Music Monday: “Right Now”

Get “Right Now” on iTunes or Amazon.

“Right Now” was a relief.

It was 2008, and drummer John Collier and I had recently finished recording the first Kiera Plan album, Dedication, and were preparing to release it.  “The album” had always been the goal, so this was an exciting time, having it completed.  But after the whirlwind of writing and recording that was 2006-2008, finally having the album in hand, strangely, I started to worry: was this all I had in me?

I felt like I’d put everything I had into Dedication, every musical idea, every feeling – they were all on that record.  Other than a couple unfinished fragments, I didn’t have any material in reserve.

So, when I sat down one day with my guitar, and in one burst of inspiration came what felt like a fairly complete “Right Now,” I was ecstatic.  I had a new song!  There was going to be a musical life after “the album.”

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me (Shawn Mocey) in the studio

Other songs quickly followed, and my worry about the creative well drying up turned out to be unfounded.  Nowadays I feel like I can start putting a new song together whenever I can make time to sit down and start playing.

There is a lot I love about the song “Right Now” itself, and I feel like it’s a good bridge between the first album and the album Right Now which followed it in 2014.  It’s got the blend of edgy-er rock and pop that some of my favorite songs from Dedication had.  You’ll hear the incredible percussion of Dan Pawlovich here again, and if you listen close to the “na na na” stuff at the end, you’ll be able to hear our awesome guest vocalists Alison Cloud and Shawn Gamble.   You might want to check out Mr. Gamble’s new project Danger Club, while you’re at it: I believe have a new record on the way.

 

Studio 2012 Shawn G and Alison C 1000

l-r: Shawn Gamble and Alison Cloud

Speaking of new records on the way, we just finished mixing 3 brand new Kiera Plan songs which will be coming your way in installments over the next few months.  I can’t tell you how psyched I am to share these songs with you, or how psyched I am for what I hope this new phase of the project will mean.

For right now, I just hope you enjoy “Right Now” from Right Now. Right now, or whenever you feel like rocking to it.

Hope you have a great week!

Shawn

 

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Music Monday: “Time Flies” (Electric)

Get “Time Flies” on iTunes or Amazon.

A few weeks ago, we posted the acoustic version of “Time Flies” for Music Monday, but I had to point to the full-band electric version (from 2014’s Right Now) as well, because there is so much about this version that blows me away.  I’ve got 3 highlights for you:

1. Dan Pawlovich – When I listen to anything from Right Now, I’m still kind of amazed that we managed to get drummer Dan Pawlovich to do this record.  The guy is incredible!  He is so expressive on the kit, and has such a great knack for knowing what’s right for a particular song.  He kills it here on “Time Flies.”  [If you want to hear more from Dan, he’s now drumming for Panic at the Disco, and you can check him out on their new record]

2. Rachel Minton – My wife and I are both huge fans of Rachel’s band Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer – we were in the live audience when Zolof performed on MTV as part of the Dew Circuit Breakout back in 2006.  I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have Rachel lend her voice to several Kiera Plan songs, and “Time Flies” might be my favorite.  When Rachel comes in during the second verse, despite having heard this song several hundred times, I still have a “That’s Rachel from Zolof!  Oh, my goodness, that’s RACHEL FROM ZOLOF!!!” moment.  Every time.

3. J.J. Davis – Keyboardist J.J. Davis had been a part of the Kiera Plan even before 2009’s Dedication was released.  There were several acoustic shows where TKP was just me and Jay.  I knew from hearing his original music that he is just incredibly creative and adventurous on those keys.  So, for album 2, I knew I wanted to get him recorded for posterity.  I gave him what I had for “Time Flies” and asked him for a big key solo for the bridge – I wanted to really feature J.J., and every time we get to that bridge solo, with everything going, and the synth just ablaze with what Jay is laying down – I just love it!

TKP JJ Shawn NorthStar

l-r: J.J. Davis, Shawn Mocey @The North Star Bar in Philly back in 2013

I feel really lucky to have had these amazing people involved with this music, and I hope you’ll enjoy “Time Flies” as much as I do.

For a visual, check out the lyric video:

Hope you all have a great week!

Shawn

Music Monday: “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry”

Get “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” on iTunes or Amazon.

Though drummer John Collier and I had collaborated initially on an EP that pre-dates The Kiera Plan, in truth “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” was the first Kiera Plan song.  John and I had so enjoyed our first collaboration, which we’d initially thought might be just for that EP, that we decided to press forward together and make an album.  We decided to call ourselves The Kiera Plan, and that album would be 2009’s Dedication.

We first hit the studio in 2006 and recorded a single track with producer Vince Ratti.  It was our first as The Kiera Plan, it definitely set the tone for the album it started, and it was called “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry.”

That single version may only have appeared on our MySpace page – remember MySpace?!  But a polished up version 2.0 appeared on Dedication, and with it came this montage clip to celebrate:

It was filmed at a 2009 show with The Kiera Plan, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, and The Pink Spiders – a show that remains a highlight for me.  While the lighting was dim, the fun factor was high, Philly was dancing, and two of my favorite people – Chris and Steve Mocey – make an early cameo in the video!

Joining me in The Kiera Plan line-up at the show was Greg Park on bass (and getting down), Tim Balch on the drums, and incredible guitarist Jessica Stefanov.  Greg and Jess joined me for a number of great shows that year, including the first-ever Kiera Plan performance on Radio 104.5!

I hope you enjoy the clip, and the song!

Shawn

Music Monday: “It Only Takes One”

Get “It Only Takes One” on iTunes or Amazon.

