Saturday, October 4, 2008

Razor blades and microchips

We've been mixing for the past two weeks I think. I'm not really sure now. Could be more. I'm so tired I have no clue. I started having a breakdown if sorts the other day, with chills, racing heartbeat and a mind completely overwhelmed. I go join up with greg's mixing session every night when I get home from work, stay late and get up in the early morning. But still, i'd rather not be in greg's shoes, his ears are fried, I caught him the other night turning off the cymbals in the mix because he just couldn't deal with that frequency anymore, and neded me to call him on it. At least I can do my job tired. He can't.

So last night I got to see another benefit of recording in the computer as opposed to directly to 2" tape. Grg felt a new arrangement for "Tomorrow" was necessary. On tape that would have meant lots of razorblade cutting of the physical tape. But here, we can just crop and cut things, move them around, etc. (while some recordists swear by tape, having just read "Mixerman", an online journal turned book by an LA engineer in the vein of Spinal Tap, I can see how painful that process can be). we've not made use of all the programs lots of bands do that basicly airbrush the recording to a stilted perfection, so Greg had to work a little harder, but in the end, well worth it.

Last night was my one night to go to bed at a decent hour and sleep in. Reality: mixing until just before 3, went home, turned off my phone (that NEVER happens) & straight to bed, woke up cold, then woke up twice from my cats trying to get in my bedroom, the time the kid selling magazines for junior achievment hit the doorbell, followed by some shady guy trying to sell surplus meat from the back of his truck for cheap (yeah, you read that right), I'd given up sleeping and had to get ready for practice with Nat. we have a show thursday, just the two of us, and we haven't done a damn thing about it.

Well, at least i'm going to see death cab tonight, so something to look forward to. And check out Letterfall ( who I'll be going to see after the DCFC show. Mike's a friend from years back (Barefoot Mike, anyone?) who's got a new band.

On with the day...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You're gonna be a fine man some day...

We're almost done mixing the record, though we had to move mastering a second time because we just can't finish in time.  Poor greg, he's been working day and night and no breaks or days off.  He's going to hate us.  The other day i showed up at the studio to find him EQing the drums and turning off the overhead/cymbal mikes, just to make the sound go away because he couldn';t take it any more.  that's when you really shouldn't be mixing!  luckily i was there with fresh(er) ears to give perspective. 

Today i skipped going into the studio so i could work with a new recording client of mine.  Sure, i would prefer to have waited, but she needs it done fast, and since she was referred to me by the guy who works on our guitars and amps, i figured i could make the exception.  figured it would be easy, since it was a spoken word/ambient thing.  and a good cause, to boot, as she's a music therapist for cancer patients.  Well, lo and behold, she comes in tonight and sees some of the old stage banners hanging around the studio and starts asking me about my dad - apparantly he was one of her patients before he died.  freaky.  so we talked and such, and once we got to work, i texted greg to send me over the mix for fine man so that i could show it to her.  figured this smacked of kismet, and i had to share it with her. 

ok, i'm going to bed now...i started to completely lose my shit today, with chills, heart racing, and brain completely wired from the stress of everything i have to do (and everything i might have to replace - seems like every electronic device i own is crapping out on me in the past 2 months...)

must needs sleeps...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Burning through my chest

It's good to be back to working in new haven, even if for just a couple of days. I'm heading to bulldog for dinner...there's just so much food here! have to hit the indian place across the corner before we leave. And the nice perk of being at firehouse is that there's a bar in the bottom floor. So last night I could randomly grab some gin while we mixed. What could be better?
we got some tracks sent in to us from stephen kellogg & the sixers last night, they're doing a guest spot on "Cherry Red Heart". Sounds huge, but Greg and I just spent 30 minutes obsessing over some amp noise from Kit's keyboard amp that was on the track. Not in the "we have to fix that" sort of way, but in the "let's sample that and fuck it up some more and use it!" all this over a 10 second part, if it was even that long.
Yesterday saw us working on our irish punk rocker. Bagpipes done, we added even more vocals to the gang of stuff I recorded with some friends of mine a week or two ago. More sound effects, which almost ended us up with a serious mess on our hands...but more of that on tape... But the real surprise was some stuff that greg had us do that makes the song very...martial...cant wait to share....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

does it get better than this?

