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SICK TO DEATH OF IT!

at the moment it seems like everyone has the answers to my problems, yet no-one actually takes the time to see whether their answers are actually useful in a real world situation for me, gone are the times that i’d let the world pass me by in a haze of not giving a fuck, over the past year i’ve become a straight out go getter and fuck you if you think you’re stopping me getting to where i want to be.

but as is the case with such things, people tend to want to bring you crashing back down to square one and make you feel 2 inches tall. and quite frankly those people are fucking arseholes. there’s always a reason i can’t do such a thing, even if the reason is utter bullshit. like the reason i can’t have my hair in a mohican, because it’s too different and your hair looked better before. excuse me while i take your opinion on the matter and not pay attention to it, because its shit. i don’t care what people think about me, i don’t care if people think my hair is a little outlandish or a little odd. i am odd. so in all fairness it suits my personality. im also a performer, which as a standard means im outgoing and sometimes a little strange. but these people insist on throwing their opinions down my throat and in some cases making me believe their bullshit and making me think i can’t do something when i know i can. the main perpetrators are my parents, they tend to think that because i’m a music student i wont ever amount to anything and i should have taken my resit as a law student and studied to be a barrister. now excuse me while i pick apart this opinion in 2 easy steps

1. i find law to be the single most boring fucking subject going
2. i find music fascinating.

by my own logic it seems that music is the better study option. which seems pretty fair in that respect. but no, i’m obviously wrong because everyone has studied law, and everyone has studied music, especially 49 year old women who’s sole ambition for 2012 is to become a shopkeeper in ikea, which by what i actually paid attention to is akin to a shelf stacker come cashier in most other retail chains. i apologize that my ambitions climb higher than where the fucking meatballs go. my ambitions take me all over the world, they’ve already taken me to indonesia, where someone has already asked when my album will be out, dispite the fact that there is only 2 30 second snippets of unfinished track avaliable. on the other hand there is always the fact that music to me is amazing, and therefore more useful to me than fucking law. i will be more happy studying music than law at any time in my life and therefore will be happier in a career with music.

my hairstyle has no bounds on the fact that i know i am a bloody good musician and i know what the fuck im doing. and thats not even coming to the fact that it’s my life and my choices so butt the fuck out of it.

the only person who seems to give advice with any thought into the real world applications is my Girlfriend, who pays attention and actually helps me work out the answers for myself, rather than listening a little bit then saying o yeah you’re wrong this is right do it this way. because she knows i’ll just say, fuck that.

another thing is i failed my second year at uni, and i feel like i’ve let everyone down with that, the only person who gave me reassurance that i hadn’t let them down was again Gem, my parents seem to give great pleasure rubbing things in. there are no shortage of fucking snide remarks and comments and there certainly isn’t a shortage of gloating. but i’m sorry, where are your degrees? actually screw that one, wheres your post high school education qualifications, and no an NVQ or GNVQ does not count towards that.

granted i don’t have formal A-levels, but i got a decent Btec mark, and 2 As levels. which are obvioulsy good enough for the best music university in the country (they must be they WRITE THE DEGREE) this is something the parents seem to forget, its not oxford or cambridge or wherever, i don’t care. music degree from salford = i know my shit.

it pisses me off when people think they know whats best for me when in actual fact, they haven’t got a clue. thats why i don’t speak about my problems much, and if i do, its generally to Gem, because she pays attention to me.

but from now on. theres a change in me, and i couldn’t give a fucking rats arse if people like it or not, i will be studying, i will be getting the grades, and when i get my marks back i will take great pleasure in throwing them at my mum and telling her to shove her fucking ikea shopkeeping qualification up her arse. im sick of it!

fuck you

Shit is getting to me, i dont know what it is, the pressure of being me probably. Theres a lot people don’t know about me, but this isn’t the reasoning behind this post. the reason is i need to waffle to get something off my chest.

