Two years ago, you helped me put my first record on vinyl. Now help me do the same for my second one. It’s called Reflection.
Reflection took seven months to record and mix. Here’s how the process went:
I started with drums, which I recorded over a ten-day period in June of 2015 after returning home from thirty-eight months in Japan. I recorded the bass immediately after that.
My first guitar was thought to be lost. Last summer, I found it lying inside a friend’s attic. It’s probably about twenty years old and was in poor condition, but I had it restored, and now it sounds amazing. I play it all over the album.
But before I recorded the guitars, I moved to California, which required a cross-country trip. I learned many things on the road, like that fact that America consists almost entirely of an interconnected series of Dunkin’ Donuts. And who could forget Wisconsin’s Culver’s, home of the Butter Burger? This is the stuff that true inspiration is made of.
So when I arrived in California, I took that inspiration, boiled it down into a sauce, and then, in true California fashion, ingested it with heaping portions of kale and gluten-free snacks.
Sufficiently inspired, I finished up recording the guitars throughout the fall, whenever I had time to spare. I recorded the last bits (piano, organ, extra percussion, etc.) and mixed the album during the winter, which I spent alone in a drafty castle while taking care of a canine friend.
Like I said in the video, I had some help along the way. So I’d like to briefly introduce you to those with whom I’ve worked (and will continue to work) to get this album into production.
Eli Winograd – Lone Pine Road
Eli mixed and mastered my last album, and he did a fantastic job, so I wanted him to master this one as well. It’s better to put something as delicate as mastering into the hands of a professional, and Eli was definitely the man for the job. He mastered the album in February, right after he released his own album under the name Dreeme Life Ball. I got to play drums on four of the songs on that album. It’s so great to work with such a creative and talented musician. Click the picture to check out his studio.
Just about my favorite artist on the planet, Sarika is a hyper-talented printmaker, painter, photographer, lithographer, etc., whose work “acts as an archive and collection of water-related thoughts, ideas, and emotions.” Her work is pretty freakin’ profound if you ask me. She did the artwork for my last album, which consisted of shattered glass, water colors, photo elements, and probably a number of other things. I’m lucky to be working with Sarika again for this one. Click on her artwork to check out her website.
Pirate’s Press / GZ Media
So who will be responsible for pressing the album? That’s right, Pirate’s Press. Pirate’s Press is a San Francisco based intermediary that works with a fantastic pressing plant in the Czech Republic – GZ Media. GZ Media has been pressing vinyl for 65 years, and they produce tens of thousands of records every day. They pressed my last record, and I’ll be very happy to work with them again. Now that I live close to San Francisco, I’ll be able save hundreds of dollars on shipping costs by picking up the records in person.
Who Am I?
I ask myself this question every day. Here’s what we know: His name is Jonathan, and he’s been playing, writing, and recording music compulsively for about 16 years. He was reared in New Jersey, but he has spent significant amounts of time in Western Massachusetts, New York, Chicago, Japan, and most recently California.
Two years ago, I released my first record, Memory Well, on vinyl through a successfully fundedKickstarter campaign. We had about 90 backers, raised 181% of our original $2000 goal, and were lucky enough to be marked a “Project We Love” by Kickstarter. It was a great experience, and I’m happy to be back on Kickstarter for round two!
Here are some reviews of that album:
For more info and more music, click on some of the links in my bio.
Risks and challenges
Getting a record pressed requires a bit of patience – both on my part and yours. With the resurgence of vinyl in the past couple of years, wait times have increased significantly. When I had my first record pressed, I expected it to take about a month or so, but it ended up taking a little over three months.
Here’s how the process works:
After you have given the press your artwork and music, you will have to wait for the factory to send you some test pressings. You can choose not to receive test pressings and go straight for the full production run, but that’s just ludicrous. So you review those test pressings to ensure that everything meets your standards. If they aren’t up to par, you have to go a step backwards and figure out what went wrong. That would certainly increase the timeline. But if they sound kosher, you have to wait for them to press the full run, which will vary according to how busy the factory is. The time of year may factor in to this. Many bands want to have their records pressed in time for Record Store Day, which was on April 15th of this year. Pressing your record in late summer or early fall will at least avoid that particular traffic jam, but one can’t be sure exactly how fast it can be done.
I would hope that I could get these records sent out approximately three to four months after the closing of this campaign, but considering how much of the production has to be entrusted an outside company, I would not want to make any promises I couldn’t keep. Last time I was a little too ambitious.
That said, I’ve done this before. I know the ropes. If this campaign is successful (and I’m hoping it will be), then I will do my best to get these records (and all of the other rewards) out to you by the end of the year, or soon thereafter.