Behind ever album there is a story. These stories make the album worth so much more to the artist. For this reason, when a bad review is written it’s hard for the artist to understand, why. In light of this, we have created an interview format that will take the artist through each story that brought them to the completion of the album. The goal is to help bring the artist’s fan closer to the artist and hopefully help to make the fan feel the same as the artist when the album succeeds and or fails. Each question is designed to help bring the fans to understand why.
This Album Walk we speak with our Reverbnation contest winner, Daniel Amedee is living proof that a musician can be from New Orleans, but not necessarily be of New Orleans, a distinction that courses through his quirky, eccentric songwriting style, informed by a haunting bluesy vocalese that scratches the soul somewhere between Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, and certainly belies young Daniel’s 26 years. Also, make sure to pick up this album, it is great!!! just listened.
Please give us the reason why you/the band started writing this album? What album are we talking about?
I started writing Climbing before I knew what it was going to become. I knew that I wanted to write music to help people evolve and see above the physical reality of this world, as I still do. I think this record is a step in the right direction for the work that I want to create.
What was the first song that was written for this album and did it make the final cut? If it did and or did not make the album please explain why?
The first song I wrote for Climbing was “Everything Will Change” and it did make the final record. I remember I didn’t feel like beating around the bush with what I wanted to say so I just came out and said it. “When you see freedom instead of fear everything will change.” It was relieving to be blunt and honest in my expression of how I felt.
Tell us about how the first melody for the album was created? What brought the idea? Was it a drum hit, was it a synth? What brought it to your mind?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint when the first melody came about. I tend to write music first and then lyrics second and I’ll evolve a piece of music for a long time before I settle on structure and what I feel the song needs lyrically. So I think it was more evolution than any one melody or moment standing out above the rest.
Please let us know when and how the overall concept of the album came about?
The concept was always floating in my mind that I wanted to write pop songs with meaning and as I started to develop the music themes of collective consciousness, love, and freedom became the most predominant. There’s also an underlying message throughout that this life is 100% subjective and it’s up to the individual to change the world by changing the way they see it.
Please tell us a funny story that occurred when this album was being written.
I think I thought about this question more than any other haha! It was hard to pin down one story that was a stand out moment when really the entire process of making the record was so much fun. A lot of little moments to make up the big one. The year of writing the record was filled with a lot of contrast, a lot of learning, and that made the recording process mean all the more.
What were some of the hardest parts in creating this album, from writing the lyrics to selecting the studio to record?
I’d say some of the hardest things about making the record were also the most beneficial to me as a person. I’m from New Orleans and I recorded the album in San Francisco with a good friend of mine Charles Gonzalez. I drove out to San Fran and slept in my car for three nights along the way and then when I got there I didn’t have anywhere to stay so I slept on an air mattress in the studio for a month. Again this wasn’t really hard but it was a gritty part of making the record that I feel really gives it character to me personally.
That’s a tough one. Every song has a message in it that means a lot to me. “Let Love Out” says that when you allow yourself to see the purpose behind why you’re living the life you are and see the love in it, your entire life will change.
“In A World Growing” says that in order to change the world you need to change the way you see the world. Make peace with yourself first before you try to make it for anyone else.
“Looking” goes into how all life, all emotion, all thought has an energy pattern behind it and it’s up to you whether or not you want to release what’s holding you back. The album is full of things that mean quite a lot to me.
What was the story behind the artwork?
A great friend told me he thought of clouds rising in the sky when he thought of the title Climbing as well as the overall feeling the record gave him. So I went and took some pictures of clouds and I feel like I found the perfect picture to capture the record.
How was the first single selected and why was it selected? Did you flip a coin, did management tell you to pick it?
“Let Love Out” just seemed like the perfect choice. Both my manager, Michael Pillot, and I thought it summed up the message of the record while being a catchy little pop song at the same time.
Was there some thought going through your mind when selecting the order each song would play?
I feel like I put more thought into the order of the record than anything else haha! I listened to the record in probably every possible order and with every change it made the album feel different. The songs were the same but they sounded different in different orders. It was a very important process and I think we finally nailed the right order.
What was the first thought when the album was completed and you listened to it all the way though?
I was so excited for it finally to be out there. You put so much work and thought into getting to a point of completion and you learn so much along the way that when it’s finally done you need to live with the joy in that for a little while before it’s time to move on.
What were your thoughts when you got the first review?
Our first review came from a German music blog Poule D’or and it was a brilliant review. The reviewer had just read On The Road and did an excellent job of using that book to set the mood of his review for the record.
Did you accomplish what you set out to do with this album? And what was the goal of this album?
I feel like I have and that I also have more that I would like to accomplish with it. It’s building us a fantastic foundation. It got picked up by a radio marketing company called Planetary Music and is currently on college radio throughout the US and Canada. We’ve also been on the road promoting it since June. It’s been a fantastic year and things keep building on themselves.
I think the overall goal was to write the music that I hear and that represents who I am at that time in my life and that’s definitely been accomplished.