My first album as San Joaquin is done! Thank you Brian Bond for mixing and mastering it.
The album is called “1 Take Zeroisms,” a kind of offshoot of an album called “Zeroisms” I’m piecing together in collaboration with singer-songwriter/producer/DJ James Ryan (Olde Sake). Most of the songs off "1 Take Zeroisms" were written in 2012, with the exception of “Gray” which I wrote in 2009. All the songs are recorded live, in the sense that there’s no overdubbing. I used one microphone and sang and played guitar into that only. Voice, guitar, the sound of the rooms I recorded in and a slight reverb plug-in are all that’s on there.
I chose to record this way for a number of reasons. First off, I wanted to capture the unique moment when a song is actually being performed by doing guitar and vocals together. I chose to use one mic to avoid something called phasing, which happens when sound bleeds from one mic into another unintentionally and can make listeners feel dizzy.
Second, I wanted to challenge myself. Recording live instead of overdubbing was extremely difficult. My playing and singing improved making this album because if I messed up, I had to just start over from the beginning. The songs you hear on this album are the best takes after hours and sometimes even days of re-dos for the same song. Even when I didn’t technically “mess up” on a song, sometimes the energy just wasn’t right, so I kept trying it until it felt right. Sometimes that took days.
Finally, the decision to do it live and purely solo-acoustic was, at heart – like many decisions we make – economically determined. Having $10 in my bank account, I realized it was possible that I could spend the rest of my life dreaming about how I was going to scrounge up enough money to make a legit fully produced album. Or, I could just record something DYI, and do it NOW, to offer all my friends who have been so supportive of my music for going on a decade now. Asking all the time, “When are you gonna record?”
"1 Take Zeroisms" is at heart just a demo, but it has elements of an album as well. The flow of one song into the next is intentional as are patterns in the lyrical content. But it’s also just an appetizer for two more fully produced albums I plan to do this year. One of them in a professional studio if I can swing it with some Kickstarter love. But yes, an appetizer sums up "1 Take Zeroisms" nicely. More accurately, it’s like good bread and olive oil at an Italian restaurant when you sit down.
Please check it out on bandcamp, buy or download for free starting Friday, and let me know what you think on twitter, FB, or on the contact page of this site.
Thank you for reading and for listening.
Dan (San Joaquin)