Album Release and 2018 plans!
Hope that everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend and you got everything that you wanted this year! Had a nice couple of days off myself to spend with my family, which was needed and helped recharge the batteries a little bit. When you are running around so much with work and everything it's nice spending a few days plopped on the couch relaxing and hanging with your kids and your family.
So as I have this downtime before 2017 closes, figured I would catch everyone up on what's going on with the music, band and plans for the new year.
So first off, as you have been reading and hearing from me a bunch of times, my latest album Elephants Bury Their Dead will FINALLY be released on FRIDAY DECEMBER 29TH on all places you download and stream your music from! It's already been up for pre-sale on Bandcamp for a few weeks now and so far the response on the album as well as the first single from it Resurrection has been positive so I couldn't be happier.
Bandcamp seems to be a tricky thing for most people since you can't really download unless you use their own app, but it's a quick and easy way to get your music out there so I hope once it goes live on Friday I will be able to see the response a little better as far as downloads, streams, etc. and of course I encourage anyone who reads these rambling blogs to comment, share and of course hear your feedback on it good, bad or indifferent. It's great to see numbers, but feedback on what songs you like, hate whatever is always appreciated!
It's funny because even though this will be a new release for me, as I mentioned since I have been sitting on this album and have been playing the majority of it with the band the past 2 years I'm already looking ahead for 2018 and have (at least in my brain) moved on already. Kind of fitting with the name of the album and theme but don't get me wrong, a chunk of this album will continue to be in the set since I adore the songs on it just like I do with the last album HEAL. It's nice now to have sort of a "catalog" we can go through and switch it up a bit with regards to the setlist.
So now that I've finally buried this elephant? Time to catch you up on what my plans are for next year so strap in fools...
First the bad news I guess.....then the good news.
After being with The Critically Ashamed Band since the inception, unfortunately our "Martini Fueled Madman" Victor has decided to step down as the drummer for 2018.
We have had a lot of tough lineup changes since I started the band in 2015 with members coming and going but this was one of the tough ones since besides Pete, Vic was one of the first to respond to my Bandmix ad looking for members and over the past few years has not only been one of the biggest supporters of the band and my music, he has (and will always be) one of my dear friends inside and out of the rehearsal space.
It seemed like fate when we started. I was starting over from scratch with some new players in a new band of my own material while Vic was finally getting back into playing drums after putting the sticks down due to some personal stuff. We hit it off immediately and his early 70's Peter Criss style of mixing rock with jazz was something that gave us a unique sound when we played live. His presence and "permagrin" will definitely be missed by all of us, but I can honestly speak for all of us in the band that his drum throne will always be there if he wants it.
Like I've said 100 times on here, sometimes the tasks of "Adulting" and our day jobs get in the way of our artistic passions but we hope to see our pal at a gig or bar soon and will always keep the gin chilled for ya my friend!
Now onto the better, than the good news.....
So that leaves me and the gang back to the task of finding a replacement. Thankfully after restarting good ol bandmix again and scouring the site for drummers I've gotten a few responses that seem promising, so we start auditioning in January. The ones that have gotten back to me so far look good so keep your fingers crossed that we have a new skin basher soon! I've had great success on there so far with Helene and Benny too so let's shoot for the hat trick.
Which one of them better work out soon because, we have our first gig of 2018 coming up!
We have started reaching out to places to play to promote the album and so far we have one scheduled for SAT FEB 17TH at a place called 33 Golden Street in New London!
The band we are opening for seems to have a big online presence and social media following so we hope to have a nice turnout. Plus the place looks really cool so we are excited to get out there and start playing again with the new lineup. More details will be sent out in the beginning of January as it gets closer
It's also good timing for our first gig back to be that week because (more good news) I have another album (possibly) being released the day before!
That's right kids, when it rains it pours. Seems like after I decided to release EBTD the way it was with the tools I had, it inspired me to sit down in my home studio more and more the past few months just playing around with ideas and before I knew it I had 5 brand new songs written and recorded in a theme I've been wanting to explore for a long time now.
So these songs, along with a single I have released before called The Gift and one of my now famous "intro songs" make up an album I am calling.....
The songs on this album IMHO are not only some of the best I've recorded and performed right off the bat at GBR 2.0, but seem to be vastly different than both albums I've released so far as a "solo artist" in a sound/theme I've always wanted to try and explore. Not to mention the theme of it, for most might shock a few people and turn a few heads due to the "subject matter" (and no, I'm not starting a boy band).
