Patreon Page by Nick Arneson

HI friends,

Thanks for reading. I've set up a Patreon page. It's difficult to do, but I've done so for two reasons. First, to be connected with those who are enjoying what I create. I want to connect more often and build a sense of community around what I'm making and putting out into the world. Being an extrovert in a fairly introverted line of work, I get lonely! I love hearing that what I'm putting out into the world makes people happy or makes people dance, or helps someone through a shitty day. I write about intensely personal stuff that likely resonates with a lot of you. I want to hear about how it impacted your life, and I want to tell you why I wrote it in the first place. Mostly, I want to inspire people to stay up later than they should to chase their secret creative dreams.

Second, making all of this stuff is expensive. My overhead is high. I have a career, but the income from it generally covers off the student loans, bills and mortgage that so many of us face. There is little buffer to support my creative endeavors. However, something deep inside is telling me to keep pushing and creating - and in order to do this I need a little grease for the proverbial wheel. It's damn hard to send out this email, as it's damn hard enough for people to care when it's free. My pledge is that with support will come access that others don't have. Behind the scene Barn videos, exclusive tracks and direct conversations where you can hit me up for any sort of advice - music, life or whatever.

My ultimate dream is to build this into a self sustaining content engine. I have a vision for what it looks like and I want to build a community around the music and videos I'm putting out. I want to discover other videographers and musicians who can help me hone my creative vision and I want to support others who, like me, can't ignore the fire burning within.

Over the past couple years, I've become a fairly spiritual person. It's a strange turn of events for someone who has always been a staunch (even argumentative) atheist. I'm not about to preach or try and convert (it's not that sort of spirituality), but it's given me inspiration and drive to do what I'm supposed to do, and not what social pressure tells me to do. The more I allow myself to fall into this inspiration, the wider the flow of creative channeling I find myself privy to. It's wild, no other word for it. It's as if I'm suddenly a receiver for an unlimited amount of creative whims, and it's merely about finding the hours in the day to harness, capture and bring to life.

I want to share this with all of you because it's only possible for me to do this if my creative output touches others as it touches me (no actual touching). I want to share my process and not just the final result. I want to post writings, drawing, poems and rough songs to a small (or huge) cadre of fans and friends who are engaged. In theory, this platform (Patreon) seems a two way street.

My overarching mission and vision is to not only satiate the internal drive to follow my path, but also (and most importantly) to inspire others to do the same. I'm 40. I have 2 kids. I have a good career. By all social metrics I should be fine and content. I'm not content, never have been, and am guessing there are many others who feel the same creative impotence. Too many of my friends have hung up their guitars, or given up their creative endeavors because they are too tired or don't have time. It's tragic to me. I want to inspire others to stop ignoring these late night cravings, to give into the crazy every now and again (or 6 nights a week), and to put work out into the public space regardless of fear of rejection. It will get rejected a couple times, and people won't care... until they do.

Here's hoping that you do, because I do. It drives me with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Sounds dramatic, but it's real. If I stay up until 1 am on a work night and create something good, the next day on 4 hours sleep is blissful and productive. If I go to bed at 10 pm and don't create anything, I'm a cranky zombie until the next night.

Thanks for reading this, thanks for caring, and hopefully - thank you for contributing. I'm looking forward to developing this with you, as it's really not possible without your support.

Keep coming back and I'll keep making cool shit.

Nick Arneson

Training Montage - discussion by Nick Arneson

Haha, discussion. Just me talking. I’m having an incredibly good time in the Barn making Training Montage. I’m not certain if I need to put Training Montage in ““ or not. Someone tell me in the comments. Thank you mom (ahead of time).

I’ve been out in the Barn 6 nights a week, sometimes 7 but i’m trying to take a night off sometimes (it’s difficult). The pace of learning is good right now, and i’m dissecting things I normally hadn’t. Playing rhythms i wouldn’t have previously thought of. Playing guitar parts and bass lines that a year ago would have been impossible. Progress is fun as fuck. What’s your dream? What are you into? If we really have a purpose, which i’m certain we do, i hope you’ve found yours and are chasing it with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Or something close.

