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Posted on 06/03/12 by Clint
Sitting at home on my couch with the wife two days away from releasing the Call Me No One project. Been a long process getting this thing to happen. I believe the real work began after the actual record was recorded. The business end of music sucks the joy out of it sometimes. It becomes very cold and heartless after the recording process. All the excitement and creative thinking that goes on, the building of the songs, debating on what's gonna be the better part, overcoming fear of being able to beat your last effort. It's an emotional roller coaster for me but all good.
Then the process begins with release- the "business people" take your music like a child out of your arms and have little to no emotional attachment- tell you which song should be released, what they don't like about or kinda like about this. They're some who give it praise one week and the next week not able to get them on the phone. We had a entire different management change right after the record was completed which confused a lot of issues and switched up the game plan a few times. But regardless of what you have going on there's some type of battle with "THE LABEL" about the over all presentation of the record. How we want to deliver this to people, when we do, it's all a very intense game that everyone involved has a all the answers but when it comes time for the answers to be giving they're not around or they forget they're idea or answers.
I wouldn't have it any other way though, I'm so used to it. They're are a few people who make the process enjoyable, the artwork, some of the label folk really get what it is you're trying to do, some teach me things I wasn't aware of and present great ideas and strategies. It's good bad and for sure the ugly. The MONEY is always an issue. The amount people get from the record sales, the commissions, the "hands in the pot" and my favorite expression in the industry "THIS IS INDUSTRY STANDARD" when talking about they're cut. It's funny to me.
We have a good team I think behind this, do I think they care about it as much as I do, not even close. But I do believe in one thing, people's drive to make money. I don't trust many things in the music business but I trust that people in this business want money and power. If your band is in the pipeline of that you can also gain something. We all have different things that drive us, mine used to be money and fame. Now it's security, support and longevity. I want to make music and sell enough of it to survive, I want to be able to support my family doing what I love. I want to make honest music and grow as a musician. I don't really care about selling a bunch of records, I'd much rather people come to a show and connect that way. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a ton of people to like it because that's what I do it for. To do what so many other bands have done for me, provide an escape. A tunnel out of real life into some better mindset than I live in daily. I love being in a situation like the airport or DMV and putting earbuds in and listening to something that changes the environment completely. That's the goal.
The best part by far of the record process is this time now, the few days before it comes out and the day it does. Finally sharing it with people who support what you do, hearing the good and bad about the music, lyrics and artwork. The people are so different in what they like or don't like. It's what it's all about. I care about what people at labels say because some of them are the vessels to get it to the people so I have to work with them and respect some of them in what they do. But if I could simply hand deliver each record to people and skip the process I would. But on most records I've been a part of I rely on that machine. Which can be great or dilute the whole product I'm making.
I can't wait to hear what people think about CMNO- Morgan and I worked hard on it, had a forth of the resources most bands have and a great creative team around us. I had the support of my family and friends and other bands and colleagues. I learned a lot about singing and can't wait to get out there and try this live. We pulled in Alan Price and Rek Mohr to play this stuff live with us and love these guys. Great players and positive cats for sure. Will I be able to work a crowd, keep my voice, sing things right and good?? WHO KNOWS- I will find out shortly. I say this though, I will give it the best I have and I have faith that we will be a great live band. I wanna make a statement for the under dog. The anti rock star- the common mans rock band. Be honest with the crowd instead of saying things like "this is our favorite town ever- unless it is
I just lost my father Willie Lowery- the reason I do this in the first place. He played music his whole life, believed he was gonna make it to the next level his whole life. I watched him play his guitar in an assisted living home as if he was playing to a sold out crowd in a stadium. He never lost hope- he was on the sunset of his life and believed in music- it never abandoned him and he never stopped playing it.
When I think about doing something else or getting jaded or bitter at this business I think of him, he would of chewed this business ass up if he could of. It certainly did a number on him. He never let the fact that he didn't break into the big time stop him from loving it all the same. It's what he did- I lost my dad but I gained my drive back- I'm gonna do whatever it takes in music to survive- to provide for my family and help other bands achieve it. Period- he did it till the end and so will I. I dedicate this record to him, my wife and son and to God for giving me life, love and music.
