Today, was one of those days you have to pinch yourself because you wonder how or why you have been blessed with so much. This is a picture from my camera phone of me living a life-style in California that I never imagined. Me, shirtless (sorry for the porn) with my surfboard in the back of the car, driving on the 101 Pacific Coast Hwy. I woke up early and went surfing. Caught some incredibly smooth waves (some sets about 6 foot) with my friend Pete Kipley. Then we went to the Pannikin, one of the greatest coffee shops in the world while I sipped a wonderful English Breakfast Tea with crème. Pete thought English Breakfast was actually breakfast. So after awhile, I think he was about to get mad at the server because my food hadn’t come yet till I told him that I was already drinking my “English Breakfast.” What a rad dude he is. The kind of guy that will fight for you.
We chatted about life and some of the musical guilty pleasures we have. Amongst Cindy Lauper and the Dixie Chicks, we reminisced the 80’s when we listened to Yanni, White Lion, and Wilson Phillips…all of which we are eager to make fun of now.
On my way home, I started counting my blessings. Realizing that after a wonderful morning, I would be making music in the studio all day. And when I got home, my wife would be wearing some soft pink shirt that I would hug her in. How is this possible I have been given so much? I couldn’t help but to just worship God in those moments, just pouring out with thankfulness.
I don’t always feel that way. I think I go between feeling depressed and hopeless, to feeling totally elated and grateful. The transition between the two is pretty steep and short. I can’t seem to be one of those emotionally stable people like my friend Jack. He is always the same, always constant, always just solid and consistent. I’m this emo musician dude who is always living in some extreme emotion one way or another.
HOME STUDIO VS NASHVILLE STUDIO
I’ve been learning a lot in the studio. I love recording in my studio rather than at stale studios in Nashville. We recorded Divine Invitation (Something Like Silas) at the Sound Kitchen in Nashville (http://www.soundkitchen.com/). If you look at their site, it seems amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it IS quite amazing. Some incredible gear, incredible rooms, and famous people walking around while you record (last time Leanne Womack was doing vocals in the room next door). The problem is that you don’t feel at home. It lacks the creative vibe you have at your home studio. For me, the greatest thing when you are lacking ideas is to find something around the house that makes noise. On Twilight, we ended up banging on washing machines and ironing boards. That never would have happened in a Nashville Studio.
Anyway, the process has been inspiring. Spence and I have taken a step forward in the recording. Using our ears and ingenuity more than relying on what is “supposed to be done.” I’ve read tons of articles on how things should be done…how you should place the mic, what kind of mic you should use, etc. Its all super valuable and I use that as a starting place all the time. But there is a great joy in going with what SOUNDS better rather than whether or not you are doing it right. I’ll continue journaling over the next few months about some of that stuff specifically for you recording nuts out there.