Today is the record release of my band's record: These Things are Facts. There's been a lot of build up to this, the first Victory and Associates record, and it's been a long time coming. We tried our best to make a record of and for the times. I'm proud that we did it the way we wanted to in an age of indifference.
These Things are Facts is released locally to SF today, on 09/16/2011. It will be in stores approximately one month later. This will be the fifth full length record that I've released in my music career of about 12 years of putting out records and touring. Three with Replicator, one with Mount Vicious and now this, the first Victory and Associates record. I'm not counting eps, compilations, singles, splits. Just full length records, and this is the fifth one that I've put out/had put out, but in a way it's the first. Phoenix-like, reborn from the flames.
This will also be the first (non-single) release show I've had in FOUR YEARS where the band didn't break up the night of the show. That sounds more dramatic than it is. I've had had three bands. Replicator broke up six to seven months ahead of time, setting the self destruct for a final show that co-incided as a release of the final written material. Mount Vicious imploded after a grueling five-week tour on the night of our record release, nearly a year to the date of announcing our presence to the world. (Okay. That one was dramatic.)
I spent the next two years regrouping, refocusing, and attempting to use all that pain for something good. Not a cudgel or axe to tear things down. I wrote more furiously, and more from the heart than I ever had before. I wrote music that made me want to persevere, and honest lyrics that said what I needed to say and hear. I pushed myself to new and greater levels and beyond. And you know what? It's harder than it seems. You risk ridicule, scorn, indifference and more. First world problems, but problems nonetheless. But if it's worth the risk, it's worth the reward. Whatever that may be. The whole while, the loose, ragtag bunch of smart asses and also-rans I assembled had turned into quite a kick-ass rock 'n roll band. Eschewing the "mostly harmless" tag that some people so eagerly tried to slap on it.
When people hear the music and truly listened, they tended to like it and even love it, and they recognized the truth of it and where it was coming from. It resonates. Hey, I mean listen: you get kicked around enough, you taste enough failure... you start to think that's all there is. You set your sights lower, take a deep exasperated sigh and roll over. This album, these songs, this band, is a stunning rebuke to that. Literally.
I mean that in the way that it was created and funded (a different post altogether), I mean that in the lyrical content. I mean that in the ethos of the band. Victory and Associates is no accident. These Things are Facts didn't just blunder together. It's exactly what we wanted to make and exactly the way we wanted to make it. That is worth celebrating on its own.
There are other stories, but this one's ours.
I get sick of telling the story too, I wish I could just let the music stand on its own. As much as I like to think of us as brave warriors fighting a battle against "noble indifference," we're also just a bunch of guys playing music. Another record released in a world bursting at the seams with music, all of it vying for your attention. All of us competing not only with each other, but with all of music all the time. All of that music along with everything else happening in this oversaturated world of ours.
Look man: it's like children, everybody thinks that theirs is the most special, and at the end of the day most strangers hear a bunch of noise and hassle. But we're as proud as can be of this record -- it's the one we wanted to make... top to bottom. A relentless, uncompromising attack on lethargy, indifference, disconnection, and background music for background people. More than that: A rollicking, powerful rock record that is truly of its times, a manifesto of how to deal with our crazy world of out of control infotainment and mediocre misery. Times get tough, you get tougher.
So am I proud? You better believe it.
I mean have you seen this?
How this record was funded is an interesting story, but in the end it's just the tool to create the structure. It doesn't make the home. Moreover, there will always be people that want you to the same thing you did before; the past can be a prison that way. You want those people to come along, but they don't always. You get okay with that.
But that's part of what this record is about, getting up and getting free of the chains that bind you, creatively... emotionally... shoot... physically if it came to it I guess. "If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" Nonetheless, there's always that small sinking feeling in the back of your mind though. Nobody will show up to the party, people are too busy or "busy" to listen to the record. You're wasting your time... you're wasting your time.
"Say I'm wasting my time, say I'm wasting my life... get tough, get through it, alright".
(Yeah, wrote songs about that too.)
Here's the thing: We made a great rock record, the one we wanted to make. And we're going to throw a crazy awesome party with all of our friends to celebrate that. So ready or not San Francisco:
Friday, September 16th at Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission Street
These. Things. Are. Facts.
You can also listen to it here: