I started writing this record shortly after finishing up Ambient Distress in 2019 prior to the Covid-19 breakout. My writing process has always correlated with a theme… whether that be musically or idealistically.
With Temporary Preservation, I just said to myself “I’m going to make a record”. At this point I had grown a bit tired of performing live a bit and wanted to push myself in terms of recording. So it seemed like a good time to pursue this idea – to just focus on recording and writing and disregard any concept of “how will I do this live?”
With this record all titles and themes came after the music – which is new to me but I enjoyed just focusing on creating something from the heart and for music alone. My “secret weapon” of sorts became a Boss SY1 pedal in which I use the bass setting to help me fill the sound a bit more and come up with minimal “bass lines”.
While I have been pigeon holed a bit (my own doing I think) to the terms “ambient” or “drone” – I would say the best term for this record could really be “alternative guitar” maybe? I’m not sure… it’s not ambient but it has textures – it’s not drone but it is repetitive. Truthfully I think it sounds like me.
When first mixing this song – I had the bass so high up because it was my first time fully engaging in that sound wave. It thrilled me and hit a new feeling I have not previously been able to capture. Alas during mastering I realized how absurd it was and had to tone it down. I put this song first because I like the emotional impact, I feel it has and while it is a piece with movement; it is a slow burn into the next track. The title is one of favorites – I don’t remember where I poached it from but it seems to reflect the vibe – a continuous, slow push towards something unobtainable. That’s how I feel about my life pretty much.
I thought of this song title as something that would be said in an advertisement. Some commercial about somehow making me believe having a kid would be a good idea for me. Every time someone asks me if I have kids – I get irritated when they are like “why not?” or “not yet!” So I envisioned some commercial pushing the agenda even more. Every single time I try to write a “heavy song” – something with a riff that hits you – I end up with something pretty. That’s what happened here. When the song picks up to any semblance of a “riff” I was down tuned and trying to get something a bit gnarly. It turned out kind of pleasant and catchy though till I drop it for the outro. Because of its uplifting feel it got the Children Reimagined title.
This was written very early on in the process. I think I wrote it before I actually bought the SY1 pedal so it originally had no bass. I’m pretty sure this one took a long while to complete too. I remember the working title for it was “no sleep” because I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea to pull the two movements together. I was in the mix of weird personal turmoil I regularly go through and I believe that is expressed through this track. Which ultimately led to its title on the record. During my last stages of mixing I knew this track needed some help to get where I needed it to go and got in touch with my friend Jake Reid (Screen Vinyl Image / Alcian Blue) to help me out. He added some good deep tones underneath it and then from there I was able to come up my own deep tones to also layer up and it finally sounded full and ready to go.
This track is a re-envisioned piece I did for a 7” that has yet to be released due to some label issues… so in a way this was the first song recorded for this record. That’s why it was released as the “single” with a video – it was simply just ready to go and in my mind represented the album best. I took the song for the 7” and played with different pedal settings (SY1 again!) and ended up with this really cool percussive element which is something that has been missing from much of my music. But it’s simply one big aching build that I always enjoy. The title is really just a meditation on consumerism. This is also the only song on the record that ever gets performed live because it was originally done with performance in mind so it works.
When doing the song order for this record I battled with flow tremendously. While for vinyl having the “soft” song first on a side isn’t ideal… it had to be happen. I felt that Side A had a bit of noise going so I wanted to start Side B on a lighter note – also kind of eases the listener if listening via a computer or whatever. While the title is somewhat open to interpretation… I was thinking about abortion laws with it. Just the idea of religion playing a role in laws and forcing a moral compass. The little lead riff here is actually done on my bass setting but it’s really a guitar arpeggio.
I’m always a fan of a good play on words – so that’s all this title is. In hindsight I probably should have used this as the single because of most press and radio seem to enjoy this track the most. This song sounds pretty to me but a few reviews have called it otherwise… but I have no idea. While this is track is a build and a fall – I was in the mix of experimenting with adding “parts” to a lot of these but this how it naturally fell. The layers on this track are crazy… I think I probably used every delay setting I could.
In my days of using drugs – Xanax was one of my favorites. Obviously it has its purpose for those who need it … I used it to forget my life for days on end and I’m still not sure what happened for years of my life. But for a long time – existing but not being aware of it was pure bliss for me. The waviness in the first half of this track feels like a perfect blue sky and big white clouds while the dirge in the second half feels like a storm. In essence it firms up my experience with Xanax in audio form.
People always tell me they admire me for playing lots of shows and getting what appears to me lots of write-ups and things of the sort. I always must let them know none of this fucking means anything and I am not in the least bit successful nor do I think I ever will be. There could be many reasons for this – but I do believe “clout” has something to do with it. This title is just something tongue in cheek regarding the independent music landscape. This song has quite a bit of experimentation with different distortion sounds and at the end some cool low-end overload that was something I had not touched much. I think it is a good jam.
When I was playing shows for 40 Hours… I mostly played to about 5 people. There was one show at a record store in PA where I played to the shop owner and my one friend who opened the gig. So, we both drove a few hours to play for each other then leave. When we were kind of joking to ourselves about how bad it was, they said “I’m comfortable meandering in relative obscurity”. So, I stole it and now it is the title of the last track on this album. It is one of my favorites and I like that it is kind of “rocking”. The pedal that kind of gives it a cool vibe is this Jack White endorsed thing that mimics a “divebomb” with a whammy bar. The next record I am working on uses it more and it is a cool trick to throw into play when doing more atmospheric music.
That is the track-by-track breakdown! This is my favorite record of mine. It is one of those things where everything kind of worked out. Even parts that took months to get right… once they did, I got extremely excited. I am already working on something a new and it is a collaboration record with a drummer! That may help break the mold of being considered “ambient” when it is just music with ambiance… but who am I to say. I am still sitting on about half of the vinyl and would love to ship some out!
On a Different Note:
- Review: Rootless – Live at Rhizome
- Track-by-Track: Body/Negative – Fragments
- Track-by-Track: Jason Calhoun – Jedidiah
- Track-by-Track // Corntuth – The Desert is Paper Thin
- Track-by-Track: Jilk – Welcome Lies