It took a really long time to put this album out. I don’t really have an exact amount of time, but maybe about three years ago (2017) is when I started more seriously thinking about what a complete album might actually look like. Due to my upbringing, past experiences, and whatever invisible aggressor exists that won’t allow me to be truly satisfied with my own work/effort, sometimes personal projects can take a while. Interestingly enough, general tasks and “to-do’s” aren’t what take such a long time, it’s just always the creative projects. Even those can be categorized separately between “it’s whateva” (aka personal amusement) and “it’s not done until it’s done” (most anything I might want to share), which from the perfectionist standpoint could very well be never.
I’ve always been harder on myself than anyone else has. It’s gotten ALOT better over the years, but I’m pretty sure that trait is here to stay.
And yet somehow, it wasn’t really creative blocks or procrastination that delayed the project in any way. Realistically, it just ended up being a whole lotta life.
While there were plenty of challenges to choose from when making it a reality, one that would end up bothering me was “how can I make it all make sense?”. When you think of your favorite album, or an album that you maybe just kinda like (and probably almost any album you haven’t even heard of), they tend to fall under a specific genre of music.
You’ll find it’s fairly rare to find artists who are willing (or allowed) to push those boundaries. In the mainstream music world it’s pretty much unheard of, and in a lot of ways it makes sense. It’s not as marketable (or profitable) generally to try and sell more than one thing. That’s why you don’t (generally) see restaurants also selling computers, or clothing stores selling hot dogs. It makes way more sense to have a clear direction and focus, not only to make things easier for yourself, but more importantly to those that you’re marketing to. So, with that in mind, I honestly didn’t know what to do.
Statistically speaking, it would make sense to pick a genre and just roll with it; make it easier to market by staying in the lines. And being someone who has always been more interested in what’s outside of the lines, it definitely was a tough choice. After a great deal of pondering, I came across an answer that starts in a name.
What’s In a Name?
I know. For an album title or otherwise, it’s a mouthful. It ended up coming out of a pretty obvious question “what should I call it?” or I guess more specifically, “what is it?”. A collection of songs covering some of the different types of music I enjoy making. “And?..annnd it’s songs that I not only have allowed myself not to hate, but actually enjoy. “and taking that into consideration, with your entire experience up until this point, if you sum it up with a single name what would it be?” I had spent plenty of time thinking about what I was going to call it, but it only took moments after asking myself that question.
“Traversing the Infinite Noise and Other Tales of Peril”
Here’s what it means:
Traversing the Infinite Noise
We’re constantly surrounded by all of this noise. Whether it’s the constant movement in a sleepless city, paper-thin walls in a crowded homestead, the continuous barrage of misinformation and hate that spreads ever so quickly in our connected world, the seemingly endless supply of injustices and inequality, on top of dealing with any internal crises and what we like to call “just making it through the day”. The world we live in sure can be noisy. To be quite frank, it can be noisy as fuck. And it truly is infinite.
..and Other Tales of Peril
Pretty much the catch-all to: and everything else. While the “noise” references the more predictable daily struggle, “other tales of peril” refers more towards the unforeseen circumstances. When something breaks without warning. If your house gets broken into. When someone close to you passes unexpectedly. You know..the “cherry on top” type scenarios. In all honesty, we probably don’t give ourselves enough credit much of the time. Life can definitely have it’s struggles and we literally out here just survivin’.
In short, it’s a shoutout to my personal journey thus far, traversing through the infinite noise (and many an “other tale”). Simultaneously, it serves as an acknowledgement of everyone’s experience that is unique to them; theirs and theirs alone.
Put It All Together
So how does it work all together? What’s the connection? Well, the album title serves to create a set and setting. Instead of being just focused on one theme or location, it references multiple times and places so you can imagine listening to the album that they’re not so out of place and instead exist exactly where and as they should be. As it works metaphorically speaking in terms of my experience, I also have developed some additional stories and characters to these settings (more on this in the future). My hope is to allow the viewer/listener engage more with an emotion that might not have been caught originally in direct relation to my personal story, but perhaps can be felt through their own perception through imaginative storytelling.
