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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Sycamore' Lyrics

1st Verse

The Sycamore is bare....
And all our friends are calling....
And nobody knows just when....
The leaves started falling down....


1st Chorus

If only you and I
Could wake up and realize
That our bed is still burning....

If only you and I
Could reach up for the sky
And know that we're still learning....
(....to love again)


Verse 2

I hear you breathing out....
I want to taste your morning skin....
I wonder what you're dreaming of....
Another day begins....


2nd Chorus

As we go round and round
The sun begins to climb
And nothing can compare....

And only you and I
Can know the reasons why
The Sycamore's still bare....
(But it's still there....)


Bridge

And you are the Only
One who has Known me....
And you are the Only
One who has Owned me....
But you aren't the Only
One who has been Lonely....
(And) you are the Only
One who has Shown me All


Verse 3

It's only been 'You and Me'....
I've Only had one Regret....
Never been enough time just to be alone with you....
Can we Forgive if we Forget?


Chorus 3

So can I ask you why
You're still staring
If you say there's nothing there?
And only you and I
Can know the reasons why
The Sycamore's still bare....
(....But it's still there)




(P) 2010 The FP Theory

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Update 12-14-09

Howdy Everyone! Here's the latest....

1) We are done recording (the tracking stage of) Matt's drums for 'Some Other Year' and Jake and I are prepping for our parts here in the not-so-distant future. We finished things up this week and are all elated to have those drums done. So now the lion's share of my mic locker will be set-up on guitar cabs again and I'll start whittling away at the 'SOY' guitars in between recording more vocals on 'Sycamore' and helping record Jake's bass tracks on the new song. So much to do! That all being said, Matt made a statement this last week about how long he has to wait until he gets to experience the fruits of his labor. We write and rehearse each song collectively and then we spend as much time as needed in pre-production for each song before trying to record anything, and then we record Matt doing his thing on the drums, and then he gets to sit back for (what probably seems like) forever until he gets to hear he finished product. He's the 'first man down the hole' so to speak and so he has to wait the longest before he can enjoy hearing his work. Bummer for the drummer. But he's a trooper....

2) 'Sycamore' is coming along. I wish I was a perfect singer. Admittedly I am my own worst critic and I am sure I have trashed a lot of 'so-so' vocal takes that I probably could have dressed up in the mix with some judicious editing. But I guess I keep holding out for the vocal takes that seem to jump out of the speakers and grab me on a deeper level. I had Jake and Matt listen in on what vocal tracks I had settled on so far, and they offered some very good suggestions and constructive criticisms about some specific things, but they were also quick to point out the positive things that they especially liked. And so it became likewise apparent that I sometimes suffer from creative 'tunnel vision' (big surprise eh?) and that when it comes to my vocals (which is fairly new territory for me and consequently an area of insecurity) I sometimes 'can't see the forest for the trees'. Jake and Matt were pretty fond of some vocal takes that I was otherwise doubting. And Jake even made the comment 'I don't know all of what you're hearing in your head, but it's amazing' and I really took that to heart. And I think I really needed to hear that. It pulled me away from some of my OCD fears and boosted my confidence a bit. So tomorrow I plan on hitting the mic again and will keep plodding away at things with hopefully a more open and relaxed frame of mind. Guitar playing is usually a cinch for me and I generally don't suffer from paranoia about my playing anymore. But singing is different. I just need to not be so OCD-ish about the quirks and unusual traits of my voice. Maybe I'll be a cool singer someday....

3) We made the decision not to start recording any new songs until after 'Sycamore' is buttoned up. Partly because 2 songs at once is plenty of work to keep on top of, but also because of hard drive space. I have a 320GB drive on my MacBook Pro but it keeps filling up as we go along. Audio data is immense....

So anyway, there's the short version of FP this week. Stay tuned....

~ Todd

Monday, December 7, 2009

Scenes From the Front Line...

Just an FP Quickie here. Thought I'd post a few pics of 'Sycamore' from my MacBook Pro's perspective (I'm such a geek)....

Scene #1:


Here is Logic 9's 'Arrange Window' that shows a lay of the land. ('Logic 9' is the computer software I use to do all of my recording projects.) Each horizontal section (shown in various colors) represents an individual track in the song. For example: one of the main vocal tracks, or maybe the bass track, or any of the various drum or guitar tracks, etc.. Worth noting here is that there are so many tracks in this song that my laptop's screen cannot show them all at once. I have to scroll around to see everything as needed. As such, the tracks you see in this picture comprise only of the vocals and some of the guitars. The bass and drum tracks are located farther down in my 'Arrange Window' and they essentially double the number of tracks you see here. I think 'Sycamore' is up to around 70-ish tracks so far. We'll probably hit around 100 or so by time everything else is recorded and in place. Lots going on....and lots to mix.

Scene #2:


This second scene is of Logic 9's mixer. Each track has a corresponding 'mixing channel'. 70 tracks = 70 mixing channels. Each 'mixing channel' is called a 'channel strip' and each channel strip has its own volume control/slider, a pan control (controls left-right placement of the track), a 'Record' button for arming a track for recording, a 'Mute' switch, a 'Solo' button (if you want to isolate a particular track to hear it sans any other tracks), an 'Input' button (for when you want to listen to say your guitar playing while it is being fed through Logic without actually recording anything), and a myriad of other useful settings for the esteemed mixing engineer to use at his or her discretion. One of the more important items on each 'channel strip' are the slots for 'Effects Plug-ins'....See below.

Scene #3:


This last scene is a shot of some of my favorite 'Effects Plug-ins'. Each Effects Plug-in is a unique software program that is hosted inside Logic 9. Each plug-in usually has a specific purpose in mind. Some plug-ins might be designed to distort a track in a cool way, or perhaps to add some echoes to a track, or maybe to make a track seem 'larger than life' by spreading it out more, etc.. Just like Apple always says 'There's an App for that' regarding their iPhone, there is a plug-in for just about every sort of sonic trick or effect you can imagine. I literally have hundreds of plug-ins on hand and it is always just a matter of knowing each plug-in's strengths and weaknesses and then choosing the 'right tool for the right job'. The plug-ins shown in this last picture (starting at the top left and going around clock-wise) are: 1) Stillwell Audio's 'Rocket Compressor', 2) Apple's 'Enverb' Reverb, 3) TC Electronics' 'M30 Studio Reverb', 4) Nomad Factory's 'Blue Tubes Tempo Delay', and 5) Apple's 'Ensemble' effect. I have spent more money on plug-ins than for any other sort of software. And while most people usually think of spending their extra money on new gadgets or toys, I usually think of what plug-ins I'd like to have next. Granted a plug-in only sounds as good as the person running it, but there is much to be said about getting what you pay for. In a way, plug-ins are the heart and soul of a modern studio's arsenal. Plug-ins have made life easy for many a recordist, and one can never have enough plug-ins....

