april 2014: i was about to meet Ted for the first time and i was already soaked through my t-shirt with sweat. it felt like a thousand degrees outside and we were standing in brooklyn outside an ‘exit only’ style door, on a well-worn street covered in rusted warehouses. i really hoped we were in the right place and not about to be on an episode of COPS. Ted was our new audio engineer my manager had found through a work friend. he had an impressive track record; everything he had done thus far in his career exceeded anything i had ever done in regards to musical professionalism. he was the third engineer/producer that we’d be working with, and was by far the most qualified. i honestly felt a bit out of my league just being there, waiting at the door outside his relatively new studio warehouse, partly still under construction, that he proudly dubbed ‘outer space.’ meanwhile, i’m still sweating my ass off.
flash forward six weeks. Ted had killed all the lights in the studio. he was trying to set the mood for the vocal tracks i was putting down. “can we get this guy some weed, please?!” jokingly yells Ted. he wants me in the zone. i was sitting in my own eight by ten foot room, looking through glass walls into the main recording room, big enough to fit an orchestra. i could see the boys behind their own glass wall in the control room about thirty feet away. this studio warehouse we were in was the largest building solely dedicated to the creation of music i had ever been in. it had so many rooms, instruments, equipment, thai food delivery menus, and scattered liquor bottles that i didnt know what to do with myself. ‘outer space’ was ‘heaven on earth,’ and i was nervous as hell. “this is it, man. dont fuck it up now. this is the one people are going to hear.” the voice of bassist Kyle came in through my headphones.
“just do you, bro. try to slip back into that groove, just like when you wrote the song. i’m gonna lay down some synth, feel your vibe, just go with it.” fucking Kyle. he has no idea the brilliance he’s incorporated to this album.
flash forward six more weeks: “fucking Kyle, man.” Ted (nicknamed “shweppes” at this point for his love of seltzer water..he hates that nickname) looks back smiling at my manager as we listen to the playbacks of all the tracks. Kyle had since moved back to LA and therefore in his absence, “fucking Kyle” slowly became the tagline for anything that sounded ripe on the track. we were all sitting in Ted’s mixing room and making instrumental additions in the mini recording booth. adding auxiliary percussion of all kinds (yeah…there’s a rainstick. boom.), guitar leads, piano hooks, synths; you name it. this was where we really turned these songs into pieces, and this collection into an album.
six weeks later: my manager and i are listening to the mastered tracks we had just gotten back through the monitors in his bedroom. i mumble “fucking Kyle” as he smiles. the subtle piano notes, the background guitar licks, the pattern of the drums. each song a buildup, beginning with just a guitar and my voice. as the groove moves forward, the songs escalate and bloom into a wall of sound by their end. i don’t think at the time of recording, we knew what we had done here.
and now here we are. the album is finished. the ribbons and bows are being tied on and tightened. come september the first tracks will be released. october 17 ‘the honesty theory’ will drop in its entirety. recorded and mixed in ‘outer space.’
cheers.,,from my manager and i.