Robby Suavé Is 20 Years Old, Pt. 3
The journey through my storied history returns! Let’s get back into it. 2007 was my first big year, and if you choose to keep reading, you’ll find out why, if you don’t already know. (If you’re new here, start at Part 1.)
Editor’s note: I’ve rewritten this paragraph a dozen times. I’ve concluded that I don’t remember 2005-2008 very well. I originally made a few statements here that I thought were facts, then included a link to the first entry of my Bringing Back Boobs, Butts, and Feets blog series from 2015. When I skimmed through that, I found contradictions to my current thought process and got all confused. I trust my 2015 memory about 2007 more than my current memory, so I’m just going to default to everything you can read there as being true. Follow that link if you want some in-depth information about recording that album and what it took to finally, officially releasing it in 2016.
If you read the last 2 entries of this blog series, you’d know I’ve been musically active for about 7 years by 2007. What I don’t think I disclosed before was that from 2001 to 2005, very little of the music I made was heard by anyone but me. I would burn CDs of random, poorly-produced songs of mine and have people listen to them, but I can count those people on 1 hand. Maybe half a hand. Whatever the case, I wasn’t satisfied enough with my stuff to think anyone else would enjoy listening to any of it. In 2007, that changed.
I’ll try to keep this musically focused rather than my personal life, but 2007 was a new year for me. I had distanced myself from someone from the Great White North and shortly after was essentially forced to work in another town. So yeah, a lot of stuff went down in that year, and not just the launch of Rock Band. Musically, I don’t think I recorded anything in 2007 for Boobs, Butts, and Feets. All I probably did was tweak mixes and move parts around for it. Kind of boring, but…that’s all it was, I think.
It would be nice to provide details, but I don’t even have any. I’m choosing not to reference my old blog series about BBAF, so I doubt I’m going to be able to add much concrete, trustable information. One angle I could add here is that in 2007, I was actively considering having a few of my new co-workers the album. To this day, of all my albums, of all titles of my albums, Boobs, Butts, and Feets has to be the riskiest bunch of songs to reveal.
Another thing I don’t think I’ve made apparent is that even though I had been recording music for years at this point, I hadn’t even considered releasing it publicly. Part of that is just because the recordings were so bad, but I’d like to think if I even subconsciously considered releasing any of it, I would have made better recordings.
2008 changed that way of thinking. I don’t even really remember, but I likely sort of obsessed over Boobs, Butts, and Feets in 2007. I wasn’t suggesting anyone listen to most of what I was producing at the time, so the idea of near strangers would listen to it was very nerve-wracking. Somehow, I must have let leak to a person or two at work that I made music, and for some reason I felt like suggesting they listen to what was probably the “final” version of Boobs, Butts, and Feets.
Before I get into that, I wanted to insert some random audio from the BBAF sessions. I might have mentioned this before, but apparently I didn’t record anything extra for the album, which is rare. Even the early versions of the songs don’t sound that much different from not only the final 2007 mixes, but they don’t even sound much different from what would have gotten their public, mastered release in 2016.
I thought I remembered more clearly the feedback I got from those few people at work after listening to the Boobs, Butts, and Feets CD I gave them to listen to. I probably mentioned “Everyone I Know Is an Alcoholic,” and they did point that out as being a fun song or whatever. The other song I remember them bringing attention to was “Get Your Groove On.” That’s a song that I rarely think of myself. It is kind of a cool song though, isn’t it? Hm.
Late in 2008, I recorded “H.A.L.O.,” which I posted about earlier this year. Everything you need to know about that can be found in the post. You can listen to it there as well. And I must have began preliminary recordings on something after that because…well, keep reading.
In late 2008, probably after I did “H.A.L.O.,” I started on new music. Wow. This is an era that I rarely think about. I have a folder on my hard drive called “album2008.” Unlike the “boobsbuttsandfeets” folder, this folder has a ton of sub folders, one for each song that was at least at one point intended for the next album. That album would eventually become Modus Operandi, which was unofficially released in 2010. By my count, there were 24 songs recorded. Some of them were more fleshed out than others, but I believe this group of songs is the most I had ever done in preparation for an album.