I love who ever is reading this- yep I said it- hope peace surrounds you and love finds you.
PS. go check out the record Tues- I promise you the people who made it will truly appreciate it
CMNO and life
Posted on 04/05/12 by Clint
Long time no talk, been so busy lately. Lots have happen since I attempted one of these. Sitting at home while the wife is away for a one day work trip. Just put my son to bed. Great day. As for business- I've been up to a lot lately. Working on Call me no one release stuff. Some 7d business- changing management companies for example. That's always an interesting thing to go through. 7d has had a few different managers over the years. One has to ask the question- what's the common denominator WE ARE!!! They all can't be wrong right?? Well maybe it's been a few wrongs on they're end and a few on ours. Nobody's perfect and that certainly applies to bands and music industry folks. We all operate on ego, fear and pride for the most part. But at the end of the day all you can do is surround yourself with a team that has a common goal.
I'm so damn excited about the CMNO project. So far the response to the single has been amazing. Morgan and I have been very nervous to the reaction and it's been good. So far anyway, I'm sure there will be the obvious, "THIS AINT AS HEAVY AS 7D" or "Clint can't sing like Lajon" or any assortment of hate or dislike of the project. That's expected. All I do know is that I love what we did. I love the feeling of singing an entire record. Not having to write lyrics and melodies and pass them over to someone else to sing. Feels good to finally get the same amount of time the other singers get to track and pull it off. All though I love writing for other singers I do feel like if I didn't do this I was gonna lose it. It's been healthy for Morgan and myself. People worry about CMNO being a sign of 7d ending. I'll say this, if we weren't able to do this 7d would of been in a lot more trouble. So if you love 7d and want it to continue then be glad we had the chance to do this.
I adore 7d and can't wait to do another record. But now it's about CMNO. I also had the pleasure of producing two bands. One called Dead fish handshake and another called Novus dae. It was an amazing experience for sure. Both very different bands. DFH was an EP and Novus was a full record in 10 days. Amazing time on both. It was tough trying to bring something to table with Novus because they were so prepared and had chops for days. Mostly I tried to add small things here and there and trim fat on the tunes. Had a blast though. I really want to pursue producing as career in the future. Maybe fully moving over to that in a few years. It just seems like the natural progression. Need to work on my engineering skills a bit.
Over all life is good, I saw a guy in my neighborhood today with arm crutches trying to get across this grassy area and it was very hard for him. He was a bit older, I sat and watched him and it sunk in and was a very clear thought. This guy is tough, he's independent and brave. Where some people would feel sad for him I was happy to see such a huge display of strength. To most it would of been a simple walk, to him it was a battle won. I know that's a lil dramatic but it truly was amazing to see. Each step he took was hard and it seemed as if he would collapse. For some reason I knew that if I asked him if he wanted a hand it wouldn't of been right. He did it. It just made me realize how grateful I should be for something as simple as walking. Running, talking or simply breathing.
I love being alive. I love my family and the fact that today I'm sober and have love in my heart. Tomorrow I fly home to see my mom and brother Dustin who is meeting me there. Very excited to see her. I'm also going to see my dad who is in assisted living situation. It's so tough to deal with, but again, I see this as a man fighting a disease of the mind, a man who has a gift to play music and that is the only function he can still pull off with ease. He can't remember things, he can't take care of himself but he can still play guitar. His hands shake from Parkinsons disease but they settle when he holds a guitar. That to me is the most powerful testimony to music in our family's life and history. We all life and die by music. It's in the core of us. It saves us from this worlds hardships and illness. It confirms in my heart that God's gift to me was a true gift and blessing indeed. Not only playing it but admiring others who play until there's not a breath left in them.
Well I hope you are at peace in your life. Stay tuned for CMNO details and thanks to any who have supported us as we start to build this thing.
