Saturday, December 29, 2007

Coconuts

I've been trying to keep this blog mostly on the topic of being a musician in an unknown local band and attempting to work my way to the point where we make enough money as a band to eat but I have realized that there are other things that I want to write about that have to do with being an artist who's discovering his creative potential and some other stuff so I may begin to deviate a little bit from band comments but I will keep it music related none the less.

I was at work today thinking (I have obscene amounts of time at work to think because my job doesn't require a lot of thinking so I fill my head with other things). So as I was thinking I got thinking about this book that I read in grade one. The name of it escaped me while I was thinking about it but I looked it up just now and it's called "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". So this book is about this kid named Alexander who has a day where everything goes wrong for him and he keeps repeating "I should move to Australia".

Now the reason I was thinking about this book was because my Grade One teacher Mrs. Vandermeer asked us to write a letter to the main character after we had finished the book. I'm sure the other kids in my class came up with some standard first grade responses or something but that's not important. The thing was that there was all this stuff in the book that I could of wrote about like....I could have given him a pep-talk or told him about Jesus or something amazing but I didn't. In fact the only thing I ever wrote for that assignment was "don't move to Australia or coconuts will fall on your head".

I look back on this now and think "man...what a waste. I could have written some amazing analytical piece on the tragedy of Alexander impressing my teacher and solidifying my place as a future author or something". But as I was thinking today I realized that reading that writing that letter was just a step on my way to becoming the writer that I am today. It was another thing that got me towards being the articulate organized article/essay writer that I am today.

So you're probably wondering why I've spent three paragraphs rambling on about this. It has to do with something else I've been doing lately; writing music. You see...my early attempts at music writing have been pretty simplistic and I look back at them and see so much squandered potential and wonder why I didn't put more effort. I look at old lyric lists with titles like "Quiet night in Moncton" and wonder why I never finished off the half written poetry of it.

But it all comes back to the kids book. My early attempts have taught me things that have helped me to write better music and have motivated me to work harder and I can always go back and work at them some more and hopefully make something wonderful out of them.

So...here's to artistic growth and "Alexander? Don't move to Australia or coconuts will fall on your head" and you will get skin cancer because of the hole in the ozone layer

Friday, December 14, 2007

High Responsibilities and Hiatus

Such a long time since the last update, much has happened. We played a show with a band called Cain and Abel who I now have a lot of respect for. They played a sweet show and even though our set wasn't that big we enjoyed sticking around for their show. We also played a benefit concert this past Friday which played host to our biggest audience so far. It was funny because we ended up playing our slowest song (papercut) just because I wanted people to all walk away and act disinterested and start talking and we would just be up there playing for ourselves which is exactly what happened.

This Monday we're playing our last show before going on a short hiatus. The show is going to be a very intimate house party in my basement with lots of friends and cookies and stuff, and tt will be good. However, we are going on hiatus which feels a bit weird considering that we're not even a year old yet as a band but the craziness of life has gotten in the way of doing the kinds of things we want to do. I got a Mcjob working as a dishwasher in Kingston and I've been putting in crazy hours since starting that which has gotten in the way of band practice and shows and stuff so that was causing some tension. And then Owen started basketball season and then it just got too difficult to organize schedules so we're taking some time off from shows to write songs and rehearse and prepare our album which should be excellent.

But first we're playing our last hurrah and recording it so we have a solid live recording and it will be great and I'll just have to hope that the great times continue on.

Another thing has been bugging me as of late. I really really want to tour more than anything else in the world right now. I want it so bad that I was lying in bed last night just praying for a touring opportunity to drop into my lap. I know that sounds desperate but really...that would be something I could cross off on my list of things to do in life and it would be something I could have stories about....forever. But right now it's just a dream so I'll keep praying and in the meantime we'll keep getting better until our time comes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Music

Our myspace was taken down but no one likes myspace anyways. The completed EP can now be listened to from the following like at Last FM Here.


Enjoy folks.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bittersweet

So we played our first show and it was truly a bittersweet time. First I'll tell you about the sweetness, then the bitterness.

