I had been in a lot of bands growing up, but hadn’t really dedicated myself or played a show in nearly three years, when I sort of gave up for awhile. I moved back to my hometown of Northome, Minnesota, and just worked and kept to myself creatively. To be honest I barely even played guitar anymore at this point, but the fact I was home, surrounded by beauty and isolation, it just sort of started falling out of me.
At first I thought I would just put out an all acoustic record, but I kept hearing strings and other things when I would write, yet I knew I wanted to keep it minimal, and easy to replicate live if there ever came the day.
When I was starting to record Fires I wanted to try things completely differently then I had in the past, as cliché as it may sound. I wanted to teach myself how to play more instruments, and record/mix the album entirely on my own. It was, at first, just an outlet. I had no intention of actually releasing it, I just wanted to have a physical artifact of a certain part in my life, in order to put it to sleep. I made the decision to produce it myself because I knew it was going to be made completely on my own schedule, and there was no one else to engineer it nearby. After many attempts and experimentation, I found what I wanted for the most part. I’m still learning each day, and am nowhere near proficient, but hopefully someday I will get there.
I had some help from some really great friends who lent me equipment and helped with ideas whenever I needed it, which was often. I used an Apogee, and sometimes would borrow a nice mic, but most of the time I used pretty basic condensers. I recorded a lot of it in closets/rooms around Northome, St. Cloud, and Rockford, IL. I had some very talented people perform on the record as well, Jon Rozman on violin, and Heather Karson on backing vocals. The record also has a lot of subtle noises, but I chose to leave it be and keep it human for the most part. After persuasion from some people close to me, who thought I was just being lazy (ha ha), I decided I would release it. I did have the urge to play music live again, and with other people. I also really missed that feeling of connecting with other people in song.
The record, lyrically, is for the most part autobiographical. I blend a lot of memories and stories, so that they become fictitious in their time periods, but the record is rooted deeply in my youth and growing up in Northome, as well as hope for the future growth of certain situations. I am just incredibly excited to start playing shows again, and will hopefully be booking a few short tours this summer/fall.