Tonight, after Harper goes to sleep, I'll be going over to Matt's apartment/recording studio to do some more work on the new Quiet Company EP. This will be the first thing we've released where I've actually allowed myself to play the drums on an entire song. I played a tiny bit on Everyone You Love... but just enough for us to sample. I'm still hoping that Jeff plays the bulk of the drums but its difficult because he's still living in Waco for a little while longer. Luckily, Matt's really good at making my bad drumming sound acceptable so none of you will notice how unskilled I really am...probably.
I'm really excited about this EP, even though its clearly comprised of songs we didn't think were good enough to put on Everyone You Love... I think its going to sound terrific, in fact, I think it may be the best sounding thing we've done. Also, new recordings allow me a certain kind of relief. I'm always writing songs and by the time I get to record those songs, I'm kind of sick of them and excited about a whole new batch of songs. So every recording clears out a handful of songs and lets me get on with my life, at least until I'm frustrated by a different batch. Perhaps it would be better if I could just fully appreciate the work we're currently doing and not be so anxious about the work on the horizon, but then, perhaps it wouldn't.
I'm not a planner, really. My wife is, and she's very good at it. When I try to be, history has revealed that I am not good at it. There is one area of my life where I tend to be able to plan and carry through pretty well, though, and that is with music. I had the songs and the title for Everyone... decided two years before we actually got around to recording it. I knew that I wanted it to have certain themes and to pull heavily from Vonnegut and loosely from Ishmael, and I knew that I wanted it to portray a progression in my personal life and my convictions. I think I did OK at all of those things, for the most part. With the new EP and inevitably the third full length, things are no different. I've already got most of the songs and themes and titles worked out or at least started on. This is how I see the progression going:
Shine Honesty - A young Christian man in love sings songs about his future, and he has a few qualms with his faith.
Everyone You Love Will be Happy Soon - The young man gets married and sings songs about it while his concerns about his faith and his mortality distance him from his religion.
Songs For Staying In (tentative title) EP - The young man sings 4 songs about love and love-making and one song about how his friend dated a tramp once.
We Are All Where We Belong (tentative title) - The young man has become a father and sings songs about that. He completely separates himself from his former faith while celebrating love and life.
While writing for the third record, its becoming apparent what the themes will be and so we considered the idea of basically trying to make a record that pulled on all the same emotions that a praise & worship record would, but have the lyrics centered around Humanist ideas. We just wanted to see if we could do it and make it equally powerful. However, after some thought, it occurred to us that if we tried to do that, we'd, essentially, just be trying to make a U2 record and we decided against it. I love U2 but I'm not trying to recreate The Joshua Tree, although sometimes I wish they were. I've spent a lot of time in and around praise and worship bands and if we're being honest, 90% of them are just trying to make another U2 record but I doubt any of them will ever pen another "Where the Streets Have No Name."