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Auburn had played a number nearly successful performances around the valley. We managed to keep things pushing along at a fervent pace. Do Not Resuscitate was actually moving on the shelves at the one local record store where we had copies being sold. Then came the name change. Choosing a new name was not at all easy. Naming bands, albums and songs never came easy for me. Masonic Weird would be where things would land, and the story wasn’t exactly riveting. I was in my friend’s car, when we passed by a road to a masonic cemetery, and I said, “What if I used the name ‘Masonic’. That’d be weird, right?” And it was. I would receive a phone call from a friend about it, warning me of the perceptions people might have about the name. After a chuckle, I said, “Thanks for the call,” and completely ignored his warning. Now, if you’re on the outside looking in, you might say it was the beginning of the end for me as an artist. I didn’t think so. One thing was for sure, which was that I was not going to be swayed or pushed around by public opinion. My calling was and is to be a culture creator, and sculptor, and not to be someone who caved to the pressure of misconception. This created a lot of tension with folks. It pushed some people a little further and further from where I was. I was still heavily involved in “churchianity”, and the people who payed the closest attention were people who had an investment in their communities, and what I was bringing to the table put a bit of a strain on that relationship, because what I was suggesting brought forward too many questions. That’s the best way to describe what I was going through at the time. I had invested myself, and poured myself out in to a life that was beginning to betray my perception of things. If I was going to call it the way that I see it now, I was beginning to sense that people were resistant to me, and to what I was communicating. I was bumping up against a hidden wall that others had built for me, and I was not supposed to go beyond it. And it was for my safety. At least that’s how I perceive things now. Whatever the case was, whatever the feeling was, I chose what I chose for a specific, and distinct reason: that I should be the author of my own destiny, and that if I was going to be at God’s mercy, then I would make the space for God to show His mercy for me, without allowing the world around me to cloud out what that is, what it looks like, and how it would function. I was coming in to my own, at this time. I was married to my wife, a few months after the release of DNR, and we would have our first child, a son, a couple of years following. Over the course of that time, tensions would grow in my family, and I would continue to explore new aspects of life that I had never before entertained, and I would find myself up to my eyeballs in Bible study, which really didn’t start with as much Bible, as it did reading the books of others about the Bible. It was an incredibly formative time for me. Having a child puts you in an odd head space of looking back at yourself, as yourself, watching you live a new life all over again, and makes you reflect on who it is you’re deciding to be, in relationship to those others that come along side you on your timeline, while watching the ones that were closest to you shrink in the distance of your rear view mirror… I had the great fortune of being surrounded by very critical thinkers growing up in my family, and the issue of faith and reason was a topic of hot debate, between myself and my cousin, who had nurtured my love of music from such a young age. He sent me a couple of books to read, and from then on, I became an ardent reader. What hadn’t really occurred to me until that point was that I had already been a reader for a long while. Since youth, I would read horror stories and myths. My mother had amassed an impressive collection of children’s books she’d accumulated for us to read. We would read at the dinner table every night, which she was militant to enforce, and that not an easy task with four, and later five children. The quest to understand and absorb information would be a firm foundation for developing my intentions and worldview over what I hoped to accomplish with my talents in the world, with which I had been gifted in. It has been imperative for me to wrestle with them, accepting them as not coming from myself, but distributed to me from the One who gives gifts to the whole world, the greatest being the gift of Life itself. The temptation to use my talents as a platform for my own fame, and glory, and pride has never been so alluring as to arrest my attention. I knew there was a reason behind it that was bigger than the things that I wanted, and I was and have been on the hunt for those reasons, so that I could show them to others, and reflect on them so that we could all agree on what those reasons were and are, and will be. So I kept plugging away, learning, reading, and rocking, and giving myself the liberty to explore my own thoughts and experiences, and keeping track on my digital recording interface. By the time our son was turning a year old, we’d moved in to a home with my long time friend, Isaac Sturtevant, in a two story home that we signed a lease on… btw, never sign a lease, even with your best friends. But it was a great house, and we got a LOT of recording done. Isaac had booked a number of artists to track with us. He was great at the hustle. I was better with the more neurotic painstaking monotonous details of technical aspects of things. You might say “obsessive compulsive”, but I wouldn’t. Things have a place, and there’s a place for everything, but I’m not going to chew your head off about it. In any case, between the two of us, we got a lot done, and I managed to cut another for song EP, which would be the first as Masonic Weird, which we called, Manic and Self Medicated: The Plague. It was supposed to be a trilogy, as I’d written 8 other songs to go with it, but I was more concerned about getting a new product out there to push, and keep up the pace on the Portland scene, so that we could finish our absolute domination there. We printed 300 copies, and hit the streets, sure that the future was ours. What would stand in our way? To find out, you’ll have to tune in next time to this Bridging the Gaps Blog series.

If you’re enjoying the series, and have any questions or comments, be sure to respond to this email and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. Right now, as part of this series, we’re offering 10% off subscriptions on our Bandcamp Page, which will come with a free T-Shirt, and you’ll go on the pre-order list of our coming release, I Pray You. All you have to do is enter the code:

PRAYGGF

at check out to receive your discount.

Thank you, and God Bless you,

Swan

goodgodfathermusic@gmail.com

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