35mm | A shamelessly self-indulgent short term retrospective

I can't tell you how many times I have listened to some of my favorite records and thought:

"I wish I just knew what that was like or what was going through ______'s head when he/she made that piece of art that I love so much"

First of all, I am not saying that I am in the process of writing your favorite (or anyone else's favorite for that matter) record.  However, one of my goals for this project is to do things exactly how I would want my favorite band/artist to do things. While this particular entry is in the form of a retrospective, I am actively keeping record of the writing process in the form of diary-like entries, photographs of some of the things that inspire me, scribblings of lyrics on the back of bills I have yet to pay, and numerous other things.  When the record is finished, I want to have something permanent and lasting to show what the process was like for me.  This will be in the form of a dedicated part of the webpage for this album.  I will keep it up for as long as I can afford to pay for the website.  I may be the only person in the world that ever goes back and references it, but that is okay with me.  

This project has been a long time in the making and it is so exciting seeing the pieces start to assemble to form something complete and tangible.  While a lot of the ideas for these songs trace back years and years, I really dug in and began working on this project like it was my job towards the beginning of this year.  A cross-country move away from all of your friends and family gives one ample time to commit to such an endeavor.  

I wrote '35mm' in one night (a very rare occurrence for me) and made a very crude demo to send out to Brannon, Joel and Parker - and none of us could stop listening to it.  I'm sure that sounds vain but if we are being totally honest, if you don't love the songs you write enough to listen on repeat, what are you really doing?  After making a few more fully realized demos of the song and the guys' subsequent approval, I booked some studio time for March.

 As soon as I got into town, we wasted no time.  The four of us caravanned to our old practice space from our last band and the nostalgia immediately overwhelmed us.  Brannon set up his drums, Joel plugged in his bass, Parker provided atmospheric guitar noodling, while I tuned my guitar.  We came to a silence, and after four counts, we got to hear '35mm' come together for the very first time in person.

Rehearsal ran very late as we polished the song and played Rage Against The Machine riffs just like old times.  The group then transitioned to post-rehearsal diner extravaganza with laughter filled conversation and plenty of catching up.  We tracked '35mm' a few days later at Greenbriar Studio in SC with our good friend Jay Arrington.  What ended up being the smoothest recording process any of us had been involved in thus far could only be described as something that "just felt right."  

Greenbriar Studio  Photo by Joel Burton

Greenbriar Studio

Photo by Joel Burton

Fast-forward to a month later. 

Back in Texas. I continued to work fervently on more songs with the goal of finishing a full length record in mind.  Meanwhile, Jay and I quickly agreed on a final mix for '35mm' and I prepared it to be mastered by TW Walsh.  Then came the search for the perfect art for the song's release.  I stumbled across a photo that caught my eye when looking over a friend's photos.  Lesley Kerr and I bounced around some ideas and ended up with a fantastic finished product that started from a photo taken from her iPhone. [See the original and other spectacular shots from Lesley's iPhone here in addition to her professional work here]

Then came Brent Lakes from Broken Circles.  Brent and I had met a few times before and have developed a friendship based on our mutual love of Pedro the Lion and mutual hate of almost everything else.  After sending the master to Brent for purely personal interests along with my incessant inquiries about how PR in the music business actually works, (still don't know) the conversation began about having Broken Circles put out the record I am working on.  I have long followed Brent's endeavors with Broken Circles and can't think of a better way to get this thing out there.

As I am writing this, I am over 80% done with the songs for this record and we are slated to track the rest of it in September.  All interested parties can expect to hear some more from it before the end of this year for sure.  If you are still reading and haven't yet heard '35mm,' it is available for you below.  It is a song that will remain near and dear to me for the foreseeable future and I hope you enjoy it, but even if you don't, I will probably continue doing exactly what I am doing.