Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 5/31/2010 – Jamie Lidell

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Multiply
By Jamie Lidell

We’re going to go into the Soul genre (who says white boys don’t have soul?!) this week for Nate’s Mix Tape Monday. I found out about this artist recently from a blog post that has a similar purpose as my blog, to show the world there’s an abundance of great music not recognized by main stream media. Jamie also takes a page out of Michael Jackson’s book and includes his own beat boxing in his tracks (underneath all the music. Michael Jackson used to beat box and build on top of that). I think that’s awesome that a track will literally start with nothing but human sound with no instrument, or technology.

I just find comfort in the fact that it’s the person making the melody not technology. Anyway, enjoy!

 

Struggle, Depression, Art.

Struggle, Depression, Art.

Ever wonder what goes into creating a masterpiece? Ever think, man I wish I could write like that guy… Or paint like that guy… Be careful what you wish for, you’re about to read a story that inspired the art we love but it’s taken a toll on another’s life…

I was in a book store, and noticed a magazine that had Circa Survive on the cover, I thought to myself, man a chance to get closer to Circa? I’ll take it! I purchased the magazine (Alternative Press Magazine) and as soon as I got a chance, I opened it up to find a portrait picture of Anthony Green, looking mangy and tired.. A half smoked cigarette hanging between the lips that feed us the melody we all enjoy so much… Little did I know, it wasn’t because he was tired from recording an album.

Like anyone would, Anthony has felt immense pressure. He’s an artist, and there’s always that thought in the back of creative minds that constantly poke at you, you know you’ll never top what you’ve already done… You’ve peaked… In the article, Anthony was worried he wouldn’t be able to regain the motivation and artistic ability to form the synergy that is Circa Survive.

I just wanted [Blue Sky Noise] to be amazing, after opening myself pretty honestly with my jingly jangly solo stuff, I felt like I might not be able to return to the way I would need to write for Circa. I started reading lyrics by bands like At the Drive-In, Death Cab for Cutie and the Doors — especially the Doors. I began to believe I had this duty to write like this crazy, mysterious musician, with all these lyrics that would be insanely profound and undeniably clever, filled with all these literary devices and movements. I could just tell the band were disappointed with what I was doing — or I felt that way, at least. (Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

As I read, in a way I myself was feeling guilty. The pressure on this man’s shoulders to entertain us was so immense that it gets worse from here. How you ask? Anthony was recently married and he was given the news that his wife, Meredith, was expecting a child. Once Meredith entered her second trimester, she miscarried. The baby was lost, and Green took it hard.

It was the most fucked up thing either of us have ever had to deal with, Meredith is so strong — she’s the strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever met and she handled it. But I was going crazy… (edit) Eventually, after not eating for three days, not sleeping and not taking care of myself at all, I drove to the local crisis center at Doylestown Hospital and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Horsham Clinic. (Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

In the middle of recording an album, Blue Sky Noise, Anthony is taken away emotionally by the loss of his first child with his wife, Meredith. Luckily, the other guys in Circa understood the urgency of the matter and the band was able to adapt to the unfortunate situation at hand, but not without doubt says Nick Beard:

For as long as I’ve known Anthony, he’s always been up and down. But when he went to the hospital, I definitely began thinking that it could be the end of the band, and the band was the last thing I was worried about. I was thinking maybe we should end this. Is being in Circa what’s driving him to this?
(Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

That’s it right? Nope, Meredith and Anthony were pregnant again after losing the first baby. Anthony received notice while Circa was finishing drum tracking for Blue Sky Noise that Meredith had another miscarrage. This time he used the pain and channelled it into his lyrics. He wrote songs about miscarrages, “Through the Desert Alone” and “Spirt Of The Stairwell” specifically.

The story does end with happy news, first and most importantly, Anthony and Meredith are pregnant again and she is the farthest she’s ever been in the pregnancy. According to the article, doctors told the couple at this point in the pregnancy, the chance of losing the baby is less than one percent. Second, Blue Sky Noise was released and it’s an amazing album.

This is just one of thousands of stories of some of the struggles artists we love go through. Some are able to channel the emotion into art, and some just can’t handle it and we lose them physically, mentally, or both. Next time you play Blue Sky Noise, appreciate the suffering that Anthony and the band has endured to bring us the album we’ve had such high expectations for, and that they met.

