Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who Knows

Even though I haven't recorded as much this week as I did last week, I've been through a stressful 7 days to say the least. At school, the 3rd period out of 5 is beginning to reach its end and thus I've been forced to study hard. On top of that, I've been experiencing some problems with my mic (again, in January, just like last year... coincidence?) and I haven't really had much time for recording in general. I did, however, record the vocals for State 18 during Monday and Tuesday, and the rhythm guitar parts for In The Art of Dreaming on Friday. As yesterday (Saturday) was mostly spent mixing/editing/whatever State 18, you could say that I haven't been completely unproductive. On the other hand, the next 1½ weeks or so are going to be fulfilled with recording, mixing and studying so I'm afraid that if that continues for too long, my book and all of my other projects that have been inactive this month will just fade away. There's not much for me to do about that right now though, so I'll just have to wait for the right time to start working on such things again, I guess.

I also have another paragraph for you concerning my new-born admiration for Jimi Hendrix. During the last few days I've listened to his solo material and The Jimi Hendrix Experience for quite a bit and despite the fact that I probably can't appreciate his guitar playing as much as some people might due to my lack of knowledge concerning effects and techniques and ear for dominative picking, I just seem to find a lot of hooks and little pieces in the music itself that make me go back to the songs again and again. Even before I've also been intrigued by Hendrix's lyrics, or not so much the lyrics themselves but the topics and the themes that they are based on. Space, science and life in all of its forms definitely had a place in Jimi's heart, and in a way I'm not a stranger to those things either. The newest addition to my Hendrix collection is the Band of Gypsys live album that I got on Friday. At the moment I consider it the most unpredictable and freedom-filled album on my entire library. Apart from Hendrix, I've also been listening to some more of Major Label, but I have the feeling that I listened to them a bit too much last week and now I just have to give their music a little pause so that I can appreciate it again later.

To get back at my own work, I also started yet another new demo called Stars Over Kerimäki on Thursday. The idea for it came to my mind during the Finnish lesson which was the second lesson of the entire day, and somehow I was able to keep the semi-developed seed in my consciousness until I got home. I still don't have all of the melody that I had in my head figured out, but I have a simplistic main melody for the guitar, bass and drums now. So far all that I can say is that the demo is very post-rock-ish, and that the title of the demo is very pertinent.

As it is already Sunday when I'm typing this, I probably won't post again today - and taking that this is the last day of January, I guess we can now officially say that the year 2010 has been kicked off and it's time to move onto February and some new challenges. The fact that I've been through a hard time during the January of 2009 and the January of 2010 - at least equipment-wise - will, hopefully, reflect on the next month. At least it did last year, because slowly things started getting better after my struggle in late-December 2008 and January 2009. No matter what happens, at least you can count on this - I will keep you updated. ;) Take care friends.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

No Rain Is Going To Stop Me

Okay, so, I'm ironically happy to inform you that I've been sick these past few days and stayed home ever since Wednesday morning. I've been having a feverless flu, which has made it possible for me to record quite a lot. If my voice wasn't so down, I just might have finished State 18 completely this week - instead, I've recorded the bass and the guitars for it and the bass for In The Art of Dreaming. As I still need to mix all of the tracks I just mentioned, I'll make this post quick.

After discovering Staind, I enjoyed the Break The Cycle album for quite some time, until Thursday morning came. I half-accidentally switched my TV to a Finnish music channel called The Voice (which I haven't been watching at all recently) and noticed the music video for the song When I Am With You You Are Safe by the band Major Label. The fact that the band is Finnish was a huge plus because I don't listen to many national bands, and since the song itself was quite catchy too, I instantly started searching for info and material on the band. In the end, it took me quite a lot of surfing around but I now have their entire second album - also titled When I Am With You You Are Safe - and some songs from their debut, ...And The Machines Will Never Wake Us. I even sacrificed to pay 8 euros to an internet store through SMS so that I could get 4 tracks from the When I Am With You You Are Safe album. Major Label's sound itself is very Deftones-alike, but still stands on its own. I'm very impressed and addicted to the band right now, so Staind will just have to wait for a better time...

While I've been sick I've also joined a new messageboard called Nu Metal Nebula, which is, predictably, a forum for nu metal fanatics. Seeing how the forums could be a little more active, I'll advertise a bit here - the link to the forums is http://numetalunderground.forumotion.net/forum.htm and I strongly encourage anyone who's into nu metal to join up. My next announcement is slightly related to NMN. Anyone still remember the internet-based band project I had around June? It got dead very quickly, but now I've re-activated the project again (or, more accurately, the concept) and so I'm currently looking for a person or two who are interested in working with this kind of a project. So far, there are 2 members in the project besides me (there were as much as 3 just few hours ago but one person, unfortunately, had to pull out because of work duties). The way to let me know if you're interested is to comment on in this post and tell me why you should be accepted to the project.

