Eve of:

I don’t know that people know what it means when they say that they want to be a musician in the 2010s.

This general confusion might even apply more abstractly to the act itself, of sitting on your lonesome on Saturday afternoons, when most are enjoying another’s company, or brunching, or even pursuing some other hobby that gives them a sort of happiness instead of one that is supposedly meant to give happiness to others – making music.

Right?
‘I did it all for the fans’, reads every Grammy speech ever.

But, what making music means, is sitting on your lonesome comping down vocal takes that you’re so overly anal about, cause you want them to be perfect. It means talking to yourself about your passions. Manually adjusting waveforms, nudging them into perfect time, so that the alarm in your head stops going off. Sitting so long that when you finally take a break, it’s dark, 10 hours after you started, your phone is 60 notifications deep, you’re starved, your back hurts, your posterior hurts, your ears hurt, your eyes, your brain, your lips are dry. Repeat this process 150 times; now you have a record.

You must take this record to market yourself.

You must promote this record yourself.

You must perform this record yourself.

You must believe in this record yourself.

These are hard things to do for anyone, let alone an artist – exposing themselves to the world around them, showing vulnerability, and trying to make people see that vulnerability as something valuable to a culture – and then needing to be good at, not only the creation of the art, but the business end of it. It’s daunting.

All that in mind:
Vice/Viscera is a collection of 12 songs from the last 10 years of my life. They’re songs that were written, in part, over a decade ago and recorded over the subsequent years, leading up until just about January 2017. Spanning from 5900 San Amaro Dr, on my old Dell Inspiron Laptop, to my longtime base in my parent’s home in Trumbull, CT on an Asus Desktop, to my first place in Shelton, CT where I built a hotbox in my cold basement in the woods, to 1224 N Fairfax, my first stop in West Hollywood, and now to my current residence, just on the border of Beverly Hills, on a new HP desktop (the Asus died), where I come to you from. Vice/Viscera has been mixed by 4 other people, not including myself, of which you are left with just the mixes from a madman – I probably should never have brought anyone else into it. They were all wonderfully talented individuals who were never going to meet the standard I had in my head. In the end, this record prescribes to the maxim that ‘done is better than perfect’. I am proud of this record, but believe-you-me, the next releases will be better. Strictly being due to the fact that time and knowledge have an exponential relationship, in my opinion, we get better as we march.

So here I find myself wondering how time passed so fast. How it took so long. I lost a large majority of my immediate family in that time. I lived in three different states in three completely separate corners of the country. Countless too many friends have come and gone, significant others, band mates – life moves at a rate that becomes all too uncomfortable, especially when you try and look at it as a whole. 10 years? Geologically, nothing. Emotionally? Everything.

I think the title – Vice/Viscera – is pretty self explanatory, operating under the assumption we both are familiar with these words, but under the assumption we aren’t, I’ll save you the Ctrl-T and search –

Definition of:

vice

  1. 1a:  moral depravity or corruption :wickednessb:  a moral fault or failingc:  a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming :foiblesuffered from the vice of curiosity

  2. 2:blemish, defect

  3. 3:  a physical imperfection, deformity, or taint

  4. 4aoften capitalized:  a character representing one of the vices in an English morality playb:buffoon, jester

  5. 5:  an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness

  6. 6:  sexual immorality; especially:prostitution

viscera

  1. 1:  an internal organ of the body; especially:  one (as the heart, liver, or intestine) located in the great cavity of the trunk proper

  2. 2visceraplural:heart 4

These songs encompass these two ideas: more so in the way a broad mural can capture a feeling – rather than the way one might quip an incisive one liner. They are broad strokes.

Broad emotions about the way a decade feels when you’ve let it get away from you.

I wish it could have come out the 25th, for personal reasons, but Vice/Viscera comes out tomorrow, 2/28/17, on pretty much every platform available. I’ve narcissistically listened to it in the dark, with teeth clenched, at full blast, far too many times and it’s helped me feel better. I am hoping that it be your turn now.

Love always,

James

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