(top row) - Westone Fretless Bass, Martin Acoustic, Unknown Acoustic,
Ibanez Lonestar Acoustic
(bottom row) Fender USA Precision Bass, Gibson Les Paul Custom,
Washburn, Hamer Echotone, Hamer 8-String Bass, Hamer CruiseBass
Howdy ho boys and girls!
I'd like to share with you a bit
about how "Does Not Play Well With Others" came to be...
In early 2002 my last band
finally dissolved after being together for six years and I did some soul
searching for an appropriate way to scratch my musical itch. I think
I’ve always been more the independent type, so it seemed natural when
the idea came to start working on a solo project.
My original intent was to record five or six songs for a short
demo. However, as I dug deeper into the writing process I began to
discover new ideas and themes that I couldn’t ignore. Like a snowball
rolling down the hill, gaining mass and momentum as it travels, “Does
Not Play Well With Others” soon took on an energy all it’s own.
Working from my home studio, I sequenced all of the drums, played
everything except for the violin (“Sleep” -- Thanks Christy!), and
sang nearly every vocal track as well. The advantage of this was that I
could re-do tracks until I was happy with the way they sounded, yet this
also can be a bit of a hindrance if you are as anal-retentive as I am.
Imagine playing the same bass line over and over for hours because you
think that one note is a little off in the last part of the second
verse. It became like an obsession for me, nearly drove me nuts for a
while. I discovered that there comes a point when you can get lost in
over-analyzing and looking for problems where none exist.
Hats. One has to learn to wear many hats on a project like this.
Objectivity is the key—only wear one hat at a time so that you can
honestly look at the work of the other “hats”. The “vocalist
hat” may listen to what he just sang and cringe, but the “producer
hat” listens to the same thing and hears a great recording. The
“drummer hat” wants more drum rolls and fancy foot work, but the
“bass player hat” slaps him back into submission… I imagine this
could be either amusing or disturbing to watch if there is only one
person wearing all of the hats.
In the summer of 2003, with the recording of the individual parts
complete, I proceeded to the mix-down and mastering phase. This too,
drove me bonkers as I listened, tweaked, and learned for the remainder
of the summer. Finally in early September the master went to the
manufacturer for duplication and a month later I got a shipment of
defective CDs. This was just par for the course, and everything was made
well with a re-do a few weeks later.
“Does Not Play Well With Others” was officially released
November 1, 2003. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed
the challenge of creating it.