Discography : Bring It On
Wow. Where to begin? Well, I wrote this crazy, pretentious little screed that I was going to actually put in the liner notes as a sort of synopsis of the album, that is... until I came to my senses. Melodramatic much?! check it out...
The definition of labor of love. Over ten years in the making. Ridiculous amounts of frustration. Get nine months in, then start over from scratch. Lose every single recording you've ever made in your entire career. Nine more months cause a three year break (in the best of ways). Re-learn every single song on the record. Fit in studio time at 8 in the morning or 11 in the evening or while living in a completely different location. Find a rhythm. Make some progress. Hear it in your head and then don't come close to recreating it in reality. Come to terms with your limitations. Concede the compromise after thirty takes and learn to love it. Repeat times ten. Hope that someone else gives a shit. Try not to care when they don't. Find peace without it. Repeat for the rest of your life. If you think you can deal with all that... bring it on.
Yeah. so... that's all pretty true, but, no.
I first started working on this back in 2008. Eesh. I was still having trouble with the recorder, which was malfunctioning off and on over the course of the previous record, which was finished in December of 2007. I took maybe 6 months off before diving back into some drum programming for this next set of songs. On the 4th session in July, I had to re-record some scratch guitar & vox that had vanished. But I somewhat stupidly kept on, and a couple months later, was unable to continue to use the same set of drum sounds I've been using for my entire discography (there are several "kits" available in the mixer/drum machine) but I just changed the setting to a different kit and pushed on, though sessions were sporadic at best - only 5 total in August/Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec. But that was mostly just so I could say I had been working on it "August through December" - as long as there was at least one session per month, it was still true. My heart wasn't really in it. In January, though, I finally started to hit the studio hard with some regularity (new year's resolution?!), and by March had finished drums on 3 songs, racking up a little over 40 hours of actual work time, though there were still occasional issues with recorded tracks just straight up disappearing. The day after I had finished the 3rd drum song, I attempted to start programming drums on a 4th, but the machine had other ideas. The damn thing froze and locked up and I tried like hell but was unable to do anything about it. It was dead.
So not only had I lost everything new I had worked on for the previous several months, but I also lost every single other recording I'd ever finished - every other master album track from my songwriting career, gone. Poof! As you can imagine, it was pretty disheartening. I spent a fair amount of time searching online for recovery options, ways to get the data out without killing the machine. Didn't find much hope. I eventually just acquiesced that it was probably better that at least the machine work and I let go of the data and move on, especially since all the other recordings (minus some extra little jams and stuff, some things with my kids that was hard to lose but nothing terribly critical) were already mastered and out of the recorder. I knew I had the option to "reset" the recorder to factory condition - as if it were new - though I couldn't know for sure if that would work. I pinned my hope and my wallet on it, and went ahead and did it. Luckily, there was also a software update released by the manufacturer. I updated that into the reset and tested it out... and it all seemed to be working fine. I was finally free to record again! This was in June of 2009. I then spent exactly 3 and a half hours, over a total of 3 sessions spanning 4 days, working on drums for one song. I didn't finish. I came back to it, once, in August, for an hour. Still unfinished. And then I didn't touch it for over four years.
When my son was born in September of 2010, my free time kind of vanished, and whereas I used to play at least a little guitar almost every single day, that pretty much disappeared when he was born, as well. Not complaining, but I had better things to do. Why I chose to not do anything at all in the studio for the year BEFORE he was born, I don't really remember. Drum programming can be tedious, repetitive business. I was probably frustrated by it and by the prospect of rebuilding all the songs I'd lost, because it was still only 3 months removed from my hard drive dying. When it was fixed and I got back into it, I just... wasn't into it. And then we had a baby. So it sat there unused for quite some time. For the entirety of 2010, 2011 and 2012, to be exact. We moved out of the house in the late summer of 2013 and into a small apartment, but still owned the house. We were selling but not getting much interest and we desperately wanted into a different school district, so we moved and left the house empty. We left most of my musical equipment in the house because it wouldn't really fit in the apartment and I didn't want to put it in storage. It was all still full functional, and in September of that year I realized I had the perfect opportunity to ignite some recording sparks because we were still doing laundry at the house! We would trudge all our dirty clothes over there and stick around while it washed and dried. I quickly volunteered to do all of the laundry and could then spend all that time in the studio working on drums. And that arrangement worked very well through April. I got really excited about it again. I finished 5 songs and started on a 6th - fully halfway done with drums! There was a lengthy break when we finally sold the house and I moved all my equipment out, stuffed into the apartment garage, mostly. We finally got a new house and moved in July, and it took a while to get back into it, because I felt a little guilty using my spare time for something so selfish since we had lots of house stuff to work on. But by January I was finally able to get back into music, but again... for some reason it didn't last very long! Two and a half hours of work over 3 sessions for the whole year of 2015! But by January of 2016, something eventually clicked and I was able to bear down and really get back to work, and I didn't really stop until it was finished. I was able to fit in drum programming at random times because it was entirely a quiet process (through headphones). Instrument tracking and singing, however... that was a different story. But the key was my son going to school. I have Mondays off as a rule and when he started going to Kindergarten that fall, I had Monday mornings all to myself! I probably did 95% of the instrument tracking on Monday mornings. The album totally should'be been titled Mostly Monday Mornings.
But because I didn't or couldn't fit in much studio time besides that specific window, it was kind of slow going. It took a full two and a half years of Monday mornings to finish guitars/bass/vocals. Things slowed down in the summer when my son was home with me on Mondays. And then eventually, it was just finally done. Thank God.
All of these songs were written either during the recording of the last record (released December 2007) or shortly after. I had a few done that could have been recorded for Leave An Impression, but I had a feeling I would have enough songs inspired by my wife to complete a record, so I held on to them. This album is the result. We started dating in August of 2004, and the first song I wrote about her (Stephanie Lynn) was finished a year later.