Hey everyone. I haven’t written a blog in a while, so I guess I’ve got a lot of explaining to do. The band has been very hard at work lately! Firstly, we’ve been writing a bunch of new music; we’ve got brand new original songs on the burner that range from East coast traditional ballads to west coast punk rock “f**k-you songs”. Our first album, “Three Streets to the Wind”, is being produced in top-notch form; we’ve gotten some of the tracks back and we are extremely happy. The pre-sales for our album are now on, with some really cool bundles available... so make sure to check that out. Also, let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s following us on facebook and twitter; that’s over 500 followers on the former and over 1200 on the later.
Speaking of which, I’d like to take some time and talk about something important to me personally, as well as to the band as a whole. I’ve never considered this band has fans; it has friends. I know that may sounds totally cliché and lame, but I’ve always liked going out to one of our shows and just hanging with the people that come out. I’ve also always liked chatting everybody up online via the social networking sites and the band webpage. All of you, and the rest of the people like you with whom we interact because of our music, are truly the fuel behind 'Streets of Hastings'. That being said, I’m also very sorry to report that in the last couple of weeks, we’ve gotten some sad news concerning some of our friends. I won’t discuss the details, as it’s very personal stuff, but when you get to know people - even people you’ve never met - through something common like music, you're impacted by them.
Getting this bad news has made me think a lot as of late. Seems like we, as a band, have gotten a lot of bad news in our immediate circles and through our community of friends. To be honest, it’s given me a bit of a personal re-frame, so-to-speak. Again, I’m not gonna get into the specifics... but I will say I’ve been thinking a lot about doing things while you can... and about enjoying the days... I mean, really enjoying them. You may have read on our Facebook wall about the passing of a few of our friends... what we haven't spoken about is how many supporters of the band have lost people close to them lately, and how several of those band supporters have, in one way or another, felt comfortable and trusting to have spoken with us about their loss. Needless to say, it’s just been a rough stretch. But like I've already said, I won’t go in to all the specifics.
But yeah… I will share this one story.
One of those friends-of-the-band that recently passed was someone we had met via Twitter. Her name is Samantha Quinn... better known as "Sam" to her friends and as "@leaferbeleafer" on Twitter. The main reason I bring this up is that her story was shared with us by her brother, Mike. Essentially, Sam was a great supporter of our band and our "Cancer Fund Drumsticks Campaign" to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Not only did she financially support our campaign, she also helped with its promotion by spreading the word online. At the time she made her donation to our pink drumsticks campaign, she very discreetly disclosed that she had been fighting cancer. Peyts and Sam maintained contact throughout the past several months... Sam was always interested in how the fundraising was going and how the band was doing on the music scene.
Sam recently passed away from cancer. She was 26 years old. Within hours of her passing, her brother posted a letter on Twitter that Sam had conceived during her last days. In this posthumously-sent final message to her friends, Sam mentioned us and what we were doing to help others with cancer.
To say I was moved would be an understatement. The fact that somebody I’ve never personally met (though certainly considered a friend of my band) would think about us during such a time... it was something that really struck me. I mean, even after everything she had been through, including a very difficult fight against the disease, she took time to make sure she messaged everyone... and she included us in that message. What can you say about that? I've truly been left speechless.
With this news about Sam, coupled with the news of the passing of some of our other friends, I really felt altered... introspective... I started looking at the type of person I was. I realized even though I do a lot of things with my life - leading a fulfilled existence in which I also try to help others - I often get hung up on the “ands” or “buts” of life, putting too many things off to "later". But why?! I honestly couldn't find a legitimate, acceptable answer to that question. Time to make a change.
After another day of more bad (sad) news shared from our friends, mixed with my thoughts of Sam and introspective-thinking about our time, I did something I wouldn't normally do.
Music is my passion. And I’m an avid guitar collector. My squeeze is Gibson guitars. So I called up Trucker and explained to him that we were going out as I was buying a new guitar. So off we went. While enroute, we spent about an hour of talking about this new proposed purchased while in the car... it became clear that the least important thing about this purchase was the instrument itself. The color, wood, sound... everything like that was oddly a secondary factor. For I was not just buying a guitar, I was buying a symbol... I was buying an heirloom... I was buying a ticket to the destruction of my habit to always worry, but rather just sit back and enjoy the moment.
I was buying a life lesson.
So into the guitar store we went. I played practically every guitar there. Though my final pick came down to a few choice selections, I walked out with a true keeper. Those of you who know guitars will see that this new purchase is an instrument I can pass down to my kids. Those who don’t know guitars... you might actually understand the point even more. It’s not about this guitar... it’s about going out and doing things while you can. I’ve got a special plan for this guitar. It won’t be a workhorse or a trophy. It will be a guitar I use for inspiration when writing music. It will be a guitar I use to play at benefit shows. It will be a guitar I bring out when I feeling in funk. This guitar is going to be one of those things... kind of like when I get tattoos to represent something important to me. I know it might not make sense to everyone. And that's cool... its not supposed to... but it does make sense to me.
I name all my guitars... on my Gibson's, the chosen name is engraved on the truss rod cover. It should come as no surprise that this guitar had a name before it was selected and bought.
I'd like to introduce you all to "Sam".
~ Phil ~
The other day, somebody asked me what I liked best about my band and what I was most proud of. The answer came quite easily... and it’s fairly simple: we do things our way. Seems the more I progress in the music scene and learn about its inner workings, I see more and more that people follow what they think will succeed and please, rather than what they want to do and what makes them truly happy. Too often I see people bastardize their style, imitate others and do anything to be successful. Fuck that. What I like about my band is that we have the stones to do what we want, and succeed or fail by it.
That’s how we do things, which begs the question: what has been going on lately? Phil, you gorgeous motherfucker, you have not written a blog in a long time? What the fuck’s going on? Here’s a list, ‘cos there’s too much to just write it out in a single paragraph:
Firstly, we started performing as a three-piece, and introduced our new line-up at a sold-out show in Rockland. We
had such a great time, and got some very kind words afterwards from those in attendance.
A couple months ago, Peyts got a super fucking cool idea to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society: an auction of
a unique set of pink drumsticks used at our Rockland show. You can read all about this great initiative right here: http://www.streetsofhastings.com/news.html
The cool thing about this is that it not only raised a lot of cash for a
great cause, but it has inspired other bands and individuals to follow in the same steps with their own fundraisers. Just a great thing!
The biggest news for sure is our tour, which will kick off right here in Ottawa, at Avant Garde Bar, on July 16th; we then head out to Alberta for a week of rock shows and traveling madness. If you’ve been keeping up on Facebook or Twitter, you know all about this. We’ll be joined in Alberta by our friends “The Smokes”, who put on a wicked show, as well as other special guests along the way! More information can also be located at the link below. If you want to attend any of these shows, you know where to reach us!
