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astigmatism

Feb 21, 2009 Leave a comment

foursome

helo helo helo

troubadours

Finished up the roll of film in my XA and dropped it off at the store today. Got the scans and negative back a few hours later. Will start uploading soon-ish. Maybe once I finish uploading the good stuff from this roll of Acros, maybe sooner.

I’m trying to come up with a few names for the obligatory thanks list for the EP’s liner notes. We’re not doing individual thanks lists so I’m going to have to keep things simple… I’m sure my more well-connected bandmates will have more important people to thank. Haha.

Seems like the EP’s going to be coming out kinda soon-ish. Whoo, I’m excited.

no girlfriend, no car, not handsome

Jan 15, 2009 Leave a comment

But I have a band, and we’re going to release an EP!

Yes, us not-so-handsome blokes of xLumbrahx have finally gotten the tracks for our EP mixed and mastered, and now all that’s left is the designing and the actual process of producing the CDs. Admittedly we should’ve done the designing bit a bit earlier, but hey, we aren’t exactly a set of organised blokes. Besides, it’s not like we managed to sit down and actually discuss that shit, you know? This is the first time we’ve actually managed to sit down and talk as a band (sans bassist, of course, who’s jobless in Muar) in at least two months.

There’s no pencilled-in release date for the five-track EP but we’re going to try and put it out around late February/early March. If everything goes according to plan and there aren’t any unforseen problems it should be do-able. We still need to find out exact prices for printing/CD duplication/etc though, but I think I speak for the band when I say that it’s not about making a profit. As long as we can muster up enough cash to record some more stuff (or maybe put out some t-shirts) then it’s all good.

Meng at Standingwave (Standing Wave?) did a sterling job on the mixing/mastering. No shit. The man’s pretty bloody good at what he does, I have to say.

Now what the fuck are we going to put on the cover?

Categories: band

a night at the studio, again

Sep 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Yeah, we got our asses into the studio again last night, this time to finish up the vocals. Things went pretty smoothly, although the vocalist’s attempt at a sort of “oh!” for the into of a song sent the rest of us (three, plus a guests) and the recording engineer into barely-controllable fits of laughter. Twice! Not that my attempts were any better, though. Will probably delete that bit.

I ended up having to do the vocals for one track, due to said vocalist being unable to put my lyrics to the music (we didn’t get a chance to practice, and he didn’t have the time to come over to my place to figure it out with me). One take, no corrections or anything of the sort. Not half bad, I guess.

I’m purty excited about finally releasing the EP. We’re going back into the studio with Meng for mixing/mastering and some final edits and then, well, that’ll be it. Can’t wait! After we’ve finally finished the audio, it’ll be time to get to work on putting it out. Cover design and all that jazz.

We’re collectively roughly RM300 out of pocket right now. Add in some more for time with Meng (RM50? 100?) and the cost of putting this thing out (we’re going the CDr route, but still, 100 CDrs is already roughly RM100) and it comes up to quite a bit. And this is just 5 songs. Imagine how much we’d be paying if we were putting out a full-length. I’m somewhat confident of at least being able to make some money back, though. Which we’ll probably put towards recording our next batch of songs for another EP, or something of the sort. Or at least that’s the kinda-plan.

Speaking of amounts of RM in the hundreds, I just “got rid” of RM200-ish, and, in return, I shall be getting a pair of Sennheiser PX 100s in the mail soon, hopefully within the coming week. Can’t wait for those either.

Yes, there are some good things to look forward to indeed, including the end of the fasting month and, most fun of all, many assignment deadlines. I should do some work.

a night at the studio

Sep 9, 2008 5 comments

We managed to record all five songs (drums, bass and two guitar tracks) as well as vocals and backing gang shouts for two of the five tracks. Heading back into the studio next week to finish up and maybe re-do some of the vocals as well as, if time permits, some edits.

Damn, it feels pretty good to be listening to songs that I wrote and/or played on. Pretty good indeed. =]

Forgive the blurry and low-quality photos, my friend’s Nikon Coolpix (I think) wasn’t really up to the occasion. I forgot my camera, sadly.

welcome to the times

Aug 18, 2008 Leave a comment

In the back seat of a friend’s Wira on the Federal Expressway on the way back to Kelana Jaya from Subang Jaya, window rolled down, State of Fear (yes, them again) blasting through the speakers behind me, the wind blowing in my hair and onto my skin. Just finished with a practice session for my other band, the band that hasn’t practiced in ages and doesn’t know what kind of music they want to play or what direction they want to go to. It’s going to be two years fairly soon—I’ve moved from a foundation to a degree and gotten rejected twice in the mean time, and the drummer’s changed jobs so many times he’s lost count—and we haven’t written more than a handful of original songs, and none of that handful have really sticked. Moved from d-beat to some sort of thrash metal but now we’re moving away from that as well. We want to have fun, we want to enjoy ourselves, and thrash metal just doesn’t do it. I’m not sure what will, right now.

Decided that we’re going to work out at least three songs and then practice the hell out of them before we get our asses into the studio and laying tracks down for a demo of some sort. It’s been far too long. We need actual material. We also need to practice more: one hour once a week just isn’t good enough. Our drummer’s in another band that hasn’t been together for anything approaching a year and they’ve already got an EP recorded. Two hour practice sessions twice a week. Half-an-hour per song.

