We started recording "Becoming Him" probably around January of 2018, and didn't finish until June or July. We chose the name "Becoming Him" because my friend Dakota Aspen posted something with the caption "becoming him." Ooh wait actually I remember. He had a blog, and I stumbled upon it one day while sitting around in Rob's studio (he's the main man that helped us get this EP together, we recorded the whole thing in his garage! see him in the hat on bottom right photo) and one of the blog posts was called "becoming him."
For some reason that really struck me. While we were recording this EP I was in the middle of fighting really hard to get top surgery. Kind of the whole build-up to the EP was in the midst of my transitioning. I came out as trans in December of 2016 and started hormone therapy in January 2017, which put the recording of the EP right at the beginning of some gnarly hormonal changes. I guess by that time (about a year in) I thought that most of the really large changes had happened, but my voice definitely has dropped since that EP and when I look at these photos I feel like I have mega baby face (see photo). But I think I might forever feel this way.
Oh boy, this is super off topic, ok let's hop back in. For me, personally, the EP is kind of a representation of my transitioning over the year or so mostly cause a lot of the lyrics are about that, or at least Transient as the single literally has the word trans in it (pun intended if it is not already too obvious). But also because I was physically going through a lot of the changes while we were conceptualizing the album, recording it and marketing it and stuff. Becoming Him felt like the perfect title to kind of represent that transition. Looking back I kind of don't feel a strong attachment to that name anymore because I don't really feel that much like a boy anymore. Well I just don't really think that boy and girl really exists and that gender is made up and that I would rather just be whatever I want and not worry about whether it being masculine or feminine.
I think it's deeper than that but it's hard to explain on the internet I just feel like I sound like a douche. Ultimately though I believe that the gender binary is really limiting and hurtful, and my initial transitional goal to just become a "boy" was really harmful in a lot of ways. I think I just thought to be a boy I had to lose a lot of the things that I loved about being a "girl" and I am sad that I ever felt like I had to hide another part of myself to shed light on another part. The album art is also heavily inspired by the transition as well, really just a visual representation of the album. I had top surgery right towards the end of recording, I think honestly we finished it like 3 weeks after we had our last recording session.
Before top surgery getting my boobs cut off was literally one of the only things on my mind. I couldn't wait to get surgery and go swimming and running and literally do anything without the constant fear that people could see I had boobs. I still don't fully understand why these two little sacks of fat bothered me so much (well in all fairness I basically had DD's so they weren't very little but....) but I hated them so f*cking much. I literally thought about nothing else. So getting that joy of top surgery represented visually on the album was awesome. Mostly I just thought it was really exciting to put a transgender chest as album art because I didn't know any other person who had ever done that before. If there are, please let me know that would be so cool. We had a lot of arguments about the album art, whether it was inclusive to everyone else in the band, etc., but ultimately I really believed in the vision and everyone agreed to it. I was also really inspired by this photo of my friend Alek's chest. I think I thought he was really hot and his chest looked fly as hellthen I thought a photo was too self indulgent, plus we took some tests and they looked weird, so I asked Srishti if she'd be down to do an impressionist oil painting. I thought impressionist art was cool and that it would make the artwork look majestic.in this photo, but it looked so powerful and striking and I immediately saw it as album art. Also his tattoo is so sick, I wanted it too. I Dm'd him, asked his permission to use this photo as inspiration, and then messaged my high-school friend Srishti to see if she'd be interested in helping me create the artwork. First, I wanted to do a photo of my chest exactly like this, but then the photos came out bad and I thought it was too self-indulgent so we went with Srishti. She made this beautiful impressionist painting of my chest that made me literally feel like a work of art, and I remember first seeing the painting and physically holding it and being so happy. Then it took us like 3 weeks to figure out how to add the text to the image, whether it should even have our name on it or the name of the album or if it should just be the image. Ultimately we went with this, it's purple here cuz I think it looks even cooler.
We also made a vlog about this process, it's here too if you wanna check them out. I probably had way too much fun editing it.