As most of you reading this blog will know my band Unnatural Selection are recording our debut EP D.I Y style on my laptop, this decision was mostly born out of issues of money, time and a personal desire to limit the process to as few people as possible; I get very possessive of personal projects you see… But besides this I personally think this approach has given the project a lot more edge and authenticity. Part of the ethos of grindcore, I’m sure you know, involves the D.I.Y ethic, as did punk before it. Artists using whatever means and materials they have, to get their music heard is a topic that really resonates with me, especially since I got to explore themes like this in my dissertation. I love the idea of music that was produced entirely beyond the scope of the industry, without compromising the artists’ vision and without any motivation, other than for the sake of expression. It’s honest I guess, and pure. (Well that’s debatable… Let’s say ‘purer’.) I feel that the striving for perfection and hungering for the dollar is a problem in today’s music scene, with fans becoming apathetic about artists pandering to them more and more in an effort to get the rat eyed little thieves to buy their album (*coughs* METALLICA!!!! *coughs*).
It’s been really hard, and it still is; as much as I am liberated I am hindered; hindered by my lack of experience and knowledge of the recording process. I’m not going to debate the pro’s and con’s of D.I.Y vs professional production here, Jesus this was just going to be a little blog about where me and Tom are at with the sodding thing!
Anyway, we’re almost there; a few vocal fuck ups have to be re-recorded, as well as some guitar stuff but other than that the music’s finished. We need to come up with album art that we can manage ourselves but we’ve got time still. We’re also thinking of putting the album up for download in exchange for a charitable donation as well as just for free if people wish… But that’s another thing we need to discuss.
We can’t wait to get it finished, we’re bubbling over with ideas for the next EP, which already has a title and theme to be disclosed later, as well as ideas that won’t make it on either EP; maybe they’ll be on splits with other bands, but almost certainly they’ll become part of our live shows.
This is what it’s all about for us, please visit our myspace page, or message us for a chat, we’re friendly guys! And make sure to download our music and make the effort to come to shows (when we have them). We’ll be eternally grateful.
(sigh) I took the last 5 days off work and by Christ have they flown by. I had all these plans to get stuff done and use the time wisely, and by all definitions I probably have done just that; I got some recording done, spent time with my girlfriend and with friends, I spent time out and about and I even made some new acquaintances, whom I’m sure will prove valuable to have as I try to really get my creative career going. No matter how much is accomplished it never seems like enough time does it? Especially when your job is as far away from your ideal as it could possibly be.
For purposes of not wanting to get fired for slagging off my employers, I will not divulge their name, but I will say I work in a large department store. Yeah envy me right? It’s been my desire for some time now to live my life for my creative passions, find a way to make say, my band support my life so I can enjoy a life of creativity. And before you think I’m romantacizing such a life choice, thinking it’ll all be opportunity and fulfilment left and right, let me assure you I understand how cripplingly poor and artistically frustrated I would be (as well as a long list of other problems too tedious to go through here), but I’m sure all this suffering would not be worse than the current suffering I undergo on a daily basis. After all, existence is suffering; so choose a suffering you can deal with.
I spent so long in education putting off when I’d have to join the “real world”, gaining more debt and less experience; and now I’m reaping it and let me tell you; it hurts. It really bloody does. Not that I regret my education, I just really wish I’d made more of it. I thoroughly treated it like a stop-gap, I never committed to it and as a result I left uni with a vague degree, mediocre results, no connections, few friends, and absolutely fuck all idea what I wanted to do in general. Add a recession on top of that and you get fuckmylife soup. Now I have no choice but to work shit jobs I can’t stand and that pay peanuts to help support my family who have so wonderfully supported me throughout my confused romp that was my adolescence. Hence the (sigh).
I may have lost a few of you there with that self-pitying monologue so I apologise and will now attempt to win you all back with my conclusion;
Whilst I was at uni I was lucky enough to read ‘Candide’ by Voltaire, if you’ve not read it it’s a wonderfully satirical adventure story of a naive young student and his tutor travelling the world, confronting some of its stickiest problems and attempting to make sense of it all using the popular black and white, pessimistic and optimistic philosophies of the day. Hopefully without spoiling it for you, the student Candide states at the end of the book “we must tend to our gardens”; meaning that things can always be better and they can always get worse, there is no perfection and good times will never last; but that’s no excuse to not try because you get out of life what you put in. Hard work and effort reap rewards to be enjoyed but it’s fair that they don’t last forever, so when things get tough it’s time to start making them better again. All we can do is keep trying to make things the best they possibly can be and we have to leave the rest of it up to (for lack of a better word) fate.
Relaying this message makes me feel good about life and hopeful for the future, but I guarantee this feeling wont last me the train journey to work tomorrow… Oh well. C’est la vie.