Today I’m going to write about my semi-elusive next album and whatever else crosses my mind. That’s why this is a Random Blog Post and not in the new album blog post canon. The album is at this cool point in its life. I suppose I’ve always thought of most of my music as being weird. Maybe that’s a nice way of admitting it’s bad. I don’t know. But with my next album, an additional focus I’m trying to have is making it weird, in a good way.
What I’m working on lately is going back to songs that are either done or close to being done and weirdifying them. This can be anything from adding random audio samples that I’ve gathered to glitching out the last quarter note’s worth of music in a measure to applying awesome vocal effects. Man, I just found this awesome vocal effect VST, and it’s game changing! Seriously. My relationship with vocal effects is a long and storied one. This is a Random Blog Post after all, so let me talk about that.
So when I first started making music, a lot of it was instrumental. When I decided to have vocals on a song, a lot of times I’d put extreme effects on it. I’m talking pitch shifters, reverb, delay, chorus, everything. I’d layer it with the same vocal played backwards sometimes. Suffice to say, it wasn’t all that great. After I got that out of my system, I would utilize some distortion, reverb, and delay here and there, but nothing else really. Punk Rebel Renegade was especially effect-free except for reverb.
Anyway, as a huge industrial fan, it makes me sad to not have more vocal effects. I want like, old school Ministry crap. Or even like, Grendel or Godflesh. So that VST I mentioned earlier is going to help tremendously with that. It’s super easy to dial in exactly what I want. It’s wonderful. I might post some samples of what I have done already sometime.
Whether it’s bizarre lyrics, awkward fills, vocal effects, or whatever else, I want these new songs to not just be interesting, but weird. That’s something I decided after incorporating the things I’ve already talked about in past blog posts: more drum fills, shorter songs, more variation, etc. I’ve been doing that, and it’s awesome. But I think trying to keep songs short and traditionally artistically interesting is difficult for me.
I mean, think about something like “Free Bird.” The original version of it is over 9 minutes long. It takes you on a journey with all the different sections. The much shorter radio edit neuters it, even though that could be the version you’re more familiar with. I tend to enjoy longer songs, which is why making my songs short is hard. Not that any of my songs compare to opuses (opi?) performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I want to pack fun journeys in under 3 minutes.
Lyrically, I think I can come up with some crazy stuff. That’s easy enough. The early Robby Suavé stuff was weird: lyrically and sonically. You might think that the beginnings of an artist (or whatever I am) would be watered down versions of what they end up becoming. But for me, it’s almost the opposite. Nowadays, what permeated my old stuff is only a fraction of my current output. A good example is the intro track on Heat Stroke, “My Brain.” That song has this weird synthy loop, and buried under it are all these various audio pieces sourced from some audio and video recordings I had laying around. I used to do that sort of thing a lot. But lately that style is reserved for intro tracks and such.
Virtually no one has heard my old stuff, and mostly for good reason. No one wants to hear that crap. There would be songs with my voice pitch-shifted sky high, random interludes between songs, crazy backwards masking…I want to go back to that. I want to get some short songs out there that are fun to listen to, but you need to listen to them 5 times to figure out what they are.
In other news, I’m collecting a few new tools for the new album. One of them will also make doing Jam Sessions easier and more fun. But now that I’m mostly settled on the songs that will be on the new album, I kind of don’t want to work on new stuff. I suppose I could jam out on songs that I’m done with, but my idea for the Jam Sessions was that they would be genuine beginnings to new songs.
As I’m approaching the point of being able to put finishing touches on everything, I’m thinking about doing a sampler for people to listen to. I usually put those out a few weeks before a new album is released. It’s like a medley of all the songs on the album in 20 second chunks. Sometimes they’re the mastered versions, sometimes not. I haven’t entered the mastering phase yet, but to me, the songs sound dramatically better than my older, pre-mastered versions.
Let’s see, what else is going on? Oh, merch. I wanted to put up a new shirt design on Amazon Merch, but they’ve halted the ability to submit new products for some reason. They also decreased royalties by a fair margin. Not that I was making much on shirts to begin with, but now I’ll be literally making next to nothing! Hooray! And icing on the cake is that my shirts aren’t coming up in search results. Maybe some of those things are related, but it’s still crappy. Thousands of adoring fans aren’t able to find my shirts on Amazon to buy as Christmas gifts for their loved ones! But yeah, there will be a new t-shirt available whenever I can put it up.
Speaking of Christmas, I recently thought about “Merry Effing Christmas.” Yeah, that was a song I made. It’s pretty rough, huh? It’s definitely not my favorite song I’ve ever recorded. It might even be my least favorite. But, I have to say it’s considerably better than what I’ll call the demo version of it. Ugh.
Alright, I typed enough. Come back next week for another new post!