Well, i'm sure it can, and i hope it does, but i digress...
we started mixing the new record tonight.  Now, I'm a huge fan of the band The National, one of the best bands IMHO to come out in the past 10 years.  So when we decided to work with Greg as our producer, who engineered their last two records, i was psyched.  They actually recorded some early stuff at Firehouse 12, where we started doing drums (little known fact: the national sorta got started in new haven, or at least laid some groundwork there with one of the brotherly sets, as i used to see one of their old bands).  but that was long ago and i wasn't really into their early stuff for a long time, so that was just coincidence and it being the nicest room in new haven.
anyway, the reason for my excitement now is that we started the mixing tonight at Tarquin Studios, right in Bridgeport, which is where Greg works and the last two National records were cut, which i adore.  ok, cool, get to see the places and rooms that i saw in their DVD, great.  Get to meet the studio owner, who was the producer.  very nifty.  But the really cool fucking thing?  Apparantly the band was in there yesterday, and they had just finished mixing a new song "You're so far around the bend" that will be on some comp or another, and greg played it for me!  i got to hear new music from the national before it gets released!  and it sounds really really good.  very upbeat tempo & feel, comparitively, but still richly textured. 
the rest of the comp, from what i was told, sounds like a bunch of heavy hitters, and it should be really good.  benefiting AIDS, i think.  anyway, probably the closest I'll ever get to that band, so it was really really cool to be a fan tonight.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good night Cleveland. There will be no encore...

lWe're done. all the overdubs for the record have been finished, sans three things we'll do during mixing. It's 5am. Nat and I are exhausted.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


after writing that last post, i turned around and cut a couple of great takes that i'm really happy with.  more than i thought i could be.
go figure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not such a fine man tonight

I can't do this. "Fine Man" is getting the best of me, I swear. The last thing I have to record on this record is a vocal for fine man, probably the oldest song of ours that will be appearing on the record. It was the first thing that matt and pete and I worked on together, the first new TtW song of that lineup change. The first song we ever recorded together, up in my old apartment attic studio, as the weather got colder and december drew in, bringing that year's holiday record with it.

as we've been working on this record, this song seemed to stand out as needing something...more. We eventually narrowed it down to the vocal line. Something needed to change. We hit this song early on, figuring it would be easier for me to sing and we'd breeze through it (especially after the days of work on "came to you"). And that's where the diagnosis started.

The whole song, for me, is about trying to do your best and somehow just not measuring up. Trying to grasp that intangible balance of hard work to do what is necessary and fulfill your goals, and the appreciation that follows - both your own and from elsewhere. Now, I don't care who you are or what you do, when you've worked hard, it's nice to hear "good job" in whatever form. And what i'm working on here in my head has become wrapped up in something so intangibly lofty I don't even know what it is. For myself and for what I'm standing for, all I know is I want it to be good, and I'm just tied up hearing the errors. The future fixes. The "its not blowing me away"s. My guitar that isn't synced for technical and performance reasons.

"...when you're pressed for time/want it to be perfect..."

so I've been putting this song off and off. Occasionally coming back to it to see what I can come up with. Nat and I went through the first verse with a fine-toothed comb (as I had with greg) to try to set some precedents to be followed. But now i'm here, after two months, feeling like it all comes down to this, and having trouble feeling as though anything is working. I've been killing myself over this record, to the point where when I have a night off, I don't know how to go to bed before 2am. Really. It happened again sunday! And at the same time, I'm mad at myself because I feel like I'm playing the "poor me" card, and I hate it. Like it's more than just a source for self-degregating comic punchlines. I am very lucky to be able to do what I do, with some really really excellent individuals and musicians. But times like tonight I just can't see past this: the other guys in the band seem to like this song I wrote, and say they do, and have pulled out a great performance on it. I just want to be able to bring it to their level and not let them down with sub-par work. And there is no time left to procrastinate and imagine that it will be better...

"I'm just getting so tired/of running myself down/.../I've been waiting for this moment/to show my life's in gear/Now I feel it failing me/After 28 years"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last mile

I'm so glad we pushed mixing back a month. I don't know how we would have been able to do it. At first i was like "that wasn't the plan" and "how can we afford it". well, we can afford it because greg's off working with bands like Swell Season and some German pop outfit, and we're doing the engineering for a bit.

