Winter Wasteland

Silent sorcerer began their set and for the first intro sounded really great. The guitars were perfectly balanced with the drums and keyboard, the distortion was just right for the style of music and they had a tightly blended sound… and then the guy started screaming or something. This wasn’t your average scream, it was weird. In my opinion they would make it much farther if the guy sang instead of this scream.

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After one or two songs Kevin and I went outside. I was trying to hide the panic that was building up inside of me as Kevin called Brandon. “You guys on your way?” asked Kevin “Woah, I didn’t mean to offend you princess” he continued. I found out about a phone call/screaming match between Brandon and GD that I’ll post later.

Kevin and I sat and chatted in his car as we waited for SS to finish playing and for the rest of the band to get there. I rolled down the window to hear if SS was still playing. They were done.

I went inside to see that they had cleared the stage, it was only like 6:20. We didn’t have 3 of our guys here, and only had a fraction of the gear. “They’re not here yet” I told GG “that’s not good, you guys are up!” she replied “I know” I walked off. I paced around for the next 10 minutes.

(Insert phone call/screaming match here)

6:30 – As I went to see if anyone had showed up I saw Brandon and Andrew bringing stuff in. We helped bring everything in to the stage and they started setting up. By the time his car was unloaded Waylen showed up with a posse who unloaded his drums.

6:40 – We had all the gear on stage, everyone scrambled to set up except for me. I didn’t know how to help, everyone has a unique setup. The sound guy was back with Waylen setting up mics as each piece of the drum set was put into place

6:43 – We began our sound check, Waylen was still setting up. First the guitars, then bass, lead vocals and back up. “Ok drummer, if you’re ready let’s hear the kick” said the sound guy.

6:45 – We began to play. Hell Mary was first. I don’t know what happened, but I messed up the lyrics on the second verse. It was bad enough that the guitars had to jump to where I skipped to. Transition was next, knowing me I probably messed this one up too. During the solo I realized we didn’t turn the fog machine on so I did that quickly. Basically the whole show felt off. I was sick all week, I was even hacking up my lungs the morning of the show. In a conversation with Waylen he let me know he didn’t even have his drums all the way set up until half way through the second song, and at one point he was down to one stick because the rest had broken.

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7:15 – We were done with our set. After the show our number one fan said “I don’t know what you guys did differently this time, but you sounded better than you’ve ever sounded before.” Somehow despite everything that went wrong we did a few things right.

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First Studio Recording!

One day, out of the blue, I had a Skype conversation with Enke. We hadn’t talked since my mission ended. In our catching up I told him that I had started writing songs. He had me play a few over the web cam. Apparently I had forgotten that he said he used to be a producer. We scheduled a day to record.

Yes! I was so excited to start recording my own song. On that Saturday we spent a few hours trying to record one song. I suddenly realized recording wasn’t one or two runs through a song. I tried explaining my vision for these songs to him. Nothing was sounding all that great though.

After probably three or more hours of trying with one song he asked what else I had. I played “Is it love?” He looked excited, I had a catchy tune. He toyed with rhythms a bit and told me to play it to a click track. I sucked at it. I could play and sing at the same time, but I was terrible at playing to the clicks.

After a few tries Enke had me play each chord out on the keyboard, he spent a couple minutes programming it into something I could sing along to. When it came time to record vocals, instead of setting up a sound booth with some foam and pillows in a closet, we threw a thick fleece blanket over my head and stuck my face right next to the microphone.

A few days later I got a call from Enke telling me that while working on the song he found a way to make it sound great. Moment of truth, drum roll. How would my first recorded and produced song sound? Is it love?

Argyle Gargoyle

At the end of my 2 year mission in Nicaragua, the last missionary I served with had a guitar. I would spend every little minute of free time teaching myself, basically a couple hours one day a week.

I had tried a few times to learn guitar but got frustrated and quit. This time I used my knowledge of music theory and figured out fingering for several chords. As I returned to the states I found the best way to stay motivated in learning guitar was to write my own songs. I would play chords in a ton of different rhythms and patterns and then start singing what I was thinking about.

Soon enough I had a handful of original tunes. Despite my dream of becoming a rock star, I had no idea how to do it. I’d sung, taught myself guitar, and even written songs. I didn’t know how to make the leap to playing stadium shows and being played on the radio.

Around this same time I had a class with a high school buddy, David Cline. He was in the process of starting his own band Argyle. They were recording a demo with an independent producer and started playing house shows and coffee shops.

David and I would talk about our endeavors in music. I was jealous of the traction he was getting. I couldn’t even find people to form a band. Check out this song by Argyle 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLIX_HWAsZw