JohnMoss

Top-Tenish

You have been seriously invited to the JohnMoss top ten-ish page for superfans like you. Why do I say 10-ish? Well because we’re gonna start at ten and see what happens because of you!

I'VE BEEN THINKING.

So as some of you may know, Grant, Skyler and I re-released, well not re-released, but found hundreds of copies of CentralSide’s Priorities in my dad’s guest room or attic or somewhere and placed them on the interwebs. And I gotta be honest - it brought up some weird feelings for me.

Nostalgia and great memories, but also some parts about who I am that weren’t my favorite, like attention seeking stuff (not in the traditional since, but indirectly which to me is more dangerous, because I don’t always realize why i’m doing it until i get there and then I’m like “what the hell am I doing?") and really just self absorption or preoccupation with what i’m doing. It tables the actual things I value in my world. It wasn’t relational, it was transactional and addictive. So here’s the deal:

Music will be changing for me. No promotion, no indirect promotion. My music will be available to those that seek it, but you won’t find me seeking you to find it. Too much of music these days is about the self and “what I have created”, and that misses the point for me. I want to engage in creation, writing, and the kind of sharing that isn’t driven by hidden motives. I haven’t made full sense of what this will look like for me fully yet, but I can say that through the feedback from a few folks that deeply care about me (thank you, you know who you are) and process of THE DEATH OF ME (an album about this very thing!) has been convicting.

More to Come,

Andrew

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THERE ARE SINGERS AND TONAL Noisemaker...WHICH ARE YOU?

In preparation for an upcoming coffee house at Stella’s Coffee Haus here in Denver - I’m reminded that being a singer is precious and special thing. I thing I can sing on key, but I like to refer to myself as a tonal noisemaker. Singing, to me is not my strong suit, but I love what that means in the recording and performing arena: It’s an area I can work on. So where as things like runs and other vocal skills don’t belong to me, just staying in my lane and trying to grow in my lane are things that belong to me. I love harmonizing - I tell Alyssa sometime, that I wish I could play in a group where I could just play guitar and sing background vocal - that’d be a happy space. Maybe that’s my future goal right! Anyway for all you singers out there, God bless you and thank for your beautiful vocal chords. For the rest of you like me, tonal noisemakers or the tonally challenged (some of my favorite singers are tonally challenged but they sure as hell mean it when they sing!), I’ll be rihgt next to you, adding to the rest of the choir!

-AH

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PERFORMANCE

One of the great parts of getting older (I know I’m not old), is that something fade out as a part of aging. For example playing church battle of the bands, cool venues in Denver, local open mics are phasing out of my world and phasing into the world of younger cooler folks. But that’s not a bad thing. For awhile I thought it was a bad thing; at least annoying not to hear back from venues and "new “opportunities”. But really what it was, was me looking for something: performance and approval (OUCH). Anyone in the music business who can’t admit that… I wasn’t even in the music business and I couldn’t admit that. And even if it wasn’t approval, it was attention.

But again, refocusing on what I wanted to do has put me in a place where I can play house concerts or local coffee shops and focus on what I really loved about music. Enjoyment! What a concept haha. A wise sage in my life suggested that and it was foreign to me for a long time: “But i can’t just do that for enjoyment?” Well, folks YOU CAN and DO IT. It doesn’t have to be something, it already is something to you.

Words from the wise and me,

-AH

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WHEW, it's been a minute.

Quick update for everyone - I am nexck deep in the recording process and have neglected the blog for a minute! I’ve been wrestling with getting this thing done on time and maaging family time and therefore here’s an announcement for you:

I’m going to delay the release of the album until the end of March to give my family some more time and me some more cushion to finish. I’ll be telling and sharing this on social media at the end of this week. BUT I will have a single released on that same date February 22nd! We are that much on track:)

All Bass, Drums, Keys/Synths, Pianos, mood pads, etc are done, just have guitars and vox to go!

You guys have been wonderful through this process and I can wait to show you what’s been happening!

-AH

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ME? A SESSION GUITARIST? NOT EVEN CLOSE

As I’m in the tedious and thrilling process of recording this album, you get to a pount where you have these parts and try to fit it together. This dude has one of the best ways of breaking some of that down. Check this out while I work on some clips (finally figured out how to get screen shots with audio going - apparently my 2007 Mac needs some finagling (sp?))

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTgC-_SSjtc

-AH

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TRACK LISTS - WHAT ORDER?

Start the album with a bang? Slow ballad build? Start with an Intro, end with an outro (that’s not even a word)?

Maybe this goes back to the full album vs EP debate (if that even is a debate) but I love albums where songs flow into each other or have jsut the right amount of space to let you recover before the next songs.

