The beauty of music is that one song can mean something completely different to one person vs another. I'm posting my song lyrics and stories behind the songs here so you can get a personal behind the scenes back story for the inspiration of all of my tunes, in case you are a curious cat like me!

I may be going a little Taylor Swift on some of  the song stories. However, if anyone out there can relate to my stories and identify with my songs more because of them, I hope my songs can be a kind of therapy for ya,  just like one of my songs "My Kinda Therapy" talks about!

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS DISCOGRAPHY

I was originally going to name this album “The San Diego Life”, since it starts off with that song and I have two songs that mention San Diego on it, and I just love living here so. However as I kept listening through the songs, there also seemed to be an element of friendship mentioned in quite a few of them, especially my Friends with Benefits song, and I thought that had a more universal appeal for people. Plus, the double entendre meaning of the phrase I thought might get it a bit more attention out there in internet land, I’m just keepin it real with that comment!

This album was put together in sequential order, basically aligning with when I started writing a song (or re-editing my old I’d Rather Ride a Wave song). It is a definite roller coaster ride, having lots of songs about the good times in life with your friends and living in a beautiful place to more frustrating times in my life. However, I try and at least keep those frustrating types of songs up tempo with as much positive energy as I can, similar to how Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks is really about a dark subject but done in such an up-tempo and fun style. I could just never be one to write slow and depressing typical singer/songwriter at a coffeehouse type of songs, because that just keeps people depressed.I like music to pump me up! Plus, I don’t drink coffee, Diet Pepsi is my coffee!

This album was a long time in the making. Writing songs as inspiration strikes, the songs were written over the course of 3 years. Once all the tunes were finished it took a year to produce as I had an idea for the different kind of producers I wanted to work with that were well known and regarded for what they do, reflected my musical tastes, and who worked with bands that I was a fan of.

I was fortunate to be able to work with J.P. Hesser at Castaway 7 Studios in Ventura, who has produced music for one of my favorite bands, Iration! One of my songs on my album "Boys in Bands" was inspired by Iration and I also give a nod to their Get Back to Me song in Hypnotize Me Please tune,so I knew I had to work with someone Iration had worked with for those songs. I was also so stoked when I was recording with J.P. Hesser at his studio and two of the Iration members Joe Dickens and Adam Taylor dropped by.That was such an unexpected surprise, it was cool for them to see me in action as the roles were reversed! J.P. was great because he got me to just improvise with the harmonies and it is a free feeling and actually kind of fun doing it that way, there may be some hits and misses along the way, but eventually you get something you like! He also encouraged me to play the Ukulele by myself for my Living Aloha song, which I was hesitant to do at first as I’m not super confident in my playing skills, but it turned out really great, after multiple takes, ha!

I also had an opportunity to work with Jon Berry, who has produced many songs for another favorite band of mine, The Wheeland Brothers. They have a total beachy vibe with the sound and feel of their tunes and their songs are very well done, so I knew I couldn't go wrong by working with Jon! He really contributed to the two songs I did with him and gave me an idea for some changes in the tunes, adding in a bridge with the fun Woo hoo chant for the Surf with Amigas song and adding a fun touch at the end of Surfer Boys song where I say, they're mine, all mine! I think Surf with Amigas is one of my favorite tracks on the album!

It's always great to work with local homies as well and Mason Proud of Proud Productions is a super talented, highly regarded,and efficient music producer that was great to work with! He’s done some work with another band that I’m a fan of, Sunny Rude as well as other numerous bands and live sound work for bands like Stranger, Mike Pinto and up at Cali Roots for one of their fall events. He did some awesome work & instantly nailed the vibe that I was looking for with the 3 songs he did with me - he just totally got it! It was also great to be able to work with some of my musician friends Brendan Clemente from The Stir Crazies and Derek Potter from Jet West who did some bass and drums for the tracks Mason worked on! Jeremy Miller, an audio engineer I know and have met through open mic nights around town, also recorded and mixed my Friends with Benefits song which was a fun process as I played some of the song on piano myself!

Then I randomly came across another producer, Omar Montes (MusicMontes.com), via a ride in a Lyft car one day.I looked his music production website up and he had done some work on some songs that completely fit the vibe I was looking for, for my last two songs. He did an excellent job as well and spent a lot of time on my tunes to get them perfect. I really loved the whisper effects he added to my Wanna Dance song, it completely fits the vibe that I was going for!

Recording is a very interesting process, especially working with a variety of producers who all have different ways of working. I like working with several different producers as you get a variety of sounds for your album, as variety is the spice of life!I'm super psyched with the results and although my songs may not be everyone's cup of tea, I know there are people out there who might be able to relate and really enjoy my music, and that's what it's all about for me!

Production notes:

J.P. Hesser/Castaway 7 Studios: Boys in Bands, Hypnotize Me Please, Living Aloha

Jon Berry: Surf with Amigas, Surfer Boys

Mason Proud: The San Diego Life, Back of the Bus, Get a Move On

Omar Montes: Wanna Dance?, Back that Hug Up

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FINDING MY OWN WAY DISCOGRAPHY

This was the first album I ever made which was an exciting journey for me. 

I named this album "Finding My Own Way" because a lot of the songs on it were very personal to me, I wasn't writing with any kind of an audience in mind, for the most part.   Since this was my first time writing songs, it felt like the first step, and I was truly finding my own way to write and express myself through music.  There are some crowd pleasers on here for sure, but a lot of the songs are a bit more personal. 

The first few songs I recorded (Guys Love a Beer Girl, Crowd Pleaser, and Power to the People), I did at the Pop Machine studio in my home town of Indianapolis. My favorite band in Indiana, Push Down & Turn, had recorded there so I wanted to do a few songs there myself for the nostalgia factor. Those songs were all recorded live band style during one day in the studio when I was visiting Indiana over the Christmas holiday season. I snuck out and did some “shopping” and actually recorded these tunes at the same time. It was the most efficient recording I’ve ever done and the producer Adam White did an awesome job getting the vibe right for those tunes!

My next few songs (I’d Rather Ride a Wave, Good Hair Day, and Bitches Don’t Wait in Line) I did at Capricorn Studios, which is a great studio in downtown San Diego. It was conveniently located near my work so I could sneak out at lunch for a session or do an early evening session after work. I worked with producer Bryan Stratman at that studio and I absolutely love what he did with the I’d Rather Ride a Wave song. He told me I would either love it or hate it, and I loved it! I love variety, therefore my twitter monikor, alljackedupinc, and to have a variety of sounds within one song going from reggae/beach to rock and then adding in some piano, was super cool for me. All of the sounds really match the timing of the lyrics and I thought it worked really well! The Good Hair Day & Bitches Don’t Wait in Line songs came out exactly as I was hoping as well. It was all done very quick and efficiently without sacrificing quality!

The last several songs I did with Lee Coulter, who is a singer/songwriter himself in San Diego and I enjoyed his beachy/funky sound. I was very pleased with how they turned out. Finding My Own Way had the perfect kind of funk factor for the more serious content of the song which was super cool! Single Together is another one of my fave songs on that album as it just has such an easy going and fun feel, and Kristen Bell (who played Veronica Mars – my all time favorite show), even took a listen to that one and said she liked it when I tweeted it to her after she made a tweet about not wanting to have a big to do wedding and sorts.

Overall, my first album was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun doing it. It was a new adventure for me and that is always exciting!