Veteran Singer/Songwriter and former The Voice contestant returns to the studio with songs about memory in search of a timeless sound.
About this project
Making records isn’t cheap. From the studio time, to paying the musicians, to mixing, mastering and printing the vinyl, the costs add up. This is where I need your help! I was able to get started but there are still plenty of things that need to be done and paid for to get this record finished. There are a bunch of reward options to choose from for giving at certain levels, but whatever you can contribute is very much appreciated. I should also mention that if I don’t reach my goal the project will not be funded, so every dollar helps!
“But Todd, what if you make your goal, can I still contribute to the project?”
Great question and the answer is yes! Any funds we raise over our goal will go directly into the project. There are costs that are not factored in to the goal, things like Publicity, Promotion and even the fee that Kickstarter will take off the top, so literally every cent we raise will go to finishing this album. Will you join me on this? Let’s make magic!
What You Get (and how this all works)
When you contribute to my project you have the option of a number of different rewards depending on your contribution level. If you choose a reward you will receive all of the items listed with that reward to be delivered to you (when applicable) by October 2016, however you can also choose to contribute with no reward. Nonetheless any one who gives to the project will get updates on the progress of the album plus exclusive content not available anywhere else, like behind-the-scenes video from the studio and a first look and listen to all of the songs from the album.
“The funny thing about memory, I’m forgetting all the time.” – About Memory
It’s hazy as to when it started, when the idea of memory took hold, but it started to click on April 11th, 2015. I was driving to a gig when I heard an interview on the radio. The artist being interviewed was talking about memory, specifically about certain moments in his life, and why some memories stuck and some seemed to disappear. The idea stayed with me, and when I sat down to write a song one day, I realized I had already been confronting this idea for some time. It’s said that every time we remember something we change it, fictionalizing it a little more each time until it becomes what we want to remember. We are all directors of our own bio-pic, the authors of the story of our lives, so in reality, no memory is truly authentic. Or is it? As the author of the story, aren’t we allowed to change it as we see fit? Why is it that the smallest of things may stay with us in crystal clear detail but the seemingly important things are lost? And what about other people’s memory of us and our imprint on their story? I don’t claim to have the answers, but I have an album of songs that try to figure it all out. The only thing missing is you…
In the summer of 2011, my band The New Folk and I shot an episode of a TV show called Live From The Alley, shot in a small recording studio in Valparaiso, Indiana. The premise of the show was simple: a band plays live in the studio and then gets interviewed. We had a great time and our episode turned out great, but what I didn’t know is that day would lead me to this album. The owner and producer/engineer of that studio was Marc Nelson. Marc and I hadn’t met until that day but I left feeling excited because I thought he did amazing work and had a great studio. I didn’t think much about working with him again after the filming of the show, however, because I was already in the middle of recording an album with my band elsewhere. Yet as the months and years passed I would occasionally hear from Marc. He would check in to see how I was doing, if I had any new songs I was working on, and if I would like to come back to Valparaiso and do some work together. The answer was always yes but the timing was always wrong. Until June 11th, 2015, exactly two months after I heard that radio interview about memory, he got back in touch, and the timing was right.
Marc and I spoke regularly on the phone for the next several months, we talked about the kind of record we wanted to make, what records we loved, the artists we loved, the sound we wanted to create, and everything was lining up. We love the same artists, the same records, and when he told me he was now working with Ken Caillat, who did Rumours with Fleetwood Mac (a very important record for me), it all made sense. From there we hit the ground running. I sent Marc about 20-25 songs and ideas and we started going through them one by one, going back and forth on the phone about changing a line here, or moving a section there. We knew how we wanted this record to sound. We just needed the songs and a plan.
And just like that the plan emerged. Marc told me about this writer/producer he has just worked with, a guy named Ran Jackson, and he thought we should bring him in on the project. After hearing about Ran, about how he had worked with such artists as Katy Perry, OneRepublic and Goo Goo Dolls, I was excited to work with someone who had that level of experience. When originally working together, Ran and Marc connected on their love of music that was raw and organic and after hearing the demos I sent Marc, Ran was on board. Ran brought Daniel Mackenzie on to the project as assistant engineer and Bass player. Marc brought on Jonathan Marks on drums, a friend of mine from the Chicago scene, who has also done many albums with Marc. As for where we were going to record the record, we knew we needed a studio that had a “vibe”. We needed a room that had character, that for whatever reason just sounds a way that can’t be explained by looking at it, and we found that in New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, California. New Monkey was the personal studio of Elliot Smith, where he worked for the last three years of his life. Knowing that history, we knew the space would hold a certain energy and all we had to do was capture it. We did the basic tracking for the album in two days at New Monkey then transferred over to Ran’s studio to edit and record my vocals. A few days later I was back in Chicago and now I’m coming to you to help
Risks and challenges
Obstacles I may face will have to do with the CD’s and Vinyl being pressed by October as things come up in the pressing process that I cannot account for. That being said I have every intention of getting everything out on time!