Wednesday, July 27, 2011

upcoming recording for my solo record. if you're not a fan of the lawrence arms you will NOT care about the below post

This weekend I’m going into the studio to make a record. I’m excited and a little bit nervous. My drummer has a fucked up hand (it’s creepy, it looks like a baby tyrannosaurus arm) and that’s gonna make shit difficult. Ha! No. He’s not actually deformed. He fell off his motorcycle and his hand puffed up like a baby hand and the recovery has been slow and stupid. Take note, children. Once you get to be about thirty, the pain, when it arrives, hangs around for aeons longer than it used to. I mean, fuck. I slept on my arm funny about a week ago and it’s STILL driving me insane.

Anyway, I’ve gotten all my instruments set up, I’ve borrowed good gear from folks and tonight and tomorrow are the last nights to put the lube on the tips of about 2 or 3 more demos and then it’s time to party. Matt Alison will be at the controls and Justin Yates (of Dec. ’09 ‘Young and Hung’ centerfold fame) will be assisting. Should be cool. As of right now I have four songs already completely recorded and mixed and I’m planning on getting 8 or 9 done in Atlas over the course of the weekend and a few subsequent follow up days. If everything goes well at the end of this will be a record that I’ve been writing and demoing and even recording for over a year, that I’ve re-arranged my whole life to record (in 2 different states with a rotating cast of the best, most appropriate musicians for each song) that you guys can illegally burn, listen to once, cavalierly dismiss as shitty about ten minutes into it, and move on to whatever dumb shit is coming down the pipe next. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world, the public consumption of the creative process.

Nah, I’m pretty excited because I’ve got a real different endgame with this record than I’ve ever had before. Before, I’ve always had a competitive streak when it comes to making records. This is true in a few ways. Chris and I always pushed each other during the songwriting process to go to weirder and tougher places whenever we were putting together any Lawrence Arms release. This was ‘competitive’ technically, but it was more of a friendly tension where the results came not from a desire to crush each other or anything but rather a desire to not end up looking like a total asshole.

For example, when writing Oh! Calcutta! I had written a bunch of songs and so had Chris. Suddenly, Chris brought in Great Lakes/Great Escapes and played me the acoustic demo, and my first thought was ‘wow…I’m gonna have to write some new, highly awesome songs if I’m gonna put them on a record next to that song.’ It wasn’t that I wanted to be the best, I just didn’t want to look like the dipshit that sullied the vibe of that song with some tossed off turd. This definitely went both ways for us and it was and is a super healthy collaborative uh…’competition’ I guess, but that’s not the competition that REALLY drove me. The one that really drove me was the one that featured Chris and Neil and me on one side and everyone else in the world on the other side.

Whenever the Lawrence Arms would make a record (and I can only speak for myself here, though I suspect that Chris and Neil would be at least a little bit familiar with the perspective I’m about to describe) it came from a place of feeling desperate, alone, marginalized and…I don’t want to say underRATED, but maybe underestimated. We started out as a crappy 3 piece that wasn’t as cool as the broadways (Chris’s and my previous band, who weren’t that cool to begin with) and, apparently tried too much to sound like Jawbreaker. Then we became the band that was just like the Alkaline Trio in that we came from the same town and had the same general line up, but we weren’t as good/cool/dynamic. Then we became the (tubbier, older) band with punk songs and guitar solos on tour with Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard during the explosion of the pop-emo craze Then we became the new band on Fat, alongside cool, credible bands with already growing (and more importantly to the notion of my perspective) ‘cool’ fanbases, like Against Me! and D4. THEN we became a band that had been around for a while but hadn’t blown up and we were suddenly the new kids in the Hot Water Music pool, where the fans are great and dedicated but there’s still a spot here and there where only ten kids show up and no show is ever as big as the kids that attend think it’s gonna be (this, remember was before the miracle, David Blaine-esque move of Hot Water Music breaking up for a week and then getting back together to find themselves six times bigger). And throughout all this we’ve been consistently compared to every single one of the bands that I mentioned and described as an inferior version.

Now, far be it from me to complain about or even disagree with this comparison. Alkaline Trio, Against Me!, D4, Hot Water Music….shit, as far as my tastes go, these are some of the best bands around, and well, we definitely AREN’T as good at entertaining the TBS or Yellowcard crowd as those guys are. These are all reasonable bands to compare us to and I can understand, very, very clearly why we would be considered inferior to all these bands.

