Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Want a Hayoth Update? OK.

So, for those of you keeping track, we are very near the end of the ...And Getting Dollars Back project. I did final mixing on Reason, and re-mixed Haunting last week, and I'm extremely happy with the results. I think I've stumbled onto a way to record and mix my vocals that is pleasing to my ears.

Which is a pretty good trick.

I'm still not 100% sold on the lyrics I've come up with for Reason. They looked good on paper, but sound a tad clunky. So, I revised for the re-mix. Still not 100% sold. I may let the tune live with me for a while, and see if I can't come up with something better before the end of December. If I can't think of anything better, it'll stand. I mean, I don't find the lyrics embarrassing, or anything.

The big news is that I started on the musical side of the final track, Getting Dollars Back. The original concept in my head has been dialed back a bit, but I really like how it's working out. On Sunday, I was able to record a scratch guitar track, then the drums and the bass. I sort of astounded myself. It was just an incredibly productive day.

At this point, I have to build a final guitar track, which should be interesting, as my current plan is to have the verse riff change each time through. I'll probably have to build it in sections, in fact I know I'll have to, as the concept is for the wah-wah pedal to come in and out a lot during the track. It's just easier to do that in separate takes, rather than trying to switch it on and off on the fly.

Save that for some theoretical live gig, in the future.

The Reason experience has also left me feeling very critical of the lyrics. So, I think I'll probably work on some revisions there, too. I think, right now, I'm erring on the side of specificity. I often get too involved in storytelling, lyrically, rather than trying to create an emotional mood. As with my soloing, I think I need to learn to let the lyrics breathe more.

Well, what do you expect? My favorite songwriter is Springsteen.

A good example of this is how Dark Water ended up. The original lyrics were just bursting with me Dark Water may be the strongest song on the record. I like how the lyrics and vocal came out, and the solo, which is a long guitar solo, may be the best playing I've ever done on record.

Which is hilarious to me, because the song is a total compromise. If you recall, Dark Water used to be called Zep, and was a acoustic number heavily inspired by Zeppelin's Ramble On. Now it feels, to me, like a mid-tempo blues number. As I re-listen and evaluate my work, I keep thinking maybe I should do a re-mix on it (make the bassline more prominent, specifically), but then I just sort of sit back and find myself thinking, "this pretty much works for me as it is." I mean, I still flirt with doing some re-mixing, if for no other reason that a couple of tracks are mixed slightly more quietly than others, and I'd like to try to find a consistent volume level.
trying, probably desperately, to get the point across. What I ultimately came to (and I hope you'll agree when you hear it) was a pretty simple recurring phrase with variations. Honestly, right now, as I write this, I think that

But, then again, the volume differences aren't that huge. The tracks, so far, sound pretty great together (to my ears). I have those, "if it ain't broke..." feelings.

I'm so close to done, I can taste it. We've got house guests coming soon, and I'm gonna be able to pack up the drums completely. I won't need them until probably January or February. I have no intention of letting another six years elapse between these projects again. I've felt so inspired and creative since I really buckled down on this album. It all started with the drum purchase, which was in March, I think. Since then I've (almost) recorded eight complete songs.

Although, I've also learned to not rush. As I look back at Where Have All the Heroes Gone, my last "album" from 2006, that was so rushed, and almost every song was pulled out of my ass. So much so that I can't even remember how to play most of those songs. I was truly making it up as I went, and clearly not taking very good notes. The time that I've taken, even if it was too damn long, allowed me to write what I think are 8 solid numbers. I was more prepared to record, song wise, than at any time since my first "solo" project.

So, as I'm moving into the last phase, figuring out song order, artwork, deciding how to distribute the thing, I'm really happy with how this is all turning out.

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