(This is the continuing blog on the creation of my upcoming CD…)
In the last 2 weeks I’ve got scratch vocals (meaning not final) recorded for several songs on the new CD, plus final vocals for a few tracks I’d already gotten going. I’ve been pushing myself to work faster and learn to trust my instincts a bit more and just say “this works– keep on going!” The more I’ve been listening to some of the tracks I make mental notes on how the structure needs to change or that I need to add something or take it away.
Working this fast I’ve been literally recording vocal ideas on the fly and adding them to the songs. Sometimes it’s successful and sometimes not, but in working so fast has kept a pretty cool energy and urgency to the tracks that keeps the momentum focused very much forward. I keep feel like I’m channeling Robert Rodriguez’s filmmaking techniques with music, if you’ve ever read his awesome “Rebel Without a Crew” book on making El Mariachi. It’s forcing me to make decisions I’d agonize over for days and weeks, but knowing I can always go back and change the tracks if it doesn’t work. I’ve made some surprising discoveries due to this method, so it’s been rewarding creatively.
Some of the songs on this CD are a lot looser than stuff I’d done earlier, and for me more experimental as to what I’m used to. Not like Eno, Cage, or Glass…because I don’t really care that much, but rather exploring different styles I enjoy and trying to put them in my artistic context, and trying out a few vocal styles I haven’t worked on that much, at least recently.
I was hoping to get this done for the September shows in California but probably won’t, as even though I’m working fast and making a lot of progress I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this completed, mastered (which I’ll be asking a few pals to blog about at some point, as it’s essential to a well-produced/professional sounding CD), and off to Sooperdooper for replication in time. There’s rushing and there’s simply putting out something I’ll regret later on, so the October shows seem more likely.
I have a feeling the 3″ CDR that will come with the “special edition” will have a few covers on it– I recently completed a crunchy version of the Lady Gaga mega-hit “Poker Face”, which I really don’t like but did it as a joke for my wife who tortures me with it on long car trips. It might be a good reason to finally unleash the Caustic/Vomit Arsonist cover of Godflesh’s “Christbait Rising” and a few others as well. We’ll see.
Once I get the tracks done and off to get mastered (meaning the album’s essentially done on my side) I’ll get the preorders up for the special edition and regular version.
I’ve been thinking of the pricing on the CD as well and I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking with the $5 for it, regardless of buying it online (overseas postage will be a bit more, as I don’t want to LOSE money on the CDs) or at shows. I spent a good chunk of time figuring out a price that I felt was fair to fans and consumers and that I could live with as an artist. It’s hard to put a price on what you think art is “worth” and since this album is more of an experiment for me on some levels in terms of the content and distribution I think $5 covers me fine. It’s not about getting rich obviously. It’s about covering costs plus a little so I can keep going with this stuff.
I’ll probably keep it at a slightly higher price point on services like iTunes and others, as if you’re too lazy to check out where to get my music for the best price then you suffer the consequences. I believe in fairness and availability of music in any form I can provide it, but if the only place you look is iTunes you can pay a couple extra bucks, as that’s a couple extra I’ll be losing in just having it up there. Fair trade, in my mind.
So overall things are going well– I just wish I had more time to plug away on it.