"People don't buy music anymore. They steal it." I must have heard this phrase uttered to me a thousand times over the last decade, in which I just couldn't bring myself to believe that. But the facts are that mp3 piracy has absolutely destroyed the music industry that we grew up with. Gone are the days of spending hours in the music stores, fighting over headphones to sample the next Guns N Roses "Use Your Illusion" double-disc CD set, as not only do bands NOT making double-disc CD's anymore... but there are no longer any "brick and morter" music stores to sell CDs! And if you need more proof, one only has to look at the new apartments they are renting out on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, as Capital Records has become nothing more than another overpriced loft apartment space for the spoiled.
But that's a good thing, right? I mean, BIG MUSIC sucks, right? Music industry execs are the worst of the worst when it comes to the entertainment biz, correct? Yes, Yes and Yes... but unfortuantely, music biz "justice" is also nutless squirrel. While many are quick to point out that the music industry needed to be destroyed, as the corruption of the dinosaur music-biz model was massively out of control, what most people don't understand is that the ultra-wealthy of the music business didn't lose a nickel over mp3 downloading and burning. They're still in business and doing just fine. Those that suffered were "the little guys (and girls)", as the jobs that were decimated were the blue color heroes, not the fat wallets of the game. Once profit margins dropped, the already sharpened knife went square into the backs of the secretaries, the parking attendants, the mailroom clerks, the A&R reps (which actually flew to small towns to scout new talent) and of course... the artists.
Unfortunatley, the pre-mp3 music business model had enough fat around the heart to keep the fire away from the master's house, as the CEO's and shareholders of the monster-sized "hit makers" were able to slaughter enough low and entry level sacrificial lambs to keep fire of tech innovation always a body or two away from their toes, just long enough to figure out new ways to regain enough cash to keep the lights on... in their $50-million dollar estates.
So how did the music industry make up for the loss of billions of dollars of lost mp3 revenues? The most effective way came with the introduction of the "360 Degree Deal", in which artists were now only signed to major label distribution agreements if they agreed up front that they would NEVER see a nickel from their album sales, while also giving up 50-70 percent of the money they make from their live performances, merchandise sales, publishing (placement of songs in movies and commercials) and personal appearance fees.
You've probably already figured out that the "360 Degree Deal" is a horrible deal for the artists... who are typically already starving. So why would they do it? Why wouldn't they just sell their music themselves and make all the money, so they can just keep making records?
BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T BUY MUSIC ANYMORE. THEY JUST STEAL IT... or so I'm told.
But I buy music. In fact, I just bought the entire new Yelawolf album, which I truly love every song on it. So there has to be more people like me, right? I mean, if an atist works his off to make good songs that are enjoyed by the public, wouldn't the public be "OK" with buying the music from that artist, so that he or she can keep making more good songs? Isn't this equation as fundamental is it gets?
I mean, this is why the artist is an artist, right? This is why an artist opens up his heart and gives the world his experiences through the medium of music. It's because the artist hopes with every ounce of his soul that his music will "connect" with an unknown individual, who through the power of simply listening, will experience a range of emotions brought on by the artist's music, whether it be sincere joy, somber remembrance or a million other emotional states possible through the collection and specific arrangement of notes and lyrics. And in return, in a fair and even semi-perfect world, the person affected will say, "Damn. That was excellent. I want more emotional moments that are inspired by this artist. I'm going to reward him with a purchase of his music for doing an amazing job, as I want to hear more from this individual".
I mean... isn't that possible? Or am I just crazy for thinking that people are willing to reward dedication, hard work and talent?
In the words of John Lennon, "You may say I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one."
What I mean by that, is that I believe in you. I believe that there are more of us that are "good" than "bad" in this world. I believe that if someone truly gives their heart and soul to their art, then they will be rewarded for the hard work, bravery and fearlessness that it takes to actually put yourself "out there" for the world to judge and enjoy.
With that being said, I want you to know that the songs posted at the bottom of this page means the world to me. I didn't write them... I LIVED THEM. And it took a very long time to actually sculpt and craft these songs to truly articulate what I was going through at that time, as well as what I wanted to say.
My music hurts to write. I truly mean that. It emotionally hurts me to write and sing my songs. I'm not sure why, but it always has. But that's also the beauty of music to me. When an acoustic guitar is put into my hands, I've always felt that music is where I was meant to let the world see the color of my blood. It's a safe place to discuss all of the things in my life that I wish I never had to endure, but on the flipside, those are also all the things that have shaped me into who I am today. So music, for me, is this sort of quasi-demented, self-loathing, artistic dichotomy that allows me to celebrate my losses in a way that inspires me to be "better" at all things in life. It allows me to calm down. It allows me to focus on a single thought, rather than 30 at once. It allows me to get to know myself without apprehension as to who I my find behind my own stare, while it's also my shoulder to lean on whenever I need to lean.
In short... music is BY FAR my greatest passion. There's nothing else that's even close. Not film. Not writing. And defintiely not ghost hunting, as that's not even in my top five.