Love you all.

Nick!

Some Advice by Nick Arneson

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Some Advice

by Nick Arneson


I wanna deal

With this before you get past

The hard ways of 

Feeling, as they tend to last 


And there’s a lot of ways 

That aren’t the best 

Keep you down for days 

Highs an hour, best 


Or the kind that open doors

Not easily shut

Your sanity is yours 

Gotta go chin up 


I’ve seen too many nights 

Of unrivaled bliss

Turn to endless blight

Chasing is the abyss 


Because I laughed with her

And it was all I ever needed

Been looking everywhere 

I just hadn’t succeeded


Sometimes just headphones 

A silent break with only 

Supernatural in tones 

So dark and stormy 


Life seems so much 

Harder than it might be 

I’m not convinced of which

Side I wanna see 


Signs are loud and clear

I’m headed somewhere big

Just need to replace the fear

When I find my ministry 


Any opening line will do 

Any lick of the flames 

Take noise over never do

Can’t remember your names 


don’t do too much

But Get loose when you need

It’s handy in a pinch

When life’s too much to see


Had to throw in the towel

Never learned how to play 

Here’s hoping it won’t sour

Before you find your way 



The Stars by Nick Arneson

The stars

Not in a cheesy way

Like they changed my life

Got so stoned

Looked into space and saw God

For the first time in all her form

Not like that

The trees were just shadows

Really

Nothing more than to add mystery

Mars spitting red fire

Like she didn’t already know

The distance never feeling

More real

And the discussions that come

Never stay tied down

A realities call from

Deep down somewhere

So I linger while the

Coals are painting walls

And giving visions to anyone

Brave enough to stare

As I reflect a night like this

And all the wonder for

Which it’s to blame.

Maybe it’s all gonna be fine.

Some dreams by Nick Arneson

Sometimes if you dream

long enough

it just turns into

another walk in a park 

where some guy

just shits right in front of you

and you run away yelling


I found an anchor

in my closet and

threw it through 

a window

heard someone yell

the chain wasn’t 

connected to anything


when I was young

I yelled and spit

in one spot for an hour

so much of both

couldn’t walk or hear

so around me

I was lonely


There are times when

the time of us feels 

like the time of me

plus the time of you

but not really an oil painting

the way the movies 


I look deeper in 

than i used to and it’s fine

but when i look up

my eyes hurt with the shock

and someone is always

poking me in the ribs

and asking me why


I’m sitting here at a table

it’s a smiling kinda time

sun just set and it’s lukewarm

i’ve got books and

patience while this unfolds

because it does

unfold

Yesterday does exist by Nick Arneson

Yesterday does exist 

In the calluses on my fingers 

The complexes in my mind

The fidgets and the twitches

The love left behind


Yesterday does exist

Because now is complicated

The broken jaw still pops

My face has deep set lines

Over indulgent chops


Also exists tomorrow

These bills won’t pay themselves 

My time will surely come 

Or my time eventually comes

That feeling in my gut


Also exists tomorrow

Putting garbage on the curb

Running lifting fighting age

Nervous looking for a clue

Never knowing what to do


So here then is a fluke

Never felt the real now

Only worries and rebuke

Losing sight not knowing how


The longest day of the year

Is also the shortest night

Less time to move and cheer

Less hours to get it right


The sun stays up too long 

Confused by all the beaming 

Just need the moon to make a song 

Leave entranced and gleaming


Currently by Nick Arneson

I’m working on my new album. It’s coming along. Loads of honest material pouring out. The more I open up, the better the material is. I’m focusing on beauty, space, and movement - this album will be irresistibly dancy. You won’t be able to sit still when you listen to it. That’s my litmus test for the songs. The beat has to just get up inside you, and act almost like a dance puppet - shaking your limbs like you have no control. Title of the album is confirmed to be “Training Montage” - came to me in a vision. Can’t ignore those. They are as real as the sky. Sometimes they wake me up, sometimes they come to me when I’m walking down the street minding my own business, mostly they come to me while I’m lying in bed trying to sleep. If I make the mistake of trying to retreat too early, they come in torrents - vision after idea after vision until I’m forced out of bed. It’s actually pretty inspiring.

Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit!

Love you guys.

Nick

Hero by Nick Arneson

This one will be a song soon, but it’s weird and I like it…

Hero
by Nick Arneson

Everyone assumes they’re the hero 

But I’m sorry, no, that’s me

Though the invite clearly says zero

It might be infinity 


Caved and saw the psychic last night

Went home and dreamt of wasps

Glowing vision back panel of fright

So how long can I ignore the costs 


You give me that animal feeling

You wear the night sky so well

The hippies they weren’t stealing 

They were only trying to tell

They were right all along

Guitars are boring I wanna dance

Get the move in you 

Music can show you the chance 

You know it’s true 


Arms and hands are glowing warm

I can see you in my mind 

You’ve been there through this storm

Just too hard to find 


If you’re an angel I know we’re in love 

I can sense the wonder 

Mutual from me and from above 

Maybe not a blunder 


Know what this means, there’s a reason

Always thought it hollow

Like learning a warmer season 

When February’s all I follow 


So I need to channel the lightning 

To see this one all the way through 

Looking to calm my fighting 

Focus in on the brew


Like leaves that never fell 

Or a riff that dies in your head

I just could never tell 

These limbs like molten lead


So when you see me next don’t mind the glow

I won’t ignore the pull 

Goosebumps not cold exhaustion to know 

Eyes are open, standing tall


Poetry by Nick Arneson

Fuck it, I write poetry. I’ve been writing poems since high school (I’m 40) and stashing them away - too embarrassed to admit to even myself that I was a (gasp) poet. Only by turning them into lyrics / songs have I been comfortable putting them out into the public space. But now that I’ve grown accustomed to the rush of putting my work out, it dawned on me that I have a lot of back catalog that while not appropriate for song material - works great as a standalone poem. Please note, my work tends to be dark. You likely won’t be skipping around whistling a happy tune after reading - and if you are please see someone.

Anyways, let me know what you think. My hope is that you relate, that some of the emotions and feelings that I’ve dredged up over the years will also resonate with you.

Keep coming back, I’ll keep making cool shit.

Shorty #1: Red by Nick Arneson

His red hair was getting weird, as his beard always grew in brown. His friends always accused him of dying it, but he never had. Up top was thick red hair, matted and curly, like the girl in that Disney movie, and his beard was dark brown with flecks of grey - a younger Chris Stapleton. He’d trimmed neither in 6 months, so his cave man aesthetic grew by the day. He was the type who could pull off rugged. 

Luckily he had been practicing martial arts since he was 3 and no one would make fun of his hair to his face. One large gentleman had made that mistake, and had actually reached out to touch his red curls - in a humorous attempt to impress his date. It didn’t go well and the guy ended up in traction with three broken fingers and an ego bruise that would likely never heal. Ironically, the girl ended up going home with Red.

Red was what they had always called him. He had become something of a local legend and hero. No one knew that Red secretly hated himself, as so often great men do. He had never been able to overcome his self doubt - when he looked in the mirror he saw a ridiculous image staring back at him and he couldn’t get past it. He had always taken the popular kid stance towards himself - if he doesn’t look good he can’t be worth anything. Unfortunately no one else took that stance with him, and so he was always surrounded by adoring fans - though he never came to appreciate it. He thought their silence was scorn, when really it was staggering appreciation. 

