It has been 10 years since I recorded a video for YouTube. Not coincidentally that’s when my first child, Evan, was born. Aside from the occasional update on this site, my Facebook page, or a reply to a comment on YouTube, I’ve had no online presence. In the 2-3 years after releasing “The Rising” I did start working on a couple of new compositions, but I had difficulty completing the projects due to very limited time and an overall lack of energy and motivation. In the period 2012-2016 I would let months go by without even picking up a guitar. I found that the small chunks of time I could devote to playing guitar were not worthwhile or rewarding for me. Needless to say my playing ability deteriorated significantly. It got to the point that I couldn’t even play my original songs very well, which was extremely discouraging.
Things started to turn around in early 2017 when a coworker invited me to talk about my musical endeavors and give a short performance of my original songs in the office. (See short video clip on facebook ). In order to avoid completely embarrassing myself during this performance, I realized that I needed to put in some serious practice. I made an effort to play almost every day for at least an hour, and after a couple of weeks I had gained back much of what I had lost. (By this time my sons were 6 and 8 and life was a bit less hectic than it had been in the preceding years.)
Following my performance at the office I started making more of an effort to practice, though it was still rather sporadic, and my confidence about making a return wasn’t that high. I wrote many of the riffs to “Inner Balance” during this time, though I struggled to come up with an arrangement that I really liked. One of the things that has given me motivation recently is encouragement from Evan. Though he hasn’t shown much of an interest in learning to play guitar, It turns out he really likes my music and “helping” me with my recording projects! He kept asking me why I wouldn’t just finish “Inner Balance” and release it.
For Christmas 2018 my wife surprised me with a new guitar (read about it in the ‘FAQ - what gear do you use?’ section)! This helped to reignite my passion for playing, and because the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a work holiday for me, I actually had the opportunity to play for hours at a time. This is when I really started to regain some confidence that I could finish a new track and make a return to YouTube.
By the end of January I had finished the arrangement for “Inner Balance”, recorded all of my tracks, and sent the project off to my friend Finn Maxwell (Musicman1066) to work his magic. Finn added a solo of his own and some other guitar elements, wrote and recorded a real bass guitar track, and revamped the drums that I had programmed. He made everything sound incredible--I was really blown away when I heard the finished product. Finn is not only an exceptional musician, but he’s a brilliant producer. I’m excited for everyone to hear it.
After the release of “Inner Balance” I plan to continue working on new original material. I have a few ideas in the works, some of them dating back almost 10 years. Hopefully I can find the inspiration to turn them into cohesive song arrangements. I’ve also tossed around the idea of doing another cover or two; however, I’m hesitant to put too much effort into covers since they may be blocked on YouTube due to copyright claims. (This has happened to Finn recently.) In any case I’m very happy to have made a return to music and YouTube, even if it did take 10 years! Thank you for the words of encouragement that many of you have provided over the years! It means a lot to me and helped make this return possible.