MAKING THE ALBUM - “I BOUGHT YOU A COFFIN”


THE ROOTS OF EFFORTS BEGAN IN 2014, WHEN I INHERITED BY FATHER’S OLD GUITAR. IT WAS A PRETTY BAD YEAR FOR ME. AND I TAUGHT MYSELF HOW TO PLAY SONGS BY JUST MAKING THE GUITAR SCREAM THROUGH AN AMP. AFTER RECORDING PHONE DEMOS OF ENOUGH OF THOSE SCREAMS, I REALIZED THEY CAN BE PIECED TOGETHER INTO LONGER SORT OF WAILING POP SONGS.

THE BAND WAS ORIGINALLY CALLED “JESUS DESTROY THEM” AND IT WENT THROUGH A FEW IMAGINARY ITERATIONS—ME AND MY FRIENDS WHO WOULD COME OVER, WATCH ME PLAY GUITAR, SORT OF SHAKE THEIR HEAD AND NEVER COME BACK OVER. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THESE EARLIER YEARS ON THE DEMOS PAGE.

IN SEPTEMBER OF THAT YEAR I MET ZACH GRACE AT A PARTY. WE TALKED ABOUT RECORDING MY SONGS ONTO VHS TAPES AND THEN CRINKLING UP THE FILM BEFORE RE-RECORDING THEM INTO .WAV FILES. YES, WE WERE DRINKING. AND TWO MONTHS LATER WE WERE IN A BAND RECORDING AN ALBUM TOGETHER IN HIS BASEMENT. MOST OF THOSE TRACKS WERE RECORDED MULTIPLE TIMES THROUGHOUT LONG NITS OF NINE HOUR SESSIONS SPENT SMOKING OR DRINKING TO EXCESS.

I TOOK PHOTOS & KEPT A LOT OF NOTES. THIS PAGE IS A SORT OF PERSONAL VIEWPOINT CHRONICLE OF HOW ZACH & I MANAGED TO TURN EFFORTS INTO A THING.

10.15.2015 I snapped this photo of Zach the first day we started playing together.

11.5.2015 We decided our genre is either “god is dead” or “evil prom”

11.12.2015 This was how Zach’s studio looked the first day of recording IBYAC.

11.12.2015 And here’s us listening back to the first recorded tracks

11.22.2015 Here’s a pic of Zach practicing the drums we were recording that day. Probably “Everyone Will Leave and You”

12.4.2015 last night’s band practice was drunk singing /zach with an electric organ/2 dudes tryin to be careful as something grew. quirk pop.


12.10.2015 Scratch guitars. Probably for Everyone Will Leave

12.10.2015 Grace adjusting drums.

12.11.2015 Grace adjusts drums for “Everyone Will Leave" & You”

12.11.2015 early VOX for May You Absorb

12.13.2015 It is an unbelievable truth that, frustrated with anything, I can walk over to my guitar, and play the complete efforts album. Yes, it is only a 25 minute album. yes I can even play our hidden song “I bought you a coffin”.

12.17.2015 Recording Guitars for Everyone Will Leave & You

12.24.2015 writing Vera alone on Christmas Eve

12.26.2015 and here’s my notes for the last song on the album.

12.26.2015 I made an album of demos on my phone to help us sift out what belonged on the album and what didn’t. yes that’s me as a sad boy on the cover.

12.29.2015 I wrote the lyrics for comeuppance while playing guitar in bed alone really late one night. I played it to myself in the darkness and the words just kind of showed up.

12.31.2015 I think it was at this point we started to become obsessed with the project. Zach had just got back in town and we ended up recording on New Years Eve.

01.08.2016 Vera is now recorded. The song I cried while to while writing on Christmas Eve. Zach and I did 15 takes. He might have broke his knuckle.

1.28.2016 nine hours in studio. Ash to Dust / Word Waster.

1.28.2016 listening back to ash to dust

01.29.2016 Nine and a half hours in the studio with Zach. Three songs tracked + guitars. Damn. Need to sleep.

01.31.2016 I think I spent most of the day listening to the efforts recordings from Thursday. Each song. Over and over again. Shocked and confused.

02.2.2016 Went to Geoffrey maybe’s House for the first time. He took apart my guitar and fixed it up for me TO RECORD THIS WEEK.

02.16.16 We may now have a bass player. I've spent the last two weeks receiving various emailed versions of our songs with bass recorded over them.They sound so good the responses received have ranged from tears, unexpected phone calls, and cursing.

