10|01|08   The Next Four Months

“The truth of the matter is that my current life-style is unsustainable. It’s unhealthy, full of distractions, and unwholesome. My flat has been a shambles for almost a year now. It is cluttered. It is dark. It is cold. It is damp. And I literally feel like I have been slowly wasting away in it. I need to get out of there. Fast.”

As many of you already know, I am moving back to the States in January. The main reason for that being that I miss the mid-west, I miss my friends, I miss being around my mother, and I’m really excited to tour The Enright House throughout the US and, later in the year, Europe, as well.

Going back oversees after living in New Zealand for almost five years will be good for my soul, I think. As much as I love certain aspects of New Zealand, I love the wider world even more, and to have spent a good half of my twenties in a small and remote country, too far away from my friends and family, has been a significant contributor to my ongoing struggles with depression.

Not everything about my time here, however, has been bad…

I’ve learned a lot by tutoring three years worth of philosophy and art theory to university undergraduates, The Enright House came into being during my time here, I made new friends, learned a lot about being a DIY musician, fell in and out of love, rediscovered my life’s calling, and managed to grow a few years older, and perhaps grow a bit wiser, even.

But it’s not time to say good-bye quite yet. The truth is that having four more months before moving is a blessing, for I have much I want to accomplish before I jump back into the world:

1) Complete the new record

I have pretty much all new songs demoed at the time of writing this, and the material has me immensely excited. The songs and sounds of this album are digging deeper into my heart and mind than anything I have done previously. The record feels even more uniquely my own than the last, more authentic, earthier, in many ways simpler and more focused.

The last record faced the unenviable challenge of unifying a set of songs that were written years apart from each other. The result was a diverse record – one that I am proud of – but it was ultimately also a record with many loose ends. It was – I think it is fair to say – a record that succeeded as best as it could have, given the circumstances, at documenting my struggle of searching for my own artistic voice. At times it came very close; but there are also times when, in hindsight, it probably fell somewhat short of that intention.

I now have four months to refine lyrics, complete the recordings, and work out the track order, and I am quite certain that I can make this happen between now and my departure.

2) Shifting flats, shifting life-styles

Within the next two weeks I am moving from my inner-city apartment out to my father’s home in the country. Dad is away, and so I have accepted his generous offer to stay in his beautiful apartment, in order to save money for my journey oversees (rent, power, phone, etc. will be free).

But money is hardly the main reason for moving. The truth of the matter is that my current life-style is unsustainable. It’s unhealthy, full of distractions, and unwholesome. My flat has been a shambles for almost a year now. It is cluttered. It is dark. It is cold. It is damp. And I literally feel like I have been slowly wasting away in it. I need to get out of there. Fast.

Dad’s flat is clean, spacious, modern, has a stunning view over the Canterbury plains and the distant mountains. I will be living in close proximity to my father’s side of the family, and although we are not as close as I would like, I feel comforted by the thought of becoming part of a stable and welcoming family environment.

Furthermore, it is an ideal space to record my new album. There is a nice grand piano close at hand, and, most importantly, it is quiet there, and reassuringly peaceful. No TV, no internet, no cafes, no pool halls, no events that are “not to be missed”. Here, in short, the noise of the world fades from a roar into a silent fizz. Here I can cope, here I can find myself, here I can excavate my latent optimism.

3) Practice, practice, practice

Once I’ve settled over to the States it will be time to tour relentlessly. Now is the time to grow my live-set from something interesting, into something extraordinary. It will take time; four months will not suffice, a year will not suffice, maybe not even a lifetime, but I have to make a start, and four months of isolation are as good an opportunity as any to take some more determined steps towards becoming a more complete performer.

4) Plan, organize, connect

My remaining college fund is humble, at best. Whatever money I can make by selling my personal belongings and saving on living costs, will no doubt be swallowed up by the costs of building a new life oversees. The emerging reality of the next 12 months is one in which every day, every week, every penny, will have to pull its full weight.

I plan to tour the mid-west, west-coast, and Canada in April/May with Misfit Mod. Then I would like to shack up with Mary in New York for 4-6 weeks and play weekly shows in NYC and the surrounding areas. If I have any money left by that time (roughly July), I will head over to Germany around the third quarter of 2009, and play some shows in and around the country I grew up in.

From this point on things are still looking very vague. There is always the possibility of coming back to New Zealand for a bit, crashing my friend Rob’s place in Japan for a few weeks, if, that is, he will still be living there by that time. Maybe all the money will run out and I will need to find a job. Who knows. I’m just not prepared to contemplate that with any seriousness as of yet.

Right now all I want to do is get out of here with an album tucked under my belt, and travel and play for as long as I can, before I go broke. My uttermost hope is that after working as hard as possible on The Enright House, that maybe I can generate enough of a trickling income from my music to sustain a modest life for a few years. I have to believe that I can do it. If other people can, then so can I. It’s just a matter of dedication and hard work.

If I fail, so I tell myself, it will be my own fault. It will not be the fault of chance, of bad timing, of “the industry”, of the nature of the world, or of the monsters in the closet. It will be my own fault for not having worked harder, for not having wanted it enough, for not having had the courage to put everything on the line when the going got tough.


Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)

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  • http://alowhum.com/october-2008-newsletter/ A LOW HUM

    [...] on a farm north of Canterbury, working on the new album, I heard a sample and it got me excited. http://www.theenrighthouse.com/the-next-four-months/ Mount Pleasant, Red Steers and Secret Knives The kids are all mad at work on new tracks. If you [...]

  • http://www.capitalistmafia.blogspot.com Alexia Iscariot

    I think it’s funny you’re leaving new zealand just as my family might be moving there

  • Mark

    Wait, what!? No fair!!! Your family is so cool, that hanging out with them here would almost be reason enough to stay here. Ha.

    Lame timing! :)

    Sigh. Where are they moving to anyhow?

    <3 Mark

  • Thomas

    Dope new whare!

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