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It all started with Down To None
May 7, 2013
Wow. I've not had an entry in this since the end of 2011. It's easy to forget about things when no one asks you to keep up with it and life continues to throw things at you that demand attention immediately.

My family was always into music. My Mom and Sister sang in church, by themselves, a fair amount. In fact, everyone in the church could pick my Mom's voice out of a crowd because she was a.) Just that good and b.) Singing with as much heart and love as she could. So, eventually, I started finding music that appealed to me when I discovered punk and metal in seventh grade. From there, I started singing any chance I got. I couldn't play anything, so I sang. I had some delusions that my neighbors couldn't hear me over my parent's lawn mower so I would sing while I mowed. 5 or 6 years later, I was incredibly embarassed to find out that they could. Whoops.

Fast forward to when I was around 20 years old. My friend Jared gave me a call to tell me that a dude (Duane) he knew who wanted to start a band. We went to the guy's house and he played a couple of songs on guitar for us. We told him that we were into it and started looking for a drummer. Our friend Nathan (who everyone called Igor) joined up and we were set.

When we first started out, we sounded like a mix of Helmet and old Clutch, musically, then we incorporated some style that sounded more like Downset and Vision Of Disorder. The lyrics I wrote were pretty terrible for the first year or so. Dumb, tough-guy posturing forced anger toward failed relationships were the subjects that kept coming up. Later on, they got a bit better.

It wasn't too long before we started having member changes. We set a rule that no one was allowed to cancel shows after they were booked. Something happened and Igor had to cancel. We canceled that show and stuck to the rule.* At that point Duane asked an awesome guy named Chris to play drums. After a while, we talked about having a second guitar player or a second singer. We went with a second singer in the form of a dude named Kevin that both Duane and Jared had some classes with in college. He had a cool voice and seemed like a good dude, so we were into it. We covered a Snapcase song to bring him on stage for the first time. Everyone was really into it and we were happy.A few months later, we kicked Jared out (which we regreted because he was, and still is, such a great friend) and got our friend Travis on bass. Travis was (is) really talented and tried to always have an instrument in his hands. Eventually, Chris had to quit and our friend Brian joined for a bit.

At this point, I know you're confused. I barely remember this stuff so it's almost confusing to me.

We booked studio time with a dude named Brian (another Brian, not the drummer) in Ashland, KY. We heard he was pretty good and only charged $10 an hour. Since we had no real money, that worked for us. We all met at Duane's house and, after 3 hours of waiting on the drummer, we called him and he said he wasn't coming. We called up our previous drummer, Chris, he grabbed his gear and headed down. We went to Kentucky and tracked the "180°" cassette over 2 days. We had a great time and ate a lot of food that should've hospitalized us. The guy that recorded us is still a good friend of mine to this day and eventually played drums for us.

Later on, Kevin and I weren't getting along the greatest. I can't even remember why and I'm not worried about it anymore. I've seen him since and it was good to see him. Anyway, we were supposed to practice one day and I called to tell them I wasn't coming back. They understood and that was that, for a year or so.

We eventually reformed with myself, Jared, Duane, and Chris, then Chris left and our friend Jake joined. We played a fair amount of shows and, eventually, Duane joined the military. We played something like 16 songs at our final show, made Jake learn a bunch of stuff he didn't feel comfortable playing because it was stuff he'd barely heard, and didn't play that well that night. It was a bit of a drag. We went to Jared's for a pool party and debated setting up in the living room for another set. We were all soaking wet and didn't want to get dressed, so that didn't happen. We all said our goodbyes and parted ways for a while.

I've run into Chris, Igor and Kevin a couple times since. I've seen Travis a bit more than that and we stay in touch. Jared and I were in another band together (Holden Caulfield) for a few years and still try to keep up with one another. Duane and I still stay in touch, too. We tried to have a reunion around 2007, or so. I can't remember. It was myself, Duane, Jared, and Brian (the recording engineer). Oddly, we went to Duane's parent's house to practice, just like it used to be. His mom even put cookies in the cookie jar for us, just like she did back then. I felt like a little kid. We pulled off some of the songs really well, and others didn't go too well. When all was said and done, we just didn't have the time we wished we would've had to do the band, even for one show. Also, let's be honest, there would've been 5 people there and 4 of them would've been related to us somehow.

