12/24/07

xmas post!

so it has been a pretty relaxing couple of days just hanging out here in CT with the fam.

also, and i hope he doesn't mind me posting this, but i was fortunate enough to have toby play me an advance preview of the new kayo dot album.

i won't go into a whole lot of detail or spoilers but i was very impressed hearing it. i was nervous about listening to it because i wasn't sure how i would feel. would i feel weird not being on it? but honestly, after giving it a good listen that thought didn't enter my mind. i really feel like toby progressed his sound on this one and while i am amazed by what he has done i felt ok being on my own.

it was definitely a cool experience for me as both a listener and for my own kind of mental closure i guess on my decision from a year ago.

but i will wholeheartedly endorse this album as i do believe it is an amazing piece of work and i think alot of people will enjoy it immensely and it will probably raise the kayo dot profile a whole lot. it reminded me of back in 2001 when i had this same kind of vibe about bath and leaving your body map. this time though, with a proper label behind it and some of the good momentum that was built up over the last few years i think toby will achieve what i thought his music would achieve 7 years ago.

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12/21/07

studio update

video

12/16/07

awareness

i was in the ER on friday.

panic attack...big one.

riding home on the T and everything went nuts.

rode in an ambulance...thankfully i have insurance.

no matter how much good enters into my life. No matter how much i am able to be thankful that for once i don't have to sleep alone at night, no matter how much progress or fun i have musically...this disease inside me is still there and it doesn't care how happy i am and will strike when it feels necessary.

but i am tired of it. i am tired of just taking pills to fight it. i don't want to ever feel like i did in that ER on friday ever again.

i am starting cognitive behavioral therapy and i am going to war with anxiety and depression because they have robbed me of alot but i am not going to let them rob me anymore.

12/10/07

the key word here is "organization"

i feel really good about the re-tooled melodies for black light moon. they are a little less hectic and they transition very smoothly and i think i will be able to sing them which is is of chief importance.

i am also planning on adding a guitar part and adding the other guitar and keyboard parts i have on cd.

had the jet fuel coffee at work today and it made my brain go all crazy and start planning what i should do for the rest of the album. i came up with some ideas and i hope i can make them take form in the right way.

a highlight for the weekend was sitting around watching movies after i got all that music work done. i got to see mary shelley's frankenstein which was way better thatn i had always imagined it would be. also Julie and i went to see beowulf in 3D which was AWESOME.

also had commando on in the background while Julie was studying in the living room. She was busying herself learning and i was busying myself laughing like a little kid every time arnold made some funny-ass pun before he killed someone. good times.

my brain is in a delicate place right now. i have been off my zoloft for a few weeks now, maybe even a month and it is not a fun feeling. i am planning on going back on them and also am working on finding a behavioral therapist so that maybe just aybe i can lead some decent sort of life without being the hypochondriac wreck i currently am most of the time.

for some strange reason the music of devin townsend and strapping young lad seems to soother more than anything else.

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12/2/07

all you need is love

i am sitting here revising the verse lyrics for Black Light Moon for what seems like the umpteenth time.

i believe that sometimes the longer you sit on a song or piece the more you revise it and the more trouble it causes you when all you want is nothing more than to have a finished product for the world to see or in this case hear.

this conundrum gave me lots of issues over these last few years but there is some point to it...some higher truth that i am supposed to be learning here and that is discovering my own voice even if what it is saying is not so revolutionary but instead is honest.

the songs on this album are not going to be trend-setting or revolutionary. i won't be getting "most unique" songwriter of the year awards but i am learning through these songs how i am supposed to be expressing myself.

take this song for instance. i wrote the basics of what would become Black Light Moon right around the time i wrote the song A Time For Rust so the song initially came from a very dark but hopeful place. the protagonist in it is tired of what he is feeling. he looks at himself and feels like even though he may give off a normal appearance there is a giant black light on him which, as anyone who ever went to a goth night dressed all in black knows, exposes hidden dirt and/or flaws that normally can't be seen. this leads to resigning himself to his fate of drifting, or basically continually moving forward in the hope that eventually he will find someone to find rest with along the way and understand him and ease the troubles as life keeps moving forward.

now we move forward to 2007 and things are not like they were back when i started writing it and i am discovering new things about my character and coupled with the fact that i listen to the old verses and cringe a bit, i decided it was time for some changes. and i discovered that what i have here is a love song.

and i fought with this concept for awhile because growing up as a metalhead you dread those two words like the plague. but here it is in front of me saying in the voice of toki wartooth "i am a love song and you gots to deals with it."

now at this point you are thinking "oh greg, you went and got yourself a girlfriend and now you feel the need to be all romantic and wussy" and you know what? you're probably right because what I have discovered is that I have experienced new things this year because of my relationship and it completely re-informs the characters that I am writing about. Now I am not saying this song is directly about my relationship but what I will say is that being in the situation I was in back in Rhode Island definitely gave me that initial spark of creativity to write the song and understand its basic structure and story but my relationship this year has taught me what this song is really about.

the protagonist is not supposed to be alone and drifting because no one is truly alone but we all are drifting through life in some way. some people may feel they are more ambitious than others but regardless of where you are life is pushing you forward and my character needs to tell you he is not alone but has found that one person who makes him realize things will be ok. and drifters can find their place.

and while i sit here explaining it i think to myself "but how can i really write a love song that sounds different" and the point is that i can't. i have been fortunate to be around creative lyricists like Toby and Byron and Byron wrote the most unique love song ever i think with his lyrics to "Undine and Underwater Flowers" but in trying to be as unique in my lyrics i would not be doing the song justice, i would merely be exposing myself as someone trying to sound better than i am.

Instead i am trying to reach for the "right" words to say in these lyrics and the "right" words to describe love and if that means they don't sound new or fresh then it doesn't matter because they are honest and true to what i am feeling now and therefore no matter what they are the "right" words to say and my song can be created and finished with the knowledge that i have achieved some measure of truth and to me that is more important than trying to be some uber-poet so i can get some kind of meaningless accolade. i practice the new words and already i feel i am bringing a deeper emotional resonance out of the song then previously i was and it makes me excited!

but the question that the song leaves me with is...is my character's person that he found for real or is it just a really amazing dream that gives him hope to move on? i am still not sure of the answer there and that is the way i like it.

Black Light Moon is a love song and you all's got's to deal with it.

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