October is my favorite time of year, and for some reason, I end up getting a lot of things done. Three years ago this month, I released my first ever music video “Surf Zombies!” which I edited and produced myself. The video was released on Halloween 2015, and although I’ve come a long way with my film editing skills, I still enjoy the campy style of the music vid. On the song, I'm playing guitar and drums. Check it out!
Going back even further, October month marks the fifth year anniversary of my fourth album Desperate Times, which I recorded when I lived in LA. This album is a personal favorite of mine. Contrasting with my latest album Bleed Out, which is a highly produced rock album, Desperate Times takes a much more intimate and minimalist approach to a very different time in my life.
While Bleed Out was recorded entirely in three days, Desperate Times took me months to record. I would get into the studio at Timewarp Records in LA to record a few songs, then I’d run out of money and have to save up for more studio time, all the while writing and arranging the songs that would eventually make up the album.
In retrospect, the album was recorded during a very difficult time in my life; the title Desperate Times is a totally accurate description of my existence at the time. It was the first album I recorded after the car crash that nearly killed me, the aftermath of which had left me addicted to opioids and severely depressed. I was also in a very turbulent relationship, living with my girlfriend in Hollywood, using and drinking with her. All of this came out in the album, which deals with the recurring themes of addiction (the song Orange Grove), drug use (The Drug Song), fucked up relationships (Broken Girl take two; Bonni), and deep introspection (Sleep; Orange Grove).
Desperate Times was a very different kind of album for me. I didn’t raise any money for the studio time; my social media presence wasn’t nearly as put together as it is now. In fact, very few people knew that I was even working on a new album. It was a total passion project, a labor of love; I recorded it because I felt I had to. There was something driving me to create this work, this unknown force was pushing me to complete this album—and when I finally did, it created an intense and intimate snapshot of where I was, and who I was, when I lived in LA.
Desperate Times is my LA story; it’s full of darkness, moments of beauty, and it’s a very vulnerable piece of me. It captures a time period where I was breaking into new territory with my lap slide playing, my fingerpicking, and my songwriting. But don’t take my word for it—you can find out for yourself. For the next month, the whole album is just $5, in celebration of its fifth year anniversary. You can also stream it and check out the song lyrics on the site.