Clear in Andrew's Mind was my first record released in 2011. It contained a selected collection of tunes that I have put together a couple of years prior to that. The album title and title track was named after my closest friend, Andrew, who passed away in 2002. The definite reason of his death was not perfectly clear, but word amongst friends was that Andrew was going through extreme depression, and fell to his suicidal death from his Toronto apartment.
I was living in Montreal at the time, and to this day, I still regret for not fully staying in touch during those days, and not being able to attend his funeral. This was the first time someone close to me has passed away and I was just not sure how to cope with it.
The title song was one of the last ones that I wrote for the album. It was during a time when I fell ill and needed to attend the hospital. I was living alone in the city, so nobody knew it or was able to visit me. Luckily it was nothing serious, but at the time I was not sure what was going on and wondered if my time was approaching.
Laying on the hospital bed, I was trying to relate to what was going on in Andrew's head, days before his passing. I was feeling at peace with myself, even with the unknown of what was happening with me. Knowing the end was approaching, I suspected that Andrew was feeling the same peace, followed by anger, struggles and anxiety before his final death. The writing for this almost-10-minute song was an outline of what I thought Andrew's mind was going through. Although none of us would ever full understand his process, it was only "Clear in Andrew's Mind" why he did what he did.
(The track RKM that proceeded the title track was originally meant to be an intro to the track, which would have made the song over 12 mintues long. While performing the improvised track, I was thinking of my uncle who passed away several years ago. After realizing that the 'intro' had an entity of its own, I decided to have RKM named and dedicated to my uncle.)
My gear and resources (financial) were somewhat limited at this time, as I settled for my own programmed drums and synth/sampled virtual-instrument bass. For guitars, everything was recorded with my Gibson Les Paul Standard going into my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. Almost all my pedals were Boss effect pedals at the time - DD3 delay, BF3 flanger, PH5 phaser, DS1 distortion, CE-5 chorus, TR-2 tremolo (- thank goodness for the used market!). I also used the Electro Harmonix POG, TC Electronic Flashback delay, Vox Big Bad Wah and Vox Satchurator. The strings were D'Addario 10s, and I used Dunlop Tortex Standard 1.14mm picks. I also used the AT4050 for most clean and acoustic guitars, while I used SM57 on distorted guitars, all though into the A-Designs Pacifica preamp, through the RME Fireface UC, into the DAW/computer. I used a Taylor guitar for the acoustic tracks. For Piano, I used a Yamaha U3 upright, through a SM57, into the RME's preamps. I also used the Empirical Labs Distressor for all the tracks during mixing.
Lucas Lee (Electric Gutiars, Acoustic Guitars, Piano/ Oragn/ Keybaords, Synthesizers, Percussion, Strings/ Bass Drum arrangements, Vocals)