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Why I’m Still Proud of My First Album, Even Though it Sounds Terrible

Hey there, funny email today.

I’m dealing with an 8-hour delay at LAX today so I thought I’d kill some time and tell you a story.

It’s about the first album my Icelandic alternative metal band, Pan, released back in 2005.

In fact, the whole reason I’m stuck at LAX right now is because I’m going back to Iceland to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday.

There won’t be any sightseeing, fancy waterfalls or erupting geysers for me to see for the gazillionth time this time around, thank God! Getting sick and tired of driving tourists around, to be honest.

Nope, this time around it’ll just be chill…with a hint of some alternative metal.

You see, my dad was Pan’s biggest supporter. When we were young and stupid he helped us with distribution and covered the costs we were short on to release the album. This was before it was super easy to release and distribute albums online. 2005 might as well be a thousand years ago in internet time.

So for his 60th birthday, I’m (hilariously enough) putting the band back together for one show aptly named “The Comeback Show Nobody Asked For.”

The First Album I Ever Released

To promote the show we finally went ahead and released the album through all the online distributions channels, such as Spotify. A hardcopy was hard to find so now it’ll live in perpetuity until some idiot wipes us all off the face of the Earth.

But until then, you can enjoy our debut album, “Virgins” on Spotify.

And one more thing, don’t worry if you think it doesn’t sound great. I don’t think so either!

In fact, we released this album before I ever got an interest in audio engineering. I was just the long-haired lead guitar player.

We built a recording studio in our rehearsal space and we did the best we could with the limitations we had to work with.

It might not be the best produced album of all time, but you know what? I don’t care.

I am PROUD of this album.

It’s a snapshot in time of what we accomplished back then. It might not sound incredible but if we hadn’t released it we wouldn’t have the memories either.

Memories like:

  • Falling asleep on the couch at 5 am next to our drummer tracking drums for “Dying in Our Prime.”
  • Shrugging our shoulders when we listened back to the lead guitar parts “Let it Go.” (I still don’t know exactly what I’m playing the entire time…)
  • Re-recording “Strike Me Down” because it was too fast the first time around.
  • Creating a palindrome riff between the guitar and bass in “Look, Listen, Kneel, Pray” that’s the same way both backwards and forwards.

And so many more.

The fact is, it doesn’t matter to me today whether it sounds good. Sure, it’d be awesome to remix it, but I’m proud of the musical photograph we created in our teenage years.

It serves as a point of progress during our evolution as musicians, and the same goes for you.

Promise Me You’ll Release Your Music?

Don’t let your songs sit on your hard drive forever.  Release them, however bad you think they are. They won’t ever be perfect so why not let them go so you can move forward?

If there’s only one thing you get out of today’s email, let it be this:

Finish your songs and release them. Only then can you move forward and make more music.

If you’re worried about the audio quality you can always learn to mix better, with courses like my Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course, but if it’s just fear of letting your songs into the world you need to get over it. 

If your music just exists on your hard drive it doesn’t actually exist in the real world.

It’s like that tree falling in the forest. If there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The same can be said about your music.

If your music only exists on your hard drive where nobody hears it, does it really exists?

Food for thought.

Cheers from sunny LAX 🙂


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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  • asemkecut

    Hahaha agreed..
    No craft existed released on earth has been perfect in the creator’s mind.. But they must release it as the next project is waiting him to be done…!

    I think the best way to improve our craft is
    1. Create something
    2. Release it and get feedback
    3. Create the new one based on the valuable feedback and release
    4. Repeat and rinse…

    It’s better to take more quantity over quality as a good learner..
    Notice a real better improvement and innovation after hundreds of creation phase.

    • Yep! You can even drill down further, like I did with a song I was working on. I wrote the lyrics, asked for feedback from a trusted friend, then revised according to that feedback and got a much stronger song out of it.