I’ve been told many times that i come off mysterious. I think I’ve gotten better at shaking that vibe, but I do understand why that might be. When I was younger it was because I was legitimately a mystery at all times even to myself. I had an insane life and was basically off the grid and involved in drugs/crime and just general passed out and came to in many different places. I tell my stories to people now and they look at me in disbelief which is really nice because that obviously means I’ve grown enough to where people that didn’t know me then can’t even picture me like that.

Somehow the mysterious thing has lasted long into me being clean with the exception of very recently I really haven’t heard it much, but I’d like to debunk whatever amount of mystery that still persists. I don’t live a secret life or anything, but i do lead a double or even triple life and two parts of that are things that I’m not too publically loud about. On one hand yeah I’m very loud and transparent about the fact that I’m a recovering drug addict. I love making my posts about having seven years clean and all that and sharing some Hope here and there and blogging about the growth stuff of what it was and what it is now, but on the other hand i preserve the anonymity of the place where I recover and most of my activity with it, which happens to be the things that I spend most of my time doing. Im part of a program and I maintain that program in my life and have a lot of involvement with that program. I work with three homies from that program and we go to meetings after work a lot and try our best to help ourselves get better and help the next person trying to get clean to be able to stay long enough to get it. So that’s one panel or maybe two if you count work. Then another one is some service stuff I do outside of that program that’s just for me to feel like I participate in my community. It’s for me so I don’t talk about it much and it’s just a quiet thing. I go back and forth in my mind over whether it’s better to silently serve and try to be humble about it or if those things should be shared so that people have examples of things to do to feel better about their lives. One could argue either way but for now it’s just one of my things. The other thing is hanging with musicians. A lot of that stuff I don’t talk about much because I feel like it takes away from certain experiences. Like I watch musicians treat every single cool thing we do like an opportunity to promote ourselves and I know I’ve been getting a better attitude about the fact that looking cool is important and shit but just simply hangin and not having the goddamn phones out constantly is just important and I know that my closest friends and I share that value and I appreciate them for it too. 

So the mystery is gone. I’m living the dream, you’re probably living the dream. Goodnight

Delicate Lines

A huge underlying concept that we’re constantly mindful of when writing our new album is trusting the listener to understand and comprehend things without a bunch of explanation. If we want to “trim the fat” with the music and especially the lyrics then there needs to be some trust in the listener to be able to fill in the space between the lines. I typically start out writing a part and have about two paragraphs worth of ideas to cram into two to four lines with 8-16 syllables per line. Less words hit harder and i just have to trust you to fill in the details for yourself.

Aside from the trust thing there’s also the delicate balance between artsy and bold with the overall picture we’re creating. Most artists like ourselves who have a diverse catalog of influences want to bring in a little bit of everything and just make one huge pile of everything we love about music. The problem with that is that it can be become too “artsy” or cumbersome and can actually work against the articulation of an idea. The process of layering up then trimming fat is tedious and sucks the life out of me a lot. It’s much like the lyrics where I want to say eighty thousand things but I only have a few short lines to say it in. So we shave off a layer here and shave some notes out of a guitar part there. Then we make the rhythm guitar less choppy and push it down in the mix to make it more subtle and bring a string/synth/pad more to the front to smooth out that middle section, and the bass tone is perfected to be the massive slab of body that holds it all up. More important than anything the drums. Less is always more with all of these layers, but especially the drums. Percussion is the most important part of any music and is the one thing that can make or break the BEST musical arrangements on earth. Not only does a drummer have to be the overall balanced and strong and subtle and dynamic and particular, but a lot of the “trimming the fat” stuff in this area makes the biggest differences on the overall sound. Simply put, less hits equals bigger sound. More hits equals more articulate but less size typically, though there are exceptions sometimes.

So it all just comes down to balancing boldness and articulation for us, and on this new album we’ve been working overtime to make sure we can create the picture we’ve always known we were capable of creating. This LP will be what we consider to be our first and is the recognition of our full potential. We’re excited about this and hope you are too.

