The end goal is to create a finished, marketable product: an album consisting of 10-12 recorded songs.
Right now we are mostly in the idea phase. An initial track is being recorded, along with a couple of other tracks that have been started. Having a few recordings will give us a better feel for what direction we want the sound to go. So what will move us significantly toward the realization phase? Finding the "personality" that dwells within a concept and implementing it in the recording process, giving the record both a distinct creative purpose and a unique image, while keeping some reasonable guidelines to make sure the end result is marketable.
Maintaining consistency between image, sound, and personality might be challenging, but with a little patience and some common sense it shouldn't be too difficult.
Throughout the grouping process I will be drawing from the collective past experiences of everyone in the band. Each of us has different influences or sources, if you will, that shape our understanding of this process. Listing every single one is impossible, of course, but here are a few relatively recent (since the electric guitar came into prominence anyway) well-known musicians/groups that for some reason or another (not just the music) I have paid closer attention to: Buddy Holly, Nat "King" Cole, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Boston, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, more recently Taylor Swift, and the Killers.
I have spent significant time (years) studying, analyzing, and performing works by many "classical" composers such as Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Chopin. I have also studied works that are much less "classical" such as those created by John Cage.
Sometimes I come across a source in the form of a book, as is the case with Victor Wooten's The Music Lesson. It does a good job of summarizing (in less than 300 pages) my reasons for doing music, my reasons for changing college majors multiple times for a field that is notoriously less dependable than just about any other. Besides the fact (yes, this is an absolute) that part of me literally dies without Music, here is a quote from The Music Lesson that helps explain why I keep motivated: (This is the author's mentor talking)
"Now, listen to what I am about to tell you: Musicians do not have to be believed in. We do not have to be trusted. Our Music speaks for itself without the listener having to know anything about us. Music touches people's emotions in a way that nothing else can. When people find a musician they like, they are usually fans for Life. If they like the musician and his Music, they will open up their hearts to whatever that musician has to say. It matters not what country the musician or the fan comes from. Music is a language that all understand. It goes beyond and breaks down barriers. This makes the musician very powerful, and with power comes responsibility." (103)
I have always believed this about Music. That's why my end goal for this thesis even feels worthwhile at all.