So there's a quick tour of my world as I work on new recordings. Fortunately I am growing quite comfortable wearing multiple hats as a producer, engineer, guitarist, singer, songwriter, band correspondent and media guru, and whatever else needs to be done. FP is at the center of all of those facets of my creativity and I'm loving the journey along the way. And if a guy can enjoy his work, what could be better?

Still singing away....

~ Todd

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Update 12-6-09

And now for the FP Weekly News Report...

1) Drum tracks for song #2 ('Some Other Year') are 97% finished. (Incidentally, those drum tracks have currently consisted of 11.89 GB of hard drive space from 1,337 files....Good times!) We had an extremely smooth and successful round of recording sessions over the course of the last couple of weeks. All that remains to be recorded drum-wise is the very last outro verse where things finally start to wind down in the song. Matt really nailed his drum parts and I'm thrilled to say that there will be nearly zero editing needed for his drum tracks since we were able to edit-on-the-go (what little editing was required) during his tracking sessions because his performances were so spot-on. Wow. Ironically enough, some of the drum sections of this new song are very complex and tricky, and yet Matt made it all seem very nonchalant and easy. Even a good friend of ours, Todd Nardoni, who loaned us an extra set of ears during the last 'SOY' session, was blown away (and verbally said as much on several occasions) by how 'spot-on' Matt was with his drumming. At any rate, Matt has totally made my job as Engineer and Producer a lot easy than I am normally accustomed to. I could get used to that....

2) Jake begins tracking his bass parts this week. Since we have the bulk of his bass lines already mapped out and organized, I anticipate his sessions being fairly routine and non-difficult for him. Jake is keenly aware of his 'picking dynamics' which is essential for getting good, consistent bass tracks when recording. And like Matt, Jake makes my job much easier than I'm used to. Nothing like working with mature and naturally talented musicians....

3) 'Sycamore' is coming along and I've still been whittling away at the vocals these last couple of weeks. Of course, I'm pretty picky about what makes the final cut in the song, and so it is taking a while. I wish it could go quicker however a lot of the hold-up is me learning what works for my voice and what doesn't. Lots of trial and error going on when I'm recording those vocals. Plus some days I have just plain worn my voice out. It has proven to be much more difficult than I would prefer, but who knows? Maybe I'll make a decent vocalist someday.... :-) If nothing else, all of those failed attempts at singing make for excellent practice. If it was easy then what would be the point of that? When it is all said and done, I'll have the satisfaction of knowing how hard I worked on those vocal tracks every time I hear 'Sycamore' once it is all finished. That day is soon approaching...

4) With the Holidays quickly descending upon us, I do not anticipate starting rehearsals on song #3 ('Marigolds') until after the New Year. We've all got plenty on our plates, both in our personal lives plus as a band, so there's no sense in rushing to do the 'next thing' on our list. Hopefully the Holidays will prove to be time for each of us to recharge and regroup. The old adage 'Good things come to those who wait' comes to mind here. But I must say that after recording the drum tracks for 'Some Other Year' it is very apparent that FP is finding its ideal workflow and methods, and consequently I imagine that 'Marigolds' will go fairly quick once we do actually get started on it. 'Sycamore' has taken so long in part because it was our maiden voyage and we had lots of little kinks to work out of our system. Another old adage 'What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger' comes to mind here as well...

So anyway, I'm turning off the laptop now and going to sleep. Another busy day awaits me in the morning. That's all for this week. Signing out....

~ Todd

Monday, November 30, 2009

The FP Fish Have Returned!!!

OK...

After many reports and complaints of the FP Fish 'disappearing', I have gone to the trouble of restocking them in a slightly larger aquarium with cleaner water. I have also upgraded their food supply from the generic black stuff to a more fish-friendly greenish-grey variety. Hopefully their new environs will be more conducive to their delicate health. Also, I'd like to dispel any myths or rumors our readers may have heard regarding the feeding of the FP Fish. Being of the Koi/Goldfish variety, the FP Fish are in little (if any) danger of being overfed. You may feed them as often as you wish for as long as you wish. They won't eat themselves to death and disappear again. I suspect that the former fish coding picked up a virus, which in turn killed the former FP Fish. An underlying coding virus would also explain why those who encountered missing fish were all on Windows-based PC's, whereas I never had any problems seeing or feeding the FP Fish when using my Mac laptop (FYI, Macs don't get viruses). At any rate, $#!t Happens folks. But it's all good now and the new FP Fish are adjusting well to their new home.

Also, you may have noticed there are more fish in the FP Fish Tank. Previously we had eight fish in our care. Now there are ten. I figure since we moved up to a bigger tank, we could allow for more fish. Makes good sense. And the new fish now have names: the three orange ones are Ed, Tiger, and Jaws (female, male, and female respectively). The three black fish are Monique, Jamaica and Samson, two brothers and their sister. Then the two red ones are Tiny and Red, a boy and girl, although they are not of any birth relation. Then there is the yellow one we call Number Nine (we aren't sure if Nine is a boy or girl....kind of hard to tell with yellow goldfish....don't ask!). And lastly there is the strikingly beautiful albino named The Brain, although you may notice he isn't the sharpest tool in the shed (he is oftentimes the last fish to get to any food you may drop in the tank unless you put the food very close to him). We thought it best to give everyone in the FP Fish Tank proper names this time around so that we can keep tabs on all of them better. You never know what may happen in the fish tank....

So there you have it folks. That's the deal on the new FP Fish. If you notice any hanky-panky going on in the fish tank then just make sure it isn't between Monique and Samson, since they are siblings, and fish incest would be bad and might result in disadvantaged (i.e. 'fugly') goldfish babies with missing scales or fins and/or bulging eyes. Other than that, it's all fair game in the world of fish. Also, please post on this blog or email us immediately in the event that any of the FP Fish start disappearing again. I usually try to feed the FP Fish once a day but sometimes a couple of days might pass by before I can check in on them again. But in the words of Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, "Our lives are a mixture of different roles....Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is"....Or in layman's terms, if we all pool our efforts together to take care of our new finned friends, then the world will be a better place.

Hope you enjoy the new FP Fish Tank....

Regards,

Todd

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekly Update 11-28-09

How time flies....

1) As many of you know, we posted a preview of 'Sycamore' on our blog by way of a YouTube video. Nothing fancy, but it should wet the appetite for what is to come. I really can't say this enough that 'Sycamore' is just the tip of the iceberg. We have a ton of material on the back-burners waiting for adequate time to finish writing and recording. As such, I keep coming up with more lyric ideas as well as basic riffs and arrangements. So we literally just try to capture a 'sketch' of those things on my iPhone or whatever else is handy at the moment. But if you could 'hear' the ideas as we 'hear' them....More and more, FP is becoming a well-oiled machine and the more we work on stuff the more fun it gets.

