(Note: this is part of a series of blog posts concerning my new album, which can be streamed or purchased here. However, this is one of the posts that I believe can be read, understood, and enjoyed without needing to hear the album.)
Friends, fans, and stalkers might notice that Ours By Accident has not always been my artist moniker. Heck, even this blog itself was named by my intended-at-the-time band/artist moniker Alexander Machine. So for those interested in knowing the significance about why this changed, keep reading:
First off, band names are stupid. I’ve been playing music with my brother for about eight years, and we have been through three official names together, along with countless numbers of almost-names and joke-names, from The Brothers Tremaine to Heaven Yes. Our most recent (and most official) moniker was Romantic Machines, coming off the heels of another moniker derived from our middle names: Nelson and the Alexanders (i.e.,
Taylor Nelson Tremaine and Chase Alexander Tremaine).
Since 2013, my brother and I have been focused more on writing separately than together, leading to the idea of having side projects that were tied into our together-project, Romantic Machines. Through this, my brother had the idea of his project being called Nelson Romantic and mine Alexander Machine. This felt like the perfect idea at the time, so we ran with it and he released a few 2013 demos followed by a 4-song EP in May 2014 as Nelson Romantic.
Meanwhile, I meant to begin recording my full-length debut as Alexander Machine in the fall of 2013. I even made a good amount of progress into the pre-production of the record, but busyness with working and being a senior in college kept pushing the recording dates further and further away until I began fearing the album would never come.
By the time I graduated college, I decided to record a different album, with a completely different style and set of songs. When I began recording what would become Act, Action, and the Peace that Never Was in May 2014, it was still supposed to be an Alexander Machine project. Here are the main reasons why this decision changed:
1. Because Google: When you search “alexander machine” on Google, it takes pages to get to my blog posts, Youtube videos, etc. Instead, you find a bunch of links to machinery sites. Even the domain alexandermachine.com was already taken…yes, by a machine and tool company, likely owned by a man named Alexander.
2. Because connotations: When my brother and I decided that he’d be the romantic and I’d be the machine, we brainstormed ideas that I could record music with electronic drums and distorted vocals. When I got in the studio, we tried those ideas out and it just didn’t seem right for these songs–I began to desire a more organic approach.
3. Because people: With a first-name-last-name set up, Alexander Machine sounded more like a singular person’s stage name or solo project, and I really did not want to rule out the possibility of this project becoming a band. I was already asking a bunch of friends to join on the album, and all but one person that I asked to be on the album ended up making an appearance.
4. Because the alternative: When I began questioning Alexander Machine as the right artist moniker, I didn’t really have a solid plan of where else to turn. I thought about changing the Machine part to Minutiae, but it turned out I was pronouncing the word very, very wrong. When I found out how “minutiae” was actually pronounced, I loathed it. (Seriously, it’s an oddly bizarre, almost disgusting sounding word…) Back to square one. Then one day I came across a Soundcloud account I had created few years ago, under the name “Ours By Accident.” Until that moment, I’d completely forgotten about that account and that band name idea.
This discovery made everything add up for me. Fall of 2012, I tried my first attempt at recording this Act Action album, which at that time was just an 8-song acoustic EP. [The story of how that EP turned into this album can be read in a future blog post–also, one of the demos from those sessions can be downloaded for free as part of the bonus tracks EP]. Had I finished that EP back in 2012, I would have released it under the moniker Ours By Accident. This name harkened back to the summer I spent in the Grand Canyon, and the phrase began meaning something really huge to me: how special it can be when the greatest friendships seem to come together at random, by accident, in ways that we can’t predict or plan for.
Summer of 2012 was also when I really began taking friendships seriously; I began realizing how little sacrifice I’d put into relationships up until this point in my life and how shallow most of my friendships were. When I returned home from my summer at the Grand Canyon, I cherished friendships old and new alike, spending time and spending myself in favor of honoring this shared possession that we call friendship, this strange entity of human relations that is essentially “ours by accident.”
When this moniker appeared into sight once again, I knew this album needed to be released by Ours By Accident, and the fact that this album was filled with the appearances and influences and support of my best friends in the world only supported the relevance of this artist moniker.
So, yes. Ours By Accident isn’t currently a real band. I hope it will be someday. But the fact that I am currently releasing this album as a one-man-band solo artist thingy doesn’t mean it has to be MY album. This album is OURS. This album’s ownership is shared with everyone who participated in its creation; now you, potential listeners and fans, have my permission to also share in the ownership of these songs.