Tag Archives: Faraway Farm

Saturday, Nov. 14th Video Premiere and Pre-CD-Release Show!!!

Mark your calendar!  Saturday, Nov. 14th, we will be performing in Jim’s basement, previewing our new music video, and offering digital downloads of our new album!  This is big news in my world, as I have been waiting for this moment for a loooooong time.  It’s finally here!

This party is by invite-only.  Odds are, if you are reading this, you are invited.  If you are a friend of mine, you are definitely invited.  Please feel free to email or Tweet at me if you have any questions.  Official invitations will be sent via facebook and email.  Please let me know if you believe I have accidentally left you off the list.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Noah Kicks Ass! First Masters are In!!!

The recording process takes place in 3 stages:

  1. Recording
  2. Re-mixing
  3. Mastering

Noah just sent me the first masters, and they sound awesome!

We are really in the home stretch now, because this means that we are done with the recording and re-recording of things.  In all actuality, the recording process is a bit more disjointed than I indicate above, with parts being added and re-recorded at my producer’s advice.

Noah is a pro on many fronts.  Recording engineer, musician, vocalist, and producer.  We utilized him in all of these capacities for the new record.  It is a real pleasure working with a pro.  I mean, everyone and his grandma can record stuff these days, but a pro brings something else to the equation.  It’s a work ethic.  It’s a mastery of his craft. It’s a trust. It’s an understanding that this album is his as much as it is mine.  He is an artist, and his signature is all over it in subtle ways.

So, many thanks to my big brother, Noah!  Hip, Hip…Hooray!!!

Tagged , , , ,

Take This Survey | Get a FREE MP3!

We are doing some brand-positioning research for our forthcoming album, and we need your help! Give this mp3 a listen, then take this survey.

Tagged , , , ,

Another One Down!

Yesterday, I wrapped up recording guitars on “Lori won’t get out of my way!” The song needed some beef, and I think the new guitar parts add just that. The parts are more varied than on other songs, as I used BOTH acoustic and distortion sounds, all from the ol’ Marshall stack. Of course, the new parts haven’t cleared Noah’s amazing ear yet, so we’ll see if they make the final cut.

Give Lori won’t get out of my way! a listen.

Tagged , , , ,

It's Time To Decide – Sweet Sounds Coming out of the Marshall Stack!

Yesterday, I recorded electric guitar parts for “It’s time to decide!”, which is a track off of our forthcoming release, Faraway Farm. The parts are sweet and smooth, straying towards the acoustic edge of the Marshall stack than the other parts I have been recording recently. Listen to “It’s time to decide!

Tagged , ,

2 Sisters with Some Edge, mp3

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours recording some scorching ambiance and lead lines for “2 Sisters“.   Every time I plug my Marshall stack in, I get lost in the beautiful noises that it makes.  It has surprising range and crunches when I push it.  My solid state Fender Princeton Chorus, on the other hand, produces a softer, more processed sound that has nowhere near the razor sharp edge of its big, green brother on the other side of the room.  It’s kind of funny, because about 12 years ago, I traded a Marshall JCM 800 stack for that little Princeton Chorus – What was I thinking?!!?

Fender has since discontinued the Princeton Chorus, whereas the JCM 800 has gone on to become a collector’s item.  Darn.

Tagged , , , ,


Here is what is on my band-related docket right now in order of priority:

  1. Finish the new album!
  2. Start “song-a-week” workshop thing (and write a song a week)
  3. Build “Guitar Lessons/Media/Lyrics” page/interface

I have been traveling so damn much recently that it has been hard to get into a groove.  Maybe the first thing on my list should be “Focus”, since that is really what I am lacking right now – at least focus on music.  I have been focusing intently on work-related stuff, which is cool, because a guy has got to pay the bills.  Plus, it is challenging and fun.  But I REALLY want to polish up the new record, which has been in a state of “almost done” for months.

So, for the next two weeks, I plan on spending a few hours per day finishing up the album.  That means plugging in the old Marshall stack for a few hours a day – totally awesome!  The bad thing is that I can’t do that at night due to the ass-kicking nature of the amp.  So, I need to FOCUS.  And get organized.

I’m thinking something along the lines of

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Website work
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch
1-3 p.m. Exercise
3-6 p.m. Record guitar
6 – 11 p.m. Website work

Geesh!  When I put it like that, I really don’t have much free time, do I?  Rock and Roll has never been easy, I suppose…

Tagged , , ,

Can You Say Lead Guitar?

Toby with Guitar

Yesterday Noah called to tell me that he thinks the album needs something extra to fill it out. I agree. It is currently lacking that “something” that makes an album sound great. We talked it over and decided that more guitars might be just what the album needs to give it a kick in the ass. So, yesterday and today I recorded a whole shitload of electric guitars for Duluth and Run. Run! Run!! RUN!!! RUNNNN!!!

