Inspiration, pessimism, and not taking shit for granted

it’s a wild ride, sometimes… most of the time, actually. it’s up and down, inspired then depressed, adored and rejected, hopeful then pessimistic. it’s mostly the business side of the music that is all those things though, not the music itself. however, they can be hard to separate.

this summer i was super busy with music. it was a lot of ups: the new band, fun shows, writing, feeling inspired and riding a wave. i love playing with this new band. i love getting to move onstage, free from that trap of guitar strap and mic stand. i love having the songs interpreted through the hands and minds of five trusted friends.

but september came and traveling to france was a mix… it was great to be back there, to reconnect with loyal fans and friends… but the music biz has taken a hit since i was last there. it’s becoming more like america – more corporate, more strapped-for-cash, profit-driven… the mid-size indie labels i’ve worked with in the past all have had to either get bigger and team up with the majors, or have fizzled out. it’s frustrating. and sad. and it took the wind out of my sails a little bit.

and it was hard being away from my five-year-old daughter for that long: nine days, the longest we’ve been apart.

when i came back, i took the band to richmond to work with my favorite engineer/producer: john morand at sound of music studios. richmond is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from my house, which wasn’t much of a big deal when i was a transient 20-something, but now that i’m a (single) mom, it seems like more of a challenge… but i guess wherever i do the album it will be a balancing act i didn’t have to perform before…

so, because of the distance, i had tried to find a place closer to home to make this record, but once i got back with john i realized: you don’t take that kind of relationship for granted. john has been my mentor and co-producer and friend since the beginning of my music career when i was 17. there is something special there, something you don’t find everyday or in every working relationship. i’m so lucky to have that, he’s been a major influence on my sound and style, in a very understated and supportive way. why would i sacrifice that for the inconvenience of a 75-minute drive??

sometimes my pessimism about the music business, and the new requirement to be a self-promoting marketing genius entrepreneur as well as a talented hard-working artist, just about sends me ranting and raving into a frenzy of frustration.

but i promised myself i wouldn’t let that stop me from making another record. i made ‘chroreography’ in 2005, and ‘broken’(from that record) just somehow surged in popularity in the last two years. so that proves that you never know: the music has it’s own destiny, it’s my job to just keep making it.