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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

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