Song Profiles

Song title: What I Didn't See
From the album: A Broke Machine (2008)

After the dust settled on Entropy 29 (some time in 2006), I sat down with myself to determine the overall reception it received. This is always a difficult thing to do. On one hand, it's tempting to gobble up every bit of praise - but in order to do that, it's necessary to swallow the criticism too, which can be incredibly painful. And in 2006, I opened the floodgates.

One of the bits of feedback I heard from several people about that album was that it was so dense, it was difficult to navigate even after a dozen listens. Well, the chances of me altering the complexity of my work are slim because that’s just the way my brain operates. However, what I eventually extracted from this criticism was that perhaps my balance was off – I write with too many brains and not enough guts. And that's when I set out to write a rock song…to find where my guts have been hiding.

“What I Didn't See”, for all intents and purposes, is the only rock song I've ever written. The song is about a change in my life that I didn't realize was on its way. Pretty straight forward. Recording the song was a different matter. I pulled the whole thing together quickly, including the programmed drums and bass. It sounded much more gutsy than anything I'd written before, and I was proud of my effort. The only thing that bothered me was the programmed drums and bass, so I approached Hector (bass) and John (drums/percussion) about this song. They both hopped right into the music and made it come to life. I'm especially proud of the recording of this song because it was done right. With live rhythm.

After creating this track, I gained some confidence about writing songs that are less feminine and singer/songwriter-y. I never knew I had it in me, and I probably wouldn't have discovered this side of my music had it not been for listening to certain critics.

Lesson: It's not just a saying...criticism can be constructive.

September 2008