Fuck the world at the moment, theres only two people who matter to me at the moment, my Amazing Girlfriend Gema and a rather awesome friend Dom, There’s people who say they have your back no matter what, but i know these two do. Me and Gem had an altercation this morning, who was the only person who asked if i was ok. Dom, Gem afterwards but at the time we were in a bit of a thing so theres nothing to be said as to why she didn’t. not her fault. we were both being cocks. but no-one tried to contact me, no-one, just Dom, who sent a simple text message, which read ‘are you ok hun? i’m worried about you.’ nothing more, and from that, i got exactly what she meant, she knew that i wouldnt put anything on facebook, so she text me to see what was wrong.

none of my other friends did. not one of them. The only person who was there, was a mutual friend of mine and Gems whom i haven’t actually met yet. That tells me something, there are people out there who give a shit, and those who don’t, and its always the people you think wouldn’t give a shit, who do give a shit. this makes me slightly uneasy. The people who i thought i could rely on were no-where to be seen. someone i dont know very well, was in contact and asking if i was ok within minutes.

im happy to say the altercation has passed. but at the end of it, they say your friends are the ones who will always have your back, i say thats wrong. Friends are the people who say they’ve got you when in reality they’ll fuck off at the sign of trouble. True friends are the ones who’ve got you’re back. and looking at it, i have 2 True friends, but a fuck load of ‘Friends’.

so this is me saying to everyone bar those two. if you ever need my help. i’m offskis, i have more important things to do, like wash my beard.

elitists

the things that disgust me most in music is the elitists, i’m in university studying music, and the focus is on us as composers of whatever style of music we feel comfortable in, and the tutors then helping us to further our abilities in our genre of choice.

what really pi**es me off is when the classical, jazz and pop composers look down on myself and my peers because we choose to write dance, trance, drum n bass and dubstep. especially after lecture upon lecture of tutors telling the entire of our cohort that there’s not much difference in the writing process between writing an electronic track and writing a symphonic movement, we all go through the same processes. the only difference is the way we go about getting our music to its final state.

but when a classical student talks down to us because they’re writing a piece for a wind band, and we’re writing a piece that would be commercially acceptable, they think we don’t understand the basic concepts of theory, regardless of what we do actually know, and its just rather annoying. then when we talk about our production methods, they have the cheek to say something along the lines of ‘we don’t have that problem, we work with REAL instruments’, someone needs to drill it into them that a synth is a real instrument, and everything we use is a real instrument. regardless of its physical state.

meh classical students annoy me, yet when they say that the reason we do what we do is because we cant do what they do, then a number of us pull out scores for pieces based around orchestra’s they get really defensive.

people need to realise that they are not the be all and end all in music and everybody is different, it would not do for us all to write the same music, otherwise the music industry would be boring, and lets face it, we cant have that can we

so basically last wednesday was pendulum.

my god i was excited. couldn’t wait to finish uni to get there.

they didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

first up Hadouken!

This band was one i’d heard before (my girlfriend forced them on me early on in our relationship. even more so when she found out they were supporting Pendulum, and i have to say, they were fantastic live. On CD i was a little Iffy about them, but live my god they got that crowd hyped. they did what Pendulum asked, warm the crowd up for us, but don’t destroy them.

PENDULUM

words cannot describe the feeling i got when Rob Swire walked out on stage. the ¬£25 my girlfriend paid for the tickets was well worth it just for that 10 mins, if you have me added on facebook, look at the videos from the night, of the songs i was at the barrier and necxt to Gem, you can hear me louder than you can hear the band. and it wasn’t quiet.

during the Vulture, Ben came over to our side of the stage and looked directly at me as i was the only one at the barrier screaming the lyrics back at him.

later on during the same song, he smiled at our little group,

after that song Rob looked our way. that made my night complete i could have gone home then and would have felt it was money well spent. but thet had another 90 mins to play.

i left that gig with the biggest adrenaline rush ever,

there’s nothing bad to say about the band with my idol in there.

a week late. but better late than never

a biased review of Alter Bridge’s performance.

if you know me, you’ll know i’ve been looking forward to AB for literally fucking months.

so when the day finally came, i was more buzzed than a guy being electrocuted (buzzzz)

but yeah, arrived early.

anyway, noone wants to read my boring thing of standing in the cold whilst wearing my girlfriends gloves…. (yes that happened)

 

first up Slaves To Gravity….

they have the look of Janes Addiction, yet the sound of Audioslave. and it works. they were electric onstage, and you couldn’t take your eyes of any of the members…. the drummer had a ball, the bassist made some really funny faces, the lead guitarist looked stoned out of his mind, and the vocalist/rhythm guitarist was camp as Joe Mceldrew tbh. but they were immense to listen to.

