The road to Subterranea...
Attempting to realize the recordings we made into a finished work of art, however, has been a challenge of a magnitude I could not have possibly imagined when we began. I do save progressive files of my work, and I have had to go backwards numerous times in order to go forwards. As a result, the extent to which the album has fallen behind schedule stresses me greatly. I find it difficult to sleep.
I have a mix of the whole album, all 10 tracks, 72 minutes, and I know that most people, if they heard it, would probably say it sounds finished. It's rich, dynamic and magnificent. And some would say that I am overly obsessive, and a great case could be made for that. I do want the record to be perfect-perfect-perfect before it goes out though. I've worked countless hours in my studio, and been very focused. However, I have sent the audio to my mastering engineer some 10 times now since March, and each time it comes back mastered, I peel back a new layer of objectivity which makes me feel critical of my work. This is time consuming, not to mention expensive. The fact that we tried to impose a time limit on this agonizes me every single day, but in any event, if I don't feel that I have an acceptable mix or master, then in my opinion I have no alternative but to continue working until there is one, however uphill that climb may be.
Although I've produced a good deal of music that many of you have enjoyed for years, mixing this album has been a considerably more complicated project than any of the ones that came before it. I placed no limits on how complex the mixes would be allowed to become. More than that, the challenge of mixing the acoustic drums has been tough. I think I already went into detail about that.
So, I apologize, most sincerely, to all of you for the delay upon delay upon delay. I apologize to my bandmates, and to my girlfriend who is weary of seeing me work so hard. I'm willing to hear the advice of anyone who wants to help.
On the side, I have printed up copies of the promised collector's edition of our 1999 live album Florakleptonomy, that some higher level backers will receive. I've finished a music video for the track Max Mystic (looks great). And with Ingrid's help, we've finished the album cover art, the iTunes booklet art, and the poster. We had a very successful little California tour in May, and I put together live videos for Execution Of The Stars and Czar Chasm, which I think most of you have seen. There is audio and footage remaining for perhaps one or two more live videos, and beyond that there are many plans we've outlined for what we'd like to do in the future with TTTS, but until I can complete the album, all of that awaits realization. I have been taking steps to control the amount of time I'm duly committed to accomplishing other things. I have declined many requests this year, to record or master other band's albums, or play guest spots. I also plan on wrapping up my commitment to the cover band I play in, even though that's a fun gig that's been excellent for my guitar stamina. I simply don't have time anymore.
That said, about a year and a half ago, before we laid plans for "Via Subterranea", when I was still in my last 'What do I do next?" phase, I contributed some instrumentation to the new album "Mosaic" by my Italian friends The Spiritual Bat, and I agreed that I would go on tour with them in the U.S. for about a month come August. I never anticipated, even when I began work on the TTTS album a little over a year ago, that the project would take me well into the summer of 2014 to complete, and now I find this obligation up against that one. It's a difficult place to stand in.
Some friends of mine have observed that a break may be exactly what I need. It's hard to break away, but maybe it's the best thing.
Anyway, we're looking at September before I can finish the album, at the earliest. I will bring in the extra help I need, and change what I have to change about the process, so we come out with an album of the quality level I'm aiming for. I really thank you all for believing in us, and I've been trying my hardest, drawing upon everything I know how to do. I apologize. That. I have taken. So long already. It ain't easy. You will see, when this is finally done, why it took as long as it did.
Best Regards to you all