Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Music.

Music is never flawless. The people who make music are never flawless. Not even the people who listen to music are flawless. That is what really makes music what it is - a soulful, sincere product from one person to the other, from generations to generations; constantly developing it isn’t reliant on wars, hate or conflict that surrounds us daily. Instead, music is the deepest essence of us humans and at its best it is just as flawed as we are. Most importantly, all music is born from the love of something. In a ballad, it can be from the love of someone you have lost, or then someone you’re happy enough to be in a relationship with – in rap music it can be from the love of expressing your opinion on many unspoken things in an unformatted way. Even the most brutal heavy metal music comes from the love of something – the love of the music itself. Regardless of the many religions and beliefs music can spread, on its own it is actually the one & only universal language which can make anyone feel like they’re in heaven, meditating and/or worshipping no matter the place, the heart or the looks. Music is in the past, in the present, and it will be in the future, and it is never around just to flow with the timeline. Music changes with people, it changes people, but the great thing about it is that no matter how hard anyone tries, music cannot be made artificial by people. You can make it mainstream, you can make it all poppy or as horrible as you can, but it still remains sincere and plain. It just appears in a less original and inspirational packaging that way. There is nothing else in this world, in this entire universe that would be as lifeless and in the same time, as alive as music. Because of its non-breathing, non-thinking existence it is impossible to feed lies, deception, greed and all the other evil things people have created on this Earth to music, but it is just as alive as another person would be right next to you when it touches you in the core. With each note, through each melody… No one can ever truly understand the meaning or structure of music completely, but everyone can feel its overwhelming attack at night, day, summer, winter, in the ghetto and the mansions, in the cellars and on the mountains. Don’t even bother to try and stop it, government and record companies. Music is not only a tool of revolution, it is the revolution – and of the friendliest kind you can think of.

I just wrote that and even if it's totally not checked for errors and flow, I wanted to post it before I get any second thoughts. Totally spontaneous and out there. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

200th Collage

Here I am as I said I would be, about to make my 200th post in total on this blog. :) It has been quite a thrilling week - possibly the best one out of my entire holiday so far - filled with not so surprising yet enjoyable moments and acts. I'm currently downloading an album by Faithless called Sunday 8PM (fitting well to the current state of the week, amusingly) after getting back into the trio's debut Reverence just yesterday. I've been re-amazed by The Accident Experiment too recently, without ignoring Ektomorf, which is my most fresh new influence. Even though technically not as impressive as the two others, I've been headbanging for a fair bit to the album Outcast by the latter during the past few days.

Before I get any further, I want to reveal that Faithless has not only inspired me with its sound, but it has also inspired me for its sound within this weekend. I spent hours last night and some more throughout today to work on a cover of their probably most well-known song, Insomnia. Coming along not much different than the original sheet-wise, it is definitely something new for the undersigned, but with a trademark Wicked Breath twist to it. I hope you're all looking forward to hearing it as much as I am to finishing it. This is also most likely the only one out of the three covers I have worked on during June-July, with the covers of My Own Summer and Aerials being more or less too obvious for a musician such as myself to cover, I think. I couldn't really bring anything fresh to the already hard and heavy songs myself, not to mention that screwing up with the two songs could only result in big trouble, whereas with Insomnia I can at least get some credit for doing a brave effort in converting the song to rock. Outside Insomnia, I've began on yet another new song, which does base on a riff I came up with months ago already though. As I mentioned the possibility of maybe showing off some new lyrics of mine in the last post, here we go - two short, but in the same very meaningful verses of the new piece currently titled The Day I Scared Myself.

Waste around my lungs, stuffing my heart with internal calm
Another gust has built its hate in my eyes – all red, I see the aligned
Love is found within my haste, but confusion has perverted its taste
I want to live under the cold wrapping all, oh, milky

Late August fear and gasp, fading while the other one grows
Something strange about the silk ashtray advertises the west
Rage is making its temples again but I will not let it get far this time
So take all this evil away, now, now, now… 

As the brightest ones out there can see, it's quite a mix of spiritual, depressed and self-exploratory moods with a poetic way of expressing. I won't go deeper with it yet, but I do wish that anyone reading will if only they have the time. ;)

Between these posts I've also completed reading a book which I started reading at the start of the week. The book is called Audrey, wait! (by Robin Benway) which focuses on telling a story about a worldwide hit song which, simply put, ruins a teenage girl's life since it was made by his boyfriend about their break-up. Sounds more stupid than it is, trust me, because it turns out that this Audrey girl is a huge music fanatic, and as there's plenty of syrup included inside the book's pages, there are interesting descriptions of live concerts and great music in general as well. I don't mind syrup-ish stories at all anyway, even if that does make me sound even more of a wussy than I already am I guess, haha.

