First things first. Let me fill you in on some stuff since untitled. In November 2017, I came home from a long tour with the boys, and I realized my mental health was in the worst place it was since I sobered up. It was time for a change, and the only thing that I could piece together that was causing these issues was tour. I had decided that the road wasn’t healthy anymore, and it was time to try something else. What do you do? Where do you go? Is it time to grow up? I set up untitled to end with “I believe,” which was a thank you to everyone of my favorite records and to all the folks we met playing music. It left this life behind with the words “I believe in you, and you believe in me,” and it was the right move at the time.
When I got back into the real world, I found life to be unsettling. I was getting short with people. I found myself frustrated and angry with every little thing. I wasn’t myself. After getting let go of every job I could find, a friend of mine suggested I try something new; they thought I would do great working with a young man with special needs. In February, I had met my new best friend. My dude. We started running around the jersey shore, devouring every pancake, downing all the cold brew, and wrecking every mini golf course, bowling alley, and arcade from exit 117 to 182. This was it. I had started to tear my head apart, figuring out what I needed to do to be the best person I could be, while realizing a majority of the people we encountered were not ready for the change we all preach about. What we encountered, us two dudes, was something I wasn’t sure I was ready to see. If you know me and my guy -- who told me to tell you all he said hi, by the way -- stumbled onto folks of every walk of life, and every mindset. Some were open to the concept of a young man learning how to order a coffee and pay for it, and some folks, well… The looks. The stares. The comments. Throughout the first few months of our antics, I had realized that empathy was something that people, myself included, had started to forget. I had mentioned earlier that I was finding myself short, frustrated with simple tasks; man, I realized that I too had forgotten the concept of empathy. The simple fact that some people may be having a tough go, or just a bad day. This situation. This feeling. It was time to go back to square one, and force myself to look around and recognize everything going on around me. Shoes. It came down to shoes. It came down to realizing that I had forgotten what it was like to walk in other people’s shoes.
back to the basement.
By the time fall came, I realized I had close to 30 songs in my notebook, all written in the perspective of people I saw in my day-to-day life. These songs focus on 5 “people”, and by people, I mean 5 aspects of mental health: depression, anxiety, addiction, and the themes of empathy and understanding. It was time to go back to the basement. I had reached out to Pete Steinkopf, who I have steadily been working with for 6 years. We understand each other and how to make these songs I was writing come to life. I had explained this concept just as I am to you now, and he said “let’s do it.” I had spoken with Pat Kelly and Alex Brummel, two musicians I admire greatly about this potential project, and they both jumped on board real quick, along with my trusty brother-in-arms, Will Romeo, Rocky from Mercy Union, Matt from Toy Cars, and of course, Todd, who had played with us on that tour I mentioned earlier, and is in a band called Benchmarks. We quickly had this record done. These songs - these stories - had awakened my mind, and I had realized that I needed to get back on the road and share these stories with everyone I possibly could. This is why I’m here. This is why we’re here. This is it.
Time to call in the family.
I have leaned on my brother Joe Maiocco for design ideas for the last few years. I knew I wanted to use this one picture of my grandparents taken by the legendary Bruce Davidson. This photo was always hung in their home, and when my grandfather passed away, I was given a print of it. It’s hung over my mantle since. After a bunch of emails, and phone calls, I had obtained the rights to it, Bruce's blessing, and he tore the layout real quick. I mean, come on...the only other person he’s ever licensed a photo for a record was for fucking BOB DYLAN. Surreal. We were brainstorming and thought it would be awesome to get everything in the preorder to be done by our friends. The leather hearts are from Vanessa Jean Speckman, a wonderful soul from Columbus, who has been doing them for years. Alex Flannery has been doing the tour posters for a year now, and we knew he would knock the silkscreen covers outta the park. I reached out to Tommy, who was at Panic State, and now makes rad buttons and patches for local flea markets and Horror Conventions, and he set up all the Die Cut Pins, and my old buddy Tony, who plays in a great band called The Main Street Sweep, has been honing his skills making lathe cut records. On top of that, my dear friend Anthony, who has building most of my guitars, volunteered his time to build 3 replicas of my faithful esquire that I’ve been playing for the last 5 years. This crew, me and my friends. My family. I’m grateful to be surrounded by so many amazing and creative folks who believe in each other.
So here we are now.
The music industry is like the Wild West right now. Time are changing. Everything’s changing. For the first time, I found myself on my own, without the backing of any form of label. I did my homework and set up a plan, and reached out to Baby Robot about doing press, and Pirates Press for physical pressing of the vinyl. The only issue, is that as a touring musician, I don’t have the money to do this. Records, PR, merch, CDs, everything costs money, and at the end of the day, I ain’t got that. That’s why we’re here. I have deadlines set and tours booked. I don't want anyone to look at this as a "handout" but more as a preorder. I’m asking for my friends, family, and fans to preorder the record 4 months before the release, and help me jumpstart this record. 20k is a lot of money. Hell. It’s more money than I’ve EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. And at the end of the day, 20k isn’t even break even. Kickstarter’s policies include shipping in the goal ( let’s be honest, shipping is expensive these days. I estimated 350 orders to average ALMOST 4K) which is one of the reasons its so high. After Shipping and Fees, we should be sitting at about 14K, which isn't even break even, but it’s enough that I can chip away at the remaining debt, slow and steady, while touring on this record.
I believe in this. I believe in us. I believe in these songs, and I genuinely want these to be ours.
IF YOU LIVE IN COUNTRIES NOT SPECIFIED ON THE KICKSTARTER SHIPPING AREAS, PLEASE EMAIL ME! I chose to not add the UK/EU because right now, shipping is ASTRONOMICAL. Some Packages are upwards of 40 US dollars to ship! I am currently working on a more economic way to distribute this record in Europe and the UK! hold tight, and like I said, if you cant, SHOOT ME AN EMAIL
from the bottom of my heart, most of you have been here for years supporting what I do, and it means the world. from here, to hell, and back, I believe in you. you believe in me. I believe in us.
thank you. from the bottom of my heart.
WE can do this together.
PMA. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.
Risks and challenges
This is ALL or NOTHING. We will work together to hit our goal, and release this wild animal of a record into the wild! I personally have been setting up all orders, ready to be sent out the second the project is funded. we got this!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)