Well here's a fun cover that I got to do with my old bandmates, The Slants. Most of us are living in different parts of the country these days but it was fun to do an online recording with my brothers-in-arms. It was especially a treat because there were members of The Slants that I never got to play with since they were either before or after I left the group.
So without further ado, please enjoy our cover of Ramones "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)." Performed by Aron Moxley (vocals), Joe X Jiang (keys), Ken Shima (vocals), Simon Tam (bass), Thai Dao (DOUBLE bass), Tyler Chen (vocals), Yuya Matsuda (drums), and yours truly on geeeetar! Have a great New Year and we'll see you out there!
I wanted to share a cover of a song. This is a Willie Nelson song. This past weekend I was at a funeral for a family member and it was really tough for everyone. My dad reminded me that this song is particularly special so I thought I'd take a stab at it.
Preshow rituals can really be very different for every person. As a singer, I noticed it starts with choices. Choices on what to consume. What weighs me down as a performer or vocalist? Often times I find myself opting for a salad over something heavy like a pizza. For me, I perspire quite a lot I have to keep the salt intake as low as I can so that I'm not distracted by buurrning sweat! AUUGHH! Every day you're different so getting in tune with your instrument is imperative. As a guitarist, it helps me to prep my equipment well in advance and go through my precheck rituals. Have the batteries been changed? What equipment needs repairs? Do my strings need changing? Do I need to adjust the set order if I noticed something caused lagging in the set or I was struggling with something the night before?
Something I didn't mention in the interview below with Digital Tour Bus, was post-show rituals. Just as important as preparing for a performance is what you do immediately after. The majority of the time everybody wants to talk to you right after the show. Personally, I've seen way too many musicians leave equipment behind or blow out their voice from talking to quickly after a performance. Often I'll do cool down voice exercises while packing my equipment and passing it off to any roadies we might have. Getting the equipment into a safe place is imperative since it's our livelihoods. If I'm able to pass off a job quickly, I can make my way to the merch booth to meet fans and thank them for coming to the show. But I can't do that if the equipment is safe.
If you've ever hung out with any of my bands or myself, William-does-fancy-himself some drinks but again this comes to choices. Is it my shift to drive the tour bus? How far do we need to go? Am I performing the next night? Do we have a driver? Are we staying in town? At the end of the evening when all the hanging out is done and we're in our bunks on the road to our next show, the prep work before and after a show will allow us to be consistent as performers. At this current stage, every group I've been in still has to pull their own weight even if we do have roadies or drivers. So it becomes my responsibility to be consistent so that fans get the same show energy even if we are midweek on a 2-month tour.
Well here's my first attempt at playing and tracking along with a song. I chose this song, "What If" by Tokio Hotel because it does a lot of grooves that I tend to be drawn towards in electronic music. I'm using this forum in a way to document progress. My goal is to share my struggles, achievements, and thought process. As much as I'd love to only tell you about only the great stuff, I feel I'd do a disservice to future musicians and anybody who is struggling to express themselves. I ride a fine line of being a music mentor and a performer. Ultimately, I need to create music and express myself first and foremost but helping others find their musical voicings is extremely rewarding.
That being said, this is where I am playing drums with about 1-2 weeks of practice with a click. Since I'm already familiar with how to drill myself with other instruments, this seems to be coming to me pretty naturally. In about a year, I'll either think about venturing into a brass instrument or the cello but I'll shelve that for another time.
As the COVID-19 quarantine rages on so too does more desire to express myself. I'm sure you're all equally feeling frustrated by the state of the world and trying to keep yourself motivated and positive, but it sure gets hard when everything in the news either terrifies you or demoralizes you. That being said, stayC and I teamed up to make another electronic session entitled "We're Doomed <3". This was a particularly fun one to make happen and it's likely it'll pop up in Death by Overkill's repertoire.
I've also included other songs/licks/covers by members from The Adarna as well. Give them a like and enjoy!
In other news, I've decided to purchase an electronic drum set so that I don't drive my household nuts when I play the acoustic drum set. Right now has been a great time for developing new skills and refining others. Much love guys!
Well I can tell you the good thing about being stuck in doors during this global pandemic is that you do have time to try some of the sillier ideas on your mind. Common down the rabbit with me!
TIME AFTER TIME: First up we have a dark retro synth wave version of Cyndi Lauper's song in a duet with StayC Meyer from Death by Overkill & Furniture Girls. I had considered releasing this song properly but decided to just go release it as a for-fun thing. I've been really drawn towards dubstep and heavy modern synth (in the vein of Stranger Things) lately so here's an attempt at digging into it. You'll probably see more of this popping up in my repertoire.
FALLING SLOWLY: This was a really pretty song from the Irish band The Swell Season. They made a great artsy film called "Once" and this was their title track. "What's that strange keyboard thing?" That my dear, is a melodica, that StayC uses in Death by Overkill.
I RAN: Andreka joins Stayc and I to try the Flock of Seagulls song. The small instruments StayC and Andreka are playing are called kalimbas. Andreka used a pill bottle to help keep time. It was pretty hilarious that by the end of it all the pills were pretty much turned to powder. Ironically, those were back pain meds that would've been really useful since being stuck in quarantine, my usual trek to the gym has been disrupted and my back is really acting up. #ArtIsPain I was playing a cigar box ukelele that my buddy Sean Fairchild made. Huge thank you my brutha!