Here’s that EP I promised to show you! Check out Major/Minor and pick up the record! It’s great songwriting and has a fun acoustic feel that I think you would enjoy. I had a lot of fun performing on it and I hope you have as much fun listening to it. Give it a stream and download it for any price you choose, even FREE!
I got to work with Major/Minor for their upcoming EP ‘Self-Titled’. I got to perform Egg Shaker, Tambourine, Snare Drum, and Kick Drum on the CD. Here’s the first song on the EP, ‘Self-Titled‘.
There’s going to be more songs released periodically this week. Check out Major/Minor’s Facebook page and give them a like if you’re into em’ and you’ll stay up to date with all the new tunes! Charlie is an absolute blast and I enjoyed every moment of helping him create his CD with Kenneth. So much Love.
One summer day in 2007 while lazing around at home, my brother and I were listening to new songs that our friend, Steve, was showing us he was working on with his band ‘When We Get There‘ back in our hometown of Kenora. The songs were good songs but there was a song in particular where a few arrangement issues that we noticed that, if addressed, could push the song into potentially great territory. That song was Away Like This. We ran the idea by Steve to see if he would be okay if we learned and re-recorded the song ourselves to fool around with it, and he gave us the big ol’ thumbs up!
Fresh off of recording our 3 song EP with our Dad, Warren, for Acid Reign we obviously still had the recording bug and approached him to see if he would be down to help us with this little project. We listened to Away Like Thiswith him and explained what we were hearing and what we wanted to do and he turned out to be even more into it than we were. We sat and figured out the basic structure of what we wanted to do on acoustic guitar and lap-tapping (drumming on your legs) and we began the new step of moving it into the studio. Once in the studio it was a natural process of just fleshing out each part and making the song flow as naturally as possible. Changing the verses, adding a catching bass-line, adding a 7-string to the chorus to give it that BEEF we wanted, and fitting all the parts seamlessly together. Hard work payed off. Take a listen for yourself!
Here’s a song that I got to do with my good friends; Goodbye Sky Harbour guitarist, Johnny McMahon, as well as We Are Bravest front man, Jourdan Horban. Johnny approached me with an acoustic demo of this tune back in March and asked me if I could conjure up something interesting and record it at Sundown Studios with him and of course I said, ‘Friggin eh, I will!’.
Sundown Studios is the best place I’ve ever been to record drums. Not because the experience is easy but because it’s so fucking HARD! Jordan V (owner and operator of Sundown) is a stickler for a tight performance and he’s always pushing me to be prepared and to be able to play new and difficult parts on the fly. It’s that whole, ‘Keeping you on your toes!‘ mindset that I just love in high pressure recording situations.
The first version of the song I was given, like I said, was an acoustic demo which meant I had to sit down and really think hard about the parts I wanted to play. When ever you write drums to an already structurally established song it’s important to listen to it over at least 10 times before you even think about what you want to do with it. Pay attention to how the song makes you feel and how your body moves to the song as a passive listener. As a drummer, I believe it’s my job to articulate those subconscious feelings within the song and help you connect the dots by making it easier to lose yourself in the music. We’ll try something a little different and kind of fun; I’ll briefly run you through the thought process of how I came up with each part for the song.
The intro/chorus is self explanatory; Upbeat and happy with volume articulation from switching between the hi-hat and crash to accentuate the end of a phrase. Also notice the double snare roll before the switch. Fun stuff!
The first verse is all about fun. This was a little bit of metal meets punk. You have to pump up the idea of the ‘new part’ so I really thought about it and what really stood out to me was the feeling of attending a metal show, like it should inspire people to be clapping along. So by having the part bare with just kick and flam snares it really opens up and your ears go straight to the snare. The tom fill is just a tasteful way to have an excuse to do a one-handed fill. Turned out great and it’s so fun to play!
Pre-chorus is highlighting the guitar part and leaving lots of room for the vocals to shine through and you already know the story behind the Chorus, so let’s get to….
The second verse was all about dropping that clapping feeling and put the song into 5th gear. Throughout the the second verse it gets more intense as the song goes along until the second pre-chorus.
The second pre chorus I wanted to keep mostly the same so you knew how to feel except for the addition of a nice little triple-it fill to change things up just a bit and a nice big tom hit right before we go back into the chorus!
This time the chorus has changed. I mix up the hi-hat and cymbal hits as well as adding a fast roll half way through to add some closure. At the end of this chorus I also add a floor tom/snare four hit pump into the bridge which doesn’t leave any room for any awkward transitions. It seems pretty seamless to me.
The bridge is all about keeping the pace so I keep the constant driving playing but I crash on my ride to give it a huge full sound. It gives that part in the song a fullness that the rest of the song doesn’t have. Also a fast snare/tom fill which is always fun to play. The next part of the bridge is just accenting the chats and leaving lots of room to inspire you so sing along. When we recorded this part they somehow got me in there singing. So if you listen VERY carefully you’ll be able to hear my derpy voice. Half way through the chants I start a pump up part which consists of a constant kick beat along with hi-hats to get you pumped up for that last chorus to close out the song!
This is the last Chorus and it’s just an accumulation of all the good parts put into one. Listen to it and you’ll understand. The last part of the song is huge a huge RIGHT LEFT RIGHT LEFT to give it a powerful close.
My brain officially hurts from writing all this down. If you took the time to read this I hope you learned a little something and can use it when you write your next song.
Give the song a listen and and let me know what you think!
I’ve been practicing with a band called Win Chelsea for the past month and I wanted to fill you in on a few exciting details. Win Chelsea is an acoustic duo consisting of Evan Clapp rocking the main vocal duties and Charlie Weber jamming the guitar and singing back-ups. They asked me if I would be like to help and play some drums for their EP Release Show that’s coming up on July 7th. My initial reaction was, “But aren’t you an acoustic act?“. That’s when I was informed that they were plan on forming a full band together to play at this wonderful show and be able to present a side of the band that the fans haven’t seen before. The songs are well written and require little effort to make them into decent rock songs. The translation is seamless.
They’ve posted a lyric video of the song ‘Spark‘ off their upcoming EP that I got write my very own drum parts for. I’m excited to play and show you all what I’ve been able to come up with. Additionally we’ll be doing one cover in our set. Not only do I get to write and perform my very own drum parts to sweet pop-punk songs but I also get to play ‘I Miss You‘ by Blink 182. Travis Barker is one of the biggest influences I had as a musician and I’m glad I get to finally perform a Blink song in a live setting. Not only did I learn value of stage presence from Mr. Barker but also the importance of keeping it simple and waiting for the perfect time to showcase the ‘skillz‘. I couldn’t be more stoked for a project coming together for one glorious event.