Today. Right now. At this very moment “To Live And Die In Your Arms” is available worldwide on Noble Steed Music. Just typing that seems funny to me- as I 1000% thought I would never do this again. That I couldn’t do this again. The ability to write, especially perform something so personal to me as well as the passion and dedication nessacary to record and push new material seemed to escape me for a while. It was crippling really- to do something in one way or another since you were a child of 5 years old and then to suddenly stop- or rather have it taken from you… it was a lot to bear.
Without getting to personal, the last few years of my life left me feeling more alone and hopeless than I ever had before. The funny thing about loneliness- it seems to breed more loneliness, and in turn I spent more and more time watching the world go by. Watching everyone live their lives. I started making plans to rid myself of any and all instruments and actually had visions of living under a bridge somewhere. But just when it seemed darkest, and for whatever reason, I started to write again. At first, just some random melodies and then full songs. It felt like talking to an old friend- someone who knows every part of you and never judges. I felt like this is what I am supposed to do with my life again... I felt like I had a life again.
The early material wasn’t all amazing (I wish I could say it was, but I think you have to write some “stinkers” to get to the good ones… the trick is learning the difference between the two), but it was enough to get me excited about the possibility of something better. Better songs, a better me, a better life. Slowly and delicately I amassed a collection of songs that I was genuinely proud of- something that if you know me, you know is not something I can easily say. Someone said “with pain, comes great art”, and I couldn’t agree more.
I remember meeting with Dave Pittenger, who would after a long while end up producing this thing, and showing him very early versions of a lot of these songs. The ideas that we shared and instrumentation that we could both hear on the tunes seemed new and fresh and most of all exciting. Leaving that meeting I knew that Dave was “the guy”, I just couldn’t afford it. You may or may not be surprised to know how terrible a divorce is for your bank account, and since I am not an artist with financial sponsors or a wealthy family, I had to figure out a way to raise the capitol. Enter Kickstarter.
Now, if you have ever believed anything that I have ever said, let it be this: I SWEAR ON ANYTHING HOLY I THOUGHT WE WOULDN’T MAKE THE GOAL. While setting up the campaign, picking rewards, making the video, etc I totally thought that all of this was not going to work. I didn’t think that anyone other than select members of my family would care. Honestly, I know that sounds a tad depressing but I consider myself something of a realist. It never occured to me that so many of you, that I have been so damn fortunate to meet and play for, cared as much as you did/do and that you would all be so generous. Everytime I got an update that someone else had donated, I smiled so hard and eventually had the thought to myself that “we could do this”.
I say “we” as after all of this, I felt like I was a part of something. That we all were a part of something. That maybe- scratch that, that there were DEFINITELY people out there that felt like I did. Like we could all relate. It was the most exhilatering and amazing feeling that I had known thus far- that “holy shit, it’s working” feeling. The Kickstarter campaign actually exceeded the original goal! Shocked, elated, vindicated, hopeful.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the Kickstarter campaign raised just under half of the nessacary recording budget, but it was enough to go ahead and get started. Late October found me in Nashville working close with Dave on the select tunes we thought would make for a great record and hopefully speak for me better than I could. Those few weeks would prove to be life changing and we created what I know to be the best record I have EVER been a part of. I saw what a talent Dave is and how skilled a producer he was. I heard what my songs could be. I fell in love- HARD- with recording again. Even with my typical attitude (not the most optimistic guy sometimes) Dave was nothing but positive, and encouraging, and everything a friend/producer should be. I owe him a lot for those weeks- they mean more to me than he could know.
Dave and I played every instrument that we could get our grubby little mitts on, but every good record needs a kick ass drummer on it. I turned to maybe the nicest guy I know, and an even better drummer: Joe Barrick from the incredible Sam Grow Band. I met the SGB while on tour with Ingram Hill in the fall of 2012 and within hours of the first show we were all fast friends. I felt like I had known them for years, and we have stayed close ever since. When I knew that I was going to do this thing- I reached out to Joe who simply replied, “HELL YEAH!”. We figured out what day would work and when it came time to record drums- Joe showed up with his amazing attitude and KILLED IT. Six songs in fewer hours, some of which he had never heard before. He played them with ease- like he had been banging these things out for years. I knew the drums would be great when he agreed to do them- but holy shit are they something else. They elevate these songs to a whole other level, he is just that damn good.
