Monday, January 20, 2014

Jealous Again, These Splitzels Are Making Me Thirsty!, Shit List

I have felt like both of these guys lately.
I have a lot of things I want to get done today so I am going to try and be brief. Or I will just end up ranting for a long time and aggressively checking and re-checking my spelling/grammar. (It's never quite aggressive enough, just like any nu metal material I have ever written.) As always music has been on my mind lately. I saw that Cloud Rat/Thou are going on a tour in April where they will be playing 27 shows in 19 days. Seems impossible to pull off but they will do it and they will do it well. As always I saw this and became crippled with envy and immediately picked up an instrument and started practicing. I have mentioned this before but it is sometimes not only a hassle to go to local shows, but a bit of a phobia for me. Especially if I am not playing the show. I become so overwhelmed with an anxious desire to do what these bands are doing that I just want to go home and practice till I bleed. Which some people may describe as "inspiration" but I sometimes find myself losing sleep over it. I am a firm believer in the "Shit Or Get Off The Pot" lifestyle, but I am also a believer in the "Fuck It, We'll Do It Live" ethos. Despite my musical jealousies I wish all my fellow road warriors a safe and promising journey to the land of hopes and dreams. I shall meet you again thereafter in the Undying Lands.

I have been in a big Neil Young mood lately.
This satisfies both urges.

I had a soft pretzel last night. Oh Drew...
Despite my musical hangups, this year has actually already been quite productive for me. By the end of February, I will have played as many shows this year as I did all of last year. Which is pretty fucking sad for me, but perhaps I just needed a year to get my mind ready for the trials that lay ahead. I actually switched around all of my plans the other day for the near future of Ruined. I had three songs set aside for a split with my friend Monte's project Palm Hands, but now I have decided to record five songs I was planning to release as an EP months from now and put that on the split with him. And the material I planned on using on the Palm Hands split will now be put on the Ruined/Knifedoutofexistence split I am doing with my friend Dean. I wanted to do this so I could free myself up after these splits to focus on releasing a possible full length eventually. I wanted to start sending the Vessel EP out to record labels and see where that takes this. Otherwise I also have to re-record vocals for the Procession material we recorded last February. (Fuck it's been that long already? Fuck...) Needless to say, I should probably get the fuck off of here and get started on that shit.

For anyone interested though, this is a list of the shows that Ruined has lined up and a possible show we're playing at the end of March. Hopefully while we are between shows in March we can acquire a van and start booking weekend tours or maybe even a more long-ass tour in late summer early fall. Kerry King willing.

This happens at every show we play. 
1/26/2014- @ The House Of Pancakes with Cloakroom, Carbonleak and Sweet Cobra
2/16/2014- @ The House Of Pancakes with Dangers and 1846
2/28/2014- @ The Waffle Haus with Palm Hands, A Glow Has Been Drained From My Heart, I Made You Myself and Other Masquerades (Ruined/Palm Hands split release show!)
3/30/2014- @ Somewhere in Muskegon. This is a maybe right now so no promises. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Growing Up/Gazing Down, Tape Warm, Lightning Thrashes

I find affinity with so few people. This sailor is one of them
This is us rocking a skate-shop in Dearborn, MI 1/10/2012
Credits: Kenny Corbin for the photo
Good morning one and all! I would like to start by taking yet another opportunity to wish my dear sweet friend Graham Henning a happiest of birthdays today. On a planet with 7 billion fucking mouth-breathers Kerry King saw fit to grace us with at least one good soul amongst the decay. Unfortunately Procession was supposed to play a show 3 days ago in Detroit, but due to the extreme weather conditions we were unable to see that come to fruition. Despite being unable to play, I am hoping that it lit a flame within us all to perhaps get that band off the ground again. Next time we all have to go to NYC and meet Graham instead of him coming out to the Murder Mitten. His Capricorn heart can only take so much disappointment. It's time we bring the shoegaze battle to his doorstep.

This was a video I took of my neighbor
getting their paper the day of the defunct show.
It was fucking cold.
"It's not much, but it's mine."
My father's opening statement at
Father/Son Day in elementary school.
Otherwise, in the world of other music, the first 15 tapes for the Ruined EP "Vessel" are hot and fresh as of yesterday when I got home from work. It took me twice as long because I am recording each tape in real-time onto a 4-Track tape deck. And I apparently had only one track recording when I was supposed to have two tracks recording. Got to the very last tape and found that out. I was listening to the recordings through some old headphones my dad gave me that are from the late 70's/early 80's so I just assumed it sounded empty because the headphones were broken. Turns out I am just a fucking moron. So I had to go back and re-record every tape with two tracks instead of one. Also I recorded it off of my computer which always has that Avast anti-virus lady pop up and says loudly "Your virus database has been updated!" So if one of you gets a tape and that happens at random I apologize. Consider it like a miss-stamped coin from the U.S. Mint. A fucked up coin is worth hundreds of dollars depending on the rarity. So yeah, that shit will be Ebay gold one day. "Selling the very first tape release from the world renowned band Ruined. Features extremely rare guest vocal track from the Avast anti-virus lady. My kids are starving, the ONLY reason I would sell such a relic. Damn you children..." But I do have plans to do an online release soon I just have such few tapes available right now. I am also planning on sweetening the deal with some added goodies for the online release to help ease the pain of shipping and handling and all that junk. I want my friends abroad to be able to have something special since they probably won't see us live for a while. I would say to anyone who is interested in ordering the tape online to keep an eye out sometime mid to late next week.