A new t-shirt run is in the works! Yeah, you heard it right! I got to work on the design for this one, and decided to go for something a little bolder in a darker color pallet, featuring some red and white, and a print on the front as well as on the back. This shirt features the SoH catchphrase. We are currently holding a presale on the t-shirts; explore the site to get more info. We will be taking them on the road with us, so visit us after a show to score some sweet merchandise. We also have a pretty fucking cool button set, and individual pins, that we had produced before the Rockland show; check em out!
And in very exciting news, we got some fantastic radio coverage on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland; we also got awesome coverage on 99.5 Drum FM in Drumheller, Alberta, which also aired some of our original music. Check out the “Audio” section of this site to hear all of that fun stuff!
In forecasted news, we are currently in the discussion phase of planning out the recording of the very first SoH album. There isn’t much information I can give out here - we haven’t finalized the number of songs on the album, or even which songs with be on the final release – but I can tell you that the three of us are very excited about getting into the studio...
it looks like this album may be recorded by the end of the summer, with release before the end of the year. More details to come!
Alright, with band updates given, now I get to talk. A very important perception change occurred for me after playing the Rockland show. As guitar has been my thing for a very long time - and in previous line-ups of SoH I was not the vocalist, but a guitar player - I’ve always considered myself just that: a guitarist. I think for the first time ever, since I’ve started working on vocals, I see myself not as a guitarist, but more of a performer, songwriter, or general musician. I don’t feel defined by my instrument as much, but more by how I can convey a general sound, and how I can compose a piece of music. I just think the switch is fascinating, as for such a long time, the identity of “the guitarist” was so important to me, and had played a major role in the inner workings of this band before I took-up singing. Speaking of which, I got some great feedback about that whole experiment of mine, and from people I truly respect, as I was told they enjoyed my work behind a microphone. I’m very humbled by this, and I keep working very hard at improving my music every day. I’m not the most conventional vocalist, but, as stated in the opening of this entry, I did it my way, feeling my way through it, and working off of a vision I had of what I wanted to accomplish. And so I keep working at this vision.
As far as working on music, with recording in the near future, we are polishing-up our material while working on some new originals. For the tour, we will be performing a new one called “Don’t Go Away”, which is very meaningful to me; it touches on the subject of suicide and what is left behind after a person decides to take a long term solution to a short term problem. It’s touchy, but this one really was an expression of my personal views that I just wanted to put out musically.
It brings a different vibe than our other songs, with a more folk, sing-along style feel, relying heavily on the vocal melody to keep it going. I’m looking forward to performing it for our fans. On the tour, you’ll also see the return of some of our adapted covers we performed with previous incarnations of the band, ones that are now revisited, polished up, and different in their own way, with our spin on it. I’m usually not a fan of covers whatsoever, but I’m excited for what we will bring on this tour setlist.
For you guitarists and gear whores out there, you’ll find it interesting that for this tour I’ll be leaving behind my usual Les Paul through a Mesa setup, for a Stratocaster into a 4w tube-powered Vox, with a tiny 10inch celestion. I’ve modified the Strat with a single coil sized humbucker by Seymour Duncan, which is just fantastic; and I push that little Vox with an OD before I pick it up with a mic and send it out the PA. A bit fan of low wattage, this lets me really push the tubes like I would in my Mesa, but in a small, airplane friendly package. Even though the Les Paul is my soul mate, the Strat is the kind of guitar that I can fly in a smaller case and gives me a tad more tonal flexibility, if I’m only going to use one guitar on stage. So yeah, that was my tech talk, for those of you who care.
So we’ve been busy as fuck, and I haven’t been writing online as much. I guess this is my attempt at making up for it. I hope to see you all real soon... after a show, or later in the evening around some cold drinks. I’m proud SoH does it our way, and that also means wanting to have a beer with every single one of you motherfuckers who comes to our shows. And if my liver can’t take that many drinks, you know I’ll give it my best shot.
Regards, take care of yourselves, do what you want to do, not what you think other’s expect of you, and enjoy the small things in life that really matter.
Firstly, I’d like to give a shout out to Max, the multi-instrumentalist who worked with us lately. He’s taking on new academic plans, which will take most of his time and energy for a while. He has therefore decided to step down from his role. On the flip side, he will stay within the SoH family with an internal role, so we look forward to continue working with him.
So yeah, we’ve been busy as FUCK! It’s a good thing though. We’ve been a bit isolated lately, working on a lot of things that bands do. During the holidays, we started exploring recording, and got two tracks out (streaming currently available on our website), and are looking to the future to create some more. We're going to be looking into recording new songs that we’ve never played pretty soon, which will be venturing into the Celtic and punk realm of what we do.
Truth is, SoH has been hidden for a little while, because we want to come out of the gates running this time. The band’s first year has been rocky, but we see ourselves as being forged in the hottest of flames. We’re solid. We just had a rehearsal yesterday, and I feel right now that everything in the band - be it drums, bass, guitar or vocals - is stronger than it has ever been with any other line-up we have had. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the music and shows we have performed, and I wanted to bring it to the next level. I think we are there. I think you’ll find that we are no longer giving that monochrome “all different shades of punk” feel to our music, which was somewhat repetitive. We’ve diversified, added different dynamics, and really are focusing on a level of tightness, musical energy, and fun that was not there when you last saw us on stage.
We’ve been making a lot of friends lately. Shout outs to everyone who’s joined our facebook page and follows us on the internet in general. We’re got over 450 Facebook followers now, and almost 600 Twitter followers; I’m proud to say that we have some of the coolest people I’ve met or been acquainted with following us, each of which I would love to have a drink with.
So yeah, the next few weeks we will be putting together a 3 song demo, as we will be hitting the several Ontario locales this summer, and we'll be hitting them hard. On that demo (which will be available for listening online), you’ll hear one of our old punk inspired songs that has recently gotten a facelift, a Celtic drinkin’ tune that we’ve performed during an acoustic set only recently, and an alternative rock tune that I am very, very proud to play.
If you’re out West, keep your eyes & ears open... Peyts is going to be making a couple of guest appearancea with our good friends "The Smokes". Check them out on facebook... they're some of the best people around!
Quick note also, Peyts and I had the chance to attend a drum clinic at a local music store with Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart. Tell you what: that dude is one of the classiest, most upstanding and talented musicians you will ever meet. Not only can he rock the fuck out of those drums, he’s one of the best people to walk this earth. Those clinics are always interesting, as they offer perspective and you get to just take a step back and listen. Good times for sure.
So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Don’t think we’re not working our asses off, or that we’ve forgotten about playing on stage again. We’ll be back sooner than you think. Just figured that after a year of figuring things out, learning a lot, making mistakes, and meeting a lot of people, the least we could do was to take the time and reflect on all of the things that have made us stronger in every way. So expect to see new pictures in the next week, and new recordings, because we are putting together what we need to hit the bigger music markets.