So that’s it? You want to make something so you just do it right? Not exactly..
Most of my time over the past number of years has been spent focusing on providing solutions for small/medium sized businesses and facilitating community collaborations (in an number of ways that I won’t get into now, but this will probably be a link in the future yeah?). I’ve gone to pretty great lengths in the past to keep my different projects completely separate for a variety of reasons. It helps me to compartmentalize, stay focused, and get more accomplished in a day. Another plus, is that I’m able to review metrics and trends more efficiently, by having completely different data sets (please disregard this absolute nerd shit).
ANYWAYS..it’s been wild, extremely fulfilling, and very exhausting. And by early summer 2019 (when I hadn’t even started the album yet), I knew I would have to take a big step back if I wanted to get around to actually putting out music. So I did.
In the beginning there was some insane progress. I really had never put so much time and energy towards something that I thoroughly enjoyed. Creating the opportunity and space to be creating new solutions for just me specifically? It felt a lot better than I probably could have imagined. Pretty consistently throughout my life it’s always been my MO to drive my attention towards helping others; I genuinely didn’t know how good that would feel to help myself (and I totally recommend it).
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
However, in seemingly no time I found myself falling back into old roles (working with existing clients) and habits, even creating new obligations for myself. In no time at all it was already the winter holiday season which over the years has become one of my least favorite times of year, mostly in part to giant corporations playing their role in force feeding our consumer-based economy (don’t even get me started), and the way that it turns us all into such AMAZING people fighting over future garbage (ok apparently I already started). Mix all that with however many obligations you have for friends, family, etc. who absolutely care about you and your well-being as long as you show up at this time on these days with all of our boxes of expectations checked and ready to go. No offense, but yeah sometimes it’s “bah fuckin’ humbug” and is it really that surprising someone might feel that way?
Let’s just say the holiday season with “preparation” and “lingering spirit” lasted a good few months. Prior to the season I was essentially at the mastering phase, and there it stayed. At this point, I’ve already delayed the release 3 times (even if the date is just in my head) and I finally let go of having a specific date to hold on to.
So now it’s the very beginning of March. Covid-19 is something that we’ve already been watching closely in China over the past couple weeks, but “it’s not going to be a problem in the U.S.” right?..
Insert every obvious/potential reason things might get delayed even further at this point.
Local stores out of supplies: check
Lack of business due to pandemic: check
Lack of funds due to lack of business: check
Experience what it feels like to have the Cov (here’s a hint, it fucking sucks): check
Hack, breach, and deletion of data during pandemic surge: check
Vehicle hit and run: check
I’m 100% sure there’s more, but you get the idea. Wah wah wah, and we’re back at it again.
Release and Promotion
The final push eventually comes and I’m able to finally say: release date May 20, 2020. “After all this time I’m ready and excited to share and promote the album. I’ll finally enjoy a couple days to myself and share next week.”
Note: it ends up not being a good time to promote an album.
**And to stay topical I won’t say too much about it here, but these conversations are long overdue. Hell, most of these conversations have been going on for a long fucking time and we can clearly see where it’s gotten us. Shitty police, not okay. Racist fucks, not okay. Shitty racist police fucks, we’re DONE with that shit. End of story.**
Conclusion and Next Steps
My point with mentioning the struggle in any amount of detail is not me phishing for reactions. In fact, most of what is written here I had completely forgotten about until writing this up. It’s just another example of someone persevering and making some shit happen, and can only hope it may serve as inspiration or at least light a fire under your ass to write your own story.
Realistically, I’m absolutely stoked to be done with the album and have a first title under my belt after such a long hiatus of sharing any music. It’s been a really long time comin’ and I’m glad I’ve finally been able to get to that first step. I’m totally aware that it could be better and I’m looking forward to continually improving and doing way bigger shit in the future.
And for a final thought I’ll leave you with..
about 90% of the album was a mashup of old projects and sounds meshing with some new toys I acquired last year. After having some time to play around I think it’s safe to say quite a bit of the new material made over the last year is feelin’ pretty hot.
Orange you glad man?
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