The Complete has a new song. I’m proud of it, it kicks ass:
I shot a video for it last week, currently editing it. I’m trying to increase the pace of releasing songs and videos, but editing video takes forever. I need to upgrade from iMovie to something better. Anyone use AfterEffects or FinalCut Pro? Any suggestions?
I emceed a friend’s wedding this weekend. I wrote out all this stuff to say but ended up just winging it. Things changed fast, people threw new information at me even as I stood at the podium so I’m glad I wasn’t trying to stick to a script. The photographer said I did a good job because I didn’t start off by saying “Now, I’m not very good at this but….”. People saying that shit before they say or do something gives me haemorrhoids. (Take note, open-mic-musicians).
On my way to take a whiz some SUPER drunk girl put her two hands on my face and tried to jam her tongue down my throat. Surprisingly not awesome, she might have had better luck with “hello”.
Got my Superman tickets for tonight! I didn’t see the last one with Brandon Routh…or the first one with the poor bastard who later fell off his horse so I have no expectations either way. But hey, Chris Nolan is producing it so IT BETTER BE GOOD OR I’M PEEING IN SOMEONE’S SHOES.
Been trying to improve my photography lately, thinking about getting a ring flash. I figured before I drop 500 bucks on one though, I’d slap together a DIY version and see what kind of results I can get out of it.
Update: this is a diffuser, not a ring flash. It made everything yellow…perhaps I should have washed it first.
I think I’m gonna eventually hire a few people. Doing everything myself allows total control, but man…I have no social life. Things would be a lot simpler if I had a good studio engineer and someone to edit those dang videos. I’m getting better at the latter, and I like it but holy crap it’s just taking up so much of my week.
Anyone hear any good new music lately?
Besides The Complete, of course. 😉
I used to practice 12 hours a day.
Ever hear the theory that it takes 10,000 of practice to become an expert? I have more like 60 or 70,000.
That’s INSANE. Nobody needs to put that much time in before taking their abilities public. But that’s what I did. Every day, morning-noon-night. Practice. For years. At the time, it was killing me and I didn’t understand why I was doing it. Now I do:
I thought I was afraid of what other musicians might think of me, so I had to be better than them. Had to be a better guitarist, had to be a better drummer, had to have a better ear. And the more seriously I took practice, the harder I would be on myself. My internal voice to started out by saying “I could be better” and “I’m not a good enough player yet”, and became “I’m not good enough”. See the difference? And that became a problem.
I was no fun anymore. I used to be a blast but now it felt like I hadn’t laughed in forever. I was the kid who thought burps were the funniest thing of all time, but I couldn’t remember the last time I even smiled. I rarely hung out with anybody, and the only way I could be coaxed out was if there was booze involved. That way I could get blasted and feel like I was being sociable, without having to really talk to anybody. Because I wasn’t good enough, you see.
Healthy, I know.
And girls? There hadn’t been anybody in my life for a looooooong time. It’s not like I wasn’t meeting people, but the voice inside my head would tell me “I’m not good enough for her yet. Wait until I’m the greatest of all time, then ask her out.” I’ve watched one after another go off with someone else. That never gets easier, believe me.
So what was really going on? I was letting fear consume my life. Not of other musicians (they don’t care), not of girls, but of…myself maybe? Taking a chance maybe? Either way, I was miserable. Absolutely alone, totally detached from friends and family, out of shape, probably a functional alcoholic, borderline broke, and completely miserable.
So I knew things had to change. I thought “well, what in particular?” Motherfucker, EVERYTHING. I had to change absolutely everything about my life.
I started with the drinking. As much as I loved it (and I mean loved it), I knew it had to go. It hadn’t been fun in a long time. Years maybe. I wasn’t using it to have a laugh with my dumb little buddies anymore, but like a blanket I could hide under in social situations. Frig man, I don’t remember 2010 (but I sure as hell remember 2011. Ha ha ha I’ll go into detail about that some other time).
This raised an unexpected issue. It had been forEVER since I interacted with people in a non-music and non-partying setting. I didn’t know what to say or do. What do people talk about at dinner parties? The hell if I knew. What if I have nothing to contribute to the conversation? Would anybody even care what I had to say? Maybe I should just get wasted and moon the neighbours instead. The hardest part of all was telling myself to shut up with that shit, suck it up and dive into LIFE.