Let’s make this interesting. I’ll go through each song, alphabetically by the folder name.
|“About Time” is what would eventually become “Bring It Back,” one of my favorite songs on Modus Operandi. Something kind of cool I found in this folder is a text document that has the names of the patches I used for the guitar and bass parts on my Digitech effects processor. Memories.
This song is a deep cut. It’s awesome. I tend to forget about it, but whenever I listen to it, I get good feelings from it. It sounds pretty good.
|Did you guess this folder is for the song “Asymmetry?” Good. An interesting thing of note for this folder is that there’s only one early/demo/short version of it. Normally I go through a dozen or more iterations of a song before I’m done with it.
I don’t necessarily like this song, but it does have a kind of sound that I don’t think I ever really explored before or since.
|“Bean” has to be one of my weirder songs. It’s semi-sophisticated in some ways, but it is sloppy in others. It features some strange synths in the middle…yeah, it’s weird.
Fun fact: I would later go on to author this song for Rock Band, only to pull it from the game store weeks(?) later because of how off-timed the vocal track was. That was totally my fault, but it’s also odd that it didn’t get caught in playtesting.
|Here’s the first song that didn’t end up making to the album. *looks in folder* Oh, there are literally no files in here. Nice. I must have created the folder just to remind myself to use “Bivouc Baby” as a song title. Maybe someday…
The name is in reference to an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. If I remember right, that was the stage name that Laura used when Rob was in the Army.
|Another Dick Van Dyke Show reference, but this song actually ended up on Modus Operandi. This was a strange instrumental song I did, and I decided to call it “Famine, Draught, and Pestilence” because I had just watched an episode where Rob is wanting to read the newspaper, so he can read about “famine, draught, and pestilence.” That was a good episode.
|I have no recollection of this at all, so it definitely didn’t get used anywhere. It’s a short, instrumental song. All I have of it is a drum track and two guitar tracks. No actual project file. Interesting.
|Another short, discarded, instrumental piece. I could have seen myself easily adding vocals to this and it turning out decently. However, although Modus Operandi was rather eclectic, I’m not sure this “Give Me” song would have fit.
Below this table, you’ll find a free mp3 of this track!
|This is the song that would eventually become the title track, “Modus Operandi.” On a theoretical greatest hits album, this would have to be on it. Other than the weird breakdown in the middle, I think song stands out.
|“I Am Lobo” is probably my best song that I haven’t officially released. I recorded vocals and everything. It’s a very complete song. Production-wise, it would have fit on Boobs, Butts, and Feets. The guitars are synthesized and sound much like they do on “Heavy Metal.” Lyrically, it heavily references and contains samples from the hit 1990 movie Don’t Tell Her It’s Me (a.k.a. The Boyfriend School) featuring Steve Guttenberg.
I’ve genuinely considered re-recording this song, so I don’t want to post samples or anything of it. If I release it, it’ll be a big hit. I promise.
|Wow. I don’t remember this song at all either. Another song that hit the cutting room floor. Also another instrumental song. I think I like this better than “Famine, Draught, and Pestilence.” Why didn’t I use this instead?
mp3 is available after this table!
|You guessed it, this is “Knight in Shining Armor.” I’ve had multiple people think this isn’t even a song of mine. It’s not surprising. I’m sort of singing in it. It’s slow. The music doesn’t really sound like anything I had done. Other than the chorus (or whatever), I think it still holds up.
|The award to the best song title that I never actually put out goes to this track, “Monopoly on Awesome.” Unfortunately, the actual song is a bit crappy. It begins with a heavy guitar riff of the Dragnet opening theme. After that, it gets a little crazy. I was inspired by Ministry’s “N.W.O.” apparently, judging by the drums and bassline at the beginning. Then…yeah, it gets weird.
mp3 is below.
