Some people excel in chaos. Others like a more orderly existence. They each bring something to the table that the other needs or desires. They fill in gaps that the other needs. And when they work well together, it can be magic. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about me and Joseph.
I’m order and he’s chaos. In a way, we butted heads a lot. Not in a confrontational way, mind you. More like two solutions to the same problem. I can hear myself saying over and over, “sing like you’re going to sing when I hit record so I can get a good level. If I get all these levels right, It’s going to be much easier to mix.” Followed by Joseph, “I’m just going to feel it when I do it and it’ll be fine, man.” We were both right and both wrong. Depending on what you think is more important.
I can’t stand chaos. I like everything to have a place, so when you need it you know exactly where it will be. A lack of chaos is comforting to me. When everything is simple I can do very complicated things with ease. When everything is complicated I struggle to do the simplest of things. Joseph was the exact opposite. But somehow we meshed very nicely as friends and in the studio.
He could count on me to have everything squared away on the technical side of recording. To write guitar parts that mattered, but didn’t crowd out the rest of the song. He could count on me to be in control so much that if I had to change directions, I was ready. Like a good fucking boy scout, I was always prepared.
I could count on him to glide into any situation with a style and ease that made me jealous. He needed exactly zero prep time to be brilliant. There were times I would want him to sing backing vocals on a song, and a couple hours later it was more than I could have ever hoped for. Even if he had never heard the song before, he would just saunter up to the mic and proceed to blow my mind. He has an understanding of how vocal lines and harmony work together that I’ve really never seen in anyone else.
There was a time when we first started working together that I would question everything he was doing because it just didn’t make sense to me. I’m not going to lie, there were notes hit that I didn’t think had any business in the song we were working on. But he convinced me to wait to hear the finished product before I made up my mind. He was right, of course. The combination of all the wrong notes I heard was just a thing of beauty. I literally told him it sounded like angels on It’s Not The End. And that no, I was not too high to know the difference. I miss that day. By far, it’s not my best song. But I don’t know that I had a better time recording any of the songs we did together. There’s a lot that doesn’t come through in the final mix that I wish everyone could experience. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that there was order from all the chaos that went into that song.