What was sweet was everything in the show involving us and then some other stuff. It was sweet that many people came out to see us. We had probably 10-15 people come out and watch us play. Most were from Rideau but a few local camp people came too. Our set, while cut a little short, went very well. Cutting down the set actually worked out pretty well because it removed our one slow song and made everything very tight. "March on Myself" (one of the two new ones we played) was met with a lot of enthusiasm. Everyone seemed to like it a lot. And to top it all off, We finished the set with A Taste of Things to Come and we had many members of the crowd singing along to the final line of lyrics. It was a wonderful time. There was also another very sweet band there called "The Falling Service" from Belleville. They played some high energy punk-like music and it was awesome. They had some crazy on stage antics and one of the sweetest Bass tones I've heard.

But with sweetness there was some bitterness to be had. First off, the show got started 40 minutes late because the second band showed up late and took a long time to set up. Then we ended up with some bands that we didn't really fit in with. A really EMO acoustic guy, a screamo band, and a very bitter hardcore band who insulted us and called us hypocrites in our absence. Needless to say we're going to be much more cautious about who we play with now and we'll definitely make sure we don't leave early from a show again.

So, we move on into the future with experience from our first bitter-sweet show. We learned that you should stay for all the bands who play, and if you have a lot of fans you should probably play last. Our next show is likely going to be November 10th at the YFC centre again for a World Vision benefit concert, Followed by an opener for Cain and Abel on November 23rd. Let the craziness begin.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A(LIVE)!

We just got our first show in Kingston and it's very exciting even though it's a small venue and such. We're playing the YFC Center in Kingston on October the 27th. It's weird to finally be able to play an actual show with songs that we actually wrote and in front of people who actually pay to see us. It's going to be mind blowing! OK, abbreviated post over.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Popularity

You know....the internet teaches you crazy things like Pi to a ludicrous number of digits, or the atomic mass of carbon or how many people are interested in your band. I started a facebook group on Friday for O nO! and I invited Joe, and Owen. As of right now (4:46 PM on Thursday October 18th) there were 186 members. That's preposterous. How in the world did we get 186 fans in such a short time. We've only been a band for like...9 months. What happened? This makes my mind explode.

In other news I'm discovering that working at a camp for the summer gives you lots of connections to people with useful skills. For example, (camp names only) Inuk is doing the EP cover photography, Reebok is filming stuff, Puddddinn' is possibly designing a T-Shirt, we may try and get Dos to do sound for us, Gavin is putting us on his fledgling label, and Doiley is trying to get us set up with some shows. This is awesome and has been an immense help to us as a band since we are just starting to get off the ground and having all of this support from these people just helps make us feel more confident.

News-wise, the EP is coming together quite well. Final mixing is now finished so I don't have to worry about tweaking stuff anymore. The copy for it is pretty much finished and Liz wants to get together with us sometime to do the photography for the cover and insides. Hopefully we can send it off to be replicated soon and then have the O nO! party shortly thereafter. Band life is moving fast.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Let's Try This Again....

Once upon a time when I was but a youth, I blogged with abandon on a daily basis. However, as I wrote, I discovered that I had to be careful who and what I wrote about and it lost its magic so I stopped. However, I think I've figured it out and so now I tiptoe delicately back into this habit.

The whole point of this blog is to chronicles the goings on of myself as a musician and as the drummer for O nO! With this as my tool, I will will chronicle my journeys as I attempt to navigate the monster that is the music industry while trying to retain my credibility and still managing to eat (hence the title "Stumbling out of Starvation").

The band is an interesting thing. We get together, Owen writes his guitar riffs, we all laugh at the end of a jam that sounds particularly magical, and then we go back and pick up the pieces. We've ended up with so many songs in the last couple of months that it makes me wonder how I stumbled upon this whole thing. It seems like only yesterday, I was in two cover bands with little creativity and little hope for expansion for the future.  Then somehow as a joke, I managed to get myself into a hugely creative group of guys that seem to actually be going somewhere. Ah the mysteries of band formation.

We recorded an EP last weekend (the last weekend in September) and I've been rather consumed with post production for that as of late. Mixing, writing copy, preparing for pictures, picking a single, etc. We're trying to get it professionally replicated so I'm currently getting all of the ducks lined up for that and then we're setting up a house party in mid to late november to release the EP. On top of all this Aidan Vickery messaged me like....20 minutes ago and told me that we could play a show on the 23rd of November. So much is happening so fast and it's kind of hard to all take in at once.

We'll see how things unfold in the coming weeks. Notable happenings will be logged here.