I had two consecutive serving shifts at the restaurant this week. Wednesday night went okay, and last night felt really good! I like the fast pace of our bar, and because of the casual environment, guests are usually really relaxed and friendly. In the middle of our rush last night, I felt a sense of pride and joy about my work. It’s just a restaurant job, and I’m not really that great at it yet, but I’m glad for the opportunity. Also, The Raymond 1886 has helped me immensely with music (because the money is good and so is the flexible schedule), and that’s always a motivator in the back of my mind.
Last night, I had a hard time sleeping and I was experiencing negative thoughts and feelings regarding my music. I felt like a hobbyist compared to “real” song writers and artists. I was comparing my songs to iconic artists and feeling very low about my current ability and situation as a whole. Sometimes I feel like I’m kidding myself. But then I remind myself that it’s too late not to pursue music since I’ve already put so many hours into it. I also reminded myself that I can only improve from here, especially if I practice every day. Recently, someone told me that people who have a genuine understanding of their field often feel much less confident in themselves because they know how much they don’t know. While, people who are just starting out in their field don’t have as much context, and so it’s easier for them to feel confident in their work. I’m not sure if I understood the concept correctly, or if it’s even a proven concept, but I’d like to think maybe I’m in the former category.
In one week, I’ll be releasing my live acoustic EP on all platforms. In the next few days, on top of my usual life and music updates, I wanted to tell my story a bit. Then, in the days leading up to March 8, I’ll be posting the lyrics of the new EP and breaking down each song.
In February of ‘17, two things happened that sort of changed my life. Sarah and I found a studio apartment and moved in together. Then, in the midst of our move, my father was killed in a bike accident. In the matter of just two weeks, Sarah and I said goodbye to almost everything that was familiar to us. We lived in our studio apartment for only four months before we decided to move to Santa Barbara. During those four months, Sarah was working two jobs, and on my days off from my tasting room job, I was in Oakland recording my first solo record. It was during that time that I wrote After All.
One evening in March 2017, Sarah was getting ready for her night class at the community college. I remember saying something like, “When you get back from class, I’m going to have written a very nice pop tune!”. Looking back, I don’t even really know what that means, or what I was envisioning, but nevertheless, I wrote a song.
I had already settled on the track listing for You Are My Sanity , so I didn’t think to include my new song on the record. But right away, I felt like it had real potential.
Over the next year and a half, I performed it regularly. I can recall several times when the song stood out to listeners. I felt good about it.
Finally, in June of last year, I took it to the studio in Oakland. I spent one day on it with Greg and felt stumped. We were able to get a very simple drum pass, but we just weren’t sure how to move forward.
Finally, a few days ago, (and just in time for booked sessions in March for this very song!), I played After All to a friend during a jam session. He immediately heard a new cadence and groove for it. It was wild. Within minutes, we were re writing the tune. It’s still not quite finished, but you can read the current format and lyrics here . I’ll also share with you a poor quality voice memo because why not. Just keep in mind, the song will not be driven by acoustic guitar, and also I was not trying to sound good or anything. It’s also not finished.
So, if you didn’t know already, that is the story of After All and those are the circumstances we were in when I wrote it. More about my life and my music tomorrow.