Categories
News

Time To Start Mixing

I’ve completed all songs for the as-of-yet untitled album. Last night I finished up my last edits and will now be moving on to mixing each song. The last time I put an actual effort into mixing a song was in 2013 so I’m sure this going to be an experience. Maybe it’s like riding a bike…

Categories
News

Writing For Album Almost Finished

I’ve been able to find time to work on the album a little each night. I had been unsure if I’d have enough material for an album but I’ve put together 7 songs so far that will be included. Current work has been consisting on writing leads and finishing up the drum tracks. There are a couple of tracks where vocals would sound good but I’m going to stick with my original plan of creating the entire album myself.

Categories
News

New Album May Actually Be An EP

I’ve been working on writing and recording material for a new album but progress is slower than I anticipated. The new release will likely be an EP rather than a full album. While I’m not ruling a full album out completely, unless I gain a huge spark of inspiration in a short amount of time it just doesn’t seem feasible in order to make the release by Sping or early Summer.

Categories
Gear

Ibanez RG470AHM Review

I’d been really wanting a new guitar that had a maple fretboard and that wasn’t a Jackson. I decided to buy an Ibanez RG470AHM which is my first guitar of this brand. The only time I’ve ever even played one was when I was a teenager and got to play my cousin’s 90s model RG through his full 5150 stack. The thing that stood out most about that guitar was the super low action that it had and the upper mid range bite.

When I got my new Ibanez in the mail I was severely disappointed in the setup it had, or the lack there of. After polishing the frets, adjusting truss rod, intonation and setting the action low I was fairly satisfied with the feel of the neck. I did have to go a step further and sand the shelf that the locking nut sat on in order to drop the nut height to a suitable level.

After setting the guitar up I’m very happy with it’s sound, looks and playability. Since it’s got a super flat fretboard radius it’s perfect for soloing. The sound is great but not as different from the Jackson’s as far as sound. The pickups seem to be fairly hot but not with the limited dynamics that my EMG81 equipped Rhoads guitar has. It’s got a different midrange bump that compliments the recorded tone of my Jackson Dinky, especially when using the Ibanez for leads.

While is quickly becoming my most played guitar I’m shocked at the amount of work, set-up I had to do to it when I first got it. I’ve never had a guitar come with frets this rough, ever. Without the fret polishing, this guitar was unusable, by anybody’s standard. If I was unable to do a complete setup myself on the guitar that would have been an unwelcomed expense of having a guitar shop to the work for me. Another downside seems to be tuning stability. The tuning is almost always flat a little bit, not by allot but enough to cause problems when double tracking guitar tracks. This is more of an annoyance rather than a problem and could very well be caused by the low tuning I use and string gauges. If you’re buying one of these from a music store you will likely not have the setup issues I had but when buying new online just know that the factory setup could very well be terrible.

Categories
Cover Songs Demos News

Seed Of Memory

I’d really like to work on this song some more. All of my songs have always been instrumentals but I’d really like to get a vocalist to work on this with me. I could instead record the vocal melody lines with guitar but I don’t think it would have the same impact. Who knows. Maybe.

Categories
Disquisition

My Favorite Band – Type O Negative

9th grade shop class is where I first heard Type O Negative. There was a TV in class that we watched MTV on when we weren’t building bongs, pipes or smoking by the dumpster. When the video for Type O Negative’s “Christian Woman” came on TV I was blown away. I had never heard a song quite like that or even a style of music such as that.

I was in my first band where I played guitar and my best friend who played bass in the band was also in the class, witnessing this amazing, dark, down-tuned band come into our lives. After class, we had to immediately find our drummer in the halls and tell him about what we had just witnessed. We all went out and bought the cassette and spent the next few evenings and nights at home working on learning the song. By band practice that weekend we were ready. We plugged the Christmas lights up that were attached to the drum-set, warmed up the lava lamp, flipped on the black-light and then flipped off the room lights. We set off practicing “Christian Woman” several times in our darkened rehearsal room (the drummer’s bedroom). I was forever changed from that point on and my tastes in music were more-or-less cemented to a view that I continue to envision even today.