And just lke every other musician in the world, the ONLY WAY that I can release another album is if these songs generate the return needed to pay for the making of another record.
"BUT CHAD... NOBODY BUYS MUSIC ANYMORE. THEY JUST STEAL IT."
I want to believe that if all of you enjoy my new album below, you will choose to support my goal of making yet another album.
BECAUSE I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE JUST STEALS MUSIC. I refuse to believe that mankind has decided that it's perfectly acceptable to steal intellectual property.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I am choosing to believe that if you like what I do, then you will absolutely be willing to play your role in the process of creating new IN A CROWDED ROOM music. If I'm wrong... then so be it. But again, I truly can't accept that society has decided that it's "OK" to steal from artists, who are nothing short of the scribes of our day.
With that being the case, with my new album, I wanted to do things a bit differently to test the concept that "EVERYONE" steals music, and that most people are not willing to support musicians for making great music.
First off, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LISTEN TO AND DOWNLOAD MY ENTIRE "IN A CROWDED ROOM: HALF AS TALL, PULLIN' TO GET AWAY" ALBUM BELOW FOR FREE.
Also, so you know exactly what I'm singing about, beneath each song posted below, you'll see a description as to what the song is about.
Once you've downloaded the record and listened to the entire thing, if you absolutel hate it, then fair enough. You didn't lose anything. I would only ask that you share it with other you know to get their opinions as well.
BUT IF YOU ENJOYED THE RECORD and feel as though it's worthy of being purchased, please fee freee to CLICK THE DONATION BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE TO MAKE ANY LEVEL OF CONTRIBUTION THAT YOU CHOOSE, which will help me with the creation of my next album, which I'm currently writing as we speak, in the hopes of recording next winter.
Is it "mandatory" that you give a donation in retunr for downloading the album for free? ABSOLUTELY NOT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE A DONATION IN ORDER TO DOWNLOAD THE "IN A CROWDED ROOM" ALBUM! This is exactly what I'm saying it is. You can absoluely download the entire album for free without donating a single nickel in return, regardless as to how you feel about the music.
TO BE CLEAR... THE "MAKE A DONATION" TAB IS FOR THOSE WHO DOWNLOADED MY "IN A CROWDED ROOM: HALF AS TALL, PULLING TO GET AWAY" ALBUM, LISTENED TO IT, ENJOYED IT AND FEEL AS THOUGH THE SONGS ON THE ALBUM ARE WORTH BUYING. IN ADDITION, THE "MAKE A DONATION TAB" ALSO IS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO HELP ME CREATE MY NEXT ALBUM, WHICH I AM CURRENTLY WRITING, AS YOUR DONATION WILL HELP TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO BOOK THE STUDIO TIME NEEDED TO RECORD A NEW RECORD!
What donation amount is suggested? There is no suggested amount. It's truly up to you. If you enjoy the album and want to make a donation, whatever you feel is a fair donation is a blessing. I'm honored that anyone would want to help me make my next album, which means that I have nothing but gratitude for any and every last donation made.
With that being said, thank you all so much for your time and allowing me the platform to stay active in the world of original music, as without question, without music and my ability to create it, I would be truly lost in this world.
With that being said, my friends... I sincerely hope you enjoy my songs.
Much love and all the best.
- Chad Calek, Singer/Songwriter for "IN A CROWDED ROOM"
"CUT OF YOUR ARM MEDICINE" is actually the last song I wrote for this album, which is odd that it would be the "title track" and first song on the album... but in so many ways, it's a proper way to begin telling the story that is embedded within "HALF AS TALL, PULLIN' TO GET AWAY". At the time that I wrote it "CUT OF YOUR ARM MEDICINE", I was listening Buckcherry and Hinder almost religiously, as I was extremely late to the party when it comes to discovering both of those bands. In retrospect, when I listen to this song, it's safe to say that their bold, attitude-laden style of rock and roll definitely rubbed off on me, as traditionally, I've never before written music that would fall into the categorty of what my friend Joey calls "Cock Rock" LOL! While "CUT OF YOUR ARM MEDICINE" is about a specific woman, if one were to generalize the song, it's simply about the unhealthy infatuation than many men have with crazy ass women, which are inherently dangerous when it comes to creating a stable life... but oh so much fun when it comes to creating memories in life that one will never forget. But you better enjoy the fun while it lasts, because in the end, you'll be running for cover, as "crazy" has a yin and a yang. This song, in a nutshell, is me looking in the mirror and telling myself, "Why are you suprised? You knew the risks, fella. So be a big boy and take your medicine."
I actually wrote the lyrics to this song back in 1996, after I visited my Aunt Rosie, who had stage 4 terminal cancer. Unfortuantely the pain and the massives amounts of medications had caused her to lose track of reality. Just before saying goodbye, I asked her if there was anything I could do to make her feel better, in which she said, "Can you pay me back my yesterday?", which was one of the most sad requests I had ever heard. The one thing she wanted... was something I couldn't give her. I kissed her on her forehead, said goodbye and 24 hours later, she had passed on to the other side. This event shook me to the core, as it represented the first time that I had come face to face with the sadness and the finality of death, which led to the creation of this song, which is called "Yesterday".
