Monthly Archives: January 2011

Songwriting Process: Leaving This Town

I have just returned from recording the last song that I had written for the full length album! Only, there’s one problem…. That was track #6 , leaving another 4-6 songs to be conceived, imagined, penned, and composed.

I have been trying to write a new song for about a week and for some reason no waves of inspiration had hit. I have plenty of cool grooves and riffs that I plan on expanding, but it wasn’t until today that I sat down and FINALLY was able to write down some lyrics to a progression I’ve been keeping in my back pocket for about a year now! It’s a brand new song called “Leaving This Town” and there’s a demo of it on soundcloud right now (Private for the time being, reserved for the fine folks who have downloaded the EP from Noisetrade! SEE LINK ABOVE).

It’s a song that’s both personal for me but also lyrically an attempt at stepping into another’s shoes. It is from the perspective of someone who is still living in the town where they grew up simply puts just hates it. So the song is about finally deciding to take the leap into the world beyond the gray mundane world of this small town existence.

Here are the lyrics:

Leaving This Town

you know what i am trying to tell you
and secrets are not the way
to say what you need to say
and keeping it all inside
will not keep you feelin okay

and i know that i really wanna make it right
its been so long it feels l’ve been awake too many damn nights
so i’m taking this one opportunity , to tell you the truth of me
is I’m leaving this town
all the people i see have graveyards in their eyes
and i think it’s so upside down
im leaving this town

had time to think had time to be cool
had time to plan how i’d TP the school
but now i’ve grown and i’m starting to wise up
while everyone stares into the ground
i’m lookin up

i have someone else to be in some other place you see
a brand new identity oh what will become of me, oh what will become of me?

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Recording Process: Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a song about how I feel about the memories of childhood before the full weight of life set in. It’s about remembering the simpler times where the world was new and fascinating and innocence was alive. We all can probably think back to a memory we really treasure from our childhood. That’s what this song is about… just holding on to those things when the times get tough.

Recording was a blast as usual! I have a couple vids I may post at some point tomorrow, but as it stands I am way past my bedtime! I still have a dayjob to work in the morning!

Here is the completed track! I got a few friends (including my girlfriend!) to sing on the chorus with me!


Sneak Peek: The Snap Stomp Music Studio

I have been working on fixing up my home studio (which is currently NOT where the LP songs are being produced, but where I record my rough demos) and took this snapshot after some adjustments. It’s a fairly small setup, but this is where all the songs you hear on my soundcloud page are born and raised.

: )


Recording Process: I Don’t Need Hope

So Today is the day recording begins for “I Don’t Need Hope”. I am stoked, but a little bummed out because I am recovering from a little bug I caught on Thursday.

It means singing is uncomfortable but not impossible. In fact, who knows? The Vocals might end up sounding better for it!

 

…. [Update]….

Recording was a blast as usual. The guitar part on this song is alot more basic in rhythm and structure than the last two we have recorded which made it way easier to keep the tempo.
I confess, my greatest weakness in the whole recording process is keeping on tempo. I tend to want to speed things up after the first verse and chorus and I have no idea why. Thankfully it really only took two takes to get it right on the guitar. And the vocals actually turned out alright too, considering I was so sick the other day. Phil talked me into singing a harmony (good idea!) and also encouraged me to use the inhumane sounds you hear in the following video:

I think my greatest accomplishment of the day was successfully singing the phrase “poppin’ pills” without pissing the microphone off! Woot!

> Update 9:08 PM

Recording is complete, production is under way, and I just finished the song artwork!

It’s a little different then the previous two, but hey! I’m not playing by any rules here… It’s just something visual to kind of enhance the listening experience.

And the final product is finally here! Phil contributed the awesome piano programming at the end! It was pretty much exactly what I was thinking for the song originally and more! I would have played a piano part on my keyboard but unfortunately I’ve been sick the past several days and kind of relapsed on Sunday. And what Phil did sounds perfect anyway so it’s a win!