      He was from and has always lived in a small town. It wasn’t the kind of small town that you’re likely thinking of, an exurb of a metropolitan area somewhat connected to a big city with culture and vibe. This town was small and isolated - less than 2,000 people and in the middle of a wide open prairie. The interstate was the only thing that connected it to the world, and the interstate was the artery of commerce and culture that the town relied on. The internet had opened up the town a bit in the late 00’s, and strange pockets of trend had emerged in certain disparate circles around town. Kids at the park had started dying their hair blond like early Kanye, while also wearing ICP shirts and smoking large Bob Marley style spliffs. Chain wallets were paired with neon Hot Topic graphic tees, seemingly combining three decades of style faux pas into one look. Mullets had evolved to include shaved lines above the ears, and one kid had even pierced his right ear in an attempt to stay ahead. It was strange and unsettling. 

Red didn’t follow trends. He wore jeans, not tailored but appearing so. His t shirts were either white or black, and he had the kind of physique that was toned without looking intentional. When he picked something up, a woman almost always turned in his direction. 

Red didn’t want. He never had. He had always been fine just doing. He woke up and did. He found himself always in the moment - where ever he went, there he was. Nothing more or less. He was a hero in that sense, as this presence of mind also contributed to his deep level of empathy. He would pull his pickup over to the side of the road to help out any car broken down. He often gave whatever money he had to the homeless guy downtown, without a thought or care of what that money was originally intended for. 

His small home was sparse and neglected. He was seldom there, and when he was he was asleep, or playing his Rhodes electric piano that he had in his living room. He had been playing piano since he was three, and while he never performed, he was exceptional. The Rhodes had been his fathers, and Red had kept it in meticulous condition. His father had died when Red was 3, electrocuted on stage during a festival performance - a freak lighting strike had killed him and the bass player. It was a very Spinal Tap esque freak occurrence. Devastating, but cliche none the less. Red’s mother was present but afraid, and mostly spent her days hiding inside the family estate. Red’s old man had accumulated some cash over the years as a session player, and his mom lived off the royalties - though she had become a shut in and closet drunk. Wine spritzers had turned into vodka spritzers, which had turned into just vodka. She passed when he was 17, cirrhosis of the liver. 

Red worked, and he didn’t. He had always found a way to make ends meet, whether through manual labor or intellectual consultation. Lawyers came to him to help research material, and women came to him for manual labor. They would often sit on their front porch and watch him work, a sort of reverse dirt bagging that made him feel like he was giving back to the world. If it was hot, he would work shirtless, and the women would fein inattention while they drank lemonade on the porch. It was the basic intro to every adult film ever made, though it never materialized into anything worth the grotesque porn sites of the day. 

Red never came to realize his own worth, as he was killed in a freak accident during a routine day job. His handiness had been requested at a local farm, they needed some strong arms to remove some old trees to make way for a new structure. As he was looking off into space, being present but sullen, one of the trees had fallen the opposite direction as planned and had crushed him. He died immediately. Saw and felt nothing, only heard a shrill whooshing sound and suddenly he was drifting upwards and looking down. His soul slowly floated up and he saw the throngs of people crowding around his body, and felt the ripples of emotional energy spreading out from the scene. He finally realized that he was loved, and his soul lifted slowly into the ether glowing a little brighter with the knowledge that he really had made an impact. He’d been through enough lifetimes to finally know that he was done - his soul could now chill, the physical realm no longer his concern…. not that it ever really had been.

Blog update! by Nick Arneson

Hi Friends,

I’m going to start posting other forms of long form on here - short stories, poems, drawings, whatever comes to me. They’ll likely be pretty random, and often weird. It’s something I feel compelled to do.

Nick

First post in a while by Nick Arneson

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy, both work and music and life in general. Been going through a bit of a spiritual awakening as well. Kinda weird for me. Been mostly an atheist all these years, and to suddenly believe there is something there is really fucking with me. The creative is firing on all cylinders though, I’m on the cusp of some crazy breakthrough. Start to recognize the patterns after a while. Deep, deep desire to play any kind of music. Long stretches of sitting alone in an Amsterdam hotel room singing along to your favorite songs (city not required). Voice memos piling up with riffs and parts and sometimes songs that came from know where. Must be time to start a record. Hot damn. I’ll be better about posting. Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit. Love you. 

