Safe in Blue

Safe in Blue: Then and Now

May 23rd, 2014

By Vian

It has been an amazing journey since we announced our existence six months ago as a group. The beauty is in all the small steps. Let me give a quick recap of what has happened since we began, to get you up to speed.

Phillip and I moved into a studio on the famed Music Row back in 2012 with the naïve notion that we wanted to ‘record an album.’ The details (what kind of music, budget, audience, ect…) eluded us, but the general vision was there: create heartfelt, anthemic music that we would listen to. I wish we had started a blog back then because the late nights, parties, and ‘sing as loud as you can on the porch evenings’ were many. We even discovered a massive bag of bagels one day and lived off of said bagels for almost a month.

Our bagel nourishment during the recording process.

There was an intensity about that time. Long fourteen hour days thrilled us in the studio as we learned how to craft music. We recorded dozens of songs and then picked the top ten to put on ‘This Heart Will Bring.’ We released the music and hoped for anything. We were very pleasantly surprised. One of our favorite bands, Coldplay, posted our music video on their website the first week of its release. I am not sure if the actual band even saw it but the affirmation was wonderful.

Since we released the album, we’ve played shows every month and recorded new material. We’ve probably played almost every club in Nashville. These nights begin early for us. Four o’clock pm and we’re packing instruments into my Tacoma pickup truck. Heavy keyboards, drums, and guitar rigs leave us sweaty before the show even begins. At the venue we unload and become sweaty for a second time. Then we talk to the sound mixer. He is usually nice but often we get told that we will not get a sound check. Sound check is where they set levels of instruments so that things sound good. Because of the size of the venue or the order that we’re playing in, we are often left just hoping it sounds good.

We set up off stage and then wait. We’ve played with country acts, folk acts, and even an electronic act. This variety always leaves us excited. We either stick around to listen to music or we run and grab dinner.

I’ve put together a list of bands we’ve played with and liked in the past months so that readers can get a view into the local music of Nashville:

Nodaway, Poema, Dynamo, Jacob Gann, Phin, Sam Pinkerton, Jared & The Mill, Ivory Layne, Williams & Co, Young Islands.

These are just a few but they are ones we have become friends with or just really enjoy. Music is a wonderful force that brings people together and these other groups are such talented people. It’s been great playing with them.

We always get Mexican before shows. I don’t know why. But while eating we are usually calm and light hearted. Our bassist Chris and drummer Paul are two great guys that we get along with well. We’ll talk about typical young people things: soccer, latest movies, and even girls occasionally.

When dinner is done we run back to the venue and play. We’ve got this really cool graphic that Phillip designed. It’s our logo with clouds floating past. This is projected behind us. The lighting people usually shine blue light on the stage to fit our name. We walk on and play.

A picture of us playing with blue lights behind us.

A picture of us playing in blue lighting.

Playing is exhilarating. At first the crowd is shy. I’ve realized playing live is much like dating. So I usually introduce myself and say something to break the ice. This will involve a smile and a way for audience members to get involved. Clap, sing along, or cheer. My goal is always to connect. So I look as many people in the eye as I can. I also try to be conversational so people feel at ease. There’s nothing more wonderful than seeing people smile and sing along. Words are such powerful things. We craft our words for positivity and realness. When I see others sing them it makes everything worthwhile.

Phillip is great on his guitar. He has a massive pedal board with dozens of effects and textures. It’s been very useful, as he will do some really cool things between songs if I have to tune or change instruments. His guitar brings the power. Often it gets me even more pumped when we drop into a big chorus like the chorus of ‘Wolves of the Revolution.’  We sing our hearts out and get the crowd to sing along and then, minutes later; we are back loading heavy equipment off the stage. We usually get home around 1am and then, for a fourth time, we unload all our equipment back into the studio. At this point I am still very buzzed from the performance. I sit and write usually.

Music is a wonderful and mysterious thing. I’ve heard so many people say that when they write music it feels more like they are discovering it as oppose to creating it. At first I thought this was hippy mumbo jumbo but through the years as I write I am often shocked at how music will just flow out of me. I think we are all just conduits for the music in the air. A song like ‘Marble Floors’ was written in about ten minutes. Of course we went back then and revised it but it has always fascinated me how the process works. I usually write ideas and lyrics into an old notebooks or blank white paper. My parents got me a great notebook one year for Christmas. It’s got thick pages and looks old. I’ve been writing in it lately. I always pick a good pen when I write. Nothing like a good solid pen when you’re writing poetry.

An excerpt from my latest lyric book. Piles and piles of poetry.

An excerpt from my latest lyric book. Piles and piles of poetry.

This is a small view into our world. We recently got into the top 5 bands in Nashville through a local radio station. We played a massive show to hundreds of people. We also recently signed with a licensing company to continue promoting our music to TV and film opportunities. Things are really moving and I am so thankful. Our hope is to release a bunch of new music this summer. I believe we are going to start with a very summery song that we wrote a few months ago called ‘Coast of Your Heart.’

I cannot wait for our next blog. We’re talking about doing another album. One album idea just sort of fell into our laps recently. We’ve got a vision for it but time is always running a bit faster than us and we’re barely keeping up with everything that we’re currently busy with. So perhaps this will happen or perhaps it will get stored in our locker of really exciting ideas we currently don’t have time for. My hope with this blog is to give you a detailed view into our lives and adventures. Music is so universal and relatable so it is my hope that you find these accounts entertaining and meaningful. I will post once a month to keep things regular. Until soon.

– Vian