I can't quite describe to you what it's like to hear your raw, unedited, fuck-you vocal through a 12 thousand set of monitors for nearly two weeks.
If you want to punish yourself/your sense of self worth, pursue a career in music.
I told Cam + Mike that playing to click/listening back to yourself when trying to create a refined product is similar to standing naked in front of the mirror after eating three burritos and trying to convince yourself that you're fuckable.
It doesn't help our state of mind that we have nowhere to go to escape from ourselves - St. Cloud is small town Florida epitomized.
There are no sidewalks, everyone drives pickup trucks and there are more Trump stickers, signs and Confederate flags than there are persons capable of rational thought.
As tattooed, skinny-jean wearing, left-leaning liberals, you can imagine that we stick out like sore thumbs.
Even the employees at Publix (think FreshCo) + 7/11 have started to recognize us.
I'm not sure if that's because we're nice people or because they haven't seen anything close to us before.
Either way, to say that I'm looking forward to being able to hop on the streetcar for twenty minutes with the distinct goal of ending up somewhere I've never been before would be an understatement.
Being here has helped me realize how good I have it back in Toronto.
Not because I'm unhappy, but because you really don't realize what you have at your disposal as a human being until it's taken away.
Regardless, we've made huge amounts of progress in the last week on the EP.
Rhythm Guitar + Bass + Drums + 5 lead vocal/lead guitar parts (of 6) along with some tasteful midi programming have put us 3 days ahead of schedule.
Labels + agencies + God and his mother have been asking me about new songs for the last year and a half.
To say that I can't wait to turn this shit on and shove any doubt anyone's ever had about me down their oesophagus would be a grandiose understatement.
I can't fucking wait.
Eternally chasing this seemingly invisible carrot has taught me to be patient. I continue to ponder whether or not the fruits of my labour will be fully realized, but in the same stride recalibrate the entirety of my thought process and realize that it really doesn’t matter if people listen to my music, or like it, so long as I’m satisfied with it and know that I put my best foot forward.
I understand that if I put any semblance of myself into the idea that this will create anything meaningful for me beyond the self-satisfaction of creating a body of work that encapsulates where I am in my life, I am set up to be let down and destroyed.
I have seen time and time again that realizing goals comes with an unseen set of circumstances that can oftentimes be both detrimental and destabilizing.
My want to be accepted and my need to be validated by the public should not come at the expense of my well being, or my ability to enjoy the creative process.
I need to take the time to appreciate where I’ve been and where I’m going.
To think that Underøath were the first band to record in this house after James purchased it is humbling.
The albums/bands that followed (Paramore, Go Radio, Hands Like Houses, etc) coupled with his earlier credits with Dashboard Confessional had a huge amount to do with shaping my sonic perspectives.
A lot of those sounds were made here, and that in and of itself is something that I should appreciate/be humbled by.
Two weeks from now we’ll have a finished product.
The only thing that should matter is whether or not I’m/we’re proud of it.
Drums are finished.
It feels weird to say that.
To wait for something to start for essentially two years only to knock out 6 songs in under 6-7 collective hours of playing is exciting/disconcerting.
It's funny that we use future moments as markers for our personal growth only to realize those moments depart as quickly as they arrive.
Our goals/dreams/obsession with success pushes us further and further away from accessing the beauty of the present.
I need to wake up to today.
I need to learn to separate my personal life, family and friends from my increasingly all-consuming career.
Newman is right when he says that the majority of us (in this industry, especially) are never satisfied.
You start with a crowd of 100, but want 250.
You get 250, but in turn seek the rush of 500.
It's all retch and no vomit.
It never gets there.
It'll never be enough.
I can only set myself free if I learn to find the peace I seek within myself.
Two years ago this week I split from my previous project.
I honestly didn't know if I'd ever be in the position to do this professionally again - if I'd get back to California, New York, Europe + wherever else living this life has taken me since high school.
We only have three days off over the next four weeks, and we'll be locked in a room working with a man who has more to do with my understanding of sound/records than I probably even know (given 3/5 of my favourite albums ever were produced by him).
I am mystified and humbled by the fact in which the universe has placed me here.
6 years into my professional career and I'm increasingly thankful I didn't break into the top 40 space off of our first record deal.
It would've killed me as a person and destroyed my sense of creativity.
It would've taken my soul.
It would've ruined my family.
I know I've said it, but leaving that project and engaging with myself for the first time in my adult life with no real obligations truly did set me free, artistically/otherwise.
It's hard not to smile when I hear these records.
The guys feel like we've created something that will change everything for all of us.
For the first time in my life, I genuinely agree.
My faith in this isn't egotism.
It's the sound of realization.
Of self acceptance.
Of the future.
(It's coming faster than you think).