“Don’t you ever get tired?” – A fan asking me about my workload in general
Well… Yes, but I basically bite through it and still get shit done because I am stubborn like that. 😛
So this was quite the eventful set of days. I have been working on many different projects lately (Which I will elaborate on more in other posts) and all these have been taking big chunks of my time. However, one project in particular entitled First Re-Draft 2019 (This is still a working title) has been the bane of my existence for the last year or so.
Allow me to use this info-graphic to explain what I am working on right now:
Okay, so short said, this new album that is coming is a re-release of a re-release… I don’t blame you if you are lost on the how’s and why’s. 😛
It’s quite a story though, so allow me to elaborate:
First Draft was my very first foray into songwriting in 2004 and it was a special time for me for many reasons. Making my first music on my own showed me that I was able to express some of my darker emotions for the first time in my life. This was very much needed and healthy for me and is still my main drive to make art in the first place.
Here, have a few pictures of me in 2004 and 2005 working on music to set the scene. When I was still an angsty teenager. Woop! 😛
Of course this album was under-produced, under-written and in general well… under-whelming. But it was needed to start my adventures into music. I am not interested in releasing that album in that form ever again as I personally think it’s a small nightmare to listen to (hell, I didn’t even sing in key most of the time. It was bad 😛 ) but I will always keep it in my heart for being the starting point opf this thing that I am still doing to this day and some of the basic song ideas always stayed with me.
Fast forward to 2011
After releasing my third album Scrapbook in early 2011, I felt an urge to go back to my earlier songs and see what I felt like listening to them with clean ears and my current state of mind…
I wanted to get back to the original Cool Edit Pro (Yes really!) recording sessions… But I ended up being an idiot and losing the mastertracks to my original first album in a computer crash. So the only thing that was left was the MP3 and WAV audio version I had of it and that was it… Hence my frustration that I could not do anything with those songs anymore…
It was however after listening to those WAVs & MP3s that I realized these songs were very rough… But there was something underneath that roughness. These songs deserved a better fate. These songs still had validity, but were marred by bad production, bad lyrics and bad performance from my end.
So with my new found experience both musically and production-wise, I tackled the songs again and took out the best parts to rewrite the tracks to what became First Re-Draft in 2011. This was a massive improvement over the original album and it is still available to the Dreamwalkers in the Dreamwalkers Realm (TDW music members that can download it from this very website if you are a member. Check the last couple of TDW booklets in the albums to find out how you can become one!) and it got some decent reviews but that was it really.
Fast forward to late 2014
After the release of the MTSAAFAT album, which featured older songs redone in a new shape as well (Songs like Surface Scratching, Jimmy and Mourning After 2 originally were written in 2006) I still had a nagging feeling about First Re-Draft… Releasing it only to website members was (in retrospect) not a smart move… And it still felt like people were missing out on these songs…
So I reopened the 2011 sessions in the studio and started listening to it… And still wasn’t completely satisfied! AAAAAAH!
I just knew that I could improve the production, performance and overall sheen of it once again and that would be the last I would do to it. So, as a real George Lucas (yes, I went there), I got back into remixing these songs. This process took me about a year, but then I realized the original parts were not gonna cut it… So I slowly started to re-record guitar parts and bass parts to make it all sound beefier and more direct…
Still, that is what it feels like, like with most good stuff that went down in my life: It happened. People came in at the right time and BAM, there it was. I am still surprised by that. And looking at that development now in 2018, I can only say: THAT is what was needed.
We wrapped up The Antithetic Affiliation last year (all this time while also working on this album in the background) and with the excitement of that process in mind, I started including my band mates in the First Re-Draft sessions. Every band member added new flavors, solo’s, sounds, vibes and overall impact to the songs and FINALLY it feels like the songs are complete now.
And if that wasn’t enough, I made a fun little post on the Facebork this week, asking who felt like singing along on this record in the choirs… I got over 40 replies with an actual 13 capable singers ending up able to perform it and more are still applying! I did not expect that many responses to come in. :O
Add to this that I can mix better records these days and know my shit more, I am actually getting quite excited to finally release these songs in the way that they deserve to be heard and played. The first song, Happy Day (which we also play live both electrically and acoustically) was already released as a preview of sorts in May of 2018 through BlankTV. The responses have been very positive indeed! Feels good to launch something that isn’t even finished properly and then getting people that excited. 😛
And now it’s August 2018 and I am preparing to record all the choir parts with the new singers. And that is the complete history of First Re-Draft to this point.
We will now work on finishing up all the parts in all songs ASAP and then work towards releasing this full thing on CD and digital platforms in early 2019. (If murphy’s law doesn’t screw us over that is 😛 ) Then I can finally let go of this in a satisfying way and show the world the songs in a quality that represents the music as it should be. The last parts always take the longest, but it will be all worth it! I am excited! 😀
Now then, enough blog writing, time to get back into le studio again. 😉