I think that's it for now... I've had a fantastic 3 days, but the obvious side effect is that I have a lot to catch up on at school. Before that, I still have the weekend though - which most likely will just have to be used in mixing. Oh the sacrifices we have to make... Ha. See you later, readers.

"You can't stop me here... And no rain is going to stop me."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Break The Cycle

The weekend is almost over now, but I cannot feel disappointed. On top of finishing my work with the drums for State 18 (and finishing that quite well if I may say so), I've written about 4 new riffs  and already started preparing for the recording of State 18's bass track by playing and practicing it for a little. While the bass track should turn out to be pretty on-tempo and good sounding overall, the new riffs on the other hand are more of a problem than a good thing. I'm beginning to have an endless number of new ideas right about now, and knowing how long the recording/mixing/promoting phase of The Art In Dreaming will take, I am more frustrated about the overload of the new demos than I am about the work I have to go through for the current EP. It might sound stupid to you, but right now I'm having a hard time settling for one theme, atmosphere or song, and thus I'm just producing all kinds of different things without knowing how to form well-structured songs out of them. The Month of Tribulation is the only song that I'm certain about putting together and releasing at one point or another, while all the other ideas, regardless of their length, mood or name, are still just ideas. My never-ending fear of losing the ability to develop and create new things constantly is slowly becoming completely vain...

Throughout the weekend I've barely been listening to any music, at least not anything special worth mentioning, but while typing this I am downloading Staind's Break The Cycle, which I have quite a lot of expectations for. Staind is one of those bands that I've been meaning to check for quite a while, but haven't, for some reason. Anyhow, all I plan to do for the rest of this evening is listen to the said album and maybe do a word puzzle or two - which I've been doing quite a lot lately, actually. The puzzles really tend to keep my mind occupied when I'm not doing anything else important, and even if they do make me seem even duller than I already am, I enjoy the feeling of completing them. Why should I care about me being dull anyway?

As for next week, I will go on with the recording sessions, and hopefully I will get to the point where State 18 is only lacking the vocals. Next weekend will be filled with mixing and perhaps some writing. During the week I have a test or two at school as well, but I'm feeling quite positive and excited at the moment, so stress feels more like a virtue than a curse. Let's just hope that I will be able to reach some good results during the next few days... And until then, so along. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rage Against The Norm

Hello. I thought I'd drop by with a new post before I start mixing the drums for State 18, so here I am. Besides practicing and recording the drums this week, I've barely been productive, but I plan to do so with all my heart during the next 33½ hours or so. Actually, I have been on the move this morning already since I went to ski for a few kilometers on the ski track nearby at 10 AM today morning. It wasn't maybe as good as I expected, but it got me started, that's for sure.

Now that the recording process has begun, my views on the completition of this EP are starting to become more realistic. A March date is simply quite impossible to even think about at the moment - it would require me to practice, record and mix the songs in just 10 weeks, which means less than 2 weeks per each song, not to mention that I want to make sure everything's the best it can be this time around and not put the EP out the minute it feels complete. April, then again, is quite realistic. By then I will have enough time to get everything sorted out and hopefully, even get my baritone guitar and finish the Xie Xie video, which is currently on hold. Nothing is more important than doing things properly, so even though I want to keep you (and in a way, myself too) updated about the situation, all of this is just pure speculation and estimation based on how and where things seem to be going right now. I can already say that the drum track for State 18, as it is now, is the cleanest and most accurate one I have done to date. Also, remember that in order to hear the full song, you need to be in the promotional team, so keep your eyes open... I will be willing to start accepting new members to the team in a few weeks.

Now I'd like to take some time to talk about the artwork for the EP. Instead of me doing it, a friend of mine has been working hard on different ideas for it, and currently it looks like the EP is going to be more than just an ambitious musical effort - it will contain art (and lyrics) that help to form a strong story, to say the least. It's likely that the art itself is going to own all the compositions, haha. Anyhow, just wanted to give you some hints of that - I won't reveal more about the artwork at this time.

There have also been talks about me not doing the mixing on this EP entirely. Timothy Vanvaeck, who was supposed to master Autumn Scream, is kindly helping me out with The Art In Dreaming as well and this time around he will do both, mastering and mixing for the tracks. Since we prefer different styles and sounds, it's not certain whose mixes are going to be used on the final release, but we both will do our own best with the recordings and while I already acknowledge that his works will be better than mine, I might include my own mixes in some form as well depending on what I feel is the best combination of sounds and quality for the EP as a whole.

Two last things I will share include my recent influences and yet another new song I've started working on. While I just re-discovered Rage Against The Machine (and their debut) an hour or so ago, I've been focusing a lot on Skillet and Limp Bizkit this week. It is possible that during this weekend I will get (read: download) something completely new as well, but I don't want to go ahead of things on that matter. As for the new song, it's basically just a minute of guitar harmonics and slightly dissonant chords. Despite its modesty, I'm liking the direction so far. The name I have given to the demo, The Sweet Oblivion, is something I came up with just a few weeks ago as well.

