Well I’m almost out of DeciBel tracks to post. We have one more after this which I will post before the new year. Maybe this is an obituary in terms of the tarot card for Death. If you know anything about tarot cads then you know that the Death card is really just a signal for change. I may not buy into the magic of it all but I love the poetry of it. The hardest of adult life for me is remembering to practice. Of course I’m going to have writer’s block if I never try new things or improve.
This song has a convoluted history. Or at least the DeciBel version does. After I forced my first album, Stories, on the world I tried to get all my friends to remix something. Trent picked out Next to remix. I seem to remember him wanting to mess around with Eat as well but I don’t think he ever got around to it. I released most of the remixes (ATIM never gave me a final version for his…) on a limited to the twenty or so preorders bonus disc. I may revisit those remixes and release them digitally eventually. I would feel a little bad since I promised the preorder people those tracks were for them but I seriously doubt any of them would care, assuming they remember at all let alone still down the disc.
Anyway, once Trent and I started DeciBel he wanted to make an intro song out of his remix. Near the end of our little project’s life I really wanted something new out of the song and threw together a very loose idea just to see what he would think. Note there is nothing finished in this writing, recording, or production wise.
My mind is pretty scattered lately. I’m starting to wonder if I’m writing my own musical obituary with these behind the scenes posts.
So Hollow. Trent emailed me a skeleton drumbeat with the chant he made up for the chorus and I went to town. Its unfortunate because I don’t think Trent ever recorded the verse. And I never recorded the intended guitar solo. Man I have no issue soloing my ass off live but when it comes to recording I really obsess over every single note. Truth be told I have a hard time not viewing my recorded version of Twitch as a failure (off ItWoM).
Hollow is an interesting song because I know Trent wrote these lyrics but man did they ever resonate with me at the time, and not just because Hollow was an online alias I used for a bit. I love speculating, whether I’m right or wrong (its more about the fun of the attempted deduction), so I like to think of this as a point where Trent wrote something for me. In a way I think its what he and I related to most even though he had issues with the song. I’m to this day surprised at how readily he accepted almost everything I did on it.
Part of me really wants to upload the original skeleton track Trent sent me. Of course part of me also wants to upload the original version of Subsistent I sent to Trent as well. I don’t know that anyone would interested in that though. My assumption is most would not.
Anywho, this was written in 2008. Enjoy.
Also a quick reminder, all the Axis and DeciBel tracks I’ve uploaded are free to download.
I know its been a while but its time to go through the deciBel tracks. Truth be told I’m dreading this as much as I’m excited about it. To say Trent and I have had a volatile relationship over the years would be an understatement. And I do mean years, we became friends when I was 14 or 15. To top it off pretty much every situation Trent and I have encountered he remembers in one color and I remember in the opposite color. So its safe to say, none of this or the following posts on this reflect any of Trent’s thoughts, views, opinions, feelings or any other word that would fit in there that feels left out.
I originally wrote Hypocrisy for Axis. I tried pretty hard to get everyone else to learn it but it always felt like no one else cared. We eventually sat down and adjusted the piece a bit, with Trent modifying some of the change overs, laying down a vocal line, and writing a female vocal line that I unfortunately do not have a copy of. Trent and I were ready to perform it but Steve and James never were. I don’t have any speculation on the subject left in me truth me told. Everyone’s world blew up around then, some more than others.
When I left Axis it was on anything but good terms. I took all the unfinished music I had worked on with me at that. Trent and I formed deciBel to do some more hard hitting electronic stuff. Hypocrisy was our first song.
When I initially wrote Hypocrisy I was thinking of live application. I needed parts for everyone in Axis to play hence all the guitar, realistic drums, and potential bass or keyboard lines. On a side note, some of the stuff that sounds like guitar in this song is actually keyboards and vice versa. I sent my Astation through a distortion pedal. The bass line was done my microkorg and a distortion pedal.
I don’t write angry music very often. Anger is an overplayed emotion. Rarely is a situation solved with anger alone and rarely does anger actually help anyone. I spent many years being a pretty angry and hateful individual. When I let it all go I was empty for a long time. Its poisonous, its egotistical, and its self deprecating. If people truly were good or evil, it would be more applicable, but they’re not. But the problem with demonizing anger is creating a situation where the person depreciates themselves for getting angry, which doesn’t work either. We’re all human beings and we’re going to go through the entire rainbow of emotions no matter what we do.
