Oct 30, 2013

Decompositions Studios: My Other Outlet

I started this blog back in August of last year with the loose idea of sharing my ideas about music and the many things I have learned over the years while playing with some of the coolest dudes, and best friends I've known since I was around twenty years old. Confessor and Loincloth have been huge parts of my life, and I could never truly express how grateful I am to have been able to go down the underground highway ( no pervert, that's a different highway ) with all of the guys who have stepped in and out of those bands.  But before I became a drummer I thought I would be some type of visual artist.  I met my oldest friend on the first day of eighth grade, and he really nudged me towards exploring the illustrator side of myself that I had only played around with before meeting him.  Danny Gallant and I were nearly inseparable for several years, and we were partners in crime together.  Because of the joy I got out of spending all night up in my room drawing I applied to a magnet high school here in Raleigh where I met several people who had equally significant impacts on the direction of my life. Phil Swisher helped guide me towards playing an instrument, and Monica and I met on the campus of Enloe High School, becoming the very best of friends, then boyfriend and girlfriend.  Jump ahead several years and months of online stalking, and  I was finally able to coerce her into marrying me.

Oct 28, 2013

Haunting Your Own House

In the spirit of Halloween, Monica and I wanted to share some of the fun we have had here at The Shelton household celebrating all things horrifying, morbid and blood soaked.  We whipped together some pretty cool props for a Halloween party a couple of years ago and everyone who showed up had a great time.  We hope that all of you have fun this year, and that you get as creative as you can with your costumes and that you scare the crap out of someone, even if it's yourself!  This is the only time adults get to act like kids and get away with it, so tear it up... or tear it limb from limb.  

Oct 27, 2013

Halloween, Heavy Metal and Horror Movies: The Three 'H' Club

Once you get beyond longer hair, lots of black clothes and beer bellies there is one thing that most metallers seem to enjoy universally.  No, not drugs... okay maybe two things.  The one that I'd like to write about tonight is metal's cinematic brother from another mother; the horror movie.  Just in time for Halloween.

Metal and horror have quite a bit in common.  Both try and explore the dark sides of the human experience, and both are quite comfortable using gruesome imagery to shock people into a thumb sucking fetal position.  Sometimes bands or performers will use horror to shock their audience, and it usually works out very well for them.  Before Marilyn Manson we had Alice Cooper and of course, bubble gum music's queens of shock rock, Kiss.  In underground metal, plenty of acts have followed King Diamond's lead and used horror fiction as themes in their music.  Look at how long Gwar has been around.  And well before any of them we had Screamin' Jay Hawkins popping up out of coffins as far back as the late 50's and early 60's. Horror and rock are coconspirators in America's dark counterculture history that have finally become so ingrained in our psyche that we have Ozzy Osbourne selling us cars with "Crazy Train", and in case any of you haven't noticed, zombies have been lumbering into our commercials for the last two or three years.  Horror and metal were meant to be together.

Oct 4, 2013

Touching Cloth: A Celebration of Heaviness

There are a lot of things about being in a band that are inspiring. Playing live, and the looks on people's faces who are loving every second of your set provide the kind of inspiration that can make you forget about how mundane your nine to five gig is.  I particularly love the random "God DAMN!" that you sometimes hear a nanosecond before the applause starts at the end of a song when someone has just had their face melted off in a completely unexpected way.  Then there is the inspiration that comes from finally having your crap together enough to make it into a studio, where you actually get to 'hear' your music as an outsider. But the most inspiring thing about playing in a band comes in the practice space.  No, not the hookers and blow.  I have actually never seen either of those rock staples in our practice rooms.  I'm referring to that spontaneous moment when everything clicks and you and the three or four guys you've been playing with for so long hit upon something that reminds you of why you ever wanted to play music in the first place... superbadass riffery!  

Last weekend Loincloth had a marathon practice schedule as we took great advantage of Tannon's visit to Raleigh.  Normally, Loincloth songs are constructed at roughly the same pace tectonic plates push up mountains, which is almost as long as it takes to get a human to pick up the phone and pretend to listen to you when you have a question about your cable bill.  Last Saturday, Tannon and I had one of those moments with a new riff when all we could do was laugh at how heavy it was.  We were able to get the entire rough sketch for a song strung together that night.  With the addition of one tiny note to a riff we already knew, the two of us found ourselves propelled into a world of chunky delight!  Knuckle dragging, plodding heaviness. Loincloth's lone reason for existing.  After hookers and blow, of course.