We just completed the cover shot photo session for the new record. It was a blast. For any of that session to make sense I need to tell you that we’re changing the title of the record to “Working Until I Die”
Why is Royal Monaco on the trash heap (for now)? We spent a great deal of time talking about the concept for the album design. Royal Monaco is a car, in fact the first car I learned to drive, but I liked the title because it could be anything. When we started working on exactly what the cover should be it was difficult to nail it down.
We talked about shooting a car, but i did that on the 2004 record, Road Side Service. Not interested in a cover that comes to close to that one. So, that pretty much ruled out a car image.
We also began to look at the songs that made the record and how they might be related. Royal Monaco was conceived as a title before I had even written some of the songs that will make up the playlist. When I looked at the 13 tracks that will make up the record I started to see a through-line.
I saw a smart article the other day that examined which 10 year span in the history of the country has been the worst. The civil war years were, if I remember, the worst. WWII, The Depression, are all up there…and the last ten years – from Sept 2001 to Sept 2011 are in the top five. Not to bring the room down, but it just seems that whatever safety net we ever had…rising home prices, a pension…those things are gone. Perhaps never to return and so like I say in the song, “I’ll be working until I die.”
So, when I look at the song list I see titles like, Little Less Fun, I Ain’t That Kind of Cowboy, Coming For You, and the mentioned, Working Until I Die I saw aggressive subjects….fighting, insisting, mourning….working hard and refusing to give up. I still couldn’t quite nail it down.
One night over many beers Tony Horkins said, I’ve got it. This about is about working until you die and it should be called, Working Until I Die. Damn he was right.
So WUID it is. That fed right into our cover photo, which we shot in the most bland and soulless corporate office we could find. Here are some behind the scene’s snapshots. I felt so fortunate to have British mega talent photog John Chappel on the job. His work is amazing and although I haven’t seen the final images I’m confident it’s going to be great.
We’re deep in the post-production stage of this record. The songs are being mixed in Boston. We’re getting email tracks every day – making notes and rushing around to listen in different sound environments. Some people say to me, “Who cares if it sounds good? Everybody just dumbs it down to MP3’s and listens with ear buds. It doesn’t need to sound good!” I just can’t do that. I still have my fingers crossed that someday we’ll be back to the high fidelity world, and I want the record to sound as good as it can. Even if most people won’t notice. I’LL NOTICE!
So there’s mixing, mastering (more on that when it happens) album art design, and manufacturing. I’m projecting a January 15 completion date…keep your fingers crossed.