While shows are a blast during and after each performance, they are only temporary things. Even if playing out becomes a lifestyle for you, all those shows will eventually fade away to memories. They make for great stories and the interaction that you have with fans is wonderful to think back upon, but none of that is something you can touch or something you can sit back and enjoy. It's the studio that gives you an opportunity to lay down your ideas for posterity. It may not have the instant gratification that interacting with people in a live setting provides, but your recorded music is what can be shared with people later in life. It is what will endure once the band is no longer taking you from one city to the next. It's your legacy.
Marcus and I went into Pershing Hill Sound last weekend on a mission. We wanted to get a good recording of everything we have been working on as a band, including new ideas, so that all of us could have something to play along with as we work out our ideas for each of our instruments. We have all been around the block and it was apparent that something tangible would help everyone feel as though we had something to show for our hard work. This is the longest we have ever gone without playing a show and I think there was an inspirational spark that was lacking in some of us. Now everyone has something to focus on, something they can rock out with on their way to and from work and something they can play while they are at their computers. We will all be working from the same recording now instead of going through folder after folder of riff ideas with silly names. It's easy to lose focus when there are so many versions of practice recordings. It takes a special kind of obsessive compulsive disorder to stay on top of twenty recordings of half songs and to be able to hone your ideas while you sort through them all. I am pretty positive I am the only person in the band nerdy enough to make that system work.
For those interested we recorded five completed songs and three "rough sketches" which are riffs that have one or more complimentary riffs to go with them. I also wanted the guys to see how close we are to being done so that they could see how far we really have come.
As a drummer I have to have recordings every now and then to be able to critically analyze what I am doing in each track. There are good ways to do things and better ways to do
The idea to record was strategic for many reasons. Greg has moved Pershing Hill Sound to a new location and I wanted a chance to set up my monster kit in his new room so that if we do the album there we will both have a good idea of how to set things up. Also, Marcus and I had never recorded together and I wanted to have a leisurely experience for our first studio outing so that when we do the album we will be seasoned pros. There can be a lot of stress when you are finally recording your album, even if you are one hundred percent ready. Now that Marcus and I have had our first date as it were, I'll bet that when we finish the remaining songs we'll do another of these rough sketch recordings first. If everyone uses the recording from last weekend in the way we envisioned it will be an invaluable tool for sharpening our edge before we record The Real Deal. With this kind of experience under our belts we hope to make this album as close to a "Happy Ending" listening experience for everyone. Who doesn't like happiness? That's right people, only A-holes won't like our new album when it comes out. So what is the lesson in all of this? Don't be an A-Hole! Buy Confessor and Confessor related merchandise.
Monica and I have had quite a lot going on here at the house and with our families. Lots of minor and not so minor health issues with loved ones, a near death for our beloved German Shepherd, Ripp that terrified us both and the loss of my last grandparent kept us mired in what seemed like a 24/7 battering ram of uncomfortable truths that all began to fall upon us as soon as Loincloth shuddered its windows. There were many reasons I wasn't "feeling it" at all after Loincloth split up. I couldn't feign enthusiasm enough to write anything here at The Poundry. I was one hundred percent ready to make the adjustment to being in one band again but not everyone can change gears at the same time. Confessor were locked into "maintenance mode" for a very long time and I needed things to move. Just because you might be ready for something doesn't mean the people around you are, or even that they feel the same need to accomplish something that you feel. When it gets to be too much you have to make a decision: Bail because others don't share your timeline and make everyones' hard work for nothing, or stick with it because you believe what you are doing will be rewarding for the rest of your lives. That has not been anything I have had to consider with regard to Confessor in its current iteration, but I do know what it's like to have that floating around both as the person making the consideration and as someone waiting for another member to make that decision. In either situation it can stifle growth until the decision is made, and in either situation there is a lot to mull over.
Marcus and I have become a writing force in the last few months and that has culminated in last weekend's recording which I am listening to as I write this. I can hear things now that I couldn't hear in the room and several new ideas for drums and rhythm section are coming to me even now. It is truly a wonderful thing that even out of such a long period of varying levels of negativity an inspiring ray of light can touch you and lead you into a space of such creative energy. Some of that comes from being able to shed some of the negativity. There isn't such a thick layer of funk for inspiration to pierce. I am feeling more and more confident about our musical direction and our upcoming album. It will still be a while before we are done but we are rounding the last corner before our home stretch. That feels like a reward within itself, honestly.
For the Collectors of Band Facts out there, the sketch at the top of this post is an earlier draft of Confessor's logo. Even before I began illustrating as my creative outlet I had a thing for calligraphy. You can see that the serifs have a similar flow and that the 'f' is basically a lower case version of the 'F' in the logo we have always used. Plus, the fade from light to dark within each letter was the same in the final Confessor logo. I thought some of you might find it interesting as a way of seeing that how things start and how they turn out are often traceable paths.