Monday, September 15, 2008

Music History

I was the keyboard player and singer for the modern rock group Roots of Rebellion. There was a lot of influence from bands like Tool, Nine Inch Nails, and Orgy. I was the electronic influence on the group when many of the band members were influenced heavily by rhythm driven metal groups like Meshuggah, and Sevendust to a lesser extent.

We released two albums, The Looking Glass in 2004 (before many of the members were out of high school), and Surfacing in 2006 (before any of us were out of college). The latter was ambitious, to say the least, for our age and experience, but I am very proud of it.

(In fun news, while going to find a link to a site where you can purchase the album, I one-upped myself and found that Magnatune, a digital distributor of ours that allows you to listen to the album in hi-fidelity in its entirety for free, has been kind enough to include code to embed the albums here. Enjoy.)

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The Looking Glass by Roots of Rebellion




Surfacing by Roots of Rebellion



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After the group broke up, I got to explore electronic music a bit deeper, where I had been more or less limited to fit in the confines of a group verging on metal. ("Limited" is the wrong word, seeing as I only had to look at what I could do with the keys in a different light, but the group was pushing more and more into guitar driven territory by the end. Let's face it. There just isn't that much room for a poppy-Moog lead when people are trying to mosh.)

I was listening to more pop-rock by that time, specifically the synth-driven work of Kenna. I would have to say that his work is a primary influence. I'm shooting to capture the same feel his work has; it's instantly grooving and danceable, but clearly meticulously constructed and scrutinized. His first album, New Sacred Cow, is a masterpiece. More recently, I've fallen in love with Chromeo, a duo of synth players hooked on Morris Day and talk boxes, who churn out hooks so catchy and so often that it is entirely possible that they sold their souls to the devil.

The influence of being in a rock group, though, is something that I cannot, and have no desire, to pull out from under my skin, specifically in the drum department. The more music I write, the more I try to distance myself from the clearly programmed, machine like beats that seem linked to my dance and hip-hop influences while also trying to capture their "in the pocket" and head-knodding feel. In the end, I'm shooting for tight drums that have got a solid groove with raw energy and fills backing them up -- and interesting task, considering I'm programming my drums.

Here's the newest version of Tinsel Choke. The drum and rhythm of the second half of the chorus has changed, more intricate fills have been added, and the mix has changed a bit. The basic structure remains the same.

I plan to eventually lay down vocals for this (and all my tracks), but for the moment, I'm concentrating on the music. I have a couple of songs almost ready vocally. Suppose I'll upload them here or there (my iLike site linked at the left side of this blog). If you haven't already checked out said site, you definitely should. I've uploaded complete instrumental tracks. Some have Superior Drummer 2.0 drums while others were recorded live by Kurt, who took drum parts that I wrote (very fake sounding drum parts, mind you), and turned the general ideas into very serious rock drum parts, ultimately transforming their overall sound and the general sound I started to shoot for in the writing process.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous brandon gaeta said...

I truly must say...your songs are definitely incredible. To just listen to the amount of tracks you've overlayed is incredible and creates such an amazing yet original sound. Can't wait t o hear more.

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Brandon Gaeta

April 8, 2009 at 3:15 AM  

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