The Death of Me has been a tough one to figure out order for as right now we got about 3 ballads (Death of Me, Young Man, Amazed by You), 5 driving-beat filled songs (All of You, Couldn’t Change my Skin, State That I Was In, Deadly Theatre, and It’s Not Me - It’s Definitely You), and the rest are somewhere in the middle.

I’m leaning this way currently: Start exciting with something unexpected: Couldn’t Change My Skin. It’s a love song, doesn’t sond fully like me but still does. Somewhere between the Wombats and Muse, with a orchestra break down? That should throw it off its kilter and create some interest right?

I’ll post a clip of the rough track later today! Stay Tuned!

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"MAKING IT"

I got the privilege to have one of my closest long time friend visit for work awhile ago and we got into a great discussion of our past dreams of “making it.” And it was funny because we couldn’t really define what making it looked like, we just knew that we wanted to. Whether that was getting a big record deal at the time (because those still existed for the small local bands hoping), or wanted to build a fan base, sell some merch, or have an ego boost (oops, said that out loud!). But we came to the conclusion that the greatest part was actually just making music, hanging out, and most often not even doing things about music. It was community and friendship - fancy that.

Some other wise sages in my world asked me a great question that I really hated for awhile but came to love: “What are you trying to do here with your music?” I came to love it because it really spoke to my underlying hopes of the aforementioned ideals - that maybe somewhere, somehow this could be huge'; again missing the point of it all.

Guys. This has been a freeing conclusion. I don’t have to do anything with it! Writing, playing, community is enough. Pretty cool.

Here’s how it’s showing up in the process:

  • I am more free to write candidly and not have the perfect words/rhyme schemes.

  • I can put whatever I want musically in there, because who cares (i.e. nobody has harmonized guitar solos in songs, but i’ve got at least 2 on the new album haha!

  • And there’s no pressure on numbers or producing or followers, because that’s not what it’s about.

Hopefully this is as freeing to you listening as it is to me writing!

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MODERN GHOST

12/12/2018  - Addiction is something I’ve seen hit friends, family, and the people I have worked with over the past 8 years. I wanted to write a song depicting the struggle that folks face around this, not to describe what people go through as that’s “never my place to say” but to describe the difficulties of the change process in their view and in others view of people struggling with addiction. I had an interesting position for 8 years of being immediately present with the impacts of alcoholism and drug addiction and at the same time having very little control over the process. The song “Modern Ghost” is an ode to that process and seeing people reclaiming their lives. (***disclaimer***This kind of of topic always brings up more questions than answer, so i’d be happy to talk/listen more if needed)

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What's Your Take on the New EP Trend?

12/7/2018 - I’ve always been a big fan of the album. EPs are fine (Just ways to get more active streams and income - oops I said that out loud!). Singles are for those who want to mingle and try to make it big IMO. Throughout my musical “career” (I can laugh at my “has been” status now and you should too!), the album changed from going to Scotti’s Record Shop in Morristown to order the new Limp Bizkit album to free downloads on Napster, to the single on ITunes, to streaming services (how do you sell free music? was the question). I think I will always be a fan of the album as a complete piece of work and a picture of what was happening in my life and around me at the times.

Sunsets (on the Ground) was a reflection of my time in college searching for direction and meaning. Love Reform was an echo of deriving purpose where I felt compelled to acknowledge macro level things that were happening (world, politics) and decide how I wanted to interact with those - for me I settled on caring for those around me.

Which brings us to The Death of Me! Recording the Death of Me (and I will probably find out later on with hindsight clarity where I was really at during this whole experience) has been less about a statement or concept this time, and more about the process itself. Doing so without judgment of self, really looking at the ways you are messy and at the same time celebrating good. It brings about some definite acknowledgement of mediocrity in a lot of ways and success and joy in others. My hope is that the process just mirrors the authentic process of dying to self: hard and exhilarating at the same time! - AH

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OOOF. LABELS.

12/5/2018 - I get asked this question a lot, and it’s really a tough one to answer, because I’ve had people walk out/boycott a concert because they googled JohnMoss and found it listed on amazon under “christian” or heard the word God mentioned in a song on the album. And there are a lot of connotations that come with “christian music” as opposed to secular music. So the easy answer from my side is yes, I am a christian that makes music and if you define christian music as music that talks about faith and uses christian-y words sometimes, then yes, I would technically be making “christian music.”

But here’s my approach to this. Faith, in my music, mirrors my believe of faith in life: It presents specifically at times, but it’s present in everything. My songs are written about love, relationships, difficulty, hurts, not thinking you had a chance with your wife and then she said she’d go out with you, etc.

I have a song on the upcoming album called “state that I was in” which talks about the struggles of living in alignment with my faith; that sometimes I feel like I’m doing well and other times I feel like I’m sucking. For me, these stories come as I’m living daily life and are not to proselytize, but to offer a view of a graceful God that I get to know. - AH

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