Thursday, February 16, 2017

I Think HAYOTH May Be Dead

I created the "band" HAYOTH a few years ago as a banner under which I could release music, and not have to put my name on it. The reason for this was two-fold: The first being that I had put out some material as "Mark Pracht" that was...developing would be a kind description. It also relied on a drum machine, and that tended to make everything very regimented, not to mention that...because I have never mastered programming drum machines...I was limited to a fairly (in the grand scheme) set of pre-set beats.

When I bought a electronic drum kit, I found myself in a position where a live, human being (even if it was just me overdubbing myself) was playing all the tracks on every song. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to differentiate what I was doing from what had come before. So, inspired by a meme game that was going around facebook at the time, I came up with a "fake album" that I just made not fake. Hence was born HAYOTH's "...And Getting Dollars Back."

Two more albums followed...and all three are, more or less, flawed. I still think some of my stuff is pretty good, and I'll listen back to the second HAYOTH disk, "Uptown," in particular, and there's some strong work.

I'm pretty sure you've all heard this stuff but it can be found here:

But, as I write I have 4 songs in progress for the next album/project/whatever you want to call it...and it's feeling more and more like hiding behind this "band" doesn't fit what's coming out of me. Thinking about what happened with the election has made me think about my grandfather, my uncles, my aunts...people who've greater or lesser extents...demonized by a lot of people around me. I like to think that my Grandpa would've seen though the bullshit, but I certainly know one of my uncles, and some of my cousins, did not. I never made my living from the land, but they did, and do.

Combine this with really coming back to the singer/songwriter side of my listening habits...Springsteen, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard, Sturgill Simpson, Waylon Jennings, etc have been dominating my headphones lately...

Something has changed.

I also find myself in the grip of some crippling writer's block, but...that comes and goes.

I am certain there will be rock influence and elements to my work. I can't escape what kind of a player I am...but, listening to Steve Earle, in particular, I am becoming much more enamored with minimalism. My riffs don't have to be complicated, and making them needlessly so just to impress someone who's not listening anyway (which I am definitely guilty of) is a pointless exercise. I took a bit of time, and worked out how to play Earle's "Copperhead Road" on mandolin, and it felt so good.

It also felt like it gave me more space to use the limited tool that is my voice in it's best light.

So, last night, I did a factory reset on my guitar amp...bridges are burned, and I'm starting out on a new path. I may come up with some new mask to wear, or maybe I'll be brave enough to put my name on it

I'm also done with giving my music away. I'm going to actually try to sell it, going forward.

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