More than anything this album was made to simply see if it could indeed be done.
To write a set of songs, create an over-arching theme, play almost all the instrumentation and learn the recording software ...myself.
Growing up I had always admired artists with a DIY attitude to producing music and always knew if I ever had the opportunity to create my own album, this was the way I wanted to proceed.
I remember when I picked up a copy of the Foo Fighters first album when I was a kid. When I learned that Dave performed almost everything himself, I was blown away.
So, fast-forward to 2011, through a number of failed bands, during a particularly tumultuous time in my life.
After going many years without writing, one day while waiting in my vehicle, I picked up my little travel guitar and started strumming the opening chords to what would turn out to be The Last Page.
It was a song about realizing you're on the wrong path. It seemed to come out of nowhere and it got things moving again.
Over the proceeding days, weeks and months, one after another, songs kept coming and before I knew it, I had over 20 in the bag. I thought nothing of it until I started playing a few here and there for friends.
After some enthusiastic responses, I gradually started revising, rewriting and condensing this music further and noticed a narrative start to take shape. From there, I began the long process of committing my music, "to tape".
Well, after 4 years of production I present to you what I hope is the first of many albums to come, The Rubicon.
The Rubicon itself is, for the most part, autobiographical but I made a point to write it in generalities.
During the writing process, I realized that the struggle I was going through was a similar struggle that everyone goes through at some point or another in their own lives.
It's the time where the path you've taken ends up at a dead end and everything you've come to rely upon falls away. Your whole life gets turned upside down, you start to not recognize the person in the mirror and you begin to retreat into fear. The album is about that journey and about coming through it wiser and happier.
The creation of the album has been an intensely personal and cathartic one for me. It's especially poignant now that I find myself embarking upon yet a new chapter in my life now that's it completed.
All I hope for is that listening to this album somehow helps anyone listening to it the same way writing it helped me.
released May 28, 2015
All songs written, arranged and performed by James Alexander except where noted.
Lyrics by James Alexander except Eyes Skyward, written by James Alexander / Care Failure and Past Lives, Future Self, written by James Alexander / John Poff
Care Failure - backing and lead vocals on Eyes Skyward
John Poff - spoken word on Past Lives, Future Self
Tracy Tong - piano on Chasing Light, Dear Enemy and Past Lives, Future Self
Produced by Kenta Aoki and James Alexander
Mixed by Kenta Aoki
Mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel Mastering
Sleeve photo by Black Umbrella Photography
Art Direction and design by Cody James Finney
Dedicated to my beautiful girls.
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