So we’ll see you guys on the flip side soon, and remember: haters are gonna hate, crazies will be insane, but enjoy those around you who you love, and who love you back.
All right guys, here it is. The Cap’ns Blog in all its glory. We’ve been busy as fuck lately, I have to say that much. We are working hard on two things: Recording, and getting ready to get back on stage again. It’s a process, since I’m fairly new to the singing game, and it’s our first time working on recordings... but we are having a blast doing it, and we’re looking forward to releasing more of our tunes.
All right, in keeping that we are super busy, we are also working with a new addition to the group, Salty. I figure that since I keep on talking, and talking, and talking about myself and what I think, and all that shit in my blog, I’d pass it over to Salty for once. But then again, I hate standard presentation formats, so I asked him a series of questions. This is what I got as a response. Hopefully it will give you a little insight into the guy’s soul.
• What did you have for supper?
o Chicken wings and beer.
• What has the band been up to lately?
o We have been working on recordings.
• What has been the best part of doing this?
o We get to have some material out soon.
• What have been the challenges?
o Getting all the recordings down and EQ’ed (thx Gilles you’re the man).
• Using three adjectives, describe yourself.
o Handsome, awesome and modest.
• Using three adjectives, describe your role in the band.
o Strumin’, drumin’, sexin’.
• Using three adjectives, describe Phil in zebra print spandex pants.
o Strumin’, drumin’, sexin’.
• You and Peyts have gotten hold of some interesting percussive instruments as of late, what are they?
o I’m not saying the triangle, Phil. I have a djembe, shakers; Peyts got the ugly stick and washboards, and we both had these things attached to our arms most people call hands.
• What’s the worst drink you’ve ever drank?
o If you can chug rams piss you can chug anything.
• If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
o London... actually I take that back, people are rude there and it kinda smells there.
• Favorite member of the Beatles?
o George Harrison.
• Most embarassing moment ever?
o Having to walk around with this stash all day (pst I secretly, well not so secretly, like the stash).
• What is your musical guilty pleasure?
• What is your all time universal guilty pleasure?
o I have a thing for red heads.
• Think of a song. What is the first thing that pops to mind? Honestly.
o Ball and a biscuit.
• In the zebra print spandex pants, on a scale of 1 to 10, is Phil a 9, or a 10?
o Phil is definitely somewhere on that scale.
• If you had to re-name the band, what would you call it?
o Three seconds left.
• If you could watch any 2 people fight, who would they be?
o Simon and Garfunkle.
• If you could watch any 2 people get it on, who would they be?
o Phil says I can’t say Megan Fox and the New-York Jets, so I’ll have to go with... wait, what kind of question is that... what are you wanting to get to? Its such a hard thing to narrow down to just two... maybe the girl from the Dead Weather, and Teagan and Sarah.
• Using only your hands, how many Justin Biebers do you think you could defeat (in a world of multiple Biebers)?
o As many as it would take to rid the world of him.
• What is your dream car?
o Impala 1967, or a 1965 Lincoln Continental, or even one of them old school carriages driven by six black horses.
• Stretch your left arm as far as possible, what are you touching?
o A chair
o Not really, well not yet anyway.
So there you have it. I hope that furthered your understanding of the world of SoH. Keep on doing what you do best, and we’ll keep you posted as to when you can listen to more of our music on our site!
A while ago I heard someone, possibly a high school teacher in one of my classes, refer to an old story/proverb-type anecdote that told of an oak tree and blades of grass next to the ocean during a storm. Long story short, essentially the oak is not flexible (refusal to adapt to the environment), where the blades of grass, tiny in comparison, survive because their nature allows them to bend to what is around them.
Well, apparently the band didn’t get that fucking memo. It might be true in many walks of life, but even with the recent changes and rough patches, we’ve stuck to our guns, and guess what? We’re still around… all without having to bend over backwards. We’ve kept the core philosophy of the band the same, and we are still here. If we are the oak tree, I guess instead of cracking under the pressure of the bridge and breaking, we’ve decided there ain’t no better weather than a rainstorm to crack open a cold one, and get a party going.
Why am I saying this? Easy. We’ve spent a few months now doing singer auditions. The mood was way different than last time, I gotta say. See, when the first singer of the band parted ways with us, I think the three of us had a sense of urgency to get things back on track, for the simple fact that we hadn’t been a band for that long and this was our first trial as a group… a difficult one at that. It didn’t take us long to find a replacement, but we rushed back into it… and we didn’t find the person that was right for this band.
It just seems that this time around, there is a different mood between the group. It’s almost like the band has gone from individuals to a brotherhood. It’s hard to put in words, but essentially there is this unspoken understanding amongst us that there is no rush, no one is going anywhere, we won’t try and bend just to make it work fast, etc. There is confidence, patience, and that attitude of sticking to what we want. It’s been a longer audition process, but I feel like we are not compromising… rather really finding the right person. I’m happy about this quest up to now.
So the big question some of you might be quietly asking yourselves, or shouting out violently at your computer screens: Phil, have you found a fuckin’ singer yet?
The answer: I don’t know. I hate giving away too many details when nothing is certain, but I have a really good feeling about where we are right now. It just seems that every time we post up for a new singer, the people that come out, they step it up and raise the bar. I’m not just talking pure vocal talent here. We’re meeting some fucking cool people as of late, and it’s just wicked to see that kind of interest into what we are doing. One thing is for sure: we appreciate everyone who takes the time to write to us. Hopefully the band will be announcing some big news in the near future, so stay posted. It might be very significant.
On another note, S.o.H would like to hear from you if you are a guitar player, backup vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, violin player, accordion virtuoso, or can work the fuck out of a Theremin. All that to say, we are in a state of rediscovery of our sound and of our format, and would be open to anybody who essentially truly wants to be part of this band. We are looking for committed, enthusiastic individuals who have the same attitude as us towards making music. If ever you think you’d fit the bill, shoot us an email!
Going off on another tangent, funny things happen inside my mind when the band is in transitional stages. The first thing is I tend to do is to sit back, look at what the band has produced, and pick at my guitar parts, trying to perfect them to the highest level. That means the original S.o.H songs you’ve heard might be back, but with different layers and dimensions. I’m really exited about revisiting these songs, and taking them to the next level.
The other funny thing that happens is I look at the group - try to scope out our strengths - in order to play on them to make us a better band. I’ve really realized as of late that I’m quite fortunate when it comes to my band mates. Trucker is the type of solid bass player, who will step up to the plate with bass grooves that are just so much fun to have in a song, and add so much to those pieces. Often, bass is neglected and left in the backdrop, but we’re fortunate to have a bass player who is a devoted student of his instrument, and truly knows how to exploit the full potential of the bass in our tunes. It’s nice to have a bass player who can carry a song, take the spot, and own his territory, more so than any other bassist I have played with. With the reworking of our music and songs, his insight and vision is gonna make everything we produce better, I have no doubt about that.