03.09.2016 Recording VOX for VERA. We redid these 4 more times by the end of the IBYAC sessions.

03.09.2016 VERA first attempt. We ended up recording the drums twice and the guitars twice as well.

03.09.2016 Vera lyrics into a mic with balled fists and it was good.9 hours in the studio just cutting vocals and mixing with Zach.

05.04.2016 To my surprise, the next efforts album already has 9 unfinished demos.


05.20.2016 With Zach Newly home from Japan I sat down and played through efforts album for the first time in months.I was glad to find the guitar parts came fairly quickly but some of those lyrics took a minute.

06.09.2016 Last night Zach and I butchered a bottle of rum and a pack of cigs talking about everything possible and he hangover was indeed worth it.

07.10.2016 Writing Demos in the bedroom. This is where a lot of stuff was worked out.

06.16.2016 Band practice ends at 3.

07.13.2016 Zach & I get serious and start planing out the album

07.14.2016 Last night for band practice Zach & I planned out side A of the album, rerecorded and mixed vocals for Vera, & I was given singing advice from his wife, LE (who went to school for it). We changed the name of the album. The first LP from efforts is now called: "i bought you a coffin"

07.22.2016 It is 2:30 AM. Zach and I just spent 5 hours on side B. Also a B side. Also new guitars on Vera. I am tired.

07.23.2016 efforts has a new song we started by accident this past week. I just figured out the bridge part so I'm excited to see where it goes.

07.27.2016 I was afraid of damaging my phone only for the fact it held a song demo we can't lose. I have now found the productive courage to save it. The plan is to. Hop the demo up and hold the phone against my guitar while we record the effect a guitar amp. This new song fucking kills.

07.28.2016 Zach holds his childhood cassette player as we push comeuppance demo from phone to pickups to amp and onto an old cassette.

08.04.2016 Wrote the bridge for 6 pack.

08.09.2016 Today I jolted sideways in bed from a concussive blast and saw a being of lightning riding a pale horse.

08.22.2016 I had and have pretty bad stage fright. I started practicing vocals in my bedroom to get used to the idea of singing.

9.1.2016 Zach’s friend, Chad came to engineer the drums on Die Right Here.

09.02.2016 My Youngest Brother, Ben came and put backing guitars on The Bridge Song.

09.06.2016 It's been over a year since I started listening to my phone demos all day and piecing together an album. …Someday this will all make sense.

09.23.2016 Zach had an eardrum burst. No medicine. We made progress. efforts continue.

10.16.2016 Zach and I can now celebrate 1 year of efforts.

10.24.2016 GEOFFREY & I GET WASTED IN A LIMOUSINE. WE DECIDE TO RECORD A SONG TOGETHER FOR HALLOWEEN. THIS LEADS US TO START A PROJECT CALLED DAMNSEL & THE EUTH GROUP—A BAND WHICH WILL WAIVER BETWEEN IT’S OWN THING & BEING MELDED INTO EFFORTS, BACK & FORTH FOR THE NEXT YEAR OR SO.

10.27.2016 EFFORTS Mach 1.

10.27.2016 Geoffrey came over to play together as a 3 piece for the first time. I came up with “I’ll Bring The Blood.”

11.30.2016 Zach adds strings to West Coast

12.1.2016 Last night during efforts, We finished our song West Coast almost a year to the day of first recording it. Then we put vox on Die Right Here. Something finally broke in the right manner. When we started the project we went so fast nothing could be precious. Enough time has now passed that nothing is precious once more. We can really fuck some shit up toward the greater good.

12.15.2016 Here’s me taking a pic of what was left to record for the album

12.20.2016 Geoffrey and I got the demo guitar done for 6 pack. I am so tired. There's is so much horrific pressure.

2.20.2017 EFFORT plays our first show—and my first show ever.

2.20.2017 EFFORT plays our first show

2.20.2017 EFFORT plays our first show

2.20.2017 EFFORT plays our first show

2.20.2017 EFFORT plays our first show

2.20.2019 EFFORTS plays our first show

3.8.2017 we recorded 6 Pack all together—a moment we would only share twice. Here’s Geoff adding Bass after we got he drums down.

3.8.2017 Geoff laying down bass for May You Absorb, about a year after he first sent us the bass demo for it.We tried to get as much bass recorded as we could each time Geoff came over because we never knew if he would show up. That’s how he became Geoffrey Maybe.

3.18.2017 second EFFORTS show. I had gold hair and fake blood on my face. This would be the last time we would play live until 2019. And the last show we would play with Geoffrey Maybe. I played so poorly after smoking an entire pack of cigarettes that I quit smoking the next day!