 

Nick

NAM update by Nick Arneson

Hi friends!

I’ve been neglecting this blog as I’ve been very busy making my next, and by far most epic, music video. It’s appropriate that I’ve save the title track for the last video I make before moving on to recording my next EP (which is loosely titled “Sunshine and Happiness”).

The song is Restless (off the EP titled RESTLESS, if you haven’t gotten there yet). It is about the world ending in 6 hours and what to do until then. Not as dark as it sounds. Rick Danger makes an appearance, so does my brother Erik and my good friend Aaron Burget.  

Release date is still TBD, but get pumped. Should come out in the next couple weeks.  

Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit! 

Nick

Welcome! by Nick Arneson

If you’re just landing here for the first time, welcome. My name is Nick Arneson. I make music, movies, drawings, a weird tv show and I built a green screen in the Barn to help me do it. I looooooove doing this shit, and talking about it, and sharing it. It makes me happy and i’m hoping to spread some of that around. We could all use a little more of that in our lives. My music content isn’t “happy” so to speak, though the delivery and process are made with such love and appreciation, that it still cuts through. I spend most of my life on a metaphorical soapbox, preaching about various things i feel passionate about. It’s likely a pain in the ass to some people, though I’ve grown strangely fine with that.

Either way, thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you like stuff. I respond to everything: hecklers, porn bots - doesn’t matter. Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit.

I think that’s my tag line. Yep, that just happened. Just right now. Hahahaa.

Nick

Confidence by Nick Arneson

If you believe in your own work, and love it, no one can fuck with you. Sometimes it’s hard to get there. Sometimes I get there too much and too easy and the work is sloppy and people don’t want to hear that shit. Either way it’s a goal and I’m generally there more each day.  

Show by Nick Arneson

Tonight was average which is disappointing. I couldn’t get there, tried but never quite had it. Forgot to have fun, as my friend called out, rehearsed so much and prepped and then forget to get into it. On to the next one. Can’t dwell on this kinda shit.  

In other news RESTLESS is out. It’s on Spotify just search my name. Marketing is exhausting sometimes I just wanna vent.  

Walls by Nick Arneson

When you run on adrenaline and stoke (it’s a medical condition) as much as I do, sometimes you hit these walls of epic proportions. Like you’ll be going along minding your own business, and all of a sudden you’re so tired you can barely talk. I’m exaggerating for effect, but it’s pretty gnarly. Hit one tonight - you see I over prepare for shows. I wish I could over prepare this way in other areas of my life in fact. Like, I’d be a rich mother fucker if I over prepared my finances the way I am over preparing for this Dante’s show. I assure you (and no offense to Dante’s as they’re just paying from the door) that this show will do little to impact my financial situation.

I lost my train of thought, likely due to said wall and the joint I had for dessert (2 t’s) during solo rehearsal. I really talk to myself a lot in the Barn. If I have a good night, I say out loud “hey man you did a good job tonight” because I’m really a words of affirmation type guy and it’s tough to get that alone. God damn I need a band. If anything just for the company. I’m clearly going slightly crazy. In a good way. Any bosses, please un read all of this. Thank you. This counts as a disclaimer.

2019 will be the year I get a band, and by 2019 I mean likely 2020 but I’m going to try and be ambitious. Really just need a KICKAASSSS drummer. And I mean smooth as fuck, not busy or showy (I feel inclined to admit to having been both a busy and showy drummer at many points in my music career, and I don’t regret it at all Jake haha love you man). Someone who can just sit back and make the song push and move the way a damn fine drummer does. I have my bass player, he only sort of knows but I’m very convincing. I have another guitar player as well. It is all really resting on that drummer.

Huh, this went on for way longer than it should have. I really don’t edit these down out of some very strange principal that I made up for myself, so it is what it is. Thanks for checking this out. I hope to see you at Dante’s next Friday, I’m in prime form. Not going over my practice regimen again. Either way, hope to see you all. Everyone from the internet.