Then there is Peyts. What can I say about him that’s not already visible? I’ve never played with a drummer that brings so much energy and enthusiasm on stage. The man spends more energy when he’s in front of a crowd than a marathon runner, and it’s totally contagious. If I hit the stage pumped and full of energy, it’s most likely because I’m feeding off of him. Also, what you don’t see is the fact that this guy literally makes the band happen. The work he puts in behind the scenes is what keeps this band afloat, and it’s what got us to where we are. Be it our websites, show advertisements, t-shirts, keeping our fans updated, or managing interviews with singer candidates, he makes it happen. They say that leaders in bands are not elected, but rather surface naturally. Peyts is proof of this.
I think that these strengths are what will set us apart in the long run, and what will make our original music, and live shows, super fun.
Speaking of fun, it seems that in the last few weeks - when the band meets up to discuss the singer interviews and jam it out - the fun has really come back to it. I hadn’t really realized it left, but now that we are back to putting the final piece in this band, it has become so clear. Those of you who have seen more than one of our shows probably have noticed that my energy level was not the same at Rockland Music, or Knights of Columbus, as it was when we played L’Escale in April. It’s when I went back and watched those tapes that it hit me like a brick. Yeah, the music was tighter and better, but I didn’t have the same kind of energy. I guess you could say I was more closed-off. Well, let me state that the real passion - the kind that gives you shivers when you solo, hear that big bass riff underneath a power chord, or that thundering drum roll - is back. It’s gonna be fucking epic.
What else? There’s a lot to say about what I’ve been up to as of late. I guess the big thing for me is that I finally bit the bullet and decided to sign up for vocal lessons. I’ve always wanted to be able to provide a solid backup vocal layer to our music, and it seemed like a good time to do that. It’s been a couple of weeks now, and it’s a lot of fun. I’m learning a lot that’s for sure. I’ve also discovered the Irish Tin Whistle, a curious little instrument that I’m having a lot of fun with. I have a background in classical flute, so the tin whistle is like the Celtic, simplified version of this instrument; I’m just jamming all sorts of tunes to it. I’ve actually also started hitting the keyboard again, as well as the accordion. I guess you could say I am in a mood of discovery, where I try as many things as possible. I really am trying to become a more complete musician, so hopefully the next time I get the chance to play for you all, I’ll have a few tricks up my sleeves, and you’ll get to see me, and the rest of the band, take on roles we had not dared to touch before.
I’ve also been writing new material, which is a little different than what I have done in the past. Previous tunes the band had developed after I had brought the base concepts (such as Faceless, The Rupture, etc.) are very angry songs, with very heavy punk and grunge overtones. I guess it was a representation of where I was at in that stretch of time. Lots of anger I suppose. It just seems that now, I have gotten to a place where I feel very fortunate for what I have, be it the band, my family, my super chill girlfriend who lets me invest all this time into the band, school, or my wicked friends. I think the material you’ll see from me won’t be softer. Fuck that. It’ll still be rock & roll. But it has a more energetic feel to it, the kind of energy that makes you want to jump up and down in a crowd instead of punching someone. And yeah, maybe we’ll get a few softer ones in, just for good measure. I’m just glad that I can focus on what’s good lately.
When it comes to what the band will produce, I can’t say for sure… but I can tell you we will probably step back from our previous direction, which was taking us down a very punky route. Watching the videos of what we have played, we got pretty punk, and I think that was a very unidirectional phase we had. Retrospect being 20/20, I think it also limited us musically… so that’s something that we will be looking to expand on, breaking that mold. Expect to see more roots of alt, Celtic, rock, reggae, folk, Cajun and punk of course. We’re getting back to being that band that touches a little bit on everything.
So yeah, this blog is a tease. J
Final summation: I’m a happy man at the moment, and I truly can count my blessings. I’m in a mood of growth and discovery, just like the band is… and its making me feel very optimistic about the future. Things are looking up for us; we’re excited to being able to post big news in the next little stretch of time. Oh, and I hope you like trees, because these big ol’ stubborn oaks… they ain’t bending, and they ain’t breaking. The only way you’ll see us fall down is if we are too drunk to stand.
And on that, I hope you have yourselves a great day, take the time to look around and see all that is good around you, and all the great people that make your world worth walking in. You’re all fucking awesome, and we’ll be getting on stage to perform for you as soon as possible, ‘caus we fucking miss it. Cheers!
This blog is going to be different to say the least. Or perhaps it won’t be. With these short texts I try to keep you posted about what goes on in this band, what we strive to accomplish, which direction we are taking and what I’m thinking. Sometimes I speak on behalf of myself; sometimes I speak on behalf on the band. This blog will be the same in the sense that I will give you the inside deal on what goes on in the band. It will be different in the sense that I will be explaining to you the reasons Rob decided to leave the band. More on that later though, as I have a few things to say before we get there.
I’ve never been a religious man, but I do believe in a certain sense of spirituality and connection with one’s inner self. A concept that has always interested me was Karma. I don’t subscribe to it when described as a force that punishes those who do evil, and rewards those who do good… but I do believe that sometimes the universe, or whichever external force you choose to conceptualize, will give you exactly what you need. This weekend, in some vague & obscure way, I think the universe decided to put me exactly where I needed to be.
You see, during BluesFest, my friend Todd invited me to see a show in Belleville on the weekend of the 11th of September: Slash in concert. I knew this would be the first weekend after school had started, and as such money would be tight due to book purchases for school, and that I’d be tired. All variables suggested that I should not attend this show. Somehow, and at the time I had no idea why, I agreed to go. I thank Todd very much for the invitation as it turned out to be a great weekend. I feel right now, just having returned home, that I was supposed to be at that show, listening to Slash do his thing. Karma. Once more, we will return to that later.
Robin’s departure from the band… I reckon that’s the reason most of you are reading this blog. Well, to put it point-blank, Robin quit the band… he wasn’t fired, he quit. Why did he quit? It doesn't matter... all that does matter is that the band's relationship with him is over. What’s done is done.
I don’t have much to say about the entire situation, except that this band has always been dear to me… I’ve sacrificed a lot to try and make it as good as it can be, and it saddens me that Robin feels the way he does... but Robin has decided to leave the group, and I respect his decision to do so.
Now that we have that out of the way, and that some of you might still be reading, I will explain how a Slash concert fits into all this, and how SoH plans to move forward.
