Nobody expected the 2020 we would all have. I am realistically suspicious that 2021 won’t be much better in terms of political drama, pandemics, and the cost of living for many of us.
When I wrote Surviving on Borrowed Time which released at the end of 2019, my aim was to compose a dystopian adventure that focused on the little things such as being followed, running out of supplies and being on the move constantly. There’s nothing I hate more than moving to a new house and I was producing SOBT during a time where I’d finally settled and yet wasn’t sure how long I’d be settled for (having moved to a new country, town, and city over 10 times in 10 years thanks to the rental property market and various life goals).
To put it into a few lines from Cataclysm in Winter:
No one paid attention to the warnings broadcast on the television...We just sat there waiting in our own personal detention.
Despite it being a generic concept, the album released worldwide at the beginning of 2020 and did not exactly age well. Empty supermarket shelves, people failing to take heed of warnings having lost trust in politicians, medical professionals, and authority. It is a cliche story that has been told endlessly in every media available – so I’m not claiming it to be a prediction of the year that would follow its release. The follow up album In Our Final Moments was completed with several tracks mixed and mastered before I decided to delay the project and start work on the wholesome and overall opposite of my Cask music, HELIXIRx.
Much of the album could easily be described as my heaviest and rawest effort, but I felt discouraged by the concept album idea – – with the albums set to be a trilogy – – and now it seems that I won’t be the only one to write about isolation and the way humanity responds to a pandemic such as Covid-19. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about it, I’m sure other progressive artists will capture things on a grander scale with more listeners but having the experiences I had in 2019; I decided it best to look at producing and developing my skills in other projects for a little while.
In October 2019, I was involved in a car accident that involved me losing control of my beloved classic Saab 900, rolling down a mountain and landing upside down underwater. To this day I don’t know how I managed to escape, but the life-changing events took place in the months that followed. I refused to milk the story or tell the world how close I may have come to death, but it’s extraordinary how many people would be blissfully unaware had you died. I guess in the world of social media it’s not uncommon to expect that you have far fewer friends than you thought. I often wonder how long it would take for me to disappear from the internet and my phone number until people start asking questions.
At the end of the day, 2020 taught me that I am more excited and enthusiastic about projects outside of the Cask albums and as a result, I’ve decided to leave everything on the backburner and continue my adventures elsewhere. Some of my best tracks feature on In Our Final Moments (in my opinion) and although it seems a shame to leave the mixed and completed tracks in the same pile as partially mixed, I feel uninspired when I open the session files and begin listening. The tracks are likely best suited for a better voice and who knows what the future holds, working with HELIXIRx and keeping my vocals in the background has been a great experience, so maybe these albums will float on with a different singer. I have too many musical and non-musical projects to think about right now! The best thing I can do is continue doing what I enjoy.
So, what is the point of this blog post? Well, I have received a few emails from people asking when they can expect the second part of Surviving on Borrowed Time; and rather than say “the time isn’t right” or drag it out, I’d prefer to clarify that I’ve shelved my solo ventures for now as I feel that there’s little point in making music if it doesn’t satisfy the musician.
To carry on the cringe of quoting one’s own lyrics. I’ll end the post with the lyrics from Hourglass:
You’ve always wanted to leave your mark
But I can’t let you rewind
When you’ve finally achieved something
You’ve run out of time
I was always wasted by you
I’m no longer on your side