 

now for the main event

AB

they were phenomenal, everything played to perfection, everything you’d come to expect and so much more.

Myles can control a crowd without uttering a word, and the crowds reactions to the dynamics in the songs, (quiet screaming in quiet sections and vice versa)

Mark, Flip and Brian were all immense. yet the main focus was always Myles.

 

throwing more tricks into the bag than a fricken magician, he turned the crowd into the politest group of people in manchester that night, regularly asking if everyone was ok at front.

the encore was fantastic as well. wonderful life debuted in manchester. ūüôā me and my friend Crozz sang that song to our girlfriends, they loved it.

all in all a truly fantastic day/night

 

and to top it off.

the day after i recieved a message from Myles Kennedy thanking me for my kind words on Twitter and thanking me for attending the show. truly a humble superstar.

My main thought when entering into this assignment wasn’t how could i do it, it was more based on how creative i could be with the software i own.

I use logic pro 9. and while it is creeping into industry standard, the new features from 8 are still relatively under-utilised, therefore i wanted to exploit certain functions that may not be used very often

one main function i am eager to use in this is the ‘flex-time’ function. this changes the speed of a passage, while keeping the pitch and volume of the original speed. I thought this could be used creatively to elongate vocals, maybe add sustain to a note from a guitar etc.

i am also eager to utilise my knowledge of equalisation and try to use that in a DAW, i have experience in studio mixing with a desk, but none in the field of mixing in a computer environment, therefore my main goal in this assignment is to ensure that i am fully able to mix and master a cd via a computer without resorting to using the mixing desks at university.

one of the good things about uni is that they use the same software i have at home, therefore it makes it easier to work on whilst at university and away from my laptop. a USB stick will easily store all audio,MIDI and logic projects that i will be using throughout this assignment, i can also utilise the studios in such a way that allows me to record directly to logic and therefore am able to bring recordings home to use in my assignments.

I have picked a style, I will be doing Drum n Bass, but also utilising my knowledge of rock and blues music in the composition.

my inspiration behind this is Self vs Self from Pendulum’s latest album Immersion.

The way the track seemelessly switches from D’n’B to metal and back again made me think that i could do that by myself.

I obviously will have to utilise my friends in the recording process after finding out that the Mac Pro’s in the studio do not have the remote desktop functionality, whereby i would be able to essentially self record and do everything from the live room, rather than having to go between rooms. So my friends at university will be an invaluable asset to my assignment, i plan on beginning the recording process in the next few weeks. and then use these recordings to aid the creative processes into the final composition of the assignment itself.

why not

not done one of these in a while. so why not just waffle on for the 15 mins before i finally decide to go to sleep. and face uni tomorrow.

first on the list of rants. the stupid amount of attention X factor gets compared to a show with actual talent on it (Must be the music) X factor is nothing more than bad karaoke. Yes Simon Cowell knows what he’s on about. Yes Louie Walsh does too. but seriously what does Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue know about anything. Cheryl’s solo output has been mediocre at best, and Dannii… well, what musical output?

Must be the music had bands and acts from across the country playing their own music. not a half arsed arrangement of a redundant song from years ago, or the untalented member of the Cyrus family… (not Trace btw. even though his talent is pathetic as well. he has the talent to look like a moron at every given opportunity).

Second on my agenda of rantings is the stupid amount of summer university students get. I am one so im allowed to moan about it. i finished my last ‘exam’ (i use the term loosely because any exam that’s in a pub is more of a gig and piss up in fairness) on the 17th May, I returned to university on the 25th September. thats 5 months and 8 days. what is the use in that, i know we are ¬†supposed to carry on with our private studies and work on what we’re going to study in the following years but how do we do that when we find out the course content in the first lecture. if they gave us general outlines then fine. but nothing, just a title of a module.