After recording, the months that followed found me listening to mixes and making adjustments with Dave. The songs seemed to all have their own unique sound and vibe, but somehow sounded like they all were a part of the same thing- they belonged together. I actually started to perform again. Where I used to feel so alive started to make me feel that way again, and you guys really seemed to respond well to the new material. I would get a lot of “what was that new song?” after shows- I would in turn smile and say “just wait”, as I was in on the secret: this record was going to kick some fucking ass- brace yourself.
The mixing was finished. Off it went to Cass Anawaty for mastering and came back somehow sounded sweeter than it did before. I have had “industry professionals” tell me that my previous records weren’t “radio ready” and couldn’t figure out what exactly that meant. I get it now. Sonically, this thing delivers in every way the others hadn’t and couldn't. It’s clear without being “slick” or “polished”. You can hear every instrument ring through. It’s pretty when it has to be, dirty where it needs to be (as any good rock n’ roll record should). It’s everything I dreamt that it could be.
The worst part of finishing the record was the thought, “well what the hell do I do with it now?”. You can make the best record ever but without the right team behind it, people might never hear it. Thats where Jason Spiewak comes in. Jason and I had a good relationship working together for the past few years and he had been cheerleader when I needed him to be during this whole “dark” time. There was actually a show he invited me to play in New York a while ago that stands out to me. It happened to fall in the middle of one of the worst weeks of my life and it must have shown. Without me saying a word to him, he came up behind me, nudged me in the shoulder to let me know he was there, and said, “…Well you can’t quit. You’re too good to quit.”. He went on to say some really nice things that he didn’t have to and gave me a bit of a kick in the proverbial ass that I needed. He doesn’t know it- but that talk meant the world to me.
I had sent Jason a finished copy of the record and when we finally spoke about it- he said he loved it, and thought that we could do some great things with it. The talks were really easy and before I knew it, I had a record deal. It was that simple. Instantly I knew that this record would do what it could. It was in the very capable hands of Jason and Erin Hinjos, and I was joining some great company of friends who have all released incredible material i.e., Andrea Nardello, Matt Duke, Tony Lucca, Honor By August, and many others. We began promoting it and getting ready for the big day.
Today. Right now. At this very moment. It has all lead to this. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone that helped. To Dave, Joe, Cass, Jason and Erin. To my amazing support system. To anyone reading this. This is proof that you can come back. As dark as it was, as hopeless as I felt, here I am. I’m still here, and I have you all to thank for it. I love you all more than you could know.
“To Live And Die In Your Arms”. And live again.
Hey everyone, good news! You can now beat the rush and preorder the new record as of right…….NOW!
Go get it. Please and thanks.
TWENTY. MORE. DAYS!!! Twenty more days and we let the world in on this… I CAN NOT WAIT!
In the mean time, I have been posting these every few days to give a little background to the record, Hope you enjoy!
Here we go… I am pleased to announce that I have signed, and the new EP, “To Live And Die In Your Arms” will be released August 19th on Noble Steed Music! This really has been a long time in the making and I am super stoked to be in such great company as Tony Lucca, Andrea Nardello, Honor By August, Brendan James, Matt Duke and a slew of others. Thank you all for your continued support and kind words- I literally could not do this without you. I will no doubt see you all very soon…
Wow, it’s been a while. Just wanted to give ya an update as to where I am at…
I recently went down to Nashville and put the finishing touches on the record. A few guitars, harmonies, bells and whistles later and my part was over- it was out of my grubby little mitts and into the very capable hands of Dave Pittenger. Since then he has been fast at work mixing everything, and making me sound like I know what I am doing, as well as tracking down special players and instruments for the perfect atmosphere for some of these tunes…
I also recently played a rare home show at The Webster Theatre in Hartford, CT. I love playing here and they always take care of me. A big thank you to everyone that came out and had a blast with me. Thank you to the crew for putting up with my crowd, and thank you to everyone for letting me try out a bunch of new material. Y’all seemed to like it, so if ya didn’t, I guess thank you for making me think you did.
