Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My first show went well. Now we need a bass player replacement.

Got my old camera working

It's really only good for snaps (and taking those is a chore), but it's got a little wider of an angle than our other one.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday tattooing

I tattooed my friend Randy last night. I lined and shaded a good sized (whole top of his forearm) cowboy themed piece. On top of paying me - even after I told him he didn't have to - he gave me a couple cigars and this:

I'm not a regular whiskey drinker, especially good whiskey, so I thought this was really cool. Note the wax dipped bottle neck.

I thought it was a really considerate thing for him to do and I really appreciated it, and it made me feel really satisfied since he really liked how his tattoo came out. I only really hang out with him when I tattoo him (like many friends) but I always end up wanting to spend more time with him. I'll add that to my new years resolution list.

Furthermore, tomorrow night is Krista's company holiday party. I, along with my adoring wife, and probably everybody else there will end up blotto, but rather than it being from my new bottle of whiskey, it'll be a result of the open bar at Maggiano's Little Italy.


Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm playing some shows in the next few months:

December 29th @ Old Curtis St. Tavern

This will officially be my first show with Cadillacula.

January 10th @ Larimer Lounge

February 4th @ Blastomat

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Last night at the Xmas party for the company I work for, Krista and I won a 32" lcd TV in a raffle. That was pretty lucky. I wish I had bought a lotto ticket for that night too.

Denver Hardcore?

I have no idea what this is, but somehow Bosnia is credited to making an appearence in this incredibly lame looking documentary.

I have no idea how we have anything to do with this nonsense (though I'd probably point the blame at Steve) but I would probably shit my pants and eat it if I found out any of the guys behind this or featured in it sincerely liked us (or have even heard us).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flesh Made To Suffer/Nick Oxner

All of my copies off the Flesh Made To Suffer (band I sang for in 2001 & 2002) CD are scratched and unplayable, so I googled it to try to find mp3s online. The closest I found is below, in case you as well would like to hear:


Additionally, for those who didn't read my way too long band history, FMTS originally had a guitar player named Nick, who died in early 2002. I found a couple old links that I thought would be appropriate to post.

Here is a show review of the show we played just a few days after he died. It was the closest thing to a funeral/wake Nick got. Scroll to the entry on February 9th, 2002.

Here is a messageboard thing that was put up right after he died for people to put up goodbyes, memories, etc.

Now after reading all this, I am going to try to organize a reunion show for next year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BSK Recording Journal

I shot some video while we were in Salt Lake City. I edited it together into two parts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Travel finished

Got home tonight, ending my week of what seemed like not stopping moving. In the last seven days I've been in Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Not too bad for not being in a touring band.

The midwest was nice. K and I went to a Thanksgiving thing at her grandpa's house, and made our becoming usual day trip to Milwaukee and Madison. Picked up the new D4, a Conquest For Death test press/tour LP, and the World Burns To Death "Human Meat...Tossed To The Dogs Of War" 7" on clear. It was a really quick trip, and we had to make the whole 13 hour drive back to Denver in one shot today. We caught the Broncos beating the Jets on AM radio though, so that was stupendous.

I've got a bunch of pics from the BSK trip to upload that I'll show on here. Plus some video once I get it all edited down into something watchable.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Travel

Black Sleep Of Kali got back from Salt Lake City on Monday. We played a great show with Gaza and Invaders, and recorded a record with Andy Paterson. Taylor got sick and lost his voice, so we both held off on doing vocals. We'll finish them in Denver and send them to Andy through the power of technology.

Also, surprisingly, none of us died by the hands of another member.

Now, a day and a half after getting home, Krista and I are driving to the midwest for Thanksgiving. We'll be going to a family function, and then heading up to Milwaukee to scope out the city some more. The only shitty part of the rest of the week should be the shitty drive through the heartland. If god existed, Nebraska wouldn't.

Next week will bring about my first time performing with Cadillacula on Friday, December 5th at The Continental Club in Denver on Sante Fe Blvd.

This was all written from my phone. Technology, man.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Guns N Roses is back...

Chinese Democracy fucking sucks.

If any of you douche bags who hated on the new Metallica actually like this, you deserve a kick in the balls. The Offspring should have stolen the album name when they were threatening to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Band Resume, 1995 - Present

For mostly nostalgia's sake, here is every band I've been in from 1995 (when I started playing music in a group setting) to 2008.

This is a long one, folks. Kudos if you read the whole thing:

Sugar High, Summer 1995
My first foree into playing music with people, but not really a band. I met two guys who were a year or two older than me who were trying to start a band, Jerry (who played guitar) and Steve (who played bass). There was no drummer. I had just started learning how to play guitar, so since I wasn't very good, they made me singer (who still wore a guitar around his shoulder but rarely played). I think we practiced twice, and each time we really only played 2 cover songs, which were probably Green Day or The Offspring or Nirvana. I never really liked Jerry, so I stopped going over to his house. Years later he became a white supremacist, and then a drunk punk. Funny how the world works.

Ritlan, 1995 - 1997
My first band. Me and Steve from the previous band decided we actually wanted to write our own songs and be in a real band. I got better at guitar and they made me keep singing (in retrospect, though I really sucked at the time, it made me a frontman, which I've been 90% of the time since). So we found this guy Myles, who was a year younger than me to play drums. We were all going to the same Junior High at the time. In trying to think of a name, someone I believe suggest "ritalin" because we were really excited about the band and were probably overly hyper. None of us really knew how to spell it correctly, so this is what came out. I think we decided on "Ritlan" so we could draw a circle around the A in our logo. Oh god.

