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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Answers to questions

You've got questions, downhere has answers. Well, at least answers to these questions.

"Nice to read a new downhere blog post today. So which songs again were produced by Mark, Greg, and just the band? Decide on that first single yet? So we might be hearing something on the radio next month?

Oh, and how is that website design coming along? Get what your looking for yet?

So many questions!"
So to start, we had six songs produced by Greg Collins who came in to Nashville from LA in December. We have another six songs being produced by Mark Heimermann here in Nashville and we produced four songs on our own here too. As far as titles go I won't go into that because I'm not even sure if I'd have all the final title names correct.

We're not sure what's going to happen for our first radio single. We feel like we have more options than we originally thought which is great. This is a decision that has to go through many people though and we won't be able to begin that until we have all the songs mixed. We're just a couple of weeks away from that. We expect to release our first single sometime in February though.

The progress on our new website has been a little slower than we anticipated but it takes time to get what you want. We expect to have the main page and theme approved within the week. After that the other pages can all be built. We have a good idea of what we want to see so applying the design to the functionality we'd like to see should happen over the next 4 to 6 weeks. I know I know, we hoped to have it ready this month too but we are moving as fast as we can.

I hope that gives you some more information as to where we are at!!

GL

Mixing

It's been a busy couple of months for us. We've played two shows in last month but we've been in the studio almost every day. For the next week we're bouncing back and forth between two studios every day! We are in singing land right now which means Jason and Marc are keeping extra busy. Bewteen singing and listening to mixes their days have been quite full.

For those of you who don't know much about the recording process let me take a minute to talk about mixing. Mixing is one of the most satisfying parts of recording. Basically you spend a year or more writing songs you want to record, then you decide which ones you actually will record. Then you spend a few weeks recording those songs. While you record, you have an idea of what it is going to sound like but it's sometimes hard to know exactly how everything will fit together, until mixing that is. When you are at the mixing stage that means everything is recorded. It's time to sit back and enjoy the work your mixer will be doing. The simplified explanation of what a mixer does is turn up parts and turn down parts until everything is balanced and mixed well enough to hear everything.

As of this morning we still have 12 mixes to listen to, 6 of which aren't fully recorded yet. 3 of the mixes will be sent to us from L.A. and another 3 we'll listen to here in Franklin, TN this week. Then the last 6 we'll hear in the next two weeks. So we are in the home stretch for sure. We'll try and get a few more pictures up here so you can see what we're up to!

Glenn

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Get What You Pray For

I'll admit that leading up to this recording time I was getting concerned that we were running out of time to get this new album done. If you're counting, you know that it's been 2 and a half years since the release of "So Much For Substitutes". It feels like we've been writing for this new record for almost 2 years... um, maybe because we really have. So the last thing I wanted was to rush the recording process. I like to take my time in the studio and not have to worry about time constraints. I think I speak not only for the band here, but the entire artist community: there's nothing more inhibiting to creativity than knowing you have to meet a deadline.

Well as God, who supplies for all of our needs, would have it, this experience has felt anything but rushed. So far we've had all the time we've needed to really scope out the songs and make them as great-sounding as we can. I think working with 2 producers instead of one also has a lot to do with that. It almost feels like we're working on 2 records at once! I can honestly say that I'm really looking forward to being done with this album, although working in the studio is one of my favorite things in the world. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but it's often hard work too. The songs are all sounding even better than we'd hoped. But the crazy thing is, when you put all of the days we've spent in the studio so far, it really doesn't add up to that many.

I was sitting next to Mark Heimermann (who is producing 6 of the songs) at Dark Horse Recording earlier this week while Jason was laying down a piano track for a song called "The Real Jesus". I said to Mark in awesome disbelief, "Man, this has been by far the most nonchalant recording process I've ever been a part of. Everything has been going so well." And his response was, I believe, what summarizes this whole experience. He said, "I think that's called 'getting what you prayed for.'" Little did he know that that particular song is one that I've specifically prayed for. I knew right away that he'd completely nailed it on the head.

Sometimes we get what we pray for. God gives good gifts. And it's especially amazing when those gifts are actually the thing that we want. I remember being out walking at night, over a year ago, on more than one occasion, asking God to give us songs. Songs that would speak to the needs of people around us, near and far. Songs that we would be proud to sing every night in front of all of you who come see our concerts. Songs that are unique. Songs that would speak to people in their times of joy, their times of need, and their times of intimacy with God. Songs that would help people speak to God, and hear from Him. As well as the patience to wait for God's timing on all of this. I believe we're getting all of that. And I can't wait for all of you to hear what's coming next from downhere. Thanks for staying with us, although it's been a long time coming for the new songs. We're working hard to make it worth your wait. And most of all, thanks for praying for us.

Here are some pictures from this past week!

Marc