Well, you see, when I stood there in a crowd, just another pair of hands in the air, a part of me could identify with Slash. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean on the grounds of guitar playing, composition or skill. The man has been a hero of mine for most of my musical career, and to speak of me in the same breath as him would surely have the Guitar Gods drop a bolt of lightning on my head. I could relate to him because of the way he handled his musical career. I have had the chance to listen to his new album, which features a great deal of vocalists, including Lemmy, Ozzy, Iggy Pop, Fergie, Miles Kennedy, Ian Astbury, Chris Cornell and others.
When I left for Belleville, my head was still buzzing about the sudden news of Robin quitting. It’s always a weird thing when you think that minor problems are going to work out, but they later turn out to be major. Anyways, I was watching Slash on stage, and he just seemed so damn happy to be there. His band all had smiles, strutted around the stage, shared solos, posed like the rock stars they are, and looked like a little family.
I then thought of everyone who had agreed - and wanted - to work with the man. Some of the giants of the music industry wanted to collaborate with this guy. On his latest album, he would have a basic sound and riffs for the songs, then allow singers to come in and add their own spice and make those pieces into true collaborative efforts. This reminded me a lot of my creative process, where I ask my band members to connect with me and the general idea I put behind a song, and then ask them to take this raw material, and shape it in any ways they wish to create a piece of art. Slash has earned himself a certain reputation as a person in the music industry who is easy to work with. His way with others, his interactions, and his general action, reminded me a lot of what I try to do on a day to day basis with music, and for some reason, that made me feel really good. That show let me get out of town, clear my mind, pen down some lyrics, and get to see Slash. It was just what I needed.
Now, where does SoH go from here? Well, the search for the right singer for this band continues. Even though we have not found this person just yet, we learn a lot from each other, and the new people we meet. When Neil was a member of this band, I grew a lot from the experience. Robin’s stay with us brought the same kind of result, and I felt I grew quite a bit from it as well. I think what we have learned will allow us to go forth and become stronger. Don’t worry though… you will still get to hear those familiar songs you’ve experienced at our shows (for those of you whom we’ve have had the chance and pleasure to perform live).
Speaking for myself (after all, its my blog… hahahahaha!), I would like not only to find a great lead, but as importantly, another solid guitarist. I have seen what can be done with two (or maybe three) guitars, and I will be advocating to have another guitar player in the band, whether it comes in the form of singer that plays guitar, or another guitar player, or both. I’m also interested to see what other instruments and performers might want to work with us.
I think the next step for the band, as we move forward in our search for a front, is to jam with as many people as possible, and try and learn from as many people as we can, by including them in our jams and hangouts. There is a bunch of people who I’d love to work and jam with (most know who you are). I don’t know what this band is going to look like at the end of the day, but I do know we are going to have a hell of a great time getting there.
I think what we need to do is to have fun. I have spoken to Peyts about this, and even though we have grown musically during the summer, somehow we both felt like the fun was leaking out of the project. I know that I want to get back to the point where this becomes all about the joy of creating music with others and for others. I’ve learned over the last few months that I’m lucky to have great friends as my band mates, and I want to pay special attention in the next little while to learn from them.
Peyts has a dedication, passion and energy for this band that can only be described as a fire. Jay is one of the most solid, intelligent musicians I have met, and I think I have a lot to learn from him when it comes to the way I want to approach music, how I can work at creating it, and how I can challenge myself to be better. I’m proud to say that these guys are my band mates, friends, and some of the best dudes I have ever met.
This week has made me reflect a lot on the experiences I’ve had in music. One of the things Robin said before leaving the band was that it was hard to work with me as I had not had the experience of having nothing, of true loss. I’ve reflected a lot about this, and have come to a conclusion. I might not have that kind of experience, but what I do have is the good fortune of having great people around me, be it my friends, family, coworkers, or my amazing girlfriend. I do have life experience, but in a different field. I am grateful every day for those around me, and I think when comes time to include experience in my music, I can be even more grateful that I will speak of joy, happiness, friendship and the passion I have for what I do.
I just want to extend my thanks for all of you who support this band, support my fellow musicians, support the young musicians, support your community... Be assured that SoH will be back playing live very soon, and that we’ll be stronger than ever. Thank you all again, you mean the world to me, and to this band.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves, those around you, and take the time to reflect… not on what is lost or fleeting, but rather what is cool around you.
Alright good citizens of the internet, it’s that time again. That time when, for some delusional reason, you sit down and spend a portion of your far too short life reading this blog… an entity that will contribute nothing to your enlightenment in the long run. Never the less, thanks for stopping by.
I decided that in this thread I’d give you my perspective of what’s going on, instead of making it a band thing. So please keep in mind that these thoughts are mine and mine alone.
Lots has happening in the last little while. Since my last blog, we have finished our live setlist, performed it a two gigs, I’ve made major changes when it comes to guitars, I’ve been writing music, the other band members have been writing music, the t-shirts arrived, BluesFest was held in Ottawa, and I got to see some people I know
perform, all on top of questing to find my spot in a 2 guitar band. With all of that said, this blog will serve in large part to organize my own thoughts. If you ever wanted to know what goes on in my head, here’s your shot to get a glimpse.
First I’ll talk about what the band has been doing. The big headliner in terms of recent news is the two shows we played: one in Kingston, and then in Rockland. The Kingston show was a shorter set, where we got to open for Without Will, a Montreal band currently on tour. It was nice meeting them and getting back on stage. For me, it was important, because I was itching pretty hard to get in front of people. By the time Rockland swung around (2 days after), I was pretty pumped. The Rockland audience is always a blast, and our original music was well received. We had people skip out on wedding receptions to be there, so those of you who fall in this group (you know who you are): you fucking rock. It just feels nice now that Rob is on board to start getting those shows under our belt, getting to know each other more and more as musicians and seeing what this band is becoming as it is maturing. I think for me the two shows were a lot of fun, but more importantly they served as a learning opportunity. I saw where we did good, and where I want to improve as a musician.
Speaking of which, after the show I had a revelation. This section is mostly for guitar whores, so I apologize to the rest of you. I had played both shows with my relatively new SG standard, and it served me well. The PRS was in the case as a backup, and didn’t get much play time. I decided that since I could only play one guitar at the time, I had invested funds for something that was sitting in a case, and two high end guitars was something that I didn’t want. So I ended up selling both of them in order to purchase what I considered to be my dream guitar: a nice Gibson Les Paul. Up to now, it’s been heaven.
