My wife Brandi and I are flying somewhere over Eastern New Mexico as I type this. We’re headed to Houston to catch a connecting flight to Amsterdam for our first-ever EU / UK tour with our friends in Listener, who offered us the dates last fall.
We’re excited and thankful for the opportunity. For nine years - save a couple of dates here and there - we’ve been touring the States, and have always wanted to make it overseas, but haven’t had the opportunity until now. It feels like such a gift, or a bucket list kind of thing, and I feel naive and childlike and enjoy that part of it. Like a goofy kid that a more seasoned artist might pat on the head and say, “d’awe - how cute.”
This week has been insane. I released my brand new record, Cataracts, two days ago, and with how absurd album releases are, that felt like quite an accomplishment. It has been years since I’ve put out a full-length record, and as far as I’m concerned, this one was well overdue. Never could force it out of myself until it was time, though. I just can’t believe folks are still listening after all of these years. Music moves a light year a minute, and I’m honored by those of you who have remained by my / our side for so long. The responses I’ve received thus far have been overwhelmingly positive and kind.
I’m so grateful for it.
Not that I intended to write a record that everyone would hate (and I know we artists - or at least I - tend toward overanalysis), but I was - per usual - so afraid of this album: from content to artwork to the departure from the sweetness of Correspondence and into such an abrasive sound.
And yet, as my wife reminded me the other day, this felt like a record that I had to write. I had to get it out. I had to write it for myself and for my friends, and for those with ears to hear...
I hope that will equate to quite a few of you. From what I’ve seen of the world, and the collective experience voiced by many a human I’ve followed throughout the years, I think it might.
So, it’s out, and it comes now as a breath of fresh air because, as you read in Alex’s recap of the record-making process, getting to that fateful day was ugly, and hard. I wanted this thing to happen last spring, and here we are a whole year later, finally making it happen.
Later tonight, I’ll be sending the lyrics to one of my favorite songs from the record - As Far As The East Is From (The Navel To) The West - to all of my LTP Weekly Subscribers. It’s free if you want to sign up for that here - I send a new, different, otherwise unpublished (for the most part) piece of writing to a bunch of people every Sunday night. Feel free to join them.
In the midst of Cataracts prep and tour prep, I’m sorry to say that my wife’s uncle passed away unexpectedly this week. These have been a shocking and heartbreaking few days for the Garcia family in response. Although of course I wish it were not so, Brandi and I are thankful that we were able to be with everyone before we left this morning, as opposed to halfway across the world.
I can’t wait for the day when death will be no more. If you’re the praying type and feel any sense of inclination to remember our family in your conversations with God, there are a lot of folks who would greatly appreciate it right now, and perhaps one day, we’ll be able to thank you in person, on whichever side of our own lives we’re able to meet.
Beyond these things: Brandi and I are reading The Revenant with a couple of friends in a book club we started, and I know for sure at least a couple of Fraction members also started to go through it once they found that out. We’re almost done with it. The novel is gorgeous and nauseating. Leonardo getting mauled by a bear on film was brutal, but reading about it is far worse, in my opinion. We’ll start a new book in March. Still gotta figure out which one, though.
I haven’t seen Black Panther yet, although I’m jamming the soundtrack every day. Did get the chance to take a buddy of mine to see Hostiles, though. Beautiful film, and perhaps my favorite role yet from Christian Bale.
My favorite thing about international flights is watching a bunch of movies that I haven’t seen yet. Right now, I’m on a tiny United flight, but just you wait, y’all - I’mma get down on that movie vibe as soon as we connect.
Yes, I am so stoked about the new Underoath record that’s on its way.
This is perhaps the most bloggish blog I’ve blogged in a while. Just wanted to write and figured I may as well write to you. To whomever sets eyes on this post today, thanks for being a part of our lives, for caring and following along, and for living for all it it.
P.S. - If you feel so inclined: I’d love to hear your thoughts on Cataracts. Whether you have a personal online journal, or an independent blog or music review site, or a social media channel where you say things from sometimes, I’m just genuinely interested in hearing what, if anything, y’all have gotten from this record thus far. Tag me in it or send it to me or something. Feel free to love it or hate it, too. There are no obligations or stipulations on the World Wide Wild Wild West Web, after all. Here is my favorite post that I think I’ve ever posted, if it gives you a solid idea of where my wife’s at with this release (I posted this the day it came out).