This sounds lame, but it’s almost like I had to get to know myself as an adult. And you know what? I’m actually pretty cool. I’m good at being around people. I’m kind of funny and my friends are hilarious and I’d long forgotten how much I like laughing at stupid shit. Like burps.
So I took a lot of time to work on myself (which is still a work in progress, believe me). I ditched the junk food, hit the gym, reconnected with friends and family I’d lost track of. And none of it was easy. But shit…I had to do it.
But back to the music. I’ve known since I was 4 that’s who I am and what I do. Part of me knew that I’m awesome, but the only way i’d ever make a career happen is if I just put it all out there on the line, warts and all. I had to accept that there is no perfect take, perfect vocal line, perfect song. Only good, great, excellent. The pursuit of perfection nearly killed me, and got me nowhere in the process.
This weekend I became Canada’s Fastest Drummer. I was at a drumming seminar and there was a booth (Drumpure) which had a machine that can measure drummers’ speed. It works by counting down 60 seconds, and records how many times you tap the surface in those 60 seconds.
*Drum Nerd Terminology Ahead*
In this case it was a traditional grip contest. My first attempt was the winning one – 898 alternating-hand single strokes in 60 seconds. Fast, but in the grand scheme of things…not that fast. I know a couple of drummers around the world who could easily beat that number (in fact Jim Kilpatrick crushed it the next day…but he’s not Canadian).
*SUPER Nerd-y Terminology Ahead*
FYI I did it with the Moeller technique. After thinking about it though, I’m faster with finger techniques that I fool around with (lol) sometimes. In retrospect, why didn’t I do that instead? Perhaps I had the dumb that day.
ANYwaaaaaay…do you have to be the fastest to be a good musician? Hells no. Is this just a macho, bragging rights type-of-thing? Pretty much. Am I really the fastest in the country? Nah. Can some other Canadian drummer beat my number? Definitely.
There is no point I’M CANADA’S FASTEST DRUMMER SO CHEW ON THAT.
And now, for TMI Tuesday:
I workout in the garage. My workout is called Crossfit. Every day you go to the website and do whatever it says. The workout yesterday was the snatch (ha ha I know, but bear with me. This is going somewhere). It’s this thing where you lift the bar off the floor and it ends up over your head. Cool, I thought, this’ll make me look like I know what I’m doing.
So I do a few practice runs with a broomhandle to get the motion down. Up to the hips, throw the bar up, get under it, stand up straight. Yeah, I got this. I’m so cool.
On to the bar then! Up to the hips, throw bar up, under it, stand straight up. Ok, it’s a little harder with some weight but I’ve got it. Give me a medal!
Now at the halfway point of the workout I’m way too cool to pay attention anymore. I’ve got this, it’s old hat by now. Let’s get this done and then it’s off to the movies with my friends!
I lift the bar off the floor. The universe decides that I need a lesson in humility. The bar slams into my hips at the exact same moment my business flaps up from the movement. I take the bar right. in. the. bird. This is no glancing blow to the side, we’re talking head-on collision. Picture a baseball hitting the top end of a bat.
Bar hits the floor. My mind clears. Thoughts, fears, anxieties melt away. I empty the self. The world…is beautiful. Our lives, beautiful. People need to know this! In this moment I know my place in the universe. I know that I’m here to love, only love. Love my friends, my family, myself. Meet an amazing girl and love her like only I can. Have kids and raise them in a loving home. Let them know they can do anything, be anything. In this moment I see my life through space and time. In this moment…I touch the face of God himself.
The moment passes.
Agony? Pain? Mere words. There is no pain. There is no hurt. I do not feel these things…for I have become them. I AM pain! I am destruction! I am disease, despair, I am all the hate that humanity has ever dared inflict upon itself!
“I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds.”
So I drop my pants in the garage and have a look see. Everything seems to be in order but I have to waddle around like that for a solid 10 minutes until I feel confident that the fabric of my underwear won’t initiate a state of shock when it touches my business again. Then it’s pants back up and walk that shit off. I even pee in the bushes to make sure that I CAN still pee in the bushes.
Anyway no damage done. Now I can get back to all the sex I’m not having.
And that, dear friends, is TMI Tuesday.
(As for the movies? Prometheus was good. Go see it.)