So I guess the theme of this blog is learning about myself, so let’s keep going on that. Since we completed our lineup, I’ve been learning to adapt to the two guitar format. See, I’ve always been a lone guitarist in projects in which I had any form of say or influence. The whole two guitarist concept with this band has been an ongoing
adaptation, and at times a struggle, but I believe I’ve finally come to terms with my spot. I think my mind had directly gone to trying to fill in a role of lead guitar, much like most of my heroes who carried the burden of the guitar track on their own. Guys like Gilmour, Page, Van Halen, Iommi and the many other I omit. It seems my mind was able to shed this constrictive shell, and I’m able to adapt more accurately. I don’t consider myself to be the lead in this band in any way; I see myself more like another layer of sound rather than an individual
instrument that is very distinguishable from the mix in terms of presence and style. What I’ll be looking to do in the future is blending-in rather than sticking-out. I think this way, the overall band sound can be fuller, as I tend to bring the rhythmic foundation to our songs in collaboration with the drums due to my style being very precise and unmoving. My hope is that this will result in a tighter sound. I am blessed to have an amazing guitarist at my side on stage, and I plan to take full advantage of the situation to solidify our music.
I’ve been writing a lot of music lately. For some reason, I keep finding myself in the middle of discussions amongst musicians on the process of creating and writing music, in the role of an observer and listener more often than not. This has really made me think about how I create. See, I realized lately that there is a reason I am known as spastic; I feel emotions very strongly on the moment, and when those emotions follow me for some time, they cast a moody shadow on my general existence, shaping whatever piece I am working on at the moment. For a long time it was anger. I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, but bouts of frustration had really affected me and changed the sound of my music. A good example of this would be the song “Faceless”, which we launched as the closing tune at our Rockland show. The song was written in response to our society’s tendency to criticize from a safe distance, rather than putting ourselves in the spotlight. It carried a lot of anger, and I think when it was brought to the band something special happened. Peyts had this idea of adding an empty space in the middle of the choruses, which in all honesty changed the feel of the whole thing, and literally makes the song. When it came to start playing it, Rob asked me if I would be willing to speed it up, and make it punky. I gotta admit, I wasn’t sure about the idea at first, but combined with the pauses and the snarl he unleashes during that chorus, the song really took shape nicely. But, I digress.
So with this said, I realized that for me music was born of chaos. This made my songs very angry, and pretty much monotone when it came to mood. I took it upon myself lately to pause when feeling these emotions, let
them pass, and then reflect on the situation in many conceptual ways. For example, when I was faced with a crisis a few weeks back, I tried to bring up the subject with a friend of mine, who simply told me he ''was
not having this conversation''. This sparked a strong reaction, but after letting this die down for a while, I was able to look at it from a different point of view. I wrote a piece about it, but instead of being my typical rage-fuelled high pace monster, it’s a reflective piece on comfort, those who seek it, those who find it, and those for whom it will be denied. You guys are really getting the inside scoop here, because I have not even pitched it to the band yet. Maybe one day you will get to hear this song on stage, who knows. I just thought I would include this in this edition of the blog, since people often ask me how I go about writing songs… hopefully this gives you a better idea of what goes through my mind.
So at this point, you’re probably asking yourself what we are up to next. Ok, you probably didn’t even think about what we’re up to next before reading that line… but now you are, so let’s go for it. On Friday, the 20th of August, we are performing a benefit show for Mike’s Place, a local restaurant that burned down in Hammond… the people who owned & operated the establishment are great, and they are real supporters of the community. We are super happy to be part of this project. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 10pm… so we hope to see you
there in great numbers to support our cause. After that show, it becomes interesting. We’ve been hearing from a few sources (and a few fans) that recordings of some of our songs would be prime. So, while nothing is set in stone, we may very well be heading into a short studio period to get those tracks down, and get them to you all. Nothing set in stone like I said, but we will see with time.
So, until next time, stay safe, take care of each other, don’t forget to have fun, enjoy the summer days, smile for no reason, and most importantly, stay loud.
Before I say anything else, I got to give a shout of to the RAGING FLOWERS, who performed as part of the “Be in the Band” program, sponsored by Bluesfest and organized by Rockland Music. The RAGING FLOWERS features none other than Peyts’ kid, Irelind, on guitar; they performed along with four other bands this past Saturday, June 19th, on the same stage we had the pleasure of gracing at L’Escale, right here in Rockland. This show was a great chance to support local musicians, young bands and programs in our community. I don’t want to get all fluffy about it, but it’s a really cool deal, and I really enjoyed seeing them play.
Alright, let’s start this one off with something that we have all considered at some point in time. As a matter of fact, this crosses my mind on a regular basis. Fact: at some point, one of our ancestors saw a chicken, proceeded to watch it lay an egg, and told himself, “That white sphere that just came out of that thing’s ass… I’m gonna put that in my mouth.” Also consider that at some point, another ancestor (or perhaps the same one, I really don’t know) saw the huge mass of flesh that is a cow, saw that pinkish sack under it that is the udder, and thought to himself “I’m gonna squeeze the juice out of that and drink it.”
So, once more, I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, “What the fuck is this guy talking about. Last time, it was Megan Fox’s dick, now this shit?” Keep reading, and I’ll try to make sense out of it.
Firstly, I’d like to address something concerning these blogs. They have been quite informal, but at the same time, they have been teasing more than pleasing. I’ve decided that from now on, I will use these short texts to give you more inside information, rather than general directions as to where the band is heading. I was trying to keep things under wraps with the big changes in the band, but now that we are back on track, I can be more open about details.
As a second point of interest, I would like to thank the fans of the Internet. Since last time, we have reached 400+ fans on Facebook, and 2000+ visits on this website. You guys fucking rock. Now go and tell your friends.
Alright, time to get dirty. If you haven’t heard, S.o.H has a show coming up. It’s not just any show either. It’s a Rockland show. It’s our first show with Rob. It’s the first show where you will see more original music than you will see covers, and the covers you will see will be made into our style of music. It’s the first show where you will find merchandise, mainly our new S.o.H shirts. IT’S A SHOW YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! SATURDAY JULY 24TH, 8:30PM @ ROCKLAND MUSIC, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS “THE TREES.” With that said, we have begun selling tickets to those who are our fans on Facebook, Twitter followers, or Subscribers to our newsletter... these people comprise the S.o.H ARMY. And guess what? THE SHOW IS ALREADY OVER HALF SOLD OUT!
Which brings me to drinking cow juice: It’s really special to see how the people of Rockland and the surrounding areas are adventurous, curious creatures. Even though we have not released any content with Rob (which has been to keep the suspense up), you crazy people are willing to step up to the plate, and drink our milk. I’ll tell you something though, you won’t be disappointed. It’s gonna be like discovering a cow that produces Jack Daniels or beer. I try to be a modest individual, but I gotta say... I’m very excited to present S.o.H in its final state to you all. I think it’s going to be really special. Once again, thank you for milkin’ us.
