Scam. Sin. Fear.
If you happen to follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you have probably seen me making mention of a new project/band of mine called Cashout (our debut EP, Scam. Sin. Fear. is available everywhere today [July 15, 2016] courtesy of MPress Records / ILS Distribution)!
It has been a little while since I last checked in, so I wanted to use this week’s blog post to give you a little bit of insight into this project and how our new record came to be.
…but before I do that, allow me to sound the trumpet of thousands of tiny, clapping hands for the incomparable, the incorrigible, the incompetent….
Who is Cashout?
Cashout is Sean Kelly, from A Fragile Tomorrow, on guitar/bass duties. Brendan Kelly, also from A Fragile Tomorrow, on drums, and I provide vocals and lyrics.
Sean and I became friends years ago and ever since, he has been instrumental in helping to shape my songwriting and the production of my music. Sean works out of Low Watt Recording Studio in Savannah, Georgia and while he was working on my last few records as a producer, his brother Brendan was manning the board for our sessions as the engineer. Both guys are supremely talented, and it is always an honor and privilege every chance I have to work with them. During those sessions, I’m typically a sponge trying to soak up as much knowledge from those guys as possible.
What is Cashout?
Cashout is a punk-rock band. While working together on my record and the Loners Society stuff: Sean, Brendan, and I realized that we had a lot of the same political and social philosophies and also bonded over punk music. We always talked about how much fun it would be to record a punk record if the timing ever made sense.
When is Cashout?
Like I mentioned above, our debut EP, Scam. Sin. Fear., comes out today on your favorite digital distribution and streaming sites. Since the EP is a total of four songs averaging around a minute each, we won’t be playing any shows to support the release; however, we did record some live versions of the songs and a mini-doc interview that we will be releasing over the coming weeks.
Where is Cashout?
Sean lives in Savannah. Brendan is in-between Savannah and Charleston, and I live in Charleston. The fact that we are all located in different places at different times made this project particularly interesting.
Brendan and Sean got together one Fall morning in Savannah and recorded the drums and guitars for the record. Once drums and guitar were complete, they sent me the tracks and asked me to write lyrics and provide vocals for the songs. For someone who had never been gifted songs like this before, I put a lot of pressure and responsibility on myself to make sure I did the music justice.
The longest part of the process for this record was they lyrics, without a doubt. It wasn’t that I toiled endlessly over every word for months, but was taking a while for me to put pen to paper. I was taking in everything that was happening in this crazy world around me, and trying to figure out how to condense all of my feelings and responses into small, one minute, bytes. Once I decided the four main topics I wanted to cover: gun “control”, Islamophobia, religion, and Donald Trump the process sped up exponentially.
Once the lyrics were finished, I recorded the vocals at my home studio here in Charleston, sent them over to Brendan, and just like that, “Voila!” a new record is born!
On an extremely sad side-note: confirmation of how relevant these songs could be came during the time I was writing “Guns for Fun”.
I began the lyrics to that song on Friday, February 19, 2016 and finished them later in the evening. I signed on to Twitter shortly thereafter to discover that a man in Edgerton, Missouri had shot and killed a family of four that same day, before setting their house on fire.
The very next day (Saturday, February 20, 2106), I tracked the vocals to “Guns for Fun”, and once again, later that day a man in Kalamazoo, Michigan shot and killed six people after a woman denied his request for a dollar to, “make America great again.”
Why is Cashout?
From a musical standpoint, this record and band is a passion-project for all of us. We all love punk music and Cashout is an outlet for us to create our own interpretation of the music we loved growing up and still love today.
From a content perspective, the lyrics were something that I, personally, felt needed to be said. I had all of these feelings bubbling inside and there really wasn’t much of a place for socio-political statements in my solo work at the time.
I knew that these songs would be polarizing to some degree; however, the point isn’t to try and isolate, in fact, it’s quite the opposite: the hope for these songs is that they become another voice in the conversation that we should all be having about the state of our society. Thankfully, we live in a country where these types of conversations are still allowed to happen.
One thing I have always said is that I will not apologize for my beliefs and how I view the world, but I will always say to those who happen to disagree, “Thank you for listening”, and I also encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions, and let’s get a dialogue going in order to help our country and our world get to a better, more positive place.
How is Cashout?
We good, and hope you are as well. :)