Approximately six months ago, I made big noises about holding off on writing new material till I’ve completely finished everything I’ve done thus far.
Well, guess what …
I blew the New Year’s resolution when I came down with a pinched nerve at the start of the year, and as for that shinkyoku moratorium? Total history. In short, I have begun writing the next soon-to-be unfinished Eponymous 4 album.
Go me!

For the past two years, I’ve been listening to the same Eponymous 4 material. I’m, uh, kind of tired of it. It’s weird — I’m giving myself the same expectations I have of other artists: "Entertain me! Create new material for my gratification!" In short, I’ve begun writing and recording new material because I don’t want to keep hearing the same old stuff from myself.
I’ve also got a myriad of things I’ve been wanting to try out.
First is a new working method. In the past, I would record music really fast, fine-tuning along the way, then reach a point where the song didn’t need any more music. Then I would wait months to get in the mood to write lyrics, then proceed to slap the first thing I could think of to fit the words. I have a nagging suspicion some of the lyrics I’ve written really don’t suit some of these songs.
Not much changed when I reversed the method — write lyrics first, then the music. I think I started writing a lyric here and there in 2006, but I forced myself last week to get out of the apartment to write. Now I have 16 lyrics from which to create something. In other words, I still had to wait till I was in the mindset to write lyrics.
I’m using some new tools as well. Sure, writing lyrics doesn’t require a laptop, but writing on a laptop makes it easier to transfer to the studio machine. Typing in lyrics from long hand can be cumbersome when your penmanship sucks.
I bought Ableton Live 6 as a means of avoiding the music lab on campus when I took a synthesis course. Now I’m using it to plot out the songs before I do the actually recording. It’s really nice. It’s so easy to break down a song’s components and rearrange them in different configurations. I’m somewhat locked by the structure of the lyrics, which is actually nice for working fast. Over the course of three days, I created the outlines of five songs. That’s faster than I’ve ever worked.
I’m toying with the idea now to use Live instead of Cakewalk SONAR. The likelihood isn’t very high though — SONAR at least still has a staff view. I’m not fond of the piano grid favored by Live and Propellerhead Reason.
Mostly, I just want to know that all the work I did in the past two years wasn’t a fluke. To be honest, most of the stuff I recorded was culled from songs already in the works in one form or another. It may look like I’m wildly productive, but I pretty much culled those "albums" from a combination of archived works and new material. I wrote only 11 completely new songs in 2005, nine in 2006.
This next project will be entirely new from the ground up. No idea will be more than two years old. (Some of the lyrics date as far back as 2005.) If I can finish a completely new album, then perhaps I’m not completely tapped out. Yes, I’ve been suspecting that I have nothing more to say.
But then I look at this list and know there’s still a lot to do.