So we’ve been getting ready for the show. I can tell you right now that this specific set will see us unleash 8 original songs. I say 8 even though you have heard 3 already if you attended our L’Escale show, but don’t be fooled: you won’t recognize those songs. We’ve reworked them as a group, making them into something I’m proud, and the band is proud, to call our own brand of music. As for the “new new” songs, I don’t want to give you too much information and ruin the surprise. What I can say is that we will be singing songs about whiskey, songs that have to do with the band name, songs about those people who seem to be artificial, and songs about other individuals that hide but pass judgment. In terms of direction, we are getting into some heavy stuff, not as much lyrically, as we are in terms of style and energy. Everyone is having fun again, and it really shows in the music.
On top of that, don’t forget that we will have shirts at the show. We held a presale, and I’m still in shock about how many orders we got. I won’t give the exact number, but it destroyed our expectations. With that said, you will be able to get them in a variety of sizes at the show, both for men and women. Speaking of merchandise, I have a question for you all, and I would like for you guys to answer. We are thinking of making either S.o.H stickers, or those buttons with pins that you can put on backpacks. What I want to know is: which one do you guys think we should make, and what should be on them?
Also, I have to give a shout to our new logo, Nil Blanc, who will be working hard by decorating the front of our shirts. As you have noticed, we sorta ran over him with a car. Don’t worry though, he’s alright. But with that comes another question. Nil is gonna be an ever changing character, and I want to know: what would you have Nil do next? Let me know in the comments.
So what does the future hold for S.o.H beyond adding merchandise to our inventory and the show in Rockland? Well, the band is talking right now about hitting the Ottawa scene shortly. That means you cool people from the big city will be able to catch us simply by riding the bus, in locations that would not only allow, but encourage the consumption of alcoholic beverages such as beer and spirits. We have also been talking, within this concept of venturing to Ottawa, about performing some of our music acoustically. In honesty, I think this is the result of the band really starting to form chemistry with Rob in the lineup, and feeling more confident about stepping outside the box. Other than that, we are also eyeballing a show in a close by location to Ottawa, to play an open air, outdoor gig for charity. There are also whispers of a demo in the works, to get some of our songs recorded in proper format, for your enjoyment. Once more, I’m not giving too many details, but we are looking at it. We’ll keep you posted as things develop.
That concludes everything I had to say. Thanks for checking in, don’t forget to do so on a regular basis, and we hope to see you all at the show Saturday July 24th @ Rockland Music. Also, don’t forget to check out the RAGING FLOWERS!
Change can do funny things to an entity. For example, if someone was to surgically alter Megan Fox so that she would have a penis, it’s safe to say that things would be a bit different in many minds.
All right gang, how are you all doing? Good I hope. Perfect, cause I’m fucking peachy. For some reason I’ve taken it upon myself to keep you all posted on the general internal workings of the machine that is the band. And guess what, there is a lot to talk about right now.
Firstly, I would like to state that I would gladly record this blog on video format, but its Monday night, and my voice has yet to recover from the My Favorite Tragedy show on Friday night, where the boys played their first round of the Big Money Shot, and fuckin’ won! Needless to say, the pre-drink, bus ride in, show and bus ride back was a riot. “Drinking like it’s free’’ is an understatement, but yeah, it was free, and drink we did. Anyways, congrats to the boys, and be sure to be there 2 Fridays from now, when we do the exact same thing. If my voice can be destroyed for 4 days (and counting!), you know we all had a good time.
Now back to S.o.H news. I suppose you’ve all heard, right? We have a new fuckin’ singer! Robin Coleman, but we call him Rob. He was the guy to rise above the interesting interview and audition process that I described in my last blog. I know, I know. You guys are thinking that it didn’t take us long to find the guy, but keep your panties on for a second. This guy is EXACTLY what the band needed, and I think everyone knew it after the first interview, and totally after the audition. You see, Rob brings everything we wanted in a singer for this group: he has the voice, he has energy, he has emotion in his art, he has amazing songwriting skills, he can play guitar as well as I can, and he is a fuckin’ class act. I can’t speak for the band, but from my personal point of view, I liked Rob best out of everyone because he was just what I was looking for: a performer. What I mean by this is that during his audition, I played like shit because I was too busy enjoying his performance. He brought raw emotion, power and a certain I-don’t-know-what, that was just captivating. So to conclude this online ego-massage for the new guy, I must say that I am very pleased.
So where am I going with this you ask? Well to answer your question, we must first go back to the initial question of this blog, concerning Megan Fox’s metaphorical penis. A lot of you have certainly seen some material we put out, or even been to one of our shows. I had so much fun playing for you guys, but there is something that must be said about Rob’s addition: it’s absolutely mind-blowing how his arrival in our lineup changes things.
Now I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I will say this: If you saw and heard the band right now, short of physical appearance, you would not recognize it. We’ve been playing over the last 2 weeks, and I must say I don’t recognize the band, and I mean this in the best possible way. Rob is Megan Fox’s penis, except that he changes things for the best (so actually, he is the opposite of Megan Fox having a penis, I guess….). Ok, forget that analogy. What I’m trying to say is this: next time you hear us, see us, come to watch us perform on stage, don’t expect what you saw last time. I enjoyed playing for every single one of you, but at the end of the day, we wanted to bring you more. I don’t want to build this up, but I’m usually pretty hard on myself, and I am very excited to put out this material, and perform once more for you all. Streets of Hastings has reached its final form, and it’s a fuckin’ monster.
Speaking of performance, there are currently rumors that we will be playing live very soon. I would go as far as to say that an announcement is imminent. So for all of you that came out to see us in Rockland, and are wondering why you should come and see us again so soon, I bring back my last point: S.o.H is a totally different, much better band now.
All right, enough with the “This is the new S.o.H!” propaganda. What are we doing at this point in time? Well, good people of the Internet, we are working our asses off to make original music. Last show we unveiled three originals songs, all of which are getting makeovers. For our next show, expect at least half our songs to be originals. With Rob bringing in material, we now have a healthy mix of alternative, punk, Celtic, Maritime, reggae-ska-ish type stuff, folk and rock music in the mix. It’s fuckin’ weird to be honest, but I’m having fun, and so is the rest of the band. We never wanted to be placed in a “genre box”, but we are growing certain traits. I’ll let you all be the judge when you come and see our next show.
On a more individual level, I’m having so much fun adapting to a two-guitar band. Some people would view it as invasive, but I really like where this is going. I never got to play actual “lead” guitar, with another guitarist playing rhythm, so I was very constricted in my playing, keeping the song together, and not letting the creative juices flow as much as they should of. Last rehearsal, I watched Trucker (Jay) play, and I think he was feeling the same way. I’m feeling more musically fulfilled, as the level of complexity of what we are playing, even when it comes to covers we have performed, is changing those songs into musically challenging pieces, with room to move.
