Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Taking a Break: Pros and Cons

This project has been very consuming to me. From artwork and band photos to songs and track listing to the underlying themes and philosophy of the record, I have been engulfed by it since January. With my wedding near and the realization that we may not have any new songs ready for our last show before we go on hiatus to record this summer, I'm trying to take steps to take a break from thinking about it, from wondering about studio schedules or raising capital. I'll still pick up my guitar an mess around with what could be another contribution to the record if I finish it in time, but other than that, I want to distance myself from it. Kelly had to because of work and school, and I'm doing so because of closing school and my wedding and honeymoon (good thing I'm not traveling somewhere in America--it might cause me to think about writing more history tunes).

I think a break will do Kelly and me some good. I know gaining some perspective and focusing on some time with no shows scheduled will help Kelly to write the rest of this behemoth. I hope we can focus on it well enough to practice the songs and complete the recording before I go back to school in August. The downside of not having a show this summer is that I feel playing live is the best way to truly discover the potential a song, to uncover little choices to make it better. "Let's Go to War" and "Bob Dole" are just getting to where they really flow and really cook live, meaning they're ready for the studio treatment. I regret that whatever songs we write and complete, especially the newly completed "Commodity," won't get practiced in a live treatment if we keep that recording schedule. I think of the last record, how all the songs improved with time and performance from their inception and first performance to later performances.

In its first performance, Lane gave a certain succession of cymbal crashes to "Make-Out Couch" that inadvertantly created its powerful ending in subsequent performances. "Paid in Cocaine" had some and "Know It All" had countless word revisions at every show it was played live until it was brought to the studio (sometimes I think its lyrics could have used longer to incubate). "Man Vs. Cheetah" was debuted in September of '07, stripped down to acoustic and then built back up with electrics and Josh before it reached its final form in August, 2008. I am so glad that none of the earlier versions of that song were attempted in the studio. I regret that some of the currently un-written history songs won't get that kind of treatment (if we stay on schedule that is) before being recorded. We'll muddle through somehow, and I am completely confident the record will be great anyway, but I often wish we could focus on it without jobs or weddings, to put 100% into it and play it live around before recording, yet still keep our current time table.

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