New Friends

I made a new friend on Long Island last night. Solid dude that was kind of outcasting on the fringes at the show. I haven’t been blogging because I started seeing it as this overly intense/overly wordy thing that serves no higher purpose than for me to wax philosophical and talk about myself(which is basically true) , but this dude I met last night really made me rethink that. I walked up to him because I realized he wasn’t with anyone and he was singing every word during our set but hadn’t came up to talk or anything. I assumed he was like me and just gets a bit shy. So we chatted a little bit but were cut off by my other friend who was pretty drunk and talkative. I was glad that later on after the show ended my new friend came up was like “hey you got a minute I have some personal questions about your blog”. Anyone that knows me knows i really love having intense conversations about real things so my ears immediately perked up and we ran out back to smoke cigs and talk. He asked me personal questions and requested elaborations on some specifics with my blog and my personal posting. It came up that he too had struggled with many similar things and that he was a musician and seeking comfort with playing music again and change and stuff. I presumed that he was getting clean or recently got clean too so it was really personal and cool, but he also raised questions where I really had to think and be like “yeah i might seem like I’m good at that but it took work”. People that know me now think I’m some sort of natural social butterfly, but I’m really not. My natural state and most comfortable state is complete isolation and anti-social. My natural inclination is to disqualify other humans from being worthy of my time and to disqualify myself from joy and connection. I have no clue why I’m like that but it’s fine and i don’t act on it anymore and it doesn’t hold me back from saying hey to a stranger anymore or staring at people like I’m sizing them up anymore. And I’m not uncomfortable on stage and writing music and being vulnerable with a large group of people because I’ve consistently done it since I was 13 years old. Time takes time in life and comfort comes in seasons in different areas of my life. My current vibe is just flowing and accepting the connection and viewing a quiet stranger as an opportunity to practice social skills. So life’s good

Warm Again

So much going on right now it’s hard to keep up. I haven’t really blogged much because I’m enjoying the constant interaction with everybody on Twitter more now. It’s less of a one-sided statement now and more of a conversation. I feel like I should update everyone from time to time though so here’s the scoop...

We’re gearing up to record an album that will basically be our first true album. We wrote it together and we’re going to a really nice studio with an amazing producer for a full month to make it perfect for you. I don’t want to get too long winded so I’ll just say that the album is still emotional, it just recognizes more than two emotions now. The world of Rich People has gotten very colorful and expanded greatly and this whole process has really just revolutionized my personal life and made me excited to create a new album that is a full cinematic experience in sound. We’ve been working CONSTANTLY on everything because there’s a lot of completely new elements with keys and strings and other random world instruments. We don’t want to just be another rock band and we never really did it was just comfortable writing a certain type of song because it was all we ever knew how to do. We believe we did it well though and now it’s time to grow. So expect something totally new from us this summer.

There’s also a tour coming up this year that will be announced in a few months that will be huge for us. A couple friends know what I’m talking about and you know how monumental this is for us. We’ll keep the lid on that for now though because I don’t want to tease anybody, but you can expect us to see the entire US for our first time sometime later in the year.

Finally let’s talk about right now. Right now we have four shows coming up(plus a random last minute acoustic solo set near my apartment in West Philly on Thursday with Absinthe Father). These shows are huge because it’s the last time we will see everyone in our hometown for a Rich People show for a while. We won’t be around through Spring and Summer so this is it. We still gotta sell a bunch of merch to finish paying for recording, but we appreciate everyone who has already been supporting us with buying merch and stuff. It’s the only thing that pays for us to sustain this right now. We hardly make ends meet, but they do meet at the end of the day and that’s all thanks to you. So this is mostly just a thank you and also if you ordered merch in the past year you can expect some mail sometime soon from yours truly. Hopefully none of your mailing addresses have changed!