It’s been a while since my last post, but I have a good reason, I swear! I’ve been working day and night on my new album, PARKWAY DIVIDES, which is set to debut October 30th. The first single, “Summer Nights,” is out today along with a pre-order page over at PledgeMusic.com/IllAdvised. If you pre-order the album or any of the other cool packages that include signed CDs, T-Shirts, VIP concert tickets, your name in the liner notes, and an opportunity to be in one of the music videos for the album – along with tons of other stuff – you’ll also get an instant download of the single.
Pledge Music seemed like a great way to make the album a more collaborative and intimate experience. I’m the only member in Ill-Advised, so I write, record, perform, produce, and engineer all the music and lyrics on the album (kind of like the way Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails and Prince write and record). It’s tons of fun, but half the time I feel like Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! (a cartoon I used to watch as a kid. I’m a dork, I know.) talking to his alter-ego/split personality (who happens to be a 5000 year old Egyptian pharaoh) as I switch from artist mode, to producer mode, to engineer mode, and back to artist mode in the studio.
Parkway Divides is a very personal album. It’s a concept record – a throwback to old vinyl records in that it’s purposely divided into two sides – Northbound and Southbound. I didn’t set out to make a concept record, it just kind of happened that way. My goal is to take you guys on a journey, if you listen to the record from start to finish, which I know is rare today since people prefer singles. But, even if you aren’t an album sort of person, each song on its own tells a story. It’s basically an album about growing up, and the songs are as diverse as my influences – everything from metal to classical music. I’ll be posting more detailed posts about the album over the next few weeks on the Pledge Music page, along with other exclusive, behind-the-scenes content for anyone who pre-orders the album. If you pre-order any of the various packages, you’ll be contributing toward the mixing and mastering of Parkway Divides, and the more cool stuff (like vinyl) I’ll be able to offer to make this experience even better, and you’ll be part of the making of the album in a real way.
“Summer Nights” is one of the most personal songs on the record and means a lot to me. So, it seemed like the perfect first single for an album that in many ways is about my life. The only way I can write is from experience, so every song off Parkway Divides is inspired, in some way, by something I’ve actually gone through. As a twenty-two year old in 2015, I feel out of place a lot of the time in the sense that oversharing and writing personal blog posts isn’t really my thing – it doesn’t come naturally. What does come naturally, is writing music.
The process of getting this single mixed and mastered has been surreal, to say the least. I had the pleasure of working with Michael James, whose discography includes New Radicals, Hole, L7, Jawbreaker, Far, A.J. Croce, Robben Ford, The Coronas, and more amazing artists. I met Michael when I was still in high school and interviewed him for a school paper for one of my music classes. Since then, he has been a huge inspiration to me and has encouraged me to never give up. Working with Michael has been nothing short of amazing and without him, this song – and this album – would not be possible. I’m genuinely thankful to have him as a mentor and to call him my friend.
I’m really looking forward to finishing this record and sharing it with all of you. If you like the single, and want to support the making of the album, please consider pre-ordering something over at PledgeMusic.com/IllAdvised. As an independent artist, it takes a lot to get things off the ground, and I promise the album won’t disappoint.