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Bits & Pieces, BMI recording artists, are Joe Haile, Len Jenkins, Rob Kaufmann, Dave Lee and Nature Nelson. A passion for creating music is what drives these artists, whom have everyday jobs, careers, families and normal life commitments. Their pursuit of the rockstar dream allows for one night a week to get together to rehearse, write, record, mix tracks, and enjoy their friendship. They had a dream to release a full length rock album, and this is their story ...


Definition: IdioSecrecy

IdioSecrecy: Stupid Secrets, Secrets better off to be known by others, Secrets that have no meaning to anybody else. Hidden, useless Secrets.

I think it defines itself; it would be an "IdioSecrecy" to just not tell you.

The album IdioSecrecy took 6 years to record. Release date late February 2018.

There were personnel issues that slowed the pace of making the record. Great friend and contributing artist, Bill Shinn relocated to his home state of Ohio for health reasons, leaving the band void of a bassist. Not only was Bill an exceptional bass player but he also played guitar, keyboards, various percussion instruments and sang backups. He helped write and shape the songs. Bill was also the only member that had recording engineer experience. It was Bill that started the recording process for the album with the band.  He had worked for a recording studio as an engineer for several years prior to moving to Florida. Because of his efforts and tremendous abilities it was decided to leave his tracks on the album. He is an honorary lifetime member of Bits & Pieces and still collaborates with the band today when they need to bounce ideas off of him.

Len took it upon himself to step up and learn how to record music. The dream of releasing a full studio album was too important to stop now. The lack of money kept the band from going to a recording studio to record the album to begin with. Having zero experience in the recording process, he set out to take classes for using ProTools a standard in the recording industry. This entailed seven day crash courses out of town when the classes were booked, each day being 10 plus hours. The amount of education needed to run this software is intense. This was the platform the band had started recording in because it is universally recognized as the industry standard. Len had converted the garage of his home into a studio, built by his own hands with the intent to record albums. He watched tutoring videos from legends in the recording industry on techniques and tricks of the trade. It’s one thing to learn how to capture and engineer the recordings, but mixing it, is a whole different world and education. Len pushed himself to learn this too in the same fashion. He has always had a passion for music and a good ear for it so the want to learn was always there. He has “it”, that gene, that drive, that push, an extra gear to do things others say can’t be done. Those that know him best are familiar with these character traits.

Without a bass player the band auditioned a few local talents but no one had the skill set that Bill had. They started to doubt they’d find a bassist able to play to the caliber they were used to. Joe had lifelong friend and writing partner, Dave, waiting in the wings. Dave had taken a 10 year hiatus from playing bass guitar. He had all but given up playing completely until Joe started recruiting him heavily to get back into it. Dave worked himself back into playing shape with the help of Joe and he was introduced to the band. Like an old pair of blue jeans that you just can’t live without, the fit was perfect. Dave was an instant member of the family and the void of departed Bill was filled. The stability at bass allowed the band to turn to focusing on a lead guitar player.

Lead guitarists were a literal pain in the ass for the band. The band had gone through several guitarists to the extent of recording tracks with them and mixing them into the over-all mix of several songs, just for that band mate to quit after months of effort and recording. It wasn’t a question of talent but more of a connection to the rest of the band that seemed to be a problem, a revolving door of “next batter up”. This cycle lasted for about 3 years of the project. The Craigslist ad was generating interest, but not fruitful candidates, until that one day that Nature responded. Len was the main contact for the band and had several conversations with Nature that really weren’t going anywhere. Having been through so many lead guitarists, the screening process and wall he had built up for potential players was immense. He had seen and heard it all. It was pretty simple he wanted to hear your playing style either by a recording or live at a show. Nature didn’t have either of these options. Len wasn’t about to bring another stranger to his home recording studio. The two challenged each other verbally about musical fits, styles, etc. The fact Nature, by his own admission, was influenced by Steve Vai, screamed RED FLAG to Len. He thought great, another prog-rock guy. He basically dismissed the idea of having Nature involved at all. But Nature didn’t give up. He kept calling and emailing and it was that persistence that won Len over. He had a respect for the guy that wanted to be in this project that much, that it got Nature in the door to a jam at the studio with the guys. Nature was well received by everyone on all levels. The guys were blown away by his musical ability and another brother was added to the family. In the recording sessions, Nature would play melodies that sounded fragmented, only to put counter melodies to them on other tracks. His mind is brilliant at putting notes together.

With the roster complete for Bits & Pieces, the recording sessions for IdioSecrecy were fun filled learning experiences. They laughed at each other, they yelled out each other. They pushed one another to get better, to be better. They all grew together as musicians, as friends and as family. This band is tight. You can feel that in their music presented in this album, IdioSecrecy.

Having poured their souls into the album, and the final mixes sounding sweet, there was much debate over Mastering. Joe didn’t believe in the Mastering process, citing that one of his favorite bands, whom happen to be mega stars, mastered their own albums. And he had previous experience with two albums that the Mastering process didn’t make much of a difference. Through the learning process of the recording industry Len had researched that Mastering is a necessity if you want your music to sound like what you hear on the radio. Mastering is one of the last steps in getting a finished product in the recording industry. It is yet again another education and completely different process. Len’s research and tips from the industry leading producers and mixing masters suggest that you let a mastering engineer do that process. Mastering is an art form, another creative layer to the project. He set out to find the best mastering studio and found Sterling Sound in New York, New York. Sterling Sound masters for well-known artists in the industry and have about a dozen mastering engineers on staff led by chief master engineer Ted Jensen. In looking over the projects the engineers have worked on, the band decided to contact Justin Shturtz because of his wide range of bands he’s worked on, like HIM, Shinedown, Paramore, Slipknot, Blue October and others. Justin was Grammy nominated for James Taylor’s album “Before This World” in 2015. After sharing the final mixes of the album with Justin, he loved them and was thrilled to be allowed to put his artistry to work for the band. The end result was incredible and exceeding everyone in the bands expectations, even Joe, who now has a whole new appreciation for the Mastering process. Justin is an artist and brought the best out of the mixes and really brought the album to the next level. The band highly recommends him and looks forward to working with him in the future, another honorary brother in the band.

There are songs being written today for the next album, and the next and the next. These brothers are not going anywhere. YOU gotta Hear this! #bprockband

The album jacket is only so big, and there have been many supporters that played a role, be it positive or negative, that deserve to be thanked or mentioned for being a part of this journey with the band. The most supportive of them all, Wendy Hale, Renee Jenkins and Kerry Kaufmann, these wives have been beyond contributory for many years and that is immensely appreciated, without them there would be no Bits & Pieces.