Sunday, April 10, 2016

We Are Done Recording the They Stole My Crayon Album

During a weekend toward the end of September 2012, my longterm ladyfriend Christina Lee and I were chilling here at my home, and our mutual friend Bunny Knutson was hanging out too. This was a pretty common occurrence; even though Bunny lives up in the Valley and we're down here in the South Bay, we often liked to get together and jam some tunes and so on. Anyway, on that particular weekend, we were improvising some music with laughably depressing themes, and joking with each other about the idea of a fictional band that made the saddest possible music. We even invented a name for this band of sorrow: They Stole My Crayon. The plan, as we now laugh about hilariously, was to do a super-fast album that we'd record and mix ourselves, and have out a few months later, by the end of 2012.

That Didn't Happen
The reason that, three-and-a-half years later, the album still isn't out, is actually a great one. See, instead of just spitting out a bunch of sloppily-written, shoddily-recorded songs, we found that the songs we were writing were better than we thought they'd be. Way better. As we kept writing and creating songs, we found out what our band actually sounded like, and it sounded really good. We got into a groove and continued writing new songs that worked within this new sound we'd found.

And, of course, we all had other things going on, like jobs and families and stuff. To be completely honest, we spent the first couple of years working on Crayon music only sporadically, and didn't start devoting a bunch of time to They Stole My Crayon until the start of 2015, when we really dove in and began refining our songs... re-recording rough demos, paring down our initial list of tunes to a tighter group of songs that would make the album, and so on. Later in 2015, we realized that we needed to step up the quality level of the recordings, so we booked two weekends' worth of sessions with Phil O'Keefe at Sound Sanctuary to re-do all of the vocals on the album. Meanwhile, we'd contracted our friend Spencer Crewe to handle the mixing duties.

Finally, after all the vocals were done, we felt compelled to go back and re-do a good number of the instrument tracks to better align with the newly-great quality of the voices. That part of the process went all the way through until yesterday... April 9, 2016. That's when we wrapped up the last notes of the final song to hand off to Spencer.

Now What?
It's pretty simple, and I've explained this pretty recently, but here is the short version again. Spencer still has eight more songs to mix. After all the mixes are complete and we're all happy, the album needs to be mastered (which should be a relatively quick process, he said hopefully). At that point, we need to make a final decision regarding how the album will be distributed. As it currently stands, we want the album to become available for people to hear this summer. And sure, there are other things for us to do... like getting videos made for several of our songs, adding to our currently rather empty web site, trying to get radio stations to play our music, trying to get the album reviewed, and much more. But the fact that the album is finally done being recorded is a big milestone, so we are all pretty giddy with delight for now.

If you've not done so already, you can like The Crayon on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. As we get closer to the release date, we'll let everyone know.

No comments: