July 15th, 2005
On the eve of the very exciting release date of my fifth album, I want to make a few comments on how I feel before my ecstasy gets tainted by commentary and criticism.
This album (Unnatural) feels to me to be my absolute best work. It is everything I ever imagined it to be, and I can’t believe I finally produced what I wanted in an album — completely. On all of my albums, it is plainly evident the type of music and the style of playing I was into at the time, but this album is more. For once, I can hear all of my influences directly culminating in each song.
I can tell where Rush has influenced me and where the Crash Test Dummies inspired me and where the hours of rock radio I have listened to have inspired me, where bassists and drummers and guitarists and songwriters have influenced me, where my friends and family have influenced me, as well as many other influences. I finally hear those influences directly and immediately instead of maybe not at all. I also hear the songs I mentioned in an earlier post. I have spent a lot of time recently deliberately remarking other peoples’ styles and methods of playing instruments and have incorporated them into my songs–not as deliberate plagiarism, but as a way of using tools to bringing out the best of my songs. It’s the same as the way a chef uses the right spices to make his salmon perfect, because on top of it all is my very strong nuance of musicianship. Finally, I think I have created an album with a deliberate sound and style.
Even further, for this I pulled out all the musical stops. I tried very hard to pump every bit of energy out of every instrument into every song that I could, and I think this is an album that rhythm guitarists, bassists, drummers, lyricists, and any musician can appreciate. The themes are in place, and the performances are striking, even though I am not a great vocalist. The lead guitar is where I finally let myself go in order to really show who I am as a guitarist, and for me it is breathtaking.
Lyrically, I have finally delivered the message I’ve been striving for while maintaining a contextual theme within the lyrics and the music–that theme being anthropomorphology and the human animal. It is very obvious to me, as well, the direct influences for me musically. Playing with people in person has inspired me to profound heights musically, and those influences are specifically evident.
So, with that, I am unleashing Unnatural on the world with the hope that everyone else can get even a little taste of the joy I derive from it. To this date, this is my definitive work, and I hope I can maintain this level of creativity for more albums to come. Everything about it is a culmination of who I am as an artist, and I hope you enjoy it. As of this moment, Unnatural is distributable. (Let’s assume I posted this at midnight.)