3.28.2017 ME RECORDING PICK UP YOUR TINSEL IN ZACH’S DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM

3.30.2017 around this time we decide to release an ep of our favorite songs ahead of the debut album. we even get permission to use the art i want by liam barrett

4.6..2017 PLANS FOR FUTURE RELEASES WERE ALWAYS MENTIONED WITH MAYBES AND WHISPERS. BUT IMBUED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE WERE ACTUALLY NEARING THE END OF OUR FIRST LP, NOW WE COULD START SPEAKING ABOUT SOME OF THOSE IDEAS A LITTLE LOUDER. ASMALL TURNING POINT BUT AN IMPORTANT ONE.


4.11.2017 today I loaded up every EFFORTS song we've tracked, and was able to listen to side A all the way through as I drove. Some songs were missing vocals, others missing bass. Some needed new takes completely. But it was whole. Worth more than forgetting.

4.13.2017 ZACH & I MAKE OUR FINAL TO DO LIST

4.19.2017 GEOFFREY & ZACH PRACTICE TAKE OFF YER HELM BEFORE RECORDING THE DRUM TRACKS

4.20.2017 All the drums are tracked. 17 months.

4.26.2017 Geoffrey records the bass for take off yer helm

4.26.2017 its just a damn fact to say that Geoffrey missed so many sessions that when he showed up unexpectedly one night, we had him stay until 1 am to record nearly every bass track for the album in one night. here he is so tired he had to lay down.

4.27.2017 i stood in a gas station & rewrote the track listings toward a more final LP order

5/3/2017 Zach and I spent the night putting the recordings we had in what is now decidedly the correct order. After a year and a half we have just a bit left to do and tonight was a light at then end of our tunnel. After some rough mixing we bounced everything into a playlist and sat back to listen to a rough of the album together for the first time ever. Here is a pic of the CD I burned of the session using the only hardware left I could find to do so, a 10 year old computer.

5.11.2017 Zach listens to guitars for die right here.

5.11.2017 Tonight ZACH & I put guitars on "i saw a pale horse" & "yer gonna die right here". the first took countless takes, the second sounded wrong so we reworked the song entirely. Now it is something new. it sounded like the future of the band. Now it's 2 am, I am paying parking bills with sore fingers & tomorrow continues into other things.


5.18.2017 EFFORTS FINISHES TRACKING GUITARS FOR LP WITH 6 PACK. I QUIT DRINKING THE NEXT DAY.

5.31.2017 Geoff records his OOhs for 6 pack.

6.7.2017 zach took this rad pic of me after we tried to balance the album is some weird pseudo-occult & sonic manner.

6.22.2017 we started mixing out vocals together a lot around this time. here are the lines to February I wrote out for Zach to sing

6.23.2017 tweaks: February, coffin, & bridge song are now finished and ready to be mixed.






6.28.2017 I sang like a witch & now Zach is trying to make it even witchier. VOX ON EVERYONE WILL LEAVE NOW RECORDED. VOX ON LP NOW “FINISHED”. MOST OF THESE SESSIONS I WAS SUCKING ON CLOVE OIL INFUSED TOILET PAPER TO KEEP JAW PAIN & TOOTH INFECTIONS FROM STOPPING ALL PROGRESS.

7.4.2017 AROUND THIS TIME EFFORTS GOES ON HIATUS AS ZACH TEARS APART HIS STUDIO. TODD STARTS A SIDE PROJECT CALLED BESET..

8.4.2017 Zach & i try working on 6 pack

9.26.2017 I deeply miss whatever has become of EFFORTS.

10.06.2017 ZACH & I spent 11 hours in the studio trying to fix his shit / finishing 6 pack down to a print.

10.12.2017 mixing begins

10.26.2017 mixing continues.

11.3.2017 the first EP is now put together (it still needs to be mixed and mastered) zach & i save everything as 1 long track on purpose.

1.18.2018 RELEASE OF EFFORTS EP “MAY YOU ABSORB ALL EVIL”

1.18.2018 RELEASE OF EFFORTS EP “MAY YOU ABSORB ALL EVIL”

1.18.2018 Zach and i finish mastering the EP & decide to release it right then & there. here is a pic his wife LE snapped of us after the dirty deed had been done.

2.1.2018 EFFORTS tonight. “It’s only February” was written in 2015 and is finally being finished in audio on this, the first AM of February 2018.

2.1.2018 drunk with power Zach & I decide to mix & master February in time for a Valentine’s Day release.

2.14.2018 it’s only february released

2.14.2017 it’s only February single released. I think Zach mastered it three times.

