Never give up - I feel this is something that you learn as you grow older and that bit wiser. If something doesn't go to plan the 1st, 2nd, 3rd time don't worry because this is all about learning. This is life! I'd liked to share some of my own personal stories with you all. I dropped out of school when I was 17 before my final exams and everyone was saying you'll do nothing without those final exams. But I didn't listen to them and instead learnt from the experience. I figured out how to get back into education and qualify as a physiotherapist. But not without a hard struggle. I failed lots of exams and was even close to giving up at certain stages. However, I had learnt that when you give up on something and you then later change you mind it's alway a lot harder to get back to the point you were originally at. When I was thinking of quitting the physiotherapy degree I would alway remind myself just how hard I had worked to get to were I was at. You see if you give up on something that you truly desire, you will never know how far you can go with it.
The same can be said for my debut record. Yesterday I gave a friend of mine a listen to the countless demos I have stockpiled over the previous 10 years or so. You can clearly hear the development of the songs and how with each recording there were slight improvements. It was in 2007 that I purchased an M-Box and I began to record my songs. Prior to that I was using an old cassette tape recorder to record songs. During that summer I called around to a neighbour of mine that was starting to get into home recording. I played him some of my songs and he said he'd love to help me to produce my first EP. So for the next year or two, every weekend I had free, I would travel back to Limerick from Carlow and record my EP. The songs were never finished and they became the start of my demo collection.
Then I headed off to the UK and while I was studying there I would play at a folk night every week on the campus. I got to know the organiser of the night who happened to be head of the music department at the University. So I asked him would there be any chance of using their campus studio's to record a few songs. He said leave it with him and that he'd sort something out. He came back to me a few days later and said that I could use the studio and that there was some available free time. I arranged to head to the studio and meet up with someone there that would record the songs. I played through one song and the guy (who was a student doing a masters in sound engineering) said he really liked the song and that he had a mate who could lay down some bass on it, so I accepted his offer and before I know it I had a bass player a drummer and a piano dude. We arranged to meet again just before christmas and we recorded the 3-4 tracks. I was really happy with how the recording went and finally what I was hearing in my head was coming out on the tracks. Then before we left we all agreed to meet up after the holidays to finish the recordings. There was no mention of money at this stage but I was gonna discuss it at the next session and sort them out at the end of the recording. I rang the guy back up after the holiday's and he said he was busy and couldn't do anything for a few weeks. This went on and on for months and months till eventually I stopped ringing him. Now there was never any mention of money and I think because I didn't pay his buddies straight after the first session he wasn't happy.
I learnt that this needs to be clarified up front so that everyone knows whats actually happening. I was waiting for the next session, to finish the songs, to discuss what the situation with payment was. My 1st venture into the world of the recording studio was a disaster. However, it was a learning curve and I made sure to discuss the money situation straight away next time round.
It wan't until 2010 that I got to head back into the studio for a second shot at recording. This time it was a friend of a neighbour of mine that had a recording studio. He also knew a piano dude that was happy to play on the tracks. So again before I knew it I had a drummer a bass player and a piano dude ( hold on this sounds familiar) willing to play on my songs. I made sure not to make the same mistake as I had previously and we discussed money prior to heading into the studio and everyone was happy. They agreed to meet up the day before and go through the songs. They met the day before but I wasn't invited to the rehearsal session. The piano dude said to me that the drummer just wanted them there for it. Now if this was in a hospital setting I'd be screaming red flags you gotta sort this out but I just went along with it and I met them the next day in the studio. So next day in the studio the drummer pulls out a pair of hot rods for one of the songs which I had specifically instructed him to use brushes for. I asked him what were they for and he convinced me that the song would sound better with the hot rods instead of the brushes. I went along with it and the result was the song sounded rubbish. The drummer was also drinking cans of cider at 11 O' Clock in the morning in between takes. So yet again another disaster was had in the recording studio and so I added to my collection of demo's.
By now I should have given up RIGHT - WRONG you see I had previously learnt you don't give up. Because if you do you'll never know how far you can get. At this stage it just seemed like notting was working and I'd never get these songs recorded as they were in my head. Shortly after this I headed to Dublin and it was there that I met a very talented sound engineer from South Korea by the name of Jin Lim. This guy was a very talented sound engineer and we recorded a few tracks in some studios in temple bar. This is when I discovered that I needed a producer to produce the record so I contacted David Odlum and the rest is history. In the end the recording of the record went very smoothly because I had taken everything I had learn't from the previous recording sessions and I made sure not to let the same mistakes happen again.
I hope you liked reading this blog please subscribe and leave a comment if you wish. Also remember the next time you feel like quitting, remind yourself just how far you have come and how hard you have worked to get to where you are at right now and then repeat to yourself over and over NEVER GIVE UP :)