There’s a big difference between “finished” and “released”
..been having to repeat that mantra to myself ever since getting back into production last year. Prior to to that, I had drives filled with “starts” (aka demos) of ideas that I never really did anything with, because I didn’t have anything that made them need to be done. Prior to that – twenty plus years ago – I was going through all kinds of phases while trying to follow up on the second of two albums (released 2000 and 2001). By the end of 2011 I’d come to the conclusion that: “music was over – do something else”.
The pressure was off. The experiments increased. Nothing was ever finished. That didn’t stop me from filling drives with hours of sounds and beats and riffs etc. I think there’s some kind of universal truth about getting more of something after you decide to stop doing it.
Last December I was asked to write for the band I was in and within a couple months, I managed to pump out a bunch of ideas (a little over 20). We didn’t use them all, so the unfinished and rejected ideas came along with me to place I find myself today.
My goal was getting them “finished”. In process, I discovered it would be necessary to define what “finished” meant.
For this specific batch – every track has to have lyrics and a recorded vocal track to be considered finished. Finished also meant I could release them.
Then I started to realize “lyrics are hard” and every time I recorded vocals or attempted vocals the lyrics had to be revised (read: almost completely re written). The biggest issue is lyrics/hooks not popping. “Popping” is subjective. “Popping” can be almost unattainable. As of this writing there’s nothing I could consider finished because there’s no way I’m releasing what I have at this moment.
Releasing music was another goal this year. I’m not backing down from this one.
I’ve decided that “finished” is now everything in the original definition with one exception: it can always be rewritten because it hasn’t been released. “Released” means released. Posted. Uploaded. There’s a video. It’s performed live. The track has a life outside of the archive drive and folder filled with hundreds of trial mixes.
As of this writing there’s one track thats “close enough” that I’m doing everything that comes with releasing it short of hitting the upload button. You’ll know it’s ready when it pops.