It just makes the university experience a little overrated of how much study time you actually have. I’m not a big drinker so any spare time i had in first year, I admit i was most likely in the library reading up on composers and various topics touched upon in the lectures and seminars, but after university closes. access to the library is practically nil. Yes theres the E-Library, but there’s only so many biased journal entries you can read before they all start sounding the same.

My last rant is the lack of decent things to do for young people in this country. There’s practically nothing for young people to do except drink themselves stupid. Most of the things that are available are specialised (I.E climbing Centres, Ski slopes etc) or cost a lot of money to do (day trips out with friends etc). Over the summer i went to Alton towers with my parents and Emma, for my birthday, and was only able to afford to go to the climbing centre twice. the cost of getting to such places is horrific. to go climbing i have to take around ¬£20-30 with me, for bus journeys, entry fee and refreshments (bottle of water and a red bull depending on the intensity of the climbs i attempt). prices in such establishments are nothing short of extortionate (i understand that we’re in a recession but ¬£2.50 for a bottle of water is a bit expensive by anyones standards) on top of all that there’s consumables within the sport, I.E Chalk (its not cheap when you go through a ball and a half each time you go… those ¬£1 add up to a lot of money.

My other interest thankfully is a lot easier on the pocket, Music, Granted i will buy a cd for a band i like but theres spotify, so sending and receiving music from friends is very simple. but still ¬£10 for a CD that cost less than a pound to make and the artist makes a % of around 10% depending on stature. its excessive. the music store you purchase it from makes around ¬£4-5 on each CD sold. that’s why Itunes is so cheap. theres no physical CD, but the quality of Itunes music is really poor.

My final thing (i’ve noted this is all based around money) is how difficult it is for a student to get a job (or any young person [23 and under]for that matter) I applied for a job at HMV, with an extensive musical, film and gaming knowledge i thought it would be an easy job to get. but no. my interests didn’t suit the position. which made me think what interests would suit the position of Sales advisor at HMV. no interest in the product lines whatsoever, a deaf, blind paraplegic perhaps? someone who can’t hear the music, watch films or play games (i know a paraplegic isn’t a PC thing to use in this but its making a point [and yes there is guys on youtube who prove this point wrong but its an argument, not fact]) its ridiculous, someone who obviously (being a music student) has a passion for music and all things musical doesn’t get interviewed for a music store, but the guy down the road who plays in a function band is a perfect candidate. it just doesn’t make sense to me.

thats it. im bored

This year so far

Haven’t done one of these for a month or so. So I think it’s time to do another.

I’ll just waffle on for a bit. If you feel the need to read it, Thank you, If you feel it wasted your time. I apologise.

I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect on things that have happened in the past 12 months (being off university for nigh on 6 months does such things), I’ve thought about past events, things I feel about aspects of my life and the people within it. Where I see myself in 5 years time, and put my future into motion, much to the dismay of my parents.

I recently quit smoking, wasn’t a hard thing to do, contrary to popular belief. I had two cigarettes left in a packet, said I would smoke them and not buy anymore, that was a month ago. I can already feel the benefits. I’m able to engage in activity for longer, My voice has returned to its normal state of sounding breathy, the only part I’m not impressed with per se, is my singing voice sounds very bluesy, and I’ve lost the ability to do growl style vocals.

Anyway enough about that. Things have happened this year that normally I would let slide. However one event where I was accused of being a drug dealer just made me see a red mist, that doesn’t happen very often, and any of my friends would tell you that at the time the only drugs that entered my system were nicotine, alcohol and the occasional paracetamol if I had a headache. So being accused of dealing drugs, and more to the point dealing a potentially lethal amount to someone i considered a good friend by her parents, that really hurt. Then I thought back on the night in question. I was the only male teenager there, I was the only one into the alternative ‘scene’. and it’s a general consensus that people in that clique are on drugs, a generalisation I find retarded. However the fact that not two hours after the events that lead to a friend being rendered in all effects unconscious (during which time I was vomiting over a wall after feeling the adverse effects of a night of heavy drinking and not enough food) I can see their perspective, of the other people who were in attendance I was the one who they knew the least about, thus making me the obvious suspect in the situation. I just wish they would have conducted themselves in a more civilised manner, I lost a pretty good mate through that.