Nick

Album listening and explaining by Nick Arneson

I am writing this as i listen to the album, to try and convey what i feel when i hear it back, in an attempt to articulate the meaning. Tricky, and hope I do it justice. I’ll try to not edit post, so it’s an accurate representation. 


Drowned in Night - this one will likely always be a mystery. I wrote it late at night, hammered. The chorus is my resounding theme of feeling like an imposter everywhere i go. Not sure if you have faced this, but it plagues me. Getting better as i get old. The guitar solo on this song came out pretty good. The mix is solid. I love this part haha. The tone is actually a blend of my nice Vox tube amp and revamped through a shitty Crate. Funny how that works. 

I use some overt pitch correction on this record. It’s fun. Treating the voice like another instrument that you can fuck up. The outro on Drowned is big. i wanted to add some more drum parts on this album. Love good drumming, makes a record. Stoked on the groove on this track. Big outro. 


Old Friend

This song is sort of about quitting drinking, but also a little more reflective. Whether the old friend is liquor itself or me when I drank or the symbolic nature of giving up anything after 20+ years i will leave with you the listener/reader. I know this song is a slight departure from most of my material. This is extremely important to me - to evolve, move forward or at least around. Listen to the drum machine break in the before the second verse in big headphones sometimes - it’s fun. It “takes a lap” - all the way around your dome. The way the beat slightly flips on the second verse really gives it a new sense of movement. In said big headphones you get a lot of cool panning and vocal harmonies you might not hear on speakers. I like the line about drunk me having tantrums, i really did. I was a very fun drunk but every now and then i’d have little fits. Put a bass player through a van window back in the day, got sucker punched in the jaw by my lead guitar player as well (love you Stew). I deserved it. The drum groove on this song has a proper amount of swing to it, and this song taught me a lot about playing bass guitar. 


Long December

This is my favorite song on the record. It’s short, simple and the lyrics are stream of consciousness style “poetry” that is my preferred method for writing. Most of my work i go back and clean up and rearrange so it’s a little more sensical for the listener. I took a little liberty on this one, it’s poetic and weird and chaotic. It always give me a sense of foreboding when i listen to it, but in a good way haha. So what it about? What isn’t it about? With a line like “Lying is an art, like telling kids there’s nothing to fear after dark” how can you lose?


Fuck Grey

Hahah, this song i wrote in NYC high as balls, sitting cross legged on my bed with a laptop and bluetooth microphone. I brought the tracks back to the barn and got weird, but never touched the original takes (meaning didn’t redo). I actually really like the beat and vibe of the song - people are gonna talk shit about it or get up in it, but fuck em. This is my record. I’ll do whatever i want. 


Restless

Fuck yeah, a title track. Another stream of consciousness song, lyrically. I’m in love with the groove on this song, my brother called it my dance song, which maybe it is. Someone asked me if the line about the dishwasher was a metaphor, and i don’t actually think it is. I just really hate unloading the dishwasher and that line popped into my head and I knew i had to write it down. What will we do when all is said and done? Will we curl up and die or fuck all and have some fun? Don’t give us your which, i’ve always found a way to keep believing. I know i’m supposed to teach you manners, but i’d rather teach you to throw a punch. World won’t give a shit which side of the plate your fork is on.” What 


Make

Big finish. I love this song. It’s the best production and most triumphant on the album. I love fast music, so this one was fun to write and record. The bass line is really stretching my abilities as a bass player. The song goes from the very micro level of my insecurities, to the macro theme of all of our insecurities. It’s a leap, but as the listener you just need to trust me. I dig in to some social commentary on the second verse, and get to use “Porn Bot” in a line. “We don’t seem to have a way to stop this all from coming, so we log in and pay to play to keep that monster running.”


Thank you for listening, and reading and supporting. If you felt something while reading this or listening, i’ve done my job. 


Nick