Letting Go

Over the past three months I’ve been experiencing Chinese Democracy syndrome. Chinese Democracy was the Guns and Roses album that took them a decade to release. They wrote, erased, rewrote, sweated, talked and stressed instead of just letting it out. The truth is I have recorded almost 30 songs for my next album called Joyless Pleasure. I’ve worked harder and I’ve been more inspired while making these songs than ever in my life. Certainly it will be my best effort and about half I consider gems. Yet I still sit wanting to make one more song. One more that will be the one that will take it all over the top. I don’t have any advice in this post. I’m only sharing this strange experience. I am going to let go. I have my last song in Ableton. Maybe I just don’t want to go take the album photos!

“In the music industry, a release is usually a term referring to the creative output from an artist available for sale or distribution.” – Wikipedia

photo credit: Karola Riegler

12 Comments

  1. i’m in the same spot! i’m trying to build systems that force me into letting go. that’s the hard part about working independantly.

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  2. Joyless Pleasure is a winning title. How will you distribute this one? Any crafty ideas for physical media, like Plastikman’s Archive or Autechre’s fancy packaging? My home studio can certainly use a new poster. Stand by the innovators.

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    1. Thanks… There will be vinyl of some of the songs and some with remixes. I think I will do CDs but only POD (Print on Demand) and of course digital everywhere.

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  3. Yeah. Album projects are never completed, they are simply abandoned.

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  4. Albums are NEVER finished. Only released.

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    1. Ah I like that saying… true very true.

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  5. my most humble shopping opinion, i really enjoy using juno and bandcamp
    back to abandonia, i have a hard time thinking of any Cabaret Voltaire as finished product, it felt like an audio diary. Like “hey, we borrowed a ring modulator, here’s what it sounds like”. I enjoy unperfect.

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    1. Yeah I agree with enjoying the imprefect part… often I like to listen to entire albums the good songs and the average and find parts of the other songs really interesting.

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  6. I’m in the exact same position right now. We’ve been demoing songs and have the ones we want picked out for final vocal tracking but I just had a conversation with the singer that I wasn’t ready to finish it. We’re going to try to improvise one this weekend. So a little more time enjoying the “fun” part of the process.
    Good luck with your record Oliver, looking forward to it!

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  7. cool man – excited to hear it – yeh I think at a certain stage you have to try and just step back and decide does it all sound good at this time – it probably does – trust me I know the feeling you’re in – anyone who takes on average 6 months to be happy with 7 minutes of audio enough to upload it is ALWAYS procrastinating and adding and taking away bits :p

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  8. attach some contact mics to a cat and release it on an empty beach. Retrive cat 4 days later. Your magnum opus has arrived.

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  9. I’m stoked to hear your new album! Regarding your comment: “I still sit wanting to make one more… to take it over the top.” You can do it man! Produce until your ears bleed from amazing techno!

    “[GnR] wrote, erased, rewrote, sweated, talked and stressed instead of just letting it out. ”

    By the way, what the hell are you talking about here? I disagree completely. If a successful band takes 10 years to release an album it’s because they didn’t have clear vision they were happy with in the first place, or more likely had difficulty just sustaining commitment with each other. (as most bands do) Or that GnR are just crazy dudes.

    I’ve worked hard on many projects where I didn’t have a clear vision, and then ended up no where. When I ask people who are “perfectionists”–who are having trouble finishing whatever project their working on, to what their actual goal is, they usually can’t give a clear answer. Or they might say it’s too abstract of an idea. But even someone like Aphex Twin for example, who makes very abstract a-typical music, claims he knows exactly what he wants before going in the studio. (although I’m sure he leaves some room for accidents)

    By the way, don’t you agree that forward thinking and innovation go hand-in-hand with imagination? Can that really just be, as you said, “let out”?

    -d606
    your humble fan (…and critic)

    Reply

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