Tim Warren from the Alternate Routes and fellow Fairfield University alumni came over last night to play some harmonica for us, and it totally changes the song ("Tomorrow"), in all the best ways. If you heard us open a set with that song, well, just wait and see. Nat came over afterwards and we tag teamed until about 4am. And we still have tons of little things to do still. So even with the extra month, we're still scrambling to finish on time. All told, it will be two months of working almost every day on this record, and hopefully it shows.

Friday, September 5, 2008

the very special houligans

had some friends come over last night to record the backing vocals for song for megan and some handclaps.  why is it the best moments happen when there's no camera rolling?  i stupidly forgot the camera upstairs, and missed out on getting all the good laughs.  oh well, at least i was there! 
it is currently 83 degrees and breezy.  gorgeous weather hearalding the pending hurricane.  the nice weather is making me depressed.  go figure.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Underground summer

Tonight is one of those nights I just want to blow it all away and start over. However, I can think of a few people who would be rather upset with me...

Trying very hard to remember a lesson i'd learned years ago: don't hold expectations of people. You can wish for things but be aware that wishes and reality are two different things, and your best off just taking things as they come, and being satisfied in your own fullfillment, not in another's reaction. They'll do their thing regardless of your wishes, and, rather than be frustrated, just live and let live.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hard Drive Failure(s)

This is getting to be a comedy of errors...

We have been videotaping throughout our recording process so far. At any given point, we've had 2 or 3 cameras running in different places. I posted a video from the studio already, it's up on We're working with this guy RJ Van Deusen who i met at a show at my old high school i was helping out, it's been great. I even went out and bought a semi-decent hard drive camcorder to start really getting into taking video.

Between the two of us, we just lost 60 GB of video files in the last week. Long story short, I was in the process of clearing off my laptop and putting the files i had onto a firewire drive, which would then be backed up on my actual backup drive. In the few days it was taking me to gather all the files that would go on this drive, it just blinked out. Stopped dead in it's tracks mid-transfer. I can't bring the drive back online, and ran a diagnostic when i was able to see the drive finally and that said it was fine. All of the videos from my cameras were on there and are now lost if i can't recover the drive. My laptop was dying from the load, so i already deleted them from there, figuring i already moved them, and they'd be backed up in short order.

So that's bad, right? Only got to edit one video and post it before this happened, and without pulling a youtube hack, i can't even get that file back. RJ is going back to college this week, and i hadn't gotten his files from him yet, so i called him up to do the transfer, especially if i've lost everything...

His drive just died over the weekend and he's scrambled to get it back up and running before he goes, because Apple's Time Machine wiped the drive. Yesterday was a train of phone calls and texts along the lines of "Well, at least your footage is still on miniDV, how long will it take to transfer, you have to do it at school because you leave in a few hours, how do we move that much in files around, either overnight a hard drive or leave me the tapes even though i have no miniDV camera to convert them or know anyone who does.

This is a headache. Can't anything be smooth? I guess i should be remembering i'm lucky. If breaking open the enclosure and taking the drive out to bypass the USB/Firewire controller doesn't work and the drive IS toast, it would be the first data loss i've ever experienced (due to luck as well as backing up since day one of working on a computer). The only thing that sucks is that this is all my video and photos from the project, which you can't re-create like a term paper (that may or may not be due in a matter of hours).


Are we there yet?

How did I ever think that this project would be done on (the original) time? I keep thinking that I'm almost done, just a little bit more to do, and then look at my list and it feels like there's just as much to do as there was 2 weeks ago. Greg's off mixing someone else at Tarquin this week, so I'm determined to have a boatload done before he gets back, big stuff and all the little bits floating around in my vocals.

Worked on arranging Pete's vocals from the other night. He was pretty dead on! If you ever wanted to hear what Cherry Red Heart would sound like with Johnny Cash and Fred Schnider singing backups, we can now tell you. But you'll all find out soon enough.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going for the gold

So, Greg stopped by at the perfect time last night. He was just coming to grab payment I'd left for him, but he walked in just as Nat and I were going to throw the Protools rack out the window (well, if we had windows, this IS a basement) because it wouldn't boot correctly. Nat had already been there fighting with it for over an hour, and I had just showed up and tried all the things he already did. The voice mail i left him i think ended up sounding like "Hi Greg, call me as soon as you get a chance, bad things are happening with the hardware and I cant ohmygodisthedooropeningNatisthatGregnow?"

Literally, he opened the door with light streaming in behind him, because it's pretty dark in the control room. a total godsend.

