The Next Last Time: Hold Up


“Hold Up” is the first song on “The Next Last Time”. It also happens to be the first song I wrote for the album, and it was the seed around which the rest of the album took shape. As I scoured my memory for some good, poignant memories to inspire a song, one that stood out to me was the cocktail of anxiety and paralysis you’d have when trying to amp yourself up to talk to a girl. This song is about that internal pep-talk as you try to goad yourself into making that move. For me, at least, that was always a pretty agonizing step, no matter how old I got.

Also notable is that this is the one and only Stochastic Theory song in which I can be heard to go “huh!”. So there’s that. I was really trying to stretch Stochastic Theory's sound on this album and this song in particular. I tried for more of a "rock" feel, and I was pretty happy with the result.


Ok ok let's go we've done this all before
If you could just move a little just a few feet more
Man you'd be there yeah you'd be there
You'd be on the other side
Where the people talk like people
And the runners cannot hide

Hey now, what's the holdup
You know the feeling when it's time to fold up
You take your toys and you're going home
Because you know either way that you'll be going alone
So step back with your hesitation
Don't want to hear about your reservations
Don't try to tell me that the time ain't right
Because it's just another minute and it's just another night

It's a lip, it's a cusp, it's a deficit of trust
If you want to overcome you know you know you know you must
Open up, settle in, find the motion to begin
You either execute maneuvers or you're paralyzed again
I can show this I can throws this I can throw this all away
Yeah I know this so let's go this thing won't last another day
You gotta carpe carpe diem cuz no one will set you free
Until you push and pull and find the key to what you gotta say

The Next Last Time: A Song Writer's Dilemma


With all in the past and each one was the last, so I wonder if next time will be last, too

“The Next Last Time” is a story, of sorts. In that regard it’s unique among the Stochastic Theory albums. It’s a narrative about the reckless, naive pursuit of love. The story is autobiographical in an abstract sense. It’s not so much about specific events from my life as it is about patterns I came to recognize as I did the same things again and again.

When I started writing music for Stochastic Theory, I had the benefit of a luxury that I failed to appreciate at the time. This luxury was that I had a very turbulent life. I was going through a bunch of really difficult stuff that made for fertile ground when it came to writing songs, and writing those songs was a huge help in processing everything and getting through it all. Some really great songs came out of that. Songs that resonated with people, and songs that I’m really proud of.

In the time since that first album, something strange has happened. I’m happy. I have an amazing relationship with an amazing woman. I have a little girl who has completely redefined what “happy” even means to me. The most dramatic aspects of my life have more to do with figuring out which school district we should move into. It’s great. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

As a person, this is fantastic. As a song writer, one who writes the kinds of songs I like to write, this is a problem. Nobody wants to hear Stochastic Theory songs about how cute my daughter looks in her footie cow pajamas (pretty fucking cute, by the way).

Stochastic Theory had always been about emotional struggle, complexity, introspection and strife. I wanted to keep it that way. Fortunately, while currently I don’t have much strife in my life now, I have plenty to look back on. So that’s what I did. I looked back on the more turbulent parts of my life and the patterns that, in hindsight, were so clear.

And so “The Next Last Time” came to be. It’s a series of songs about wanting, getting, questioning, regretting, then repeating. It’s about moments. About desires and fears. It’s about excitement, abandon, self-delusion. It’s about hope and failure, and the inescapable drive to keep trying.

As I reflected on this aggregation of repeated events from my past, I found myself wishing I could send a message back to myself – “It’ll be ok.”

Release Announcement: "The Next Last Time"


The wait is finally over! After six long years of hard work and delays, I can finally announce the release of Stochastic Theory's third album, "The Next Last Time". I'm really proud of this album and I'm excited to finally get to share it. The album is available digitally now, actual CDs to follow shortly.

Here are some of the places where you can get it:
Band Camp
Google Play

Stochastic Theory has been off the radar for far too long, so please help me out by sharing, linking, and spreading the word as much as possible! DJs message me if you want promos.

Here's the official press release as written by the ever eloquent Matt Fanale:

It has been six years since Stochastic Theory’s last full-length album, 2006’s Opposite Extremes, and eight since Chuck Spencer’s debut Soliloquy slammed into the synthpop/ebm scene with the surprise hit “What You Weren’t” (made popular on Dependent Records’ huge Septic compilation series). Now Stochastic Theory is back with The Next Last Time, taking his sound further than before while preserving the best elements from the previous albums. From the upbeat rhythms of the opener “Hold Up” to the plaintive “Best I Can Do” and “Bubble” to the surprisingly emotional cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” (and no, that’s not a joke), The Next Last Time showcases not only Spencer’s knack for catchy lyrics and vocal rhythms, but also his deeper understanding of what simply makes a damn good song. The album also includes remixes from I:Scintilla, The Gothsicles, and Kelly Shafer (who did the Echo Virus mix of What You Weren’t).

For the uninitiated, Stochastic Theory came out of the same fertile Madison, Wisconsin electronic scene that spawned Stromkern, Caustic, Null Device, the aforementioned Gothsicles, and others. Like the rest, Stochastic Theory has its own unique voice in a scene dominated with too many copycats. Spencer’s introspective lyrics, tight rhythms, and strong hooks showed influences ranging from the more traditional (Depeche Mode) to indie (Bloc Party, Postal Service) and allowed his vision to quickly stand out from the pack. And now it will again with The Next Last Time.

It’s great to have him back.