So this has been one generic Friday. Pisses me off, working. I find I haven't had time to even really think about music, much less create it or work on the CD or anything.
That's got to be frustrating, farmboy. What is the status of working on the CD?
Next step is to work on the songs and then record them in the studio I plan to use, just me and the ol' guitar. I'm going to have to fuckin' know these songs, man. Backwards and forwards. Sideways, upside down. I've going to know these songs so fuckin' well that I could play them in a fuckin' hurricane, man.
Sounds like a lot of work.
Yeah, it is. I want to be in love with these songs. I want them to be as good as humanly possible. (laughs)
I can't wait to hear this, farmboy.
You know, I want to say "Neither can I," but I know that's not true. I want to go through the process. I want to savor it, like chocolate and coffee. This, for me, is like falling in love. As corny as it sounds, I just want to be under its spell.
Thanks! It's been okay, it's even been good. Nothing much happened, which is fine, and I got a chocolate chip cupcake and Chinese food. So it's been nice.
How's your day been, man?
Good, a good day.
Good. It's funny, sometimes I appreciate "good" and today is one of those days. I like that I can just be home and take it easy, you know? This world is so fuckin' stressful all the fuckin' time, maybe "good" can take on a whole new meaning.
Oh, man...I'm stoned...But, fuck, let me explore that. Sometimes it's good to be able to just catch your breath and enjoy life for what it is. Which is that I'm just glad to be alive, you know?
And so, let's just leave it as that, pure and simple.
(The interviewer shakes his head)Not too much, farmboy.
It's funny, you know. I mean, there is stuff going on, but it's mostly work-related and I hate talking about that stuff when I'm not being paid to, you know? Musically it's all good, 'cept that work takes up too much of my fuckin' time, time that I could be devoting to the music. Or maybe that's just an excuse for my pathetic lack of practicing lately.
Are you being serious?
A little bit. I mean, fuck, I'm still playing, of course. It's just that I haven't gotten used to working. (laughs) This new job is pretty physical and I'm pretty physically out of shape. So I end up being tired...
You also ended up being sick, farmboy. You couldn't have planned that.
Yeah. So, no, the news of my guitar-playing death has been seriously over-dramatized.
This ain't anything to be concerned about, I don't think. I think that working is a shock after the so-called summer this year. And after the great Kickstarter project. Man oh man, now that was a fuckin' great experience.
It's just the beginning...
...of the great 2012 album experience! I've been working on the CD, making plans, thinking hard thoughts. I think a sound is beginning to come together in my head. I'm having to think like a producer, like I'm the producer I would like to work with. Does that make any sense at all?
It does, farmboy.
It's like having to be your own role model. And this thing, this album thing, this is what I can be absolutely serious in. It's kinda like, in a way, like when I was a kid, I was, like, fourteen. And my dad and his brothers -- my uncles -- they all came barrelling through the back yard gate with this fuckin' black upright piano. For me. It was a fuckin' dream come true, man. And you know what I did?
I sat down and played, like I was born to it. Even though I didn't know how! (laughs) It was like my birthright or something.
And that's what making this album is. That's how I need to approach it. Like it's the natural thing to do, because it fuckin' is, you know?
Well,, you might need to remind me of it these next few months. In case I forget.
Man, I tell you, I don't know what I should fuckin' talk about. Two things: 1) I get depressed when I'm not at work because I know that I have to go to work the next day; and 2) I had a great time tonight in my apartment playing my new songs and doing some other songs. A satisfying practice is a wonderful things. It's like lifting weights: Makes you strong. Nobody can take it away from you; it's part of you. It's what's real and true.
Oh, nothing. I'm just tired. Physically tired. You know, need sleep, need quiet, that kind of thing. This working for a living fuckin' sucks, man. But I'm trying not to place too much importance about this. I'm just gonna take it easy and try to quiet down my mind.
Mondays suck, don't they?
Oh, man. Yeah.
On the CD front, I think I am going to record the whole album at the studio, just guitar/vocal demos. I think I can do that in an afternoon. I just have to be extremely practiced, but if I'm making a CD I should be extremely practiced anyway.
When do you plan to record it, farmboy?
Probably December, during the winter break. That's what I'm thinking. I think I'm passing on going to California during winter break. It's too soon, I think.
Sounds like decisions are being made. I'm glad to hear it.
It's all kinda -- I'm not sure of the word. Instinctual? Organic? It's like I'm filling up my head with all kinds of stuff, man, and the end result is a decision. About something. Hey, man?
(laughs) I'm stoned. You'll have to excuse me. I think it's time I get ready to go to sleep.
Thinkin' 'bout making the CD. Thinkin' maybe I'll go into the studio where I'll be recording and record the whole fuckin' album in one afternoon so I can get comfortable in the studio and gives me the demos to work with.
I think that sounds good, farmboy. I think it's a wise decision.
Thanks, man. I need to hear that.
I'm getting obsessed with the album, which is to be expected and which is a good thing. I want to get more obsessed.
Glad to hear it. I'm looking forward to hearing the album, farmboy. Do you have any kind of schedule yet?
I'm planning for it to come out in, like, April or May. In the spring, you know? Start recording basic instrumental tracks in December, do my local recording in the next three months, go to California to record during spring break.
