‘Too Much Time On My Hands” is a cheeky retort to those who treat artists like they don’t have real jobs.
In late 2010, I decided to take a break from the music business, having spent many years working for a major label, and concentrate on my own creative work – Space March. Most friends and family were incredibly supportive of my decision to do this, knowing how hard I’d worked in the corporate world for all those years and recognising that I have something to offer as an artist.
Of course, there are always those who don’t quite get why you would give up a steady job to make next to no money for something so seemingly elusive. And in an economic rationalist sense, they are right! Each album I produce makes a considerable loss from the hard production costs, let alone paying myself for the many hundreds of hours I spend making the album. Still, all I really want to do is make the best possible music and art that I am capable of – and to do this, you need to devote time to your craft.
But I digress a little. The song describes that feeling of worthlessness when someone dismisses what you do as a waste of time, or patronises your efforts – “he dabbles in making music”; then there are the accusations of laziness such as “when are you going to get a real job?”. I also imply a certain sense of jealousy on behalf of the patroniser and that their corporate obsession is just a distraction from the meaninglessness of it all.
The song reminds me a little of Jens Lekman’s approach to song writing, although stylistically quite different. It’s a catchy melody and I sweeten the bitter edge with lyrical humour and some wacky sounds. The blips and beeps represent the corporate world which is juxtaposed with the warmth and humanity of the cello. For the synth lead, I’m using an emulator of the built-in sound chip (SID) used in the early 80s personal computer – the Commodore 64 – which provides a certain poxy-retro charm.
UPDATE: Feb 2013 – replaced demo with album mix