Introducing Zoetic, now available at Bandcamp!
About 10 years ago I created my first “real” album of original music. It was called Clocks Striking 13. No, it wasn’t an ode to 1984, as I had actually forgotten about that reference at the time. I really just thought it looked cool, and gave me a good visual to base a cover off of.
CS13 was just a bunch of actual, fully-realized instrumental rock compositions I’d cobbled together over the years and then was able to record and mix together in a month. I created it in Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2 on a Windows XP machine, using a limited amount of drum loops and a cheap microphone to capture some live guitar. Bass was handled by recording guitar and then EQing it. The albums sounds pretty dated now, but I’m still proud that I pulled it off.
Fast-forward to August 2011. I’ve got quite a few more guitars, basses, and other musical playthings. I’m much more of a one-man band now. I use a Mac primarily, and my sequencer of choice is Logic. I’ve bought several sample packs and have a couple MIDI controllers for input. A nice multi-input audio interface sits under my LCD monitor and some large audio monitors festoon the sides of my desk, ready for output. A lot has changed in 10 years.
The beginning of Zoetic began like lots of other projects: my thoughts coalesce into a single vision at some point, and I realize I have a few sketches or ideas between the new things I’ve recorded here and there for fun and some failed projects of yesteryear. I think to myself, “I might have something here. I might have an album.” And thus a Google Doc detailing a tracklist is born.
My initial idea for the album was going to include some electronic or experimental stuff alongside the usual instrumental rock that my brain constantly develops. However, I ran into some creative trouble on anything that wasn’t my stock guitar/bass/drums combination, so those ideas either went to the Impulse (OST) or to the digital archive bin. Over the next 7 months, tracks got cut or added at my whim, finally ending up at that magical number 11. The garageband that is me in a room with some guitars, mics, and a sequencer chock full o’ samples was all I needed. Except for a few samples here and there (and the drums, obv), Zoetic is all me.
And it’s available on Bandcamp.
You could say that this is a post-neo-grunge album, minus lyrics, but sprinkled with vocals. I don’t often sing, and I rarely write lyrics, but I really felt like adding some vocal accompaniment was needed for this project. Thus, I dug into my reserves and found some vocal samples here and there that seemed to sweeten the mix. “New Settlement” probably uses them the best, actually seeming like a melody that goes along with the music, and not just padding. Initially, I had no vocals at all, but since adding them, I can’t imagine these pieces without them.
One last thing: much like my soundtrack for Impulse, I’m putting Zoetic up for actual money. I usually think that my music isn’t worth anything, but I’ve come to feel like that’s the wrong attitude. For people to take you seriously, you must first take yourself seriously. I’m going to start that by putting a nominal fee on the downloads of any album I make that ends up at Bandcamp. Anything else that is more of a “single” or throwaway idea that’s still worth sharing will go to SoundCloud for free listening/downloading. My personal site at nebyoolae.com will soon just be a jumping off point for these services, and I won’t be hosting every single song I have like I’ve been doing for years. BC and SC do their respective jobs better than I could ever do, and I’m gonna start supporting that.
In sum, go and enjoy the music I have made. I hope you do.