...And now back to our regularly scheduled program:
Yeah yeah I know...I've been slacking on these Blog/FaceBook updates lately. Well over a month since the last post. Dang. So as I'm laying here in bed getting ready to call it a day, I felt like writing a few lines. Of first importance is the current status of 'Marigolds'. I've been wrapping things up with it but I've also allowed myself the luxury of taking my sweet time on it. I think some of my personal insecurities about singing have caused me to hide this song's status a bit more than usual. And honestly I just don't know how people will respond to this song. In spite of everyone's vote of confidence (at least from those who have heard it thus far), there's always that little nagging doubt in my mind about how well I sang on it. Granted, the drums are awesome, as are the guitar and bass tracks, but perhaps I'm feeling a 'studio' variation of stage fright concerning my vocals? Actually, that makes me chuckle when I think about...
At 39 years old, vocals are a bit of a new direction that I am yet to feel completely confident about. Of course I've sung all of my life in church, in the car ride to work, at concerts, in the shower when no one else is home, etc, but that's all different right? Shouldn't guys like me who are in bands be cocksure of everything they are doing? Isn't that part of the mystique and allure of the bands and performers we idolize? And yet the biggest part of me feels at odds with the whole 'rock-star' image/mindset. Honestly, I just want to write and record and perform good music that everyone will connect and identify with, and I think that if there are deeper insecurities and fears buried within me that I struggle with, then I need to be open and transparent about those things with friends, family and fans. I know that I am a talented and inspired person, as are Matt and Jake, but I can't fathom trying to create an illusion with people that I've got it all together. I can sing decently on a good day. I can play guitar pretty well. I'm driven in most of the important areas of my life, including my music (though there are other areas in life that I deem of much greater value). And I'm a good music producer in most situations. But on the flip side to all of that, I suck at singing on my bad days, I never feel like my guitar playing is 'as good as so and so', and my recordings never sound quite as good as I think they should. And in direct opposition to my drive in life, I frequently get tired, frustrated, bored, impatient, or burned out and I often feel like throwing in the towel and quitting everything. Sound familiar?
And...if anything...I think I've also struggled with falling into the trap of only painting the brighter side of things, especially how I let others see my life. After all, in regards to my music, who wants to be a fan of someone who isn't at the top of their game all of the time? Funny that.
Now here's the crux of the matter: All of the above introspective ramblings over a guy's insecurities about singing in a band? Yes. And...No. If you know me at all, then you'll know that I have way more issues than just being insecure about singing. Like most other people, I worry about my weight, my blood pressure, "will I go bald someday?", "do I look old?", and other trivialities. And then there are the big important issues in life: "Am I a good person?"; "What do others think of me?"; "Am I a good dad?" and "Will my sons turn out to be good godly men once they grow up and go out on their own?"..."Am I a good husband and friend?"..."Is God happy with how I'm living my life?"
Perhaps the fears of not singing well (or of not making good-enough-sounding music) are the symptoms of the bigger complex issues that lurk beneath the surface. Don't get me wrong, many of the superficial things in life like our weight, appearance, age, etc have a profound influence on who we are. But truthfully isn't it easier to talk about the superficial crap with a total stranger rather than confide our innermost being to someone we know and trust?
Your mileage may vary from mine, but I tend to want to talk of the deep stuff but in the end I usually wind up simply 'talking about the weather'. And so that's where (hopefully) my music pursuits will help out. Maybe I can split the difference between the two extremes via addressing the bigger things in life by way of metaphors and art and melody. After all, words alone often fall short of conveying how life really is going, right? At least I tend to be that way. But hopefully my artistry and musical pursuits will point to the deeper personal things that are happening in my life. And maybe you'll be able to relate on some level and be encouraged or inspired by it in some way.
Of course not every song will have a deep, profound meaning behind it, nor will we constantly try to use our songs for cathartic reasons. Sometimes a song is just a song, just a story with a melody. Sometimes the real emotion is in the guitar parts or the way the drums pound or how the bass flows in and out of everything else going on around it. We could all make analogies of every little detail and come to a myriad of conclusions (and I'm sure some people will do just that), but hopefully the listeners who need something on a deeper level will find it and those who just need a melody to hum along with will also find what they are looking for. It's fun being a song-writer and musician in that I realize so many people will receive things differently and on so many different levels. And honestly we'll never know the extent of the influence our songs may have on our listeners. First and foremost our songs suit us as a band and give us a platform to be ourselves with. If all else fails, hopefully our listeners will at least get that.
Wow. I'm so long-winded. Hope everyone who reads this is doing well and enjoying life.... :-)
All the Best...