Metallica’s self-titled album took a year and a half to record, and cost over one million dollars. At the rate we’re going, the new album from Dark Disco Club will take even longer, and just might cost a little more.
I reached my peak as far motivation and creativity for this album a while back, and it has now officially become a thorn in my side. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this, generally speaking. But this has gone on for too long, and for it to be completed with my current bandmembers, I’ll need to make a ton of creative sacrifices. In fact, I think I’ll just need to swallow the fact that the album I wanted to make will not exist. When new people join the band I always give them the whole rap about how they are welcome to contribute any thing at any time, and that the band will be run democratically, with everyone’s opinion being taken into consideration. Well that sucks, and if any new members are ever introduced to my band, they won’t be given that same speech. Sometimes there are just too many cooks in the kitchen. Even worse, is that once all the cooks get in my kitchen, they forget to cook their own stuff because they’re too busy worrying about what I’m cooking and how I’m cooking it.
I suppose this isn’t a new problem for me, but it sucks just the same. When we’re writing and recording material there is always some blurring of the defined “roles” that each of us has in the band. I don’t mind that at all, but there should be a line drawn. The main role for Anthony and Tom should be to write and play guitar riffs. The main role for Eric should be writing lyrics and singing them. My main role is programming and production. The way I usually describe it to people is that the guys write parts, we record them, and then I filter them through my vision for Dark Disco Club. If you listen to the various versions of the band, with all 97 different band members, it all still sounds like DDC. THAT is my job. That is the skill that I have developed over the years, and it is my strength. On the other hand, that is not the skill that anyone else has worked on. AO spent his money on guitars, practiced guitar, and played guitar in bands all his life. Tome did roughly the same I guess, only with more alcohol mixed in. And Eric… well Eric is newer to all this I guess, but obviously he is the singer. He needs to own paper and a pen. I have spent thousands of dollars and hours on computers, synthesizers, software, microphones, etc, all so that I could create this sound that I hear in my head. If I could play guitar and sing well, I would have made the album I want to make years ago. Unfortunately I can’t, so sacrifice becomes a major part of the creative process.
Now that we’re getting down to the later stages, toes are getting stepped on, and they’re usually mine. And it happens in the strangest ways. Let me give one extremely annoying example: There’s a song that started with Tom and I. It’s pretty complete, with only vocals left to be added. For weeks now, Eric, Tom and myself have been thrilled with this song. Anthony has some issues with it, but eventually let up on the intensity of his fight to change it too much. We have all heard this song about 900 times, and as usual, after each listen, anyone with a comment or suggestion about the song lets it be known. For the last 892 times, no one has had a comment other than how great that song is. Well last night, Anthony mentioned that since there was a part that played for more than half a second without any guitar in it, it should be deemed unnecessary and cut out. Upon hearing this, Eric chimed in, basically saying “Gee Anthony, that is the greatest idea I have ever heard! It should be cut out!”. Well what the fuck? Since when? Why would someone have one opinion when only I am in the room, and another when Anthony is in the room? It’s baffling, and annoying. What it does is change the “vote” on that part from 2-1 in my favor to 2-1 in favor of the opposition. Since there are 4 of us in the room, you would think it becomes 2-2, but Tom doesn’t seem to have an opinion at all. He sits back there reading books or on the computer and doesn’t say much. Anyway, this is all just one big long way of saying that because of lame bullshit that seems to creep into almost every song I am not making the album I hoped to make.
Another problem is that no one can stand to let a song go. We have a list of 15 “songs” right now. Our album will be about 10-12 songs, so obviously some need to be cut. We went through a whole session of listening to everything a million times and rating them on a 5-star system to decide which we liked, and which we didn’t. We have 2 songs that came out with 2-star ratings, making them the lowest of the bunch. Clearly, they get cut, right? Yeah, you would think so. But of course they are still on the list against better judgement, helping to make the whole thing take longer.
I could go on and on, because there is plenty more to be said, but fuck it. In the end it’s just a fundamental difference at the core of our creative goals. I want to make an original, challenging, poetic art-rock album that sounds like nothing any of our peers have ever done… others want to make a riff-rock album with as many non-stop guitar tracks as will fit on a cd. Call me an artfag.