“Confusion is a progressive rock/metal instrumental that includes sections of light melodic guitar work punctuated by heavy metal riffs from the seventh level of Hell, with a bit of Spanish guitar thrown in for good measure. It’s eclectic musical corpus is a guitar rock work which includes whale song, bagpipes, a few synthesized sounds and even a glass harp.
“Little known by the mainstream, Randy has gathered a small esoteric following who have come to understand both the power and the serenity of his guitar work and impatiently await those rare occasions that he performs publicly to witness him as he introduces a sonic insanity to his stage show while he conducts a tonal onslaught upon his crowds.”
That’s the way I described Confusion when I first put it out in 2004. I still think that it is an apt description but I am often asked to explain the album, and being an almost entirely instrumental work there is no way that I can accurately put into words what the music actually says to me, and I can scarce imagine what other people may interpret it to mean, but I’m pretty sure you don’t get the same thing that I do.
I can tell you this, that the music in Confusion serves as a diary of sorts. The intro guitar part to the title track (which plays on this page) still gives me a chill down my spine as it brings back memories of one of the worst nightmares that I ever had. I don’t recall whether I wrote the part and had the dream that night or if I had the dream and then wrote the part next day, but they are inextricably linked in my mind.
The Spanish Guitar break in The Blood of the Guitar is solely responsible for my love affair with playing guitar in the Spanish/Classical style and indirectly led to the Legends concept (which I am slowly working on). In fact I bought the guitar for nothing more than to play that part, but I had just the most tremendous difficulty putting it down (indeed this is a difficult spot for me with just about any guitar).
I first started composing the music that would become Confusion in the spring of 1992 in Monterey, California (that riff can be heard in Sanity Sucks at 3:28 through 3:41) and continued to compose for it until sometime in 2003. I wrote the music in California, Washington, Texas, Massachusettes, Germany, Korea, and Mexico. The recording process began at Riverside Studios in 1998 and was finally completed on January 4th, 2004. The official release date was January 8, and no, it was not a coincidence that that is Elvis Presley’s birthday.
Confusion is not a well known album and I hope that it never is. This may seem on odd sentiment about one’s own work, but I wrote the music knowing that it would only appeal to a small segment of the population. Though there have not been a huge number of albums sold I cosider the album to be a success, not because of the money that was or was not made from it, but because I accomplished what I had set out to do: to make an album that I enjoy. That being said, it is always extremely gratifying when I am approached by the occasional fan and recieve a compliment to the order of, “I don’t normally like that kind of music, but something about what you do speaks to me.”
Throughout the course of Confusion you hear many things–dreams and nightmares; desire, satisfaction, happiness and pain; a broken heart, a new outlook; the birth of my daughter, the deaths of grandparents; growth, aging, learning and forgetting; not necessarily in that order, and probably not in the parts that you think it would be . . . and if all that eludes you then maybe you’ll just hear some kick ass rock music.