The Music Maker

Soap Opera Digest: Why did now feel like the right time to share your music with the world?
Cady McClain: When things are just sitting in a drawer, they really bug me and I think they stop me from being able to do more things, more work. A couple of years ago, my friend Brendan Higgins, who’s a stage manager at a bunch of daytime shows, said to me, “What are you doing with this? You have to do something with your music.” I’ve known Brendan since I was 19. That’s kind of a funny story, actually; he asked me out on a date and I brought my mother! We’ve been friends ever since [laughs]. But he was so encouraging, as were many other friends of mine, and I thought, “I have to do this. I have to record.” I’d kind of always wanted to, but I didn’t feel like it was good enough, or I couldn’t find someone who kind of got me and understood what I was doing. Finally, my boyfriend’s [Hunt Block, ex-Craig, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Guy, AMC et al] brother told me about an amazing experience he had recording with this fellow named George Petit and I said, “Okay, all right, I’ll call him.” He was a dream to work with. And now we have 12 Cady McClain songs!Digest: And you’ve taken charge of distributing the album, yes?
McClain: Yes, I’m the one handling all of the business of this; it’s me with a computer. I did it as a download on my Web site first, so that people knew it was coming directly from me. I’m on top of it, making sure that if there’s confusion, it’s resolved. I don’t want anybody to feel disappointed. And if somebody wanted a refund, I’d give it to them. If they said, “I hate this, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard, gimme me money back,” I’d be like, “Okay!” But thank God, that hasn’t happened [laughs].Digest: How many years of writing are represented on the finished product?
McClain: It’s over 10 years of writing, songs from various points in my life. The oldest song may be “Joan” or “Marriage Song”; they’re kind of deep songs that I was writing when I was 23, things I wasn’t even sure what the meanings of them were when I was writing them, but when I came back around to them over the years, maybe a word or two would change here and there, but they were pretty much set. The most recent songs were “Dreamer” and “Mr. Know-It-All.”Digest: What’s the story behind the title, BlueGlitterFish?
McClain: There were several titles I considered before this one. One was “I Said The Sparrow”; another one was “Loser Cheater’s Daughter.” As I talked about it with friends, people said, “Wow, that just sounds like such a downer. There are some happy songs on this, too, think of something else!” I’ve been using blue glitter fish as an e-mail account for a really long time; it’s based on a painting that I had done many years ago of a girl sitting in a cafe looking rather blue and she had these glittery fish swimming around her, a girl in a fishbowl type of thing. That just sort of made sense to me for this album.Digest: Does it feel odd for you to put yourself out there as a singer?
McClain: Oddly enough, I don’t feel like a quote-unquote singer. There are people who can sing their asses off. I can sing, but I don’t think of myself as a singer. I take a storytelling approach to my songwriting. Not to compare myself in any way, but the Bob Dylan approach, or the Woody Guthrie approach: “This is this person’s experience and the words they chose to relay that experience.”Digest: How did you feel awaiting people’s reactions to the finished product?

McClain: [It was] tense and exciting. I had some PayPal problems right in the very beginning and I just wanted to beat my head against the wall because I’d done so much work to get it up and ready by a certain date and then was blocked by bureaucratic technology, but once I got that figured out and people started buying it, there was the tense moment of waiting for people to respond, and I have to say, I haven’t had one bad review. People have been writing back with lists of their favorite songs or to say what they like about the lyrics or telling me that they played it two or three times at a go when they were driving someplace, which is awesome, and it’s the kind of album that sneaks up on you very slowly. People find themselves humming it or have songs stuck in their mind … It’s just such a great feeling to get this kind of feedback. It’s just really gratifying.Digest: How has this increased focus on your musicianship affected your work as an actor, if at all?
McClain: Every time I do a difficult project like this, my work as an actor gets better; I have more fun and it’s more fluid. It’s like going off to study Italian and suddenly you speak English much better, or understand your [native] language in a way you didn’t before. I feel just yet another level of strength.Digest: A lot of your friends and co-workers turned up at your CD-release party. What was that night like for you?
McClain: It was hilarious because so many people came to the party, many more than I expected, and it was so loud that nobody could hear the album! People were like, “Uh, I think that’s a song, I can’t hear it!” Hunt had heard some of the music, but Hunt’s brother hadn’t even heard it! But, you know, people just came to support the completion of the project, which was just awesome. It was so awesome to have so many people come and say, ” ‘Yay, you did it!’ “

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