Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Album Cover for Fundamental

Here it is, friends. The hand-painted, hand-screen-printed album cover for the new record, Fundamental. These hand-made copies are a first-pressing, limited edition, so if you want a copy, you'll have to pick it up quickly, before they run out! More info about the album release date coming soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Letter from Peter Roskam

I hate politics. I don't "get political". It's not a political issue for me. I don't make my political opinions known. I don't fit in to the party system that consumes America.

Just this afternoon, I got a letter from the Roskam for Congress Committee, with Roskam's signature at the very end. It was a two-page, double-sided smear letter against the democrats. It made me angry. It made me sick. Here is my exact email response to his campaign about the letter:

Dear Committee,

I would appreciate it if you would pass this along to Mr. Roskam himself, as this has very much to do with his political future. Thanks!

Congratulations! You have just lost yourself a vote, Mr. Roskam!

Just this afternoon, I received in the mail a letter paid for by the Roskam for Congress Committee.

For starters, don't address a letter "Dear Friend." It's insulting. I don't know you. And you obviously don't even care enough about knowing your constituents to address them by name. Also, take me off of your mailing lists and call lists. Oh yeah, I've already asked you to do that six different times.

I can't believe you people. You continue to send out letters, run ads, and the like, that just bash people in the democratic party (and the opposite happens, too). It's sickening. It makes me hate our system of government. You're what's wrong with politics in America. I'm not saying that whoever you're demonizing in your campaigns isn't also in the wrong, but it's clear that you somehow think that you can use fear and smear to win an election. And maybe you can.

I'm not in to "politicking", as I call it, and I'm not even in to politics. I'm not a democrat. I'm not a republican. I'm just an ordinary American - like so many - who just want our elected officials to do the right thing.

I promised a long, long time ago - and I have stuck to it - that I will vote against any candidate who uses negative campaign tactics. Many times, that has led me to vote for candidates who, in our current system, don't really stand a chance of winning. But this is changing. More people are starting to think as I do.

For your information, I've posted a statement about your letter on my blog. If you'd care to read it, you may do so here:

I truly hope that, as this country moves forward, Roskam and all of the other politicians get real. It's sickening to see how out of touch you all are with the people whom you represent. Until you learn that you can't expect our country to succeed by looking out for your own interests as a politician (IE: winning an election by running smears), you are not fit to represent me in office.

I now await a better day - one beyond party lines, politicians motivated by self-interest, and, yes, a broken system of government.

Politically Not Yours,

Jay Mathes

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mix Masters Complete

I just got home from Catfish Studio. The mix masters for the new record, Fundamental, are in my hand right now. Exhausted, but it's a good feeling. Check out this studio pic taken by Nick Gray (

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recording Day One

Day one of recording the new album is over. All 15 songs are tracked. All it took was 5.5 hours of nearly continuous singing and playing guitar. I am tired. I am excited. I am proud. I can't wait to mix all of these songs tomorrow.

Special thanks to Wes at Catfish Studio for putting up with me being a schedule Nazi. Special thanks to Nick Gray for his videography and to Ash Hodges for his photography. Nick, I'm sorry you have 16 hours of recording footage to sift through. Ash, thanks for your lighting expertise and for being available on such short notice.

Now, to bed...

Tomorrow we wrap everything up.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picking Up the Guitar

I don't think my experience today is unique. I think that many guitarists have felt what I did today, when I picked up a guitar I had never played before in my life. I couldn't put it down. I played guitar today for about four hours, and only put it down because my fingers were too sore to continue.

A good friend of mine let me borrow his prized acoustic guitar for this week and for my upcoming recording sessions, on Monday and Tuesday. I restrung it, gave it a quick tune-up, and began to play on an instrument worth over 17 times that of any other guitar that I own. Yes, 17 times. Do the math and let that sink in for a minute. Yep. I have a very, very good friend.

I might as well say it: the only way that a human ever lets another human borrow something like this is if the said owner has a different perspective on what things in life really matter. It's an odd way to think about it; but holding loosely to the things we have is actually more important than keeping what we have in pristine condition.

So, as you can see, today I've done a lot of playing and a lot of contemplating on the example that my friend has set for me - for us all. Thank you, friend. And I promise to do my best to return your guitar to you in as good of condition as when you gave it to me - if not better.