Our debut release, The Bell Ringer, is twenty-four songs. I've been asked by folks why so many, when we might have released two albums in successive years, and potentially made more money by doing so.
The answer comes in a few parts. First, when we were anticipating our first live shows, we wondered if ten or twelve songs would be enough. Obviously, most albums are only ten or twelve tunes. And honestly, that's a good number. But the show isn't merely playing Christmas rock tunes. The show means to tell a real story, with a character--our bell ringer--undergoing change and growth. To do that, you need a little more headroom.
Also, most show soundtracks--like Broadway, or even full-length concept albums from rock and progressive bands--tend to have many more tracks. You simply need more space to lay down the spine of the story.
The result, is that The Bell Ringer is a double CD--twelve songs on each disc. With this, we're able to get the core story across, while also putting on a show that gives the audience a two-hour journey of one man finding his own sense of self-worth in his efforts to help others as bad off (or worse) as himself.
The album has eight instrumentals, as well as a mix of songs for both male and female voices, since different characters populate the story. For those songs/roles, I was fortunate to have several former members of platinum-selling Christmas rock artists sing and play, as well as James Labrie and Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater on a few tracks. I was also able to find four female vocalists from Spain, Nashville, and California, with just the right timbre and power in their voices.
Then, I found an artist from France to do the cover image. A graphic designer from Argentina to do the band logos and icons, and with whatever skill I possess, pulled together the produce packaging. Here are a few photos of how it all turned out.
As you may have heard, there are two bonus tracks on the physical CDs (and digital version) if you get them here on our site, or come to one of our shows. We did this as something special for fans who are connecting with us personally.
One of those bonus tracks is entitled: "I Wonder as I Wander / Hallelujah Chorus." Obviously, it's a medley. But it comes with my own personal spin in the songwriting and arrangement, with some unique bits, as well. And this tune, in particular, is important to me because it's my homage to Paul O'Neill of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who gave me encouragement to get my album written.
So, there you have it. Mysteries solved!
Until next time,