This is going to sound funny, but it took me time to work up the courage to ask my friend to create designs for my upcoming album. The first, most obvious question is why wouldn’t I do it my self? I am after all a trained seasoned visual artist, I’ll start there.
Music is raw emotion, instinct, revelation, & mystery. The musicians I’ve studied are larger than life, titans, heroes straight out of a greek epic. Their music, along with our ancestry lives & breathes in our DNA & speaks to us if we have the balls to listen. When I hear people say that a soul lives in each of us, I’m not sure they truly believe it. Music is the very definition of a soul. Instinct and immortality are real, & becoming a hero or legend is a conscious choice down a disciplined path to a longterm vision or goal. Real men and women, flesh and blood. Any time a human tries to master something he/she enters the arena. When you enter this arena, you need to be prepared. Only a fool would take on such an endeavor without a support system. Alone.
Enter Charles Fetherolf, my secret weapon. I’ve worked, collaborated, exhibited, shared studios with countless artists over the years. Entrusting my vision to an artist of his caliber was an obvious choice, he was the first person that came to mind who could bring ideas to the table that were out of my reach. My goals were ambitious and beyond my own skillset. Creating a visual language to explore & extend the music, performance, & poetry of the Ram stage name us so open-ended it can go anywhere. Knowing that is a beautiful thing. To be productive in the journey, an artist that has a track record of executing above & beyond expectations has to be involved. I mean, what the F is the Ram anyway? I actually don’t know. Just saying I’m a bad-ass singer-songwriter isn’t enough. Sometimes names are just given to us and they stick, and on the lighter side, I know I’ve been called a hell of a lot worse. I knew Charlie could build the foundation of a visual language while I focused on all the other moving parts around me.
This is where my first point comes in. Knowing when to ask for help can be tough. I love being a DIY artist, but running everything; digital design, content, social media, film, & recording is a massive undertaking. Asking for help, and budgeting for professionals to add their magic to the mix is as important as the act of writing songs because at the end of the day it’s about maintaining the creative process, performing, getting the songs out there to the people, and moving on. Everything needs to fall in line to keep the machine going and firing on all cylinders.
Had I taken on the responsibility of making all of my tour posters, album art, and the visual language I would not have been able to push the needle as forward as I have in 2020. Today, I am surrounded by capable musicians that I want to collaborate with. Charlie’s visuals have my imagination reeling and are the beginnings of some concept poems and full albums. I’m swimming in inspiration.