Monday, October 1, 2012

A weekend of new music with my new band

I'm listening to a song right now on this foggy early Monday morning. It's pretty special as far as songs go. It's the first song that was ever written by my ladyfriend Kat Claxton (with music by yours truly). Why is Kat suddenly a songwriter? Simple: because that's part of her job in her role as one third of a new musical project along with myself and the ever-amazing Bunny Knutson.

Kat's new songwriting experience is something that I've enjoyed for my entire life: creating new music. I think she's hooked; she had that gleam of creation in her eye when she left yesterday. After all, it's a pretty good day for any songwriter when you can write lyrics and help compose music for not just one but two entirely brand new tunes, then record demos of both. That's a great day for anyone who makes music.

Bunny, Kat, and I have been friends for about a decade. If you can't be in a band with your best friends, who else is there?

I know there are a lot of people with a number of questions. What do these songs sound like? When can I hear them? What is this musical project with Kat and Bunny? What's the band's name? Are you going on tour? Will there be an album? What kind of music is it? Is this the new Zak Claxton album? Have you been playing these new songs in Second Life?

In short, the answer is that I'm going to be frustratingly devoid of answers. We have a pretty good idea of what we're doing, Bunny, Kat and I; it's just better if we focus on doing what we need to do and not waste time talking about it. I will tell you that it is a band... not just Kat and Bunny backing me up on my stuff. As such, everyone will be making contributions of songwriting, singing, and music creation. The band does have a name, and even a web site, but we're neither ready nor willing to talk about that stuff yet. Only a few people have heard the name, and the total number of people on planet Earth who've heard the first two demos is three. Yeah, Kat, Bunny, and me.

Bunny and I in a hipster bar in San Francisco in 2006. I'm the drunk guy.

We're going to keep it like that for a little while, but not for long. The plan is for us to write and record an entire album's worth of music -- call it 12 to 15 songs -- by Thanksgiving, and put the album out before year's end.

I will be specific about a couple of topics. First, this is NOT the new Zak Claxton album. Don't worry... there will be another album of my own songs in my own style eventually. But this isn't it. None of the songs we're doing now include anything you've heard me play before. As far as I'm concerned, I'm one member of a band of equals in this project; each of us will be bringing something unique and cool to this party, and already the results are different than anything I would have done on my own.

So, back to the moment, this moment where I'm sitting here listening to one of Kat's songs. She wrote the lyrics yesterday, and I immediately was inspired to do music for them. We could have left it at that, but why waste a perfectly decent Sunday afternoon by not following through and recording? We made demos -- quick and simple recordings to use as a reference -- for both songs. I'm not kidding about working fast; we did two songs in less than two hours, and shared them with Bunny who will then make his own creative additions between now and when we actually record the tunes for real.

Despite all the mystery and seeming uncertainty surrounding this band so far, I can assure you that we have a very, very focused direction of music. Music, as it turns out, is the most important aspect of a band.

I'm also looking forward to whatever Bunny contributes from his end. He's a very, very innovative guy who will do things with music that I'd never think of in a million years, which is exactly why I love working with him. And now, knowing what I had already suspected -- that Kat can make a big creative contribution as well -- I'm even more excited about this new band.

As always, I'll let you know anything that you might want to know as soon as it's worth knowing, and I'll do it right here on the blog and on my various social network thingees. The one thing we won't be doing is sharing any music before it's 100% ready for your ears, so for the next couple of months, I thank you in advance for your patience while we build this stuff. Regardless of anything else, it's going to be fun (it already is), and if it goes like I think it will, we'll have some really good music that we'll be proud to show you when it's said and done.

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