It'd be an outright lie to say that 2020 was an easy year for any of us. I took advantage of the quarantine in the best way I knew how. With my dear friend Donny Consla, I began to put together a different kind of music release. We had talked about working on a split release for quite some time, but 2020 seemed like the best time to get the proverbial ball rolling, and boy did it ever roll.
For those uncertain what a Split Release is, it's many things. To me though, personally, it's an opportunity. An opportunity to write music that is just a little bit out of my wheelhouse, also to work on music production and to challenge myself. I had some ideas, I had some melodies, thoughts... This was an opportunity to share my love of music with another musician and to cooperatively work through the process together. Don't get me wrong, a lot of that was also done on my previous album "My Gasoline Heart". There just seems to be something a little different though about bringing an "outsider" in and sharing the workflow with them. It's an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to grow as a musician.
I've known Donny for quite some time, there's even video evidence of him coming to punk rock shows from back in the day watching me play it out over loud Marshall amps and overheating PA systems. He's been a supporter of all of my music endeavors and on top of that he's been a great friend. He plays in a group called Sunday at the Station. You may have heard of them. Donny and I have been kicking this idea around for quite some time now.
Back to it, what is a Split Release? Essentially, at the root of it, one musician and/or band puts music on one side of a record and another musician and/or band puts music on the other side of the same record. This is done for many reasons: Cost Sharing, Cross Promotion, and Friendships to name a few. For us it was mainly the friendship thing, though I have to be honest, the cross promotion and cost sharing was a nice bonus.
I'm a fan of Vinyl records. I love the idea of a person sitting down and holding album artwork in their hands, reading lyric sheets and not skipping over tracks. Vinyl has made a bit of a comeback over the last few years. It's never been exactly the most affordable option for independent musicians though.
The first task that we had to figure out was HOW were we to release this Split EP on Vinyl without losing tons of money in the process? We spent days and days texting back and forth, searching out different Vinyl Pressing plants, weighing the numbers and no matter which way we rolled the dice, we were going to come up short. The losses would be too great, especially during this time of economic depravity.
With only 4 songs it was going to be a tough sell. How do we get our fans / friends to spend $20 on a record with 4 songs? So we thought, we dug, we did more research. Trying to find ways to reduce the price tag. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that art costs money to make and the society we live in now near demands we give it away for free.
We kept digging. We stumbled onto a privately ran company called "Little Elephant Custom Vinyl" based out of Ohio. They make Custom Lathe Cut short-run Vinyl Records. They are one of the few places that we found who could churn out fantastic stereo lathe cut records. Okay great. Problem solved! Well.... not exactly.
The initial plan was to do a 7" 45RPM Vinyl Release, 4 songs. Me on one side, he on the other. Traditional.
Unfortunately, the length of our songs made this impossible. We weighed our options yet again. We figured let's go all out and do a 12" Vinyl release so we can have big tangible artwork. We'll put all of the tracks on the same side, forcing the listener to listen to the songs, alternating between two of us. Now we were onto something. But... we have a little more space on this record now that we're doing a 12" Vinyl.
So I rang up Donny on the phone and proffered that we co-write a song and cap the release with a 5th track. Something brand new and original that nobody had heard before. He agreed and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous. Regardless, long story short, a new track co-written by both myself and Donny titled "Save Me the Corners" came to be as a result of this project, and we couldn't be more thrilled to share it with everyone.
So now we figured if we're putting on a 5th song, we need to go all out with the artwork. We contacted Scott Stearns from The Lost Trail Press to see if he could help us come up with a great design. Now we're doing original local Screen Printed 12" Vinyl Record Jackets. Scott didn't disappoint. The Jacket Design for this split is fantastic and Scott knocked it out of the park. All that was left was a lyric insert and maybe some other nice little touch...
The lyric insert came out nice and anybody lucky enough to get one of these limited edition Vinyl Records will be getting a hand signed lyric insert with both our scribbly names. On top of the signed lyric insert, we wanted to do even a little more. We went the extra mile and the blank B side of this clear, yes I said clear, Vinyl record will have a screen print of additional artwork done by Scott at Lost Trail Press.
The album is going to come with a free digital download of the songs as well ( the code will be included in the record when you receive it).
The last Pre-Order I did was a bit messy, I'll admit that. I'm the kind of person though that learns at each iteration. So this time, the pre-order for this Vinyl will be announced only after the records are in hand and ready to be shipped. We ask that once it goes live, that you give us 5 days to get it in the mail for you.
The reason we're doing a pre-order is that we want to give everybody interested in obtaining a Vinyl Record a fair chance at ordering one. Again, there will only be 30 copies made. Once they are gone, they are gone. This record will cost $20 and you may only order one record per person.
Due to the potential influx of anticipated orders when the pre-order goes live, I want you all to know that there is a possibility that stock will deplete and your order may still go through. If that happens we will refund your money.
I am excited as all get out to finally have a Split Vinyl record with Donny and I really hope you're as excited as we are. We have put a lot of tender love and care into this release. From the writing, to the recording, to the planning, to the artwork to the little bells and whistles.
Please keep an eye out for updates and please join the mailing list on the front page. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to be sure you are notified when the pre-order is going to go live.
If you miss out on the Pre-Order you will still be able to purchase the songs as a digital download for the first couple months after release. This collection of songs is intentionally being delayed to streaming platforms in an effort to encourage people to purchase the music directly from the artists involved.
All the best, all the love, always,