Myles to this day is still one of the hardest hitting drummers I've ever played with, and he was only 12 at the time. We started out writing stuff that sounded like Nirvana, and kept getting more and more "punk" as time went on. The three of us were at that age where we were trying to find our own identities, both as a band and as people. In the beginning we were writing three chord punk songs, would play shows completely drunk and high, and were basically living the "punk" life as best our 13 year old brains could understand. I even played in front of my entire Junior High School population drunk off Golden Glow (a Canadian malt beverage...tasted like fucking piss, but was the largest, cheapest alcoholic thing you could get at the time...it was big with the punks) I had been drinking in the bathroom at lunch hour.

Skip to the following year, and we're straight edge (ha). We started listening to hardcore, so our writing went more in that direction. I wrote some songs about being straight edge, and they would be the only ones I would ever write in the ensueing 9 years of edgedom. We only ever played in Halifax and the outskirts, because that's as far as our parents would drive us. We eventually lost interest and split up. Very few people were ever at our shows, including our last.

We self recorded a bunch of tapes that we released. One was a glorified practice recording done early on, which would probably be like absolute nails-on-a-chalkboard for me to listen to now. Hopefully it has been destroyed. In early '96 we recorded "What's Going On Here?" on a 4 track we rented for the day. As well, probably long gone. Later that year we had a live recording done which was limitedly released as "I'm A Living Joke". In '97, right before we broke up, Derrick Hiltz recorded one song for the Incoherent Comp (a comp compiled and released to accompany a local zine I used to help do called Incoherent Crap), which accompanied one song off of the "I'm A Living Joke" recording. This was really the only time anyone heard us.

Unstable Society, Sometime in 1996 or '97
This was an offshoot from Ritlan. One time at practice while taking a break, Steve picked up my guitar and started playing a hardcore song he wrote on the spot. Myles kicked in on the drums, and I just screamed and rolled around on the floor. It eventually went somewhere, and we wrote a few songs and did "Wake Of Deception" by Dropdead. We played once at the end of a Ritlan set. I think people enjoyed it more than Ritlan. We had plans to get a bass player and be a real band. Mackenzine (Mac - you'll read more about him soon) came out to a practice one time, but we lived so far outside the city that it was the one and only time. The band fizzled out when Ritlan did.

The only thing ever recorded was a practice recording, which is long gone. I believe I still have a live recording of Ritlan doing the Dropdead song though.

Persist, Sometime in 1997 probably

This was kind of a one off thing. While Steve and I had the 4 track rented for a Ritlan recording, we decided to write two grindcore songs on the spot in my bedroom at my parents house. On this, I played drums, guitar, and sang, and Steve played bass. It was extremely primitive grindcore, ala Enslavement era Napalm Death. We were so pleased with how it sounded, we rented another 4 track a few months later and did some more. I think we wrote 15 songs on the spot. The second time around it was alot more like Excruciating Terror (which, yes, is like Enslavement era Napalm Death).

Neither recordings were ever released, and we never assembled anything to play a show. I still have the tapes though.

Snot Party, 1996-1998
Once Ritlan ended, Steve and I decided to roll with him on guitar and me just singing as we did in Unstable Society. By this time Steve had moved on to High School, leaving me a grade behind and in another school. There, he met a fellow named Lance who played drums. We got a guy named Gerry to play bass who lived in the city that Steve and I had met from going to shows. He'd take the bus for about an hour just to come practice.

Our premise was to dumb ourselves back down to fast, short punk songs. Combined with a taste for ridiculous and lewd humor made this one of the funnest bands I've ever been in. We got our name from a Simpsons epidsode.

Right from the get go, we would dress up in costume for every show. We'd each come up with something different for each show, and we'd never match with each other. Gerry would often end up naked - in fact, one time Lance's Dad drove us to Fredericton, NewBrunswick to play a show and Gerry's costume was a plastic bag taped over his dong, which was removed during the set, and we were basically run out of town by rednecks. We weren't very good, but our antics made us controversial and a big hit with the local crowd. We also spanned what I consider a generation gap in Halifax punk: we got our start playing at Cafe Ole (Halifax, and Canada's first completely all ages club), survived through it being forced to shut down, the ensueing dry spell of punk shows for nearly a year afterward, and the opening of The Pavilion (another all ages club started by the guy who ran Cafe Ole).

This was the first band where I started regularly playing in other provinces and getting outside my comfort zone. Gerry and I became best friends during this band. We all began to get involved with other bands and our interest eventually faded, so we decided to end it. We did a reunion show during the Summer of 2000 and because of a falling out, we didn't invite Steve to play at it. Derrick Hiltz filled in on guitar.

In mid to late 1996, our first demo tape was recorded by Derrick Hiltz in a variety of houses and apartments on a 4 track. Entitled "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Us", it featured the intentional longest thanks list of any demo tape ever made, in leiu of a lyric sheet. My lyrics were so fucking dumb, it didn't matter anyway. A few live recordings exist, but were never released. A couple songs made it to the Incoherent Comp I believe. In '98, we recorded and released "627 Days", our second tape. It was recorded this time by Ian Dares, and again on 4 track. The mix was totally blown out and raw, and it matched our eventual thrash sound excellently. It was the first time a Big Muff was used on a recording I was on, and Gerry's bass tone was amazing. The cover of the tape had the 80's SPEED METAL log on the cover, and actually featured lyrics this time. I remember seeing people read them and literally laughing out loud. This was one of the only bands where I felt accomplished when people openly laughed at what I was creating.

The Master Bakers, 1996 on and off until about 1999

The Master Bakers were formed one night after some band cancelled at a show all the Snot Party guys were at, minus Lance. SP were asked if they could fill the spot, but since we were one man down, we said we'd do something anyway. I played drums, Steve played guitar, and Gerry sang. It was all total improv grind/punk for about 40 minutes. By the end of the set Gerry put his head inside the bass drum while I was still playing, and he was still singing. I remember him saying he had quite a headache after.

