I know all of you have probably purchased albums. I also know that all of you have played a role in funding at LEAST one [this one!]. My guess however, is that few of you have had the experience of seeing an album being made from the inside in real time. I would love to give you a glimpse into what this process is going to look like from now until we release the record. Keep in mind that there are hundreds if not thousands of methods out there. This is simply the way myself and my production team have chosen to go about things.
-For me, everything starts with life. If I as an artists want to create a living expression of who I am, I have to properly document my way through the hills and valleys of my day to day experiences. Anything else and this whole project becomes nothing but a product. Art in its truest form is not simply something to be sold. It is something to be felt, witnessed and breathed. Stage one of this entire project is reflecting upon hundreds of pages of journal entries in order to capture an overall story. That story is where the dream of an album begins.
-Once we have a story we begin to zoom in for a closer look. Melodies that came out of specific seasons are footprints that we can offer the listener as a means of hope and an encouragement to progress forward or extract beauty within their circumstance. I find that as a deep-feeling introvert many of my melodies come out of the seasons that I feel the most pain or just on the other side of feeling the most pain. I don't understand the science of inspiration... I just know that it intrigues me.
-Once I have a rough direction for a series of songs I usually begin exposing the raw ideas to the production team. Out of every step of this process I must admit that this for me, is the hardest. Imagine spending hours constructing something that is a direct reflection of the deepest part of your heart. You pull it from your soul, you polish it until it moves you and then you unveil it for the first time to a panel of trusted people that give you an extremely real reaction of how they perceive it. Obviously, this goes one of two ways. "Its amazing" or "Sorry its not doing much for me." Both responses are equally vital to the process. Both responses affect me immensely. You learn as a musician to not dwell on the fear of rejection while you are creating. I usually don't think about that until after the song is written because I don't want that very real scenario to effect how/what I am making. Its a practice. Im working on it.
-From this point we enter into what we call Pre Production or "Pre Pro". This is where the butterflies start moving around in your stomach because almost every decision that is approved by all of us is going to end up on the record. Its extremely exciting. This is a very specific stage in the process. We try alternate chord progressions, we write lead lines, we structure the songs, try different arrangements. Basically we pull every little piece of the song apart and make sure its exactly how we want it. We begin dreaming bigger picture and start to piece together what this record is actually going to sound like. This is such an important part of making a record. What we do in the studio is a direct reflection of what happens here. We want to know exactly where we are headed before we hit the road when it comes to tracking. Pre pro is really where we detail our map.
-Tracking is next. In March we fly to North Carolina to start traveling on that map we created through pre production. I wont go too in depth on this process because we will be documenting it as we go and posting it on this site. We are extremely excited for this step.
-Once the record is tracked it is mixed in the studio which means all of the specific pieces are layered on top of each other. From here on out it is a tedious refining process. Mastering is last and this is where the production team listens to every single detail of the record to make sure it is exactly what they want to hear. If a pin drops during a quiet moment on the record, if a certain breath I take while singing throws everything off.. Its all polished and packaged in this stage.
-At the very tail end once we have the songs in our pocket, we begin the process of legally covering all the rights to the songs. We get our design team moving and they get our album artwork finalized. We send our songs to our distributer and they will print our cd's, package and send them out into the world.