A few screwdrivers later showed us the inside of Protools 002, where Greg proceeded to pull our some cables and jumpers to do the old "pull out, blow on it, put it back in" trick NES fans are all too familiar with. Apparantly humidity causes 002 to loose it's brain. I've been wanting to switch to Protools, but I don't know if i have the money to buy a Protools rig, a new MacBookPro and run an additional dehumidifier!

Cellos have been edited. We might do an alternate mix of cello & flute on Chiaroscuro, it sounds so good on its own.

Greg just got a good piece of news: it looks like he is going to be getting his first gold record! It's for his work on Interpol's "Antics". Hopefully his boss' good luck and skill has rubbed off enough on him so that he can get another gold record for his work with Talking to Walls!

Monday, August 18, 2008

the score of my life

We just had a full day of orchestra tracking in my kitchen for Chiaroscuro. Dan Prindle from Rane (one of my favorite bands for a few years after college) came down with his cello, and proceeded to play all 4 parts of the string section, instead of us having to find two violins and a viola on top of cello. All in the right range, and really, how can you have too much cello? It's the most beautiful instrument mankind has ever produced.

Maya, Greg's gf, came over afterwards and played flute for the same song. The trumpet person we were hoping to use didn't work out, so I spent some time finding someone while Nat "conducted" and otherwise oversaw the whole thing. Nat had written out the whole score, which is really really cool. Something you pick up as a music major, I guess. For months though, all we had to work with was a MIDI file he'd created, which sounded more like we were going to be characters in Dragon Warrior than making a rock record. Suffice it to say, Krupa and I have been constantly making cracks about villages and swords and jellies since we can't hear the detail Nat's imagining.

Lead on a trumpet player - called Tony & Rick from Cosmic Jibaros, who seem to know everyone. Tony answered, just as he was crossing the Mexico border on his honeymoon, apparantly. Told me the guy from Pencilgrass is still around, to look him up. Pencilgrass? Awesome. There was a band that could have gone places...

Spent the rest of the day rewriting the lyrics to Chiaroscuro. It started life as "Kelly Song", which I'd played in my solo shows for years. Went from being a jokey song to something really cool and intricate. Between Pete's rearranging of the song, Nat's orchestra and Matt's layered drumming arrangements, it has become a really strong song. My lyrics were starting to sound really lame, even though i already finished vocals. So it's a rewrite, using the one or two key phrases i liked and throwing out the rest. Never did that before. All more more indication that this record is different from every other.

A day with great cello playing filling the house makes life much better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ferraris no go vroom

Nat's freaking new Mesa that he spent all that money on is a beast. It's REALLY heavy for it's size, and has a million knobs on the front. (Ok, i'm exaggerating, but not by a lot. We counted 16 knobs on the front with 5 faders, another 12 maybe on the back, with like 18 jacks and switches...for a guy who's not really into effects or things, he has more going on than my pedal board that seats 4 for dinner. A 5 or 6 button footswitch controls the whole thing.) Yes, it sounds great, but takes a while to get it adjusted.

With all of that, it started to make some bad noises! So we sent it over to Don to work on it, got it back, and now there's a new problem with it. Making matters worse, Nat's leaving for Maine on Saturday for two weeks and won't be back until the day before we start mixing, and that's when he has to be tied up with the orchestra! So he's got a ton to do, and looks like the Marshall and the Vox will have to do for everything else he has left (His Ampeg is causing problems now too.)

I don't know how we're going to finish.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Toys in the Attic (er, basement)

We now have a museum of guitar equipment at our disposal. If you told me years ago that not only would we work in a big posh 48 track studio, but that we would also have a pile of vintage and reissued amps and guitars at our disposal, I'd think you a bigger dreamer than me. The reality that we actually own some of this stuff now is only starting to hit me, which is not something i ever thought i would have done.