Short and sweet – that was the goal here.  When drummer John Collier and I put together “It Only Takes One” we were hoping to deliver a full song worth of energy in something like half the time.  At 1:43, 2 verses, 3 choruses, and 1 bridge, I feel like we did it.

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Drummer John Collier in the studio back in Jan. 2008

Why shoot for that, right?  Take your time fellas.

The thing is, I remember hearing “Argh I’m a Pirate” by Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, clocking in around just 2 minutes, and I couldn’t stop listening to it.  I was playing this track 3 or 4 times at a shot.  I figured there had to be something to that.


This would have been 2005, and my introduction to Zolof.  So, by the time John and I were ready to hit the studio to start making the first Kiera Plan record,  I was a huge Zolof fan.  So, to get to record with Vince Ratti, guitarist from Zolof, and to have Vince and Zolof singer Rachel Minton perform with us on that first record – it was just incredible!

More on those guest appearances later.  For now, I just hope you enjoy “It Only Takes One” and that maybe you listen to it 3 or 4 times at a shot.

🙂

Shawn

 

Want to Be in Our New Video?

2016 FB Video 2

We’d love to have you appear in a new video we’re making!

There are 3 new songs we’ll be releasing between now and June, and we have something really special in mind for one of the clips.  We’re looking for a couple dozen people to make special cameo appearances in that video.

Think you might be interested? Just e-mail us at thekieraplan@gmail.com and we’ll send you all the details about the project.  If it sounds good to you at that point, awesome!  If it doesn’t, no worries.

We’ll be able to film your cameo in just a couple minutes, and we can schedule that filming at your convenience anytime between now and March 4th.

There are some really positive messages in the new music, and we’re hoping that we can help make a difference with this project.  It’d be awesome to have you involved!

Psyched to talk more with you,

Shawn

Music Monday: “You Are Not Alone”

Get “You Are Not Alone” on iTunes or Amazon.

This is a fun one for me.  I used to play bass in a band called Jealousy Faction.  I’d been involved in other bands growing up, but this was the first group of mine to actually release something.

YANA JF CBGB

Jealousy Faction in 2000 left to right: Chris Meservey, Ben Davis, me (Shawn Mocey), and Dan Stahlecker

The first track on our first real EP was called “You Are Not Alone.”  We went on to put out some tracks with more polish, but there was always something I really liked about this one:  the energy, the fun – it all reminds me of those early days making music.

YANA Shawn CBGB

Shawn playing with Jealousy Faction at CBGBs in the summer of 2000

The singer and songwriter for “You Are Not Alone” was my friend Chris Meservey, and a few years ago (maybe 2012) I caught up with Chris and asked him if I could put out a Kiera Plan cover of Jealousy Faction’s original track.  An idea had struck me one day on a commute to work:  “You Are Not Alone” came on shuffle, and I was feeling like there was a piece missing to the original, so I was there in the car and I started making trumpet sounds over the track, imagining this song was by Reel Big Fish or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones instead of Jealousy Faction.  Our original was very straightforward pop-punk, no horns to be found.  I took a voice memo down, and when I got home, I set to work transcribing my fake trumpet part for the real thing.

When it came time to put it all together, I was excited to have my new bandmates in on this older song.  Tim Zaprala, who’d been performing with me in the Kiera Plan for several years, tracked the bass, adding some flare to the original part.

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TKP bassist Tim Zaprala

Kiera Plan drummer Kevin Brown came through and delivered the acoustic guitar that bookends the track.

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TKP drummer Kevin Brown (who dropped some electric and acoustic guitar on our album Right Now)

It’s been almost 17 years since Jealousy Faction put out the original, but here’s hoping you still have fun rocking out to “You Are Not Alone.”

All the best,

Shawn

Music Monday: “Starting Over Today”

Get “Starting Over Today” on iTunes or Amazon.

“Starting Over” seemed thematically appropriate to kick off the  New Year and all of our resolutions to strive for a better life this year.

There are a couple people who continue to make this song really special for me.  One of those people is Dan Pawlovich.

Dan Studio Crop

 

You might know Dan as the drummer for Valencia on their last record, or from his group Mosey.  Most recently, you would have seen him on tour drumming for Panic at the Disco.  I felt lucky to have Dan involved in the second Kiera Plan album – he hit the studio with Vincent Ratti and me to lay down 11 tracks of amazing percussion in just 2 days!

What amazes me listening to Dan’s drum work on “Starting Over” is knowing that Dan came up with this more or less on the spot.  He had heard my demos for the full album, but we only had one practice before our recording session – and we didn’t get to “Starting Over”!

When recording day came, Dan and I sat down with Vince Ratti at the Skylight Studio, played through each song a few times, and then BAM! – the red light went on, and Dan made it happen.  I was blown away by how naturally he was able to get a feel for a song and to really bring it to life on his kit.

When you’re making a record, after you lay down all the tracks – instruments, vocals, etc. – the next phase is mixing it all together.  You start mixing when you know the recording is all done.  That’s where we were for Right Now when one afternoon  I happened to hear at work what I thought was Christina Aguilera on the radio – I was wrong.  It turned out that it was my new colleague Stephanie Brown singing live for a special event.  I couldn’t believe what a strong voice Steph had!  I didn’t want to put the new record out without her on it.  Fortunately, Steph was down to record with us.  So, we put the mix on hold, scheduled one last recording session with Steph, and the rest is on the record.  You’ll definitely know when Steph’s voice comes in on “Starting Over”!

Steph Radio Screenshot

 

I hope you enjoy it!  We’ll have another track for you next Monday, and in the meantime we’ll be live-Tweeting from the studio this Wednesday January 6th from 11am until 4pm and posting pics on our Instagram as we finish up some brand new music!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Shawn