From then on, since we literally went to just about every punk show in Halifax, we were the on site spot filler. Eventually it caught on, and other people started coming on with us to play various instruments. At one show I believe we had 6 or 7 people on stage, all trying to play a made up song on the spot together. Imagine two guitar players and two bass players trying to keep up with me on drums, with no direction whatsoever. I think once we even had someone playing a bass that wasn't even plugged into an amp. It was either amazing or annoying, whichever way you look at it. This was all done during the Cafe Ole days.

Incarnations puttered out until 1999 sometime when Gerry and I pulled it out at the newly opened Pavilion. This time only featuring me on drums, Gerry on bass and both of us singing. We did a Spazz song that night I remember.

It was always 100% improv and never recorded. Thankfully.

Falling Out, 1998, maybe into early '99

After Snot Party ended, the combination of Steve and I would make one last go. In the height of the straight edge scene in Halifax, we decided to pledge a band to just that. This time around, Steve would be frontman and just sing, I played guitar, Lance played drums, and some new friends Nathan and Keith, would play bass and guitar, respectively. In hindsight, the songs were bland, generic 90's hardcore. Even then, I was kind of the black sheep because even though I was straight edge, I wasn't one of those STRAIGHT EEEEEEEDGE guys. My contributions to the band were alot of Ebullition records-esque parts that didn't really match, but we played anyway. We did "Impact" by Chain Of Strength, which was really my favorite song to play with the band.

Ironically, Steve and I eventually had a falling out and I quit the band. Steve's personality traits also grated the nerves of a few other members, and I convinced them to leave the band as well and start a new project with me...

We recorded a demo tape sometime in '98 I think. I think it was engineered by Philip Clark using the equipment at The Pavilion. I had nothing to do with its release. The covers were fucking ugly. And it said straight edge all over it.

Useless Solution, 1998 - 2001

On the heels of the "falling out", Nathan, Keith and I decided to start a different kind of hardcore band. This time with Nathan on drums, his musical birthright, Keith and I played guitar and Gerry came in on bass. We all loved His Hero Is Gone and decided that's who we would emulate. We were all talented musicians and song writers, especially for our ages (15 through 18). We gelled insanely well when we were both writing and playing, and it was probably the only time I've been in a group where every member brought both ideas and riffs in on a regular basis. We were all extremely into what we were doing and really were best friends in the process. For the first little while we all sunk all of our energy into the band and we all felt like it was really paying off.

We made small accomplishments such as getting on national and international comps, getting on the Halifax On Music festival (which, for a few years, is what the legendary Halifax Pop Explosion festival became), and for the first time building a fan base outside of Nova Scotia.

After the first year or so, we hit rocky times. Keith was also playing in local band Led By Regret which took preference and eventually pushed him to leave Useless Solution to focus more on. At his last show he said he had just gotten a job at Pizza Hut and needed to focus on that (though, at the time, Pizza Hut was the scene hangout). Shortly after Keith left, we enlisted Ian Hart as his replacement. Once Ian was in the fold, our writing started to go more on the metallic side, and our songs got longer. Ian and I were listening to alot of Morning Again and Cave In at the time, so we wrote similar stuff. Though Ian did a great job, we never got the spark back that the original line up had. We played some good shows, and eventually Nathan decided he wanted to leave as well. Nathan found religion and it's still debatable whether he wanted to focus more time and attention to that, or he just didn't want to associate with athiests as closely anymore. From then on, our (he and I) friendship was never the same again either, though now I still see both Nathan and Keith as great guys and still consider them friends, though we only talk on occasion.

What followed was a long hiatus of trying to find drummers who could play fast and solid enough. We had the curse of spending a few years playing with a phenomenal drummer who left some big big shoes to fill. Eventually, in 2000 Gerry, Ian and I decided to overhaul the band. We went full on in the metal direction, incorporating black and death metal stuff. A friend, Gerald, agreed to play drums thankfully, as he was really the only one in the city we knew who could do blast beats other than Nathan. At this point, I switched to just singing, and we played one show in the basement of an art space as a 4 piece. Soon after though, long time friend of Gerrys, Mike Day, came in to play second guitar. Mike sold drugs and it made Ian uneasy, which was funny.

We played with this lineup for only about 8 or 9 months before it was time to stop beating a dead horse. We played some shows, wrote some good songs, but Gerry and I both knew that what the band had become was nothing compared to what we were with the original lineup. Our last show was dubbed "The Funeral" and everyone was encouraged to dress in black. I had poured so much in to the band over my mid to late teens, and it had gotten me through so many rough times that when it was gone, I felt like there was an immeasureable hole to fill.

We only recorded with the original lineup. We did our first demo, during which we also did "Like Weeds" by His Hero Is Gone. After that, we did two songs specifically to go on comps. One went on the "Violent Core Attack Volume 2" 7" comp put out by Tabacco Shit Records out of Montreal. The other was going on a comp by a label out of North Carolina, which I have no idea whether or not was actually released. My friend Mackenzie did guest vocals on the one that was probably never released. Then we did our "March" cassette. This got a good review in HeartattaCk zine. Also, the night after finishing the "March" recording, we did a live set on CKDU radio in Halifax, which was recorded, but never released. I still have it though. I had lost my voice earlier in the day so my diaphragm would only open to scream, but when I talked nothing came out.

Sadly, the second generation Useless Solution stuff was never recorded. Though I have ripped off several of the riffs from those songs over the years.

I'd still like to do a reunion show with the original line up, now almost 10 years later (!!!) as it is one of my fondest memories of my adolescence, and as a musician.