Nat found a Mesa Mark IV for $1200 up in Hartford, and he's really liking it. It's been a pipe dream for him to own one since he tried one years ago, and since this is the album of pipe dreams becoming reality, why not go for it. When Greg first came over to consult with us after accepting this project, he took a listen to my Fender RocPro and was trying to say as nicely as possible "I don't really like your amp. It's very muddy, it won't track well. We should see if we can get our hands on a Vox AC30. If you're thinking of getting any new gear for the studio for this project (which I'd asked him about), that should be something you look into, it's versitile and the resell value is good." (Nat's hoping we can pay for half the record through gear speculation :)

The next morning I'd found some on Ebay, and was texting & emailing Greg "How's this one? Is this the AC30 you meant? (There are a few)." Before he even had a chance to get his messages, I'd gone over to Guitar Center, tried one, and did a "Buy It Now" on ebay for $900 including a roadcase, which is an ABSOLUTE STEAL. (Seller, I found out in my extended phone conversation with the guy, needed a new roof, and needed money fast, hence the price.) Anyway, Greg gets all these messages ending with "I bought one, will be here in a few days", and was happy that we were going to pay attention to his suggestions, and surprised that I turned around and spent that much money so fast and early on based on his suggestion. Gave him a good vibe for the project, he said.

He's done more than we have, so his experience is what we need, so I figured I couldn't really go wrong. Got me thinking that as we get away from our old sound, maybe it's time to rethink the tools. I've never thought i would spend more than a couple hundred on an amp. But, to get great results you need the right tools!

So we have those amps. We also borrowed a Marshall JCM 800 from Matt Wilson (Titles), a Tube Screamer (the proper one, not a crappy rebuild) pedal, and a Gibson Les Paul, the Custom Maynard Keenan one (which is way to heavy to hang around one's neck for too long). Add to that the Ampegs that Nat and I already had, the Fender (which we will use for something at some point) the numerous guitars and pedals we already own... We have now the exact setups for guys that we might to sound like, without planning on it that way. Nat wants a Slash-in-th-churchyard solo for Fine Man? Check. Kirk Hammet's sound? Check. Billy Corgan? Yup. Edge? Let's pull out my analog delay and the rest of his main pedals... Dropkick Murphys? Blink 182? The list just goes on. We're only missing a Rickenbacker, but we won't need it anyway.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The longest day

This is one of the few times since I started making music that I would rather be somewhere else. After accomplishing yesterday's impossible task, I just want to sleep or at least do nothing. But, there will be time for that later.

Today we moved into my studio. Poor Greg was stuck in stopped traffic on 95 with only one working window, and it was boiling out (still kinda warm). Today, instead of getting guitars started, we'revdoing guide vocals. Greg's going to set up every song and do some "stuff" to the recording (like mix enough to be listenable) and then I will do vocal takes that will not end up on the record. It sounds easy enough, but this album is the hardest collection of songs I've ever worked on, so I still have to work at it. All while getting depressed over how bad some of them are, even though they don't matter.

Oh well, its all part of the job. Lots of time to kill between takes, but I spend it working on other stuff.

I just found out my friend Christine's dad died last weekend. Sudden heart attack. Funeral's tomorrow, and I don't think I can get out of work. "yeah, I just took three days off, and I know that this should be a busy week for me, and I'm going to be in and out all the next two weeks as well, but I need the morning off." but I really want to go, she's my best friend's fiance's best friend. I know him since second grade, and it's the same thing on their end. I've gotten to know her quite a bit in the last few months, and this is the type of thing that would really seal the friendship and show my feelings, you know? More than just a friend of a friend. This is something a friend does. And I can't pull it. She is definitely daddy's little girl. She's told me a bunch about her family, but you can see how much she glows when she talks about her dad. A really gregarious man after my own heart. I got to meet him at their last family party, (memorial day?) a big red-meat eating, frie
ndly strong-armed man who makes sure you have a drink in on hand and fork in the other. One of those good people you get the immediate vibe for when you meet him. He'll be missed.

As soon as I got the email with the news, greg called me in to sing fine man, the song I wrote for my own father the day before he died. I'm a little weirded out still.

Was hoping that it would yield some brilliant vocal performance, but sadly, no. Nothing worthy of a tribute

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How are we still standing?

13 songs. 10 hours. That's exceedingly nuts.

Matt deserves a medal for getting us through today. We had absolutely no time to waste if we wanted to get this record done. The drums have to be done at Firehouse before we move to my studio - I can't get the big room sound needed. And an extra day tomorrow would be more money unless we take it from the days we would spend mixing (back at Firehouse). And Greg is loathe to lose a mixing day.

Pete came in today, which was good. we've not seen him a lot lately, and i was glad he was able to join us for this exciting time. He doesn't know a few songs still, so he was able to hang with Greg in the control room and whatnot and just soak it all in.

