Hello true believers!
Before I go into one of my manifesto blog posts for the month, let me just preface this by saying although this post to some might be one of those negitave “woe is me” entries, once you read closely you might realize that actually it’s quite the opposite.
So as many of you read on the last entry things were finally starting to look up and turn around for your hero. I introduced two new members to the family last month and after a few rehearsals, things were really starting to gel and the band was sounding better than ever! Adding Benny and Noah to the mix really filled out the sound and it’s been a joy to just grab the mic and just concentrate for the first time on just my voice.
Sure sometimes I get “instrument envy” when the band is cranking and I want to pick up something and rock along, but at the same time I keep telling myself “nope this is what you wanted, sit back and embrace it!” Which I have been emmensely.
But of course as luck would have it (which seems to be the course of how things have been this year as a whole) things can’t be all daisies and sunshine.
Just as we were about to debut the new lineup at one of our favorite places to play, with one of our favorite bands to play with Blue Alien Mystic while literally sitting on the floor at the girls’ cheer competition after watching and being amazed as they both excelled on the mat, I get a text from my pal Barry....
the scene of the incident
After I got over the initial shock the two of us start investigating “what the fuck? They just had shows that weekend and now out of nowhere their social media is shut down and they are closed?”
To this day, I still don’t know why and I really hope that things are ok and they reopen again but as of today one the only few great local places to play original music is now closed...
So as usual, we picked ourselves up, patched our wounds and continued to search for new venues for us to play while at the same time, rehearsing the set with the 6 of us ( or as my pal Barry likes to call it now because there’s so many of us “GregKnot” 😛)
I figured since the club scene isn’t knocking down our door to play gigs (yet) I started to look back at what I have recorded so far for “Elephants...” and started thinking “ok the Winter and holidays are approaching so maybe the best thing to focus on right now is getting this album I’ve been sitting on literally for the whole year done”
I had everything recorded like I've said before except for live drums and a good vocal recording so now my plan was to think about that. At this point I’ve already started working on new songs for new releases in 2018 so I really wanted to finish what I had since not only do I love the album as a whole, I've been working on it and we've been playing most of the album live now for A WHOLE YEAR.
But as most of you know, even though we have the technology these days, recording a professional and "proper" release is still not cheap.
You want a professional vocal sound? Either spend thousands on a good microphone (and know how to use it) or book studio time. You want to record live drums? Same thing. It's easy to plug a guitar in a laptop and get any great sound you want, but recording live drums is a whole different animal.
So I was speaking to a few studios, weighing my options and deciding on how I was going to a) get it done and most importantly b) afford the damn thing. I got a great deal from a close friend for studio time so now I started racking my brain on how I'm going to execute both parts.
Do I spend the money out of my own pocket and hope to recover as much as I can back?
Do I do one of those crowd source fundraising campaigns to raise the money for it? I've seen success with those from other people, but for some reason I always saw it as me standing on the freeway holding a cardboard sign shaking a tin cup.
So I'm trying to think of how to afford studio time while at the same time, trying to pick a date to get the drums and vocals recorded. As I've also mentioned in the past, getting one or two people in a room to work on music (let alone 6!) with everyone's family and personal schedules (mine included) has been almost impossible. This year and even year's before we would be on a good run playing shows monthly and rehearsing but then, months would go by with nothing.
We would look at each other after practice and say "hey, let's pick some days or a weekend to knock this out" and the reply is always "yeah yeah definitely" and then the next thing you know Santa is coming, it's been a year and you are looking at an almost completed album with each song tweaked 100 times with no end in sight.
So after listening to the album carefully the past week, listening to what I have done already and doing some final tweaks on it I finally decided....(say it with me)
Now like I said way in the beginning, this is by NO MEANS me crying the blues at all! However, being a musician for more than 1/2 my life, I am also a realist especially in today's musical climate.
For an independent artist in 2017 not only are the days of recording contracts from a label exremely hard to come by, so is the revenue stream for said artists. Think about it, when is the last time you went to a record store, or bought a physical CD or even paid for a full album on say I-Tunes instead of streaming on Spotify or even You Tube? Trust me, I am a big culprit of that too, we all are.
For me, when it comes to original music from either myself or in any project I've been lucky to have been a part of It's NEVER been about the money. It's about the SONGS and the MUSIC first and it always will be. In the end. Even to this day if one person besides myself listens to a song I wrote and enjoys it? 99 cents or not, that's a win in my book.
Even though HEAL did not sell .a ton of copies and dollars were not rolling in, sites like numberonemusic.com looking at my page I've had over 3,600 plays of the singles from the album. and 5,000 profile views since I put it up there, with e-mails coming in from all over the globe commenting on whow much they like the songs. Could be bullshit, but to me that is valuable.
However....you can shine my balls all you want, the bottom line is and I've realized now doing this on my own the past few years, praise does not pay the bills.
So I've finally decided after thinking about it for over a year, the album is going to be released as is and a release date will be announced as early as next week.
Is the album recorded with state of the art equipment with expensive mics in a fancy studio with everything being 100% "human"? Nope. Is the album going to sound as great as it can be with killer songs from beginning to end with no filler?
You're goddamn right it will be.
Like I mentioned above I started listening to all of the songs I have done for it on the commute the past week or so and since I have a "free weekend" this weekend there's a few things left to tweak here and there that I want to do, which I will get done. Then comes the final mixing/mastering, then it will be set up to be posted on all platforms. and I will have an actual release date to announce.
I'm also hoping to release the first single from the album Resurrection before Thanksgiving. I'm picking that one since it pretty much shows the whole vibe and "theme" of the record. "The resurrection of me all falls on the burying of you" In order to rise and be a better person, you need to bury the negitave.
After listening to these songs over and over and over, even though I have 12 songs recorded, I'm planning on narrowing it down to 8 with an intro/outro to make it a nice even 10 songs total.
If you have been to any of the shows, or watched my YouTube channel it will have all of the songs we;'ve been doing live for awhile like Awake, Get Out The Door, Soursome, I've Talked To The Devil, Leftover Romance and of course a few others.
I'm extremely proud of these songs and album overall and I can't wait to share it with everyone. My goal for the next year is to really push these songs to as many outlets as I can, with limited edition CD's being pressed for sale and to anyone who manages acts, books shows, plays songs on the radio, all of that. The Critically Ashamed is ready and I am hoping to play as much as we can to promote the album.
To everyone who reads these novels, came to our shows, purchased any music in the past and has supported me the past few years both personally and musically I cannot thank you enough!
Things sometimes are never going to be 100% what you want it to be, but in the end you just gotta say..