Paul explains that the two songs Tamra Hayden had been working on when I arrived—“Mountain Thyme” and “Greensleeves”—are for Traditions, Tartan, and Tears ; a compilation featuring many of the performers from Angus Mohr’s Christmas Pageant CD. Traditions, Tartan, and Tears, is intended to launch Mohr Fire’s Nice Niche Music, which Paul describes as a, “Common thread catalogue that includes what we do and have done, but also goes beyond it.”
They’re also a couple sessions into the new Angus Mohr Album. Paul says, “[It’s] hard to record with everybody’s schedule. We’re further along now than two months ago. We’ve got over half—closer to two thirds—that are started. We’ve got some [songs] that haven’t been written or selected yet. We’re terrible about being almost done and then saying: let’s do one more thing.”
Matt nods. “If we had ten days, ten or twelve hours a day, even eight hours a day, we could crank it out.”
Paul adds, “It’s a challenging process because we want to move along, but trying to make it successful here, trying to own businesses, get jobs, work at jobs… no one can afford to take the full-time musician’s vow of poverty. So we just do whatever we can do, however we can do it. It’s time to have a new album. I’d still like to have one by Christmas. I’d like to have the 2nd annual Angus Mohr Christmas Party and Potluck at Jonathan’s be a CD release as well.”
Paul shrugs, “I don’t know how realistic it is. The recording process is very different than playing live. It’s equally [as] frustrating as it is satisfying. You always know that you can go for perfection, but as human beings it’s hard to get. You have to settle for what is as close to perfect as is reasonable.
“I can’t think of any song that I sing, that is recorded, that I think is perfect. There’s always something that I wish I could go back and do again. A lot of it is just personal preference. It isn’t necessarily a bad note or bad inflection or anything else. Perfection would be listening to a piece of music that I didn’t want to change…perfection is a momentary thing.”
Matt grins, nodding, “[You hear it and think] wait a second, that’s not what I wanted to be… forever. There are some things that you’re never really happy with, but that’s how it’s gonna be. That’s what it is.”
Paul says, “It’s sort of a joke that you’re done with your album when you run out of money. As long as you have money, there are more things that you want to do. It’s good to have a producer, someone else to be in charge of that, because they’ll tell you that you’ve got it.”
I asked Matt and Paul a final, somewhat cheesy, question: If you had the form of dementia that causes the same musical hallucination to loop endlessly through your mind, which song would you want it to be?
Matt’s choice was thematic, “Pink Floyd’s, ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Eclipse.’” Two songs most of us think of as one song, which we mistakenly call “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Paul’s, classical, “Either the second movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony, or the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth.
Mine would be Joe Strummer’s “Johnny Appleseed.”
What’s yours? Leave a comment.