Much love and many blessing
Last week of recording
Posted on 02/12/12 by Clint
Writing this from the plane, gotta love wifi 36k up in the air. Makes sense though if it's based off of satellites. Should actually be easier in theory right? Who knows, that's why I play guitar. Well I thought I'd take a lil time and reflect on these past few weeks of recording and lifebin general. Excuse the typos that are gonna happen. Its a vert turbulent flight and I'm feeling sick typing this.
Well the last few weeks have been intense. Basically to give you an idea I'll tell you the typical process of doing a record. Typically for bands theres a few different stages. First is the writing stage. This varies for different bands. Some bands write for the better part of year before entering the studio. Some write while on tour, some have one or two guys that put together a lot of ideas and present them ton the others to learn and get familiar with. Some bands just start rehearsing and write as a band. It can be done a lot of ways. For Sevendust its basically John and I putting together a few musical ideas at home and bring them to rehearsals where we pick the best ones and jam them out. Most the time the best ideasbare done as a whole band. Then lyrics and melodies are written by one or two or even three off us. Then pre pro- which consist of the band entering the studio with a producer or engineer, or both and refining the songs(typically 12 to 20) and picking the right ones for the record.
The band enters the tracking phase- which is the frustrating one for me- the hurry up and wait tracking part. Tracking is awesome, waiting to track sucks. The waiting can be blamed on a lot ofnthings,mostly it's lazy producers that don too much editing and job security BS. Some are quick and fast pace. You never know.
Then the final stage- the mixing and mastering stage- I like this stage because you finally get to hear the body of work sonically take shape the way you imagine it. Sometimes the mixer hits it out of the park, some times not. A lot of times you hear guys say "we will fix that in the mix" don't believe it. Fix it during the tracking phase, then enhance it during the mix. All though sometimes, very rare, but sometimes they actually fix in the mix. Master the final product and send off to the press. This whole process with all the stages can take anywhere from 3 months to a year.
For the Call me no one project it didn't really go down like that. It was a very compact version. First off, Morgan and I only had a small window of oppritunity to make this happen so it wouldn't conflict with 7d. After we got the business stuff together on it we moved into the studio in Butler, NJ on Jan 22. We had only demoed 4 songs and did those in three days. So we had no idea what
we were gonna write. On top of that we only had 30 days to write, track and mix this thing. That is very hard to pull off. We have had a great team to help us. An engineer, a bass player/programmer,a drum tech, some amazing interns and a guy over seeing all the other logistics.
We must of wrote 6 songs the first week. A song or two a day.nbasically we d go in, jam on an idea that would either come from Morgans beat or a riff I had, then arrange it, track drums, guitar and bass right after. Then after we piled up a batch of I started writing melodies and lyrics forth ideas slowly everyday. Going in and singing the ideas and refining as we go. Keeping some and throwing out the others. Because of the natural chemistry Morgan and I have, the help of the others, we actually pulled off 13 songs. The direction is pretty wide open. Not like 7d at all. Just a rock record with different flavors. Some moody tracks, some hard songs, some fun songs. Just whatever we felt at the time.
On entering this challenge we said a few times- this would be either the stupidest or smartest thing we've ever done. It almost worked out better because we couldn't second guess. We're gonna be competing with bands that have a year to record, three times the budget, A list producers and engineers. But that's ok. If this thing does well it'll be quite a story. If it doesn't then we at least have a record we enjoyed making and created together. I think we've done a great job and have some killer music. That will be for the people to decide.
Singing an entire record has been a huge learning experience. I really enjoyed it and feel like I'm a better singer because of it. Even though I didn't get the lead singer treatment and have candles burning, and people feeding me grapes in the vocal booth while someone tells me I'm the best singer on the planet, I had Morgan vocal producing and helping me track with engineer Mike and we did a good job and created some hooks. It blows away any of HDMS stuff i think but it's full electric, zero acoustic. It's just two different vibes. There's some melodic stuff of course. Hell I always gotta be crooning somewhere. Haha.
I'm simply grateful for this chance. To finally release a record as a singer, to do what Morgan and I have wanted for a long time. I just visited home and saw my amazing wife and son. Recharged my batteries for the last week. Sobriety has brought me a lot of gifts and this has been one of them. I can't wait for y'all to hear this thing.
Much love and respect