Updated: Apr 12
“Throw S**t at the wall and see what sticks.”
It can be an incredibly liberating experience to stare into the abyss of a blank sheet and wait for the art to come to you. Nothing is so frightening to a creator than trying to draw up art only to feel roadblocked by self-criticism or lack of material. One word, one chord, one brush stroke can take away so many possibilities. A step in any direction excludes all others; but that doesn’t mean a wrong direction. In our collective mind’s eye, art is the nature of taking a step at all in the first place.
It’s a bold move, and bolder even to present a naked idea to a group of artists that you trust entirely not to break its mold into a million pieces. Such was the case for Up In The Air. Cat presented a skeleton of a piece with a theme, at a time that we were just getting ourselves ramped up as a cohesive group. We were sitting around Ben’s piano as he churned out chords and riffs, calling out a few parts that went together. Something inside our collective mind clicked, like jigsaw parts falling together; Ben jammed out another part on the piano and soon we were all humming out vocal ideas.
If we were four flashlights before, finding our way through the abyss of notes to be discovered, in that moment we became a laser, pointed in a cardinal direction as we set off to work on the piece. Chalk it up to the combined hours on end of members’ previous projects, but everyone seemed to take to building the piece like gravity over the next weeks.
Aaron and Jonathan broke off to nail down the bouncing groove, Ben got to sketching out infectious lyrics, Cat built up tenacious lead lines culminating in an off-the-rails solo. Before we knew it we had a song in front of us that would be our go-to nearly every time we would start a practice.
In a proper summation, Ben notes: “Up in the Air was really the turning point where this band went from project to passion and purpose. We had not experienced so much synergy and serendipity as when we developed this song, and afterward it became the central point around which we wrote the rest of the album.”
It seems only fitting that we announce ourselves and our work to the world with it. Over those writing sessions, the notes and possibilities started to collapse with every word, melody or beat put to it. Concern over whether the final piece was right or wrong found no purchase. The old adage seems to apply that it isn't in the destination, but the journey itself.