We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of making #HillsterHipbilly (aka the new June IND EP that does not want to be finished).
The following novel contains explanations (not excuses) to bring you up-to-date, without getting into too many private matters.
So yeah, it’s only 3 songs… What’s taking so long?!?
Last year, Em, Drew, and I decided that we’d been supporting Whistle When We Break Down for long enough and that it was time for new tunes.
Since the band name was shortened from Chris June IND to June IND, I wanted to revamp the creative process. Drew and Em were cool with that. 🙂
“Settling,” “Dear Reason,” and the songs from WWWBD were, for the most part, all written/recorded by me at IND HQ.
And… as a 3-piece, impossible to make sound like the recorded versions in a live setting. There’s just too many parts.
For the new effort, we planned to rip out 3 songs that were SASCAFMAH (simple as sh**, catchy as fu**, and mean as hell).
The best part: this was going to come together really fast!
The 3 of us started jamming in my big room and coming up with parts. We literally picked a tempo, started the metronome, and rolled with it. As we loudly brainstormed, I had my Pro Tools rig recording and would piece together parts of songs after everyone left. We circulated mixes and ideas via Facebook Messenger.
Quickly, 3 songs took shape: “A Little Bitterness,” a slower grinder about working hard and drinking hard, “With Chaos,” a jackhammer of a love song, and “____,” that I was going to finish the words for and name by the time I would track vocals. I’d get it done too, because that last one had to be on the CD!
I still don’t know if it was great convincing, guilting, or boredom that led to our friend Mateo agreeing to be involved with the project… but it happened. He’s the drummer for one of my favorite Indiana bands (the Cocaine Wolves), is DIY studio savvy, and achieved some really mean guitar sounds on CDs for the Cocaine Wolves and the Mound Builders. We had our friend Jeff Anderson at Sound Logic lined up to mix the EP. We’d figure out who would do mastering later.
In two weekends, we knocked out drums, rhythm guitars, and bass tracks. In addition to the 3 songs that were supposed to be the final EP tracks, we decided to record two more songs that we’d been playing live. Those two songs were “My Rx” and “Feed Me a Lie.” The former was originally an acoustic song that was revamped into a meaner version with the help of Drew and former-IND drummer, Chris Parker. The latter turned out to be unusable because a mic cord on one of the overhead mics crapped out on keeper track for the drums.
Technically, that’s not a complete whoops, but it would’ve been sweet to have that song for bonus material.
By the time I finished cleaning-up and editing tracks, it was becoming clear that the key to “With Chaos” needed to be changed. In the original register, it was too low to belt out with my guitar, Drew, and Em blaring behind it.
Guitars and bass would have to be rerecorded.
Since everything had been torn down, everything would need to be set up again to track guitar and bass for that song… and we ended up recording all of them to keep the sounds consistent. Before we got that wrapped up, it was time for Camp & Jam and the TASTE of Tippecanoe.
Then… we learned a bunch of songs to play at a 4th of July shindig. Following that, Drew, Em, and I all moved and it took a while to get settled into our new places.
August and September flew by and, for the 2nd year in a row, my day job occupied most nights and weekends in October.
In November, I turned 30 and IND helped raise over $1000 to defeat HJR-6 (now HJR-3); through an online fundraising campaign and benefit show. I played the show with a 102+ degree temp, but rock ‘n roll helped break my fever. 🙂
Within a week, the Greater Lafayette Area was ravaged by tornadoes. One did damage around Em’s place; where we had been practicing and recording.
Done counting the whoops-es.
After the tornado cleanup and between the holidays, I managed to get all the rhythm guitar and bass tracks edited up and was planning to finish up vocals and the rest of the guitars at Sound Logic.
Then… COLDEST, CRAZIEST WINTER EVERRRR!!!
So, here we are. It’s February 16, 2014. #HillsterHipbilly still isn’t done and now you know why.
My bad, dudes. 😦
PS: Seize the moment. If you’re not expecting it, it’s pretty damn difficult to know that a mine-field is ahead until you’re already in it.