Record #4 Update

Enjoying the view outside Veneto West (Studio), just before the start of my mastering session with Ronan Chris Murphy in Kern County, CA.

Just thought I’d post a quick update on my new record (#4).

The record is a concept record, with 13 tracks, going for just under 52 minutes.

As with my other records in the past, I played everything outside of drums. But one of the greatest highlight for me is that I have Marco Minnemann playing the drums on all the songs, (including a small section of what sounds like an intentionally subliminal de-tuned guitar at the end of one of them.)

With so much energy, creativity, power, positivity, passion, while having utmost professionalism… Seriously – what a joy to work with!

Regarding the music, one feedback I’ve been getting on this record is that it has a definite album-feel to it in terms of the flow and cohesiveness, especially compared to the previous one which was more eclectic. I think part of the reason is that this one’s deliberately made to be a concept album, but I also had a very focused frame of mind during the composition phases. I also feel that each song had certain elements that were unique to the song, which is something I’m very happy with. The experimental sections are fun and still make me smile whenever I listen back to them, even after having already listening through hundreds of times.

Ronan Chris Murphy helped me master the record, giving it the final polish.

I feel really, really good and proud of this one. Right now, CDs have been ordered and I’m waiting for them to arrive. Assuming no unforeseen issues with quality control, I should be able to make the official announcement in about 2 weeks, for a pre-release date in mid October and street date at the end of October.

Final stretches now.

Marco Minnemann on Drums in my Upcoming Record

Yes indeed! Marco Minnemann has been most very kind to play drums on my upcoming record. I’m super thankful for Bryan Beller helping me get in touch with him. I couldn’t emphasize how excellent Marco’s playing has been, how tasteful and instinctual he was, how kind he has been, how great he engineered the tracks, how efficient he was and how easy he was to work with. I’m such a big fan of The Aristocrats, the records he has been part of for other artists and songs that he has written, so I was initially in absolute shock with disbelieve for a while after he agreed. It took me a full week to calm myself down. I’m not exaggerating.

OK, at this point, I’ve now received all drum tracks back for all the tunes. Prep work for mixing has started and actual mixing should probably begin some time next week/weekend.

Musically, the record is again an instrumental record with elements of Avant-garde, hard rock/metal with elements of experimental Jazz/ modern classical thrown in. I’m very, very excited about this record and the release should probably be some time in Fall 2017. An overly great deal of love and work has been put into this album and I’m really looking forward to sharing this with all of you out there.

 

New record update: Nov 2016

Like any other record, this one’s going to be a process.
But I can say this for now: The current plan is to make a concept record, and it’s going to be dark.
(Last record had a common theme and concept, but it wasn’t much of a concept record compared to the one before that.)

It’s also going to be dense harmonically.

Transcription for MakeWeirdMusic.com

Screen capture of video by Anthony Garone (MakeWeirdMusic.com), interviewing Teddy Kumpel.

History and Background

I became a fan of MakeWeirdMusic.com ever since I first watched the site’s video interviews with Mike Keneally and Steve Vai. The interviews revolve around the musician’s upbringing, their philosophies in their work – be it compositions or performance, and various interesting things they have done in their careers, (that you may or may not know about,) to get to where they are. If you ever watched the video interviews, you can really tell the amount of dedication and effort that go into each one of them. The interviews are always conducted in a way that the guest is always relaxed and feels comfortable sharing what “makes them tick” in the most honest and detailed manner. The video, lighting, multiple-camera editing/ captures, transcriptions, preparations, logistics and website management that all go into each interview really show the love that site-owner Anthony Garone puts in. (Anthony also interned at Steve Vai’s studio growing up and is quite an awesome composer in his own right.)

From Anthony’s website:

What is “Weird Music?”

“Weird music” doesn’t have to be unenjoyable, but it should be interesting! Radiohead is very popular and very weird. Dirty Loops does virtuosic covers of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears music. Avishai Cohen makes music that even my wife can enjoy. Being “weird” should indicate an effort to go against the grain a little bit and express your individuality.