2) Matt and I have been tracking his drums this week for the second song 'Some Other Year' and all I can say is 'wow'. In 10-12 hours of sessions we have literally knocked out over half of the drum sections, including the editing. Amazing really. And to give everyone a better scope of how much work and data that is...we are currently have 7.49 GB of hard drive space taken up over the span of 992 individual files. Granted the bulk of those files are out-takes, but it takes a while to record that many pieces. We have been recording and editing as we go, and we are using 15 mics on his drum kit this time around: 3 mics on the snare drum, 1 mic/each on the three toms, 1 mic on the hi-hat, 1 mic on the ride cymbal, 4 mics on the kick drum, 2 overhead mics above the entire kit, and 1 omnidirectional mic in a air duct that is connected to the drum room. Fortunately, we are getting much more efficient at mic selection/placement, and so things are sounding pretty stellar.

3) I'll continue singing sections for the 'Sycamore' this next week. Also, FP is rehearsing this week to iron out a few kinks in the bridge/last chorus section of 'Some Other Year' before we actually continue recording Matt's drums. But the goal is to have the drums wrapped up in the next 7-10 days (depending on everyone's schedules of course). Then the bass tracks will get recorded along with a bunch of the guitar parts. I actually plan on using my Line6 Vetta amp head for a lot of the guitar tracks in this one, largely due to a nicely syncopated stereo 'tremolo' effect. We'll see how that goes. The Vetta has always done well in the past...

That's all for this week. Again, I am most likely overlooking something...

Peace....

~ Todd

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Official 'Sycamore' Preview Is now LIVE

Hello All...

We promised a song preview by Thanksgiving Day and we delivered. If you'll look directly below (and to the left of) the main FP Banner....

Here's the scoop...

1) The audio is merely a rough draft of the first verse and first chorus. Most of the essential elements are in place but the mix is not 'there'. Since we are still recording new elements/sections to the song, we won't be mixing anything properly until the tracking is complete. But the audio gets the point across and hopefully it will leave listeners anxious to hear more.

2) The video is a collage of various points in FP history where we have been working, eating, horsing around, whatever, and all of the filming was done by Jake and my son Tyler. All video editing/direction was courtesy of Tyler.

3) As of this point, Sycamore needs the remaining vocals recorded, the bridge section guitar solo parts tracked, various odds and ends (i.e. audio bling), and possibly some vocals elements from my sister Charlyn. But every day we are making progress....

4) We are also simultaneously working on recording the drums for the second song 'Some Other Year'. Busy. Busy. Busy....

Hope you enjoy the Preview! Be sure to post some comments! We'd love to hear from you!

~ Todd

Friday, November 20, 2009

Matt Awakens

Ok, ok...I know what you're all thinking. You all think that Todd is making all this up about a band since he's the only one that posts on this BAND blog. The truth is that we do exist, we just aren't as tech savvy as Mr. Todd. I did feel on the eve of this long week of recording that I, Matt Goodner, should sound off a bit.

Although I would much rather prefer playing live events, I do enjoy the recording process. The process of recording is a very tedious, in depth experience that really helps to discover the song. Sure, we have the main frame of the song all planned out, but when we review and record each section line by line, we often stumble on some really sweet ideas. Some ideas can be as basic as moving a few notes around, others can be so severe as to change the whole structure of the section. You just never know. Once we do figure out how we want to arrange each section, the real work begins. This task involves tens, even hundreds, of repetitions of the same section looking for that elusive perfect take. This rare moment is the mecca of recording, it's the tootsie roll in the middle of the tootsie pop, the oh, so rewarding final take. That may be a little hyped up, but it's a good moment and I hope to have many, many of those moments in the upcoming week.

Not to be forgotten, so much more hard work is done in preparation of the actual recording of the drums. We have to arrange, move, arrange, move, arrange, and then most likely move again, all of the mics and stands to make them all fit around the kit. Once we get the placement correct, we have to make sure the spacing is consistent with all of out previous recordings. After a few hours of that, we get to run cables from the recording room to the actual studio so we can plug EVERYTHING in. Phew....all this talk about work is making me tired. Hey Todd, why don't we just hold off on this for a while? Haha, I'm only kidding, I'm anxiously awaiting the recording of "Some Other Year." It's going to be an awesome song and I can't wait to get started so all ya'll can hear it and be a part of it. Hang in there with us....we've got some excellent material headed your way.


Thanks as always,
Matt

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Sycamore Preview

Just a quick public service announcement that our upcoming song 'Sycamore' will indeed 100% be officially featured in some sort of preview by this Thanksgiving. The Polls will open until Monday night at Midnight, and then we'll act accordingly. We can't wait to let people hear a quick demo mock-up of what we have been up to. It won't be a finished product, but you'll be able to catch some of the vibe we've been conjuring up.

Also, one positive byproduct of us promising an early preview of our first song is that it has placed a deadline on certain things, and honestly I work harder under a deadline. Even if it is self-imposed. It has never been my intent on taking months and months on our first song, but honestly there has been lots more to all-things-FP than just working on 'Sycamore'. First we tried to record (and later put-away-for-a-rainy-day) an instrumental piece called 'Saying Goodbye'. That was back in June. That started just before Jake came onboard. Then we stumbled upon the basic idea/lyrics to 'Sycamore' and so we started thinking more in that direction. At that point we were really finding out what we were shooting for as a band and things started evolving from there.

Then we recorded Matt's drums for 'Sycamore' back in late August (when it was still blazing hot outside), then Jake laid his bass parts down, and then I recorded most of the guitars (still have more to layer in....including a cool solo section). Then it was at that point that I realized my studio room in my house would be a roadblock when it came time to mix things down, so I then took some time away from recording in order to fix everything sonically. That process, which involved lumber, 70'ish feet of R30 pink insulation, almost 60 feet of wire fencing material, at least 5 rolls of duct tape, nearly 30 yards of some sweet looking orange fabric, and a million staples (give or take a few), finished early last week. Phew....

So now I am in the slow and methodical process of singing the vocal parts, which by the way is a fairly new hat for me to be wearing. Other than a song I had recorded a few years ago called 'I Don't Care', I've done hardly any singing at all in my life other than at church (in the pews) and way back in grade school. I would like to take vocal lessons at some point and learn how to do a better job of it, but for now there just isn't enough time in the schedule for that. Another day perhaps. But that is on my radar....

And in the meantime, while all of the 'Sycamore' and studio rebuild stuff was taking place, we wrote and arranged a second song called 'Some Other Year' and we will begin recording drums for that song this coming weekend and part of next week. Once we have that one rolling along enough for Jake and Matt to move on to the next thing, we'll most likely start working on song #3 called 'Marigolds'. And of course there are several other song/lyrical concepts in the chute at this point with working titles like 'Rabbit Hole', '451 Sandusky Drive', 'Careless', 'Aperture', '3:31 a.m.' and a few other works-in-progress. It is really just a matter of getting time to make them happen and to do the recordings as we are able.

Now to be clear (because most people just don't get this) the process to crafting each song is very similar to designing and building a house. Make plans, make a schedule, and then get ready to work for a good stretch before things start to take shape. Tons of pre-production goes into a song before we even consider trying to officially 'record' anything. We do capture a lot of ideas on my iPhone or with a single mic hanging in the room when we rehearse. So the ideas are definitely flowing. But it can just be a trick (and nearly impossible) just trying to keep up with recording stuff because of the amount of time and detail required to do things 'right'. But there's no sense in doing something if you aren't willing to go all the way with it. Otherwise we'd be just like everybody else....

