Z E T E T I C (a collection of rambling thoughts and recollections)

 

Good Morning from my home in the now colder Dover, New Hampshire.  The leaves are starting to turn, and frost covered cars are just around the corner.  I welcome it personally as this is my favorite time of the year as it is for many, and it always has been since I can remember.  Creeping up on my 31st birthday not much has changed in that regard.  I'd be a liar to say I didn't enjoy the feeling of pulling out my favorite flannels and hoodies, pumpkin flavored craft beers, and foliage; but to me, it's something a little more spiritual and internal.  There is, without a doubt in my mind, a feeling of indescribable comfort with this time of year.  A sense of joy and love that's rather hard to put into words.  Rather than question it or wonder TOO much, I prefer to put on my favorite Type O Negative album "October Rust" and nestle myself into my current hoodie. 

This fall season is also a special one for me because I have, on October 9th, my solo debut ep coming out!  I've been quite busy over the past 2 months writing and recording it in my house.  I have a small make shift studio set up in my bar (nothing fancy AT ALL) with just the right setting for creating; accolades from my past, my record/cd/tape collection, expensive shelved craft beer, my dog on the couch, a few candles burning, crafts and art from everyone from my grandparents to paintings from my wife, and of course all of my guitars. 

Upon returning home from Japan after recording with the Aggressive Dogs in late July early August, I found myself playing guitar more than I have in years.  I was also extremely inspired and constantly putting ideas into the iphone voice memo or into the jamup app recorder on the ipad.  I was rehearsing for a one off show I played with my old band Thy Will Be Done as well which had my slinging the 7 string a lot again which definitely prompted some serious riff ideas.  I had toyed around with the low G tuning that the EP is in a little bit last year but I was having a hard time getting what I wanted both in clarity and play-ability, plus I don't think I was in the proper mind set to be writing at that time looking back now.

After the one show with TWBD, my thoughts, inspirations, feelings, and ideas started literally falling off my fingertips.  The first thing I wrote (which didn't make the album) was such a breath of fresh air to me.  Finally I understood what I needed to do with this tuning.  The second song I put together became the song "Beyond Meridian" (track 3) and from there it was on!  I was in a writing mindset for sure but I was also very inspired by any and all things and people I was experiencing as well as books I was reading, which had never really happened to me that I can recall.  Sure I've wrote a song with something in mind before, but never like this. 

The next song I put together turned out to be the closer as soon as the first resolution kicked in less than a minute in during the writing.  This is where my daily process of getting up, pounding coffee and reading, grabbing my guitar to practice, playing for 15 minutes, and then immediately running down to the studio to write and demo started.  It was like clockwork.  The following week and a half or so before my trip to Italy it was generally a couple songs a week.  I also managed to cover the song "Real Guitars Have Wings" by classic rockers Wishbone Ash. 

An extremely underrated band and a huge influence on my playing lately, Wishbone Ash STILL tour half the year worldwide and have some 30+ albums out.  I was honored to do this cover and even MORE honored to put it in with my songs and have it fit so nicely.  Before I left for Italy with my wife for 10 days ( 10 guitar-less days ) I had every song recorded excepts the leads for the two latest songs. Our stays in Italy ranged in variation. To the boutique hotel we stayed in on our last night in Venice, to the 12th century abbey in the deep country near Perugia, there was never a shortage of inspiring sites and sounds.  I actually wrote the guitar line in the song "Blinded, We Ride" in the shower at the abbey. I was playing the unfinished songs off my phone while I was scrubbing away and started humming the guitar lick nearly note for note to what it became on the record. 

As soon as we returned to the states, I got back to work.  It took me a couple of days to get my hands back in shape after not playing guitar for a week and a half, but the ideas and inspirations were there in full force.  Within 4 days or so, all the guitar tracks were done.  Originally I was going to have a friend of mine take over bass duties on the songs, but as I continued to listen to the songs I kept getting ideas for what I wanted.  The personal importance of this project and the concept behind it lead me to the decision to do the bass myself.  I didn't necessarily want to buy a bass, but I took to the internet and asked for some assistance.  A great friend from my home town approached me and said he had a bass he would just give me.  Nice price. 

He now lives just north of Portland, ME, so I loaded up a cd of a rough mastering of the songs and jumped in Outlander and rolled north! Upon inspecting the bass I did notice the neck was warped...Really Warped.  It did, however, seem to relax after some tension was loosened.  I got back to Dover and tuned the bass down to dropped G, knowing damn well the low G wasn't possible with these gauge strings, but I wanted to see if the other strings could handle the setting.  7 dollars later, I had a huge gauge string on top and the bass tuned, plugged in to JamUp, and ready to go.  I laid ever bass track that night.  Hearing the songs with low end finally was so refreshing and exciting.  That extra layer brought it all together.   

I'm elated with the final product, and having spent only about 170 bucks to create, record, distribute, and pay royalties for the WBAsh song...not bad.  I hope you all enjoy this 25 minutes of excitement.  

  

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Christopher Drapeau1 Comment