Monday, April 7, 2014

Another They Stole My Crayon Weekend

Musicians who write and record music are a funny bunch. Some will tell you things like they can only create new music during a full moon, or that a certain combination of musicians can only work together in November. Weird shit like that prevails in the world of creative music recording. Some of it is superstition, some of it is inspiration, but I'm here to tell you about momentum. You get on a roll in making music, and as long as you can, you keep the mojo flowing.

People sometimes say, "I don't get it. Why don't you just go into a studio for a couple of weeks and just do the whole album?" That's a totally valid question, but there's a very simple (and very common) answer: that takes time and money, something that none of us in They Stole My Crayon have in abundance. Also, let's be realistic: lots of music gets recorded, but very little of it sells, especially in the world of independent music. We're not going to be the next big music sensation and sell millions of albums. So, we have to be careful that it doesn't turn into some expensive vanity project. That means we work on music when we can, in environments that are less than ideal, to say the least. We work on music after working at our jobs all day, or on the weekends when it's possible. The last few weekends have been great in that regard; we've managed to do Crayon music at the exclusion of just about everything else. A rare luxury.

Waveforms on the weekends
This weekend, we did some work on two TSMC songs: "Take The Ride" and "Better Reasons". "Take The Ride" is one of the first full songs we did as a band, back in 2012. We've slowly added to it as time has gone by. Bunny surprised us on Saturday by providing some new guitar parts out of the blue, so we opened the file and put them in. We're getting very happy with this tune, which is as close to "done" as anything in our catalog so far.

Starting on Sunday morning, we revisited a song called "Better Reasons" that we'd first put together in 2012 based on a lyric that Kat wrote. That original version was an exercise in shit, and it's good to be able to walk away from a song that is obviously not what you intended to create. In July of last year, we revised the entire musical theme of the song, and changed over to Kat taking the lead vocal. It was a huge improvement, but then it sat there on a hard drive for months, not doing much of anything. Kat and I had both discussed ideas about ways to refine the song overall, and finally it was time to open that Pro Tools session again.

The slow path to the finish line
So, here we are on Monday, and once again I'm happily listening to our music and wanting to share it with the world. And yet, I can't; nothing we've done is really done until we're all happy with it, and in many cases that will involve re-recording things we've done here at Frothy Studios in a better environment with less sonic compromises. But we'll get there. This week, we took a huge step in that direction by hiring Canadian audio engineer Spencer Crewe to do the mixing of the album when we're finally done recording. I'm confident that the as-yet-untitled Crayon album will be something we're all proud of, and it even seems possible that we'll get it out before the end of this year. Happy days.

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