Another event I have had a lot of time to think about and am still sifting through the aftermath 3 months later is the ending of my relationship with Kerri. After holding my hands up and saying ‘I fucked up, lets drop it and get on with our lives’. I was subjected to a barrage of nasty messages, phone calls, Facebook messages and other such things, most from people who weren’t there when what happened occurred. Through this I lost a friend I had known since I was 3 years old.

Something that I have been thinking about for a long time is my thoughts towards someone I go to university with, we get on really well. we’re always tormenting each other and there’s always a little bit of banter between us. After thinking about it for a while, I have realised that without thinking about it, I’m attracted to her, no way around it, I don’t know if she feels the same way about me, but I will try to find out. However like was the case with Emma, if it turns out that being friends makes the relationship work better than trying and losing each other as a mate, then I’m cool with that too.

The future. It’s a funny thing. You can change it, its uncertain, no-one knows whats going to happen tomorrow, or next week. but there are steps you can take to make it yours. Choose your own destiny so to speak.

In my future I see a smartly dressed man, short-cropped hair, driving a Mitsubishi Pick Up Truck to work, carrying a briefcase, sat in a room with a theatre layout. Young people come in and listen to what i have to say, furiously writing notes, then after a while get up and leave, followed closely by another batch of people.

Read through that description again, trivial details like the Truck, briefcase, hair style and clothes are meaningless. The other details are more useful. The layout is typical of a university lecture hall, the young people are the students. From being about 11 years old I have aspired to be a teacher. However it was only recently I discovered what it was that I wanted to teach, Back in High school I was a tech nerd, I was really good with electronics, and was the only person in the class to attempt a different form of final project. The fact it didn’t work because of a little miscalculation with a resistor was a bit annoying, but it was a challenge to build a laser alarm system out of things I found in the Systems lab. I got the highest mark in the country on the written exam (I got 100% the only person who has done that in the school) at GCSE. However when I went to college I decided to study totally different things to what I was good at, I wouldn’t touch a soldering iron, wouldn’t need Ohm’s law anymore. I studied Psychology, Law, Ancient History and Philosophy, and I sucked equally at each, I failed all of them, because of this college wouldn’t let me go back. So I was stuck with no college, a week before I was due to go back. I found out that a music course at Mancat still had places. I played guitar, how hard could it be.

That started me off as a music guy. aged 17 i walked into that room, got put in a tutor group and was off. 3 years later, I’m sat waiting to go back to university to start year two.

As for the future, my Visa’s are fine, they’ve sent those back and they’re valid. I just have to wait until i start year three to apply for the course. Then I’m off.

I will wave goodbye to my family, friends, everything i have in this country to follow a speck of a dream. I want to be a professor at the University of Central Los Angeles. I will do it. I just need the motivation.

My main motivation is, if I don’t I’ll let myself down. screw anyone else. I’m the one I need to prove myself to. nobody else’s opinion of me matters.

As for the rest. I don’t know where it will lead. but I hope its worth it

Update on the EP

Up until today I hadn’t put much more thought into the writing of the music I wanted to write, in regards to the few tracks i want to put together for uni or wherever wants them.

That was until a trip to HMV in my local shopping centre. I bought a copy of Pendulum’s latest album ‘Immersion‘ and it’s just blown me away. The entire album is the exact sound I have in my head and one track in particular ‘self vs self‘ featuring the guitarist and vocalist from In Flames just hit that ultimate thing in a musicians mind, the moment of extreme inspiration, as of now I have guide guitar in the melodic shapes I want the synths to sound like, I have a very rough lead sound which when money situations change I will be able to tweak with the synth pickup I will be soon be purchasing for my Les Paul.

I have drum beats in my head, some technical, some more straightforward drum n bass beats, there’s no end to it. It can go literally anywhere.. Guide drums will be done tomorrow, as for now. I’ll bask in the swirling pendulum sounds and enjoy the music for what it is, an expression of one man’s thoughts.

I love Pendulum, just in case you didn’t gather that one. Rob Swire is a genius.

