“a lengthy yet rewarding process”
I started working on Wicked (The original Wicked) back in 2005 with ex-band-mate Josh. We pretty much had a whole album finished for what we thought would be “Wicked”. Upon Josh leaving the band I felt that releasing an album that was written by both of us would be a mistake. So I decided to re-write a whole new album and keep the name “Wicked”.
The process was extremely lengthy. Make no mistake about it, Wicked was an extreme thorn in my side. For many reasons. I started getting more and more into the technical side of producing and my drumming ability kept improving more and more so my original intention was to re-record all of these songs that I had already written.
I sat down and re-recorded all of the songs on this album and after everything was said and done I just couldn’t recapture the feeling of these songs as well as the original tracks did. There is a certain power in these songs. I think it is due to the dark mental state I was living under when I was writing these tracks. I would go into the studio and basically turn all the lights out. Sitting in the dark with only the light of a few LED lights on computers, compressors, mixers…etc.
What came out of it was… quite powerful. So powerful in fact, that I didn’t know how to handle a lot of these songs. Tracks like “The Beast on Your Back” are not perfect by any means but the raw emotion in the song was too much to recapture.
So I put Wicked on the shelf again and again. Never really listening to it for what it “was” but listening to it for what it “could be”. After years of tweaking and cleaning and polishing I realized that the piece of music I had felt more sterile than I cared to release. It almost took the emotion out of the whole thing. Out of something that was born out of the necessity to let some of these things out.
The songs became watered down and felt less “Powerful” and more “precise and accurate”. So when it came down to choosing if the precise version of Wicked should be released over the more passionate I choose to just scrap the idea of releasing Wicked for the time being.
It’s been about a year since I’ve really worked on Wicked at all. I haven’t even opened up the project files at all in 2008. I sat down in June and listened to the whole album and enjoyed it for what it was. Some of it made me tear up bringing me back to that state of mind I was in. Some of it made me happy to not be there anymore. One thing is for certain, I was NOT listening to the album and hearing the things that “it could be” anymore. I was enjoying the work for what it was.
These songs are some of the best songs I’ve written in my musical career. They have taken on a life of their own and really are a part of who I am, was and always will be. Wicked’s directive is quite simple actually. It is the power (or lack there of) of one person. I can’t really describe too much more about the album without sounding foolish. It’s haunting and spiritual, it’s evil and therapeutic, it’s pretty much everything that it needs to be… and I was more or less getting in the way of it being that… and for that… I am the fool.
No question about it. I fell into my own trap. I always tell musicians “NEVER OVERANALYZE YOUR MUSIC!”. You’ll always end up 2nd guessing yourself and that’s never good. Songs are about passion, emotion, love, hate… we can’t second guess any of these things because they are not voluntary emotions. We can’t help who (or what) we love. Just like we can’t help who (or what) we hate. They involuntary actions much like breathing or blinking. If we think too much about them we only screw up the natural order of things, and that’s just what I was doing.
I began to take the stance of saying “This album is a little too personal to me. I want to keep it for myself”. Which was more or less a cop-out for me not wanting to fail at another try of releasing it. Again, wanting it to be something different than what it was.
Is this album perfect?
I would go out on a limb and say “YES”.
I realize there are mistakes, I realize there are some things that could have been recorded better, clearer and brought up front a little more. But, the fact of the matter remains that this project has a life of it’s own. I can’t control it and I shouldn’t of ever tried. It doesn’t belong to me as much as it belongs to the demon inside of me. Who lurks behind the curtain. I never tried to give him a name before. I always assumed it was “Hellion” or “H”. But… I got to know this monster a lot better in the making of this album.
…and for that I’m grateful
I hope you all enjoy this decent into madness.
I hope you take the time and hear the emotion that is put into this work.
Much like everything I have ever done I am VERY proud of what this album represents, and getting it out there and moving on with my musical career is really important to the rest of my existence.
So I will part with a quote from my album.
“Now to this I add myself… and it’s all I’ll ever have”