I've been hard at work (HA!) on a song called "Reason" for about 3 months now.
Yep THREE MONTHS.
When I settled on this latest musical direction, which was to take the ultimate results away from myself, trying to forge a musical identity that wasn't so much "Mark Pracht," but something less personal, I managed to crank out a track quite quickly. I was even pretty happy with it...
Until I listened to it again, with some distance.
I'm fairly resigned to the fact that my stuff is going to sound like me, no matter what I do. Especially when I'm working in a vacuum. The idea was to take myself to a darker, heavier place, and I think I've made gains in that area. It was also to play against the rhythms that my drum machine immediately suggested to me.
I felt I was in a rut. The idea was to break out. I don't know that, ultimately, I'll go as far as I wanted to, but I think I've moved in the right direction.
However, I think I'm becoming a perfectionist.
This may end up my own, personal Chinese Democracy. I've found myself guessing and second-guessing every choice I make. Yes, this has been kicking around for three months. Any ideas about how far I've gotten on it?
Drum track. That's it, drum track. A new one I just put together this morning before work. (and I found myself listening to it and thinking, "I could switch those two elements, and it would be cooler," so I think we're not done yet.)
I guess that makes sense on a certain level. The drum tracks have become sort of the bane of my existence, they sound good until the guitar goes down, then they get muddy. Or, I find I've attempted to mix up several beats and left myself a drum track I can't figure out how to play over. I've gotten to the point of laying down guitars about 9 times, and even bass twice, only to find myself thinking, "the drums need something else."
AND....back to square one.
It can be infuriating. I have a couple of really good riffs on line for this thing, and I've massaged them to where they SEEM to go together well. I'm actually ready to do the guitar line, I just need the damn drum track to feel right. Bass? That'll work itself out, it's not a funk or R&B track, it's hard rock. Then, the vocals....
I have completely given up trying to figure out vocals, except in the broadest terms, before the track is relatively "finished." I'll wrap up everything but the vocals, make an mp3, and listen to it until I start hearing what and where to sing. I've spent too much time trying to jam pre-written lyric ideas into the tracks I get together, I think I need to take a new approach.
Long story short...We're calling this ground zero on the new project, all over again.