Duluth has been a particularly troublesome song in that it is one of my favorites, but it isn’t totally written yet. We have been reworking the breakdown towards the end quite a bit recently. Well, I am happy to say that these electric guitars might have put us over the top. I played a shredding solo over the end, coming out of the breakdown, and it is sounding pretty rad! As soon as I nail the final solo, I will post a rough mp3.

Noah recorded some stuff on “Run…” yesterday as well, but I haven’t heard that yet. I’ll share more as I have it!

Tagged , , ,

Thoughts on a Dual EP Release

I have been doing some thinking on the new record, and when I listen to the songs all together, I get the feeling that there are two categories that the songs fit into:

  1. Damn, that was a long way back from the black infinity of sadness.
  2. Let’s dust our clothes off, take a shower, and get back to loving life!

So, I am entertaining the possibility of creating two EPs or sections of the disc as follows:

Movement 1: It’s a long road back from Sadness.

  1. The preacher doesn’t understand.
  2. Lori won’t get out of my way!
  3. So Just Be
  4. Sometimes I cannot sleep.
  5. Duluth

Movement 2: Let’s rebuild this fucking House after that dreadful fire!

  1. Let’s Get Funky!
  2. I’m quitting my job today!!!
  3. 2 Sisters
  4. Tonight was a wonderful night!
  5. Run. Run! Run!! RUN!! RUNNNN!!!!
  6. Colleen
  7. All That I Want
  8. Rock Star
  9. It’s time to decide!

What do you think?

Tagged ,

Listening to Records

I just got back from listening to records over at Colin’s house. We spun the new International Espionage 7″ record, which, by the way, is fabulous, before rolling through some of the new Cryns #3 tracks. I forgot how nice it is to just sit around with a friend and listen to records. I used to do that back in the day with my old pal, Jesse. In fact, I remember one day, we bought Primus’ “Brown Album” and Beck’s “Odelay” on the same day and listened to them both straight through twice.


For your listening pleasure, I posted all of the new album’s tracks on the “Faraway Farm” page of this website, and I am still looking for feedback from you. Uncle Professor provided me some great feedback on MySpace, so feel free to use that method of communication as well. 🙂 I will continue to update the “Faraway Farm” page as new mixes come through and will start displaying “added on” dates next to each mix.

Tagged , , , ,

Want to Help Me Write My Band's Story?

Cryns #3 is one of a million bands trying to get press. Because we are a relative unknown act, we need to be creative and unique in order to get noticed. One aspect of our promotional push will be story-telling. That is, we will try to tell a compelling story that will perk up ears of writers and influencers. The most notable story in recent years has to be Bon Iver’s “I spent a year as a recluse in a log cabin recording this album“, which went a long way in helping the viral distribution of his record.

We need a story! Here are some things about us that might factor into our story off the top of my head:

  • We are three guys who work full-time jobs
  • We all had normal upbringings and lead normal lives
  • This album is 2 years-in-the-making
  • We sifted through over 50 original songs before choosing the 14 that you hear on the new record
  • The album’s production was kick-started when my office at the U was taken over by the evil, Darth Vader-like overlord.  Feeling pinned down, I penned the song, “I’m Quittin’ My Job!”.  A positive reaction to that song helped me get over being trounced upon by ambitious, uncaring newly-named bosses.
  • I was a division II basketball prospect who chose music over basketball.  I cried when I gave up basketball.  In many ways, it is purer than music.
  • The album tells a story.  My story.  It is an album about being taken apart and destroyed by life and girlfriends and then building it back up again.  My heart has seen some impressive things and has been through a lot of ravaging over the past eight years – that is what this record is about.
  • I grew up on Faraway Farm in Richmond, IL, where for two years, I milked goats for a living, waking up before school, heading out to the barn, and milking goats.
  • Richmond, IL was kind to me.  I was a big fish in a small pond.  Now I’m a big fish in an ocean.  And oceans aren’t as kind as ponds.

So that’s a start.  Do you have any ideas on how to shape some of that into a good yarn?

Your feedback would be much appreciated!!  Thanks!!!

Tagged , , ,

Help Me Mix My New Record! Feedback Needed!

I just realized that I forgot to attach the “2 Sisters” mp3 from yesterday’s post. That’s okay, though, because I am attaching it to this post…AND MORE!!!

I need your help. We are in the process of deciding on a final mix for our new record and would love to hear your feedback on the work we have done to date. Please download/stream/play the mp3s below and listen to them in your stereo of choice. THEN, let me know how the mix is. For example, tell me if the drums are buried, if the bass is too loud, if my vocals are not loud enough, etc. Send feedback either via email, phone, or via the comments on this post.