As we are reaching the final paragraph, I want to announce that I am finally done with not only the EP and the music video, but also with the cutting of all the bonus material that the promotional team members can now view on the secret site they have been linked to. I would also like to let everyone know that there are still a few spots open in the said team in case some of you reading aren't members of it and haven't either turned down the offer or received one yet. I cannot emphasize enough that I need all the support I can get at this time. Promotion itself has been going a little better as far as I've heard during this week, but there's always room for a new listener or two, so... Keep spreading the word. Jon2 is off for tonight, but only to bug you again next week. Peace out!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Passive vs. Active

Has it been a while or what, huh? I obviously have a lot of stuff to share but I'll try not to bore anyone here and keep things short and simple. It's not like I have much time to waste anyway, knowing that I have only about 35% of my holiday left anymore at this point...

First of all, the Xie Xie music video is now out. You can view the video on YouTube and comment on it either there or here in my blog. A lot of work has been put into the video despite its low quality and amateurish filming/acting, and so be gentle with your words even though I most certainly want to hear everything from love to hate concerning it. The video is about 6 and a half minutes in length but I'm hoping it's not too boring since it does have many different angles and characters. It beats half of the music videos rolling on MTV what comes to the content, at least. :P

The past 10 days or so I've mostly been working around finishing the MV, putting together some new ideas musically and lyrically, reading a bunch of stuff in general and further building up my addiction on music from the Deftones, KoRn, System of a Down, Killswitch Engage, Crazy Town and Atomship. I've actually been buying records, too - I ordered White Pony by the Deftones (which I also received 2 days ago), Lateralus by Tool and Killswitch Engage by Killswitch Engage through a friend of mine and yesterday, while doing some shopping with my dad, I bought Faith No More's The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection and To/Die/For's Wounds Wide Open. The latter were both risky, I know - I was going to buy some albums I actually love from a familiar record store but then I heard it had been closed and settled for the market shelf which predictably didn't have much to offer. I've only given the two albums an incomplete listen so far and have yet to really have anything groundbreaking to say about them, but obviously one's from a classic, one's from quite a nobody. While "shopping", I also got myself a new TV, new headphones, some floorballs and ink for my printer. The first two were due to my old TV and headphones (both aged 2½ years, RIP) breaking down at the end of last week - not because me and my family could afford to buy those every other week, ha. My new TV is much better than the old one was but I'm a little skeptical about my headphones at the moment. I really loved the previous although these new ones have awesome bass leveling.

What else? Not much I guess since I really am not too keen on showing you my new lyrics not to mention my latest musical ideas. We all hate MIDI anyway, am I right? ;) Maybe I'll tease you with some hints of Permafrost or something when it's time for my next post. I have so many ideas and little drafts of songs though that it's even hard for myself to keep up with them, let alone anyone else.

The first promotional team members have already witnessed an exclusive site including videos, a recording of State 18, a digital booklet for TAID and much more. I am nevertheless desperate to get more supporters and members, so please, anyone reading, can't you just direct one or two people towards the EP if you haven't yet and let me know about it? Not much work, guys and girls, not much. Especially considering all the exclusives I got up on the secret site, it's worth doing. (I probably am overestimating the readers of this blog, but really, I'm sure there's a few of you lurking.)

I'll try to stop now and instead share any further updates, news and ranting in my next post, which I promise will come out before next week. Enjoy the MV and my absence until then. :P

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Darkhorse

Big news first - Wicked Breath is currently looking for a singer. I have FINALLY realized that no matter how much I dream about singing in particular whenever it's time for me to perform my own music live, at the moment it is for the best to try out something else, and someone else, because I simply am not going forward with the current flow of things. If I really wanted to become a decent singer someday soon, I'd have to invest some money and time on it which I can't afford to, not to mention the fact that I'm an autodidact who probably would only feel torture practicing with a vocal coach, anyway. Perhaps in a few years when I settle on my own and the music is good enough to be sold to a wide audience, I'll make the needed operations to reach a decent level of expressing things with my voice, but with the time being I am faced against the wall. (As a side note, the fact that I am looking for another singer doesn't mean that I am calling off the request to receive tips on vocals from anyone, so please, go ahead if you have any. ;)) For the record, I already have 3 candidates for the spot, but even more are welcome to volunteer, of course.