Now, it's mixing time... :P See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Days of Tribulation

Alright, so my holiday has ended, I've been to school for 2 days and now I'm at home after a refreshing (and FREEZING) walk to enjoy my Saturday evening. I'll begin sharing what's up by telling you that I'm currently a lot into Skillet again - much due to my walk since my mobile phone just happened to play the song My Obsession by them during it - and while I'm listening to the entire Collide album as we speak, I'm also just about to download Awake, their latest album that was released last summer. Before today, I was still enjoying Celldweller, Silversun Pickups and all the other bands I had been listening to during my holiday. For more accurate info, just visit my last.fm profile. ;)

Even though my holiday has been over now for a few days, I've remained productive. On Tuesday, I was finally able to start on a fresh, new, structured song, and I can already tell you that it's very different from anything that's going to be on The Art In Dreaming. This new demo is called The Months of Tribulation and right now it's about 2 minutes in length, with guitar and bass throughout, drums for 1½ minutes and vocals planned for a little over half a minute. The whole thing actually started with the drums - I was feeling bored in the afternoon so I started jamming and came up with a groovy pattern that came to serve as the basis for the demo. It's still only a demo, though, so it needs a lot of fixating and developing. Whereas the recording for TAID goes, I will most likely start on it next week, and the first song I will begin to work on will be In The Art of Dreaming.

For tonight, I got no plans. I will most likely keep listening to Skillet for quite a bit, maybe watch a movie and write something. One thing that was special about the Christmas holiday, by the way, was the amount of movies I watched. I probably watch around 20-30 movies a year and during this Christmas (or last Christmas, whatever makes sense to you) alone I watched about 10 movies from TV. I know that it's a small amount on a general scale, but I find that I would get overloaded with inspiration if I watched more, haha - not to mention I'd be wasting too much time if I went to movie theaters all the time, which I obviously never do.

One more note: I know that I've kind of forgotten about my first book here with all the musical stuff and the new book going on, but trust me, I haven't abandoned it yet. I'm just lacking time, inspiration and motivation for it... Which are all understandable and valid reasons, don't you think?

Prepare for more of my babble tomorrow/next week. :P

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eon

Here I am again. As this is my first post of the year, happy 2010, everyone. My holiday is reaching its end on Wednesday, so this might just be my last post of the holiday as well. Anyhow... I've kept myself on the same productive path that I've been on for this entire period of 2 and a half weeks. For instance, I've now completed the writing for The Art In Dreaming - which of course doesn't mean that there aren't going to be changes in the compositions before the recording sessions and the actual release. It just means that I have something for each void right now, so to speak, but I might find better ways to fill those spots, particularly when it comes down to the drums. It might sound stupid to say that I've completed something while I actually haven't, but the truth is that I am as done as I can be right now. I'm just the type of person who gets new ideas all the time and I've come to see that I can never be certain about anything with my songs until I've recorded the whole thing, mixed it and put it out. On a side note, I'm careful not to give out any release date because we all know what'll happen if I do so, but I'm quite certain that the EP will not be out until March, but likely before the summer.

During the weekend I also spent a lot of time working on the new book. I didn't only write it, but did research for it since there are some things in it that I'm not familiar with (e.g. the place the protagonist is moving to). I'm personally very excited about the story because it's not only good so far, but I also have a lot of ideas in store for it. Don't forget to check the download link for the first two chapters, which is once again http://www.sendspace.com/file/v1bvta.


Even if the year has changed, I've continued listening to previously familiar music instead of seeking for new bands and influences. Just yesterday I gave Evanescence's Fallen a spin, and after many, many years of not listening to it, it felt really good. Everyone should know that I haven't really been into female lead vocalists until now, but Flyleaf and Evanescence are really luring me into liking them... Haha. HURT, Deftones and Celldweller have also been at the top of my playlist recently. The chapter 2 (that I just downloaded this morning) of from Celldweller's sophomore studio album Wish Upon a Blackstar has turned out to be amazing, and significantly better than the previous chapter containing the songs Louder than Words and So Long Sentiment was. This second chapter includes the songs Eon and The Best It's Gonna Get. The album is split in 5 chapters in total, so 3 are still to come sometime this year. I honestly cannot wait for them.


At the time when the year officially changed, I was playing guitar on my bed and trying to gather some new ideas. Having succeeded in that, I have a few new riffs done which are rather fast compared to my earlier material, mostly due to the influences by Limp Bizkit and RED I was under last week. So far it seems that I'm having a hard time constructing actual songs though. We'll see what time brings - now that the writing for my third EP is done, I'm obviously hungry for writing new material, even if the recording for The Art in Dreaming still needs to take place.


Here you go - for now, anyway. It's been a wonderful holiday (way better than I could imagine) and I'm sure that even though I don't share all of my life in this blog, you can easily agree with that by simply looking at the posts I've done throughout this period. I really hope this year will be as fruitful as last year was... It's been a great start, that's for sure. See you again soon. ;)