What that has done though, is that it’s made me (and PROBABLY Neil and Chris, though we’ve never discussed it overtly) hungry to stuff every record we ever made up everybody’s ass. The whole goal of our band has always been to subvert expectations within the very small wiggle room of our sound. I mean, I’m no dummy. The Lawrence Arms aren’t revolutionizing anything at all, (even though some of those bands I mentioned above may have been) but we tried to make a pop record when we’d never previously written a song with a chorus, then a weird, weird record that would shock the shit out of anyone who thought that we didn’t think things through or pay attention to craft, and then we decided to make a super jagged punk record that embodied everything we’d ever stored up about loving punk rock once we'd been written off as pussies. Then we made a record called Buttsweat and Tears. Ha!

Anyway, I’m not saying that any of these records were necessarily great (though, come on. They totally are), and I’m definitely not suggesting that my competitive streak was aimed at those above-mentioned bands. It wasn’t. It was aimed at the faceless world at large that unfavorably compared us to everyone. Those records all came from a hunger to show the world that we were the best, and fuck everyone else (fans, journalists, bands, punishers, indifferents, haters, label heads, promoters, roadies, everyone) entirely. Did they do that? Of course not, but that’s the MOTIVATION, which, if you’re a regular reader of this blog you would recognize as something that I think is completely irrelevant when it comes to discussing the merits of art. SO, what’s my point?

My point is that right now my new record isn’t made yet, but the time draws near and as such, I’m pretty fucking excited and all I have to talk about is motivation because that’s what’s coursing through me right now. And I don’t really have the desire to stuff this record up anyone’s ass. That’s not to say that I don’t think that you all are even remotely close to expecting what’s gonna be on it, I don’t think you are. BUT, I’m not looking to make a name for myself as some sort of iconoclast, I’m not struggling to push my sound and I’m not worried about how it’s received. I’m back to square one where I’m just making a record that I spent forever writing because I finally scraped together the resources to lay it down. That’s my motivation. I’ve got some songs I like and I think I’m finally ready to record them. This is the first time I’ve done that since I was a teenager. And shit, for a lot of bands, that first record is the best. Well, this is as close to a ‘first record’ as I’ll have done since I was fifteen. And I’m stoked. And if you don’t like it, well, I’m not gonna be surprised or care.

Woooooooohoooo.

31 comments:

Boyar Duma said...

Well, now we are just getting lazy when it comes to blogging

Brendan Kelly said...

how did you do that so quickly?

Boyar Duma said...

Oh, there is a post? Not sure, timing I guess. Only thing showing was your title when I came to the website – it must have taken a minute or two for the post to upload.

jbody said...

I dig that kids song.bohoohohoh!.......you slappin that on the record?

josh said...

i'm stoked.

Seagull Steve said...

I got excited when I saw the disclaimer in the title..."Jagged" is a good way to describe Calcutta!, fer shiz...Obviously, Im stoked to hear the new record!

Matt Ramone said...

Is it on mediafire yet?

Shawners said...

The Lawrence Arms came into my life and changed it for the better. I'm stoked to see what your creative minds have come up with. I have yet to be disappointed.

Candice said...

can't wait!

Jamie said...

I'm excited fer it

James said...

party at everyones house.

Drunken Acorn said...

I'm so happy I pooped myself.

Micky Rurk gets pussy said...

check out Angel Heart to see micky rurk get some hot black pussy

dustyfloors said...

I'm psyched.
I have to tell you though everytime I heard a new TLA record I wondered to myself why none of my friends that were jacking off to the new None More Black album or whatever didn't love the album as much as I did... Weird.

Maybe you guys should go on an indefinite hiatus for 6 months and then return to sell out the United Center...

Sean said...

Does anyone here listen to Starfucker?

"Reptilians" is one of the solidest albums i've heard in a while.

James said...

SHAKES TUSH AT VERY LAST SIREN

Criminal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Criminal said...

At the 10th Anniversary Metro show, I was more than happy to get punched in the face by some random dude in the crowd as I screamed along to some of the greatest songs I've ever heard. The resulting month-long mouth sore was pretty great, too. Donning a sweat-stained 10th shirt, I am readily awaiting this new album of yours and the freshly creamed jeans I hope will ensue. Keep rockin' my friends!

Robb said...

The only Starfucker tune I've heard, 'Ronald Gregory' I think it's called, sounds just like a Pinback song. Which to me isn't such a bad thing, but probably is to some folks. Does most of their stuff sound like that?