So this is the last post I'll make before we hand out the 'Sycamore' demo. People are working hard behind the scenes to make things happen for us. A big thanks goes out to my son Tyler (for photo and video editing/design and for 'hearing' my ideas and making good creative suggestions), my son Anderson for being a good sounding-board for my ideas and for entertaining me with his personality....you keep me 'real'), Jake and Matt (obviously), Brittany (for feeding us all of the time and being the band-wife of sorts and for letting FP invade her home every week), my wife Julia (for making me who I am and for always looking me in the eyes and for always being the balance in my life....and for just being cool...and pretty....and....T.M.I.), to Gary and Chris Lockard (for encouraging Jake in every way and for encouraging the rest of us as well), my sister Charlyn (for signing up to help with some upcoming backing vocals and for spurring me on when I need it), and the rest of our friends and families for the ongoing interest and excitement. You'll all get mentions in the album liner someday....

FP for a Better Tomorrow.

~ Todd

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Update 11-15-09

Welcome race fans...

Here's the latest scuttlebutt for the week:

1) 'Sycamore' is still in the exact same place as the last post. This last week I have had other things on my FP 'To-Do List' and 'Sycamore' wasn't holding things up like some of the other things on the 'List'.

2) 'Some Other Year' is now organized and completely ready for Matt to lay down his drum parts. We will set up shop in the next few days and will be recording his drums parts for the new song during the week of Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed...

3) FP had a big family fish fry down at Jake's parent's place this last Friday. Jake's been catching a ton of Crappies (some of them just over 14" long) and his parents set up their 'serious' outdoor fish-fry station. And we ate a lot of fish. And homemade hush-puppies. Etc. Etc. And it was a lot of fun and gave everyone time to just hang out. And we played several rounds of Baggo/Cornhole (Jake is still the reining champion - although my son Anderson is determined to dethrone Jake someday soon). Heck...at times it almost felt like we were having a tailgate party. Especially with the pick-up truck that was parked near the campfire. Gotta love it. And to top it all off we even found out that my wife Julia likes Killian's Red Lager. Who'da thunk? A big thanks to Jake's family for having us all over!

4) My studio rebuild is nearly complete. All of my wall panels are mounted and now I am modifying my desk with a wider sound-treated shelf for my monitors. Then once I get that finished (tomorrow hopefully) I will put my equipment back in order and start cleaning things up. Then it's back to 'Sycamore' and then the real work begins....

5) I've been playing my V-neck Strat around the house a lot lately. Funny how certain tones ebb and flow in and out of our everyday lives (I'm speaking from a guitarist's point of view of course). These last several months I have played my Les Paul almost exclusively, but lately that Strat has been hitting the spot for me. Maybe it's the whammy bar?

So that pretty much sums things up for now. Will write again next week....

Too-da-loo....

~ Todd

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly Update 11-6-09

So here's the FP dealio for this week....

1) 'Sycamore' is still being constructed as we speak. I've been singing the vocal tracks like crazy and have lots of them done now. However I still need to sift through a bunch of them and I also need to attack the bridge section soon. But it is really starting to sound like a song now. Lots of tidying up on some of the details but it will be done very soon. Also, we had to postpone my sister's backing vocals this week on account of a mild stomach flu/fevering I had one day this week. Fortunately it passed quickly and I am happily back on my feet and going full steam again (I hate being sick...such a frustration!) Chances are strong that Charlyn will do her thing this coming week sometime. Fingers crossed....

2) Jake is in Chicago this weekend with his old college roommate and he mentioned going to some sort of professional cage fighting event. Maybe we'll get some Twitter updates from him....?

3) I nearly have all four of my massive studio bass trap panels finished and in place in my studio room. They have consumed a lot of my time (and a lot of sweat) but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with these things. The third and fourth panels are constructed and one of them is already half-wrapped with its coverings. I have approximately two more hours of work on them and then they will be done. Ughh....why does that last home stretch always seems the most grueling? I just want them to be finished so I can move on and get down to business in my studio again. At any rate, I finally made the much needed purchase of a calibration/measurement microphone and will be tweaking things as needed to even out the frequency resonances in my little rectangle studio (rectangle/square rooms are a nightmare acoustically speaking). Can't wait to see how that fares. Hopefully my job as a mixer/engineer will be much easier from now on. But I digress...

4) "Some Other Year" is coming along in the pre-production stage by leaps and bounds. We are completely on schedule for recording Matt's drums during the week of Thanksgiving (he's taking the week off via some vacation days). Consequently, Jake and I have been slightly under the gun with getting our parts up to snuff in order to help figure out where Matt needs to place his accents and cadences. But just this week we were all able to figure out the actual song structure we thought best and it will all be pretty grand when it is finished. And I even have all of the lyrics finally ready (sans a variation in the first chorus) and things are looking up. Everything has its place, including the spots where any of us need to bail out to make room for the other parts, and I have to hand it to the guys for treating things like a blueprint and yet keeping things from feeling too rigid or stiff. It is a lot of work to keep things organized and on track but these guys are troopers in every way. And all of our families have been our biggest support which makes all of the difference in the world. And best of all we are all loving the process of just hanging out and working together.

Now regarding SOY's song structure....Imagine if you will, a vocal melody line in the verse sections, then different vocal lines during the choruses (in a different key no less), and of course those sections have their respective drum, guitar, and bass parts underneath it all. With me so far? Then imagine a bridge section coming along where we all veer off in slightly different directions and all of our instrumental parts swap roles. The kick drum pattern now mimics the accents from one of the vocal lines, the bass pushes things along in a steamroller-esque fashion, and the lead guitar introduces a new melody line that points forward to an upcoming vocal round melody line, all the while everything keeps building, and then we all switch once more and our instrumental parts interchange yet again. Oh and Matt's cymbal crash accents are weaving in and out of his kick drum accents by following the accent patterns from a completely different vocal line. And it just keeps getting bigger and bigger as we truck along. That is what we are organizing at the moment. And remarkably it all makes sense to us and it all sounds pretty amazing to boot.

And that my friends is the very sort of chemistry and creativity that I am loving about FP....Everything just works and flows together and sounds like it was meant to be. And soon you'll get to hear what we've been up to....Are you anxious yet?

So that is a good place to wind this post up. Lots to do and keep track of. But we're doing just that. And it is the most fun ever....

Until next time....

~ Todd

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekly Update 10-27-09

I love this band....

