Motivation. Inspiration. "That Creative Spark".
This is what I spend a lot of time waiting for.
I have deleted three or four half finished paragraphs in an attempt to write something today. It shouldn't take much really, a paragraph or two about how excited we are about the album is all that really needs to get onto this page. I've been feeling as though this should be something different.
Do not wait for inspiration. Do not wait for the magical idea to come to your head that will rocket you to stardom. Do not wait for a label to pick you up. Do not wait for the perfect song. Do not wait for audiences to come to you. Do not wait for better recording equipment. Do not wait until you are a "better writer". Do not wait until you have no risk of failing because by that time, you already have.
I fight this every day.
Do not fear failure.
This album is not perfect. It was recorded in my basement with less than pro quality equipment by college students. There's no beat correction, auto tune, drum triggers or $1000 studio monitors. The sounds that I hear in my head don't always end up making it to the recording, but that's not the point. If perfection is your goal you will find yourself stuck in a loop, constantly questioning if something could be better, and you will not make progress. Set a high standard for yourself, but understand that standing by the quality of your work and sharing it with the world is infinitely more satisfying than letting those files gather dust on your hard drive, never to see the light of day.
Go grab your instrument, go grab your poetry journal thing, go grab a cellphone and create what you want to create. Today. You won't regret it.
College. Not knowing how to handle the pressures of balancing an academic, social, and work life -- Me. My freshman and sophomore years of college were full of stress and uncertainty, and it felt like every single day there would be more weight placed on my shoulders. Due to a lack of friends, nothing else to do but work, and to do school, I retracted into my own little shell and struggled with apathy, anxiety, loneliness, and even depression. And I won’t lie, there are still times where that darkness lingers near. Humans have the natural ability to only focus on the negative aspects of what they are going through, and many times, only focusing on the darkness can lead to a more, all-encompassing darkness. Then my bandmates and I started Second to Safety as a way to keep our stress in check, and to do what we LOVE to do! We found out really early that what we write has a huge impact on our own attitudes, and vice versa. We all came to the conclusion that we wanted to acknowledge that there are dark shades of life, but there are silver linings. Ignoring the dark parts of life in our music would be superficial, but also acknowledging that there are positive parts of life would just be truthful… because there are silver linings.
Our song “Contrast” which can be found on our EP Alive & Well, and on our upcoming album, is about the adventure of finding light in the darkness. We have found that giving hope in our music is vitally important to our attitudes and even the attitudes of some of our listeners.
As we track this album, we have already found out that there are going to be times where we get discouraged, as I did a few days ago while tracking a song that i couldn’t quite get right. Instead of my bandmates getting upset, or angry, they kept encouraging me. This is, in part, because we saw that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We knew that we are going to have a pretty sweet tune when we get it right, and that kept us going! Moving into my senior year, this band and its endeavors has been an incredible source of encouragement to me, and it is one of the things that has helped me find light in the darkness.
Today’s word of encouragement…. Find light in the darkness. “It’s only a storm, the sun can still shine through” (History, also found on Alive & Well).
If any of you are struggling and just want someone to talk to, we are here!
Things are moving very quickly over here. Five of our tracks already have drums and bass, leaving me to play catch up on guitars and vocals.
If there's one thing I've learned from these first two days of recording, it's that the things that happen in the moment are often the best. The song Carry will feature a solo that I improvised during tracking, as well as mostly first take vocals featuring Tyler picking up a vocal line I bailed on about 10 feet off the microphone. While certainly not the techniques or takes I'd use for a more clean cut sounding track (the rest of the album), it matched the laid back, jam-ish vibe of the song we were playing and sounded too good to let go.
Going back a few hours, we were tracking the now pretty much released instrumental "Everyone's a Critic", a riffy jam I've been itching to teach the band for months. (check it out in our promo video on FB/IG etc.) We recorded the song and upon showing it to my Dad, he said "It's good, but I think it's too long". Despite the fact that it was clocking in at a whopping 0:45, we knew he was right and begrudgingly tracked a new one. This one was only 0:36, and the result is actually a much more concise interlude track that we hope you'll enjoy!
Because of the freedom we have recording ourselves, everything is on the table and can be changed at a moments notice, arrangements, riffs, lyrics, melodies etc. which just makes the whole process feel alive.
The rest of this week is going to be wrapped up in the grueling ordeal of recording double tracked guitars and trying to sing in key, but I couldn't be happier.
It’s been a while now since I’ve been truly excited about a project, and the freedom that technology gives us these days has me crazy inspired. The past year has taught me so much about production through working with Cephalopods and Captain the Sky, and new techniques have given us the freedom to record any instrument at any time. [nerd] A simple setup with 3 microphones (Recorder man overheads measured at 3 drumsticks and a Kick mic), a small mixing board and Reaper allows us to now track all 3 instruments at once. My amp is close mic’d and Brandon goes direct. [/nerd]
The results are night and day from previous recordings because the vibe of the songs is maintained, the natural movement in tempos isn’t changed and it finally sounds like… us. I promise that the updates won’t always be this heady; most of them will be the stories, the tips and tricks and the sketchy work-arounds that make a record what it is.
Also, I guess I should mention, we’re working on a full length record.
https://captainthesky.bandcamp.com/ (Also on Spotify/Apple Music etc.)
Here's what we're doing!