On March 11th, I was one week into a 3-week tour with Runaway June.  We were supposed to hit countries all over Europe and finish things off in Australia.  I just started my new job as their drummer in January and I couldn’t have been more excited for the year ahead.  That night, we were in Zurich, Switzerland.  It was late after we had all gone to bed, I heard my phone ding.  Text message from the tour manager: "We are going home tomorrow... 7:30AM Lobby Call."  We flew back the next morning, and ever since then, we (along with the rest of the world) have been waiting this thing out.  I was sick for the first 16 days of quarantine.  99.9999% sure I had the virus, but I couldn’t get tested.  Long story short, it sucked.  I recovered just in time for my birthday on March 29th.  By that time, I was getting a bit stir crazy from being cooped up.  I needed to do something with myself to avoid going completely insane, so that’s when I decided I was going to use this time to write and record some new music. 

Over the last 2 months, I wrote and arranged 8 new songs.  I had a couple of other potentials, but scrapped them because they were garbage.  I started with the piano while humming gibberish into the voice memos on my phone.  This helps me establish a rough melody while mapping out the musical arrangement.  After I was happy with the basic arrangements, I spent a week writing lyrics out on my back porch.  This is always the most stressful part for me.  I’m no poet, but I do care about subject matter.  Some of these songs are personal experiences, and some are inspired by the experiences of others.  In either case, it’s difficult to decide which ones are worth sharing and how to do them justice.  I probably overthink it.  Some people write songs in 30 minutes and they’re gold.  I spent about 2 weeks writing 10 songs and 2 of them were trash.  The following week, I tracked all the lead and background vocals to the 8 remaining songs, making adjustments to the arrangements and lyrics as I went along.  The next week, I setup my drums and tried a lot of different things before settling on the parts and sounds.  The following week, I went back and re-recorded the piano to lock in better with what was happening in the drums.  Then came auxiliary keys and percussion.  This project has completely consumed me since the world shut down.  It’s been good, but it’s a lot of work.  To keep project costs to a minimum, my original plan was to do everything myself… play bass on the keyboard, no guitars, mix and master it to the best of my ability, and let that be it, but I have some incredibly talented friends, many of which have reached out and offered their talents to this project FREE OF CHARGE!  This is absolutely mind-boggling to me at a time like this.  We’re all out of work and have no idea when or where the next paycheck will come from, so that kind of generosity shows what kind of friends they are.  

I’m fortunate to have a wife who is still working during the pandemic.  Some of these musicians are not as fortunate.  I could not in good conscience take them up on their offers to record for free, so I’ve decided to have a handful of them contribute and pay them out of my pandemic unemployment from the government.  It’s not much, but it’s something.  I’m telling you all of this because I would love this project to be about more than the music.  I think it would be great if this were something that put a few of my friends back on their feet during a hard time.  I fully understand the toll this pandemic has taken on many of your finances, so whether you’re a friend, family member, or kind stranger, I don’t want you to feel pressured to contribute.  But if this is something you are willing and able to support, you can do so via my PayPal or Venmo links at the bottom of this page.  On behalf of all of us, thank you!  Typically my project budget for something like this would be around $5000, none of which goes into my pocket.  I’ve managed to come up with half of that.  If by some miracle, we get to the $5000 mark, I’ll be able to pay these guys what they deserve.  Anything extra will be used to fund future projects.  I don’t plan to quit writing songs any time soon. 

I wish money didn’t exist.  I hate talking about it.  I hate trying to raise it.  I hate that it’s a necessity.  I wish I could write a song and deposit it into a kiosk and a month’s worth of chicken nuggets pop out, but so far, they haven’t come up with that technology.  Don’t worry if you can’t support this.  It will release in the fall regardless, and everyone will still be able to download it for free!  Thanks to each and every one of you for taking an interest and reading all of this.  Stay healthy, stay safe, and I hope to see you soon!!!