Apr 1, 2014

Loincloth: Counting Down to Studio Time

As a musician in performing or occasionally performing bands, there are two things that really make all of the hard work and endless mental energy that go into writing our quirky brand of metal worthwhile. Two scenarios in which the payback is so immediately gratifying, and so close to tangible that you feel nearly removed from the hours and hours of arranging and rearranging riffs, and you can almost 'feel' what it's all about.  For yours truly, those two things are the reactions people have when they see you perform live and that precious moment in the studio when you finally get to hear all of the hard work played back through the studio monitors.  With that in mind I am pleased to announce something... Stop the presses, ladies and gentlemen, Loincloth have a date in the studio!

Mar 1, 2014

Terry Bozzio Pays Raleigh a Visit

There are drummers who are good, drummers who are great, and there is Terry Bozzio. Terry Bozzio might be a bona fide force of nature, or perhaps he's actually unnatural.  It's hard for me to say.  He outdoes any other drummer I've ever heard in every conceivable way. He is not only on a level far beyond any other mere mortal, but there is no path for others to take to even come close to achieving the kind of mastery of the drum kit he commands. Roughly two hundred drummers packed Raleigh's "The Pour House" Monday night just to sneak a peak into the polyrhythmic world of Earth's most evolved drummer.  None of us were really sure what we saw or heard, but we all knew that through some type of dark sorcery, Mr. Bozzio was able to produce something with the same kinds of sticks and drums that we use, but that we'll never hear coming from our own kits.  Maybe I've been holding my sticks the wrong way all of these years.  Maybe I should have chosen a different instrument!  A kazoo, or a tambourine... hell, Terry Bozzio would probably blow everyone away on a kazoo, too.

Feb 9, 2014

Confessor and Loincloth Updates, Plus More Decompositions Studios Images for Enhanced Eyeball Pleasure

Confessor have been working on our first really mathy song for the new album in the last couple of weeks.  It's great to see everyone excited about how the track is coming along, and I have had an avalanche of ideas and patterns to play with.  The original riff is one that Brian wrote a long time ago that I have played with from time to time, keeping it in mind as a 'must do' riff whenever the right time came.  This has been one of those occasions when each minor tweak leads to another vicious dynamic worthy of exploration, and I came up with a brother riff with equally endless opportunities to create very different beats and rhythms without having to change the actual riff.  Restraint will be essential so we don't turn this into a lifeless, robotic exercise, but if there is one thing that has sunk in from writing with Confessor's evil twin, Loincloth, it is the ability to cut things out for the sake of brevity.  Confessor will always have more room for things to expand, but to stay mean you have to avoid being too longwinded.  We want this song to beat you up, and judging from everyone's reactions and excitement in the practice room we are on the right track with this one.  It's a damned good feeling!

On the Loincloth front, Tannon came down from Richmond last weekend so that we could get the ball rolling with a few different ideas.  There is a certain kinship that Tannon and I share when we write music together that is always inspiring in a sort of jubilant way neither of us has experienced before.  Don't get me wrong!  Being excited about a new idea with other people is always the thing that makes playing worthwhile, no matter who it is.  Something about the frequency with which Tannon and I find ourselves saying "Oh yeah...  This one is going to be a beast!" makes it different.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that he and I usually see the same kind of potential in riffs almost right away, and  the speed with which we understand each other makes it really easy to rip through little tweaks.  We came out of the pressure cooker experience of finishing 'Iron Balls' more attuned to one another's way of thinking, and now we have no problem getting right back to ideas when months have passed since playing together.  In short, it's a blast being in Loincloth and Confessor right now and my hope of being able to feed off of each other's energy seems to be kicking up a little.  Both bands are totally psyched about new music, and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing indeed.

Jan 26, 2014

Sweet, Sweet Jasmine: 1999 - Jan.21, 2014

Those of you who have followed The Poundry for the last few months are aware that we had been trying to work with our vet and Jasmine to rehabilitate her broken leg since I tripped over her back in June of last year. That's a long damned time!  Seven months translated into dog years, with adjustments for Jasmine's size, becomes something like three years of rehab for our sweet little girl.  Yikes!  Can you imagine that much time with your leg bandaged? That much time hobbling from one pillow to another, waiting for someone to bring you your meals and to carry you outside to use the bathroom?  Jasmine had always been a puppy at heart, and her unbridled playfulness probably complicated her recovery at first, and gave us a false sense of progress that made it that much tougher when things started to get more difficult a month ago.  We lost Jasmine to pneumonia Tuesday afternoon.  That is a loss we will carry with us forever.

Jan 20, 2014

Homework: Working Out Drum Beats Without a Kit

Time, it's one of the two things all of us would like to have more of in order to accomplish the things we fantasize about. The other is of course, money.  In a perfect world we all have plenty of time to do whatever we want and no one needs money to provide the basic necessities of life.  Our coolness causes everything to work out effortlessly.  We are all Ferris Bueller in our own heads.  In my head, throngs of people cheer me on everywhere I go.  There are tamale trees around every corner, and water fountains flow with the sweet nectar we call iced tea.  Not that god awful, bitter leaf juice that sophisticates drink in coffee houses, or that offensively fruity crap that companies try to pass off as a drinkable substitute for real tea.  I am talking about the good stuff; sweet, southern iced tea.  You can't find it north of Virginia, at any point west of North Carolina or south of South Carolina. The good stuff is found here, in this little beverage oasis the rest of you look down upon, though half of you retire here. In a Sheltopian society, Mexican and Indian food mysteriously appear whenever I begin to feel hungry, and there are no bills to pay.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  That's what allows me the time I need to write all of my drum parts for Confessor and Loincloth in that perfect world where album pre-sales always lift your releases to "platinum" status before you even go into the studio. Sadly, here on Earth things are very different.  

Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, Fellow Pounderers!

I'm not quite sure how it happened but another year has come and gone, and aside from some different aches and pains I feel exactly the same as I have for years... twenty three or so.  I may look more homeless than I did last year at this time and my crazy sideburns may be a little nuttier now that they are white than they were when they were still red, but in my heart I'm still excited about what I might do when I grow up. I'm just glad that no matter how old I am people who are a few years older than me still call my "... just a baby".  Your concept of 'old' changes as you grow older yourself.  I have no problem with that simple, transparent defense mechanism.  It's cheaper than blowing your savings on a new Corvette and a fling to make yourself feel young again.  Let me take this time to thank any of you who may have ordered a new Corvette for me for Christmas "Thank you!  I have never felt so young and vibrant!"

Nov 28, 2013

Black Sabbath vs. Led Zeppelin: Who Needs Football on Thanksgiving When You Have This Matchup?

Every now and then metal dudes and dudettes toss around one of the great, unanswerable questions that has vexed metal scholars for decades.  No, not "Who's gonna go to the store for more beer?" but the question of which band was heavier, Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Heavy metal would not exist without Black Sabbath, but Led Zeppelin also had a lot to do with how heavy music took hold in pop culture.  Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest rock bands of all time.  There are but a few bands I can think of that put "big" into perspective like them.  However, the relatively recent acceptance of metal into pop culture has cemented Black Sabbath as one of the most important bands in the evolution of all of rock's sub genres.  Black Sabbath's fans are just as fanatical now as they were forty years ago.  Both bands affected the trajectory of heavy music as much as any other band I can think of, and both had a vibe that freaked the hell out of people who were not fans of their music.  I'm not sure that I can really answer this question in a way that will satisfy everyone, but I can give it a shot.  This is probably a volatile topic for a lot of people, so I'll try to be careful.