What It Was Like Starting Out (Recording My First Songs)

It wasn’t what I expected. 

What I expected was a recording studio you’d see in the movies or in Rolling Stone magazine. Huge rooms with vaulted ceilings and sliding glass doors. A sound engineer smoking cigarettes over a mixing console. 

But my first professional recording experience happened in an efficiency apartment above my producer’s parents’ garage. Gray carpet. Checkered linoleum in the kitchen. No sound proofing. Sometimes we had to stop recording when the neighbor was mowing the lawn.  

Expectations aside, the experience was perfect. I wouldn’t trade it. It was the right environment, and Chris Cunningham, my producer, was the right guy to help bring those first songs to light. 

My Main Takeaway

So much of doing music, whether performing or recording, is anticipation. You’re anticipating the encounter between what you think something is going to be and what it ends up actually being. Sometimes it’s better, but often times it’s worse or just way different than you’d imagined. But each time you have to make a choice to be open minded, give everything the benefit of the doubt, and make the most of the experience. 

One time I played a show to three people in Arizona. Despite being deflated at first, I remember that show as being one of my favorites.