New Vlog where I try to tackle The Twin! Hard topic to suss out. We were only a band for ~5 years, but a lot happened.
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!
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?!
I DID ANOTHER ONE!
This time, I tried to express why it is important to take up a role and STICK TO IT when joining a band.
Time is a fiddly bitch. Even when I start to think I have a grasp on events, I soon realize or remember that thing that does not matter in the slightest, but changes context around the future.
What am I on about?
As people who follow me on Instagram are aware, I have charted out most of my music career. Mostly, I am content with how it all has come together. Mostly, I have an idea of the flow of things.
As I think harder about things after I have my notes “complete”, I remember little things that have no bearing. I start questioning when big events happened. Sure, I have dates for recordings and CD releases, but should I actually ignore that big showcase we did? If I do choose to talk about it, do I actually remember when it happened?
For example, I played with The Dillinger Escape Plan moderately early in The Twin’s career. Part of me wants to say that it was our fifth show, part of me just wants to refer to it as the first show in Guelph, Ontario, and yet another part of me wants to glaze over it and make it a “not a big deal” moment.
I am having a very hard time not five years. One would assume that five years is nothing in the grand scheme of things: and you would be correct in thinking so. Unfortunately, The Twin performed close to 600 shows in that span. We released 2 EPs and 2 singles. We played about 20 different venues, and that does not include doubling up on certain places.
That also ignores any additional work that I did in music over that time period. I performed on Eudimonia by Livestalk & the Bodies, did a couple shows the wind up All Cut Up, an that was all on top of going to college, dropping out of college, becoming full-time (then manager) of a local store, and still trying to maintain some semblance of a personal life.
At one point, I was doing damn near 80 hours a week trying to keep up with everything. I am not bragging, not even a humble-brag, when I say that. I was stretched so thin and I was so tired: no wonder I died!
A part of me misses aspects of being that strained. I was rarely bored. Yes, I was behind months on things that I loved, but I barely had enough time to be bothered. Now, I spend most days mapping out projects that may-or-may-not get done, writing (then deleting) my next book, and starting helplessly as my family and dogs lose their minds. All said, I probably spend 80 hours a week working on things that you will never see, now.
Fuck-knows that my bank account doesn’t feel accomplished.
I find myself doing this weird deep-dive across my life where I try to pin-point my favourite year. I don’t have a reason, and rarely does it have any bearing.
I hate that I resort to when I started working at a media store. It feels like a co-out, like the only reason I pick that year is because that was the first full year that I got more exposure than ever to everything. Then, I remember how, for the first year anyway, I just filled back catalogue in both music and movies. I mean, yes: all the new music I got into was released that year.
NAME THE FUCKING YEAR JAY
K. Fine. It’s the year 2007. So many great albums came out that year. It was the last year of All Cut Up and we recorded probably the most fun EP of our three year run. The Twin started to form late that year. Livestalk & the Bodies was put into motion right at the end of the year. Battles and Dear & the Headlights recorded and released 2 of my favourite albums of all time. Not to mention the plethora of mind-bending games that came out that year like BioShock, Portal and Mass Effect: 3 series that started that year and I remained a fan for a long time.
In the movie realm, all I have to mention is Juno and point out how amazing that soundtrack was. I could go further, but that one film sums up a large part of that year for me.
Interpersonally, I flourished that year. I don’t have many interesting stories, but needless to say that I was rarely home. The shows had all but dried up that year, so it was low on the totem of personal achievements. Maybe I should take that as a note: years that I don’t achieve anything matter more? That might be complete bullshit. There is a co-relation between years where I find happiness and being comfortable artistically. From 2005 to now-ish I have done something artistically placating every year. Hell, even this year I renewed my book for a second edition that is double in length and has half as many grammatical errors.
Do you have a favourite year? Want to gloat about some achievement that you have hit and never felt like you had the praise you deserved for it? Let’s talk about it either in the comments, or hit me up on FaceBook! There is a page, if you don’t feel like seeking me out personally!
I put together a music video for The Twin from some of the Warped Tour footage. I think it turned out okay. At the very least, it is a fantastic snapshot of one of my favourite songs we recorded.
I was feeling like I haven’t accomplished much in the last little bit. I am used to being pushed in all directions at the same time, and I have been on this path of writing and blogging over the last six years. To overcome this feeling of uselessness that I have been burdened by, I revisited everything that I have done over the last decade.
2010: I played on the Livestalk & the Bodies LP. It still stands as one of my favourite albums of all time, let alone one of my proudest musical moments. I only played three songs, and they are not my favourite on the album, but they are a clear mark for my leaving of the punk/metal of All Cut Up and the beginning of my voyage into more complex structures.
2010: Release of the first Twin EP. We had a demo before that, but it was terrible. Nothing I was used to, and was literally a 180 from the Livestalk album I played on the same year. The EP did not turn out how we wanted it to, but I am still proud of it regardless. The same year, we released Victims and Dirty Dancin’ as singles. I believe The Twin have since released them as an EP, but I still consider them stand-alone projects because we went to two different studios to record them.
2011: Went on first tour. Though it was not very far: when the route is calculated, it’s over 1000 KM in total. It spanned roughly a week and had seven stops. We were joined by my good friend Gerald, who lent us his van that was more long-haul ready than mine at the time was.
2012: Played Warped Tour. That was a dream of 15-year-old Jay, and it actually happened!
2013: Inner Demons. Yes, The Twin took 3 years to go back into studio. That was because of relentless playing, writing, and fighting. Two new members on this EP, and it sounded like something new. It was so very different from what we had done before.
2013: I left The Twin because of non-exciting reasons. Teamed up with my old bass player and a good friend of mine. There was this poorly constructed demo they wanted me to listen to, and immediately I knew that I had to help them come up with the dream they had. It turned into my favourite recording I have worked on. Called the band Chance Procedures.
