Everything Raymond

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MERIDIAN INCIDENT

Four years ago, I started jamming with Marc, Adam, and Tom. We have finished 16 songs that tell the story of a girl named Janey.  I took the songs and wrote a screenplay to tell her story, which I have just finished. It is the most complex project I have ever been a part of.  We are getting ready to sit down with Video Production companies to see if we can get this film made. It will be part music video, part rock opera, part movie. The story is very dark. She suffers through some pretty horrendous experiences. She is beautiful and intelligent, but damaged.  She protects the damage as best as she can, but cracks begin to show. She breaks, but is saved by the unconditional love of a child.  We are beyond proud with what we have done to this point.  Moving forward, we will try and keep everyone informed as to our plan.

SONGS FOR THEN

This is the project I have been working on for 3 years with Adam Schmid.  We have 4 songs done, with a few more to go.  This one will be a mixture sadness and anger.  It will be a bit more aggressive at times.  It has been difficult finding enough time to get up there and work, let alone coordinating schedules.  So far, I have played with incredible musicians from Minneapolis:  Adam Schmid (drums), Sarah Pray (keys), Marcus Lere (Sax), Tom Trenka (bass, and orchestration), Marc Hedman-Dennis (guitar).  We’ve done some programming, used alternative percussive instrumentation.  It is fun to work with creative people and give these old tunes life.  I will keep you updated as this thing progresses.  Exciting times!!

THE ATTLEY PROJECT

This will be the first of the releases in the coming months.  Recorded in Nashville, TN at Welcome to 1979 studios.  Engineered by Chris Mara.  Edited, Mixed by Adam Schmid.  Here is the tracklist (not sure order yet, but these are the tunes):

Cycles, Memory, the Fisherman, Selfless, Grace, Nothing Sound, Glass Eyes, Off the Wire (2001)

I am in the process of working with Adam Schmid at Dead Sound Music Studio in Minneapolis to add harmonies.  Only two songs to go.  Also, planning on printing a short run of vinyl copies with a digital download card.  Artwork concept is in my head.  Have to find a way to drag it out of my convoluted brain and bring it to life….

 

NASHVILLE

I went down there with the simple idea of letting old songs see the light of day.  For no other reason than to ease my mind.  It was meant to be a demarcation line–these old songs were the old Raymond.  This would mark the beginning of living in the present.  Move forward.  I was kind of intimidated before getting down there.  I am not a competent musician; I play music so that I may sing my words.  I knew that it was insanely simple stuff, and was cared that these World class musicians would think it below them.  The opposite was true.  They poured themselves into my music and made it incredible.  They were all impressed with the simplicity.  It didn’t matter that I didn’t know what some of the chords I played were called.  I showed them.  We jammed it once.  Then tracked it on the 3rd take!!  It was an almost spiritual experience for me.  Chris Mara’s studio has the essence–a soulfulness that is nearly impossible to describe, but you can feel it.  Billy, Dan, Brad, Steve were the best musicians I have ever played with.  The best thing is that these guys with their unbelievable talents could be arrogant.  People would forgive them if they were assholes, but they were the exact opposite of this.  They were positive, kind human beings who didn’t talk down to me and even encouraged me.  The end result is the best recording I have ever been a part of.  Sonically, it is a throwback.  Vintage recording techniques will have that effect. The most impressive part of the album is that there is an energy/a vibe that was captured.  The performace and feel is what I had always envisioned. It is beautifully sad.

Fatherhood

Most people like to reflect on the previous year before the new one begins, I guess I am a little slow on the uptake.  2010 was a year of mass change for me.  I became a father.  My friends with children all told me that it would completely change your perspective.  It has absolutely changed me.  I did not know it was possible to love someone or something so much.  It is also terrifying to me.  I am solely responsible for another human being.  He depends on me for everything.  That is a terrifying notion.  There is much I want to instill in him and to teach him. I can’t wait until he is older.  People tell me to soak up the first few months as babies change so rapidly, and I take that to heart but am really excited for him to grow and interact with his environment.  I am sure that I will have much to say on this subject as the years creep up on me.

A Temporal End

Drift Effect broke up.  At first, I was really shaken by this.  I had worked incredibly hard to get the band to where we were.  Sure I made many mistakes along the way.  I suck at business and didn’t listen to people who were in the know.  Yet, after the bumps and bruises, we had everything in place to do something big: a National management team and great new music seemed to point to success on a level I have always dreamed of.  It was not to be.  Ego got involved.  The grind of shows, practice, and hours in a van took it’s toll as well.  Writing music was becoming a chore instead of the release it had always been.  In retrospect, as difficult as it was to see the end of the band, it was a very positive thing as it forced me to take stock of my situation.

I now recognize that I let other people’s ego direct my path even when countless people in the industry told me that my words and voice were where it’s at.  The national management company really liked my simple songs.  I don’t relay this to boost my ego, but to point out that I didn’t have confidence in myself.  I let people in the band convince me that my songwriting was sophomoric, and below their capabilities.  The huge lesson I learned is that I have to trust my instincts; follow MY path.  I learned that there was a great deal of negative in my life, and I needed to change that.  Mostly I recognized faults in myself.  Things in my personality that got in the way of achieving success as I defined it. Self hatred, Self loathing, and a deep seeded feeling that I don’t deserve crippled me. I had reached a Temporal End;  that point when navigating where you find yourself at the end of a journey. Yet, there is infinite direction ahead.  My new way point is this site and my foundation.  I will create as I have always done, but instead will let the universe decide my course and be perfectly content creating and letting the universe decide my direction. I will surround myself with positive people try to enjoy the ride.