All this, you know, can change at any time.
Which is just fine. You have a plan, and that's what counts.
Yeah. I can still hardly believe that I've got this money now and it's for making an album. I am so thankful, man.
This is gonna be so much fun, this album thing. This is gonna be good.
Look, farmboy, you're the songwriter. You're a born songwriter. This is what you do sometimes: you take a phrase or a word that we've heard a countless amount of times but never notice and you put them in an emotional context.
What do you think?
I like that, and I think that's a true statement about songwriting -- among others, that is.
Anyway, I don't know what I'm going to use it for or when I'll use it or even what it's gonna fuckin' mean.
It's happening, man, the obsessive thinking I was telling you about. It's like this kind of torture, a kind of war going on in my mind. You know, two fighting sides. Which, of course, is the way my life's always been like. It's just a whole lot more fuckin' pronounced during this kind of time.
So, basically, I don't know what to do. My mind is just fuckin' buzzing, man. I mean, it has, like, a charged-up battery. I've already called the coffeehouse and asked, you know? I mean, there's not much further this stuff can go, right? So I'm just dealing with hurt feelings and a fuckin' mind that obsesses over every fuckin' detail.
I mean, now I'm feeling like I'm not a good musician and that's why I'm not on the show. And that may be true...
(starts to cry) Fuck, man, I don't know...
Have you taken a clonazepam?
Yeah. I did, about ten minutes ago.
Give it some time, farmboy. Try to find something to get you out of your head. One of your podcasts or something to read. A TV show.
I don't have a TV.
You can watch shows on the internet. What I'm saying is see if you can find something that holds your attention.
Okay. I'll look. Maybe there's a podcast I can fall asleep to. I haven't listened to This American Life yet this week.
No, man, um, it's stupid. Not only is it stupid but it's a fuckin' rerun, you know? That thing that happened with the coffeehouse -- you know, where I was asked to play but then I saw a poster with my name not on it? Well, just about the exact same thing happened again.
So now I'm going through my catalog of feelings. You know, disbelief, then anger, then hurt, with spots of guilt between each one plus the reoccurring thought that I am just a fuckin' piece of shit. So I'm gonna try not to take it seriously and just get through it...
farmboy, are you starting to cry?
I'm just getting closer to the hurt feelings and hopefully that'll pass quickly and then I can figure out what to do.
So that's all. No big deal. Maybe I can fall asleep.
Damn, though, I'm so tired of fuckin' analyzing every fuckin' thing. I'm so tired of overthinking. Man, I hate this shit. So let's see if I can become an observer and just move through it.
Do you really think that's possible?
Oh, I'm sure it's not. But just the thought of it is preferable to my fucked-up obsessive thinking where I'm just gonna come out the loser anyway. Believe me, I know,
It's new. It's something to get used to. People were nice, the students are great, and I'm very thankful that I'm working in something I feel halfway-confident in. Of course, it is a fuckin' day job, you know? Not that I'm not thankful. I am, believe me.
How far along are you with the Kickstarter project, farmboy?
Oh, man, I got live five days left and I'm 90% there. It's slowed down a lot, which I've heard is normal. I'm going to send out a reminder email tomorrow and update the information on facebook. So next week I'm going to start work at a new school with new staff and new students and complete the Kickstarter stuff.
Yeah, I gotta remember to take care of myself, you know, to get sleep and quiet time and all the stuff I need to do to not burn out. I'm nervous about the fuckin' job, but I tend to be nervous about everything, all the time. Like, to use a chiche, the roof's gonna fall in. I'm so overpreparing for it that I can't notice much about what's going on at that moment. Or something like that.
Can I make a suggestion?
Well, to use a cliche, keep your eyes on the prize. Remember your priorities, remember what's important...
Thanks, man. That's so true. Jobs will come and go, but making albums...
I hope so. I hope it works out, man. I need some fuckin' stability in my life.
But you know what?
I still don't want to talk about it. I want to think and act on music alone. It's weird. I know I need to have a job, and I want to be responsible and pay my bills and shit like that, but, damn, work takes up way too much fuckin' time in my life...
Time that could be devoted to music?
Exactly. That's all that matters, in the long run, you know?
Okay, you know, for being in the dark about my job or my financial matters. It's a good thing about this Kickstarter stuff, I tell you, man. That's going well. Really well. I have a week to go and I'm, like, almost 90% there. Or I will be in fifteen dollars. So that's going better than my fuckin' real-life day job.
You're getting close to your goal.
Yep. It's a good feeling. I spent much of today trying to work out a tentative budget for the CD. You know, I do my dream CD where I spend too much money and my cheap CD where I see how frugal I can be, Today I worked on the frugal one, which will be closer to what I actually will do, thank God.
Well, I have to wear the producer's hat as well as the artist's hat and the artist wants to put all kinds of stuff on the CD while the producer wants to serve the songs as best as they can be served. Which, really, the artist does too. It's just that the artist is, you know, an artist wants to try all kind of stuff.
So what I'm mainly doing is trying out all kinds of things in my mind so I can figure out just what the songs need.
That's all very interesting, farmboy. Let me ask you, do you enjoy this process? Are you having fun?
Oh, it's a fuckin' blast, man! It's great fun and it's actually really exciting. I wish I could do this full-time, this being a musician.