“If you are tired of starting over, stop quitting.” It was a quote on someone’s Instagram page a few days ago…..this blog, our band, my abs…..they all suffer when I forget that consistency is really the key in all of this. It’s easy to say you will do something tomorrow instead of now or today. Alas, I know it is long over due, but I guarantee it has been an eventful two months for Fish Out of Water. New album, new studios, flying horn players into Florida, buying merchandise (new shirts & hats now available online!), trademarks, and oh yeah…..rocking the U.S. under the radar.
I have never worked harder or seen my band-mates pushed harder then this past June. My brother told me that greatness is accomplished from giving more than you think you have left. To not feel the exhaustion or pain would mean you didn’t push yourself, therefore how can your results be amazing and spectacular? We played 27 shows in 30 days, laid down hot tracks for the new album, coordinated two musicians to fly into Florida from two different states, took band photos, and got about three total hours of sleep for the month of June. There was little room for personal time, or really anytime that didn’t involve a guitar in my hand. Rick Elliott from Virginia Beach flew down to play horns and keys on the album. We met Rick in Petersburg, VA at our friend’s wedding and have stayed in touch over the years. He is such a solid player and musician to be around. “Your sound is your signature” is what Rick told me once and I think we left our signature at Ramble Room Studios in Key West.
J-Sneez has been part of Fish Out of Water for over eight years. We have built a bond beyond music during that time, so of course we had to have him on the album. Travel isn’t easy for J but he makes it work and I always appreciate his dedication to the music. Working with him this time was cool because he got to give his input on some of the foundation of the grooves. It hit me during our sessions that we are no doubt professional recording artists. Some songs we knocked out in one take! The pressure that I felt in the studio wasn’t at all as intense as it used to be. The art of playing perfect but soulful music to a metronome is what separates the greats from the rest of the herd. I am proud of what we accomplished and more so, how we accomplished it. Big shout out to Nick Romanelli, our producer and engineer who made the three hour drive both ways, slept on a couch, and negotiated several drum takes with Mike. It was the first time we have let someone else help in the process and I think the most exciting part will be his mixing of the tracks later this month.
We continue to touch lives through music on this journey. In Key West, a man showed me a video of his son playing guitar, he could barely hold it, he was so small, but he was strumming it with coordination. The dad told me I gave his son a guitar pick and let him strum my guitar when they were visiting the Keys last year. I vaguely recalled it, but thought to myself how we don’t really know who we affect or inspire, only that we indeed are reaching those who need it.
I talk about sacrifice often. It’s not that we don’t want a lot of the same things and comforts that you have….we do. It’s that this music takes your soul places it’s never been. The feeling of creating sound-waves that thump your chest, shake your ass, and puts smiles on your faces easily makes it worth the long drives, lonely nights, shitty hotels and lack of sleep. These past two months would not be possible without the sacrifice of our amazing friends. We try and compensate with our energy and cooking skills, but it is a blessing to have so much love across the U.S.
Thank you to Layla, Fletch, our CLT family, Ben Johnson and Super, Donnie and Theresa (I’m writing this blog sitting on their couch in Petersburg, VA), Jason KLING! 328 riders in Delaware (put the bong down guys), all our family for the constant support in chasing our dreams, and of course Russ Levitan, the man. Lot’s on the horizon for Fish Out of Water! Look for Married to the Music out in Sept. Stay sexy, healthy, and sharp 🙂 P.F.I.P.