4.12.2018 the startling return of geoffrey maybe. geoff showed up with a 6 pack of beer and helped us finish off ash to dust//word waster.

4.13.2018 around this time we decide to release a second ep out of sheer excitement.

4.18.2018 mixing continues

4.19.2018 I’m sitting in Zach’s studio mixing the EFFORTS album. Exactly one year ago today we finished tracking guitars and I had my last sip of alcohol. One Year of Sobriety achieved. I got a lot done!

6.28.2018 zach adding guitars to birds at night. we only ended up using some of his feedback but i love this vid of him playing.

6.29.2018 i’ll bring the blood is recorded

7.26.2018 second ep tracklisting i wrote out for zach

7.27.2018 may the eyes that rise upon you never know (your true heart) is released.

7.27.2018 may the eyes that rise upon you never know (your true heart) is released.

8.10.2018 zach mixes take off yer helm

9.4.2018 Geoffrey came over and we tried re-recording the vocals to west coast with all three of us before stumbling into the vocal effect now heard on the album

9.18.2018 Zach mixing the last of the songs before we master them the following day.

9.18.2018 Zach mixes the very last song for the album while I “help”.

9.19.2018 EFFORTS. We mixed the LP all night. We went to sleep. Zach dreamed of how to proceed. We woke up. Mixed the last song and started mastering while I finalized the LP artwork.

9.19.2018 Zach masters the album while i finish designing the promo cd’s

9.27.2018 IBYAC promo CDs arrive in mail. These will be given out + sent out around the world to fans of Todd’s Fantasy card game. There are 100 copies of this edition in the world.

10.09.2018 Zach drops off a stack of CDs at Like A Fool Records in Tokyo.

10.15.2018 i bought you a coffin is released

10.15.2018 i bought you a coffin is released

10.17.2018 Geoffrey Maybe was integral but also divorced from the project. Today we drove around listening to the entire album while looking at Halloween decorations in the daylight. It was fitting.

11.09.2018 second printing of IBYAC Promo CDs arrive. There’s 300 of them in the world. I think.

11.22.2018 EFFORTS Mach 1

11.22.2018 thanksgiving. geoffrey & zach spend the day together. i arrive after dinner and l.e. takes our first & only band pic as efforts mach 1. we decide to finally fold euth group into efforts & prepare for geoffrey to leave us for good. he’s now off to the air force reserve.

START OF 2019: FOR MOST OF THE ALBUM’S RECORDING CYCLE, EFFORTS WAS NOT SO MUCH A 3 PIECE, JUST TWO GUYS AND THEIR TALENTED FRIEND WHO MIGHT NOT SHOW UP. IN FACT, FOR MOST OF 2018, GEOFFREY DIDN’T CONSIDER HIMSELF PART OF THE BAND. OR AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT HE TOLD ME. BUT HE AND I HAD DAMNSEL & THE EUTH GROUP ANYWAY. AFTER HE HEARD THE FINISHED ALBUM I THINK HE REALIZED HOW MUCH OF HIM WAS IN IT…WHAT A PROFOUND AND WONDERFUL ATTRIBUTION HE WAS TO THE MAGICAL SOUND OF ZACH AND I. WHEN HE MOVED AWAY IN JANUARY OF 2019 I FELT REAL SAD. WE HAD BECOME WHAT FELT LIKE A TRUE 3 PIECE AT THE VERY END. AND NOW ZACH AND I HAD LOST THE THIRD PART OF OUR MAGIC TRIANGLE. I REALLY WASN’T SURE HOW WE COULD FIX IT. 

2.18.2019 i’ve been in talks with jason gilmore (who was going to play with efforts back in 2015) to play bass for beset. with geoffrey now off to the air force i send him a message asking him to join efforts. he agreed the following day.

2.20.2019 EFFORTS (ZACH & I) just played together for the first time in 2 years, in the basement where it all started. It was rough. And others times it was good. That same sparkle is there. Afterwards I told Zach THAT MEAGEN WAS PREGNANT. "Holy shit." he replied.

2.27.2019 EFFORTS PRACTICE CONTINUES.

3.6.2019 Tonight we asked a kid I've known for 14 years--so long that he is no longer a kid, he is THIRTY!—to come join us for EFFORTS band practice. The result of which WAS--that after two yearS--I'm certain we'll announce new shows soon.

3.15.2019 After showing up a stunning two times in a row—Jason Gilmore is announced as the new bassist for EFFORTS.

5.20.2015 We sound different enough with Jason that we decide to record a new album of IBYAC B-Sides & reworked songs & demos. Zach comes up with the name Coffin Delivery Confirmation.