New Update – We’re Done (almost)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 by thenonband

As I promised, dear Non reader, I have been keeping you up to date on everything that happens in the studio. So here’s a last bit of info: we’re done! 

Okay, to the ten people that have been reading this blog, I apologize for not keeping up with every day, but what I’ve learned is that after spending 12+ hours a day working and obsessing over our songs, the only thing I’m capable of doing when I get back is unwind with some relaxing bouts of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas killing sprees with the band. 

Last night we got back some rough mixes of all our songs minus one, and they sound pretty awesome, especially considering they’re first time mixes. Tonight we’re going to return to the studio for a final time to retrack about three guitar parts and then we’re done for good I think. 

Working with Jarod and the rest of the Blackwatch guys has been fun and easygoing, and Jarod’s been the perfect guy to settle the rough parts of our music that we’ve debated over for months. I’m pretty proud of the way everything sounds. Next step – album artwork and production. Look for the CD release in October!

Wil

Closing the Gap.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2009 by thenonband

Last night (unless I am mistaken) was our second-to-last chance to tweak our songs. We have only a few hours today to make the final changes, but ultimately we are already at the point where we are completely ready to bring these songs into the studio as they are and record them. We are completely proud of these songs. This CD will be a completely different journey from the last one. I’ve decided that possibly where the last CD was a bit more “instant gratification”-esque, this one might be a little more of a slow burner that grows and grows as you listen to it. I think the complexity of the album may be lost on first listen and it might take a few for the CD and the listener to synchronize and for both to resonate fully. I am rambling, the only way to know is to buy one I guess. We’ve been playing these songs so much lately that it’s gotten to the point where Tom will walk into another room and play bass in the other room just so he can play them without following visual cues. Which means these songs are officially engrained into our minds on a near-subconscious level. 

Tadaima is playing at the Opolis tonight. Another short set, probably opening for Action! and Donkeys. We’re excited for Tadaima, they are going to play with some pretty fun bands tonight. 

Wil

Tadaima show @ Conservatory w/Negative Negative and Archons

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2009 by thenonband

Wedged in between two bands with waaaay more musical testosterone than us, we played our comparatively lighter set to about 40 people who were keen on the whole Tadaima/Non ploy. The show was great for us. To some extent, we played like nervous kids again, and honestly I don’t know the last time I ever played like that. By the second song I was exhausted from jumping around, which one of our newer songs makes me feel that way so I do it. 

When I say the show was great for us, I do not mean it was a great show. In fact, we screwed up a ton on the newer stuff (as well as the older stuff that we should have nailed). But playing them once in front of people and onstage made us realize fine-tunings that we need to make with the new music, and we even made some of those changes right there in the moment last night. I would say by Wednesday we should have our music “perfected” as far as we won’t make any more drastic changes. 

Thanks for everyone who came out! I saw a couple of camera flashes last night. If it was you, could we get a file or two?

Wil

First Night in Norman – Success!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 by thenonband

Coming from a small conservative Christian university in Edmond, the way I feel about being in Norman is kind of like what I’d imagine a farm kid feels like when he moves out and goes to the Big City, whatever city that may be. Excited about living so close to everything on OU’s campus, I got on my bike this morning and pedaled my way around Campus Corner and eventually ended up at a Panera (this was fairly inevitable). And I only almost got hit by cars twice! 

Yesterday at about 1 PM I drove down to Tom’s house in Norman. Zach and Delpha were hanging out when I got there, and about thirty minutes after arriving, Tom, Zach and I started the moving-in-equipment process, which has become considerably more complicated because of new instruments we’re employing on the album. I’d love to tell more about this, but I think it might be fun to keep this a surprise, even though it’s really not a big deal. Tom’s room is already proving to be a really really sweet jam room. We nailed moving pads to the walls for sound proofing and I feel like the place looks really cool. I mean really, really cool. I’ll put up pictures soon, I don’t want you to miss out. (And you’ll see what instruments we’re using, crud.)

We jammed off and on during the day, and at about 9 PM or so we hit a creative streak that was pretty unbelievable. We messed around with some vocals over one of our more ambient sections and then we essentially finished the last song for the album. Zach and Tom kill on this one. This is the same song that I’ve been writing about as the One That is Impossible to Finish. And it’s probably now all of our favorite song. So it really pays off to be patient with songwriting, because it takes approaching and reapproaching the same troublesome areas until they become perfected. We named this song (somewhat tentatively but not really) after my favorite Post-Colonial literary critic. Hint: his last name sounds like something a child would say. 