1) Matt, Jake and myself went over to Chambana's Old Chicago Pizzeria last Wednesday night just to hang out and sample a few brews. The pizza was great and so were the weird flavored beers (my fav being a 50/50 mix of Guinness Stout and Woodchuck Hard Cider that O.C.P. calls a 'Snakebite' - although Woodchuck's site officially calls this concoction a 'Black Velvet'). The funniest moment of the evening came when I had to 'make more room for the food' by retreating to the men's room. Matt and Jake were sitting on the same side of the table opposite of me at our booth and so when I went to the restroom they were left sitting next to each other all alone on their shared bench. Nice one. According to Matt, I was in the restroom approximately 12 minutes (i.e. 12 minutes too long) and both he and Jake (both being 'straight' in their sexual orientations) were feeling a little awkward during those gruelling 12 minutes. Needless to say they were glad to have me back once I took my place at the booth again. Of course I think the looks in their faces said it all when I returned from the bathroom. But hey...

Pizza and drinks at Old Chicago: $30+

Leaving your buddies in an awkward public 'bromance' situation: 'Priceless'


2) I have currently finished recording the vocals for 6 out of 12 phrases in the 3 verses of 'Sycamore'. That being said, things are really starting to come together and our collective genius is taking shape. :-) There is a very strong chance that we will be releasing a preview snippet of the song once I get some of the chorus sections done. Not a finished mix mind you. But a nice preview to let people get a taste of where we are heading. And there is a 95% possibility that the 'preview' will be presented by way of a teaser video. Hang in there folks. We are getting closer to getting our pilot song finished up....

3) The fabric store called last night to let me know that the remaining 12 yards of material I special ordered for my studio bass trap panels have arrived. Will be heading to Chambana in the next couple of days to pick up the fabric and then hopefully I can get the remaining 3 panels finished and properly set in place in the studio sooner than later. I really don't want to mix 'Sycamore' until those panels are installed.

4) Matt just celebrated his 24th birthday last week. A bunch of us met up at Jocko's Pizza Inn in Danville and it was a lot of fun. The FP logo was a featured icing item on his birthday cake (baked and decorated by Matt's wife Brittany) alongside a Chevy/GMC logo, a John Deere tractor(?), and some Craftsmen tools. A good endorsement/advertising deal to be sure and a sign of things to come? I envision the infamous orange FP insignia being plastered on interstate billboards, a limited (and highly collectible) run of FP M&M's, and of course being front and center on the hood of at least one NASCAR contender. People will catch on.

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All contents of this official FP Blog are: Copyright (c) 2009. All rights reserved. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. The example companies, organizations, products, people and events depicted herein may or may not be fictitious. No legal association with any real company, organization, product, person, or event is intended or should be inferred. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.


5) Jake says he is letting his hair grow out again. Jerk. Wish I could....

6) Pre-Production is going very well for the next song 'Some Other Year'. We anticipate perhaps two/three more sessions of writing before we start tracking drums for it. And I am still working on SOY's lyrical direction (been steadily getting there). Interestingly enough, my initial plan for this song was to keep it simple and radio-friendly, especially considering it is sort of a universally appealing young-love song. However, after our last writing session, Matt fostered a grand plan to give this song a somewhat unexpected epic turn towards the end. Assuming this song continues heading in this new musical direction (and I'm hoping that it does as it is totally brilliant) it will be huge and quite memorable indeed. I seriously can't wait to start recording this one folks. Wow. Past 'SOY' we will most likely pursue 'Marigolds' as song #3 (unless something better comes along in the meantime). And at some point along the way I would like to see an accompanying music video produced for either 'SOY' or else 'Marigolds'. We have connections folks, just need to put our heads together and figure out the creative direction. What fun!

So that is all for now. Stay tuned until next time! Hopefully I will have Sycamore's vocals finished up by the next blog post. 'La la la la la...'

~ Todd

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Update 10-16-09

Hello Readers!

Here's the weekly FP News....

1) 'Sycamore' has 90% of the guitars recorded now. The only thing left is the main lead part in the bridge. Haven't quite found the tones I have been hearing in my head yet. Getting there. Just need to tweak things more and mess with mic placement perhaps. But it is getting very close. Other guitar odds and ends may show up as things start getting embellished at mixdown but all of the core parts are finished and honestly they sound amazing. So far no amp sims or plug-ins, just good, honest tube amp tones through several mics in a normal room. There are clean tones, Ebow tones, feedback tones, overdrive, etc.. It's all there and it was all mic'd the old fashioned way. Wow. I truly love the guitars on this song.

2) This last week I have been building bass traps for my studio and I have 1 1/2 built so far. I intend to have four bass traps (one for each corner of the room) and eventually a 'ceiling cloud' panel section suspended above my listening space. My boys have been a huge help to me in the process, and Anderson especially loves to run the grinder on the Dremel tool (he likes the sparks). I hope to finish up the second bass trap tomorrow and then I will just need to find the right cloth material to wrap these traps with. The bass traps I have made are 80"H x 32"W and they will pretty much reach from the floor to the ceiling in my studio room. I think I will have to rearrange my gear once those traps are in place, but it should be worth it once I get my studio's troublesome bass nodes in check. Should make my mixdowns much more efficient.

3) I plan on starting vocals on 'Sycamore' next week. Can't wait to hear it all in the mix context. Also, I plan on posting the lyrics once we get closer to wrapping this song up. Stay tuned...

4) We started rehearsing the main instrument parts for 'Some Other Year' tonight. Matt played some drum parts differently than I had originally envisioned (and his ideas were much better I might add) and it was very 'there'. Fortunately my iPhone saved the day again and we did a quick scratch recording of it all while it was fresh. Lyrically (and musically) S.O.Y. is pretty light and happy. I jokingly told the guys that S.O.Y. is our 'get pregnant' song as it deals with a lot of the issues and feelings of young love and starting a family. Fun stuff and definitely fun to sing about.

I think that covers the main stuff this week. I may have overlooked something significant but if so then it escapes me at the moment. As always there is much more in the works and a lot to keep track of....Will keep you posted!

~ Todd

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekly Update 10-2-09

Hello All....

Wow! What a busy couple of weeks it has been for FP. Lots to talk about so here goes...

1) Jake's bass parts on 'Sycamore' are all now officially ready for mixdown. All editing and assembly is finished and everything is in its proper place albeit It took a bit more work than I anticipated, largely due to a couple of problems we ran into with the newest incarnation of Apple's Logic 9. I had to figure out a couple of workarounds for things to circumvent the bugs. But all is good and all is finished for Jake on this one...

2) I recorded my first guitar parts for 'Sycamore' this last week. I once again used my 5-mic setup on my late-60's/early-70's Fender Super Reverb amp. Last time I used this elaborate mic setup to record guitar parts with, I had everything situated in our living room which ended up being a hassle because all of my stuff was in everybody's way. This time around I have the amp located towards the middle of my studio room. Not a lot of space but it makes more sense for my family. The only caveat is that my studio room has a fair amount of sound treatment in place, so the overall sound of the amp is drier with less natural room ambience. But past that the mics that are up close and personal sound incredible and are very 'there'. Also, at this point I have only used my venerable Gibson Les Paul. Plenty of other options are hanging on the walls but I just really love that LP in every way. Now the task at hand is to finish tracking the primary rhythm guitar parts enough to where I can begin singing the vocal tracks. Then come the lead guitars and other ear candy items. (About those lead guitars: we decided to double the length of the instrumental bridge section, primarily because the drums and bass sound so cool. When we were originally working out the logistics and song arrangement of the song, I only wrote lead parts for 1/2 of what we now need. I can hear more parts in my head but some of those parts are going to be pretty rough to manage, mainly because of how fast they will need to be. Hopefully this won't take too long to master....)

