“Tabula Rasa” is a new very old song. I originally wrote it in 2001 or 2002, back when I decided I couldn’t play well with others and started a project called The Jeta Grove. Very naïve stuff, but this one was a great pop song.
Flash forward to 2016, when I performed it on one of my Facebook live shows. I had forgotten it, to be honest. When I scribbled down the lyrics, I felt like I could greatly improve on them. It seemed to make sense to try it again.
I demoed it for the band and we did something cool with it, but time and availability sort of evaporated and I started working on the album myself. My friend J.D. Reager was keen to help me with the album, so we met over at his house some to mess around with it (he is also working on another album and I assisted in a small capacity).
I programmed the basic track at home, and we cut a really good guitar track at his place. It’s buzzy and fuzzy on its own, but his guitar part has an almost Keith Richards-esque swagger to it. I cut vocals with him but, in tweaking some lines for the end of the chorus, I ended up taking a pass at it at home. On the single version, if you’re listening closely, you can tell.
I used the Arturia Microbrute for the synth lead lines (and that great noise at the beginning) and the Korg MS2000 for some other synth parts – it’s kind of buried in there, but it’s there.