I remember once Brady Bastards morphed into The Dalliance it's a sound I wanted to explore even back then but as you know, you put a bunch of different songwriters in a room and things materialize, things change and that's OK because those albums we made are by far some of the ones I am most proud of (Especially Birth, Love, Death I adore that album to this day dare I say it was an album I was shocked didn't take off more than it did!)
So once I started doing things on my own and started writing the songs for HEAL, I got more into playing piano/keys but that record I was going for a more "Happy Shiny People" classic rock kind of sound. Sure there's some keyboard/synth padding here and there (even on both albums) but the patch I used live was strictly piano. I thought for HEAL with the subject matter, the songs didn't call for anything else and to be completely honest, even though it was about healing myself, losing the weight and getting healthier personally, I wanted to go for more of a sound that my father would of really liked.
Some of his favorite artists were people like Elton John, Neil Young, Billy Joel and others in that vein but as I've said, I am as I’ve admitted kind of a hack on piano and am in no way comparing myself to these geniuses I think HEAL is an album the old man would of cranked in his Camaro.
However, once I armed myself with a keyboard at home and the sounds associated with it on GarageBand, there's a style and sound of music I always adored starting as a late teen moving forward that I feel I never really tackled on a recording until this album Glamour and that's the late 80's/early 90's Alternative sound and the how I would put it "romantic" flavor of the music.
When I was in my early teens, music to me was always harrrrrd. Started with metal, then thrash, then hardcore/punk and the heavier the better! When you are I think that age (and male for the most part), you are looking for an outlet and that music for me growing up was my way of expressing myself and the rage associated with it. To this day, throwing on Iron Maiden, Metallica, Kiss, then Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front or Exploited was the soundtrack to my frustrations.
However, I noticed when I got to my later teens I was introduced to a style of music that although was still on the outskirts of what you heard on pop radio, still spoke to me just as much and the feelings I had at that age and it revolved around an obsession just as big as music......girls
I will never forget when I was hanging out with my best friend to this day John Faitakes, even though he was into the heavy music like me, it seemed like once he started dating this girl all of a sudden his music taste changed. Dead Kennedys and DRI cassettes were put back in the box for a bit and one dubbed tape he had and we played over and over and over was on one side, The Cure and the other side? The Smiths.
This music was layered and layered with synth and guitars drenched with chorus, style and flange that was way different than the spit and snarl of what I have been listening to prior. Plus the lyrics oozed with romance; love and most important....sex. Lots and lots of it which for a mid to late teen plagued with unplanned sweatpants boners and the urge to see real breasts up close spoke to me wayyyy more than social issues and injustice systems.
When you are hearing thumping bass, pads of washed synth and lyrics like "Just put on your face and put on your pout. Cut the conversation just open your mouth" The music and bands of that era, just hearing them to this day just makes you wanna fuck. I don't know if it's the music itself or that it just brings me back to that time, maybe a bit of both. Sure, the 80's metal music was all Girls Girls Girls and sleaze, but it wasn't as erotic and sexy as something like I want You Now by Depeche Mode
So like my bestie, my Slayer tapes went away for a bit and were replaced by The Sugarcubes, The Cure, Depeche Mode, XTC, Violent Femmes, Smiths/Morrissey, New Order, Love and Rockets and Joy Division. My need for slam dancing was replaced by dancing at places like The Limelight trying to get close to the goth girl with the fishnets. Hell even Johnny Rotten had Public Image Limited back then we are all entitled to expand a bit.
So where am I getting at with this long winded post? Come 2018 I'm releasing an album that just like my teens will make you stop yelling and make you want to get naughty.
We got songs like Mouth breed, Kitten Play, Peg and even one song Life (born out of loss) for the first time the lyrics came from an outside writer, my bestie Mr Faitakes which seems very fitting considering he's the one who let me listen to that dubbed cassette back in the day.
Depending on how things go, I might end up writing more and waiting to release as a full length later on since I seem to be on a roll (I mean come on, It will be only 2 months after EBTD!) but the songs I have now are done, mixed, mastered and in the chamber ready to go, so I'm tempted to take what I have and release on Valentine's Day week. We shall see...
In the meantime, THANK YOU for continuing to read these posts, listening to the music and I hope the new year brings us all better times.
Onward and Upward,