Despite being in a good mood and writing a happy track the day before, I didn’t sleep well that night with stress dreams and restless “brain going at full speed” insomnia keeping me up. I finally gave up and got out of bed before dawn.
Bleary-eyed and with cup of coffee in hand, I went out on the back porch and listened to the birds in the greenbelt behind the house. Since I was in a place of experimentation and trying new things, I decided to dig out a long microphone cable and put my good condenser mic in the backyard. I recorded about 10-15 minutes of material, then stopped when I started hearing cars on the nearby parkway.
- Hurt Me Ray Toler 4:06
It’s amazing what you hear through headphones that you don’t hear with your own ears. While monitoring the recording from the studio, I could hear cows mooing off in the distance. They were at least a half-mile away, and I had never heard them while in the yard.
Now, with fresh environmental sounds to play with, I started messing around with effects, intending to do some Orb-style ambient piece. Apparently, though, I was pretty angry in some pseudo-emo stressed-out kind of way.
I have always been frustrated by Trent Reznor’s first Nine Inch Nails album, Pretty Hate Machine. When that came out, he had released the album that I had been working on for two years, and he had done it far better than I ever could. I’ve always been a frustrated rocker, but have never stuck with guitar long enough to get good at it, nor do I have a screamer voice.
This piece, wrapping up the first week of Song-A-Day, was largely a disappointment for me – the birds don’t make sense with the style, the guitars go really sharp because I was playing “hard” like you see them do in the videos, not like what they’re actually doing in the studio, the lyrical inspiration ran out after the initial flurry…
So another rock-experiment gone wrong. BUT. Each time I try this, I get a little better at it. I learn what’s not working. I learn what does work, even if just barely. I get some more practice in. I do like the riff, and when I repeat it without the vocals, I think it kind of rocks.
More importantly, I wrote a song. It’s not a great song, but some people did like it, or heard where I was going with it. Writing it at all, no matter the result, is the whole point of the month.
I'm gonna lose my mind
I swear I must be blind
Not to have known your kind
You hurt me
You got into my head
I started seeing red
Things better left unsaid
That hurt me
It's time to disengage
It's time to lose the rage
It's time to break the cage
That hurts me
I'm sick of secrecy
Wasn't your enemy
You're not my legacy
Can't hurt me now
Copyright © Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.
- Drums: Spectrasonics Stylus RMX
- Bass: Spectrasonics Trillian
- Guitar: Ovation Deacon through Rocktron Chameleon