Envision, 1998 - 2002

I guess even though I wasn't one of those STRAIGHT EEEEEDGE guys, apparently one straight edge band wasn't good enough for me. Spear headed by long time (and still) friend Ian Hart, I was the guitar player in the original lineup, with Hart singing (as always), Ian Dares on bass, and Gerald Smith (second drummer for Useless Solution, and who was never straight edge) on drums. In the beginning it was traditional '88 style youth crew. We were a band who prided ourselves on good covers, so Envision started a long line of different cover songs. Ian had comprised a list of them here.

After our first show, we went on nearly a year long hiatus after all the members left except for hart and I. We couldn't find a drummer, so I switched over to drums and we got people to fill in on the stringed instruments. I can't even remember who though. We played one show with that linup, and then another year long haitus took in. I can't remember exactly why, but I know we had more lineup problems. For the first 2 years, it was basically just Ian Hart and I and a revolving door of people filling the spots. Eventually we got to what I consider to be the "classic" line up, which was me on drums, Hart singing, Ian Dares back on bass (I think he had moved for awhile and then came back), and Derrick Hiltz on guitar. We meshed really well and were always on the same page. Rarely did we have to sit down and learn a cover because we always picked stuff all four of us knew.

For the longest time I resented Envision because it was generic straight edge stuff in the beginning and was continually cursed with problems, but during the last year I really came to love it, and was bummed when I had to leave (because I was moving to the USA). I played just under 30 shows with the band (as chronicled here) before moving, and even though there was a big age gap between me and the three other guys, we got along really well and never had problems.

Sometime in late 1998 we recorded our demo tape, which mostly just Hart and I played on, I think. The gang vocals were done in a kitchen, and one of the guitar players from Canadian emo giants MONEEN was in the crowd. I don't even remember who recorded it. Later we recorded four or five songs with Philip Clark at a weird studio in the ghetto. It didn't sound too good and it was never used. The Summer right before I moved we recorded 5 songs for a split 7" with Sean McGillvary at the studio in The Pavilion. That 7" never came out though, but it was definitely our best stuff.

Envision was one of the only bands to ever continue on after I left. They are still together, surprisingly, and apparently recently completed their first recording in 7 years.

Excitebike, Briefly in early 1998

This was a very short lived band featuring who would be future friends and bandmates Mark Black and Scott Leighton (who would later be the bass player for Shrine Of American Martyr). I don't even remember what we sounded like, and I was kind of an afterthought. The band started, and shortly after their bass player was ousted, and I came in to fill the spot. I can only remember playing one basement show, but never remember actually practicing with the band. I think activity with the band started before a name could be established so "Excitebike" became a placeholder - then the band fizzled out before anything actually happened.

Mr. Bread, Briefly in early 1999

This band never actually had a name, but at the one show we played, dear friend Mark Black christened us Mr. Bread(I think). It was the only real band (if you omit the above) I ever played bass in, but it was insanely fun stuff to play. It was sorta melodic hardcore, kind of like I-Spy or Assfactor 4. Selwyn Sharples was the brains behind the operation, writing all the songs, but playing drums in the band as well as singing. Guitar duties were by Lachie MacDonald and Lionel Stanley. We practiced only once or twice as a full band, and the one show we played (which was a basement show at Ian Hart's parents house) we played without Lionel.

We only had four songs and they were only recorded during the one full practice we had. That tape may still exist at my parents house.

Coleridge, 1999

This was another sorta melodic hardcore band, this one with me playing drums. Also in the band was Lionel (from Excitebike) on guitar, Erin Greeno on bass, and this dude Noah singing. I didn't really know Noah, but he had full sleeves, which at the time I thought were SOOOO cool. We didn't really do much though. We only played a handful of shows (only one of which I can remember for sure) and covered "Resist Control" by Born Against.

We broke up quickly and I can't remember why. Nothing was ever recorded.

Shrine Of American Martyr, 1999 - 2001

Shrine Of American Martyr, or The Shrine as we came to be called: this was in some ways a super group at the time. Making up the band was me and Mac Ogilvie on guitar and sharing vocals, Lance Purcell (from Snot Party and Falling Out) on drums, and Scott Leighton on bass. At the time Mac and Lance had alot of notoriety for being in The Plan (Halifax math rock/post hardcore giants), Mac had just come off of singing for influential Halifax hardcore band Equation Of State, and I was doing Useless Solution. Scott was just a hermit.

We combined influences from the emerging "screamo" scene - bands like Orchid, Page 99, and The Locust, and combined them with moodier stuff of the 80's like Joy Division and The Cure...though the result was all power. Mac and I traded off vocal lines which created a really interesting dynamic between our voices. The hardcore trend of wearing shirts and ties while playing hadn't really exploded yet, so in the beginning this was something we did at every show. Our shows were always super chaotic and intense, and sometimes that superceded the music. I felt that Mac and I made a really good combination on stage, both musically, lyrically, and visually when we were playing.

We had set up a short eastern Canada and east coast US tour sometime in the winter of 2000, and in turn every show got cancelled a week before we left but one show in Boston, MA with Orchid. At the time, we were still all obsessing over that band, so decided to drive down to play it anyway. We rented a van and loaded all of our gear and made a 3 day trip out of it, only to arrive to the house the show was at in Boston and find out that Orchid wasn't playing. In fact, they were never even asked to play - a friend of a friend of the promoter said he'd ask them and forgot. We still played like hell, and got to play with Eulcid, got paid very little, and called it a fun weekend trip.

If I remember correctly, near the end Mac and I started butting heads a little, both wanting more creative control of the band, in combination with a weird love triangle thing which is another story all together. As well, I think I was jealous of the success Mac and Lance were having with The Plan (national/international releases, touring Europe, etc.) and their priorities on that. We kinda fell apart for awhile, and then eventually played a ho hum last show. I used Gerry's guitar amp during the show and it literally caught fire. Mac and I later totally patched things up.

