want to do them. Basically throwing caution to the wind and following your gut BLINDLY. And while I believe strongly that it is the only way to live (it's the only time I feel really alive), I avoid putting myself in those places. I have to really force myself into situations where I am challenged. And it takes up a lot of my energy. The whole mental back and forth thing. It's all very cerebral and a month of psyching myself up for something is not the way to go about things.
So in a way, Viscera exists to trump my hobgoblins. Over the past few years, I have noticed that the first takes are where my music is really made. The immediacy of a performance is integral to it being honest. When you have that first musical idea, you just have to get it out there. If you practice it to death, or re-record it over and over - you lose the whole thing you were trying to capture. It's not about every note being perfect, it's not about showing how "talented" you are. Music is about the great REVEAL. And only happens when you are lost in the moment. In those first takes.
My goal with a song a week, is to force myself to allow for that. Because if I don't, then I will not complete this project :) It's just not possible.
Don't get me wrong - there is room for the critical mind. I will put out stuff that I am proud of, that I feel pushes me as an artist. I will always work to create something NEW. But the emphasis has to be rest on the childlike creative ID state. Not the grammar-school-teacher EGO critical state.
I'm gonna keep you all up to date with some of the cool recording ideas we do, and instruments we use, so stay tuned.
I'm in between releasing 2 songs this Tuesday, my crazy art band synth pop song. Or my dark piano torch song... Still can't decide :) You'll see soon enough!
Sending love from The Cave.