Saturday, February 27, 2010

Giving Up

There is a giant black and white poster of Bruce Springsteen next to my drum kit. It's a photo of him in the mid-seventies during the making of the "Born To Run" album. He's 24 or 25 years old, not yet "The Boss", and he's in danger of the record company dropping him if his new album isn't a hit. His dreams are in danger of never coming true.

Below the picture a caption reads: "Making Born To Run was a time of doubt and despair for Springsteen, of psychotic flare-ups and shattering exhaustion."

Tonight, I gave up on OilCan Drive.

I've been wrestling with this one song on the OilCan Drive album for weeks now. It seems simple enough but something about it just never seems to work. I've recorded it twice and it didn't sound right. So, I started over. I skipped it. I went on to other songs. But today I thought, "that's it, either I beat the song or the song beats me!"

I attacked it head on this afternoon, working my fingers until the were numb. I thought I had it. I thought I had it all figured out. At the end of the night I listened to my day's work.

And, I hated it.

"That's it," I thought, "I'm done. I can't do this. Being a one man band recording an album in my living room is driving me crazy. The art and story aren't even that good. It's not worth it. It will never be good. No one will even like it."

I sat on the couch silent for a few minutes while Monika sat next to me reading a book. She looked at me and I told her I was done. I was done with OilCan Drive and I needed to think of some new project to work on.

Then she told me a story. Something that happened to her this week at work that she just remembered.

A mutual friend of ours who works with her also has a job doing graphic design and works with a bunch of artists. One day, one of the artists came up to her and told her he had found this great new band online that reminded him of the Gorillaz. Some new band that he really liked. That band was OilCan Drive.

He didn't know that she knew me or even knew that there was a "me" at all. He thought it was a band who happened to have some guy drawing art for them.

So, some guy out there who I don't even know likes OilCan Drive.


I took a break, sat back down at the computer, and listened again to the song I had recorded today. It's not perfect but there is something there. Some parts need to be reworked and re-recorded but I have a better idea of what needs to be done to make it right.

So, I kicked the song's ass today and tonight it kicked mine right back. But, looking back with a clear head, I think I'll call it a draw.

On to round three.

OilCan Drive isn't done. Not yet.


Manu Mane said...

Maybe you should take a little rest with it for one or two days, and come back to it later (: o

rob! said...

Jeez, you scared me there for a second. Good to see you walked back from the edge!

Sean Tiffany said...

Manu, I took a little break (about half an hour) and things are going better. At least for now.

And Rob, I don't know if I'm getting closer to the edge or if the edge is getting closer to me. It's been very interesting to work on something that makes me feel this way. It's a first.

Jeff Lafferty said...

Wow, what an ordeal, and here I thought, I put myself through some mental gymnastics. I think you got me beat.

It's going to work, just keep at it dude

Sean Tiffany said...

Thanks, definitely missed some inner-mind drama this week! It's interesting to be working on a project that drives me so crazy yet I can't stop doing it at the same time. But, it feels like it's getting better. We'll see what the coming week brings.