I salute Circa Survive, and any other band for the gift of music. Thank you, we appreciate the songs, albums and collections that we are able to find connections with. Also, thank you Tim Karan and Alternative Press, for the great article and information about a band I love.

Yo! Where’s my beat?!

Let’s Talk Drums…

My first musical passion came from my drum set when I was 13 years old. My parents bought me a drum set after lots of begging and convincing that I wouldn’t just let it sit and collect dust… I’d like to share some of my favorite drummers and why I believe if you have a good drummer, your band is highly likely to have what I would like to label “divine rhythmic intervention”. Please, allow me to define this for you…

Nate’s Description of Nate’s made up label:
Divine Rhythmic Intervention:
(verb) To force a being to interpret rhythm into physical and emotional action (tapping of foot, clapping of hands, banging of head, etc.)

If you have a good drummer, you will see this in your crowd. Now let’s get to the drummers…

First I’d like to feature the drummer from Lamb of God, Chris Adler:
This man can sync his feet for his double bass with absolute precision. Lamb of God is almost ridiculously together musically. The drums match every guitar riff so perfectly, you’d think there was some higher connection between the guitarist and drummer… oh wait, there is! Chris Adler is able to sync his rhythmical gift with his brother, Willie Adler, one guitarist of Lamb of God. But that goes without saying, both are extremely talented and both work extremely hard to be where they’re at today (special thanks to www.drummerworld.com for the video)

Our next feature is Carter Beauford of… Dave Matthews Band. I know my main premise for this site is for bands who are not recognized by main stream music either as much as they should, or not at all. However, this man has extreme talent and he definitely deserves the recognition. I love this drummer for his use of not so generic beats. If you threw an ordinary rock drummer in Dave Matthews Band I can guarantee the band would not be as big as it is today, straight up (it’s a bold statement, but I back it full force.)

Tim Yeung of Divine Heresy is next. I actually have never heard of Divine Heresy until one of my class mates told me if I’m a drummer, I’d love this band. I checked them out and I’m stunned by the speed and consistantcy of Tim’s double bass… Breath taking.

The last drummer I’m going to feature on this particular post is Matt Greiner of August Burns Red… The drums on their albums are always so awesome it’s probably why I love this band so much… He’s always switching it up throughout the tracks.

Now before you get all upset that I did not post Travis Barker up here, know this: I understand and salute his greatness, but almost everyone already knows how great he is. I’d like to get some drummers that maybe you haven’t heard of, or at least didn’t know their names. I realize there’s plenty of talent behind the set, these are just a couple of my favorites. I hope you enjoyed and became engulphed in these drummer’s divine rhythmic intervention…

If your kid asks you for a drum set, get him/her one, you never know where the talent is.

Five Albums, on repeat.

Do you have any albums you could listen to over and over?

PLEASE NOTE THIS ART IS COPYRIGHTED BY NATESHEALY.COM !!!

There’s certain albums that always seem to get some playing time almost every week on my iPod. Once you find an album like this, it’s one of the best feelings ever. You never get tired of it, you never skip a song and time seems to fly by when you play it! If you find an album like this, hold tight and enjoy because it’s almost certainly going to be a gem in your collection for quite a long time!

This is a post dedicated to five albums that are like that for me. There are more, but these are probably my top five (not in any order).

#1. Saves the Day – Sound the Alarm
This album, in my opinion, is Saves the Day’s best album (I know the hardcore Saves the Day fans loved their early days of Through Being Cool, that album is excellent, but not my personal favorite). I think the sound they found on this album is unique and entertaining. My favorite track on this album would have to be “Bones”.

#2. Thrice – The Illusion of Safety
As I’ve said before, Thrice will be mentioned on this blog a lot because they are such a dynamic band. I’ve mentioned The Illusion of Safety before as having great “flow”. This album is genius! All of the songs are catchy, you find yourself able to sing along after a few listens and it keeps you craving more! I’ve played this album over and over in a short time span of one day and I never get tired of it! My favorite track on this album is probably “See You in the Shallows”.

#3. New Found Glory – Nothing Gold Can Stay
This band is hands down the best pop punk band ever (and yes I’m including Blink 182). I think a lot of it has to do with the hardcore influence their guitarist Chad has. There’s just something powerful when you’re listening to a track and the music breaks to a crowd yelling part of the verse (hardcore music does this a lot). This album is especially relevant if you’ve had a recent heart break, you are almost guaranteed to find a song to relate your situation to. My favorite track on this album is “2’s and 3’s”.

