Updated: Aug 30, 2022
If you’re expecting a pro audio nerd blog this isn’t that. This is just a guy who is into that stuff venting into the void. Kinda like what playing in a punk band feels like for many of us.
If you know me you probably know I’ve been in Lugano Switzerland now for almost 7 months now. We moved our whole lives over here and I built a new mixing and mastering studio in our new place. It’s pretty cool now but the first 3 months were the hardest months of my life I think. We now jokingly refer to them as “the dark days.” The few months leading up to the move were no picnic either but we managed to pull it off. During this time my Dad’s battle with Glioblastoma was getting really bad. Our relationship had shifted from frequent hangs and sharing great times with the kids to very sad FaceTime calls from abroad, both us crying at the strangest times and all the time. The stress of this new life and my Dad’s imminent demise was too much. I was in pain emotionally and physically. I lost weight. I drank a boat load of wine. Then on December 18th we lost him. We got the news on a train to Bern where we would begin our Christmas vacation and then head back to the states. Gutted, we pressed on. I cried a lot but pushed a lot of it down. Being back in Denver with family was actually the best place we could have been and I’m grateful for the support system we have there. Fast forward to March 2022. I’m still very much adjusting to this place and the loss of Papa Don is still an open wound. We head back in April for his memorial. Overall it’s gotten way better and we do like it here. My biggest challenge at the moment is finding time. I finally caught up on studio work about a month ago. It took 6 months and it stressed me out! In that time I not only built the new studio but also did a bunch of mixes and masters and even managed to do an album start to finish for some old buddies in Italy. I’m proud of these achievements but there is a long road ahead. Then as a reminder of my fragility today I was mixing for another Italian band when I reached a point where my ears needed a reset. I picked up my acoustic guitar and started strumming. I strummed harder and harder until dammit…tears. All this sadness and stress is just lurking right under the surface all the time and I never know when it’s gonna come out. As soon as I start playing it’s a fucking emotional rollercoaster. I need to somehow find the time every day to play and sing and write so I can work this shit out. I could really use a nanny right now to just buy me an extra 2 hours a day. ( 2 days later ) Just got off a video call with Dan and some friends back in Denver hanging out at the Joey Cape show. It’s crazy how much better I feel after those little connections to people I love back in Denver. It’s strange to be in a place where I have no history with anyone. It’s like my past was erased and I have to earn these new relationships based on my current merits. There’s no “oh that’s Fogal, he’s this guy who did this and that and he smiles and hugs people and loves beer and music and we all know him, Hi Fogal!” That history goes a long way especially if people have your music in their brains from years ago. Nobody in Lugano knows anything about me other than what we have told them and even if they knew my life’s story that’s not the same as sharing that history with the other friends that lived it with you. It’s a lonely feeling and I guess I’m going to have to get used to it for a while. We still don’t know how long we will stay. At least through next year since Melissa already signed another contract. You gotta give it 2 years. Maybe in that short time we can start to build a brief history here that will feel a little more like home. Ok, time to go install more software on my new Mac and then take the kids to the park and maybe crush a beer or three. Here’s to Papa Don. Love you Dad.