We recorded a four song cassette and self released it at (I believe) our first show. It was recorded by Mike Catano (of The Plan, North Of America, The Holy Shroud, Thrush Hermit, etc.) in his parents basement. Mac and I went in with no lyrical structure, and the result was amazing. The fact that it was recorded in 8 track analog made it really powerful as well. Eulcid had bought a bunch of them to sell while they were on tour, so these actually exist somewhere outside of the east coast, and Canada at large. I'd like to meet someone who actually still has one to this day. I also have plans that when I finally start my own record label, to give the tape an official release on vinyl.

Existench, 2000

I was part of what seemed like a never ending line of guitar players in this long standing grindcore band. In fact, when I told people that I had joined, not one person was surprised. Existench was dirty grindcore, mixed with crust punk. They had a ton of releases and splits under their belt when I came into the fold. The original lineup when I joined was Gerald Smith (of Useless Solution and the OG lineup of Envision) on drums, Amanda Smith (Gerald's wife) on bass, and Derek MacElhone (of ever Halifax crust band ever) singing.

I was straight edge at the time, so I was already the black sheep when I joined. They just knew that I was way into grindcore, so my turn at guitar came up after about 6 or 7 guitar players before me. I had a good run though - we played some awesome shows and fests in Halifax. I don't think they were crazy about my guitar style at the time (I was listening to alot of Dahmer, so I was doing alot of single note picking when they wanted me to be doing power chords) but they were too polite to really say anything. I was also WAY younger than everyone else in the band - I think there was about 12 or 13 years between me and Derek.

At the time, I was doing about 5 other bands at the same time, with varying degrees of activity, and basically just showed up when I was told for practice and played shows. I was bringing in riffs now and then but not writing a ton. Eventually they got tired of this, and just stopped calling me for practice. They later said they assumed I wasn't really into it (though I was), and they were too nice to kick me out. But, there were no hard feelings. I'm not sure if they eventually found another guitar player.

I never recorded with them, but they were a band to keep releasing the same recordings on splits and whatnot so a bunch of stuff came out around and after me though they weren't super active.

The Shotgun Solution, 2000, possibly into 2001

This was the brain child of Gerry. He was listening to alot of Murder City Devils at the time, so he assembled a band accordingly. The were around for about 6 months before I joined. Making up the band was Gerry on guitar, Tim Kirkwood (who you'll hear more about soon) on drums, Tim (from Led By Regret) singing, Erin Greeno on keyboards, and Jon Samuel (of local band Slight Return) on bass. Gerry wrote all of the songs, and probably the lyrics for the band. It was definitely HIS band and we were all kinda hired guns, but that was okay. I remember for their first show, Gerry had made me official band photographer, but I missed the show because I had fallen asleep (this was also during the first time Krista had flown out to see me, so I think he thought I had blown him off just to have sex or something...but I really, honestly did fall asleep). I did feel pretty bad though because I knew I let him down.

But, all was amended obviously because about 6 months later he was talking about wanting a second guitar player and before a Useless Solution practice one evening I was playing guitar while waiting for everyone to show up, and I guess I did something to impress him because he said "you're the new guitar player for my band now, okay?". You can't really argue with an invitation like that.

Now, one of my traits as a band member is I'm often either all in, or barely in. Meaning, I either take a really aggressive approach to composition and image, or I'm passive to the point of what seems like disinterest. If I'm in a band, I always want to be in it, but when someone else has the reigns, I don't try to take them. This was the case with SS. It was definitely Gerry's deal, and he had a vision for it, and I didn't really want to interrupt that. I learned the songs and played guitar, kinda like everyone else did in a way. They were good, solid rock songs, but I think the lineup was a bit wrong for what Gerry really wanted to do. I think some members were always really holding back (or just weren't equipped for that style) and it held everything back. I think if Gerry reinvented that band again and I was in it, I'd now know how to approach it to help make it something really special.

I remember the practice space we used had like a 5 and a half foot ceiling, so I hated practicing because I'd always leave with a bad neck cramp.

We never recorded (at least with me), and I don't remember the circumstances of a last show or anything. I think Gerry just got kind of fed up.

I did however use one of the song titles as my AOL screen name for years.

Tim, Jon and Gerry went on to start The Clap, which became Oh God in 2002 or shortly after, which probably beat the shit out of SS.

Falling Short, briefly in 2000

Falling Short was a traditional hardcore (like early 80's DC style hardcore) band that eventually adopted some mosh metal stylings. They were around for a few years as a five piece, and I watched as a spectator and liked them. They weren't amazing, but they were good. I was pretty good friends with some of the guys in the band and I think that's more what made me like them. One time at a show in 2000, I filled in on guitar for that one show because somebody couldn't make it (I can't even remember if it was Matt or Jason). So I practiced with them a few times (which meant a terrible bus ride out to Sackville, NS) to learn their songs. Shortly after, Wayne the bass player quit, so they asked me to take over on bass. I accepted and begam practicing with them again. I learned most of the songs, including one they had started to write around when Wayne quit, and before I was able to play a show, they just decided to break up instead.

Wayne came back and played their last show, but I got to come in and play that one song that he hadn't done with the band.

I suppose realistically, I wasn't totally in the band...but I'm going to say I was just to justify the amount of time I had to spend waiting for and riding buses just to get to practice.

Three Fine Days, 2001

Three Fine Days was an emo/hardcore band consisting of Ryan Greeley on guitar, Matt on guitar, Wayne on bass (both from Falling Short), Oke singing, and this dude Mark playing drums. I never liked Mark - he was a chad who fell into liking hardcore and got people to accept him. He was friends with my room mate (Greeley) and would always walk into our apartment without knocking. Eventually, everyone else got sick of him too and kicked him out.

