I have this problem, I call it the “itch” (those of you who know me will think that’s funny). I’ll be about 80% to 90% done with a song, and then right as I’m ready to lay down the final vocals or backup dubs, I’ll get antsy. It’s this urge to try something new. Usually, after I get the itch, I’ll try to fight it for a few days. Inevitably, I’ll end up being terribly unproductive, and the song-in-progress will be put on the backburner while I work on something else.
I’ve tried to figure out if this is some sort personality disorder. I had a classmate at BYU who mentioned having the same problem, so maybe it just goes with the territory of being a musician. Music people are all a little crazy – Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Britney Spears. Yes I know, I don’t place Britney on the same level as the revered classical geniuses either, she just happens to be a perfect contemporary example of complete wackiness.
Anyway, getting back to being itchy. I tend to believe that musicians are perfectionists at heart. We have a problem with feeling like a song or work is a finished, completed work. This drives us crazy. Sure, a songwriter is “done” when his song has been mastered or broadcasted, but there’s always something that he would change if he had a chance to record it again. Whenver I listen to my mastered projects, my thought process goes something like this: “Oh, that’s nice. Nice pretty vocals. Clean guitar sound. Good kick and sna – why the HECK is the hi-hat so loud? Wait, I added distortion after the bridge? What was I thinking? What is this !$@*% riff doing here! I can’t believe I was happy with this, it all sounds like total crap!”
See how hard it is to be a musician?
I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I switch to new projects in order to avoid confrontations with my perfectionist nature.
In any case, I’ve started work on a new indie-piano peice. I still need to record “Memorial Day” vocals, but I’ve been itching to work on something new. So here’s the instrumental, just saying. The song might morph into something with words, and lyrics, and maybe even a lot more instruments, but I recorded this in a quick session so I wouldn’t forget the general idea.