With the release of “Don’t Let The Bastards Down” on Spotify and other music streaming platforms, I sat down to write about the individual tracks of the album. The first track is “Outta Conttrol“. So here it goes: After moving back to Oregon from NYC, I decided to start a new band which was to be called “Not A Part Of It“, a band name I had actually used before I moved from Oregon to New York city, around 2003. The time frame of this song “Outta Conttrol” is circa 2013 or 2014. After moving to the west coast and having a collection of songs ready, some new, some written back during the eariler iteration of NAPOI, I sought out members and formed the band, We went into a friend’s basement studio and recorded a 7 song EP that would come to be known as the “Come Out With Your Amps Up!” EP. This NAPOI which consisted of four people, was formed with the intention of recording this EP and hitting the road. Therefore, once it was recorded, I started booking Not A Part Of It’s first tour. Two weeks before the tour, the other three members independently had things happen in their lives that made them decide to back out. with the benefit of hindsight, I think it was what is colloquially known as a blessing in disguise because it forced me to find new people with which to commence and complete the tour that was already booked.
Upon locating two people that were willing to go on the road with just two weeks of notice and preperation, we commenced rehearsal. And that was akin to a miracle finding those two people.
Now that I’m writing about it I feel like it was all kind of meant to be, to point me in a better direction. Like I said, a blessing in disguise.
When we first got together to rehearse, the goal was to learn a certain amount of songs just to go on the tour. After that I didn’t know what I was going to do but moving to another place was high on the list. But we ended up hitting it off and I remember Cody, the drummer saying “This feels good. When we get back from the tour do you guys want to keep playing?”. The bassist, Daylon and I agreed with that sentiment.
During rehearsals for the upcoming tour, learning the songs from the EP and others already written and arranged, I brought in a song that I had been writing, with the intention of seeing how well we work together with new material as opposed to merely the learning of previously arranged and recorded NAPOI songs. That song was “Outta Conttrol“. It didn’t have that title yet but it was a song I had written. It was mostly arranged, and so far just the instrumental parts of it. There were no lyrics as of yet. I think I probably asked them their opinions on this or that aspect of the arrangement in order to sculpt it into what it became. But either while we were working on it and preparing for that first tour or after we got back from the tour, I remember feeling a lot of anxiety about the lyrics because we thought that the song was really good, the music was good and I always get a little intimidated when I have something I really like and I have to write lyrics for it because I think “what if the lyrics don’t match up to the caliber of the music?” So I remember with that one, me being like “what can I possibly write to this music?!” It’s a bit of a complicated song so I was really pleased when it just came together. Sometimes when I don’t try and I just wait, an idea comes. Or maybe I wrote something down a while ago and it’s “hey, maybe that will fit with that” and just, things seem to work out, you know? Things seem to work out if you let them, if you give them the time and the energy. I feel like if I had just written the lyrics that day at the rehearsal it wouldn’t have been what it is now, in the best sense. For example, one time as I was lying on my belly on my living room floor, feet up in the air and bumping nervously as I wrote with pen and paper the lyrics to “Border To Border” another Not A Part Of It song, I noted with urgencey that I had been ignoring the need to urinate, I was so wrapped up in what I was writing. After the releasing of the urine, I came back to writing and wrote a new idea that was ideal for the part of the song for which it was written. It occured to me that if I had held it in and continued writing, what I wrote would have been different than what I ended up writing after going to the bathroom, which I really liked. All of this is to say that it’s so interesting to me that what I create for a piece of work now is not going to be the same as what I would create for the same piece tomorrow or even in 5 minutes. Sure, it could be good either way but I think that I intuitively know when the time is right for me to write that down and make that idea the definitive one. The definitive lyrics to a song in this case.
Getting back to “Outta Conttrol“, which by the way IS spelled correctly in so far as that’s the way I want it to be spelled. I simply doubled the t’s so that they can be crossed and appear more symmetrical. The lyrics that I eventually arrived at have to do with acting out to escape. Acting out of control almost like a drug, or using aggression, or whatever we can to escape and get out frustrations while we look for something to feel, whether it be true love, affection, belonging, or whatever makes you feel like you’ve arrived at something and don’t need to run from the feeling that you lack it. I feel like that as humans we’re chasing pleasure too much. I know I was at the time. I was escaping a lot. For instance, now I’m sober but then I was not. I wasn’t dealing with the things that I needed to deal with in order to be the best person that I could be. The person that I wanted to be and that I know everyone around me knew was in me and knew that I could be. So now back to that first Not A Part Of It tour, we completed it successfully, came back and continued to write, tour, record, and release material. The intention was to put out a recording at least once a year. I always liked seeing bands come through whatever city I was in at the time and every time I saw them, there was a new 7″ or cassette or CD that you could get and go home and listen to and get accustomed to and continue your appreciation of that band. It feels so romantic now. So we were writing, recording, releasing, and touring constantly with various line up changes up until the pandemic started. We have a lot of as yet released material recorded leading up to and during the pandemic. As of this writing I’m booked next week to finish up some back up vocals on the latest recordings. But that’s another story for another time. As for this record that begins with the song “Outta Conttrol“, the 12 track LP “Don’t Let The Bastards Down“, we recorded that after our return from that initial tour. Track 2, “Life’s A Riot” which I’ll get into next time is probably the first song I wrote that really kickstarted the drive to start this iteration of Not A Part Of It before the recording of the 7 song EP “Come Out With Your Amps Up!” on which the first studio recorded version of that song resides. I was demoing some songs in 2011 or 2012 and that one just came to me in the shower. I heard it in my head, sang it out loud and ran out and into my room where my recording equipment was set up and wrote and arranged it right there on the spot (okay, I put clothes on first), and I think that it was the catalyst to write this type of music and start Not A Part Of It up.