This song is a song about meeting somebody that sweeps you away in a hurricane of love, lust and adventure. You ultimately know they are "wrong" for you in the long term, but simply can't say no to them, as they have quite literally become your "drug". The moments you spend with them are nothing short of intoxicating. Life with them is simpy "more", to the degree that everything else in life becomes secondary to simply existing within the fairy tale that you both create when you are together. But that's a dangerous place to exist, becaues fairy tales aren't "real", and the higher you get, the further you fall when the carnival ends. Thankfully, as the end of the song describes, I had somebody there to catch me when I fell. Sombody who just loved "me" and not the world I bring.
"Loyalty" is actually a completely re-arranged "cover" of an American Headcharge song, which is one of my favorite songs of all time. Quite simply put, it's about the multiple people we meet in our lives who claim they will always "be there" for us. But when the cards are on the table, who will truly be there? When the party ends... who can you really count on?
You want me to be real with you about my music? Ok. Here we go. "Loneliness" is a song about the worst 24 hours of my life, which was a 24-hour time period that I endured without Laura, as she dumped me for cheating on her. It was an extremely dark time period in my life, in which I hope I never again endure such pain again.
"Underwater" is also a cover song by my best friend Joe Ansley's band INDEX CASE. "Underwater" is about the painful acceptance that you fell in love with someone that never truly loved you. Once you realize this, you go through a multitude of emotional states, until you eventually reach that place in you that is ready to let go... but not before you let them know exactly what they walked away from. My favorite lyric to this song is "I won't live inside this virus of my hope". Saying goodbye sucks. But it's also beautiful, as it marks a new chapter in life.
This is actually the second song I've ever written, which is about the feeling I had when I was told my father wasn't going to make it after being severely burned. "If he goes... I want to go with him." In a nutshell, that's exactly how I felt. I would rather say goodbye to this world than to live in a world without him. Thankfully, I never had to choose.
"WORTH LESS?" is a song that's about not only finding yourself, but also standing up for who you are once you know who you are. It doesn't take much to figure out that this song is using sexuality to discuss the topic of individualism. From there, I think I'll just let you follow the lyrics to wherever they take you :)
"SLAVES AND BULLDOZERS" is and old Soundgarden song that I covered simply because the lyrics hit home with me in such a unique and impactful way. It's a song about looking directly into the eyes of those who have held you back, in which you literally say to them, "It ends here. It ends now. There's no more rides for free."
And last, but not least, enjoy my "live" cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", which I sat down in my brother's studio and just let it fly. One take. One overhead mic. No auto-tune BULLSHIT. Render it. One of the great things about the way John Lennon wrote songs, was that he kept things simple. "Working Class Hero" is a salute to those who get the job done without the desire to be anybody other than themselves. This song has always reminded me of my father, which is ultimately why I chose to include it on this album.
"GRACIE'S LULLABY" is a song that I sang to my daughter, over and over again, when she was literally touring the world with me as a toddler, as at 21 days old, she boarded my tour bus for the first time, in which she would wind up travelling with Daddy to 77 cities and three countries in the first 12 months of her life. While I absolutely love touring, the best part of my day was when the show would end, as I knew I was minutes away from holding my baby girl and singing her to sleep. For those of you who are music buffs, you may notice that this lullaby is actually a rearranged and altered version of Ray Gillen's "In A Dream". While I've never even attempted to record an "A Capella" version of a song, ultimately I was happy with how this came out, as the real success is simpy recreating the emotion of singing it live to my little angel, which I feel this recording accomplished that goal. And now that it's complete and ready to give to the world, I hope you enjoy it as much as Gracie, and that it also helps you close your eyes when you lay down for the night.
DID YOU ENJOY CHAD'S "IN A CROWDED ROOM: HALF AS TALL, PULLIN' TO GET AWAY" ALBUM?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION TOWARDS CHAD MAKING HIS NEXT "IN A CROWDED ROOM" ALBUM?
IF SO, CLICK THE DONATION TAB BELOW TO MAKE A DONATION OF YOUR CHOICE!
ALSO, CLICK PLAY BELOW TO WATCH PART 1 OF CHAD CALEK'S "BLACKSHEEP" TRAILER, WHICH FEATURES CALEK'S ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENT OF THE "AMERICAN HEADCHARGE" SONG "LOYALTY", WHICH INCLUDES NOT ONLY CALEK ON VOCALS, BUT INDEX CASE VOCALIST JOEY ANSLEY, WHILE VICTORY RECORDS RECORDING ARTIST ARI MIHALOPOLOUS PRODUCED THE TRACK.
AND LASTLY, CLICK PLAY TO WATCH THE "FLOATING ON THE WATER" MUSIC VIDEO, POSTED BELOW, FROM "IN A CROWDED ROOM"!
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
"Without you... there is no reason."
- Chad Calek, "IN A CROWDED ROOM"