3) Our band bios are now pretty much done and ready to go. My sister Charlyn did a great job and the guys really loved them.

4) Last night the band got together to preview the drums and bass tracks thus far, and then after the fact we got into some good discussion about short-term and long-term goals, marketing, legal planning, financial planning, what sort of contractual agreements with record labels we will be interested in (and not interested in), and a lot of other areas of preparedness that we want to have in place before unleashing our music to the masses. Given the fact that we are doing the recording/songwriting phase of things sans the interference of label execs and hired-gun producers, we feel it will be in our best interest to delay the release of our multimedia material (in the works) or most of our songs until the bulk of everything is ready to go. That being said, we will most likely hand out 'Sycamore' well in advance of everything else just to hold our circle of family and friends over, and also as a way of letting people know that we are indeed serious about what we are doing. That all being said, we will continue to dole out new photos, song snippets, weekly blog updates, Twitter Tweets, etc, accordingly. But the massive amount of work that lays before us can only be done so fast without compromising the quality of the final product. How long will an album take to record? Who knows...but it will be well worth the wait.

5) Jake makes killer pulled pork BBQ. Dang

6) One thing that will surely speed up the recording process is that I am going to be constructing some bass traps in my studio in the near future. I have the design of the panels figured out and I even have the dark blue fabric picked out that will be used on the face of these panels. Fun stuff (I'm such a geek). But the bass frequency buildup in my little studio room has been a thorn in my side for as long as I have been recording and frankly I'm fed up with having to second guess every move I make in any given mixdown. Also, as Julia and I would like to move to a bigger/nicer domicile sometime in the next few years, I always try to make my studio environment somewhat mobile. Someday I hope to have the coin to move out of that little room into a more suitable place for recording, and ideally all of my sound treatment panels/fixtures will move with me. Someday someone will probably make an honest bedroom out of my studio again....

7) Matt and Jake are ready to start writing parts for the next song 'Some Other Year' so I need to throw down some scratch guide tracks to my guitar parts. And I need to finish the words to it as well. 80% there....

8) Aside from writing guitar parts, practicing singing, writing lyrics, teaching 35-40 weekly guitar lessons, homeschooling my teenage boys, chasing Julia around the proverbial kitchen table, and reading a great Mark Twain novel 'The Mysterious Stranger', I have probably spent at least 15-20 hours this last week-and-a-half getting my head around 'compression' techniques and trying to get much more familiarized with the myriad of compressor plug-ins I have at my disposal. Now for those of you who have no idea what a 'compressor' is, basically it is something you process audio with in order to make the volumes and loudness of things more even and smooth. Problem is there are a ton of different types of compressors out there, and every one of them has strengths and weaknesses. The old motto 'the right tool for the right job' is very appropriate here. For instance, Matt's kick drum has three different microphones that we ended up using to record it with (started out with four but one of those channels bit the dust while we were tracking and we didn't find the problem until after the fact). Each of those mics has its own dedicated track during mixdown. Each of those mics has a different job to do. One is used for thud. One is used for snap. One is used for capturing the 'air' and density around the kick drum, etc. Each mic has its own personality. So the trick is trying to find the right compressor to suit each mic. And yes they are all different. Compound this compressor/mic marriage concept by the 14 mics that were used to record his entire kit with and you get the idea of how tricky those choices can become. And like a good recipe, everything is effected by the individual ingredients. Too much kick drum in the mix will take away from the toms or the bass guitar. Too much of the hi-hat mic can drastically affect the overall tone of the snare drum (because a hi-hat mic usually picks up some of the snare). And the list of interactions goes on and on. And so the real job is to find the right balance of everything in context of the overall mix, and compressors are a key item in that process. So I have literally read manual after manual these last couple of weeks getting reacquainted with all of my compressors and I have also watched probably fours hours of online tutorials on the subject just to get my head back in the know. Some things you don't forget. Other things need reviewed from time to time just to keep it all fresh. But it has been a very productive week for me in this area and I'm actually looking forward to mixing our first song down once it is all tracked and edited.

So there it all is this week. I think that is all for now. And so now it's time to put the laptop down and go to sleep...zzz. If I forgot something then it'll show up in the next post.

Until then....

~ Todd

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twitters Now Tweeting Properly Again...

Got the Twitter feeds fixed again. And if you'll notice we now have a combined column for a slimmer, trimmer look. Nice.

Stupid hackers (see previous post below).

Also, since I am here posting a quick blog, I should mention that Jake completely nailed his bass tracks for 'Sycamore' this week and that his bass parts are now finished being recorded. I do have some minor assembling/editing to do with his raw tracks but I hope to have that work done within the next couple of days (in between U.S. History, sciences, etc). Next up are my guitar tracks/layers, and then the main vocals. Then who knows? It will be quite deluxe when finished....

Past that, we (the band and our families) are taking this Thursday night to blow off a little steam by way of a wiener-roast, possibly another outdoor movie (weather permitting of course), and best of all, lots of guns and ammo. Yes folks....although I do not personally own a gun (yet), Jake and Matt both have a small arsenal on hand including a Russian sniper rifle (with armor-piercing rounds), a double-barrel shotgun, and plenty of other pistols and rifles of various makes and calibers. Should be quite a good time so long as we don't forget to wear hearing protection.

Stay tuned for more weekly updates....

~ Todd

Twitter Got Hacked Again

Public Service Announcement Here...

I had to yank Matt and Jake's Twitter update feeds due to a large scale Twitter/Blogger issue. Apparently someone hacked some of Twitter's code and lots of folks are experiencing hi-jacking of their Tweets.

Stupid hackers.

At any rate, I'll be checking on this issue frequently throughout the next few days as needed and hopefully I can put Matt and Jake back up on the board ASAP.

~ Todd

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekly Update 9-19-09

My bad. Last week there was no blog update. Had a lot going on (including a 3-day weekend getaway with family and friends). Then this last week has been a blur as well. But among other notable things:


1) "Sycamore" had technical issues regarding Logic 9 and the bass parts this past week. There are plenty of subtle tempo fluctuations that I had to pencil into "Sycamore's" Logic song project, and apparently one of Logic's newest features (Flex Editing) doesn't like it when there are tempo changes. Poor Jake. We tried and tried to record his bass parts Thursday night and the Flex feature really mangled things up. Badly. After about three hours of fighting Logic we gave up and decided to come back to it at another time. Sadly, Jake's playing was solid that night. (Thankfully there were a few brews on hand to combat the frustration.) But for now I think I have a workaround. Kind of a pain but at least we can get the job done.

