I’m writing this blog from the waiting room of a mechanics garage. I’m waiting for someone to check out the engine on a 13 year old van. A van that we've purchased to live in for the duration of a rather unique project. In the last seven months I’ve been selling every personal belonging that we don't immediately need; instruments, audio gear, my grandfathers coin collection, our only vehicle, a tiny house we happened to have in our back yard and other heirlooms. It’s stuff I’d rather my family not find out I’m selling and a couple of things my wife would probably prefer to keep.
Why? Because several months ago I had a dream that would require a lot of money that we don’t have. That dream kept me awake a lot of nights. It's potential imposed itself on every thought I had throughout every day. It wreaked total havoc on my sanity until I finally said, “Ok, I can’t lay on a death bed someday somewhere without doing this thing."
We originally sent an application to Guinness World Records to be the first band to play concerts in every National Park. After waiting for three long months, our application got rejected. Much to our disappointment, Guinness was not on board. Instead of the dream politely disappearing into the night it only got louder and demanded to evolve. We've now had to change, compromise and refine our plan several times. Similar to the lifestyle we find ourselves living, things don’t always work out as we had originally imagined, but we continue to adapt, rather than to give up and call it quits.
Something that we have been learning as artists is that environment is everything in regards to creativity. In the same way that a method actor will spend months working out his craft under the conditions of a climate he wishes to represent, we want to create music that will reflect the places we write it in. So, that’s the plan: we are going to record our next album in a van as we camp through several National Parks and a few other places that inspire us. Sampling the sounds of anything we can find and turning them into music.
The next two weeks will serve as sort of a trial run for the project. We have tour dates in Birmingham, Dallas, and Austin and in between will spend about 9 days writing in and exploring Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountain, and Big Bend National Parks. We’re bringing along a videographer to document the process and look forward to sharing the highs and lows of the whole thing. Later during the summer, we’ll set out on a much longer route around the entire country and we’ll announce that info as soon as we have it. There’s no way we could accomplish this plan without help from a lot of people like you, so we’ll be announcing ways you can get involved soon as well. We feel grateful you’d even want to read this far… so if you’re still here - THANK YOU. We hope you’ll follow along with the beginning of our journey over the next two weeks as we begin this exciting process.