We’ve finally started recording Windhaven’s first album, which we’re tentatively calling “When The Winds Blow”. This has been a long time coming. After our percussionist left the band we were sort of left floundering. Or I was, anyway. I tinkered on the songs and figured we would get around to recording, but nothing quite felt right. In the end I realized that I was trying so hard to adhere to that acoustic model that we had established for Windhaven that I wasn’t allowing the songs to evolve organically. I was trying to force them to be what they were not, getting frustrated in the process and not really understanding why.
The change, for me, came when I really started asking myself why the songs weren’t working. It all came back to the cajon and bongos that I was insisting on using for the rhythm tracks. I finally had to admit to myself that they just didn’t fit. Another break-through came about when I started fishing about for something the replace the cajon and bongos with. What I found on my Gigastudio hard drive was a great Jazz drum kit that had more presence than the cajon and bongos, but didn’t fight with the acoustic guitars like my Rock kits did.
I immediately started loading songs to see how they would sound with this Jazz drum kit. Each and every one of the songs came to life. I had finally found the final ingredient of the Windhaven sound. It’s left me excited about getting these songs recorded at last. They’re going to sound amazing.
A lot is riding on this album. I’ve known that all along. I think that’s the reason I felt overwhelmed by it. We desperately need for this album to be good enough to serve as a springboard to get Windhaven into the air. Until now, I haven’t felt confident that we were on the right track. Now there’s no doubt that we are.
I owe Victoria apologies for the delays. She rightly wondered if I had lost interest in Windhaven. I never did, but I was certainly losing faith in myself and my own abilities. Now, with these songs coming to life in ways that are simply breathtaking, I know that this can be as good as I hoped it could be. Now that I’m finally hearing Windhaven come to life, I’m getting passionate about the project. I know now that it’s not just going to sound like another old fart noodling around.
I could have forced through these songs like we did so many of the cover tunes, and been excited about them right after their completion, only to quickly realize as the following weeks brought us a little objectivity that our work had a number of fatal flaws. I was determined that this wouldn’t happen with these songs. Anything worth doing is worth taking the time to do right. Anyone can cobble together an album of half-assed songs in a couple of weeks. That’s not enough for me. I want Windhaven’s first album to serve as a declaration of intent. This is going to be the best album it can possibly be. I’ve told Victoria that I’m going to approach every album as if it will be the last, and make sure that it’s one worth remembering. You never know. It might be the last. Given some difficulties that are swirling around us right now, we may very well not have another chance at this. We have to get it right.
So far, from what I’ve heard, I think we’re making a classic.