While this first album of theirs, Bloody Kisses, was a fantastic album I feel that the later album, October Rust, was their best. October Rust fits a handful of albums that I prefer to listen to from beginning-to-end rather than just a few songs at a time. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and Tool’s “├ćnima” are the only other albums that I can listen to in the same way. This album was a masterpiece from middle to end. I’ve always enjoyed that Type O Negative songs were slow, heavy pop songs at heart most of the time. Goth Metal was always the genre they were labelled with but I believe they created their own genre and I have not heard any band since them that fits with what they did.

There’s so much more that could have come from this band but right before Peter Steele was set to write and record new material he passed away at just 48 years old. It’s sad to think of all the music that was in his head but we will never hear. His personality was so that he never really took what he was doing that serious and we are lucky to have heard the music he ended up creating at all because he was actually just a normal guy who enjoyed his job with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

If you are a fan of Type O Negative and would like to read more about who Peter Steele was as a person you should check out this article written by his cousin James Toth.

Categories
Demos

Blast From the Past

Recorded in 2006

This is an old one. I had almost forgotten what it was like to record to a computer in the mid 2000’s. I remember saving up to get a copy of Samplitude 6. The computer I used was an HP Pavilion with an Athlon processor, I don’t remember how much memory was in it but I’m sure it wasn’t much. I was using a 17 inch CRT monitor which I thought was about a good as it could get. It’s almost comical thinking about it now but I was only 5 years into my career so I wasn’t making the greatest of salaries, I was very lucky to have the things I needed in order to create and record music.

In order to get sound into the computer I used two M-Audio Delta 2488 PCI sound cards. Into that I had a Behringer mixing board. I’m not entirely sure what I was using for the guitar signal processing. At the time I remember having a Digitech RP5 pedal so that may be the guitar processor I used. For bass I believe I had a really cheap Squire 4 string which I likely recorded direct. For the piano I used an Alesis QS6.1 synthesizer which I no longer have but miss very much. I honestly don’t have a clue at all what guitar I used. At the time I had a Charvel Super Strat but this recording doesn’t really sound like that guitar.

I distinctly remember the drums on this song. I have no idea if the guy is still around but I bought some drum loops from Beta Monkey. This was before digital downloads were popular for such things and after ordering the loops I had to wait for the CD to come in the mail. The disc came with a handwritten thank you note. Compared to now, the method of getting the loops might seem inconvenient but it was an experience that was worthwhile when I finally got the disc and I certainly got plenty of use out of the drum loops it contained.

This old demo brings back some fond memories for me and I hope you enjoy it in all it’s rough glory.

Categories
Cover Songs

Metallica’s To Live Is To Die

Recorded in 2011

To Live Is To Die (Metallica Cover) by Billy Shuler

This was the very first Metallica cover I’ve ever recorded. It’s my absolute favorite Metallica song and I feel like this has been one of the best recordings I’ve done. The recording process took a couple weeks and the mixing process took me nearly a month but I’m very proud of how well it came out.

Categories
Cover Songs

Metallica’s Orion

Recorded in 2012

Orion (Metallica Cover) by Billy Shuler

This is one of the first Metallica cover songs I’ve ever recorded. I’ve always been interested in the song structures of Metallica songs of this era. I really enjoy the guitar harmonies in this song while at the same time finding that it was one of the most difficult areas of the song to recreate. I did an alright job overall but I fell the harmonies feel a little flat in my version.

Categories
News

It’s Been Awhile

No, I’m not referencing the Staind song. It’s referencing the fact that I haven’t released any new music in nearly a decade. I’m proud to say that I’ve been working on some original music in the last several months as well as the beginnings of a cover song. Basically the only time I have a chance to work on writing and recording songs is after my kids have went to bed and on the weekends (#dadlife).

  1. Seed Of Memory Demo
  2. Interstellar Demo
  3. Esoteria Demo