It's one of the first few days of cold weather in Texas. A year ago I was in a pretty inebriated state; It's pretty awesome to be awake during this exciting moment of my life.
Richard and I have just wrapped up a long couple months working on "ODE to Mars"; This song has been pretty difficult to deal with. At the end of "Flamingo Fandango", we were both pretty confident in each others ability to understand what we needed to do next, but that would soon be challenged.
First we started looking into "Out of Aquarius"--decided to wait. Then we went into the direction of "Behind These Eyes", and had awesome success in the developmental phase, but not so much in the recording. Somehow or another we ended up landing on "Mars", and it was there that we began to set up camp all over again.
"ODE to Mars" was the first song that me and Richard ever met musically over, so it comes by no surprise that--by the grace of the Father--the end product was extremely successful.
We spent the first few weeks of the song playing together live: me on the piano and he on the drums. There we spoke our native languages to each other in the Martian accent. I can't express enough of how well Richard and I are able to communicate to each other via melody and rhythm. I think our connection acoustically in the beginning of the recording was where we really learned about the path that we needed to take with the song. After all, this song has been through many evolutionary changes since it's first incarnation that was presented to me my sophomore year in high school.
I was very new to song writing then, but do to my influences of the time I new that the direction of a concept album was where I wanted to go; I developed a theme called Prayer of the Planets. It was based off of our own solar system--a track for each planet, and the mythical gods that represented them. Needless to say, a few months into the work I killed it. ODE to Mars was one of the few songs that survived my self scrutiny.
It was a tiny few bar "ditty" that was to be a short interlude into the following track. There wasn't much of a story behind it, but it did have the inflections of war laced into it's ribbons. I recorded the piece on a few occasions, but somewhere along the way it was lost under new phases of writing that needed tending to.
After I returned from Baton Rouge, my music took a swift turn for the better, and I found my way into Constellation BluePrint. It was here that I was approached by an enigmatic-three quarter note-low octave E theme that began to haunt me. Then one night--while strangely inebriated--I met the beast in person: He told me his name was DreamCast & SolarFlare. We fell in love as he sang the narrative that was taking place between me and Jehovah God.
As our affair took off I gave him a home on Constellation BluePrint where he held some of my most painful emotion in a cradle, but he would not stay; he followed me into The Piscean Transcendence Through the Martian Battle Front. There I learned that it was "ODE to Mars" in disguise all along. The lyrics came forward, and a few of the melodies that I had been working aligned with each other. The song was born.
At that point it was very similar to what me and Richard made it to be today, but in between those times it turned into a vessel of the strong emotions of where I stood with the Lord. A soft blemish of war and pain.
Richard had big plans for the song, and I was anxious to helping him fulfill them. Richard is a Rock 'n' Roll drummer musically before he is an awesome guitarist; during the development of the track he really showed energy in ways that I saw in our first encounter.
We were soon in the studio laying down the piano. One Sunday before church he asked me if I wanted to hear what he had done on the percussive side of things. I WAS BLOWN AWAY; what he had done was so much more than what we had done in practice. I was pumped.
After a little synthetics were added, I was to go to Louisiana for the weekend. I wanted to bring it home with me to let everyone hear what I had been doing in the studio. We added a vocal check to the song, but something wasn't right.
Returning to the studio I learned that the song was on its way to another evolutionary leap, and we felt that rhythmically the lyrics needed to change with a slight variance in melody. I kept an instrumental version of the song in my car with me, so that I could work on changing things up. This was probably the most difficult part of he whole gig, but like I've mentioned Richard is an excellent director & secondary ear. His guidance for me vocally has been one of the things that I'm most thankful for in making this record.
We finished laying everything down last Tuesday, and I can't believe what the song has grown into. We're two down, and there are seven more songs to go. I can't wait to share all of this with everyone because you see,
he gave me this gun...