So I am pulling another rather late night. We just finished the mix for Helium which I am releasing tomorrow. Things are always down to the wire lately and I have to get a bit ahead because all this last minute stuff is making me a little crazy. But I am happy we took some extra time with Helium, it's much better for it. Going to get the song mastered at 6am by Nick Moon up in Oregon. He's going to studio super early to make it happen - which I am very lucky for.
Mixing has been interesting lately. I am working with Chris Testa, who has been great. He's done a bunch of stuff with a lot of really cool artists including Jimmy Eat World, Mat Kearney, Paul Simon, Glen Philips, and the Dixie Chicks. It's been a different process for me. I am not in the mixing room at all anymore, just give notes on the mixes that I get emailed to me on my computer. I think it works out better in the end this way. I usually nit pick things to death and sometimes wonder if I am ruining the mix in the end. We often used to do too much back and forth. So this way is working out better so far. Less energy and better results I think.
It's easy to get lost mixing a song when you wrote and played most of the instruments on it. You often want to hear all your hard work instead of listening to the song and following your ear. I just don't have enough objectivity at the end of producing a track. I don't think most artists should be in the mixing room actually for precisely that reason. It becomes more about ego than the song a lot of times. Takes an entirely different mentality.
I have a ton of lyrics to plow through this week, which is always super super hard for me. I am always staring at a wall at multiple points during the day, praying for divine inspiration. My lyric writing has changed a lot more this year though. The process is much more wrapped around the piano. I tend to play the song up to a hundred times until I finish the words. Let it come out organically, rather than sit at a coffee shop with pen and paper. I used to spend days at Starbucks trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together basically. Now, it's more around what comes out of my mouth in the moment and following that thread. I like this way a lot more. I think it took a while for me to get my mind out of things and let the subconscious take over - which is happening more and more with the songs. I am working hard to think less and less and play more and more.
Much more fun that way too.
I wrote a few strange dance numbers today that will probably never see the light of day today. I am still playing around with lots of dance beats, trying to find a way in. Determined to. I definitely don't want to try and write something that Britney would sing. It's more about finding out how I relate to the dance beat and what it brings out in me. Have some really cool ideas, it's just a matter of finding the melodies that stick at the moment. Then I can start doing some cool melding of genres etc that I really want to do.
I am toying with the idea of traveling a bit and working with some musicians outside of Los Angeles. I really want to do it, hopefully late fall or in the winter. We shall see.
It's funny at the moment. I have a whole bunch of songs that sort of express whole different sides of me, different genre wise as well. It was freaking me out a little bit, because I wasn't sure how they related to each other per se. But doing this project has freed me up a lot. I don't have to worry about the cohesiveness of an album as much. I can deliver things more stream of conscious like. That has helped a lot creatively and kept things interesting for me too. Each project requires a whole new set of tools. I have to be quick on my feet.
Anyway. I am watching Galaxy Quest while waiting for the final mix at the moment. I love the movie. I think because I am a closet Trekkie. Not a huge one. but I did love The Next Generation growing up and Voyager. There is something ridiculous and wonderful about it all.
Yes my inner geek is showing a bit :)