#4. Coheed & Cambria –In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
This album is when I really started getting into Coheed & Cambria (here we go again, I can see the Coheed fans shunning me for not selecting The Second Stage Turbine Blade. Similar to the Saves the Day situation, this album is great but not my personal favorite.) Claudio’s vocals are so catchy I was singing along after two times through the album. There’s nothing like Coheed’s unique sound, unique is good…scratch that unique is great and essential to keep listening to music fresh and exciting. My favorite track on this album is the self titled track “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”

#5. Hit the Lights – Skip School, Start Fights
Hit the Lights is one of my favorite bands right now. They have some of the most catchy pop punk songs ever. All of their released music is great, but I find myself listening to Skip School, Start Fights the most. My favorite track on this album is “Drop the Girl”.

These are just a couple of my favorite albums, my treasured all stars in my vast and diverse musical collection. What are some of yours?

As a quick note… I notice that 4 of the 5 of these albums were released when I was in high school which was over 6 years ago. That’s 80% of this population… Does that tell us something about the music industry? I realize these are only my picks and also not all of them… But just something to think about.

Hopefully, you paid more attention to the content of the blog rather than my professional artistic expression via paint… If you found yourself distracted by the profound inner messages that were speaking to you while admiring my image, please e-mail me and I will send you a text version of this post.

 

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 5/24/2010 – Lower Definition

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday

Featured Song: Pueblo Cicada
by Lower Definition

I figured it would be appropriate to reiterate the greatness of Lower Definition with my Nate’s Mix Tape Monday entry for this week. This week our feature is actually a double hitter of some of my favorite contributions to the music industry. One being obvious, Lower Definition’s front man, Matt Geise (see my interview with him HERE) and also, another man who has been featured on a previous mix tape entry, Jonny Craig front man of Emarosa (see that entry HERE).

Jonny Craig does guest vocals on this epic track, and it’s probably one of my favorite songs that feature Jonny Craig in any of his projects/guest vocals. He comes in for his verse of the song very powerfully, it’s a surge of straight up adrenaline and inspiration.

Lower Definition is such a good band, I strongly suggest checking out the full album the band has decided to deem this track’s home, The Greatest of All Lost Arts which is available through iTunes.


(This is their old banner for the release of this album, but it will take you to their myspace if you’re interested.)

Exclusive Interview – Matt Geise -Lower Definition

A NateShealy.com Exclusive Interview

With: Matt Geise – Lead Vocals for Lower Definition

I had another great opportunity to interview one of the members in one of my top bands. Matt Geise is the lead vocals for Lower Definition a great band that’s not recognized by main stream media. I first saw Lower Definition at a show with another one of my favorite bands, Dance Gavin Dance. Their show was brilliant and as soon as their set finished I rushed over to their merch stand and purchased their albums.

On with the interview….

Photo by Lush Beat click to view their homepage.

When did you really start playing music seriously?

Geise: I was about 4. My parents got me singing and bought me a drumset and a guitar.

Were family/friends supportive when you decided to attempt to make it in a band?

Geise:
My Family has always been involved in my music. Friends have been a big influence. There’s fairweathers, but for the most part everyone surrounding has been very supportive. 

As a lead vocalist, how important is warming up/warming down your voice?

Geise: Very important! I sing all day everyday before and after the show.

As a musician, where do you stand on the topic of downloading music?

Geise: I think it’s good it helps get our name out quicker! But if you really enjoy a band, support them so they can keep doing it! 

What are your main musical influences?

Geise: I listen to a lot of old R&B. I’m also into Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I’ve been listening to a lot of Drake and Kanye lately. I’m also really diggin the new Minus The Bear. 

What are your thoughts on this auto-tune craze that seems to be trending in some hardcore music?

Geise: I don’t care. I wouldn’t listen to it, but it’s obviously pertaining to someone else cause it’s still circulating. 

How important would you say live performance is rather than quality of studio recording? 

Geise: I think they’re both equally important but they’re different focuses and different worlds. 

What goes into writing a collaborative song? Where do you start?

Geise: Ummm? All songs are collaborative. It’s all a group thing. You can have an amazing singer and a terrible band and it’ll still be terrible. 

If you could pick one band to tour with, who would it be?

