Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is why Megadeth rules.

And you know what? If I was Mustaine, and I was at where he's at in his career, I'd fucking tour with Lacuna Coil too. Those whiny kids.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Drummer! --Adventures in Band Practice

So Born Without Blood has a drummer now. Mind-blowing, I know.

Finding him was interesting--I had to search pretty extensively. Bandmix, where I  first noticed him, only allows you to contact other users if you pay for an account. Since I'm not that stupid, I went looking at profiles from my free account. Found him--long-hair Seattlite drummer dork who likes metal--definitely up our alley.

He goes by Kane Blaireau. I figured Facebook was a pretty safe bet to catch him--everybody's on fucking Facebook these days. After five or six FB searches got me nowhere, I Googled his name. Guess what the first hit was? Just guess. His Facebook page! It was a band page, not a personal one, which explains not getting it in the initial search results.

Finally. I'd found him. Sent him a message and a friend request--and voila! Instructed Justin to befriend him too, and those two got to talking. I then joined in, and after the whole goddam holiday season was over, he came over for his first jam with us.

Justin and I, band founders and sole members since then, had a few reservations about Kane. These were cast aside when the jamming ensued.

Firstly, has plays on an electric kit. "Lame!" we thought.

Too quick, boys. Too quick to judge. Turns out the maneuverability of the sound was a boon, for jamming and recording both. We had him running through a PA speaker, on top of and jacked into my small, old, janky Peavey combo amp as a pre-amp, and set between our two half-stacks. Let me tell you, being able to turn the drums' volume up and down makes a HUGE difference.

We used two microphones, placed equidistant between each amp and the PA speaker. Left-to-right, you'd have seen Justin's half-stack, a mic pointed between it and the PA, the PA, the other mic pointed between the PA and my half-stack, and my half-stack. It created a useable recording, which is a little surprising, given the jury-rigged, small-time setup.

Usually, of course, you'd want a mic dedicated to each instrument. We had a third mic and chord, but the problem was figuring out how to record three mics at once through my Gearbox UX2 and Sonar. Not sure it's possible.

The recording yielded two tracks, obviously. On one, we had Justin's guitar and Kane's drums, neither of which I could manipulate independently. The other track contained my guitar and drums, in the same fashion. The trick during recording was making sure each guitar was as similarly leveled as possible, so that turning one or the other down in editing didn't take out too much drum sound. As it turns out, the mix turned out all right. It's a pretty effective way of recording two guitars and drums.

Now whenever bass enters the mix, I'll be scared. Holy cow. I was thinking we could use two laptops, with two mics hooked up to each. Turns out Kane has not only audio recording software on his lappy, but mixing and mastering equipment as well! I'll have to tag along on one of his mastering excursions for his other band to see what the process is like.

Secondly, Justin and I were apprehensive about whether or not Kane could match our speed. We play pretty fucking fast--168 bpm on average, with lots of 1/16-note picking with the right hand.

But when he sat down on that thing, he stayed right with us, sometimes even going TOO FAST! Oh sweet gods, where did we find this boy? One thing is--he hasn't even been drumming a whole year, if I remember correctly. So I could hear some inconsistencies in his tempo and rhythm, which I chalk up to first-practice learnings/jitters/familiarizings. He kept up and had that double kick pedal rocking. He's not perfect, but damn it he's more than good enough.

Not only that, but he brought out a new side of Justin and I's playing that we'd never really explored before. By the end of practice, we'd gone through all three of our solid songs, two of our songs-in-writing, and three new jams to pick stuff out of!

New drummer, new regions of metal to explore, new dynamic to our band. The practice went better than I'd expected. After jamming for an hour or more, we all sat down, had a breather, and did some talking. I told him he didn't have to join our band, that he could make his own decision. If I remember correctly, he said, "No, I want to! Yeah, definitely." No hesitation. The indoctrination went better than expected, as well. He was all about BWB right from the start.

We've only had the one practice with him so far, three days ago. We're designating Sundays as band practice days, but this Sunday, which would be our second practice, we're putting Kane to use in a whole different way: Dungeons and Dragons!

That's right. Justin and I are players, and we've had this go-to DM for a long time. This Sunday, Kane takes up that mantle, and our DM friend becomes a player alongside Justin and I. We're all Facebook chatting about it and geeking out hardcore.

All in all -- drummer joins party. Born Without Blood level up. Glenn and Justin make a friend.