Resurrecting Punk Rebel Renegade, Pt. 1

This series isn’t going to be nearly as long (or probably as entertaining or informative) as the Recording Heat Stroke series, but I’ll do my best to keep it interesting. So over 4 years ago, I “released” an album called Punk Rebel Renegade. And by “released” I mean…burned the songs to a CD, listened to it myself, had a couple others listen to it, and put a couple tracks out on the Internet. You could say it wasn’t a celebrated production.

Fast forward almost 5 years later, when I’m in the final stages of recording Heat Stroke and getting it mastered, and I was already contemplating fixing up my older songs, getting them mastered, and officially releasing them. I feel like doing that is going to be a great thing to shoot for. Not that I care about the whole business aspect of making music, but apparently the in thing to do is to release music frequently. Instead of releasing 18 track albums every 2 or 3 years, you’re supposed to cater to those with short attention spans and release smaller collections of music more frequently. I see both sides to it, but I rather enjoy waiting 2+ years for my favorite bands to release new albums. And coincidentally, my favorite bands tend to do just that. Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Hanzel und Gretyl, Primus, Nashville Pussy, Ministry, Dope, Static-X, and the list goes on. I suppose if releasing 10 song long albums every year would guarantee more listeners, I would subscribe to that the philosophy, but releasing longer albums less frequently feels more natural to me.

I’m going to talk about it in the Heat Stroke Retrospective, but at least for me, putting a deadline on something, or even just getting it done as soon as possible, inhibits my music. I’m not saying if I took more time on Heat Stroke, it would be this magnificent album with songs that would have caught fire (no pun intended) and would have been a huge hit or something. But…yeah, it’s a long story. Heat Stroke began its life in the spring, and my goal was to get it done by the beginning of October. That was the goal right from the beginning, and the reason for that sort of blew up in late June to August. The lyrical content changed pretty dramatically, and it just wasn’t a very fun process. I mean, I definitely had fun writing and recording a few of the songs, but I can’t imagine my perpetual sour, bitter, and cynical mood didn’t hinder my output. If I didn’t already decide on making Heat Stroke a big deal, it probably would have ended up like the rest of my albums. Nobody would have heard it. Nobody would have been able to, even if they wanted to.

Back to Punk Rebel Renegade though, it actually shares some characteristics with Heat Stroke. But as I think about it more and more, I think what made it pretty decent (as well as all the other albums I created) was that I never set a deadline on it. If I was working on music pre-Heat Stroke, it was because I felt like making music. That’s the only reason. I’m not sure if it’s apparent in the music, but I’d like to think so. As I will repeatedly mention when talking about my time recording Punk Rebel Renegade, I don’t remember a lot of it just because I was especially miserable during that time. I wasn’t sleeping, eating, drinking, or doing anything that my body told me that I wanted to do. I wasn’t even playing video games, just because of this personal social experiment I was conducting. I was essentially a recluse when I wasn’t at work or it wasn’t a Wednesday. I wasn’t watching TV. I purposely kept myself from having any kind of fun. I’m sure the reason for that was tied to some event that I honestly don’t recall, but I associated with feeling that way with making music. And so it was late 2010 that I started thinking thoughts that would eventually become Punk Rebel Renegade.

And that is where I will leave you for now. I’m going to continue with this Resurrecting Punk Rebel Renegade series every week or so. I can’t imagine it will be longer than 5 or 6 posts, but we’ll see.

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