Wow… my last post on our blog was entitled ‘Hello, 2015′ — I guess that speaks to my blogging commitment this past year, but it’s been a strange year with lots of things happening and I felt the need to post this morning. This year, the Rugs played a handful of shows, recorded a couple of new songs, Ali got married and Matt got engaged! Some of us have been working on other projects, and Matt and Ian played a reunion show with their beloved band, The Diableros — that was quite the night!
But now, onto some more recent things… some of you may have noticed that Jigsaw Records (www.jigsaw-records.com) released a CD version of our LP quite recently, and our music is also featured on their SoundCloud. They are an online record label and shop that approached us after coming across our 2014 LP ‘This is OK for Now’. We’re very excited to be working with them and appreciate the support, as always. I’ve noticed that since all this has happened, a few writers have been echoing the same sentiment about Persian Rugs and our releases. There is a general consensus that after the 2011 release of our EP, ‘Always All’, we sort of fell off the map. Furthermore, there’s been comment that ‘This is OK for Now’ fell through the cracks a little bit. I feel the need to talk about these things because I do hear this from people quite a bit, and the hard-headedness in me wants to justify and explain
The release of our EP in 2011 was the culmination of the hard work of many people, and was only possible due to funding provided 100% by ourselves. We felt the strong need to produce this EP on vinyl, as the success of the original four-track demo version of Always All (recorded by David Lush) was due in part to its lo-fi sound that we felt could be preserved with the magical sound that vinyl provides. Vinyl is special. But producing vinyl is also very expensive, as are all things recording-related. We put the EP out and received positive responses from some, and continued playing shows very often in Toronto. In 2012, we had enough new material and profits from the sales of ‘Always All’ to move forward with more recording. However, it should be noted that without label support (and even then), independent artists do not make money. The four of us all have day jobs to support these passions of ours, but expendable income in this economic climate is not to be found, and we had to ensure that our new recordings were as affordable to produce as possible. This proved difficult. Almost a year after recording the first four songs for ‘This is OK for Now’, we decided and were able financially to go back into the studio with another friend to record four more songs to create an LP, yes, albeit a short one, but an LP to us nonetheless. With the generous help and support of friends, we ended up with 8 great songs, mixed by ourselves and friends, that we were able to master at Polyphasic Studios. As you can see, this had become a lengthy process and our promised LP was now way overdue. I would constantly have friends asking me what was going on, but when you start talking about money and mixing, you generally lose people in the conversation.
In September 2014, we released ‘This is OK for Now’. We had an amazing release show full of friends and excitement. But then, nothing happened. Unfortunately, things do not always happen the way you imagine them. While people liked the record, it did not garner any press attention, which meant less opportunities for us, and a smaller audience to come across it. While I am so incredibly proud of our work, I must admit that I was disappointed with the reaction (or lack thereof) to a selection of songs that held so much importance to me. In the music world, you’ve got to roll with the punches, and just because people like one thing, does not mean they will be there to listen to the next thing years later.
But make no mistake, Persian Rugs has not ceased working, writing, recording and playing shows since we met each other in 2009. As I have said a million times over, I’m forever grateful for this crazy journey I’ve shared with Ian, Matt and Ali. As 2015 draws to a close and I feel more than ever like, “what the fuck am I doing with my life”, I am happy to find solace and support in the music and friends I have in Persian Rugs, and always hold all the times, good and bad, along with all the songs, liked or not, very close to my heart. While I’ve been told I’m too honest or upfront in my online presence and in what I write about or share, I feel this was an important thing to write about because it happens more often than not. And while in Toronto, it might not be the cool thing to talk about failed attempts or less than desirable outcomes, in the end what matters is how proud you are of what you made, how hard you worked and how special the people are to you that you got to share all of that with.
With one door closed, another opens. Stay happy, friends.