So what now? Today I recieved some final mixes of the new songs and it is SO CLOSE to being done! A few more mixes, a hopefully quick mastering session and boom, we have a record ladies and gents. From there I will be uploading it for a few weeks for all the amazing kickstarter pledgers to get a first listen while it’s off being pressed. As soon as I get those I will be sending it out along with all the other cool stuff you guys got in the kickstarter, as well as getting it to as manydifferent places for review. We also have some things in the works that if they work out… oh, oh man… you’ll be proud of your ol’ friend Jer.
I know I keep saying this, but you couldn’t possibly know what it means to me so I will say it again: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! It means the world to me and I wouldn’t be able to do this without you.
See you soon.
Hey guys, just wanted to give ya a heads up- I have let one of the cats out of the bag, and released the cover art for the new record! Hoping to have this in your hands soon… Here ya go!
Happy New Year! Those of you that know me know my reputation of lateness, so actually I am right on time with this one.
This year was a tough one but we are all still here- a little more bruised but here never the less. Thank you to everyone who made this year easier to get through, your support means the world!
2014 promises to be a pretty big year with the new record coming out, and hopefully some new tourdates to tell you all about soon! Seriously, I feel like I haven’t seen you guys in forever… I promise I am doing my damnedest to rectify that. I CAN NOT WAIT to get these new tunes to you all…
Miss ya, love ya, blah blah blah… see you soon
Just a quick update: I have gotten a few mixes back for the new record and DAMN I can’t wait for you all to hear this! I will have some updates soon I swear- everything from new merch designs to sneak peaks of the tunes to unveiling the cover art.
I hope you guys love it!
I am home. Tired, battling the remnants of a cold that was not too pleasant, and working on the recharge my batteries so desperately need. But before I get to all of that, I wanted to tell you about the incredible time I had making what I believe to be the BEST RECORD I HAVE EVER BEEN A PART OF. I simply can't wait for you guys to hear everything we did.
For those of you that don't know, I had the pleasure of recording with Dave Pittenger who in addition to being a sweet and funny guy is a FUCKING MONSTER of a producer. This was something that was actually in the works a while back- I have known Dave for a while, but when we met to talk about working together he was great. From the word go he not only shared the vision I had for these songs but had great ideas on improving them. Many thanks to Dave and Jason Spiewak for setting this up.
I came to Nashville (my newest crush) and within an hour of landing we had started on this thing. Dave has the same relentless work ethic that I do, and it shows in his results. Everything about the process was a ton of fun and between impromptu buisness meetings and Chipotle breaks the time seemed to fly by. Before I knew it these songs- these sketches that I hadn't really played for too many people, started to not only sound great but better than I thought they would have. I orginally saw this as a very intimate record, one where I wouldn't be accompanied by much more than a guitar and some kick drum…. nope. This thing has grit, dirt, and feeling. It has whatever it needed to.
Most of you got that this was going to be not only a special project but a very personal one. I guess my songs are always a part of me but these were directly about what I had been going through the last few years of my life. I can tell you that I have never been so honest and open and as scary a thing that was, it was cathartic tenfold. What surprised me about the way they turned out was how powerful they are. Each in their own way, each with it's own vibe, these are emotions I have worked my whole career to try and convey… let me just say- these songs bring the heavy…
And the heavy they bring, wouldn't be possible without some HUGE drums behind them. So who better to get behind that kit than one of my favorite people in the world: The mighty Joe Barrick from the amazing Sam Grow Band. I have been so lucky to know these guys for the incredible talents they are, as well as the amazing people they are. Joe was gracious to come down and straight up MURDER these tunes for me- most of which he hadn't even heard before. Know that as great as I think they are (hopefully you'll all agree), they are that much better due to his incredible playing.
So now we wait. The record is being mixed and mastered, and I should have something relatively soon. The amazing people who backed the Kickstarter will get the first taste, and the rest of you will just have to wait. I hope you are as excited to hear them as I am to get them heard.
I'll have updates soon, and I will be announcing new shows hopefully sooner (I have some pretty awesome things in the works..). Thank you again to everyone who made this possible. I love you all more than you could know.
To Live And Die In Your Arms…. not soon enough.