Jacob William said...

Since Yellowcard was mentioned, I remembered something. The second time I saw The Lawrence Arms was at The Fireside Bowl, sometime in...maybe 2002? Yellowcard was opening for them, and took about 45 minutes longer of a slot than they were supposed to, and then took FOREVER to break down. TLA got about a halfhour long set, and at the time, I only had one Lawrence Arms record, and I think they only played one song I knew. It was pretty lame. But, that one song was great, and while my idiot friends were talking about how awesome Yellowcard was all I could do was laugh and talk trash.

For the record, the first time I saw TLA was amazing! They played with The Ghost and The Honor System at this tiny bar in Milwaukee that sadly doesn't exist anymore, and I got a sweet shirt that I wish I still had...

Anyways, for someone who never comments on this thing, that was long and pointless. I'm really stoked for the new record though!

Andrew Hudson said...

this is for the socks - i just wrote an awesome easy to read paragraph but i fucked up and now im kinda over this little shit right here so im gonna push this baddy out as quik as niel patrik harris wants to appear on australian tv shows... now fuck off dickcones, this is for brendan only............ Mr Kelly, now your dirt is off shoulder and your ass is starting to be moving mostly side to side. fucking push over this bucket of smelly ass poo you've created. if unicornography was your last poo as a slasher then at least grab some scoops outta there (if their still yours? i ask coz that is maybe you have grown for good) and wack 'em right back up your ass and be yaself on this new one. its the best way to make the little folk proud. ps. all amy winehouse jokes are shit so fuck off and grow a dick or at least visit this town near my town called youre shit !

Andrew Hudson said...

.. i just realized that seemed kinda like an ass in cement comment. what i mean is brendan thanks for coming down in the drawers tonight, well done. and i love your shit man but i know i smell and so maybe will this comment but did you push out or write with the falcon as a last turd stop attempt before you had kids? i 100% am not been rude here if it sounds like it. I just ask because all up till then it sounds to me like you but maybe after little diff? shit thiis sounds lamer than anything. fuck man keep cruzing ill buy it anyways, probably.

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

now your dirt is off shoulder and your ass is starting to be moving mostly side to side/Now your dirt is off shoulder and your ass is starting to be moving side to side
X16

Holy fuck, did one Wesley Willis rise from the grave and take a stab at a club banger? HUDSON RUN A BYPASS

peter said...

i'm really excited for this record...no idea what to expect but i'm excited.
do people still compare TLA to D4, AM!, or HWM anymore? or at the very least do they do it but in a favorable light? i feel like TLA are part of that class of more or less universally revered punk bands, at least since apathy was released. i at least haven't seen any of these comparisons, but then again i'm not the singer of the band. anyway...can't wait to hear the record

Kevin Burnett said...

I'm stoked for this record and thank you for putting it out there.

jbody said...

i happen to have it on good authority that andrew hudson is in fact is nikolai,a clubfooted 12 yr old boy currently on kidney dialysis who resides in the ukraine and has long been enamored with both Australian wildlife and punk rock.somewhat ironically he thinks frenzal rhomb are fucking terrible......he doesnt dig labels but prefers to be known as "bi-sensual" if u insist.......

jbody said...

wugazi-helping perennially sleeveless brick oven pizza cooks continue to be bizarrely over confident fucking losers since...well,like 6 wks ago give or take

Andrew Hudson said...

i happen to have it on good authority that jbody called himself that because his penis is j shaped. and mr martucci. what the fuck is this bypass thing? all i got in search was some circuit game and a race for assholes. wtf? if ya referring to the latter, then i guess thats kinda funny. kinda kooky but.

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Andrew, it's a line from Aliens. The marine Hudson, played by one Bill "IS he good looking?" Paxton, is ordered to "run a bypass" by his commanding officer soon after touching down on LV-426.
It's literally the first hit after googling 'hudson, run a bypass', but it's cool.

Unknown said...

There were some pretty funny slams on Yellowcard back in the pre-BSC days when this blog existed in pseudo-infancy on The Lawrence Arms' website. Any chance you've got those stashed away somewhere, Bren?

astrogothic said...

i've loved the lawrence arms ever since i hated them at their first show. it was at the fireside, it was some other band's maybe i'll catch fire record release. tla just wasnt as cool as the broadways... hahahhahahahahaha.