That’s what we need to do.

And, as State of Fear plays and the wind continues blowing my hair every which way, I ask myself: “what the fuck have you gotten yourself in to?”. I am somewhat excited when it comes to both bands, that I will admit, yet a feeling of dread is clawing away at me. Can I truly commit myself enough to either band? Am I good enough for either band? Are the songs I’m writing any good? And will I be able to write good ones? Eight songs needed (three + five), and while I’m not the sole songwriter for either band, it’s not a light workload by any means.

While I greatly enjoy playing in xLumbrahx, a band which has a specific sound and concept that it’s going for, the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the other band and what we’re going to play (and how we’re going to play it) is, honestly, far too reminiscent of my life as a whole. So much so that it’s making me uncomfortable. But, then again, is it really that? I’m not sure. All I know is that, at this very moment, I feel very hesitant and confused.

Don’t I always feel like that, though?

Categories: band, life and times, thoughts

a report

Aug 11, 2008 Leave a comment

The gig went well enough, I suppose. Managed to get nail a good tone that didn’t get lost in the mix and pretty much rocked out throughout our seven-song set. I doubt I’ve played with that much drive and intensity in a while. I certainly haven’t sweated as much as I did today in a long time, though! My arms were covered by a layer of sweat by the middle of the first song, and by the end of our set I was pretty much dripping with sweat.

I screamed my head off (occasionally), managed to pull off some of those seemingly-required-in-hardcore jumps/hops and enjoyed playing and being on stage. It was a slight bummer that there were so few people in the audience during our set (we played second) but, well, better than performing to an empty hall or something of the sort.

I wasn’t really nervous either, except when we launched into our first song and the moments where I somewhat lost my timing amidst the racket we were cooking up. Thankfully I managed to re-orientate myself without having to stop or anything like that. Once I got into the groove (which didn’t take long, really) I think I played (and, most importantly, performed) well enough.

Come to think of it, I wasn’t half as nervous as you’d expect, seeing as it was my first time playing a gig and all. Perhaps the fact that today wasn’t my first time on stage helped, maybe, but up until today I had never been up on stage to do anything remotely similar to a gig.

It was, however, slightly odd to be on the stage and looking out into the faces of the crowd, rather than the other way around. But even that feeling quickly subsided.

I’m waiting for photos. Sadly the bloke who was doing most of the photographing said he didn’t manage to catch me jumping since he accidentally had his camera on “auto” mode . . . but he showed me some decent enough photos of me and the band, so I guess it’s all good. Once I get those then maybe time for a photo post. Haha.

I have to say, I could learn to like this, the “whole performing on stage” bit. I already really like the “playing music in a band” bit and I have a feeling that, in time, I’ll end up really liking the former bit as well. I’m eagerly awaiting our next gig, actually. I hope that we’ll be playing to more people though, next time. Whenever that is.

There’s really not much in life that compares to the thrill of being on stage, at least from my experience. Be it playing a gig or acting in a play, it’s all good. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling, but I certainly enjoyed doing “my thing” on stage and being the focus of many a pair of eyes. I don’t think I’d enjoy, say, being part of an orchestra or anything, at least not as much as being an actor in a small cast or a guitarist in a five-piece band.

Taking up guitar, I have to say, has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

diamonds and warheads

Jun 24, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ll keep things short.

Went to Kino yesterday. Shit is expensive. No books bought.

Went to CM after that, had a nice conversation with Man of Gasoline Grenade and the man (no pun intended, sirs) behind the Pelan-Pelan & Bilik Gerakan expo at Annexe. Touched on his art, life and topics such as nationalism, racism and anarchism. Well-spoken man, he is. Booked one of the t-shirts, too. I got the “Pelan Cap Melayu” one, which I am sure will cause a few people to look at me oddly. Who cares.

Spent half an hour (maybe more) lounging around at the Pasar Seni LRT station because trains heading to KJ were full of people and we (me and my friend) didn’t feel like riding in packed-as-fuck trains. Eventually had to, though, but the train we got on wasn’t as packed as the trains we decided to miss. Took lots of photos. None of them really feel that good, but maybe I’ll upload a few.

My head nearly always hurts these days.

I also noticed that there is something incredibly disturbing about the movie Léon. You get halfway through it, enjoying it, before you realize that Natalie Portman is quite hot and that, yes, you would bone a 12-year old girl if it was her. Let’s just say that those aren’t very comfortable thoughts.

I need books.

I’ve been working on new Toni! This Is Sal! material. Quite different from previous material, although I’m not sure if this is something I’ll keep at or if I’ll turn to breakbeats again. The two new songs I’ve written are mostly pounding 4/4 under some very cheery almost videogame-y melodies. Nintendocore? I thought of vocals but I suck at them, so maybe I’ll keep the songs instrumental.

Of course, I could resurrect them breakbeats and combine them with this newfound ability to craft good melodies. The combination would probably work well, too. Could provide some required “hardness” to the sound, although I’m sure a kickdrum pounding out a 4/4 pattern at 190 BPM is quite hard enough for most. It’s not that high up in the mix, though, as I’m not good at mixing and mastering and that stuff. Or some other stupid reason.

Categories: band, life and times, thoughts