I’ve been in the thick of this project for about 14 months. Now that its public unveiling is close at hand, I’m able to step back from these songs and this concept a little and remember why I started it: Andy, of course.
Anyone who knows me well either knows Andy or has heard me speak about him, because we are old friends and I talked to him more regularly than any other person in my life for a solid decade-plus. His death came to be a defining factor in my move to California (just 10 days after I arrived, eagerly anticipating a new time zone and lifestyle) and at this point I can say it was a turning point for me in every big picture, macro, birds-eye-view way imaginable. There is life before he died and life after.
His death meant the loss of a confidant with whom I shared a shorthand I can’t begin to convey to anyone else. It meant a revaluation of what and who is important in my life, and a reckoning with those who couldn’t be as a loyal as him. It meant banging my head against some vague acceptance that I will laugh far less frequently than I used to without him around to take the piss out of everything.
It also meant bereavement groups, bad job interviews, shortness of breath, therapy, float tanks, anxiety, uncomfortable silences, loops, aimless walks, an inability to write or talk, more loops, loneliness, long phone calls, shadow inventories, and breakdowns in the kitchen.
I needed this project to pull me out of a terrible, impossible place. And miraculously, it has.
From where I sit now, I can point to – by far – the most cohesive record I’ve ever recorded, several new partnerships and friends, and more importantly, a community that has coalesced around this concept that we should be able to talk about all of this death and this missing, together, and not feel bad about it. In fact, there should be a pride in carrying the torch of these people.
Honestly, with a community like this formed, for me the project is already a success – and the most exciting part is still to come.
See all of you on October 21.