I jumped in as the drummer. I remember them having a bunch of shows planned, so I kind of had to hit the road running. Mark was a better drummer than me, so I was trying to do everything he did, but couldn't totally pull it off. I probably looked pretty sloppy for it, in hindsight.

We played some shows, and then about a half an hour before we played a set in Charlottetown, PEI Oke told us that he was leaving the band and that this would be his last show. It kind of put a damper on things, and we broke up after the show. A few months later they reformed the band, with Mark back on drums, and with a new singer. In retrospect, it almost sounds like an elaborate prank just to get me out of the band...but oh well. There's no grudge.

I never recorded with them, but I did some of the artwork for their CD that they put out before I joined the band.

Flesh Made To Suffer, 2001 - 2002

I had been saving this name for a band for about 2 or 3 years before this started. It was initially brainstormed between abhored scene guy, Nick Oxner, and myself. We wanted to combine discordant hardcore like Buried Inside or Zao, and combine it with black metal. The original lineup was Nick on guitar, Ryan Blakeney on guitar, Tim Kirkwood (of Shotgun Solution) on drums, and Matt Hameon (of Falling Short) on bass. It took us months to organize and plan everything but we wrote a handful of songs, and covered a Misfits song, and snuck our first show onto the New Seen Fest on New Years Day, splitting the headlining slot that Envision had.

The following February, Nick committed suicide in his apartment. Less than a week after this, we had a show scheduled, which we played because all of us agreed that it was what Nick would have wanted us to do. Knowing him, he was someone who didn't want to be overly grieved upon, or have people's lives interrupted. In hindsight it seems a little cold of us, but his parents refused to have a funeral or a wake (which was probably his wishes), but I still felt a public service for him was in order. So, I felt this would be appropriate. We played as a four piece, and handed out candles to create somewhat of a memorial vibe. I spoke about him between songs and so did some other people. It was probably the most emotional show I've been a part of.

A few months later, the band re-tooled, deciding to continue on. Matt switched over to his common place in guitar, and my longtime roommate Ryan Greeley came in to play bass. Matt and Blakeney together wrote some amazing riffs and we churned out some really good music. In hindsight, if I heard it today after the big metalcore explosion, I probably wouldn't give it the time of day, but I thought it was amazing at the time. At a show we played with Bleeding Through, the singer Brandan told us that we were the best band they had played with for the whole tour. I was ecstatic about hearing that at the time...though now I couldn't give a shit less.

In the Spring of 2002 we recorded a full length CD and self released it. It was recorded by Sean McGillvary at The Pavilion's recording studio (the same guy and place who did the last Envision session I played on). I was, and am, proud of myself for how I sounded on that recording and the lyrics I had written.

I eventually left the band right before I moved to Colorado. FMTS will always hold a special place for me because of the lengthly amount of time I put into it with Nick, even before we actually played a show, as those were the best times I shared with him. The band as a whole was some of the best music I've been a part of playing, and some people told me that after seeing me sing for it, despite all of the various positions I've held in bands, that being a frontman with just a mic was what I was best at.

After I left, the band attempted to continue on. Ryan Blakeney left shortly after me, leaving the band a four piece after recruiting Wayne (of Falling Short) to sing. I guess they played a show or two before sputtering to a halt.

Jennifer, 2002-2004

Skip to a few months after Flesh Made To Suffer, and I find myself in a new country with no friends or band leads. Eventually I found a full band looking for a drummer to play more metalcore stuff. Not having a drumset of my own, they borrowed one for me to play from a friend of theirs so I could try out. It went okay...it didn't have the same spark as stuff I had done in Halifax, but I was playing music again, and that's all I really cared about.

I eventually bought that drumset from their friend, with the financial help of one of the guitar players who owed that kid money anyway. I didn't think their singer was very good, so I pulled a jedi mind trick and convinced the other guys to kick him out. Though I made the mistake of bringing in a new singer. So, making up the lineup was me on drums, Austin Michel on bass, Ben Donnelly on guitar, Chris Papp on guitar, and the infamous Mark Alive singing. We began playing a fusion of hardcore and tech metal - sorta like Botch meets Black Dahlia Murder.

We practiced in Broomfield, CO which meant that I had to spent an hour and a half on three buses just to get there every week since I didn't have a car. We practiced in a shed with a goat pen on one side, and a chicken coup on the other. It was nice in the summers that you could spend 2 hours playing metal and then walk outside and see a baby goat. The stringed instrument players made our "band colors" white and pink by painting all of their cabinets those colors. Gay, in retrospect.

In the summer of 2003, we recorded with Dave Otero at what was then Hellion Studios in Boulder (now Flatline Audio in Denver). It was the best recording I've played on...too bad the music kind of sucked. Well, it was okay I guess. We self released the five song CD at a show with God Forbid at Cerventes Ballroom, which to this day, is the biggest venue I've ever played.

We played lots of local shows, but never played outside of Colorado. We were born into a bad reputation because of Mark's history of being in bands, not to mention his personal history, some of which we refused to believe at the time. I think the beginning of the end was at a show at a warehouse in downtown Denver, where Mark decided it'd be a good idea to spray lighter fluid all over the concrete floor and light it on fire. Then proceed to keep spraying the fire to make it bigger. I eventually had to throw my sticks at him to get him to stop. His idiocy that night made me realize that I was a part of something I really didn't wanted to be doing.

Not too long later, Austin had enough and decided to quit. Some of the members had brainwashed me into thinking he was an asshole, when really he was the most honest one of the bunch. Mark spray painted all over Austin's cabs before leaving our last practice (at Austin's house) because he had to work late that night and couldn't make it to practice. It was in pretty bad taste and Austin is still pissed about it.

