Monthly Archives: August 2009

DIY Do or Die part FOUR (the shitty part)

I’ve hit that wonderful point in the creation of the CD where I’m in what we call (and this is a technical term) a “freakin’ slump”.  Right now I can’t finish a damn thing, start a damn thing, or come up with any ideas for my EXISTING ideas that feel like I’m helping them.

Being stressed out over the upcoming 3 day FMF09 Reverence Showcase in 3 weeks isn’t helping ( for info and tickets), but let me lay out what you get to deal with if you live with me:  1) “Normal Guy Matt”, who is calm, affable, and mildly amusing, 2) “Crazy Matt”, who is hyperkinetic, full of ideas, and probably more annoying than amusing, and 3) “Depressed Matt”,  who feels like he’s thoroughly sinking, nothing’s worth it, and that he can’t do anything right.  Strangely, Depressed Matt can be HYSTERICAL, mainly because I simply give less of a shit than normal what’s “right” to say…and I end up apologizing later.  Oh well.

So yup, I’m a catch.  And I’m also in #3.  The wonders of suffering from depression (like many, I ain’t special or some “tortured artist” here) is that I, well, HAVE TO SUFFER WITH DEPRESSION SOMETIMES.  It sucks, plain and simple.  Yeah, I’m on meds, but they don’t cancel out the emotions.  They don’t cancel out the weird thoughts and the want/need (yay, alcoholism) to self-medicate.  I’m not suicidal or anything, as it always passes, but MAN does it suck in the meantime.

Basically I just get really focused on one band that “speaks to me” and overlisten to them.  Right now, that’s the Riverboat Gamblers.  Nothing helps a depressive with a  drinking problem more (at least me) than hearing songs from OTHER depressives with drinking problems. 

Hey, birds of a feather, right?  This also explains why I listen to more punk than industrial most of the time– better songs to relate to about being a fuck-up.

So what does this mean for the CD?  It’s shelved until I get my mojo back.  I contemplated not even writing this as truthfully not much has been completed outside of a new track getting a demo mix (Piss and Vinegar) and tossed up on myspace since I’ll be playing it at a bunch of upcoming shows (which I alternately just want over and am excited about), but I figured I wanted an honest representation of creating new music and for a lot of us “artist types” depression and mental issues are very real.

I know many who are much worse than me, and I don’t hide it and I’m not ashamed of it.  I still have a damn good life as much as I feel like I’m being sucked into a vortex of steaming shit sometimes, and so I just have to yell at my head to shut up (in the “non voices-hearing” way:)) and keep writing lyrics, as that’s one of the ways I get this out of me.

Luckily, I’m coming up with some really good stuff in that dept.  Now I just need to write MUSIC for it…and that’ll be for another CD altogether if I ever release it.

So there ya go.  I’m in the shitty part of the creative process.  Welcome to Caustic.

The nice part is I know I’ll get out of this and start going crazy being creative and having fun.  Unfortunately I have to be patient as because I never know WHEN that’ll happen.  Fingers crossed on sooner than later…


Some fast answers to important questions

Topic: Does music sound better made on hardware or software?

Answer:  Shut the fuck up.

Next topic:  What is “industrial”?

Answer: Shut the fuck up.

Next topic: Do you like pizza?

Answer: Yes.

Madison Promoter Rocks DIY

If you’re not from Madison you probably don’t know True Endeavors or been to one of the million shows TE and Tag Evers promoted.  Tag’s been a tireless music fan and promoter in Madison for as long as I can remember and just posted a bunch of great “DIY” links on his blog, so check them out!

A very interesting discussion on the use and “professionality” of CDRs

Todd Durant is the owner and operator of the amazingly resilient synthpop label A Different Drum (and I mean that with all respect intended– he’s stuck it out hardcore…even if the music’s not:)) and recently blogged about his thoughts on CDRs, aka “duplicated” CDs.

While I agree in theory with Todd, I’m obviously more of a “I think the media should be appropriate for the art/music”, with some art/music being more “for REAL CD” and some being more for duplication.  I’ve done severely ltd runs of some Caustic simply because I WANTED to do a severely ltd run, and thought that format was best for the project and felt no compromise (both artistically or financially) for doing it.

Obviously Todd feels differently and presents his arguments well, so I happily share the link for you to decide on your own.

Mind you, this is also coming from a guy whose new CD will be professionally replicated but LOOK like a CDR…so, well, I tend to not really give a shit.  I also don’t think a synthpop CD would work well in the same format.  Again, appropriateness…

Also, read the comments, as both sides of the debate are represented.  “Eric” is my good pal Eric Oehler of Null Device, and I tend to agree with his statements more than Todd’s, but that doesn’t make either side more valid.

How’s that for fair and balanced reporting.  SUCK IT, FOXNEWS!;)

All (underground) Music Fans Should Read This

Remixing 101 with a New Teacher

Dan Clark from The Dark Clan/Stromkern/sometimes Caustic live is an amazingly creative, inventive, and technically adept fella who I’m honored to call my friend.  He recently (well, today) got a blog up on the excellent website (a Minneapolis/St Paul “local” site with great national reviews, interviews and blogs)  regarding on how HE approaches remixing.  It’s a very different process than mine and no less or more correct, but interesting and inspiring nonetheless.

Check it out.

And listen to The Dark Clan here:

He’s got a new CD called “Goths on a Boat” coming out on the San Francisco label DLVN soon, as well!

Why I Do It (the short version)

It’s not about a career.   It’s about a memory.  It’s about connecting your passions to someone else’s.  It’s about making them dance, or think, or feel, or laugh.  It’s about letting someone associate your music and words with a beautiful, or terrible, or happy, or tragic time in their lives.

It’s about being human.  And flawed.  And both harshly judging that in yourself and others.  It’s about primal expression and throwing every bit of yourself into something, damn the consequences.

It’s about sacrifice—physical, mental, emotional.  It’s about testing your abilities and pushing yourself one step further.  It’s about not knowing why you still do it but going on because something’s making you deep inside, whether you want to continue or not.  It’s about playing fair and still succeeding.  It’s about showing anyone who wants to knock you down that you can still win, regardless of how much you suck, or screw up.

It’s about being a professional at an amateur hour and showing them “how it’s done”.  It’s about fearlessness and freedom and jumping off the cliff and hoping the wind blows you back.

It’s about respect.  Respecting the audience and respecting your art, regardless of if it’s stupid, silly, or profane.  It’s about respecting your art because it IS art, as all art is equal but not all art is good, or honest, or sincere.  It’s about respecting those who inspired you to do what you do and paying them back by doing the best you can.

It’s about bringing friends along for the ride.  It’s about bonding with strangers and meeting new people and encouraging them to do what they really want.  It’s about leading the way, humbly, and knowing that all your opinions are just opinions, and that you’re most likely full of it anyway.

It’s about staring into the eyes of a crowd and not backing down.  It’s about confrontation and confidence.   It’s about failing and failing better.

It’s about inspiration and purity mired in crazy and chemicals and adrenaline.  It’s full power.  It’s 100%.

It’s about laughing at yourself and despite everything just enjoying what you do.

It’s about the second you walk on stage and the second you get off.  It’s about “the zone”.  It’s about ignoring  the apathy and embracing the energy.  It’s about winning them over or completely turning them off, as any reaction is better than no reaction.

It’s about working countless hours alone on something and then revealing it to the world and hope they enjoy it, especially when you only did it for yourself in the first place.

It’s all about the ride.