NC17 is a an interesting child. It raises a lot of questions when around friends and family akin to the cousin that paints his face for family gatherings. This is the first of two releases for NC17. The next one is a full music video created by yours truly.
In this lyric video I tried something new. I incorporated an animated woman into the 2D motion graphics. You can see her come in at 1:54 in all of her busty glory. Creating her was difficult for my small brain and I ran into many difficulties as exemplified here:
Byrd is journey for me. I'm creating, learning, falling on my face and picking myself up. Through and through it's pure bliss.
- Audrey Hepburn - "Moon River" (Track)
- The Weepies - "World Spins Madly On" (Track)
This took me so many hours to create. I recorded my screen for the entire process and it's dozens of hours long. I tried something different in this one... I created a 3D world in the program Cinema 4D. It's supposed to look like a screen you would find in a submarine. Not sure if I nailed it on the head... but it is my best effort.
- Mötley Crüe - Greatest Hits
- Erik Wøllo - "Blue Mountain" (track)
For fun, I sent a link of the Dear Girlfriend music video to the maker of my necklace. She wrote back a long, genuine note of her excitement and proceeded to post a screenshot of me wearing it on her ETSY page. Quite hilarious and cool.
- Spirit - 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (album)
- Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love (album)
There are so many steps required to getting things "out." I will one day keep a journal of every single "step" putting out music from strumming a few chords on a guitar to finally hitting "Post" on Facebook with the link to the music video. So many little things that go unspoken or unnoticed.
This is the first Byrd music video with many more bigger, badder and crazier videos to come.
- Paramore - "Fast In My Car"
- Brian Eno - "1/1 - 2004 Digital Remaster"
- We Came As Romans - "Broken Statues"
Ten times the size of my beloved Boston. New York stimulates my bite-sized brain. The people I meet here are so colorful and wacky. I had a young gal recognize me from Me vs Gravity and told her about the music I am writing for Byrd. She seemed excited, it was a cool 2 minutes.
Saw the Rockettes... wow. Legs were flailing everywhere it was mesmerizing. They were all identical hight and body proportions which was visually enticing and made me board a train of thought that I feel inspired to share. The only way to collect this many incredibly talented dancers of identical proportions is to outreach across not just North America, but potentially the world. They are SO syncronized in these moments, you'd mistake them for one solid being YET each one of those girls has a story... heart breaks... troubled childhoods... depression... different political party affiliations... religions... and they still manage to be "one" perfectly timed unit for this hour and a half long show. Blows my mind and brings me back to my marching band days.
- Something Corporate - "Woke Up in a Car"
- All Time Low - "Walls"
- Beatles - "When I'm Sixty-Four"
"Inspiration doesn't have a schedule"... well, I wish it would. I don't enjoy how backwards my life becomes when I get in writing veins, but I can't help it. Staying up late enough to see the sunrise every morning is common and not eating breakfast until 4pm is routine. I try to reverse it, but my vampire ways can't be shaken.
This new tune, "2D" (might change the title to "2D Girl") I started last night and I am incredibly stoked on it. Stayed up until 7:30 am recording the vocals and needed to teach a clinic at 10 am so decided not to sleep.
Excited for this EP to be done so I can get healthy.
- Blind Melon
- Thomas Burgersen - "Heart of Courage"
- Gustavo Santaolalla - "The Wings"
A few drops of blood is child's play when compared to the other sacrifices I have made. I get bad tunnel vision when I am immersed in a project I believe in and love which makes it hard to focus on other things that matter too.
The article about Pomplamoose's tour losses scare me. The music industry is one of the cruelest beasts known to man. It never stops changing and often times shifts to a lessor form of what it was. Taylor Swift pulling her music from Spotify helped us, but even an international pop star making an effort isn't enough to alter the industry's dead set course of suck.
- Dave Matthews Band - Busted Stuff (album)
- Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence (album)
- Hinder - "Lips of an Angel"
Editing "Dear Girlfriend,"'s music video as if my life depended on it. Releasing it on VEVO but having a very small premier at the Apple Store on Boylston street. They asked me to speak about my process of making music videos. I have a good relationship with them.
This cabin is my sanctuary. 50 miles from a stoplight... 1 mile long driveway... no neighbors... massive frozen lake at the base of the mountain... wood burning stove... hardwood everything... it's amazing. This has been my happy place since I was in middle school.
Getting excited to release this music video.
- Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence (album)
- Owl City - "Up All Night"
- Christina Perry - "Human" and other various tracks
- Blind Melon - "No Rain"
Everything came together. The actors, props, live members, video team... everything fell into place. If you've ever been around a production, you will know it rarely comes together perfectly. This is a screenshot that a friend took of the filming. I had the song blasting so loud my ears rand for a few days.