How I got involved

I reached out to Anthony couple of weeks ago asking if there’s anything I could do to help out. I got to help transcribe the Teddy Kumpel interview, which you can check out here. If you prefer to watch the video, you can find that here too. It was a really fun interview to listen to and there were some really cool quotes. Teddy’s response to the final question where Anthony asks about being “weird” and finding one’s own voice was fantastic.

Hopefully I’ll get to continue to help the site in the future. Anthony’s always looking for more help (be it labor, finance, sponsor support, publicity, or anything else you can think of). So if you enjoy the content as much as I do, reach out to him. But most importantly, please help spread the word about the website!!

 

 

Ronan’s use of the Flux Bender EQ on my Record “Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown Sauce)”

Mastering engineer Ronan Chris Murphy from Veneto West Mastering​ gave me a mention during this episode of Ronan’s Recording Show​, where he briefly talked about how he used the Flux Bender EQ when mastering my record. It was a very brief mention, but **HUGE** fan-boy moment for me!!!!! Not only because I’m a crazy fan of his show, but because he’s also my mentor and teacher – not to mention that he’s also worked with King Crimson/ProjeKCTs, Mike Keneally, G3 (Satriani, Vai, Fripp), Bozzio-Levin-Stevens…. (Yeah, I know). Start at around 21:00 for the mention, but audio geeks like myself would want to check out the full episode because the EQ unit sounded gorgeous and spectacular, and really did add quite a bit of that awesome analog mojo to the tracks when I experienced it in person.

 

New Album Release – “Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown Sauce)”

This past week was the release of my third solo/studio album, “Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown-Sauce)”.
The CDs have arrived and I’m quite happy how everything turned out. The album cover art, designed by the very talented Shawna Armstrong (O Totally Studio) looks fantastic – even more so in physical form.

The drum parts that Tobias Ralph played were tasteful and excellent, and Ronan Chris Murphy was able to help me with the final finishing polish in mastering to make things sound ‘like a record’. As a writer, I feel that I have progressed (and I am gradually becoming a little bit more efficient at it).

In case you’ve missed it, here is a recent interview I did with SomethingElse! Reviews where I talked a bit about the album. This album, (for the most part…), was a joy to make, although the work needed was extremely tedious, intense and involved. If you get a chance, please check it out. Currently, there are preview samples up on CDBaby, as well as a teaser on youtube. However, the record should be out on various digital outlets (, such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.) in upcoming weeks.

I am also planning on having a more detailed write up on the recording process, so please look out for that.

Teaser of new album – “Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown Sauce)”

He’s a teaser of my upcoming album, “Business Brunch Specials: Uranium Omelet (with GMO-Free Brown Sauce)”. I shot the main video using my phone back in February with the intent of having at least some sort of visual footage of me making this album. When I finally revisited this today to add in the texts, I couldn’t help myself from laughing because it’s SO BIZARRE.

Hope you like the gloves! 😀

Pat Mastelotto’s Drums, Microphones and Studio Setup

Might be a little long overdue posting this, but here are some snapshots showing Pat Mastelotto’s drum kit setup, microphone placements and studio he had while tracking for my 2nd album back in 2013. Sorry about the blurriness – I believe Pat took these with his camera phone at the time.

Click on picture for larger view.

Microphones used

There were 2 overheads, 2 kicks (in and out), snare (top and bottom), hi-hat, toms, single room mic. The ride might have been mic-ed as well, but I do not remember exactly. The overheads were Earthworks (although I’m not sure what the model was).

Preamps

I believe he was using an API preamp

Which mics I used and which ones I did not

During mixing, I didn’t use the snare bottoms, kick (out), hi-hats. Things sounded much more focused and better that way. So it was mainly the overheads, kick, snare and the room. The toms were not played much, but I would un-mute those microphones whenever they were played. Every thing sounded excellent when they came in, and I all needed to do was enhance what I had with some processing.