I will be heading back to Las Vegas later today after having a great time mixing our album with Bryan here in Brooklyn, NY. The process is going slowly but we’re very excited about the results so far. We have “first versions” of four songs. First versions are essentially rough drafts. And just like writing a paper, there will be at least a couple revisions per song… unless we decide to mix the record like I used to write papers in college; no revisions at all. Since I am now a “responsible adult”, I won’t let that happen! We recorded 13 songs so we still have our work cut out for us. We’ll keep you posted!!
Hey guys, I arrived in Brooklyn, NY last night to finish the mixing process of the new album with our producer, Bryan Russell. I’ll be here until April 22nd so be sure to check in with me on the site as I’ll be posting more updates as things continue to develop. Happy Spring!!
P.S. Brooklyn is pretty sweet…
If you’ve been keeping up with Avalon Landing and the recording of our new record, then you’ve probably gotten to know a little bit about a guy named Bryan Russell. Bryan joined the members of Avalon Landing on January 25th to produce what will become our first true full-length release. Last Tuesday we said goodbye to Bryan for now, as our time with him in Las Vegas has expired.
We had an awesome couple of months working together as “professionals,” but we also solidified a friendship that we will all miss as we see Bryan settle back into his home in Brooklyn, New York. Things become routine very quickly, especially when you are working towards a common goal in tight quarters. In our tightly knit little house Bryan became a member of Casa de Avalon with little effort at all. We can’t thank him enough for his contributions to the record and are eager to make as much progress towards its release as we can. That is why we have been working non-stop, even since Bryan left last Tuesday.
As Bryan was jumping on a plane Tuesday morning to head to SXSW and ultimately back to Brooklyn (where he’ll be mixing the record with Josh in April), we were plotting how exactly we were going to be completing the tracking process on our own. As many artists have discovered long before us, works of art do not bow to plans, timeframes, deadlines, or any other sort of rational or convenient organizational device. Avalon Landing is no exception. Bryan extended his stay a week, but our drive to make these songs the best they can be pushed us to the last second that we had with him.
So, we continue to push forward, and if you’ve been wondering what we’ve been up to, we can tell you that our house has not yet stopped being a recording studio. With 1600 fewer lbs. of equipment, Bryan has entrusted Josh’s exceptional ear and weird/borderline neurotic/half crazy need for vocals to be perfect personality with the task of recording and choosing appropriate vocal takes for our new songs. We are confident that we can get the job done right, and are relieved to have the time that we want and need in order to put all of our energy into the vocals for the new record. We hope to finish by the week’s end.
Once we send the files off to Bryan we’ll be entering the mixing and mastering stages, and it’s only a matter of a couple weeks before we’ll begin seeing final mixes. We can’t wait to have the songs in our hands, and when we do we intend to give the songs every chance possible to have the biggest release they can get. We are going to take our time planning a release, which includes building a team around us that believes in what we do on tape, but also what we do on the stage. We hope that everyone can hang tight and put their trust in the fact that we are trying to make our first true release one that is unforgettable.
Avalon Landing has a lot of growing to do, and a limitless supply of space. Join us as we push ourselves as far as we can go.
Thanks for all the love and support
We can’t keep going without it
I’m sitting in the studio right now. This week we’ve been working on tracking lead vocals and lead guitars. Things are really coming together and the progress board that we’ve shared pictures of is filling up with X’s. I’m excited. That said, I’ve refrained from bombarding my friends online with how excited I am because I figure you can fill in the blanks yourself once you know we’re recording. I’m excited for all the same reasons that every band in the universe is excited for their new album. I believe it’ll sound great, I love all the songs, and I think it’s a huge step forward for our band. Same old stuff, right?
Then there’s the fact that this is really the beginning of what people thought started a year ago. Really, saying things like this album is a “step forward” or “better” than “the last one” is kind of misleading because the last one wasn’t an album. Or wasn’t intended to be. As I saw it, “Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs” was a collection of material rather than the first true entry into our band’s discography. It makes sense that nobody understood that, and for better or worse it was treated as an album and received and reviewed as such. Regardless of how it was perceived or what it was meant to be, it allowed us to lay a foundation that we are building on right now in this house/studio and for that I am grateful.