Just like our live sets.
Speaking of playing live, we are playing a show this weekend! We hopped on a few days ago but we are playing The House of Pancakes here in Grand Rapids on the 11th. Apparently it is going to be a benefit for the DAAC relocation fund. (If you are unfamiliar with what is happening with the DAAC, check out an earlier blog I posted HERE.) It is pretty cool to be a part of something like that and though it is regrettable that the touring band is unable to play the show anymore, it's also neat that all local bands will be playing in support of local D.I.Y. music. Full circle baby. Unfortunately as of right now we still only know the two songs that we played at our last show. But I am hoping to pull out a new one if we can practice tomorrow and the day of the show. I also mentioned this already, but I really need to get a van. I am getting show offers for out of town shows and I want to play them so fucking bad but logistically we just are missing pieces to our rock and roll puzzle. I am planning on filing my taxes the moment that I get the documents I need from work and then I am buying a van the moment I get that tax return money. Assuming I get anything back, if not I am kind of fucked. But I am pretty confident I will. Once we have a van, the world will seem much smaller, and a lot gloomier. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mog Why?, First Blow To The Mortal Coil, Wrath of the Fridge King

Despondent. The way Xmas is meant to be.
It's been a while since I have posted on here. The holidays were a little more overwhelming than most years for me. But they were fun nonetheless. I got some really cool things, quite a few new shirts which I desperately needed and wanted. In the shirts department I got a Mournful Congregation, Deftones, Ulver and two Slipknot shirts. Pretty awesome. I also got "Monad of Creation" by Mournful Congregation on vinyl which I am listening to as I write this. I also got Between the Buried and Me's self titled and "Rock Action" by Mogwai on vinyl. I feel that "Rock Action" is one of the most overlooked Mogwai records in my opinion. Yet it has two of my favorite Mogwai songs on it. "Take Me Somewhere Nice" and "Dial: Revenge" are masterpieces. I did a report on the song "Dial: Revenge" for an Art of Being Human class that I had in college. We had to do a PowerPoint on a foreign band that was not singing in English. In that song they are actually singing in Welsh, and the whole plot of the song is fascinating. Basically the word "dial" in English is read by a Welsh speaking person as "revenge." So as the lyrics say "A pob tro dwi'n codi'r  ffon mae'n dweud "dial." (And every time I pick up the phone it says "Revenge")" It has a lot to do with the good ole Braveheart days of Scotland and how England was a tyrannical Christian entity that ruined the lives of thousands of people and murdered any pagan looking or thinking person that lived on that small rock we call jolly ole England. Or I should say THEY call jolly ole England. The lines were drawn centuries ago but hey, gotta spread the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Gotta tear down those borders and murder and torture anyone who maybe just wants to farm and take of one another without worrying about invisible men. So in the end, I interpret the song to be sort of a loss of identity for any strong willed Scottish people who feel that their homes were wrongfully taken from them and their ancestors. Great plot for a great song.

"Tonfedd sur a chalon o ddur"
(A harsh wavelength and a steel heart)

If that was vegetable lo mein that'd be me
pre-gaming before the show.

In other news, RUINED played our first show ever last night. Other than being bogged down by about 7 pounds of Chinese food I ate an hour before we played, It actually went really well. My good friend Sky is filling in on drums, (who I actually first met in that Art of Being Human class believe it or not,) and it went really well. We only played two songs but people seemed to really like what we did. I had planned on filling the time we had with talking more than usual and discussing what the songs were about but I got the sense that no one was really interested, which was fine of course. It was our very first show and we we're just a couple of fudge-suckers boppin' over the bridge. One dude seemed VERY excited to be there and wanted everyone to be aware of exactly how excited he was. His excitement grew and grew like an invasive species of Kudzu, choking out all other forms of enjoyment and pensive contemplation. So yeah, that was fucking annoying. I kept hoping my bass sounds would thunder through his chest cavity thereby causing his rip cage to become self-aware and would start eating his lung tissue. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. We only played two songs. The first song "Guardian" went really well. My capo fell off at the very end of the song so that kind of fucked up the ending but not bad enough that it was noticeable really. The next song was "Kill God" and I was planning on explaining the song more so than just "God's stupid" but as I aforementioned I got the sense that positive partying was the only vibes anyone wanted put out. The number one thing I learned after playing this show is that I need to write more songs with less vocals in them. I felt like I had only brief moments to just rock out and play my bass. I would start thrashing and realize "Oh fuck, I have to sing again in about 0.4 seconds." So that is probably going to be one of my next goals in the song writing department. Secondly I learned that I need to start working out. I was out of breathe for way too long after load in. I am sore as fuck today but in the next few days it's time for "No Fucking Around" Zach to come out of retirement. But overall the show was a great success and I am looking forward to the next gig. 

I just need to be more like Sandshrew. 

This image sums up the way we
all must feel right now.
Unfortunately we really need a van. The show we played was literally about 0.2 miles from our house and it was a huge hassle taking two cars through the arctic wasteland we call Michigan right now. For anyone who doesn't live here who is reading this, it is really fucking cold. This is my 25th winter I have experienced, and I have certainly been through worst but this winter has been abnormally brutal for how early it is. Usually this shit starts happening 2 or 3 weeks from now. It is looking just about north of Ca├»na in the 9th circle of  Hell lately. Apparently we have been a treacherous bunch here in Michigan this year. We've been immersed up to our chins in ice while people step upon our frigid faces. "The place where shame can show itself." Speaking of shame, I posted this online a couple of weeks ago but never did put it up on here. This is the EP I was working on for a while entitled "Vessel." You can find and download it at this link ( I ordered some tapes that should show up sometime today so hopefully I will have some physical copies done in the next couple of weeks whenever I can get the artwork done and shit.