I did a vlog…

I recorded a vlog instead of (also: as well as) my usual Podcast. So, if you were ever curious about what I looked like, your welcome.

Yes, I messed up the first time and uploaded the raw file. Yes, I did spend the next four hours fixing that mistake. So, if you watched the original, that is the better one.

You used to define me…

I was listening to Circa Survive, and worried that I moved on.

I was listening to “On Letting Go”, which is one of my favourite albums. The drums are the most deceiving orchestration, the vocals sore, and the brilliant guitar leads always lead to my surprise. Yes, over 13 years later and I am still surprised every time I play it through. You would think that, by now, I have learned every part.

That album is not my favourite of all time, but it has been high on my list since its release. I would probably put in on my top ten of all time; or, at least, I would have. I was listening to it today, and found myself let down by parts. I was almost bored by it, and found myself tuning out for the first time since I got my hands on the beautiful collection all those years ago.

I got worried that I was just bored of Circa Survive in general, so I immediately put on ‘Juturna’ to find out. By the song ‘Wish Resign‘, I was comfortably back in a state of bliss.

I have no idea why my attention has been taken away from that album. The track ‘The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose‘ was my favourite song for a very long time, and I feel like I have just divorced a part of my life. Maybe I am just being melodramatic, I am finding putting my dismay into text properly very difficult.

Anyway, I had to share that ‘On Letting Go’ has soft-lost a place in my heart. I still really enjoy the album, and ‘Living Together‘ is still a banger. I am almost positive that majority of my reader base doesn’t care, but it really upset me. Knowing that this was more than a FaceBook status prompted me to write this blog, which turned out to be a lot longer than I meant.

Finally!

My old band, The Twin, finally got out stuff on Spotify and Apple Music! If you only use one of those, and are curious, give it a listen!

Spotify

Apple Music

Why am I excited still, even though it has been almost a decade since the release? I just like having music that I was apart of around for everyone to listen to. Maybe even… enjoy?!

Accept Your Voice

This is something I am horrible at.

Realize that in your writing, whether the written word or audio, you have a voice. Escaping that void is possible, but you should not be ashamed if you cannot.

It was my pleasure recording with the ~4 bands I did. I may have had a drumming “style”, but I was never boxed in by the constant repetition of one writer. That is not a bad thing, but from a drummers perspective, it can be a bit hard to grow as an artist. The coolest dichotomy that I saw was Livestalk v ACU. It was the same writer, but he was not constrained by the “punk/metal” sound we cultivated in ACU. He had taken down all constraints and, therefore, was able to flex his creative sound.

That is not even delving into his creative contribution to Slender Loris. They will probably remain one of my favourite punk bands for the rest of my life.

Voice is more personal when it comes to writing. I have read back most of my works recently. I was taken back by how similar they all felt initially. It was not until I looked at them from objectively that I noticed how different they are.

You can be too close to appreciate the things you have done. When your style is a certain way, it is easy to write-off projects as “the same”, resulting in spiraling and not producing any further.

Accept that you may have a tone or “voice” in everything you do. It doesn’t make anything new too similar to what you did prior. Look at the narrative. There is a difference between those two projects, and a successful tone should not dissuade you from doing something.

Yes, it is possible to leave your comfort zone. It is possible to create works leaving behind atribute that you have relied on forever. It could be neat! This does NOT mean your old works are shit.

Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t hate what you do if it brings you happiness today.

Self-Impose

I have given myself until May 10th to have the rough copy of my next book completed. From that day, I have given myself another 6 months (November 10th) to have the second draft completed.

Some may be confused. If I am my own boss, for the moment; why impose restrictions on yourself? Why not just ‘go-with-the-flow’ and let things be done when they are done?

It’s a fair question with a simple answer: if left to my own devices, I would never complete a creative project.

I hear the questions already.
What about the All Cut Up albums?!
I played drums and mixed them. Yes, one could argue that I co-wrote them, but I was always convinced that it was Kevo’s project first. I wanted to release the best thing I could produce for him as fast as he would be happy about it.

What about the other projects you produced?
To reiterate, they were other people’s projects. As much as I would spend hours on mixing and leveling what I could, I just had to make it sound the best that it could. In a couple of cases, that mix was found very quickly. To continue to mix would risk ruining the end result.

What about the first book?
I am going to be doing a PodCast talking about that very soon actually, but I was aided in the fact that it was based in an event. I only had so much creative control when discussing reality.

So, yes: I will have a completed version of the book by November. You have until then to support me on Patreon to ensure that you get listed at the end. Just $1 a month is all I ask!

Classic Album Review :: After the Burial — Rareform

I usually take off the Christmas season because I do not want to bother everyone with depression and philosophical arguments for why life is both tragic and amazing, but I feel like writing something. In spirit of not doing what I normally do, I want to highlight probably the most technical, and brutal, album in my collection. No, it’s not death metal, and I am sure that someone would argue that I have heavier and more technical, but I still feel like this album needs more attention.

After the Burial have done a lot more than I have. I think they are kind of amazing, and I do not see enough love for this group. It is probably because they are in the “scene” part of music, somehow. i will never understand how that could be.

The first track is the most brilliant introduction for this band. Berzerker opens with a blistering dueling guitar riff that would make Van Halen’s jaw drop. From that point, it’s nothing but the most orchestrated chaos for the next 5:30.

I am proud to say that I figured out the drums in this song at the pique of my abilities, but that was after many hours of failing. I probably never figured them out perfectly, but even the version I had crafted was close enough to be nearly as impressive.

The song has an amazing ‘bop’ to it. Starting around the 2:50 mark, the swing being demonstrated will get even the most ardent haters of this band to tap a toe. That goes on for about 30 seconds, before the heaviest bits.

After a beautifully crafted flourish on guitar, a devastating breakdown that does not follow any conventional musical crafting. Then. a reprise of the first bit of the song before quite literal chaos reigns over the last minute.

Fuck, that’s only song one and I have already written that much. I will not be writing about the rest of the album, but that first track is a great example for the ear-bleedingly good time you are in for.

No, this album is not for everyone. It is a perfect example of what conventional metal can do. It is heavy. It is technical. It is brutal and loud. I never have to put my headphones too loud to enjoy the sounds. I mean, I DO crank the volume, but I don’t have to.

I don’t give enough attention to the bass, but this video gives an idea of the musicianship portrayed in this song. Please, watch and enjoy. (There are no vocals, so go this route if you do not wish someone screaming at you)

Before I started writing this, I had assumed that this band was a five-piece. The “dueling guitar” that I mentioned, is done by one guy. Fuck me, this band somehow got MORE amazing.