2) I am currently sick with a chest/throat/head cold. Sucks.

3) Earlier in the week (before getting sick) I managed to write 85% of a new song called "Some Other Year". Matt thinks we should record it prior to "Marigolds" and so that works for me. It's a happy song (as is "Marigolds") and it will feature the first time that I will have ever used a tremolo effect on my guitars in a recording (err...I think this will be the first time). You say you don't know what a "tremolo effect" is? Well guess what? When "Some Other Year" is released, not only will it be a new aural adventure for you but it will also be an educational experience as well. (Or maybe you can Google 'tremolo' or check out Wikipedia if you simply cannot wait?) Cheers!

4) Umm. Let's see...

5) We uploaded a video of Matt getting warmed up before a "Sycamore" session (in part so that we could adjust levels, etc). We do have an FP YouTube channel in progress however it is still a work in progress and we aren't ready to show the world just yet. But more bling, videos, comments, links, ear/eye candy, interviews, etc will get uploaded there in due time and then we will let everyone come in and check things out. We also have the obligatory MySpace page being worked on but all of our non-blog sites are still in limbo as we are still ironing out more pics, our bios, and of course our first recording. Links will be posted accordingly just as soon as we have things to our liking.

Hopefully we'll wrap up Jake's bass tracks on "Sycamore" this week and maybe even start tracking my guitar parts. Will keep everyone posted!

~ Todd

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly Update 9-5-09

Wow. What a busy week this has been. I'm beat actually. Doesn't help that I took on a substantial sunburn while mowing my Gma Bush's acreage this week. But weeks like this seem to go fast and slow at the same time. Having a 3-day weekend will hit the spot for sure....

1) The guys and I were able to 'proof-read' Matt's drum sections for 'Sycamore' this week. Didn't take long at all. We all put on some headphones and zipped through everything without too much effort. I had most of the obvious kinks worked out by time we all listened together so now we are ready to move on and start recording bass and guitars (which means I need to practice some more and get with the program!) Seems like when I am mixing or editing a recording I end up having to let my guitar playing take a back seat temporarily. Time to change hats again and reconnect with my instruments. Looking forward to it actually...

2) Jake comes over on Monday (Labor Day) to throw down some bass tracks. Not sure how far we'll get but we are definitely going to take a stab at it.

3) Tyler (my oldest son) has begun editing and compiling various random video clips for a YouTube teaser video in the works. (Yeesss!)

4) My sister Charlyn Hester put together bio question sheets for us and now she is taking that info and has begun to write some creative bios for us. Once she gets that done we'll proof-read things and then hand them over to Nick Gaudio. Nick will be taking charge of certain websites and is a major help to us. We couldn't do all of this without all of these talented people.

5) I have been writing yet more lyrics. One new song idea I came up with this week has a working title of 'Aperture'. But I really need to get 'Marigolds' worked out more so we can begin pre-production on it in a couple of weeks.

6) Forgot to mention this tidbit the last time. Jake brought home a couple of electric kazoos from the Summer NAMM show. Hopefully they'll get slipped into some recordings somewhere along the way. :-)

Much to do. Busy busy busy....

- Todd

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekly Update 8-29-09

Well, well, well....

1) Matt got all of his drum parts for 'Sycamore' recorded in a scant 8-10 hours over the course of the last three evenings. Wow. Matt is a machine! And I even managed to wipe out a few of the obligatory "keeper takes" on account of signal routing issues and a preamp channel failure on the left overhead mic. But in spite of throwing away a couple hours worth of good performances, Matt came out shining and in awesome form. The guy can seriously play drums folks. And so begins the assembly of drum tracks and then a rough drum mix, then Jake will record his bass parts, then I'll start laying down the primary guitar tracks, then main vocals. Past that is when we add the spit-polish to the mix and start adding extra guitar layers and subtle atmospheric synth textures, effects, backing vocals (including some vocal textures from my extremely talented sister Charlyn), hopefully some backing vocals from Jake, etc.. And then the Final Mix begins. So basically there is a ton of work left to do on 'Sycamore' but I hope to have a partial mock-up of the first verse for a preview for people to wet their appetites within a coupe of weeks. Stay tuned....

2) We are trying to figure out which song to start rehearsing next. Possible candidates are 'Rabbit Hole' which is a darker affair, or possibly 'Marigolds' which is happy and fun. I am still messing around with lyric content for 'Marigolds' but 'Rabbit Hole' is pretty much lyric-ready. However 'Rabbit Hole' will be harder to do justice to instrumentally and it will likely be harder to record. And sing. We'll see what happens....

3) 'Saying Goodbye' has officially been relocated off premises onto its own hard drive for safe keeping until I can get back to it. It really needs a complete overhaul and after the drums for 'Sycamore' went so smoothly we are considering rerecording 'Saying Goodbye' for a third time. It is stupidly complicated and tough to play. We can play it good enough for 'live' purposes but recording it is a whole different story. It will get done when it gets done I suppose. No hurries on it. Some songs require more time to develop and perfect. Plus 'Saying Goodbye' is an instrumental and we really want to pursue the vocal oriented songs first. Again, stay tuned....

4) Jake and my son Tyler took over a thousand pictures and roughly 8 GB of video from the first two nights of the 'Sycamore' drum sessions. Now Tyler needs to start sifting through everything and start compiling the best of the best for a planned multi-media collage for the blog. Lots of work to be done there but Tyler has a real knack for that stuff. It is always good to pull from our own circles for stuff like this....

So all in all, I think this has been a seriously productive week for all things FP. Hopefully we'll keep trucking along like this and get 'Sycamore' wrapped up in the not-so-distant future.....

~ Todd

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekly Update 8-21-09

Howdy....

Here's the latest FP news:

1) The last two 'Sycamore' rehearsals have been very productive and now we are planning on proceeding with drum tracking next week (Yeesssss...!!!) We have a potential of five evenings to get everything wrapped up drum-wise. Should be good to go. Then I'll edit the drum tracks and start recording Jake's bass and my guitar, and then the vocals. Past that we'll dress things up and add some ear candy and polish to the mix. That being said I am very excited about this song folks. It has stretched us in many ways and yet it feels so natural and real. And honestly we are placing the highest priority on song structure and how our parts serve the song. We want our songs to really resonate with you, the listener. Hopefully we'll be somewhat transparent in our delivery so that people can 'lose themselves' in the song without us getting in the way....

2) My vocal range is increasing and getting more comfortable. Of course I seriously have a long way to go as a vocalist but the more I work at it the more it feels right to me. Of course part of the journey is getting accustomed to the way my voice sounds and learning to play to my strengths. And embracing my style. Stupidly enough, a lot of the trick is getting used to singing into a mic through a PA, and I think I have fought that more than anything. Ugh. But there is hope and things are shaping up nicely....