Download all mp3s in a zipped folder (Available for 7 days or 100 downloads)


Let’s Get Funky!
2 Sisters
The preacher doesn’t understand.
Tonight was a wonderful night!
Run. Run! Run!! RUN!! RUNNNN!!!!
I’m quitting my job!!!
All That I Want

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mixdown of "2 Sisters" – Feedback?

(Above: 2 Sisters/SoulSistas at our show last Saturday)

Hi! We are rolling! Rolling, I tell ya!

Here is a link to our most recent mixdown of “2 Sisters” from our forthcoming record. We are looking for mixing feedback at present – things like “the vocals are too quiet”, “I can’t hear the kick drum”, etc. Please download or stream from the web. When you send feedback, give us a brief description of what type of stereo you are listening to (i.e. car stereo, all-in-one, custom, etc.). Either post feedback to the “comments” on this post or email them to me at [toby (at) cryns (dot) com].


Tagged , , , ,

Tour Imminent?

It’s nearing 2 a.m., and I am wrapping up some late night work for my current contract employer.  After a gig at The Clubhouse in San Luis Obispo, a guy from a popular band out there (I can’t remember the name…) told me that I could make more money building websites while touring than the bars would ever pay.  I believe this to be true.

I am getting the touring itch.  I want to do the West Coast again.  Rent a car, drive up and down the coast, stay at some hostels, smell the Pacific Ocean, see avocados on on trees.  That sort of thing.

Since that tour is unlikely to happen until summer, I will be booking a bunch of local shows in January and February and March.  I want to get a bunch of shows in after the new record is finished.  Speaking of the new record, It is totally kicking ass. Ryan came over and recorded some backup vocals today for Colleen and a couple of other songs.

I am missing Bavery’s presence in the Twin Cities.  For those of y’all who don’t know, he is a high-powered MBA who just moved to Chicago.  He is also the co-producer of Faraway Farm (the new record’s title).  His musical insights and interests make my music better.  It’s like a “you had me at hello” thing.  He sits down at the desk, presses the spacebar, and I just know that the music will be better for it.

Tagged , , , , ,

Bringing Online Social Media to My Band

I am reading David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing & PR“, and I am thinking of new ways to market my band, including blogging, podcasting, and press releases. I am already doing all three of these things with little consistency and little measurable results. That is, I am not sure if all my blogging, press releases, YouTube videos, and podcasts are having any impact on my fan base.

For the new Cryns #3 album, Faraway Farm, I am considering releasing all of the tracks with a Creative Commons license, allowing any non-commercial entity to use the tracks as they wish. Plus, I am thinking of doing the same thing with the source tracks, allowing hip-hop groups to sample specific vocal or instrument tracks of the album. It will also allow people to utilize my tracks on YouTube mash-ups and any other sorts of mash-ups or cut-ups that are imaginable.

I am at a point in my life where I just want something to happen with my music. I want to be interviewed. I want people to show up to my concerts. I want to look out at crowds and see people listening and singing along. I want to tour Europe and the West Coast (again).

I also want to use this release as an opportunity to test many of my online social media theories. Mainly my belief that honesty and openness on the web can make this band thing more exciting. Playing in a band is one of those addictions that have few moments of rewards borne of many thousands of hard work. Disappointment is a re-occuring emotion after shows. It’s not anyone’s fault. I have heard all sorts of popular actors and musicians talk about the loneliness of their work, and I am beginning to see what they mean. No matter how popular or famous or rich I get, I still live a normal life with normal people. And when the lights have dimmed, and I have left the stage, it is still just a night out on the town with my super hot girlfriend, who, despite my great efforts to prove the contrary, still does not view me as a hugely popular rock star.

Getting back to the online social media thing, I think that linking up with friends and fans in real time, online, as I am touring, might provide me with a greater sense of satisfaction with my music than has been previously afforded.

Tagged , , ,

Recording Progress Made!

With all but one vocal part done, we are entering the final stretch of our recording process for the new Cryns #3 record, which will likely be called “Faraway Farm”. The initial recordings are sounding good, and a select group of fans and friends have already provided some great preliminary feedback. I’m bringing in a trumpet player to rock out on some parts this weekend, and I’ll also be recording some organs this week. Should be fun!

Tagged , ,

Mixing Down the New Record

I spent much of yesterday and today mixing down mp3s of the new Cryns #3 record. The next step will be for me to listen to them a few times and figure out if I am happy with them as-is or if I need to do some more work on them. Of course, these are just preliminary mixes, with the brunt of the re-mixing and mastering being done by Auggie Doggie out in Hollywood, CA.

Plus, don’t tell Ryan, but I still have 3 vocal parts to record…SHHHhhhhh…

Tagged , ,