John Vesely had a nasty case of writers block. After his last album, Hear Me Now and before he released the Weightless EP, Vesely was depressed. His life wasnít falling around him, and it wasnít that the inspiration wasnít there - itís that he couldnít find it. In a recent interview, Vesely talked about finding his way creatively again and his new acoustic/stripped-down version of his album A Twist in My Story, titled, A Naked Twist in My Story. He also let loose a few details on his upcoming release of all-new material that he will put out sometime in 2013.
ďThat was tough,Ē said Vesely of his writerís block. ďHonestly I got into it so much because I started to confuse myself as to what I should be writing about and how I should be writing it. You get into these little points when you listen to music; I try not to listen to it anymore. But the more you listen to music you think ĎI should make it like thisí then you start to get confused. I sat down and I stopped thinking of other songs and other things that I was trying to be like and I started writing how I used to write. I think it was a matter of not over-thinking it anymore and just letting me write naturally, how I used to do it.Ē
After his dry spell with writing was over, Vesely began work on a new record. The album is yet to be titled but itís something that heís finished what he can do by himself. A few months ago after he finished tracking solo, it was time to call-in his trusted engineer and producing partner Tom Breyfogle. It was while waiting for Tom to come in and help that John got the idea to rework his sophomore release.
ďItís funny because Iíve been working on the new record for a few months and Iím pretty far along. Iím at the point where I canít do any more of it on my own, I have to get my engineer in here, and I have to start tracking final acoustics. I have to do vocals. I have to do a bunch of live percussion. That means I have to get in the booth and start doing stuff which means I canít be doing it next to the computer in the actual tracking/studio roomĒ, said Vesely.
ďI was at the airport and I was on my Facebook going through all of these comments. Iíve had to listen and read people asking when Iíll be releasing something. I havenít had a concrete answer for them and thatís been a little bit frustrating. People have been requesting acoustic stuff too. On top of all of that, I havenít released anything in like two and a half years. I was trying to think of something I could do that would be exciting for them and would start to bring up a lot of enthusiasm for this next album. It started off thinking about Awake. I thought I should get Awake remixed/re-mastered or do a special edition with an extra song or two. That was an okay idea, but then I got around to A Twist in My Story, which obviously is my most successful record and a lot of peoplesí favorite songs are on that record.Ē
It was when Veselyís mind approached his first album that he got the idea he was looking for. How Secondhand Serenade started was as an acoustic project with Awake. Yeah, it was emo back then in the vein similar to what Chris Carrabba had done, but itís what his initial fan base embraced and itís some of the most passionate music that John has made. Knowing this, Vesely decided to go back to A Twist in My Story and do it how he would have done it if he hadnít steered towards turning Secondhand Serenade into more of a rock act.
ďI thought, why not take that album and give the original fans what they wanted, and give the people that loved Awake a different version of the second album. I think itís one of my favorite releases ever. Iím so proud of this one.Ē
The album isnít recreated note for note and part for part in an acoustic fashion. Vesely took the core of the songs and re-crafted them into completely new songs using what he had learned over the past few years.
ďI sat down and the whole idea was not to remake the album bit for bit and make it just like the other album but with an acoustic guitar. A lot of my style has changed. Iíve definitely learned a lot since then and I wanted to implement some new styles and some new instruments. I threw in a lot of ukulele. I did a lot of orchestral arranging for this too, which I love to do and Iíve learned a lot over the past four or five years about that. I think every song has a totally different vibe and it makes it a new song. I think people are going to listen to this and realize that this isnít just a remake of an album; these songs are made completely new. Some of these songs people are going to prefer over the original ones.Ē
Secondhand Serenade fans will be happy to hear that heís going back to the acoustic style that he had originally started with, even though heís moving away from the emo branding. While not fully understanding the label, Vesely did acknowledge that the way he said things on Awake and his early work earned him a spot in the grouping. Longtime supporters will be pleased that Johnís embracing the label but moving away from it too. Theyíll be even happier about getting a previously unreleased song on A Naked Twist in My Story called, ďBelong To.Ē
ďI had a demo about a year ago of it and I was thinking about putting it on the Weightless EP but I wasnít happy with the way I recorded it,Ē said the newly independent artist Vesely. ďI recorded the piano and the vocal live and I wasnít happy with the production yet and we were running out of time so I just saved it. We looked back when I decided to do this and I really wanted to release that song because I really like it. The funny thing is when I wrote it, itís a song about being uneasy and upset with my label situation. Since I left my label and Iím doing this on my own I thought this was the perfect song for this release.Ē
The previously unreleased song is about a year old and itís something that Vesely worked on with ďWeightlessĒ when he was putting that music out. Does that mean the new album is going to be similar to that song lyrically or musically? Itís not likely. After finding himself emotionally and becoming a person with a brighter outlook, itís a safe thought to think that the new album will reflect a spirit of personal and creative spirit that people havenít heard from Secondhand Serenade since the first album.
ďItís going to be done in October, but I still havenít thought about a name for it yet because I think it just has to come for me,Ē said Vesely on the new album. ďI was working so hard on this acoustic album so I got myself out of that phase. But Iím going to sit down and think about what I really want to say with this album. There are a lot of songs on this album that Iím really proud of. I think itís going to be different.Ē
You can get Secondhand Serenadeís reworked version of A Twist in My Story, A Naked Twist in My Story on iTunes now. While still working on the new album, expect it to be released sometime next year. Visit Veselyís Facebook page for updated tour announcements regarding a possible acoustic tour in support of the new record, www.Facebook.com/secondhandserenade.