Posts tagged shaimus
A Tale Of Two Albums

I recently completed two 8-song albums, which you can download for FREE here and here. This is the story behind them.

During the final year or two of my band Shaimus, I started recording a few songs as a side project. They were mostly straight-ahead rock and acoustic-based, singer/songwriter songs; they didn't really fit into the Shaimus repertoire, which was heading in a more experimental, indie-rock direction. And while my personal tastes were more aligned with the music the band was making, I needed an outlet for these songs. I also needed to start carving out an identity for myself that was entirely separated from the bandwhich turned out to be a good choice, since we broke up not too long after.

Along with my newfound freedom, I found myself in a mini-existential crisis, a place where I felt like I needed to establish to the world what I represented as an artist outside the band that had defined me for so long. But the songs I had been recording on the side, still unfinished, didn't reflect that. They still felt like a side project to what I really wanted to do. So with my ear no longer interested in them, I abandoned the songs and worked on an EP called Vignette under the moniker E8. This was my new personal statement.

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Making Art for Art's Sake or: How I Learned to Give Up the Agenda

When my band broke up last year, I found myself in an uncomfortable but interesting place. I’d been in bands for almost my entire life starting shortly after I first picked up the guitar (six months after, to be exact). From that time in 1996 through 2011, the longest stretch of time when I wasn’t in at least one band was no longer than a few months. It’s always been something that felt right to me, that feeling of being an important part of a small, tight-knit group of like-minded musicians creating new and exciting things. But here I was after a six and a half year run with Shaimus: bandless, lost and exhausted.

In so many ways it was like getting out of a six year relationship; just the thought of starting a new band was enough to make me feel worn out and frustrated. Along with this (and many other feelings) came a sense of melancholy freedom. I had been obligated to go to rehearsals or meetings on Monday nights, Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings for years. I couldn’t take a trip out of town without consulting five other people. It was a sacrifice I was more than willing to make and had no regrets about, but now I suddenly had a huge chunk of my personal life restored. Yet I was back to the beginning: we had not quite made it to the level in our career that would have opened doors that could ease the transition into my next musical project. It was either join a band that was already at that level or start from scratch again.

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