That would prove to ultimately be our last practice, as we never found another space. We played a few shows without a bass player, and eventually I had a falling out with Ben and told them I was quitting too. I showed up to our last show to find that they had found a new bass player (some Christian douche) who was going to play with us. We waited until almost 2 am to play, and by then I was so annoyed that everything Ben did pissed me off even more, and I eventually threw my bass drum at him...it didn't hit him though, and I don't even think he realized my malicious attempt.

I didn't talk to any of those guys for awhile after. I made good with all of them, only to un-make good with Mark after he put a permanent bad memory on my first day of marriage, and then shortly after was convicted of sexual assault. I haven't talked to him since.

Objects Held And Thrown, 2004

After Jennifer, I eventually started talking to Austin and Chris again and we decided to take the grindier side of Jennifer and roll with that. Chris and I wrote about 15 grindcore songs over the course of a few days - they ended up being a combination of the Pig Destroyer-type riffs he wanted to play, and the composition of Discordance Axis songs that I wanted to play. While we retained the same positions we had in Jennifer, they called in their friend Logan to sing, who was a character to say the least. I got our name from a photoset done by Joel Peter Witkin. Nobody really got it or could even remember what we were called.

We played one show at The Junkyard in Commerce City, CO. We were told the wrong time, so we showed up late and had to wait until the end of the show to play. Actually though, we got what I consider to be the ideal slot on any show (second to last). We played and people loved us. Logan wore a cat costume and planned to puke on on somebody during the set, but chickened out.

After what we considered to be a successful show, we never practiced or played again for really no reason in particular.

Bosnia, 2005-2008/Present

In 2004 I began tattooing full time, and me and Chris Watts (the other artist at the shop) continually planned out a band we were gonna start. I wanted to move back to guitar after focusing on drums for the last 5 years. We found Steve Zahren to play drums, who had previously played with xFallen Altarx, with whom I almost joined as well. Phew.

Chris, Steve and I practiced a few times, intially writing fast thrashy hardcore songs, ala Tragedy, but way tuned down. Eventually we found a bass player in Adam Wheeler (who fought the position on bass for a long time saying he'd only play guitar), who joined with it being his first real band. With Adam in the band, we began writing longer, slower songs to which Chris couldn't figure out how to sing over, so he quit the band. Seeing as how I hadn't known Steve or Adam very long, and they didn't know of my history as a frontman, I told them I would sing for awhile, and if they weren't into it we could find someone else. Not long after, I was officially the singer and I had settled back in to the band position I was most comfortable.

Bosnia soon turned into a stoner rock/doom band, writing long, slow songs drenched in feedback. I was able to nurture my love for guitar gear, as Adam and I kept adding to the pile, never playing through less than two seperate amps each. For a long time I played through two full stacks, each with 100+ watt head running it. I even did this while playing in a basement in Colorado Springs. Ouch.

We had some great opportunities as a band, especially with getting on shows with big touring bands that came through Colorado. We got alot of great exposure that way, and made friends with bands I look up to. Though we never played outside of Colorado, I think our reputation expanded past the state's boundaries as we were selling shirts to various states, and got international label interest.

We recorded our first demo CD with Tanner Olson in the summer of 2006 in his house in Denver. We did 5 songs on reel-to-reel 8 track which made the sound really big and organic. We self released the CD, and made an unknown amount. The following year, we began tracking a new album, again with Tanner, this time in digital format. It took months and months to finish due to Tanner's gear issues, and shortly after finally finishing the vocals, Tanner's outrageous temper got the best of him on two seperate occasions. The first over my un-enthusiasm for the sound quality, the second taking place between him and Adam, which effectively ended Adam's role as bass player in Tanner's band, Across Tundras. My bad taste for him still there, we just decided to abandon the recording, which had taken upwards of 7 months to do, for the mere fact of not giving Tanner any recognition.

Less than a few weeks later we started re-recording the same album with Ben Rahmstahl at the audio studio on the Metro State College of Denver campus. This was the biggest studio I have worked in. Ben was incredibly gracious and patient, and made the whole process much easier than originally done. Once finished, we dubbed it "Nazarene Hallucinations" and released it at our "last" show.

Bosnia came to a halt in June 2008 right before Adam moved to Portland, OR and Steve to Los Angeles. We decided to not officially break up, as we'd like to do what we can when we can, though nothing has since happened. Though, Paradigms Recordings out of London, England has decided to officially release "Nazarene Hallucinations", which will hopefully be out in early 2009.

Black Sleep Of Kali, 2008-2009

Only 3 days after Bosnia's last show, I had my first practice with my new band, later dubbed Black Sleep Of Kali. I began talking to Taylor Williams (guitar and vocals) who had moved to Denver from Salt Lake City and had songs written with a drummer he had found - it was stoner rock stuff, along the same lines as Goatsnake or High On Fire. I went into it expecting to not be into the music, but was pleasantly surprised. Taylor and I got along on many levels and he made the executive decision to have me in permanently as second guitar player and singer as well. The drummer he was working with, Matt (I never even learned his last name), was extremely light handed and had a wishy washy personality. He was also Christian. I pulled the same jedi mind trick I did in Jennifer and got him booted from the band, though Taylor was sick of him already anyway.

In Matt's wake, I called in recently made friend Gordon to play drums. Gordon is probably one of the best drummers I've ever had the opportunity to play with, but is still relatively young and hadn't had the opportunity to play in many bands who stayed consistently active. Once Gordon was jumped in, I asked my longest Denver friend, Austin (from Jennifer and Objects) to play bass. Though the stoner rock type stuff we were playing wasn't his first cup of tea, he saw the merit in it and joined.

So far the only snags we've hit have been personality differences which we've moved past, and are travelling to Salt Lake City to record and play this month (my first outer state show with any band since moving to the US).

