The details that nobody gives a crap about, but I wanted to write down anyway.
So Now What?
It’s been four and a half years since I released my first Album “Big Picture Idiot”. It was mostly songs about my frustrations about being stuck in a career I hated. When I finished it I wondered what I would write about since I had solved the problem by quitting and becoming a Stay-At-Home-Dad. Life was good for the first time in a long time. My songs up to that point didn’t come from a happy place. It seemed like the only time I could write lyrics was when I was pissed off. So now what? Well, life doesn’t usually go as I would plan and struggles and frustration came back. A family setback forced me to question things I had taken for granted for a long time and just like that a song, “Doubts”, was born. After a couple of songs were written using my crutch of anger, I realized it was time to find another way to inspire myself to create. So I thought about my struggle with staying healthy versus staying happy and out came a love song to a donut “The Powdered Sugar Donut Song”. This was the turning point I was looking for. I could now write about things that were silly to me, but with a darker more serious message hidden inside them. Which to me (and maybe only me) is hilarious. I also noticed that I was able to write them much faster and with more focus than before. Then came “Little Things”. It starts off as a sappy song about my son and then turns into a heavy song about the frustrations of dealing with everyday life as a Stay-At-Home-Dad. Once again I find that funny. After nine songs about issues ranging from our lack of choice in our “democratic” system to ridiculous celebrity BS ,I wanted to change direction a little and write more of a story. The first attempt was “Germinator”. It ended up being a song about a germ trying to survive written by a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. So it wasn’t too far off of my current writing method. The last song I wrote for the album ended up being what I was looking for. “Executards” is an absurd story of a lowly accountant getting shipwrecked on an island with the multitudes of executives he was traveling with. This song was inspired by events and “people” (I guess executives are technically people) at my wife’s office, and became a nice story to think about over the next few years as the situation became even more ridiculous. That was it. It took a little over a year to write, but I never expected it to take three and a half more years to finish.
The drum and bass parts went really smooth. Then the equipment problems started. Weird noises and preamp problems made the guitars a long frustrating process. I struggled through on the guitar parts and pushed on to vocals. This time I really worked on the vocals and harmonies until I was happy with them, and I like the results compared to my first album. So it’s now two and a half years in and I started to mix. This is where the guitars just didn’t work. I thought the performances were good, but couldn’t stand the sounds of the amp modeler I was using. Enter the old technology, Tube amps and Microphones. It took a year to learn how to record live amps and re-record the guitar parts, but it was worth it. It took six more months to produce and mix. After many failed attempts at mastering, I enlisted the help of George Geurin at DES Mastering in Dallas. He brought it to life for me and was money well spent. Then a few photography sessions with assorted donuts (with a hovering 7 year old waiting for a bite) and finally a finished album.
Are you still reading this?
My goal for “Big Picture Idiot” was just to complete it. This time my goal was to make an album that was good. I am proud of every song on “Doubts and Donuts”. I ended up making a collection of songs that I can listen to and be happy with. Hopefully other people will enjoy it also.