Became manager at the record store that I had worked in since ’07.
Then, didn’t die.
I spent from November to the end of the year stuck in a bed. Paralyzed from the neck down, and spent the little bit of the end of the year I was conscious being unable to emote.
2014: Was transferred between five different hospitals before finally being able to go home. Have been in a wheelchair since.
2015: Moved to Hamilton. Met Natasha. Started college.
2016: Failed out of two programs in college. Released You’re Not Dead. Got engaged. Moved back to Cambridge.
2017: Got married. Moved to Burlington. Had seizures. Discovered that I have had epilepsy for a while. Got our third dog (Tina).
2018: Started anewsin Publication. Let the first press of You’re Not Dead run out, but started harder work on the second edition to clean up some (lots) of missed errors.
2019: Assisted Hannah with some Chance Procedure demos that she had lying dormant in her head. Nothing to report on those, yet. I did construct a “music video” for one of them.
THINGS NOT LISTED: Our 3 cats. Our other two dogs. The litters that Tina had. The puppy-fiasco that was selling them. My previous band (All Cut Up) was from the decade before, and was not listed for that reason.
What have I learned? That I have done some pretty cool things. I am far from done doing cool things, and I want to double the length of this list next decade. I already have new projects in the wings. I have ideas and plans and some cookies! Oh, good flying fuck, I am so ready. So, please, help me to do something fantastic by considering a donation to my Patreon. It helps more than I can ever state.
The bass player in this footage came over today. I have seen him once since I got out of hospital, and that was two years ago. It was nice to see him. He filled me in that this exists. Minus the sound quality, it is actually decent footage of this show.
The premiss was that we had to cover a band that influence us. I was never a huge Underoath fan, especially no the album these songs are from, but I was concede the fact that they were a huge musical influence on what we did.
The last song was original.
I hope you enjoy!
TO BE CLEAR: I was informed afterwards that he and his girlfriend are both contributing, but I am too lazy to change the title.
Pat and I go back a very, very, long time. He was in a band that I played a lot of shows with when I was in All Cut Up at “The Parking Lot.”
In fact, he and I have such a long and strange story, it is hard to come up with one story about what to write.
I guess one of the more innocent things we did was that we used to go get soft drinks at a corner store between our houses, sit on parking stones, and discuss our views on society, music, and life. Yeah, that was fun! Let’s talk about that!
Oh, he was also my guitarist while I was in The Twin. I guess that was important. Especially because he, Steve and I created that band out of random jams we had for about five years prior to actually creating the band. It was interesting because we all came from very different influences, but had a mutual respect (mostly) for what everyone was into.
To keep on topic, the first time he came over after I got out of hospital was awkward and hilarious. He came walking into my parents living room about one week after I finally got out of hospital. In a thunderous voice, I said “Well looks who’s finally coming in here- showing off their two legs. Walking and shit.”
Though he laughed, I did not hear from him the next couple of days. I assumed that I offended him in some way- as if he did not know my horrible sense of humour. When I did get through finally, I found out that he had been horribly busy and the furthest thing from offended. In fact: he barely heard what I said. Jokes on me, I guess.
I digress. Pat is one of the few people who understands me on several levels, even though he is somewhat an enigma to me after all of these years.
I have rambled on about him and completely avoided talking about Becca. She is lovely, but I do not have any interesting or hilarious stories about her. Yet.
What I can say is that I have known her for a very long time and I hope that, someday, we will have some sort of interesting story to tell. Maybe something involving offending old people, or tackling people, or making really crude cripple jokes at my expense.
SIDE NOTE; He mentioned the story about dragons, so now I will launch into something completely fictional because I really want to.
It was cold. The trees were all still, as if they were anticipating something. Pat lay in wait for the serpent to fly overhead. It was the season that they were waking from a six month slumber.
“I trained for this…” He repeated this line over and over to himself, trying to psych himself for the task of defence that he has accepted. He knew that he would either survive the onslaught, or die in an anonymous blaze. Other than the other guard, no one knew that he was outside the city boarders.
He blew into his hands, praying that his breath would be enough to warm his hands. His sword was leaning up against the trunk of a tree, ready for a quick retrieval if one was needed. His armour was little more than leather, hastily strewn across his body. He hoped that it would be enough.
Suddenly, the wind picked up. He could hear a low groan pass over the land he was in. A sound similar to a drum being beaten could be heard in the background. It was coming.
Pat grabbed for his sword, checked over his body for weak points, and moved into what he thought was a fighting position. He was far from trained for this; he was far from ready. He had started to sweat though he was chilled to the bone.
The cries become louder and Pat starts to feel his heart racing. He tries to keep his breathing slow, but he can feel his body reject the very notion. He wants to panic. He needs to panic. He will not let it happen.
With a mighty crash, the dragon lands not two hundred feet from Pat. He readies his blade and lets out a mighty scream.
Pat starts to sprint.
DONATE TO MY PATREON AND REQUEST MORE IF YOU WANT MORE
I am actually honoured to write this post.
Katie was invited by The Twin to come out to a show back in 2010. Now to date ourselves: the invite was sent over MySpace because everyone used it back then.
ANYWAY: Katie was this very hyper girl who showed up and her and I spoke only twenty minuets over the event. However, her and I exchanged e-mails that night, and we have never spent more than a month out of communication.
Our humour works in the most backwards ways. She is hyper but an introvert, I am quiet but an extrovert. I do not know why we are friends, but we are very tight friends. We refer to each other as siblings very often.
When I ended up in hospital, she came by as often as she could. She remained awkwardly inspirational and never talked down to any situation that I found myself in.
We started Mind the Music TO in 2015 with me writing album reviews and her showcasing her photography.
I love her.