Apr 29, 2013

Flashback: Hunkering Down in the Studio During a Tornado

There are many things that happen in the studio that can catch you off guard.  Usually they have to do with some moody piece of expensive electronic equipment throwing a temper tantrum and deciding that though it may be of perfect use for whatever vision the band has at that specific moment, it would rather not cooperate with the producer, opting instead to mock everyone in the room.  The poor producer/wizard may try any number of incantations to unlock the magic inside said device, but the more the band wants it to work, the less likely it shall.  I am very fortunate that there are no wires or manic depressive circuit boards whose fragile egos require the correct combination of compliments for me to be able to play music. I have a hard enough time figuring out which direction I have to flip a wall switch for the lights to come on.  Having to work around electronics with a mind of their own would be the end of my musical journey.  Me hit things with stick.  Me make sound that way.  Me happy.

On April 16th, 2011 Tannon and I were in the studio with our own producer/wizard, Greg Elkins, when we got a call alerting us to a different kind of wrinkle headed our way.  There was a tornado that was coming right towards our section of town!  We were getting updates from Monica and from Greg's soon-to-be wife, Heather.  Both of them were gathering pets and finding the lowest points in their respective homes as the twister bore down on us all.  At the studio things did get pretty hairy for a bit, but I had no idea what a close call we had until I went home later that afternoon.

Apr 6, 2013

Evil Dead - 2013: A Horror Fan's Take on a Remade Classic

Anyone who knows me and Monica knows that we are huge horror movie fans.  When I was a kid there were two movies that made me squirm.  In "The Wizard of Oz" when the Wicked Witch of the West told Dorothy "I'll get you... and your little dog too!"  I knew she meant me.  I know, I know, hardly a scary movie, right?  But for a six year old the thought of someone threatening a little dog was unimaginable.  What kind of monster would want to hurt a puppy?  Now, after having several dogs throughout my life I understand how much fun it can be to push them around, but when I was a kid I didn't get it.  The other movie that freaked me out was "Nosferatu".  You have to realize that when I was growing up television was very different.  You got three channels and a fourth one that had a lot of static.  You had to get up to change the channel by twisting the vice grips that were permanently attached to the broken channel knob, and sometimes you had to move the giant rabbit ear antennae to clear up the image.  You were held captive by whatever was on because there weren't two hundred channels to flip through.  "Nosferatu" came on pretty frequently, and when that damned vampire lifted straight out of his casket stiff as a board, I had no way to process it other than wetting the front of my pants.  As an adult I find that to be an effective way to get out of uncomfortable situations.  No one can focus anymore when the person they are confronting has a basketball sized wet spot growing down their jeans!  Try it, you'll be amazed.  It's a real game changer!  You can feel the power shift over to your side while the other guy sees that he may have overcommitted, and is trying to figure out exactly "how real" he wants things to get.

Fast forward to my teenage years.  Two movies cinched my love for horror.  Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, "The Shining" and Sam Raimi's quirky, low budget gem "The Evil Dead".  I've been a devotee ever since.  I have plenty of friends who love horror movies in the same way I love metal.  Most metal sucks.  In fact, most metal is embarrassing.  When it's good though, it's the best of everything I love about music and creative expression.  The same holds true for horror movies, and the two art forms are actually very closely related. Both delve into the taboos of society and the dark recesses of the human experience. Americans are particularly fascinated by real life horror, and especially the phenomenon of serial killers.  Being scared or made very uncomfortable is a rush.  I suppose that when we were hunter/gatherers there were more chances to feel that life or death rush that is absent when walking through the mall these days.  Well, that might depend upon which mall you frequent, but you know what I mean.  A good horror movie makes you feel alive.  And damned happy to be alive!