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.
Nothing like a gnarly workout and a hit of some nice weed to really boost the mood at the end of a loooong ass Monday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
You know what isn’t easy? Putting music out into the world for everyone to hear, critique and assume they can do better. Been sending out the album, and getting some good stuff - though the stuff that always sticks in my mind is the negativity. All I remember is that the one guy off handedly said my voice was out and it was obvious. No it’s not, i pitch corrected that myself asshole. Music is subjective, there is no point in acting as though you have the one right answer. Good critique is beneficial to everyone involved.
Some of the best reviews i’ve ever received were the critical ones that nudged me just a little further on. They remind me that in a world of professional experts you can’t slack or let a note go through out of tune. They push me to get better, and challenge the listener to expect greatness. These are the critics whose work i respect. Just saying, it’s okay to not be an asshole - it’s not that hard and it feels a lot better at the end of the day.
So yeah, got a couple bad ones haha.
Some resoundingly positive ones as well. The exciting thing is that if it resonates, it seems to really resonate. There is a boost of energy, some feeling was had. That’s glorious.
Tonight was a milestone. Good to keep track of these when they come. Album listening party debut in the barn. I did one for MidLifeCrisis, but it was more casual. Didn’t really know what to do, and it was almost awkward. Tonight was intentional, and more of a statement, and thus more terrifying. I almost called it off an hour before hand because a couple friends cancelled. Thankfully my brother Erik Arneson talked me off a ledge in true football coach style. Reception for the album was overwhelmingly positive (you can tell after a while) which is fucking exciting. Also exciting to overcome something and know it won’t be as hard next time. Big human thing, that.
Stoked to be shooting again. My brother and I made a better green screen for the barn today and we scripted out the first music video from RESTLESS. Going to shoot a new NAVH as well. Lots of new content coming your way, sit tight and all your hopes and dreams will be answered.
Got the master back tonight. What a feeling. Can’t describe it. So many hours, so many sleepless (almost) nights of tweaking (knobs, not meth) and playing and recording and neglecting sleep and smoking weed and repeating all of that. After i mixed the album and sent it to Amy Dragon over at Telegraph Mastering (shoutout), I forced myself to not listen to it for a week and a half. This, remember, is a huge feat after listening to it for hours a day for months on end. What a feeling, then, to get it back mastered (for those of you that don’t know, it’s the final step in the process - the mastering engineer basically takes it to 11. They breathe their magical mastering elixir into the songs, and take a collection of songs and turn it into an album) and listen to it in my big headphones. I cried a couple times, just gonna say it out loud. These songs mean things, they came out of some deep dark place that i don’t even really know about. So to hear them back as they were intended to be played and recorded is an extremely emotional moment.
That’s what I’m so proud about with this album. I can finally say that my recordings aren’t getting in the way of my performances. I’ve always been a better musician than producer, but that changed with this album. We’re neck and neck here folks. It’s an exciting turn of events.
I speak so blatantly about my own accomplishments, fully knowing that some will read this as boastful. It is and it isn’t, and here is my one time defense (I actually don’t give two shits if someone does think that, i’m merely announcing my character as a sort of declaration), bullet pointed out in functional and business like prose:
I worked my ass off on this piece of music. It’s artistic and poetic and is coated in layers and depth, because everything is intentional and how I wanted it. Does that mean it’s perfect? Of course not, after this week i may never listen to it again. Does that mean i’m great or that i’m the fucking greatest? Likely no, but who am i tell myself that i’m not? What kind of way to live is that? “Hey self, you’re definitely NOT the greatest, so like don’t even try.” Fuck that. I’ve got my mom and myself to tell me i’m the greatest, and she stopped doing that years ago.
Music is my life’s work. Cheesy? Sure, no not really, it’s actually profound and meaningful. We should all have ours. I play music still because i don’t want to look back when i’m 86 and say, “Fuck i wish i tried…..” Just saying, that’ll happen.
If you’re reading this, and it’s moving to you or making you feel something in any way, that makes me super fucking happy and i’m glad we connected. Can’t wait for you specifically to hear the album, because it’s pretty much like my blog with some rock and roll behind it hahahahahaha.
Love you all,
RESTLESS is the name of my next album. It’s the first of three EPs I plan on putting out this year. It’s currently being mastered and I can’t wait to share it. I pour myself fully into these things, since sending it off to master last week I’ve been going to bed early from sheer exhaustion. That all ends this week - going out into the desert with some friends to shoot a video and the release date will be announced very soon.
