Thursday, March 19, 2015

Epoch Fail, Gloom Abroad, Pit Boss

Me the last 4 months.
It's getting warmer here in Michigan. Last week we had weather that was in the mid 60's which is practically unheard of for this time of year. And as is the case with all transitional seasons you start to get a sense of one chapter closing and the advent of another. As for the chapter that is closing, for the most part my chapter was plebeian at best. An interminable way point that I would have preferred to eschew than experience first hand. But here I am at the withering moments of winter and I have little to reflect upon. It was a shitty, arduous winter and I am glad that change is on the horizon. Not that I think that other people are out doing all kinds of wonderful things during the cold seasons. I don't see many snow orgies on my commute home. I don't often see flyers for workshops entitled, "Icicle Incantations: Sparking Sexual Interplay With Frosty Phallus's" when I am window shopping. But I wish I was in a position to travel more to warmer climates in the the winter months and cooler climates in the summer months. If I could go on 2 month tours during both those seasons I would always go to places people least expect. Winter's here? Let's tour the Amazon basin. Summer's coming? Let's tour only Eskimo villages. Perhaps one day Kerry King willing.

Don't let my usual whining set you astray though. For the most part, I am in relatively high spirits lately. Ruined is in the studio recording and we are going on tour with Planning for Burial in May which is fucking incredible. How a fuckhead like me gets to be on the same bill with one of the best musicians/people out there for three nights in a row is beyond me. Also I recently have found renewed fealty to my peers here in Grand Rapids as well. I don't know if I will ever be a social Czar here but I am glad people are willing to pull through for me even though I am a penurious and accursed shitbag. I feel it's worth mentioning though that when I am on tour I am far more amicable and even conciliatory to everyone around me. I genuinely enjoy the company of humanity overall when I am on the road. And the main explanation for that being that I pretty much hate not being on tour and every moment spent static takes an egregious toll on my self-worth. So basically I am in a better mood when I am on the road and I don't hate people in such a piercing or relentless way. Also I am less likely to deal with yuppies and normo's every fucking day when I am playing punk basements and hipster havens. Then again I hate punks and hipsters too...and I am usually really tired after I play a set so I get grumpy...yeah you know what forget all that I am just a fuckshitter. I am just the way Kerry King made me.

Legitimate Gloom.

With that tour on the horizon it gives me something to look forward to which is really all life is. Or at least living within Western culture; a whole bunch of bullshit and the occasional reprieve only to be cast back down into the depths of despair. But knowing that the tour is coming up in a couple of months I have begun trying to eat better and exercise. I have to really kick it up a notch because not only do I have to build my stamina for our set every night, but I also have to keep the pit open during the entirety of Planning for Burial's set. It's going to be tough to keep a bunch of gloom fucks and sad saps moving in the pit. They will be emotionally subverted and therefore physically devitalized. It'll be my job to maintain what I like to call "Pit Velocity." I will encourage others to crawl onto me and stab me with ceremonial daggers and we will all cry and puke blood until there is no more sanguine fluid to spill. It will be glorious. I should probably start training, stay gloomy.   

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Slow March To Burial, Musicianship: Grievance In Motion, Stone Cold Update

Cyclops = March
It's March again. I decided a long time ago that March is my least favorite month of the year. I usually consider myself to be a fall/winter kind of guy more than a spring/summer. Any season that causes more sorrow than hope is alright by me. But for those of you who don't live in Michigan or the great white North our winters tend to push far into our other seasons. So I start to get burnt out with all the frigid wind and window scraping around this time. March is just a shitty ass month where it is close enough to spring to make you look forward but far enough away that it just pisses you the fuck off. The first day of spring is in March but that means dick up here. The closest I have ever come to being in a car accident was when I was 17 and I spun out during a sleet storm and it was the middle of April. Pretty much the only good March I have ever had was when I was in Europe. Three years ago today I was in Madrid, Spain having the time of my life. I should really start writing in my journal again so I can document all the stuff I don't do these days.

Their dates make more sense. Day/Month/Year.
Fuck this is depressing me to watch.
I need to go back.

It isn't all bad news though. I do have a few things on the horizon to look forward to. One thing in particular has me pretty jazzed but I am waiting until all our ducks are in a row before I announce it. I have this habitual nature about me that I get too far ahead of myself. But I also feel that most people don't get ahead of themselves at all. And they don't take any risks or ever run head first into the mist. I was having a talk the other day about being a musician and what that entails. The unfortunate imbalance that happens usually is that your bank account will always be plundered by passion. Most people can't imagine being broke as fuck and simultaneously be planning a road trip at the same time. I would say unequivocally that the average "musician" is not cut out for it and they are too terrified of not playing things safe. But really is that the way you would want it? Would you want to only play shows within a 50 mile radius of where you live and have the record executive happen to show up and sign you on the spot? Where's the fucking fun in that? We all see it happen, where people get handed all the right trappings for doing the wrong deeds. I don't even think they realize what a simple journey they had to go on to obtain their fame. I have said it a million times on here before but I believe that life is about having a wealth of experiences and not fiscal worth. I would rather spend 5 years playing only sewage treatment plant basements and have all the shit filled memories than miss out on them. My main point I was getting at is all to often I believe people try to cripple passionate people for whatever their reasons. Usually they just don't understand the concept of being broke all the time. They need that security and that financial barrier in order to sleep at night. Meanwhile 30 years from now they'll look back and wonder what the fuck they did with their lives while I'll hopefully be on my 37th world shit depository tour "Open Up The Shit Pit Tour 2045." As a musician I rely heavily on the favors of others (booking shows, letting us sleep on their floor, feeding us etc.) And I have come to realize I need to reach out more to people to show my gratitude for these favors. But all in all if you know someone who is passionate about something I implore you to show them support the best you can and think twice before you try and make them feel bad about themselves. If their ambivalence to fiscal responsibilities annoys you so much just remember that they probably sleep on concrete floors and eat lint regularly. It's punishment enough.  

Get this pumped.
Onto the insipid Ruined update you all look forward to. It does feel good to have actual things to talk about now. I feel like this will be a good year for Ruined. I haven't even done an update since we hit the studio I realize. Overall the studio experience was great. We recorded at Amber Lit Audio here in Grand Rapids and it is a really great place to record. It is right on the Grand River next to a train bridge. You can almost smell the rotting crust kid flesh it's that close. We tracked everything live aside from the vocals and I was mystified by the sounds we captured with both the bass and the drums. All the recordings we have had so far was just me alone in my room dicking around with a hand recorder. My bass was muddy and it took a lot of work to make it sound even that shitty. But now before we did any mixing it already had that ethereal effervescence while still maintaining the seismic bellow of my live sound. We got together two days ago and did a quick mix of one of the songs we recorded "Some Years Don't Matter." To the 7 fans we have you will recognize 2 out of the 4 songs we recorded and I hope you'll enjoy the deja vu. But otherwise we should be receiving our first mixes within the week and then I can begin the ritual of listening to them over and over again for several hours everyday. I will keep you all abreast of our progress as it happens. Until then, Stay Gloomy.