- The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's (album)
I've been recording myself on my phone a LOT recently. I get these little seeds of songs fling into my head from left field and I can't help but feel the urge to take the seed and plant, water and grow the motherfucker. Takes time, though.
Been staying up until 4 or 5 am writing these ideas down and demoing out a few. I really need to stay focused on the Dear Girlfriend music video, though.
- Don Henley - "The Boys of Summer"
- Imogen Heap - Ellipse (album)
Wrote a song called NC17. It's high for my vocal range but I didn't want to drop the song to a lower key so I kept it where it was. Wrote the whole thing in a night due to being in a very bad situation personally and dealing with it through rhymes and chords.
People keep asking me who it's about... I hate that. Two females asked if it was about them... I hate that. It wasn't about them so I gave the cliche "the universe doesn't revolve around you" line. This song needs a music video.
- We Came as Romans - To Plant a Seed (album)
- The Flashbulb - A Vacant Life (Album)
- Eric Wøllo - Blue Sky, Red Guitars (album)
Here I sit, slightly hot, writing this new tune. I'm blogging about it because I really dig the feel... it has an Owl City vibe which is different than my other Byrd songs yet it feels right... it still feels like Byrd. A huge part of my life was Owl City and Imogen Heap and I feel like this song pays homage to them.
- Susanne Vega - Days of Open Hand (album)
Time to put visuals to music. I visited this awesome studio called Red Sky Studios and fell in love with their cyclorama studio. So simple, so elegant. I couldn't stop seeing the music video and hearing the songs in my head as the nice lady named Tiffany toured me around the facility. I think she thought I was a little bit nutty... that's ok though.
"Dear Girlfriend," is a high energy tune and I am going to have to make this bare set look like the roof is about to come down. My answer... Marshall 4x12 stacks. They solve all problems.
I love not having to filter my ideas through anyone at this stage of Byrd's life.
- Bad City - Welcome to the Wasteland (album)
The first song under Byrd has been written and recorded. It's liberating to sit back and listen... I spent too long not writing.
In that funny state of not caring if people will like it or not - just relishing in the activity of making something... anything.
People keep asking me who the song is about. I hate that.
- Enya - "Only Time"
- The Royal Concept - "On Our Way"
- The Summer Set - "Lightning in a Bottle"
- Jon Hopkins - "Small Memory"
It's rare I find peace - especially in Boston. This is a photo of where I have been recording my vocals. It has a sweet view of I-90 that is actually somewhat peaceful. The cars pass, but you don't hear them at all when in the vocal booth. I record at night, watching the amount of traffic slowly dwindle to truckers and a few night owl stragglers.
I sometimes wonder... one of the people passing by on that highway at 4am might one day stumble on a Byrd music video online and it baffles me to think that I saw them first as they pass by my dark building in which I was recording the exact song they are hearing on YouTube two years later, etc. Chances are unlikely, but just thinking about the possibility is intriguing.
No one knows the location of my hideaway and I put my phone on airplane mode - kind of like a strange detox from all forms of communication.
Listening to these artists/songs amidst my recording escapades:
- Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar
- The Wombats - "Tokyo"
- All Time Low - Nothing Personal (album)
- Of Monsters and Men - "Dirty Paws"
I know the "sound" I want for Byrd and it's the lack there of. The demos and ideas I am piecing together all fall under a few different genres of music. This doesn't worry me, though, for I know Byrd won't be everyones' cup of tea - and for those who do like Byrd - not every song will be something that resonates with them.
I just need to write.
I'm a big believe in "you can't please everyone," and to be honest, the first person I am pleasing is yours truly. I get so excited when writing that the direction and feel just snowballs upon itself, ignoring my desperate attempts to lasso and control its devilish pursuit.
Things I am listening to at this time that excite me:
- Of Mice & Men
- Lana Del Rey
- Something Corporate
- Relient K
A logo represents unnoticed magnitudes of importance. I worked for a few weeks on a few designs whilst listening to a handful of my favorite artists. I wanted something delicate, elegant, mysterious and hardened. It had to say something, but not enough.
This blog's purpose is to allow me, Ben, to share the long, amazing process it has been - and will be - of creating Byrd.
A year ago I left the band Me vs Gravity and craved the untouchably perfect lifestyle that is being in a band. After being told I withhold feelings more than I should, I decided to voice my inner thoughts through song and dance... well, no dance - just song.
This blog is for those who are interested in the "behind the scenes." If you enjoy the magic and mystery of music without seeing the process of its creation, ignore this blog and click here to listen to some damn tunes.