NEWS | Starting the Illusions of Grandeur
In the fall of 2010, Between Crows & Thieves had come to the end of its short life cycle.  Heartbroken over the project, fighting the turmoil of my own depression inside; I had been toying around with a few new tunes on an acoustic at night when I couldn't sleep. Mostly for a piece of mind, but knowing I was about to depart from the music scene, perhaps music altogether, I consider recording them. So I called up Darian at Blue Chair and asked if I could come in and record a few scratch tracks, maybe save them for a future where I could return to music again. I stepped into the studio around the end of September early October of that year, laid down really raw versions of Cry On, Bury Me With Wolves, Demons & Dolls, and a few others. It felt good to get them out on something, but I walked out of the studio that day knowing I was leaving music for a while. I felt like I was placing them in a state of being buried to be dug up one day maybe if I could remember where I left them in a sense.
I wouldn't return to them until late 2012.  I tried to revisit those songs in 2011 but was hit with my best friend Jeremy Vestal passing away in a car crash.  He was a brother to me, an uncle to my kids. The man who gave people the view into the world of Black Suit Karma as our photographer.  He continued as the photographer as I made Between Crows & Thieves, but here it was, he was gone. I was devastated. A hole grew inside, I became quieter. With me not dealing with the loss, I bottled the pain inside with the depression that already lived inside me from losing my home. So I put stones around it, I told myself I'll deal with the pain later, I have to keep moving, just keep working. So I did. 
Time passed, it's now the end of 2012, and with things moving in the right direction for my family and me, I felt hopeful for music.  I made a call to Darian at Blue Chair and scheduled a day to dig up those songs I buried a couple of years ago. Walking into Blue Chair, that rush of music came back. Standing in the studio hearing those raw scratch tracks playing, I was reminded of the dream I had for them, to continue that artsy style project of Between Crows & Thieves. I wanted to fuse my poetry, art, and music into a unique experience. Knowing I really didn't have a lot of time with my work life, I could see it would take a long time possibly years. So,  I started with Darian what would become a 10-year journey of opening doors inside and finding what was at the core of me, albeit raw, broken, angry, or whatever it was, I was going to let it out, I was going to set myself free. 
From those scratch tracks I recorded long ago, the first track that really started to solidify was Cry On Whatever. This hypnotic sway style of a song that captured the question of what type of devil lives inside and will it be the predator or victim in the game of life. So there at the end of 2012, leaving the studio that day I felt alive again. I walked out with something sounding like a piece of me, a little part of my soul etched in sound. Free from the cage inside me. However, the process slowed down the following year as I was accepted into college, I was going for my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I wanted to design for people, musicians, companies, etc., so my visits to the studio gained significant gaps of time. It was in 2015 I was working on a project for school that caused me to revisit some former stomping grounds, like Vinos. It had been five years since I had been inside, and when I walked in it triggered all these memories of playing, laughing, and most of all, my best friend, Jeremy Vestal. 
When I returned home, the stones around the inside of my heart fell, the pain I had hidden along with all the new things that had happened in my life poured out. It was then the authentic sound of what would become Illusions of Grandeur took its first real step. I wrote Drift (Peel Me Away). Now usually I don't like expressing the meanings behind a song or poem I write, I wish for the reader or listener to take from it their own view, what they need from the art, but with Peel Me Away, I will express the meaning behind it. The song is about that moment when we feel crazy, like a lunatic crying in the rain screaming to god, the sky, the universe, or whoever may be listening, "hey this is the pain from our soul, f@$king help us!" It's the moment where nothing and everything hurt, and all we want is the pain to go away but stay at the same time. The more rooted in the song you go I'm singing about ink in my veins, and the line "Peel Me Away" is really conveying how we are just pages of a story, our own, perhaps someone else's, and sometimes, it's not that some readers turn the pages, or moves on to the next chapter, with the ability to revisit us, but instead those pages get peeled away, torn from the book, leaving old readers missing that part they love, and new readers never getting the full story to enjoy. So for me, just sometimes I feel as if this book of me has had more pages peeled away. 

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