However I also have to thank my friend for pointing me in the direction of Mortis. They have a very different sound to Pendulum, while reaching the same results. Drum n bass and rock.

So these two bands will be my main sources of inspiration, let us see what happens. I’m neither going to force this music nor actively try to be more creative, when I find myself at the end. It’s done, and will be time to mix

Music and My Life

I began this yesterday, and that post turned into a rambling about how I came to meet Emma.

So in this post I will focus on something a lot closer to my heart, Music.

Music has been in my life as long as I can remember, from an early age it has been there, my dad likes rock ‘n roll, my mum likes crooners, so there’s never been a shortage of music in the house. most people don’t start going to concerts until they reach 14 or 15, I had my first when I was 7 years old, granted it was Steps, but at the end of it I was 7 and they were good at the time. From that day, my interest in music, not only as a consumer, escalated. I had played the guitar since the age of five, so I had a very basic knowledge of what music was, how to construct basic chord progressions and a rudimentary scale. but I had never realised how much music there was in the world to listen to. Theres more music available now than there is time in one life to listen to. Yet people still stick to one genre, I don’t see the logic in that way of thinking. With all the different music in the world, you only listen to a very minute number of artists.

If I had told that five year old, sat struggling with his acoustic guitar that his 20 year old self would find a love for Classical and Baroque music, while at the same time listening to Rock, Metal, Rap, Hip Hop, RnB, Electronica, Prog. I would have been amazed. I also know that if I told that frustrated child whose hands can’t quite reach a basic ‘G’ Chord that he would be studying music and loving every second of it. I would have laughed at myself. There’s nothing that could have prepared me for that change in my life.

At the age of 11 I walked into Woolworth’s, armed with ten pounds and looking to buy a CD. I looked at the rack of CDs pulling myself away from buying whatever was at number one at the time. and looking further away from that number when my eyes rested on a CD case with a picture on the front that for some reason I knew would change the musical style I felt most at home with. I stood for a good five minutes just looking at the CD case. I had picked up a copy of Slipknot’s third album, Vol.3 The Subliminal Verses. The disturbing album artwork screaming out at me, making me want to listen to it, to see what this sounded like. I bought it based purely off the artwork.

I got home and while indulging myself in my other passion at the time, Models and Warhammer, painting and listening to this band. The music I remember was amazing to listen to, the fact that someone had done this was fantastic, within a day and a half I had learnt all the words to the songs, and was on the lookout for more music.

Recently I read in the paper that their Bassist Paul Grey had passed away from a suspected Drug Overdose. That was a sad day not only for music, but for me as well, the fact that one of the nine people who had unintentionally shaped a young man’s life wasn’t here anymore actually deeply upset me.

From that album the ball kept rolling, it was like a snowball, I spent most of the I.C.T lessons at high school finding new bands to listen to. I was browsing a website I frequently visited to find new music, and stumbled upon a track called Chapter 4 by a band called Avenged Sevenfold, as soon as those first three chords are stuck, D, E, F. i was hooked. Their Drummer Jimmy Sullivan also has recently passed. I actually cried at the news of his passing, that band really shaped me, they showed me that the guitar was more than an instrument, it was a way of expression, getting the emotions I normally bottled up and letting the world know about what I was feeling.

When I started university, I had a vague understanding of ‘Classical’ music, I use that phrase loosely, as I now know that it forms only one part of musical history, I had heard of many of the composers whose names were mentioned, yet never actually listened to their music, after these lectures I felt compelled to listen to them, to learn the nuances of their styles and the way they conveyed their emotion without the need for words or lyrics really struck me. It was amazing to hear the hate from someone just being conveyed in music, To feel the love someone feels for another just by way of a simple motif or a chord just astounded me. Another thing was how these people wrote this elaborate music without hearing it before it was performed.

Now we have Sibelius which can give a rough outline as to what the piece will sound like, and various DAWs, where we can render music to give the feeling of there being an orchestra in our computers, yet these people were writing music that touched the hearts of millions of people without hearing them. It amazes me.

I could go on and on about the things that fascinate me about the subject I hold so close to my heart. However I’m sure you have things to do so I will leave you with this thought.

‘1 person who loves your music, is better than a million who like it’