It’s funny how the experience changes after one time through it and two years time inbetween. The rush of terror and giddiness hasn’t hit me like it did last time. The hyper surreal nature of the studio environment, the competence of Chris, the engineer, the sounds coming at me don’t sound like the heavens opening up like they did last time.
This is what our band sounds like. My ears are tuned into it this time. Part of me misses that sense of wide-eyed wonder that I think we all had last time, but another part of me is reveling in the fact that it’s not there. The fact that it doesn’t feel like some glorious, new, otherworldly experience means that our experiences had all collectively grown richer, and more complex, in the last 24 months. We feel like it’s wholly appropriate that we’re there, doing what we’re doing.
Adding Dana (our bass player) has been a massive part of this transition, for me. Last time, in addition to the rush of the studio, I also had the rush of being a total noob swimming with the big sharks. After a take, I’d poke my head up and ask… “How was it?” Now, I just apply my ears to that task, without having to split my attention.
In one way, it makes me feel less connected to the creative experience, instead spending the majority of my time coaching and criticizing the performances of players whose abilities far exceed my own.
On the other hand, I realized that my mind is a musical instrument. As Erica and I have worked on and shaped these songs, our own creativity and musicianship has been exercised long before a single 1 or 0 hits the hard drive in Pro Tools.
I find this reality somehow less “sexy” then having the guitar in my hand or the keys under my fingers, because I think in reality, I’m far more competent at writing and producing then I am at actually playing. It was the fact that we threw ourselves SO far outside our safety zone last time that produced those wondrous feelings. I can tell you with utmost certainty, however, that I’ll trade childlike giddiness for professional achievement of any day of any week.
The product from yesterday FAR outstrips what we accomplished the first day of last week. The sounds are tighter, fatter, simpler, and better. This is going to be a superior recording, one that we are excited to share with anyone who will listen.