Friday, December 3, 2021

Ramblings from the Attic

Morning, friends!

I know I’ve written about this already, and dedicated an entire episode of the podcast to it, but I woke up today thinking about the EP and stuff so I want to spew some of those thoughts before I lose them.

It is such a strange feeling to know that we’re officially done with all of these songs. I imagine this is what a comedian feels like after releasing a special, because once the jokes are out there on a thing, that’s a wrap. That’s not to say I can’t play these songs anymore, but now I’ve done what I wanted to do with them. That people paid to listen to them is another phenomenon entirely, which I may try to wrap my brain around at some point during this piece.

This project was a part of my life for almost 15 years. Is Anybody There?/Rollercoaster was the first original music I ever wrote. Since You’ve Been Gone was the first full song I finished, and the first song I ever performed live. (At the) Last Second was the first song we recorded together. After we recorded the Holding Up the Roof demo is when I realized this album could be real. Rollercoaster was the first song we all wrote together. End to Begin was the first song I finished that was actually about a real-life thing, rather than just a part of this concept. Thoughts of You has what is still the coolest guitar part I’ve ever written. It just blows my mind that these songs are finished and available for people to hear whenever they want - and that they don’t sound like I recorded them in my dorm room (many thanks to Danny Schmitz for that!).

Had no idea I'd ever use this picture from 2007.

When we started this endeavor, we were 18-19 and the plan was to make an album and give out a bunch of CDs (it was 2007 and physical media was king). As you know, that morphed into an EP. And then into two EPs. There were 14 songs (including the intro) that I thought would fit the story we were trying to tell. One of them was too cheesy even for me. Another was even worse - and was basically (At the) Last Second in a different key. The third was a song called Rearview Mirror and it nearly made the record, but I wasn’t able to nail it down in time. That one eventually will come out on its own. Yes, it will still sound like this “era,” but my running joke is that all of our songs sound the same anyway so it shouldn’t be a problem. The fourth one was one that Mark brought to practice. I think he said it was based on a poem, so I’m not sure if we’d even be allowed to release it. But if End to Begin and Rollercoaster are any indication, I wouldn’t be able to hit those notes anymore anyway. The last one is an untitled track that we all worked on together at another practice. It’s not finished, but it is more upbeat than any other song we have. I hope to get that one done at some point because I wrote a neat little lead riff that I want people to hear.

Unrelated to this, but here are the Emo lyrics

You’ll notice that I said the plan was to give away CDs. I never really thought about putting any of my music up for sale, because I wouldn’t feel good about taking anyone’s money for it. That’s why it’s free on Bandcamp. This project didn’t start out as a way to make money. I started writing songs and figured I could get people to listen in their cars on the way to work or something. Fun fact: I’d once made a CD of Since You’ve Been Gone demos [we did eight or nine takes - none of them stuck] to give to Pat and Mark for some reason. One day I called Mark for something unrelated and he said “dude I’m listening to the CD in my car right now!” I don’t remember if anyone was with him, but I really hope not. That said, let me know if you’d like a CD or cassette and I will send one your way. I know a guy. I had no idea that anyone would actually want to hear these sad songs we wrote in my mom's attic. But I am pleasantly surprised by the response, and blown away that money was made here. 

(The deal is still on, by the way: I'll do a video podcast or Twitch stream if we make $100 by Christmas Day.) 

To anyone who has streamed, downloaded, and/or paid for these songs - I sincerely thank you. I know these numbers aren't eye-popping, but it means the world to me that anyone gave us their time and/or money. You're tremendous. (I'm sorry the picture is wonky. I have no idea how to make it big enough to see while still fitting it into the post margins.)

I'm not really sure how to end here. I just wanted to share some words that tumbled around my brain about this 14-year odyssey being done, so here they are. I am not actively working on anything at the moment because once I'm off the clock, I get to go upstairs and do dad stuff. But when we do release another song - old or new - I will for sure let you know. We don't have plans to make another EP or album, but who knows? We could all sit down over Zoom one day (we could barely get together before COVID and kids, so I'm being realistic) and crap out a few ideas. And if that happens, Danny Schmitz gets more of my money and you get to be annoyed by me posting links every week or so for a while. Everyone wins?

Also I'll toss this out before we go: If you would like to collaborate on a song with me/us, let me know. I don't have a ton of free time or talent, but I'm sure we could make something wonderful together. I'm happy to sing badly on your good songs.

If you made it this far, thanks for hanging out today. I hope you're well and that you join me for the podcast on Saturday, and for Jill's NFL Picks every Thursday (I'll try to get them on YouTube). Until then, stream The Attic Sessions and don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Crap open a cold one!

(This post was brought to you by Broad Street Bound.)

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