There is a part of me that has always been a stranger…a shadow…a passenger that sees with my eyes and feels with my skin and crawls through the echoes of my mind. It’s angry. It’s desperate. It’s heartbroken and distrustful. It feeds on the validation of performance and it hates me for needing it. It is a monstrosity of ego, aggression, and rebellion…and I’ve missed it terribly for a long time.
I spent my whole life in bands until last year. When Death By Stars broke up it felt like something inside of me broke too. I dedicated my life to sharing my creative abstractions with a select group of people I could trust. It hurt to let it go and I refused to get hurt again. I didn’t want to leave myself at the mercy of anyone. I was mad and when I'm mad I'm stubborn. Fuck’em all! I decided to do music completely alone, for once.
And I did. Learning to be a solo performer, standing on stage with nothing but my guitar, my voice and my stupid glasses, has been a profound and powerful experience. Having a bad night? No drums or bass or keyboards to hide behind. It’s just you and everyone around you. I had to hold myself to a higher standard and deliver the goods each and every time. I gained a new respect for my craft.
But this guy was still lurking inside and screaming to be let out.
I love playing acoustic shows. I'll always play acoustic shows. But there is something intangibly different about a band with a beat.
When the stage is shared, there is more room to breathe. With more instrumentation it's easier to set a scene. And once the scene is set, the actors know how to inhabit their characters.
A few weeks back I performed at NadaMucho.com's #41for2015Fest with my friend and fantastic drummer, Justin Pascua. We had rehearsed for a while and felt good about our work but I think we were both a little nervous about bringing the songs to life on stage.
When the moment came and the music started, worries didn't matter. I gave in completely. The world I inhabited minutes before was a distant, unneeded distraction. I felt myself surrender. My thoughts wandered until they disappeared entirely. The pulse of the beat hypnotized me until I had achieved a focus, a command of my presence that felt both familiar and brand new. The personification of ego and aggression that I wasn't sure existed anymore was alive and well.
There are moments in life where the truth becomes evident beyond all doubt.
Tomorrow, November 7th, for the first time I will take the stage with Justin Pascua on drums and Brenden Smith of Clearly Beloved on viola.
This is also the launch of the soundtrack for CJ Kinton's forthcoming book, "Edge - The Novel". I recorded a duet with Hell Mary, "Look Through the Window" that is featured on the album and will performed live for the first time! Show details below.
Soundtrack release party for "Edge - The Novel", Saturday, Nov. 07
ALL AGES till 10pm! $8, Doors at 6pm, music start at 7:00pm
Skylark Cafe - 3803 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106