Anyway, we got through all the songs we needed to, with 40 minutes to spare. So we decided to pound through as much of the bonus material we were hoping to do. And got three songs done in 20 minutes. Why that didn't work like that for the rest of the day I'll never know.

Matt did his first ever drum loops today. All live drums, but double tracking drums on top of eachother. Sounds cool, has a weird butterfly effect sometimes. just pure beauty. RJ helped him out with his snare, turning it on and off, during walkway, so we could get through the song. Two people required to play one drum part.

After the session, we needed to unwind, so Nat and Matt (or Krupa, as he shall be called for the obvious confusion) and I went to Pepe's for some pie since the bar that's downstairs in the studio wasn't open.

We have some new phrases to use in conversation now. One is "Bob's your uncle", which is a weird English way of tying up an explination and saying "and all of a sudden, there you have it".

"I was looking for my keys this morning and Bob's your uncle, they were already in my pocket".

The other new phrase is "have a poop", which is to relax, take a few minutes, just chill and not work. It's not English slang, it's just Nat... We have more new phrases, but i can't seem to remember them, so I guess they're not sticking yet.

We're still looking for a Mesa Boogie Mark IV for Nat to buy or borrow for when guitar recording starts. Do you know anyone??

I'm going to bed. The two cases of Dr. Pepper are starting to wear off. Hey, Dr. Pepper, our record will be out before Chinese Democracy. Can we have a sponsorship?

Monday, July 14, 2008

You’re all clear, kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home ...

Now I feel like we're a real band. Firehouse 12 is the kind of studio I always wanted to work in.

We met up this morning with Greg Giorgio, who will be producing and engineering our record over the next month or so. He's my friend Maya's boyfriend, so I've had a good vibe about him for a while. When he came over to my studio a few weeks ago to start talking about what we all wanted, we could already see where his mind was headed and that he was the right choice for us. He records at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, and has done bands like Interpol, Mates of State, and Tokyo Police Club. More importantly, he's recorded the National, and they're one of my favorite bands of the last 5 years. I want to try to get some of Matt Beringer's vocal sound, like on Alligator, on one of Nat's new songs, so who better to make that happen! His boss is on paternity leave for the summer, so the studio's closed making Greg available. We'll see if he doesn't hate us before this is all over.

So we got all loaded in and comfortable, and left Matt to pound away for a few hours as they got drum sounds. Studio time is a lot of waiting, so Nat and our video guy RJ and I kept tabs on the voting for the contest we're in - we open for Coldplay if we win, and we're finalists, and took turns telling everyone we know to vote, shopping for studio stuff last minute, etc.

When we did Naked a few years ago, we did all of the drums in one day - a few hours of getting sounds and then WHAM! did all the songs without expecting to. That ended up leaving us with some limitations in the end, and we always wished we'd taken the second day we said we would and space it out more. This time, we have two days to do drums, already booked. Or we did.

We have 11 songs or so to record over two days. How many did we do today? One. That's not good. Once sounds were gotten, Greg and Matt ended up re-writing the drum line for the song we started playing, so there was a bit of re-learning for Matt and that sucked up the time. Plus he was getting a bit worn out, and we had to end earlier than planned at the request of the studio. Thus, he's now a bit freaked that we have to pull a Naked all over again, if we can't book an extra day Wednesday. Can't say I blame him, I'm a bit stressed myself.

Hope springs eternal

So, after all these years of making records and what not, this is finally the moment that I've waited for. The feeling that we're going to start a new record tomorrow and things will never be the same again.

Maybe I've felt that every time, but I swear this time is different. Its like Christmas Eve as a kid - tomorrow morning's going to bring the best one yet. I guess without eternal optimism life goes nowhere fast, at least for me.

So I've decided to start this blog as a way of keeping track of what we'll be doing, what we've done. A gritty detailed account of a not-so-gritty band. We're not hiding heroin habits. We don't date supermodels. We've never tried to punch out each other. Hell, we've each been known to enjoy a quiet night at home from time to time. Anyway, if you're reading this, you should probably stop, since I tend to type as I think (or talk) and get really long winded.

Some history...

