Written by Jeff Gingrich of The 10X
I think a lot of musicians have a story about a time when everything was going pretty well in a band or in a project and one specific event created a domino effect that ends up ruining whatever momentum that had been growing. Maybe the event derailed something that was going great. A lot of people have that story in life; a lot of musicians have that story in music. I think for me, the most interesting thing wasn’t what happened, but what happened after the dust settled.
I tried hard not to be hurt and I feel like I literally dragged myself to keep going. It was probably a solid year, maybe year and a half that we pushed on. A few victories rivaled the large bumps until it was obvious for all of us that it needed to stop. I retreated to my home studio and focused on school. I tried hard to write anything. I had a few short songs that I demoed out and sent to a friend and he didn’t like them. He told me, he was blunt about it. I tried hard not be hurt – again. I think that moment was necessary because it made me stop and think that even though I poured all of myself into that one project, I could keep going. I could make something else I was proud of. It was possible even if it wasn’t happening yet.
Right around that time I had been applying to a lot of jobs and then riding my bike around my hometown for 3 or 4 hours a day. I started listening to Bleachers, Lana Del Rey, and Walk the Moon on repeat. I suddenly had all of these ideas and specifically a new sonic inspiration.. I heard my own background of writing catchy melodies with orchestration as I am a classically trained cellist. I heard how old sounds were being used in a way that sounded modern. I started to hear my sound.
It came together day by day. I’d work all day and get on my bike to listen to what I added. At one point I drove 15 hours to pick up a synthesizer that I thought would add to the perfect touch to all of the songs. One of the songs specifically took about 7 months. It was a process where I grew comfortable with myself.. where I was honest and where I never had to make a compromise. I worked until it was right for me.
There was a lot of pain in those times. More so there was self discovery, there was shedding of baggage (maybe a little bit of new baggage picked up,) but definitely a reinstatement of hope and self awareness. Even though now at this point in the band I feel the growing pains and the same fear I’ve always felt – I firmly believe that the past me would be excited and in awe of what is happening now. Hopefully future me looks back at current me with a whole new set of issues and says the same thing.