In terms of gear (for the 2 other guitarists that read this), I have added a set of Seymour Duncan pickups to my PRS, and I am in love. I’ve always been a fan of their work, and a long time member of their forum, contributing heavily… but I am really happy with the sound I am getting. Ever since I got the Stiletto Ace, I’m able to dial in a sound that cuts, but it pleasing to the ear, and really ads weight to the band mix; these pickups are bringing the best out of that amp.
So I guess that sums it all up for now. Two things to remember: Keep checking-in for our show announcement, and come out with us 2 Fridays down the road to support My Favorite Tragedy. Hope you enjoyed the insight, and are as psyched as we are about the new singer, and the new band that has formed as a consequence.
As a last and more personal note, I have thanks to give. In the last weeks, my girlfriend Marilyn and I celebrated our 7th year anniversary. With the changes in the band, and music season in full swing, it really made me appreciate how open she is to my musical addiction, supporting me to the fullest. For that I am very thankful, as it’s not easy for her to sacrifice time so I can go out and rehearse or perform. A big thank you also goes out to Kelly, Peyts’s better half, who is always welcoming and supportive for rehearsal, especially when you consider that our rehearsals are held in the basement of the Peyton household. So yeah, props to you ladies… your support is greatly appreciated, as we couldn’t do it without that support.
Enjoy your week… we’ll see you all at the next show, and for the next round of the Big Money Shot.
Bonjour website! Hope you guys are doing well today. Tis I, Phil, to update you on what has been going on in the world of SoH, in this period of chaos and ongoing storm that is the search of a singer. I know, it sounds fucking dramatic. Actually, it involves a lot of sitting around at Tim Hortons, talking to people. Yeah, it’s badass. J If I recall correctly, that’s how the Sex Pistols met up with Sid Vicious. But I digress.
VERY IMPORTANT BEFORE I START: S.o.H is proud to help organize a nice little trip on Friday, May 28th 2010, from Rockland Music (on Laurier Street, Rockland), to the Live Lounge in Ottawa via a rockin fun bus ride… we will be going to support MY FAVORITE TRAGEDY, who are participating in the BIG MONEY SHOT! So yeah, for a mere 20$, you get to chill (with us and the other Rockland and area maniacs going to support mFt at the show) and enjoy a few complimentary beers before we leave Rockland, get a bus ride to-and-from the show, and get the door cover charge taken care of… all to see North and his boys take the stage and rock the place. We were there last year, and it’s not to be missed!
S.o.H has created a Facebook event page for this May 28 drinking and mFt noise-makin rally… so RSVP and join us for a guaranteed good time: CLICK HERE!
Speaking for the band, we are having a really good time with these interviews. Like with anything else, there are always good ones and bad ones, but I’m thankful for everyone that comes out and has a chat with us. Calling up a band wanting to meet with them and putting yourself out there is pretty fucking rockstar, and takes a pair. We are at the audition part now, really getting down to business, and it’s gonna be an interesting process. As always, we’ll keep you updated.
Now that the formality of the singer search update is done, I figured that I would let you guys into what a band does when it has no frontman; because let’s face it, it’s no walk in the park. Firstly, there is a lot of drinking. I know what you’re thinking, and avert your fully erect pointed index waving in our direction, because we’ve been chilling, which is something we didn’t have as much time to do leading up to the first 2 shows… and it’s making the band tighter. Just seems like I’m getting to know the guys more and more on a fundamental level, which for some reason has impacted the way I write songs.
For those of you who don’t know me, you will be interested to know that songs ferment in my head, then are expelled on paper in a span of about 15 minutes. That has not changed. What has changed, in spending more time with the band, is that I no longer write ‘’Phil songs’’ as much as I write ‘’SoH songs’’. This factors in when I’m thinking of musical arrangements, getting to know the other guys’ styles more, but even more so on a thematic level. The goal is to have content that the band will feel, and that we can communicate to you, oh loyal fan standing in the audience at our next show.
Other than that, we pretty much jam, catch some hockey games, drink more… you know, the usual. In other unrelated news : Peyts had a buddy from out-of-town over on the weekend, with whom I got to chill, have a few drinks (I know, shocking!), catch some hockey and UFC. Cory is, by every measure, a fucking cool dude. Had a great time hanging out with him and Peyts, and maybe some day we’ll get to play a show in his neck of the woods (if we are ready…lol).
Other interesting story : my girlfriend returned from her trip to the Bahamas. No not one of those pina colata beach-lounging trips (although her tan is one of the sexiest things I have witnessed), but rather a field course. She was the lone Ottawa U student to go to Andros Island, to study the relationship between reef and land ecosystems. Once there, she had an individual project studying the effect of artificial physical structures installed in the water, in the way they effect the fish population that chooses to live in it. She has a bunch of cool pictures and stories, including meeting up with 4 lionfish who chose her handmade structure as a home, catching a puffer fish that was not super happy with her, being stalked by a barracuda, chilling with wild dolphins, and shark-baiting during the evening, in the waterway she swam and worked in during the day. Anyways, has nothing to do with the band, but I think it’s fucking cool, and I’m happy she had a great time. Oh, and she brought me rum, which is always fucking cool! She also brought me a packet of ‘’Cock Soup’’, which gave me a good laugh. Hopefully there is no subliminal message there, or desired result on my physical self.
For you guitar and gear whores, I figured I would give you a low down on what I’ve been doing. I’ve been working on my speed technique a lot as of late, wanting to become an efficient sweep picker. Also changed up my amp a few weeks back, and am now the proud owner of a Mesa Stiletto Ace head, which is amazing. I also got some new pickups in my PRS, for an little extra cut in the leads, and some more natural glassy tone in the clean coil-tapped section. Gonna be exploring wah-less soloing in the next week, as I had been working proper use of it as of late… but Trucker pointed out that I was going back to it on a regular basis, so I’m gonna try and get back to the basics for a little while. Might be adding another pedal to the board to give me a little extra something during those solos, so if any guitarists actually read this, let me know if you have suggestions, or things that work for you.
Also, quick piece of interesting news : might be getting some more ink this summer. Ever since getting my half sleeve last fall, I’ve been looking at the inside of my left arm as naked, and have been wanting to drop something in there. I have a few ideas, and am not 100% sure yet, but when I am, I think it will look good. Going to see Barry at Planet Ink for the work, as he does some of the best work I have seen, and the guy is a class act. If ever any of you need work, go visit him.
Concert wise, I’m checking out Them Crooked Vultures on Thursday May 13th, with John Paul Johns and Dave Grohl rocking the rhythm section, which should be phenomenal. Also psyched for bluesfest, and it seems my parents got me a ticket for Roger Waters, so I might make it out to that. But be sure to check out My Favourite Tragedy on the 28th, it’s going to be fucking legendary.
So everyone, take care of yourselves, we hope to introduce you to our new singer soon (as soon as that is all sorted out), and hopefully announcing the release of either a demo CD, or more live shows.