This record, which has no name other than "2008 album" as of right now, was very well not going to happen. As documented elsewhere, we ended 2007 pretty low in the water. Mike left, we had no replacement guitarist, and we had hit a creative wall in some ways. Some possible paths to go, but rather than force the issue we cancelled the last couple of shows in December (Pete broke his hand and I lost my voice) and just took a vacation for a month or so. For my part, I locked myself in the studio for a few days to jot down on tape some ideas that I'd never fleshed out, as well as to try my hand at new songs (hard time writing in the past year) and experiment with some covers. 18 songs later I called it The January Tapes and when we reconvened, we had something to start with that the guys could sift through and decide if there was anything worthwhile to take further. We also met a guy named Nat Webb at this time, and THANK HOLY HEAVEN that he came around with his guitar when he did. Amazing player, amazing person, and he liked our songs. Suddenly, taking on the juggernaut of life in a band became desireable again. We did two gigs with him - one mostly forgettable, which brought up the "oh boy here we go again, why do i put myself and others through this", and the other was one of the top 3 or 4 shows i've ever played in my life. Yes, this thing is possible and worth it!

Like a lot of things in life, suffering & pain is necessary to get to the good stuff. And that is why Matt is now sitting on my couch watching Blue Harvest at 9:30 on a Sunday night. Tomorrow morning we will be setting up at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, where we will spend a few days tracking for our new record! We just did a last ditch cramming session today for a few hours, and we leave tomorrow morning. Woohoo!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're a Finalist to open for Coldplay - help vote!

Talking to Walls has just been named a FINALIST in the Open for Coldplay Contest! Please help the cause by voting here: Our video is 4th from the bottom - the one for "Cut Out". If we can win it, we'll be running our own contest for our people to get free tickets...


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Peter's on the front page of

Our very own Peter Shindler was just featured on the front page of in their new "Unplugged" series. Check it out!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Now that the writer's strike is over, Krupa's back to work

Here's a pitch I've been working on for a new reality show:

You get three good looking chicks and three good looking guys who think they're going to date each other, but instead, they get locked in a room and chimps throw their shit at them. And then at the end of the season, they have the cast wrap up party and chimps throw shit at them again. The working title is 'Love Ain't All It's Crapped Up To Be'.

Pass it on, I think it has potential with the reality crowd; I'm going to need royalties, though.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Talking to Walls! Now with 25% more rock!

Talking to Walls! Now with 25% more rock!

Know what rocks harder than Steve Perry's mullet? Well, nothing actually. It's pretty sweet. I mean, look at it:

Know what rocks almost as much as Steve Perry's mullet? Talking to Walls would like to announce the addition of our new guitarist, Nat Webb! After a lengthy audition process, we selected a guitarist that both rocked and had Steve Perry-esque locks of hair. Well, not so much the hair, but the attitude of the hair. The very essence of the sweaty rock-mullet. Check him
out in the bio section.

Check out the new Talking to Walls line up this Saturday, March 1st at Wesleyan University, 200 Church Street, Middletown, CT, 4:30pm. This show will benefit vaginas in some way. "In what way will this benefit vaginas" you ask? Well, I guess you'd better show up and find out.

(Actually, it's a benefit called V-Day with the proceeds going to a local women's the math.)

For more on Talking to Walls, mullets and vaginas, check out*!

Do it, you'll be glad you did!

*may not contain any material on Steve Perry or vaginas. In fact it probably won't.


Monday, February 11, 2008


there is apparantly no justice in this world.  feist didn't win a single grammy tonight.

well, maybe there is SOME justice.  Herbie Hancock did win best record.  first jazz record in years.  go figure.  i didn't see it coming...


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Quick note from TtW HQ

Just a quick break in our radio silence… Talking to Walls is not a politcal-based band, as most of you know. Matt, Peter and I know where we stand, and this email is not an attempt to tell you who to vote for.

With the coming primaries on Tuesday, all we ask is that if you are old enough to vote, and are registered, please do so. If you're not old enough, remind those in your home to do it. And tell them what YOU think.

To register to vote:

Having trouble telling the candidates apart? Check out this great link I found that compares them all by issue:

10 minutes to find the candidate who's RIGHT FOR YOU. It can't get easier than this.


See, a painless political email. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Year, New Blog Format

Well, here we are, a new year, and we're moving our news and blog postings
to to make things easier. Hopefully, this will also mean it
will be easier to hear Matt's hilarious take on band life and van troubles.

But first things first. I just handed in a 20 song demo to the rest of the
band as we figure out what the heck we're gonna do next as we try to pull
the proverbial rabbit out of the equally proverbial hat. And working on
some more songs for another round...