Geise: I would really like to tour with Pierce the Veil. I’ve watched them since I was 14 and have watched them grow ever since. They’re all amazing dudes and have so much natural talent. They have a new record coming out it’s called “Selfish Machines” make sure to check it out.

Justin Bieber, thoughts?

Geise: I like him. I think he’s good I’m stoked for him!  I can’t totally vibe out on his songs being I’m 23 and he’s 15 but one day I’ll definitely be bumpin him on the regular. 

What was the best place you’ve played at while on tour?

Geise: Texas , Washington, Canada and of course California!

What advice would you give the kid who is torn between college and full dedication to music? Do you think it’s possible to balance both?

Geise: It’s possible. Anything is possible. Most kids don’t realize that they can do whatever they put there minds to. Whatever your willing to give is what you WILL get back. You just have to physically do it! 

What are some of the hardships of being in a band with 4 or 5 other people?

Geise: There isn’t any problems anymore. Everyones on the same page and know what’s expected. We all push each other to be better and handle ourselves like professionals. 

Many people think that our music industry is flooded with “cookie cutter” bands who all sound the same, would you agree? If so, any suggestions to fix this problem?

Geise: Yeah there is. I can’t really say. People like what they like and have every right to do what they want. Doesn’t mean everyone has to like it or be a part of it.

What are your thoughts on side projects? Can they be detrimental to a band?

Geise: Side projects are cool. Sometimes it helps the band and in some cases it ruins bands. 

With today’s technology and ease of marketing yourself, do you think record labels are necessary?

Geise: Eh. Yeah nooo yeaaaaah no hahaha it all depends on the label and the passion behind the team.

Is there a meaning to the name of your band, Lower Definition?

Geise: Yea. Lower definition of tiiiight!! Yayeee!! Haha

When can we expect a new Lower Definition album to release?

Geise: Were going into the studio end of august so early 2011 most likely.

What are some ways we can support un-signed/non-mainstream bands?

Geise: Buy records! Go to shows! Tell them you love them! And make sure they know you appreciate what they’re doing! 

How important would you say networking is for a band?

Geise: It’s really important if the band is touring. Not very important for a band who just plays for the love of it. 

Do you play any instruments besides vocals?

Geise: I’m a musician give me a any instrument and I’ll get you something out of it.

At what point as a musician would you say you’ve “made it” (have become successful)?

Geise: When you’re happy and truly Back hat you’re playing. Money’s nice and all but life happiness and experience is the greatest payment.

Lady GaGa, thoughts?

Geise: Cool.

I’m sure you’ve been involved/witnessed your fair share of band drama, what would you say to the other people experiencing the same type of problems?

Geise: Fuck em. If they don’t want to be there. Get someone who does.

What are you most disappointed with when it comes to mainstream music?

Geise: Sean Paul really annoys me. 

How can we stay in touch with current events in Matt Geise’s music career? 
Geise: Twitter.com/Geisematt www.myspace.com/lowerdefinition we also have facebook and Twitter and I have a personal myspace.

On my blog, I have something called Nate’s Mix Tape Monday in which I feature one song, what would your feature be that you would like the world to hear?

Geise: Rap: “Slow Jams” by Kanye West. Rock: “Animal Backwards” by Minus the Bear. 

What would you like to say to the world? Give us some musical advice.

Geise: We don’t wanna hear that weak sh$t no more!!! GET REAL!! Andddd THANKS we love you!!

Photo by Adot photography, click to view their homepage.

I’d like to personally thank Matt for taking the time to interview. Keep rockin’ I can’t wait until the new Lower Definition album, I’m sure it will be epic. If you get the chance to see Lower Definition live, I strongly recommend it, they put on a damn good show!

Destruction is Peace

Destruction is Peace

Release the hounds there’s nothing left to do!
We’ve been caught and exposed and robbed of our youth.
Battle stations! Battle stations! No time to spare!
Our life is in danger! Why don’t you care?!
I am peaceful said the monk I am open and free
No battle, no war will take that from me.
Silence is freedom and freedom is key.
To end the beginning of all suffering.
Search deep or search wide it will not prove sacred.
Your thoughts and emotions are all mostly tainted.
Your youth is not taken it’s merely in hiding
For yourself and your conscious, your worlds are colliding.
Destruction of thoughts and relaxation of being
will get you to a new level of feeling.