It's amazing how long ago it feels since we played our last show on August 15th. The record has progressed so much both in and out of the studio. I keep in the most regular contact with Kelly, then occasional conversations with Daniel and every once in a while with Josh. Josh and Kelly and I ran around this weekend to some music stores on Saturday so Josh could replace some drum equipment, and it was the first time I hung out with Josh since that last show. It's always fun just to hang out and do something other than practice. It feels like we never actually do that. We warmed up on some of the new stuff on Saturday, but it was short lived since Kelly had to leave.
We got together at the space on Sunday to work on what will probably be the last batch of new material. For the first time, we were working on not one but two of mine, with "Groomed to Lead" having the shortest gestation time of any Distractions song, having been written on Monday and worked up by the band on Sunday. I anticipated problems on "CIA" but not so much on "Groomed to Lead," but it turns out both presented their own problems. We did a few rough runs through "Groomed" and found that I had made "CIA" a bit too complicated to fully explain what was going on in the song without a demo. Daniel and I are going to work on that tonight. As of now, I'm optimistic that the songs will be ready to be recorded by the end of October, but we're certainly off to a bumpy start on them. Kelly's new tune, "Goin' to Texas," progressed more easily than the other two, but it still feels like it needs sort of a creative burst on it from all of us to give it the umph to make it stand out on the record. It's missing something, or things, but I'm not at all sure what.
The Distractions impress me. Seriously. I had sung "Groomed to Lead" once for Kelly and Josh before we did a dry test of it on Saturday. My vocal on it was always very straight, but Kelly really impressed me with how well he sang it and how good he made it sound. I was pleased that just his doing that gave that song an extra push. I had scripted parts for Josh and Daniel for "CIA," and they both quickly found ways to make gigantic improvements to those ideas. It surprised me that it was received better by them than "Groomed." I think that's because it provides them more room to play something different and emulate a style in new territory instead of coloring within the lines of a more defined genre of rock.
The excitement of what all three of these songs can be, just from one practice, is always one of the most exciting aspects of this band.
All in all, it's great to be back to practicing. I hope we can juggle practice and Kelly and Josh's proposed studio time with Daniel's need to finish his parts within the next44 days (don't check the calendar--I'm just referring to our self imposed deadline of Oct. 31st) with everything we have in our busy lives to crank this thing out by the end of the year like we're hoping.