Until 2021, I had never self-released any music. I had never recorded my guitar with a mic by myself before. I had never put anything up on streaming services myself, or been responsible for a consistent and significant amount of mailorder on my own. Before that, I was great at delegating, asking for help, and trying to get as much creative admin off of my plate as humanly possible. Then 2020 paused a lot of things, and I didn't have a good excuse to not just...do it myself. The latest step of that has been folding Get It Together into my own website.
While I do still have some help (often from the angel human who is my manager, Talia) I've figured out how to do a lot more at a larger scale than I ever thought I would. Most of that happened because I couldn't travel or be in a room with people other than my partner and had a sea of time in front of me. I'm also incredibly impatient, and sometimes it's just faster to do things yourself. We'll see how I feel about all of this when I start doing all of Worriers merch mailorder next week 😬. I'm gonna send y'all a discount code, so keep an eye out!
Surprisingly, the past year or so has been one of my most productive years in recent memory. Three zines, a bunch of art prints, lots of drawing and commissions, an EP's worth of covers, and a hand-full of "full band" demos that I coordinated remotely and mixed myself. Oh, and this weekly newsletter! For someone who's normally on tour, practicing, and/or recording for a large part of the year, that's a lot.
I don't say any of this to pat myself on the back, more to say that it took a bad situation to make me do things I could've done a long time ago. Then again, we've all had a rough year so we deserve a pat on the back for just existing right now. I wish I knew how good it felt, for me personally, to have ownership over most sides of my work. As overwhelming as that would've been previously, all of this has taught me how to "do-it-myself" at a whole other level.
Being forced to learn how to better record things at home has felt like learning the copy scam codes at Kinkos. Now you see kids, Kinkos was a store with these things called photocopi...oh, nevermind. It kinda feels like I'm cheating, but in reality it's just making me more prepared to go into a studio with people who truly know what they're doing and make all of our lives easier. The more I know how to talk about sound, the more control I have over it. Even though I don't have aspirations of engineering an entire record on my own, the learning process has been pretty empowering.
For those of you interested in home recording, here are the pieces of gear that have helped me quite a bit:
- UA Apollo Twin X (a great recording interface that also comes with a ton of incredibly helpful plugins)
- Shure SM7B mic
- Cloudlifter preamp for the SM7B
- Audio-Technica condenser mic (whatever is $100 at Guitar Center)
- Shure SM57 mic (to record guitars)
- Valhalla Vintage Verb plugin
- Neve 1073 preamp plugin
I do most of my digital drawing in Procreate and my partner, Cass owns a Canon archival-quality printer that we use to print things on-demand.
Some folks have asked for a full rig rundown, so I'm going to send that to paid subscribers next week. I'll talk about the few pedals I use, my new guitar, and my favorite amp head that confuses everyone because it looks like an old-timey radio.
If you'd like to get a paid subscription, they're just $5/month. If you also want zines and the 7" demos and all that, it's $100 for a whole year. More on that here. There are maybe 10 spots left for the annual subscription this month. The support from these subscriptions have made it possible for Worriers to keep going and for me to self-publish and release all that I have over the past year. If you'd like to support these things out into the future, signing up is the way to do it!
Thanks for reading. Now that I have this new website under control, I have some fun stuff coming up for you. Many thanks to Charlie and Zack for helping me with some code wrangling on this thing. Until next week!