Category Archives: Songwriting/Recording Process

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.



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



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



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:

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!

Introduction: The Beginning of a New Journey

Hey Folks!

Welcome to my blog… right now, no one probably knows who I am or what I am about… so let me introduce myself!

My name is Shawn Pavlas,  and I make music.   Big deal right? Lot’s of people out there make music and many of them do it well.  I am not a genius,  or a prodigy.  I simply love writing , composing, and performing music. To me, the songs I write are more accurate journal entries from my life than anything I could write in a blog . They capture both words and feeling that can’t be conveyed with words.

So yes, music is a personal Journey for me. And as such, I figured I would start a blog online to document my story as the recording artist After Avalanche. It may be a story of failure or success, happiness or tragedy. Whatever it may be, I invite the random reader to join me as I share my songs and the stories behind them.

Which brings me to the last thing I should mention by way of introduction.

I am in the process of recording my first studio album. I have been playing, recording, and performing my songs since I was in my mid-teens but I have never actually released an album of songs. As you could imagine, I am extremely excited about this project.

My style has always been a little on the folksy side, but I have never conformed to the popular genre. I was taught how to play guitar when I was ten years old by my Dad who mostly played bluesrock,  and with my upcoming album I have found my songwriting to take on a very strong soul/blues influence.  In a way I am returning to my roots with my first official LP, but I am also starting a new journey in a genre where I feel most at home.

But enough by way of mundane introduction! You will learn more about me and After Avalanche in future posts that will be much more interesting to read. In the meantime, I want to invite you to listen to the first couple of songs that I have released as an online EP of the upcoming album.

Just head on over to this URL for a FREE download of the EP: