Friday, September 11, 2009

The "Why".

As we inch closer to the halfway mark on our kickstarter fundraiser project, I figured it might be the right time to address a question I know a number of our friends and family might be asking themselves which is "why keep doing this?".

Over two years ago, we released our first CD. Did it bring us fortune? No. Did it bring us thousands of fans? No. Did the major labels come calling? Yes. Did anything come from it? No. And yet here we are gearing up to do it all over again.

So why are we doing this?

After the last CD came out, we did have interest from various labels. Interest to the point we got pages of notes from some of the executives, and feedback from some others, that left us looking at our music in ways we hadn't really thought of before. While some of the stuff was shallow record industry stuff we scoffed at (always act single and don't mention girlfriends on stage), some of it hit a nail on the head that we didn't even know needed hitting... which was: it's about songs, songs, songs. We had a CD with a number of good songs on it, and a number of other songs with really good parts... but then we'd go off and do things that were interesting to us as musicians, and not really interesting to an audience member listening. We had a tendency to do things because we thought it would sound cool, not because the song needed it.

When we sat down to look at the songs we had recorded on that CD, we suddenly saw them in a new light... deconstructing and reconstructing the way we played them. The two most popular songs from the CD-- I Do, and Everything & Nothing, remained mostly unchanged. The other songs ended up with new bridges, new solos, and suddenly they fit comfortably along with I Do, and Everything and Nothing.

This then began to bleed over into the new material we were working on. Suddenly we were writing songs with the idea that everything needed to be there for a reason. The songs finally became about every part working together, playing off each other, as one piece, not 5 musicians playing parts.

And the funny thing that happened was... suddenly the band that was playing out in support of the CD... wasn't the band represented on the CD. And it was at that point we realized, we needed to record again.

And this brings us to the "why" question we mentioned about 500 words ago. Before even launching this kickstarter project, and thinking of going into the studio... we had to each go and individually think about why we were doing this, and what this meant to us. For some of us, it was easy. It came down to a quote from Van "the man" Morrison: "When you make music, not doing it is not an option.”

However, the nature of being in a band does take a toll on many other aspects of your life... it's like having a 2nd job with no paycheck really, so friendships suffer, relationships suffer, your free time suffers. For reasons such as this as well as others, we lost Jeff, a founding member of the band.

Personally, I knew that even if I wasn't in this band, I would be sitting at home writing songs, playing to an audience of my girlfriend, or my cat. The idea of not having music is something I couldn't deal with. Music has been an important part of my life since I was younger, and is something that is going to be a part of my life as long as I can still do it. And the fact I can get up on stage with friends, playing music that we've created, and the fact we can play that music for an audience that supports us, no matter how big or small it is... well that is reason enough to keep doing it. That's why.