Monday, July 30, 2012

The Fall of Man

This is one of my oldest songs. I wrote the original version a long time ago, probably around 2001 or so. I was working with Cory Phillips on drums and Phillip Harris on vocals. With their help we structured the song as it is today, the 3 verse / chorus, then the break, and then the chorus again. It was part of our jam lineup every time we got together.

This is the first song I recorded during this recording phase. I was just learning how to program the drums, so it took a week or so to get them right. I followed an old live recording of Cory's drum lines. Once I got into it though I changed it up a bit. I extended the verse parts with drum, bass and synth for 2 extra bars, then bring back the guitar. We never had a bass player, so all of our songs were very guitar heavy. It is nice in the recording stage to experiment a bit, and let the guitar rest some. It makes the music more dynamic.

The middle of this version is very different than the original. I added a solo and an acoustic part that were not  there before, but it still leads into the same break. I thought the solo thing flowed pretty well, so I let it keep going into the section.

This song was already named Fall of Man from back in 2001, and I thought it fit well with the tone and theme of my concept album. To me this is the point in the story where the army and government fall apart, leaving every man for themselves. Maybe the final version will be titled Fall of Civilization? There are other songs with this title out there, just trying to break it up a bit.

You might also notice, it has sort of a Rammstein sound. I had just gotten into them around that time, and couldn't get enough! It's no wonder it got into my head a bit and leaked into my writing. I am currently remixing this song for it's final output.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I'm listening to right now.

Album art by Antonio Canobbio
(Same due who does the Dethalbum covers for Dethklok)

I can't stop listening to Brendon Small's Galaktikon. I'm addicted. If you aren't familiar, Brendon Small is the creater of the show Metalocalypse on Adult Swim. It is about Dethklok, the most brutal heavy metal band in the world, and they happen to be the most popular music in this world too. The show itself is very "Spinal Tap", very funny and goofy. The funny thing is, Brendon makes some awesome metal for them to play, and ended up making two real albums, and went on tour.

Anyway, since then he has also done a side project called Bendon Small's Galaktikon. It still retains a lot of that heavy Dethklok sound, but a way different vocal style. With Dethklok he does the Nathan Explosion death growl, but there is some actual singing in Galaktikon. With it being a concept album, he uses different singing styles to represent different characters. These songs are so addicting and catchy!

Especially my two favorite songs, Beastblade and Deathwaltz which are right beside each other in the line up.

Listen to Beastblade and Deathwaltz, I think it is the perfect combo of crunchy riffs and engaging lyrics that keep me so interested. I didn't even know he was working on this in between Metalocalypse and Dethklok. I heard the instrumental Dangertits while taking my wife's car out and fill up with gas. I thought to myself new Dethklok? Then I looked at the artist and all it displayed was Brendon S. I went home and googled it immediately. Not only had I missed this album coming up, but a new season of Metalocalypse had already started! Sucks getting old and having responsibilities, right?

Anyway, I went to iTunes and downloaded it right away, it was too good to be true. This will tide any metal head over until Dethalbum III comes out, I'm sure of that. I give this a 5 out of 5 for too many awesome riffages and solos!

What are you listening to? Hit me up with some new tunes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Buh-Duh (working title)

So I wrote this one a few years back. I brought the riff over to my buddy Cory who plays drums. Together we arranged the song as it is here. My main input on the drums was during the pre-chorus, I wanted the harsh tom hits as I slammed on the guitar. It breaks up the song a bit. The title came from the way it sounds, we needed to call it something while working on it, so... buh-duh duh duh, buh-duh duh duh... you get the picture.

The chorus part came from several places I think. I was listening to a lot of Chevelle and Linkin Park (back when they were good). I think the chord progression is fun to play, I have to slide all around to hit all of the notes. This song originally had a long outtro, that would break off into a separate track, but it never really went where I wanted it.

This is one of the hardest drum patterns I put together. I followed Cory's original pattern that we recorded years ago. I had a lot of trouble getting the cymbals to sound right during the verses. Ultimately it just won't satisfy me until it is replaced with real drums. This song also doesn't have a solo. I feel like there was never a good point to put one in, it would have been forced. I am super happy with the arrangement.

So it won't have a "real" name until I get some lyrical content. But I hope it will fit into my Zombie Apocalypse themed album. Thanks for listening.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Serj Tankian - Figure it Out (DND Mix)

Ok, I think I've got it now. I re-recorded all of the guitar parts, and tweaked the synth/bass. I cut some of the vocals at the end because it started to sound crazy and out of sorts.

So a little background on this. This is a remix for a contest being held by Serj Tankian. He gave out all of the tracks that make the song Figure it Out. I used only the vocals, drums, and solo guitar work. I added everything else. There is a new guitar riff, synth/bass, and what I call creepy vox for atmosphere. I feel my version has a darker, more metal feel than the orignal. Thanks for listening!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Serj Tankian Remix (rough mix)

So I am working on a remix for a contest from Serj Tankian. Please give me some advice, I feel kind of stuck and not sure where to take this mix. Near the end the song isn't finished and sounds like a big mess. Please any advice is appreciated.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knew you were gone

This song I wrote a long time ago, back when April and I were just dating. She had a rough day and I could tell she was tired. She ended up going to bed early. So it is after midnight or so and I was so bored and lonely I started to jam a bit on the acoustic guitar. That sad little opening riff was born. After some time now I have added on to it, until it became a complete song.

This is the first time it has ever been to put to drums. I had an old demo of this where I used a Casio keyboard my parents found at a yard sale for the ambient sound in the background. Garageband has quite a few better sounds that I could use to give this a darker feel. This is a new bass line as well. I needed something to drive the slower part of the song and bridge the pre-chorus back to the verse.

Now how does this fit into the zombie apocalypse? Well it is kind of a sad story. The emotion for this one will be sadness and loss. It will be about a loved one getting infected and slowly watching them change. By the end, they will look into each other's eyes and realize there is no other way... You can figure the rest out from here right?

The song after it is called Nothing Left to Lose, so this will be near the end of the concept album.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Guitar

I got a beautiful new Epiphone SG for father's day. Just put new strings on it so I can play my heavier music. The stock strings where very thin and tinny. Here is a new riff I've been working on for a new song. This is a rough, one take sample. Just to try out the new guitar with the new strings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last Man Standing

This is one of the first complete songs I ever wrote. I worked on it with my friends Cory Phillips and Phil Harris. It was originally called The Liar's Song, based on Phil's lyrics. I added the dark symphony sounds at the beging and realized this would fit great with my zombie theme. This is now the next to last song in the "story" of the album, the new title is "Last Man Standing". It will be about being the last alive of a group of survivors.

This song changed the least out of all of the old songs I re-recorded. To me it has an epic feel, great for the end of an album. I used two different distortion pedals, one on the left and one on the right channel, it give it a grittier sound.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Zombie Theme

This song I wrote a while ago for my friend / co-worker who was writing a zombie movie loosely based on the Nazi Zombies from Call of Duty: Black Ops. When I started working on this concept album I knew I absolutely had to rerecord this track!

It is still in its demo stage and will most likely stay an instrumental. The slow build really makes me feel like I am in a zombie movie, especially when the haunting piano kicks in. Then when it gets really heavy it has the feeling of being over run by zombies and trying to escape. Before this is complete I plan on having the song fade out to a horde of zombie grunts and growls.