I don't have a specific formula for writing songs. They don't come easily to me. I have to wrestle them to the ground after the initial burst of inspiration has passed, and sometimes that takes months to accomplish. It's my least favorite part of being a songwriter. Even as I sit on my front porch in Simpsonville, SC on this cool sunday morning, drinking cheap off-brand coffee, I can count at least 8 unfinished songs that are constantly circling through my mind. They attach themselves to my daily life; companions that wake up with me, go to sleep with me, take walks with me, come on bike rides with me, come to work with me, restless until they reconcile what I'm dreaming about with what I'm living.
I can't read music. All too frequently I feel like I can't even write it. But I don’t write music to be the “best” at it. I write music because I want people to find the tangents where my experience resonates with their own; to share and feel something common between our journeys. I think it's important for people to know that no one has to be alone in the world. Through art, whether in the form of music, painting, sculpting, or any of it's forms, we connect as human beings. And in doing so, we recognize our common struggles and joys. When that happens, we feel a little less alone on the path. When I write songs, I feel like I'm plugging into that common human element of recognizing the good (and sometimes hard) parts of life.
The latest journey I've taken with the band has covered the last two calendar years. The net result being our latest release/album "Badlands". If not for the guys in the band, the songs would be much "less" than they are now. Things like this tend to happen when you surround yourself with the right people. I'm blessed to have three very talented musicians in my corner that are passionate about our art, and push me to bring the best songs I can to the table. We wanted to write and record songs that detail the struggles many people are having, while pointing to the hopeful things not far away and most certainly within reach. The experience captured all of us in a way that we didn't see coming. Badlands turned into something that is a greater sum than it's individual parts (songwriters and players included).
It’s difficult to carve out a living as a musician these days. But we aren’t in this to get rich. If people are taking long car rides with the windows down and the heat on this fall, experiencing Badlands and finding joy in it, then the entire effort of writing and recording these songs, the long nights in economy motels while working in the studio, all of the cheap pizza and stale coffee we consumed while playing our guts out in the sessions, actually living the songs and being haunted by them while working our jobs; all of it will have been worth it. For me, it's not about selling albums. It's about something deeper. It's about connecting our narratives, and walking the path together for a while. I want to share the current narrative of my life with you. It's called "Badlands".