3) As a sort of 'hold-me-over' we are planning on video documenting our 'Sycamore' sessions and putting together a teaser video that will let friends, fans and family have an early taste of what is to come. The more we can involve people in the process the more we will enjoy it. It pushes our boundaries and keeps us motivated. And it definitely helps us not take ourselves too seriously along the way. Mostly. I think. (To be continued....)

4) On a slightly different note, a buddy of mine, Craig Collins, has recently finished making a custom hand-made bass for himself and there are plans to build me a custom guitar at some point in the not-so-distant future. Most likely the guitar will be primarily made of walnut with a neck-through body and a cherry/walnut laminate neck. If not walnut/cherry, then hopefully some other local tonewoods. But I am seriously honored and flattered to have someone like Craig wanting to make me a hand-made instrument. The bass he built is absolutely stellar and the tone is phenomenal. Can't wait to see what his guitars end up like....

5) We have been enlisting the much-needed help of Nick Gaudio and my son Tyler for FP web design and video/pic editing (respectively) and a big thanks goes out to them for their time, vision, and contributions. We do intend on spreading out our web presence via FaceBook, MySpace, Indaba, etc in due time, and these guys are an integral part of that. Also, a big thanks to our families and friends for the support and encouragement to pursue things as FP. Sometimes it's easy to underestimate how much support we think we will get from those who know us best. To have real people that we rub shoulders with each and every day tell us that we are onto to something good and worth reaching for means the world to us and fuels our fire. You make it all worth it to us....

So that's all for this week's update. Lots going on behind the scenes that we will share at a later date as things develop. Past that, I need to call it a night and face another day. Thanks to all who are getting on board with us at this very early stage. You will not be forgotten....

~ Todd

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh we have some news...

Oh boy, we've got another boy. Of course I'm talking about my wife and I and I'm also talking about our dogs. That's right dog(s). As of Saturday, August 15th we have a new golden retriever named Ozzie. He is adjusting to his new brother Mowgli quite well. They play together constantly, almost too much. Ozzie is sleeping decently well, but he likes to wake up at 5 and whine like you wouldn't believe. Hopefully we can get a picture of him up soon so you can all check him out.

~ Matt

Sunday, August 9, 2009

8-10-09 Updates From W.Todd

Hello Readers!

As promised, here is the weekly band info update:

1) Thursday night (8-6) we had a good practice albeit it was a rather hot and humid practice. Matt's place is serving as practice headquarters and we practice on the second story which can be susceptible to outside temperatures. So even though we are more in the Pop/Rock camp, it definitely smelled of Man Funk. The goal that night was to gauge whether or not we would be ready to begin recording drums for "Sycamore". I got hung up in the bridge section due to the vocals being tough and so Matt suggested some good section rebuilds in order to change the bridge to make my job easier. At this point we are heading in this new direction for that song but we decided we needed another 2-3 weeks of practice before trying to record things. Pre-Production is king with us.

2) Matt and Jake came over Friday after work to help me cut down a rather large soft maple tree that was dying and threatening to fall on my house, cars, or even people standing in the wrong place at the right time. Got to love the fact that the three of us are friends and that we had that connection way before ever deciding to do the band thing. And fortunately there were no injuries or property damage on Friday when the tree came down. Julia was a bundle of nerves though as we had to temporarily block off our block of the street....I think she thought someone was going to get hurt or else that the local authorities were going to show up to shut us down and slap us with a fine. But the tree was on the City of Danville's portion of our yard and I have been hounding them to come take the tree down for the last five years. The stupid Powers-That-Be at the City of Danville can't seem to properly allocate funds for filling bad accident-inducing potholes in the roads let alone remove dying trees that are dangerously close to the streets. Needless to say we made quick work of it.....and it was fun!

3) "Saying Goodbye" is still in the works albeit we will now focus more heavily on "Sycamore". I can only do so much editing at once and then my brain wears out. Plus I have been taking care of U.S. History, World History, Chemistry, General Science, and Algebra/Geometry assignments for my two high school homeschooled sons. That and 35-45 weekly guitar lessons at B&J Music here in Danville. You get the idea....

4) We (FP) are soon to begin some picture collections of us in action recording, rehearsing, doing whatever, to post here on this blog plus any upcoming network/music sites. Jake is the real pro at this (he has a photography related degree from SIU/Carbondale) and my oldest son Tyler is also quite the photographer. The idea will be to build up themes and artistic motifs that coincide with certain words from the lyrics in our upcoming songs. For instance:

This one is called "Rabbit Hole", a song that will hopefully get worked on right after we get "Sycamore" done. The song lyrics are fairly dark and ominous with a lot of double-meanings encrypted in the lyrics. Tyler took this shot back in May (around the same time I wrote most of the lyrics to "Rabbit Hole") and then he messed with things a bit and gave it even more depth and eeriness by associating this image with the imagery and metaphors of the song lyrics. Brilliant stuff really. Hopefully the song will do the picture justice....

At some point we will probably bring in fan pics to the fold and feature them here on this blog or other sites, and hopefully the lyric word/picture association idea will blossom into its own entity for people to connect with our music. Maybe we'll even have contests about this stuff. Who knows?

Past all of that, we are just working quietly in the background on our songs. Can't wait to show them to the world one of these days. In the meantime, keep an eye on the horizon for the debut of FP. We'll work hard to make sure it is worth the wait....

~ Todd

Monday, August 3, 2009

Woohoo....first post!! (not yoohoo, unfortunately)

Check, check, testing 1...2...3...Is this thing on? Well, this is Matt the drummer dude for FP, otherwise known as the time keeper, beat master, father of the drums, or just the plain ol' heart and soul of the band. Just ask the other guys, they'll all tell you the exact same thing but in their own words. Haha...if you know me, you'll know that I'm only kidding and much more humble than that. Not to brag, but I'm probably the most humble person ever. (If you haven't caught the irony and sarcasm in all this, please start back at the beginning and catch up with the rest of us right.....here.)
On a more serious note, my name is Matt Goodner and as stated before, I am the drummer for this contraption we call FP. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with my incredibly talented and just plain good looking fellow band mates Todd and Jake to create some really crazy-good stuff (in my opinion) that I can't wait for ya'll to hear. I have been playing the drums for about 11 years now. I've had the chance to play with a ton of really talented people throughout those 11 years, but am most excited about these fellas in FP. We are a tight group of guys in the studio (upstairs of an old farmhouse) or out watching a movie or playing Xbox on a projector screen behind my garage. The three of us really connect well and get along super-duper which is very odd for bandmates. But, I can't finish this post without divulging the heart and soul of FP...
Well, maybe not heart and soul, but we couldn't do it without her.....and that "her" would be my wife Brittany. She lets me have two (and up to four) guys over every Thursday to play loud music and eat food that she slaves over a hot stove to make while fighting off our viscious dog, Mowgli. Ok, maybe not viscious, but he can be a lil overbearing at times. So if you read this hun, THANKS A MILLION from all three of us.
So this is getting long and quite boring *that's what she said.* If you've made it here to the end, congrats and thanks for sticking with me. You should all be hearing from us real soon...peace

~ Matt