Then, speaking of selling my music... Another big decision I've made is that instead of selling the special edition package I've told you earlier, I'm only going to share some exclusives on a secret webpage to those who succeed in promotion. This means that most of the content I have filmed and prepared for the special package will see the light of day, but in a non-physical form and for free. So far there aren't many people that have been promoting well as far as I am aware, so keep on doing it, please. The EP is far from my best work of art to be presented in this life time, but I consider it enough to make a few people more acknowledge my musical existence through it. In a week, I will set up the secret site and tell about it to those who I feel deserve to know about it. In a week or so, I'm also releasing the Xie Xie music video on the AS site and YouTube, so keep an eye on for that.

As I shared in my last post, it's been overwhelming to spend my days listening to so much music after I no longer have had to work on the EP. Since Monday, I've been listening to such bands as Crazy Town, Deftones, KoRn, Disturbed, 36 Crazyfists, Blindside, AqME, Blindside and a few others as well. This morning I also went through the rather impressive spoken-word album by Chi Cheng called The Bamboo Parachute, which I believe I mentioned here a few posts back. The poems the album consists of are quite inspiring as far as I have been able to interpret them without any text to back up the words I can't catch or understand. Concerning KoRn, I've been getting into their new album KoRn III: Remember Who You Are, which so far seems like an okay album but not all that impressive - while from Crazy Town I downloaded their two studio albums The Gift of Game and Darkhorse after "losing" them between switching from my old laptop to this current one 1½ years ago. Both albums seem pretty solid, though not all that great lyrically, similar to Limp Bizkit. In case you are wondering, I have a much better internet connection than before since last Friday which is also a reason to why I've been downloading stuff like crazy lately. :P It's really fantastic to see albums and videos load 30 times faster than before, and the best thing is that the monthly fee is actually 2 Euros less than with the previous connection, making my parents happy too, heh.

About the World Cup, I'm on Netherlands' side now for the final, and hoping that Uruguay will surprise Germany in the bronze match. All in all I have enjoyed the games a lot though I haven't been able to follow them as intensively as I would have hoped. I am proud that the African continent made it to the top 8 because of Ghana and I'm also happy that regardless of whether Netherlands or Spain wins, there will be a new champion added to the books of history. Now that I'm not really in a rush for anything besides finishing the music video, I'm certainly going to watch both of the last two matches from the start to the end this weekend.

Lastly I want to say a few things about the future of Wicked Breath. Some of the most developed new songs of mine at the moment include Allergy/Anemia, Cyan Lie, Permafrost, Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage and Johannesburg. In August I will start recording instrumentals again for the singer candidates and before then I will try to finish a song or two, with them most likely consisting of the titles mentioned above. Currently the sound of WB is diversifying by each new song, basically, and the songs are all in all more complex, poetic and dark - however, there are more traditionally structured songs in the works too besides the progressive efforts I've been writing. Lyrically the palette is wider than ever, but that probably doesn't need to be explained... :P I'll be telling more about the new stuff as time passes and the ideas evolve.

Now, I'm off to watch some Formula 1. See you again in a few days, and before then... Stay active and don't forget the World Cup final. ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bury Me Where I Fall.

I honestly don't know where to start with this post. I guess above all things I should let everyone know that I will post a little more often from now on since I have much less work to do and I should also have more individuals things to talk about than during the past few months. As a cold lover, the hotness outside during this sunny July is simply too much for me to spend much time out there so I will probably sit in front of my computer for quite a bit, anyway. :P

The EP is now out as many of you know, and it has gotten a rather positive response so far. The bad thing is that I am still not satisfied. One reason to that is the fact how I still keep finding things I should've fixed upon release - another one is the fact that most of the feedback I've got so far has been from people who, to quote their own words, "don't listen to the kind of music" I make. While that makes my appreciation towards giving my music a chance even bigger, I've now realized that promoting it is actually a huge challenge. Currently I fuse a lot of genres on my releases, but instead of using the same kind of style on every song (or at least on most of the songs) basically each of them is different, which I've so far seen as only a good thing. Now I've opened my eyes and realized that no matter how much fun it is to make soft rock songs, nu metal songs, post-rock songs, progressive rock songs etc. it makes promotion and forming an own identity for Wicked Breath much much harder. Obviously there are people who have diverse musical tastes and enjoy not knowing what's coming next from me, but most people really just want to recognize one style and one direction when they pop in the CD and concentrate on what they hear. I haven't solved this issue yet but I am working on it - while in the same time I truly ask you to promote me. Seriously, anyone who is reading, take 10 minutes of your time to think of a person who could be into passion-filled rock music (because I'm sure everyone knows one) and then contact that person and tell him/her about me. If everyone who's already downloaded the EP could do that, the number of listeners would already double. And, with the numbers we're talking about here, that would be a pretty good start. A third issue I currently have is that I'm still getting a lot of criticism towards my singing, which I know I have improved on as expected, but apparently it's just not enough at this time. Thus, my second request is that if anyone knows some tips that might help with my singing, please do not hesitate to tell me.

