Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By Any Means Neccessary

Like most of you that read this, I am not a full time musician. That wasn't always the case but for today, that is my reality. In the past, I have touched on the challenges you have when you are creating in a part time scenario. Finding the proper amount of "good" time and energy always seems to your holy grail. It seems that everything else in life is screaming for your attention and by the time you actually do have time to be creative, everything else has zapped you of your creative energy. This has lead me to really rethink the way that new Gravity Kills music will get finished. I have resigned myself finally to the fact that I will never have the time to work on music in a perfect scenario (is there ever really a perfect scenario?)

I believe that most artists are control freaks. I recently watched the Foo Fighters documentary and they touched on the second record when Dave decided to re-cut all the drums and inevitably disengaged him from the process and ultimately from the band. I am not eluding to any weirdness in Gravity Kills so don't go there. What I mean is that maybe it is okay to relinquish some control over what you create in order to serve a larger picture. Can you find others that are close to you in some way to help drive your goals? I had a long talk with Matt and Kurt from Gravity a couple of weeks ago. We have become frustrated with the pace by which we are moving things along. What we feel we need to do at this point is reach out to individuals outside of the band to produce. This isn't really an earth shattering event. Bands work with producers all the time but in this case, we might actually be working with a different person on each song. When we restarted this band, my initial thought was that this would be a great opportunity for the band to be completely self contained. Life, and everything else has decided at this point that being self contained is not the solution for Gravity Kills. This could change tomorrow but for now, that is the way it is. Now the flip side. This concept is very exciting for me. How cool to have other interpretations of what Gravity Kills is in a modern context. Others will have the ability to pull me out of the trees and give me a whole new forest to look at. Others won't worry about my or the band's perception of itself but think about what their perception is of the band. At the end of the day, it is not about the music I WANT to make, but about the music that Gravity Kills SHOULD make. Gravity Kills songs are Gravity Kills songs but why not attempt to raise the bar higher than I can imagine with outside production perspectives?

This leads to a larger question for you. What do you do in the context of your band that you can relinquish control of? What person or persons that are close to you and your band that would gladly lend a hand for the bigger picture and greater good? With so much going on for indie bands to deal with, is it time to find those that you can trust to help drive the machine? I preach this over and over but NO BAND CAN DO IT ALONE. You can't be the only good band in your market and have a thriving local music scene so why do you think you must go it alone with everything it takes to keep your band and your art moving in the right direction? I am not telling you to use a producer if you want, can and have the time to do it yourself but I am telling you to think about what you need to get done, what you actually get done and what could get done with the help of others. Maybe it is time?


  1. Jeff, this is exactly what am.psych is going through right now. We did the first EP all on our own, but with the full length we had to reach out to our now producer to help give us that boost we needed. We all work day jobs, some of us are continuing education and have families to take care of too. You couldnt have hit it more dead on... there is no "perfect" scenario to just get it all done. It's good to know that others are going through this as well.

  2. Jeff,

    Just read this entry now(yeah I'm late to the party!). You're absolutely right about there never being a perfect situation for making music. It's tough (especially with other responsibilities thrown in), so it's great to hear that you and the band are brining in someone from the outside to assist.

    I encouraged my old rooommates to do the same thing when they were taking entirely too long to cut an EP for their band (and would constantly be mixing/rerecording parts in the house, which drove me insane) and it worked out well. They were happy to have someone with an outside perspective and solid recording experience that sped up the recording process. And he (the guy they brought in) was glad to be working on some great music. A win-win! I hope you and Gravity Kills have the same type of experience! :)

    Take care,

  3. and the team you have assembled is probably gonna kick your ass and give you a few paradigm shifts to get you spitting nails again. but that's only going to happen if you allow it to. i can't wait to hear the end result(s).