Have a listen:


The Album Title Decision

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN REDACTED. I am holding off on the Album Title Decision until the recording process is closer to completion. Although, there is a possibility it will be self-titled.

 


Songwriting Process : I Don’t Need Hope

When I was a kid, I always loved listening to my Dad play the 12-bar blues. So I decided to write a song based on the familiar chord structure that so many awesome musicians have used before me. Of course, I plan on putting my own twist on it! And I think it’s gonna work out because I broke my guitar pick while writing the guitar parts! xD

The concept behind the song is a person who has bought into all the promises of riches and success in the modern world and come up empty , realizing that those promises are lies and giving up hope in all the hype.

I got the music down, and the lyrics… some modification may follow.

I Don’t Need Hope – Lyrics

They call it California, The place to hold your dreams

It’s always been a place they say, with gold up to your sleeves.

Well I’ve been diggin’ for some time now,

In dirt up to my neck.

The pain has made me stronger, but the tears leave me a wreck.

 

Chorus:

But you’re giving me hope, and I don’t need it now (Repeat x 3)

 

We all long for Freedom in this prison of a world

But we’re tied to bills or poppin’ pills

And no one knows for sure,

If ever dreams could come true

Or this dirt turn into gold.

Well, I’d like to see that in my time

Before I grow to old

 

Chorus:

But you’re giving me hope, and I don’t need it now (Repeat x 3)

 

Bridge:

This world, it promises money

This world, it promises fame

But this worlds gonna take all your money

Because all the world wants is your shame


Catching Up: What Has Happened So Far.

It all started back in 2008 when I decided to scrap my old music project  that pretty much sucked balls (And I can’t even begin to describe what it was because I still don’t know…me and a guitar and really bad recording equipment), and start writing some real singer/songwriter material.

I was also in a pretty damn awesome progressive metal/zombie band at the time called A Frayed Not with my friends Travis and Tiffany and my brother Chris (Drums).

I’ve participated in a lot of bands over the years and loved the experiences , but I always struggled to maintain my own personal songwriting. And it wasn’t because I wanted to focus on being a solo act as much as just the fact that writing personal songs is a sort of growing experience for me. Through diving deep into my own thoughts and life and finally bringing it out onto paper and expressing my soul through song. It’s pretty awesome, and in a lot of ways is similar to keeping a journal. Only one that kind of rocks.

Anyways, I went on a little local Portland Oregon tour for a while and played some bars and coffee shops. It was awesome!

Then I sort of just got caught up in life and my day job and (*gasp*) went months without writing songs or even picking up my guitar.

Until that one day… I will never forget that day.

Nah, actually nothing awesome happened.  I just must have walked past the guitar case on the floor one day and thought “Wow! What am I doing procrastinating the one thing in life that I actually love doing?!”

And so I started buying gear to build my own home studio and then my friend Phil heard one of my demos. He is a talented musician in many genres and has a lot of experience in producing and mixing music. He liked the demos, and said he could help me make them better quality. Well, hell yeah!

So we have recorded three songs so far which can all be heard on SoundCloud:

1. Puzzle Of Nails, a softer song about finding meaning in the mystery of life.

2. Singularity, a song about alternate universes and the concept of time moving in a circle.

3. Dimesnap , a song about how money fucks things up! This is probably the bluesiest of them all so far.

All of these tracks can be heard at: http://soundcloud.com/after-avalanche

It was after Dimesnap, that I thought of the idea for the album’s central theme.  Organic Percussion. Mainly… Hands clapping, feet stomping, fingers snapping. It’s the energy and vibe that captures the enthusiasm I have for this music and hope to share and pass along to the listener. (LIGHT BULB ALERT!! This is why I have branded the genre Snap Stomp Music!)

So each song will now have a tagline for what kind of human percussion is featured on the song. Dimesnap itself required a little stomping on the porch session at my house. : )

I have also been making some themed artwork for each song (see top of article) to help promote it and also just because I really enjoy making vector art.

And with that, I think we are all caught up to today! I keep telling myself I will make this blog more entertaining… if you are still reading I might be doing alright!