There's a lot more to it than that, but this is quite a bit to digest already. On a side note, we once went to a McDonald's after practice and someone stole a straw dispenser. I have no idea why but we all laughed. Another time, we drove to South Carolina to play a fest. We were told that a lot of amazing bands were playing but then got there, the venue had changed, and only 2 or 3 bands that we recognized were playing. I remember Earthmover and Codeseven still played, so we were stoked about that.

 

It's been a quiet week in Huntington, WV, my home town
December 24, 2011
The Christmas season has been nice, so far. I've been working a lot, but I took a week of vacation all next week. PUMPED.

I saw an elderly woman have a mental breakdown yesterday while I was out shopping. It was really sad. A, presumeably, homeless guy showed up at my doorstep a few days ago trying to get me to buy his watch. He didn't think the pawn shops were open. I assured him they were. He wanted to use my phone. Yadda, yadda, yadda, I got rid of him. Sorry buddy, but it's creepy that you're at my house.

We did Christmas a couple nights ago with Lisa. It was awesome. Lots of fun things and stockings were opened. We also let Christian have two of his large gifts that were too big to take to my parent's house: a recliner and a drum kit. He flipped out over the drum kit.

I had a dream last night that two unrealistically attractive assasins came after me. I tried to shoot them with an electric, automatic weapon that hadn't charged enough so it was about as bad as spitting aquarium gravel at them. I finally fought both of them off and kicked them out of my house. Then they turned the pitiful girl looks on me and I almost caved.

That's the news from Huntington where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

 

Dinner with a homeless guy
December 12, 2011
We had dinner with a homeless guy the other night. It wasn't planned, it was just thrust upon us. Let's go back to the beginning... We were driving and remembered that there was a dessert place that we had been meaning to check out. It's part of a chain here in WV called Tudor's Biscuit World. Greasy, fattening, yummy times. So, we walk in and the guy waves at Christian then says, "Hi!" Of course, we had no problem with that.

I told Christian to say, "Hi" back to him. He waved and we ordered. After we sat down, our new found friend was suddenly behind me like a ninja.

"What's his name?"

"Christian."

"Hi, Christian!"

Christian smiles and waves, "Hi!"

The homeless man, whose name was David, sat down and told us about a ball he found and that he had been looking for someone to give it to. It was one of those plastic bowling balls that comes in the set with pins for little kids. It was all dented a little dirty, but we didn't think it would be bad to let him have it (there's a picture below, along with a flower thing that he made and gave to Brooke). Brooke offered the man some food but he said he had already eaten. He was a nice guy. It definitely made for a different experience than what we were expecting. Also, Christian was fascinated with all his rings.

Click to enlarge

 

November 23, 2011
Do you ever have one of those projects that you really love and want to work on all the time but it seems like life always jumps up and say, 'Hold on now, I've got something you need to do first.' That happens to me all the time. For that matter, I had NO IDEA that it had been almost a month since I had written anything here. (Quick side note: Weezer is bad to listen to when you're trying to think and write something... I just wanted to sing along. Now I'm listening to Caspian.) A lot has happened since my last entry, some of which I cannot speak of in a public forum.

My Mom had a major brain surgery. She's fine and recovering nicely. She had 5 cysts removed from under the front of her brain. It's a scary experience that makes you think about life a lot more. I cope in weird ways that I don't talk about much. Fortunately, all is well and just getting better and better.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I most likely will be working. I'm really hoping to be able to spend time with Brooke & Christian but it's a strong possibility that I won't see them until the evening. I guess that's the way it is. More people care about shopping for Christmas than spending time with family on Thanksgiving, so more places are opening up on Thanksgiving. For someone like me, that means that there's more possibility of service calls. At least this Caspian CD I'm listening to is really good.

I watched "Dark City" a few nights ago. It's pretty good. Kiefer Sutherland's acting is a bit over the top in the film, but I liked the idea behind it. I watched "Couples Retreat" today. It's pretty much exactly what the preview lead you to believe it was going to be. Vince Vaugn definitely brings the laughs a few times though.

My birthday was this past Sunday. Brooke called a bunch of my friends and a few of them came out to Ihop to surprise me for a mid-morning breakfast. It was great. Brooke got me some awesome Doctor Who presents and Lisa gave me some money to put towards a new tattoo. Mom and Dad aren't going to be happy about that, but it's okay because they love me.

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends. Don't get caught up in the whole "we took the country from the Native Americans" thing because sadly, it's already done. Be thankful for what you have and what you can work toward. Just because you're dealt a bad hand doesn't mean you have to play it. There are a handful of things in my life that bother me and I'm working hard to change them. Everything else thrills my heart that I can experience it.

 

October 26, 2011
Watching bands play live is both amazing and horrible for me. I love seeing a show and I always have. To me, it's one of the reasons to be alive! Just music in general is a great reason to be alive, but seeing a band perform can put me in an emotional state far more intense than just listening to the songs in my car.

The horrible side of it is simply that I want to be on that stage myself. I want to play again so badly. I miss playing with a lot of the people I've played with before. Sometimes I was hard to be in a band with and I regret that, but it's like a dating relationship, only with a handful of extra people. There are ups and downs, emotions that run stronger in every direction, and, hopefully, an intense love for what you're doing (and even, in weird way, for who you're doing it with). Sometimes a band breaking up can mean that you just won't see those people as often, which is a shame, but it's life. Try getting a band back together after it's been broken up though... It's can be just as awkward as hanging out with an ex.

But, back to my point. I love music and I want to play shows again. I want to write about my life and thoughts and the things that get me excited and hopefully strike a nerve in people and give them something to relate to. If someone can vent something through mine and my friend's music, that's truly a gift.

 

October 23, 2011
It's going to take me a bit to get used to updating a blog again. Life stays busy. I work full time, I'm married, I have a 19-month old baby boy, I do this zine, and I'm working on a new band. It's kind of cool to be this busy, in a way.

My parents were here for a visit over the last 5 day and headed home today. It was a nice reminder of what it was like to be a little less responsible. I miss the crap out of them. I feel terrible for Brooke because her family is even further away and she misses them all the time. Sadly, we don't have the dough to fly out there to visit more than once a year, if we're lucky.

It seems like my mind goes blank when my fingers hit the keyboard. Although, I just had Facebook try to get me to add another one of my ex-girlfriends. Not that I really hold any animosity toward them, but I also don't see the point. Silly Facebook, always trying to make me look like a desperate creeper.

Three paragraphs that have nothing to do with one another. Seems like a solid reason to stop on the fourth paragraph, eh?

 

October 3, 2011
This isn't going to be a traditional blog all the time. Sure, sometimes it will be things about my day or something funny that I thought of. But, it's also going to be a bit of history, usually the funny bits.

It all started 185 years ago when I was born. I was a fat baby. It's okay, I can say that. I had a goofy haircut when I was a kid. I got in fights with the kid down the street all the time, then we would be best friends 20 minutes later. I don't know what our problem was. It's always fun getting busted by someone's mom when your hitting their child, your friend, in the face. We were idiots.

I got called a "nerd" a lot when I was a kid. I had a social studies teacher, Mr. Johnson, that even got in on it. He later got arrested for saying dirty things to one of my classmates. Creepy. So, the point is, I didn't like it. That didn't make me any less nerdy but, in the '80s, it wasn't as socially acceptable to be called a nerd like it is now.

In 7th grade my friend Lance gave me Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" cassette. This event literally altered the course of my life. No joke. I got into metal, then became obsessed with music, then wanted to start a band, then I was in a couple of bands, then one of my bands needed a touring bass player, then one of the guys emailed this girl that he was aquainted with, then she joined the band, we dated, broke up, then realized that we were dumb for breaking up, then dated again, then got married. How's THAT for life altering? It's a shame that Metallica can't write good music anymore.

Somewhere, in the middle of the events from the last paragraph, I made a lot of friends, started skateboarding, had a few jobs, dated a few girls, traveled a lot, developed an even bigger obsession with Transformers, and had a lot of amazing and tragic things happen to, around and on me. I forget a lot of things so I thought it was time I started telling these stories before they're all gone...



added 10.03.11

updated 05.07.13

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