I WOULDN'T READ THIS IF I WERE YOU

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You don’t have time. There isn’t enough time and you’ve got places to be. I do too. We all do, don’t we?! We’re tethered to machines, pointing us in endless directions. I wouldn’t read this if I were you. I’d skim it, but it’d have to be quick cause I don’t have time. That is to say, I don’t blame you moving right along.

BUT...

If you do find yourself still reading, however, I just want to say thank you in advance. Even if you only get half way through this little story… Shall I begin?

Well, here I sit. Having spent 1/2 of 1% of a millennium on the creation of my dream album. 5 years after “Let Us Begin The Future” was conceived, it is now complete. And now, the piece of music I’ve poured my very soul into for so long will finally be cleared from the desk and put out in its entirety. It’s in my hand and I can’t believe it.

It was the album that almost never was... For instance, in dramatic fashion, I dropped a hard drive with every piece of music I’d ever written shortly after I had laid down the skeleton of the album. The data was unrecoverable a data recovery center in Florida informed me after 6 weeks of their efforts to salvage it. I was devastated and defeated - it felt like a death to lose all of my work… and then by some miracle the album was found backed up on a drive at Wavelength.

And although it was resurrected its rebirth was short-lived. I took a detour from Sleep Millennium, while entertaining my electro/pop alter ego as EXROYALE, a project that was exciting but also left “Let Us Begin The Future” and my dream for Sleep Millennium on the back burner. After a frustrating and exhausting creative/professional crash and burn with EXROYALE, the thought of diving back into this project was more than daunting, it was impossible. For me, the album would never see the light of day and I shuddered at the thought of going back to it. It killed me to think about it, so I buried it.

From time to time I’d pull up the old bed tracks and imagine what could have been but mostly the album lay dormant on a dusty hard drive (and virtually in the cloud)...

 
 Artwork by Benjamin Parslow

Artwork by Benjamin Parslow

 

One day my wife, Miranda, asked me to pull up the old bed tracks. We listened. The music still tugged at me, and it was still so much inside of me to want to see it through. Miranda was the catalyst that sent the avalanche rolling down the mountain again - and I do mean that. It was chaos. I mean, it was clear for my own sanity (and hers) that I needed to go back to it but how was I supposed to finish this crazy thing?! I had no idea… but she did. Miranda inspired me, motivated me, and in all fairness forced me to get back to it and I am so incredibly grateful she did. “You need to start a band and finish this album once and for all,” she said. And with her encouragement, I did. I am so thankful for you, Miranda. This wouldn’t have happened without you.

My Father raised me on all the music he loved and I am incredibly lucky to have had his influence. In many ways, this album is for him. My Mother forced piano lessons on me, choirs, and as many musical experiences as she and my dad could help to provide me with. This album is for her too. I’m so grateful for such amazing and supportive parents - I know it’s been difficult for them at times. 

Jana Cleland. 10 years. Unbelievable. You’ve given so much to me over the past decade. You know my insanity. You know how to bring out the best in my work. And you continue to be a solid rock of guidance, encouragement, and support. We’ve been on an epic journey together and your friendship is something I’ve relied so heavily upon for so many years.

Jason Carter, what can I even possibly say…  I’ve never met anyone in my life more giving, encouraging, self-sacrificing, and unwaveringly optimistic, with a work ethic unlike any other and still enough in the tank to be an incredible father to his amazing kids. I’ve known Jason since I was 13 years old. He’s been there helping me with my music since the beginning. His prints are permanently fixed to this project (as well as my life) and he’s gotten behind me for every crazy rabbit hole I’ve wandered down - even the ones that I know weren’t even really “his bag, baby.” Let Us Begin The Future would still be a figment of my imagination if it weren’t for him. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

Joshua Hawkins, Ronan Baker, and Jarred Venti. You are a power trio and you freak me out (in the best way possible). You each brought the most incredible gifts to this project and I am honored to know you all. I’ve never had so much fun making music and I look forward to countless other musical experiences with each of you. Your love, passion, talent, knowledge, experience, and most of all, friendship, means so much to me. I can never thank you enough for this. You aren’t just “in the band.” You are family.

Ben Parslow, my favorite artist. All I want to do is hug you brother and just bless you. You’ve always been there for me and I’m just so lucky to know you. You have inspired me in countless ways and I admire you so much. In the face of trying times, you come through and you are a truly great friend. What you’ve given to this project since its inception has been above and beyond anything I could have imagined.

On May 26th, we will release Let Us Begin The Future. The album is meant to be listened to as one continuous piece, rather than the songs played individually. I have always dreamed of making an album inspired by my musical heroes. This is my first attempt at it (and hopefully the first of many).

Let Us Begin The Future is a journey album, that takes you through the current state of earth’s existence and touches on many themes both directly and indirectly;

It starts in a dream, a deep sleep across the universe, the chaos that ensues throughout it and within it. The effects of this chaos on humankind, loss of love, hatred, fear, anxiety… the machines that control us. A moment of realization about an oppressive state of being and how humankind has become the machine that eats itself, and how we must escape from it, find our destiny, and experience a future that encompasses a new state of being, one of hope and the antidote to chaos. There’s so much I could say about it, but I don’t know how - I guess that’s why I’m a songwriter and not a novelist. 

My hope is that you who would listen would feel something, inquire to go deeper, and find some joy in it.

Thank you and Let Us Begin The Future.

Josh Schroeder