I realized that this entire time I haven’t been trying to be John Darnielle, or Brian Molko, or Kristian Matsson, or Joe Jackson, or Mark Oliver Everett, or Ben Folds, or Robert Smith, or Peter Steele, or David Bowie, or Ian Curtis, or Thurston Moore, or Stephin Merritt, or Nick Cave, or anyone else that has influenced me musically in anyway.
I think I just want to be Chris Cappello.
In the sense that he’s got the perfect level of recognizition and excitement around his new album, he’s interned with one of the coolest music dudes on the planet, he’s going to Yale (which I would never want to do but it’s still quite the accomplishment), he’s an amazing songwriter (which I don’t think I’m not but is also an accomplishment), and the list goes on.
Hi Chris. From what I’ve heard of your new album so far, it’s really good and it’s amazing how far you’ve come from I’m Not Afraid Of My Own Name. Good job, dude.
I bring all of this up because I’ve been having a really big musical identiy crisis lately (though now that I think about it, I think I secretly always have). I’m genuinely considering stopping working with the drummer that I’ve been working with for the past year and a half. He’s a good friend of mine, but we’re just not connecting anymore. Super fun and talented dude to jam with, but just not what I’m looking for.
I think my calling might be Topshelf/CYLS/Flannel Gurl-style emo. I don’t know. I’m proud of what I did on The House On The Dancefloor but I’d love to get compliments on it from people other than my mom and my girlfriend.
It seems that, between Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media outlets, indepently produced emo/punk music gets a lot of attention. I’ve never really been one to compromise musical happiness for success, but I’ve been working on a record that falls into this category and I’ve written some really great songs for it, and it’s going to come out this summer.
Or, I see someone like Olivia Madsen, who’s my best friend in the music world and one of my best friends in general. She’s got one of the best fucking voices on the planet, and what an amazing songwriter she is, too.
[Liv, I’m so jazzed for this summer. American Nightmare is going to kick serious ass and I can’t wait to record your songs with you. I know you’re going to school in Chicago, but I’m still gonna miss hanging with you a lot. We’ll have to kick it a ton next year.]
I’m so optimistic about that album. It’s going to sound amazing because she’s amazing, and it’ll be my first experience producing an album that’s not my own, which is very exciting.
[BTW, I forgot to tell you today that I’m also gonna have you do some guest vocals for one of my songs during our recording sessions. If you’re cool with it, that is.]
I guess I don’t really know who I wanna be. Scratch that, I don’t wanna be anyone (not even Chris Cappello, but the dude still rules hard). I just want to be me and, not to sound conceited or like I’m an attention whore, but I want people to like and appreciate what I do. Yes, my music page on Facebook has 160 likes. Yes, some stranger did pay $10 for The House On The Dancefloor, my first record sale ever in the last four years that I’ve been recording.
I guess that’s another thing. Four years. It’s amazing how fast people can get recognition these days. I look at a band like Lost Society, a thrash metal quartet from Finland (whose new album Fast Loud Death is amazing and is one of the best albums of 2013 so far). All four members are under 20, and if I remember correctly, one is 17, two are 18, and one is 19. Which means, they couldn’t have been a band for too long before they got discovered and signed to Nuclear Blast, one of the biggest metal labels in Europe.
One of the questions I get asked most often, in regards to music, is if I would sign with a label. There’s no way in hell I’d ever sign with a major. Even some of the bigger indie labels, while I respect so much of the music on them, I don’t think I could see myself being a part of (except for maybe Polyvinyl just so I could say I’m labelmates with Mike Kinsella and Japandroids). Really though, I look at labels like the ones I mentioned before, and I look at all these fairly unknown bands that I love. A band like Trust Fall, for example, who doesn’t have a lot of releases under their belt, but enough people know about them and they have a new split out with a band called Thanks (their contribution to which is fantastic). They’re just a couple of dudes doing what they love getting mad support from their label, Flannel Gurl (as well as Dads, who have blown up ridiculously since American Radass (this is important) came out and I’m so proud of those dudes. What a great addition to the 6131 label).
Another question I get asked a lot is if I’m going to college. The answer is yes, I do plan to go to college, but I’m done with all this academic bullshit. I need to go a school that’s going to suit my needs for the future. Tribeca Flashpoint in Chicago is my top pick right now. They offer a lot of great opportunites and classes for recording, mixing, and producing music, which is really what I’m planning to do with the rest of my life.
I know I’m only a junior in high school, and there’s still a long way to go and all of that. I guess going to back to my musical identity crisis, it’s hard to settle on one style to play because I enjoy so many different types of music. However, I do think that if I do end up taking the path of emo/post/indie/folk/whatthefuckever, it could definitely work well for me because that seems to be the material that people enjoy the most. I had some material like that on The House On The Dancefloor. Take a track like ‘Chasing Amy,’ for example, which is probably one of the saddest and most emotionally gripping songs I think I’ve ever written, but it’s also one of my favorites. ‘Goodbye Light’ and ‘Your Beauty Is The Exact Reason Why I Hate You’ kind of fall into that category as well.
I never see myself doing anything else with my life but playing, writing, performing, and recording music. So that’s what I’m going to keep doing. And I’m going to keep doing it until it can fund my life. That’s the ultimate goal. But, by the time I leave highschool, I really want to have already made a good name for myself. I am playing some shows with my friends in the band Underground Ghost Party over the summer, which I think will be a good start. It’ll be the first shows I’m doing in support of my emo record, which I’m putting out under the name Macaulay Sulken, and the album’s current working title is Emozart, and it very well may just stay that way.