Hypocrisy is a pretty angry song, musically and lyrically. Its seethes and then it lets it out. I hope you enjoy it.
You know, when you have like 20 people that like your music should you really be keeping ideas secret?
I’ve been in a writing funk lately. That’s funk as in blocked, lazy, and dissatisfied So I uploaded something I am satisfied with to my soundcloud, a tune called Exquisite. You could argue that it has elements of dub step in it but no way is it dub step. But then again considering dub step is like splicing out the details out of songs of a couple other genres you could simply say I made a song that was inspired by stuff. Like that intro? Totally inspired by FF7.
But back to the topic, basically work has been killing me lately. Not a lot if any overtime but every minute of the day is at 90 mph it seems like. Top that off with a family project I need to be working on and at attempt at relaxing every once and a while and I’ve been fairly unproductive.
Hopefully soon I am going to start posting some free deciBel tracks to download (none off the sampler, just go buy it!) and then start a Youtube channel that I haven’t put any thought into other than playing some of my acoustic guitar originals that will never make it to a CD.
Anyway, that’s my update. Later!
This is a hard track to write about because while the Pixies are wonderful, this cover has a lot of personal meaning to me. I’ve been pretty light hearted in these posts so far but I can’t get away from getting a little down this time because this cover embodies all the pain and strife from leaving Axis to starting deciBel. While I don’t do anything major for any single reason, bitterness was definitely part of what brought Trent and I together for deciBel. Or at least for me it was. That was probably also part of why we grew apart.
This was originally a cover I started for Axis. I think we played it live maybe once as Axis. As deciBel we closed every show with it. When I left Axis, I took everything I did that wasn’t finished with me and stopped talking to Steven and Britney. That’s also the reason why you’re only now hearing all these tracks 5 years later. Originally Steve did a bunch of drum work on it and came up with the idea for the two note piano emulating the female singer. I was so angry I literally removed everything he did and made my own version of it. I later came up with the guitar and piano solo bits. Trent talked me into keeping one drum back track which is barely in the song. Its hard for me to write about. There were so many nights at Extinction that Steve, Dylan, and I drunkenly welcomed the dawn with the original of this song.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t highlight the amount of work Trent put into his vocals. There are a ton of back tracks that Frank Black did and just a lot of random noise that had to be an accident due to the recording method. Trent did all of it. Things I didn’t even know were there. I’m a bit nervous writing about Trent truth be told. We tend to remember things entirely different and he’s never particularly happy with my interpretation of him so hopefully I won’t get any hate mail out of all this as the next couple weeks will all be deciBel tracks. But truth be told I may never be done talking about my time with Axis.
Its a little sad in that I think this is all the Axis demos I have so we’ll be moving on deciBel after this.
In the past I would have argued that this tune was the pinnacle of our writing back in the day. Looking back I would actually argue that was Absent (off of Death and Rebirth) but this one would definitely hit in second. Its also the most finished of everything I’ve uploaded. No lyrics were ever written to it and some of the guitars could use some recording and everything needs EQ’ing but that’s how demos go.
This was one of those tunes that Steve wrote and then Trent remixed and then I remixed. Most of Steven’s original synths made it through the changes though. Trent re-wrote the drums and structured the song. I added all the guitar and a few synths, gave the song a chorus and finished out it out.
In retrospect we probably should have released it as an instrumental but then again I think I was the one who liked the song the best out of the three of us. Anyway, check it out for yourself and download it:
In a way I feel real bad for Steven back in the day. A lot of the time he would write something, ask Trent and I just to add guitar and then we’d remix the whole freakin’ thing and add a ton of our own synths and drums. Granted part of that was because Trent and I had no songs we performed that were entirely our own. But then again that part was also circumstantial. The primary reason Steve had so many songs that only he had written is that he had simply been in the band way longer. Granted Steve did randomly write entire finished songs which drove my guitar elitism up the wall. Working as a group is hard.
So Going Back was essentially once of those done-ish riffs. I took it home, added a bunch of my own drums, did some effects and editing where Steve’s drums were concerned, and added a synth or two. It sounds almost entirely different from the original in my opinion. I think the song was eventually given to Trent to do something with who promptly made an entirely original song that had nothing to do with the other versions.