If you’re looking for a life altering book, get Letting Go by David R. Hawkins. “When the sources of happiness are found within, we are immune to the losses of the world.” This is just one of thousands of fantastic quotes.
New bio /
Nick Arneson is a Portland, OR based multi instrumentalist who plays a unique breed of punchy, thoughtful rock and roll. Originally a drummer in various Portland, OR indie and rock and roll bands, only in the last year has NAM started putting out his own original music. His first release, MidLifeCrisis, garnered praise from Indie sites such as IndieBandGuru, Ghetto Blaster Magazine and Pure Grain Audio for its honest and scathing commentary on getting older in a society dominated by the whims of 20 somethings. He plays and records everything himself in his music space, the Barn, in Portland.
NAM plans on putting out three consecutive EP's in 2019, starting with the driving and luscious EP "RESTLESS" coming out in Spring '19. The first of three will be a poignant statement of our current condition, through the micro lens of a sharp tongued middle aged stoner with a lot to say about everything.
NAM's philosophy is his driving force - that in order for life to have meaning, one must find their reason for being and embrace it full throttle. His music has the heart of something created with pure, unadulterated curiosity - and his hope is always that through this medium he is able to show others how life isn't as linear and stagnant as it can sometimes seem. Fire still melts ice, movement maintains inertia, and boredom will be the death of all of us. Find your lightning, grab on to it with all your strength and hold on.
Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.
- Rick Danger
Is hard to do. I hate it.
It’s easy to get good at something when you love it because it’s so easy to throw everything you have into it. It’s so easy that you have to exercise restraint and do the other things in your life that matter. Learning is easier and absorbed further. It is constantly echoing around in your head, that thing. Hope you have yours, if you don’t fucking find it. Clock is ticking.
it’s a full moon tonight
and i’m restless and
from way back
like when you watch a car wreck
backed up for miles
what would do we do
when all is said and done
do 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 believin
i can’t feel anymore
tried to release it
move along and look at something else
to cry about now
that i quit the sauce
dark keeps me up
wide eyed and yelling
pulling scratching at the secrets
in fits for revelations
biblical in the noise
hammerin the nails
and building up tracks
this dishwasher is so goddamn full
there isn’t anything worse than this
just looking to lay seige
amps and strings
the hiss and steam of a party killed too soon
what would do we do
when all is said and done
do 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 believin
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
EP is finished tracking, now on to mixing. Stoked to share. Still no confirmed date but I’ll figure that out soon. As always, if you’re on my email list you get first listen. No pressure, just sayin.
I love the shit out of vocal harmonies. I could put them on every vocal line, but i don’t because i don’t want to overwhelm, you the listeners’ delicate ears. It can be too much sometimes, but mixing them really low, sometimes you can barely tell they’re even in there. I used every form of there in the previous sentence. FYI. Baller.
Either way. The first EP of the trilogy is called “RESTLESS” and it’s coming out soon. I can’t say a date for sure, because there’s no way it will work out. However, i have one vocal line left before entering into the final phase of mixing. Mixing takes me less time than the last record, however it is still a very time consuming and if we’re being honest, confusing process. I’m getting better at it, actually, and this album sounds light years beyond the last one. It’s more subtle and fast, and hits hard and there are less effects. There’s all sorts of little nuggets of awesome sprinkled throughout. It will be impossible for me to not find a band to play this at some point this year. Just a little three piece power outfit. I just need a drummer, and they are holy shit hard to find. I haven’t looked super hard, to be clear but it seems hard. Whatever.
Alright, i’m gonna wrap this one up. I still want a comment - i see you coming here and reading this. There are literally dozens of you. First comment gets a prize.
Everytime I come in from being outside I proclaim to anyone around some detail about the weather, as though it’s never happened before and I’m the first to witness. I noticed this last night, and quickly realized that I do this all the time.
My old man always does this as well, as do all dads everywhere.
At least to me. I was having a text conversation with a friend and this came up. This is my life’s work - I hope I take it a little more seriously than a standard cribbage game.
For the record I don’t really have hobbies. What’s the point. I like to dive into things, the term hobby implies a loose whimsical attitude towards some frivolous task. I don’t do any of those things or have any of that stuff ever.