I think all five members of the band are excited to release this record we’re working on for a huge variety of reasons. For me personally, I’m excited to release it because it will finally give people an opportunity to get to know me within the context of Avalon Landing, an opportunity that didn’t present itself much on “DD&D”. Just a product of the crazy way the band came together, my contributions included songs like “Have Fun In London” and “Who You Really Are”. While I’m proud of those songs for a number of reasons, they were two of the first songs I ever wrote. They had never seen much light of day on an EP I released in 2007 called “Late Without A Pen”, thus allowing them to be adopted into Avalon Landing and help round out the demo that would launch the band. We were living in different cities at that time, and not many other options for collaborating were feasible. As you could imagine, though, it was difficult to sing songs about someone you haven’t thought of in years and present them as and have them perceived as new material, but it was necessary and gave us material to build on. By listening to “Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs”, you may get the sense that my role is of the acoustic ballad guy. On that release, I suppose I am. One review of the “album” compared ‘London’ to a band called Boyce Avenue. I don’t know who that is or what they do but the point is I didn’t want to know, because I knew it was based off the me from far too long ago for me to be pleased with today.
Things are different now, though. Right now Clayton is tracking lead guitar for a song called Rest In Peace. It was the second song we wrote as a band for the album and was extremely collaborative. For me it was the first time I took a step outside of my usual lyrical tone, the tone heard on “Save Me A Seat” and surely to be heard again as I’ll always have that voice inside me, albeit in hopefully a continually maturing tone. This song is more of a narrative, with nods to my own experiences projected onto a character that isn’t me at all. That was where it came from, at least. I had no idea if it would work on the album, and really still don’t.
Truth be told, I didn’t much like the lyrics to Rest In Peace when I first wrote them. I assumed everyone else wouldn’t like them either, and who knows if they do. Naturally, upon this minor lyrical panic my instinct was to run back to my wheelhouse of lyrics dealing with my standard frustrations presented in the way I’ve always been comfortable with and the way people have always reacted positive to. So for one version present in my notebook I tried that. Changed the words to more “Save Me A Seat” style, and figured it would make me feel better. It became clear how dishonest that was and ultimately I returned to where I started and had to believe in myself for having written what I had written in the first place. Sure, a few changes from the demo to final version happened, but the original tone prevailed and now I’m extremely proud of it. I think between myself and everyone else in the band, we’ve all had those moments. We’ve had to trust ourselves to grow and that our instincts will lead us down the correct path. That personal growth and journey is something that wasn’t even thought about while putting together “Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs”. It was, as I’ll probably always refer to it, the ‘Avalon Landing starter kit”. And that’s perfect, and exactly what it was meant to be, and I’ll always love it for being just that.
I guess I used Rest In Peace as an example to say that it feels good to be presenting songs like this now on record. Songs that I can get behind rather than just an old one nobody ever really heard. Everyone in the band, as well as our producer Bryan, made huge contributions in the realization of this song and that to me is what makes it a true Avalon Landing song off of what will be a true Avalon Landing album.
Today, after a month’s worth of recording, I feel like I’ve reached the culmination of my music career. And by career, I mean non-paying hobby that’s consumed my life for the last ten years. I formed my first band in the summer of 2002 and haven’t looked back since. For a long time I was a pianist and I was a singer. But it never occurred to me that I could be both at the same time…while my friends played different instruments…on the same stage as me…with my parents watching and everything! As time went along and more work was put into the music, I began noticing that not all of the members of the audience at our shows were related to me. Well, that’s a start.
One and a half broken bands later, I find myself in a decked out garage in Las Vegas recording an album with the best group of people I could possibly hope to be a part of. Had I not gone through the highs and lows that Standard Of Living and Keeping Quiet provided, my current circumstance never would have surfaced. I couldn’t be more grateful that it did, because I no longer question what I’m doing with myself. For the first time in my life, I am a full time musician. Mostly because the retail bookstore that I worked at closed down and I chose to make myself 100% available for the recording process by avoiding a new job like the plague. I couldn’t be happier.
I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing and it’s with the right people. Avalon Landing will be releasing an album that I’ve been working towards since I started playing music. And while I hope it’s well received, that’s not what matters to me. I understand that I’m not special. I’m just one of the thousands of dudes trying to make a career out of music. I don’t expect you to buy our record because “we tried real hard”. Hell, I would be shocked if anyone outside of my friends and family cared enough even to read this blog entry. But at the end of the day, we will have created something that otherwise would not have existed. It will forever mark a period in my life where I was exactly where I wanted to be as a musician, regardless of the outcome.
We would like to thank Jarret Keene for mentioning us in this week’s issue of Seven Magazine. Check out the excerpt below:
Vegas piano-centered indie-pop band Avalon Landing launched a website and studio blog to document the making of their first proper album. The group has converted its practice pad into a studio and seems pretty dedicated thus far to posting images from and notes on the recording process. Avalon Landing has been blipping on the national radar, being briefly featured in Alternative Press magazine this month. Go see the cool pics and words at AvalonLandingMusic.com.