|Apparently what I planned to be the first of a series (see the next song), this is an unreleased instrumental with a 25 second run-time. It’s kind of cool sounding. Kind of…horror movie-esque.
|Again, another unreleased song. I’m listening to it this very moment, and I don’t know why I made this a part II to the first “My God.” It doesn’t sound anything like it. It’s very synthy and dancey. I definitely could have slapped some vocals on it, and it would have been serviceable.
mp3 is below.
|“Plan for the Day?” What kind of song title is that? I don’t know. I never released this song either. It’s just 20 seconds of a fairly uninteresting drum beat. Nice.
|This did make it to Modus Operandi as “Psychic.” Nothing much to say about this one other than that the original, non-publicly released version had an audio clip of Miss Cleo proclaiming, “and it’s on a cul-de-sac!”
I would say this is one of the stranger songs I’ve put together. There’s that weird woodblock solo thing going on towards the end. Oh, and this song is most definitely about a person I knew who lived in an igloo or whatever.
|Here’s an instrumental that made its way onto Modus Operandi as, yes, “Regime.” It’s probably oddly serious sounding, coming from me. I’m probably proud of it though still. One tidbit of information about this song is that until the official 2019 release, the hi-hats in this song bounced from channel to channel. So that constant ticking would alternate the left speaker and the right speaker. It was annoying to listen to, especially in headphones. You’re welcome.
|Uh…I debated with myself of whether or not to even mention this folder for a song that never went anywhere. I’ll say that no, I do not know why I called it that. There’s no vocals. The music is actually awesome though. Like a few other songs here, I easily could have put vocals on it and called it a song. It has a bit of a circus music flavor.
|This one blew my mind a little bit. I didn’t recognize the title, but I remember the audio itself. It’s another song that is basically finished, but there are no vocals. It definitely could have went on the album if I took the time to put vocals on it.
|Geez. Another virtually finished song that just needed vocals to get on the album? Actually, this song is weird in that I could see it working as an instrumental or a song with vocals. A cool thing about this not-quite-finished song is that I added some interpolations of a clip from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in it. It’s awesome.
mp3 is below!
|This is a “song” made up of a guitar track and a bass track. I’m not saying it sounds great, but I feel like to this day, I can’t get a bass guitar recording like I did back then. I don’t remember how I would have recorded it, but it probably wasn’t exactly professional.
|Finally, a song that made its way to Modus Operandi. This is one of my personal favorite songs. I don’t think I ever mentioned this anywhere, but I was close to finishing getting it authored for Rock Band. I don’t remember the specifics, but I’m pretty sure what held it up was not being able to find the vocal stem. *Iistens to officially released version* Yes, that’s what happened. I re-recorded the vocals for that song because the original vocals got lost.
|The intro song on Modus Operandi! I’ll probably mention it in an upcoming entry to this blog series, but other than maybe one other time, I’ve never explored this downtuned metal sound. I was learning a lot of Hanzel und Gretyl songs at the time, so I was messing around in drop C tuning. That’s where this song came from. I think it sounds awesome. It’s short and a bit weird obviously, but I would love to do more, full-length songs in this style someday.
Going by some of these filenames in the folder, I was calling it “Badbutt Song” for a while.
|I love this song, and I’m glad I was able to put it on the album. The music is pretty cool, but underscoring the music was this diatribe from pruane2forever, a dude I followed on YouTube back in the day. He took his channel down a long time ago, so when it came time to get Modus Operandi mastered and prepared for an official release, this particular song stood out as being a potential problem.
Part of the process of putting any of my albums out, but especially the older ones, is to make sure I have clearance to use any recordings that aren’t my own. So in order to respectfully use pruane’s diatribe about how Justin Bieber was ruining society, I had to reach out to him. I contacted him and got his blessing. I can’t remember if I linked him to the finished song or not. Maybe I should do that to see what he thinks. I don’t remember him saying anything about it if I did send it to him.
Alright. I’m going to stop there. This post got held up for a handful of reasons. Let me get this posted now. Part 4 will come sooner than 3 did.