Also, we started on another short song that is really beautiful and hypnotic. I think this is the kind of song that will be just amazing to listen to with headphones and hopefully be able to transport people to somewhere else. But who knows. We are also perfecting the prelude to the last song on the album, which is a nice, sophisticated piano song that Zach wrote. I’m really happy about how evenly we’ve contributed to this album. I’d say that Zach and I write about equally on this one, where probably last time I tended to be overly present. The result is a much more developed, thoughtful, deliberate album that is probably about three times more diverse than Paper City (which I consider fairly diverse). 

We quit practicing last night at around 4 AM. We made more progress in one day than possibly the last week. I actually don’t consider this strange. I think creativity, as with finding beauty in life in general, comes as a result out of perfect synchronizations of the mind with outside forces, and in music, when you can attune with other people’s minds and create music truly together rather than merely playing at the same time, that is when you can create something beautiful and meaningful. I think we did that last night. 

Wil

Also, we may or may not have some songs named after works by e e cummings and Lewis Carroll. (Thanks for the inspiration Will Kooi)

Have I Succumbed to a New Level of Technoholicism?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2009 by thenonband

I just made up that term. But I think it works. I’ll admit that I am a Technoholic. 

Last night, staying up till 3 AM seemed so easy as I flipped from Facebook (The Non fan page) to Twitter (to see if I got new people Following) to Hotmail (to see who is following us on Twitter) to Myspace (to see if this influenced play counts at all) to finally checking Oklahomarock’s Forum (to see what people have said to my replies). Though my eyes started to burn after a few hours, sleep seemed unimportant as I juggled all these sites that I am now trying to manage and make grow. Hopefully I’ll get over all this. 

But maybe not. I just realized that the thing that got me out of bed was the realization that I might have new people following the band on Twitter. I haven’t been so motivated by technology since Fourth Grade when I got a Nintendo 64 and couldn’t wait to wake up and play it. 

So basically, what I’m saying is, Hello, my name is Wil and I am a technoholic.

Tadaima, a Non cover band.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2009 by thenonband

We just came upon this band called Tadaima, which is a band in OKC that is covering our songs. They are playing 2 or 3 shows next week… I hear they know our new material and are going to focus primarily on that for their live show. 

July 6, they’re at The Conservatory with some Archons and Negative Negative. (www.conservatoryokc.com)

July 8, they’re in Norman at The Opolis, playing with Donkeys and Action! (www.opolis.org)

They may be playing the 7th at 51st Street Speakeasy with Sherree Chamberlain, but that one’s still TBA. 

– – – 

We are very excited to see what happens with this band and the material they play. Also, I forgot to mention that this cover band is made up of some if not (definitely) all of the original members. 

Wil

Big Day. Orchestra and Studio Talks

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2009 by thenonband

Quick Update – Practices lately have been a little like hitting out heads against a wall and hoping something good will come of it, but actually I think that somehow we’ve come to a new creative direction on our last song. Also, we’re doing a pretty good job of going back and reworking our newest two songs.

Today though was a business day, and a great one  at that. We drove down to Norman, and accomplished two big things.

1. We met with OU Music Professor Carl Rath to further discuss an upcoming show where we will incorporate a live orchestra with Paper City. (To those out of the loop, we are going to play Paper City in its entirety with a small orchestra as our “last hurrah” for our first album, since we are probably never going to play all those songs ever again after we finish our new album) Dr. Rath looked at some of Zach’s orchestral arrangements he wrote and we spent about two hours talking about all this really deep musical theory stuff that I have absolutely no idea about. Trying to be in on this highly technical conversation, I felt the need to blurt out stuff to seem like I understood what Dr. Rath and Zach were saying but that probably just further revealed my lack of knowledge. However, Dr. Rath is incredibly interested in this Non/Orchestra concert and he even went home today and wrote an entire score to “Boohajum.” It sounds good too!

2. After this meeting, we drove a block down the road and met Jarod Evans from Blackwatch to discuss the recording process and everything. It was good just to come to an understanding of what we will expect from each other. As far as I can tell, this time in the studio we will be much more in tune with each other’s musical expectations and should be able to speak the same language when it comes to sound.

If you’re curious, when Jarod asked what we wanted our album to sound like, we referenced Broken Social Scene, Grizzly Bear, Octopus Project, and Radiohead. So that’s what we’re going to sound like. Get ready.

Tomorrow is another practice day. Pretty soon the three of us that live in OKC are going to move down to stay at Tom’s house in Norman, where we will continue to practice, practice, and then, well, practice some more. Still waiting for some song titles!

Wil