To boost up the promotion I have started cutting the Xie Xie music video one week early now. The Promotional Team Sign-Up is on-going as well, but instead of the pre-planned deadline of a week, you now have 2 weeks to go to http://autumnscream.webs.com, sign-up if you haven't or login, and then go sign-up for the promotional team through the link you see on the site navigation bar. If you're an old member of the team, you also have to confirm your participation in promoting TAID, to make sure you're actually all awake and ready for it. :P For that, login and then go post your confirmation here. The Xie Xie music video should be released within one week, and I will of course keep you updated on how that goes before the actual release.

Recently I've been into making covers of songs on the side of working with and promoting the EP. I already told you about the cover of My Own Summer (Shove It) by the Deftones that I had been working on, and last week I also got inspired to do one of System of a Down's Aerials. Note that both of these aren't recorded though, just Guitar Pro files, and even though I already had an idea of making a cover EP of sorts, I don't have any bigger plans right now for neither one of the two songs. Concerning my other new demos, Allergy/Anemia is now almost complete written-wise and I've also started on a new one that was first called Ille Sidus Postumus, but later retitled to Johannesburg. Named after one of the big cities in South Africa, Johannesburg is very post-rock influenced as many of my newest songs have been. I was actually joking the other day that I have enough material already to make 4 mini-EPs consisting of just a few songs, which would revolve around covers, love, post-rock and left-overs, haha. I will do a list later compiling all of my new ideas and their titles.

Until I bore you to death... Last paragraph right here for now, focusing on the music I've been listening to and taken slight influences from lately. As you might predict after reading that I have worked on a cover of Aerials, last week I got back into System of a Down and listened to them more than anything else. The other band I've been covering, the Deftones, has also been swimming under my earwax, haha. A few days ago I tried to give Mudvayne's The End of All Things to Come a go but for the moment it doesn't/didn't seem all that pleasant or inspiring to listen to. Before and during the making of this post I have switched to 36 Crazyfists and their debut album, Bitterness the Star, as well as AqMe and Sombres Efforts. After only focusing on my own stuff for the last few weeks, seems like I have an enormous need for listening to all kinds of stuff right now. Finally I would like to note a totally off-topic and random thing - after the relief of finally releasing my first somewhat listenable effort, I spent the whole day re-decorating my room (exactly one year from when I did it last time) with images of my favorite bands, their album covers, a few photographs I've taken myself + the cover of TAID. I have to say that I have never felt as comfortable inside these 4 walls I'm typing this post from that I do now. :) So, concludingly, I'll be back in a few days, and remember the AS forums, the promotion, and all of my other insanely several though not at all impossible requests. ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dreams of Art Sit In The Dark...

...Waiting for you to open the bar. That's right... The Art In Dreaming EP is now here. :) More than a year has been spent while working on this piece and I am hopeful (however not certain) that this release is actually worth listening to more than just once and for numerious days yet to come. If you're kind enough to read the README file within the package to which I'm about to paste a link here, you'll see that I am modest and humble towards anything anyone has to say now - but in the same time, I am rather satisfied with myself, my patience, and my development. TAID is by no means perfect, but by no means is it as flawed as my past, either. I am positive that it's a promising effort, but how promising is it exactly? That's up to you.

Anyway, I don't want to rant all day here, I can do that in another post. I will let the music do the talking, for once. Be advised, however, that no matter how humble I might be now, I will rant if opinions don't start flooding during the weekend. :P

Last note I want to make is that the album art was done by Justine Florio, not me. She also appears as a vocalist in the closer of the EP, In The Art of Dreaming. Everything else has been written, performed, recorded, mixed and pondered in my own room - my own home studio, if you may. Now, enjoy this free product with your delicate ears. ;)