The First Time is Terrifying

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Photo by Sam Haggart

Waxlimbs has a small show at a small bar called The Cavern in a small city called Toronto on Wednesday, and we’re playing three new songs.

This is one of those times where I nervously consider how my experience of a song will translate to the experience of other people hearing it for the first time. Naturally, they won’t place nearly the same weight as me on the experience because I’m the one responsible for delivering it. What is terrifying is the thought that what we do as musicians won’t make an impression, that it will glance off people and spin into the abyss that is “new music.”

TL;DR: What if they don’t get it?

It’s also a very exciting moment where you get to do the thing you’ve been dreaming of for months or in some cases, years. All of the pressure, doubt and struggle that went into making this thing will finally be relieved on stage!
That’s a pipe dream- but every artist believes it on some level. Through presentation, they are free of the burden of keeping the material alive in their own hands- it will go into the world and grow on its own. This isn’t always true but everybody has that feeling deep down.
I know through cyclical discussions with friends that my fear is baseless anxiety, that things will evolve with time; my satisfaction will wane with it.
That validation that comes with “releasing” something is purely vapour, and that’s ok.

I think the hard part of having a back-catalogue is owning it years after you release it. I hate performing a lot of older songs now, but I owe that to the work. I need to support it after the shine has worn off. Otherwise, I’m squandering what might be there for others. It’s kind of like raising a kid, but with less sticky hands and gross things like that.

Alright, end-rant.
-Alex

The First Time is Terrifying

Great Release

Photo by Evan Spicer
Photo by Evan Spicer

On Saturday, July 6th 2013, I held my release concert for my new World Makers LP.
I had never put on a show before this, so I was really amazed at the amount of work that went into it.
I had Rob Lee helping with producing and organizing it, and a lot of friends backing.

I was also amazed by the crazy ups and downs that I went through at the show, emotionally. One minute it would be euphoria, the next; extreme dysphoria. Maybe it was due to all the leadup and planning of the event, and perhaps that combined with releasing something I had been working on for so long…

So the event came, we had a strange and wondrous time, and then it was over. Just like that. My album was out, I had performed, my friends and fellow musicians performed, and that was it.
After months of having something to hold back and hype, I have nothing.
In a second my plate was clean.

When you release something you worked really hard on, it’s a bit like sending your kid off to school for the first time (or so I’m told). You have this long stretch of time where you got to know it, helped shape and mold it, gave it strengths and inherent weaknesses, created it. Then the day comes where you say goodbye and put it in someone else’s hands.
It’s a very strange feeling.

There are parts of this record I am proud of. There are parts of this record I am not proud of. What matters to me though is that it’s done. I started writing it in 2010, and that was three years ago. Three years is a long fucking time for someone my age.
It feels like now that this is out, I can finally breathe. I don’t have this weird ethereal thing sitting on my chest anymore. I understand that its strong points and shortcomings will reflect on me for a long time, if not forever. I understand that where I have failed, people will see that as a reflection of my ability to make music.
I also understand that now there’s no barrier of having unfinished business with my old work. There’s no obligation to it anymore. I can only acknowledge that it happened, and now it’s over.
It really does feel amazing.

So that phase of my life is over. The themes covered on the album aren’t really at the forefront for me anymore. I’m subconsciously focusing on different things now. I’m moving away from Toronto to work at a university degree in Montreal. I may not even perform again in Toronto until December. I may come back with more than just myself involved in Waxlimbs, and I may not even come back with Waxlimbs…

I think uncertainty through time is a wonderful thing. There’s opportunity for something to change into something better, and there’s opportunity for something to die and have something else take its place.

The best part? I’m completely fucking uncertain.

You can stream and download World Makers for free right here, or on my bandcamp page.

Great Release

Let Loose The Children! [Poem]

 

Crammed into small spaces
and consciously smashing
human across china bells
hanging from a megaphone.

Split sticks and monitors
that scream out in protest
against the blacked out
windows.

Out to the gravestones,
All hopped up on their ruse;
they don’t complain.

Down to the willows
where we crawl like insects in honey.
Drunken and numb
to everything said
30 seconds
before,
We petrify and fall:

Back to the fray!
A waving of flags,
A hooded figure,
A laugh of delight amidst screams
of monitors.
I am covered in fantasies of
Mindlessness,
Lobotomy.

A parting of lips,
A splash of colour,
A trip to the city,
A smash of glass!

The frigid air outside
swells in welcoming
as I rip off the hood,
A narrow escape.

A staring of eyes
Down the masonic stairs
into a frantic beating of hearts
into problems.

There are worms that crawl
out of the heat of the overhead
and into my hands.
I am a moving tangle of legs
and arms, pushing over
and smashing into
sweaty beasts.

The roar of peaks under kicks changes me
into tumbleweed compacted
between layers of bedrock,
I am a moving difference.

Clean up the glass

Congratulatory hugs

A sincerely quiet drive home

A rabbit in the seat beside me

Feeling all the love in the

world.

Let Loose The Children! [Poem]