The original song I’m writing about, Stupid Is, is playable in the top music player in the right-hand column. If you are reading this at a later date it it will be findable in one of those music players.
About five years ago while living in Thailand I e-mailed my friend Rich Rea in Garden City, Michigan, USA, and asked if he’d like to write and produce a song together. I told him if he would like to that anything recorded had to be done to a known strict time so that things like a drum machine or other computer-driven non-human-performed music or loops could be easily added as the need arose. To my surprise he responded a few days later with two files attached to an e-mail, one was a vocal track and the other rhythm guitar. When I dragged and dropped them into my DAW (digital audio workstation (Logic Studio)) there was a complete song for me to mess with. It originally had a tragic folk-song kind of feel even though his rhythm guitar was electric.
One by one I added a base line, drums, organ, banjo, piano, strings, synthesizer, an intentional initial mistake and curse, but there was something still missing. It needed a lead guitar solo and no matter how I tried I just couldn’t fake it effectively on my keyboard or computer. So I had to contact my friend and music writing partner Jan Baars in the Netherlands.
You got this? I’m in Thailand, the singer / song writer is in the USA, and now we’re adding lead guitar from the Netherlands. What a world we live in today!
Jan did many attempts on that guitar solo but as is so often the case we kept his very first one that he did off the cuff. In the middle echoey section I had a string pad with echoed synthesizer over it which leads into the big guitar solo. Jan convinced me to slowly fade out the strings and fade in tremulous distorted guitar chords which would more effectively lead into the hard driving guitar solo. Done. He also made a new solo for the fade out at the end.
This was all done by e-mail.
Richard Rea: song writer, vocals, rhythm guitar
Jan Antonie Baars: lead guitar
Jim Gramze: everything else and final mix down
I hope you enjoy this one. There will be more to come as time goes by but this one has the most international participation and the most mainstream appeal.
I am open to doing a new collaborative project. Any takers?