Cadillacula, 2008-2010

Chris Watts (original Bosnia vocalist) started this band not too long after leaving the early inseption of Bosnia. Rolling hard on his Danzig worship, he found similar guys who wanted to write and play songs that sound like the Misfits. They wrote and recorded a full length album with their original lineup entitled "Curse Of The Hearse" and self released it. After running into a few problematic drummers, they asked me to play drums mid way through 2008. Expecting it to only be a passive role in the band, I've been contributing alot to composition and song structure, while Timmy (guitar) brings in all the riffs.

It's also the first band I've been in where a stand-up bass is used. It's an interesting new change.

We're planning on playing my first show with the band in the next month and recording a new record early next year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


NOFX have been one of my favorite bands since I first got into punk rock about fifteen years ago. For any band who has been together as long as they have, it's extremely hard to still stay relevant and interesting in comparison with changing trends, scenes, etc. This video is one of the reasons they are still one of my favorite bands.

Here's Fat Mike sitting in on a bible study group for all the 18 year old, melodramatic Christian douche bags in some of the modern "punk" bands during Warped Tour.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Drum Practice

Just like football players watch tape of their last games, I like watching myself drum to see what I need to improve on.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Broncos 34, Browns 30

Oh Broncos - I was *this* close to giving up on you. I'll give you this much though...you guys sure do know how to make for an exciting game.

Maybe Cleveland would have won if Brady Quinn didn't publicly endorse McCain during the election campaign. That's karma, handsome.


I rang in the successful election by getting a touch of the flu. Had to cancel an orthodontics appointment, and a tattoo appointment yesterday, and today I'm skipping school (which is a big no-no). But at least I get to watch the Broncos game tonight.

And my phone sucks. It basically only functions correctly as a text messager right now, when it's not abruptly dying and draining the battery.

I'm so hungry right now, everything I see I get hungry for. So far I've gotten cravings for: Pizza Hut supreme pizza, any cheeseburger - possibly with bacon, Pillsbury Big Deluxe Chocolate Chip cookies. Fuck I'm hungry.

This pointless entry is now over.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night

There's nothing concrete yet, but watching the election unfold, even as a resident alien, this is a really exciting time in America.

This will be something I tell my kids about.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Today's Halloween, which means it's my wedding anniversary. Krista and I are celebrating 4 years married today. Since we don't have a ton of money right now, I painted this for Krista:

She made me a collage of pictures to commemorate our 8 years (!!!) of being together. She won't let me post a picture though.

We're dogsitting a co-worker of hers dog for the weekend, so we're staying home tonight and waiting for the drop off. We'll watch a horror movie though, as I have to every Halloween, because that's the easiest way to make sure I do something Halloween-y on the best night of the year. We'll also hand out candy to the three kids who actually come to our house trick-or-treating because parents don't really want kids walking around in our neighborhood, haha.

Obama is going to be in Pueblo tomorrow, so we'll probably head south for that.

Broncos beat the Dolphins on Sunday, 28-17. Put your money against it.

When I got home from work today, I was covered in so much dust my hair did this on it's own:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More videos

Yes, he's become (was he ever not?) a crazy gun toting republican, but he sure can direct a good movie. This will be no exception.

I bet after making tear jerks like Million Dollar Baby and the new one, Changeling, his agent was like "so what do you wanna do next?". To which he responded, "I wanna make another movie about me busting little punk's heads open".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Onion Videos

Press Secretary's 'Zumtrel Flooby' Answer May Be Attempt To Evade Question

Haha I wish I could talk nonsense like that. "Today's tir-day is tomorrow's bi-day, and the president can't just fanaggle a kabridal scopulator without a grapewood straw. Ya know...as they used to say down on the farm: 'It's bagnum raildrit'. Scooped with your own out of the bottom of the lakewood pond tree. So he's really stradling both sides of the horse person's hoof. Okay?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Locust

Awesome drummer video.

Matt Damon on Palin

Matt Damon is one of those guys I can't look at without thinking of some of his characters he's played. In reality he seems to be a smart guy though:

Matt, I promise I won't laugh AS hard now when I watch Team America:

Sunday, October 26, 2008


As found on the Q & A section of www.zeitgeistmovie.com, in response to the question "If you don't believe in god, what else is there?":

...How life got here is an understanding that is irrelevant, for odds are, life is energy and has always existed, and does not end. What we do in life through understanding life's processes is the true philosophy and the faster people stop looking to some invisible power that doesn't exist for guidance, judgement and afterlife, the faster "heaven" will dawn on the planet earth. The true guidance comes from within, for we are nature itself. We are all brother and sister and we are symbiotically related to all other life forms in the most literal and profound ways. We are God. Period. There is no Evil and no Good- these are false notions based on biased ideals from a very primitive time in our evolution. The fact is we are one family living on the planet in harmony with nature, and religion serves ONLY the perpetuation of division and hatred. Also, the idea that the human race needs religion to be "moral" is absolutely absurd. We are not simply "guilty" or have perpetual "Sin" as certain religions would like you to believe. We are perfect. The reason the world is such a disaster is not because of some innate human flaw. It is a disaster because separatist, racist institutions like Religion, Nationalism and thus Politics, continue to corrupt each generation with the same age old value systems, designed only for social subservience and the perpetuation of the status quo.

-Peter Joseph

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Top 10 Best Almost Comeback Albums

I've decided to do a series of obscure top 10 lists. The first will be the best albums, pegged to break bands free of their "classic" albums, but don't quite do it, but still manage to pull off a really good record.

10. Chixdiggit! - Pink Razors

After staying way under the radar for years, Chixdiggit! seemed to pop back up out of nowhere (read: Alberta) and release this little gem in 2004. After their debut came out on legendary indie label Sub Pop, they quickly jumped from Honest Don's to Fat Wreck, both labels started by Fat Mike of NOFX. You can tell they try to go for a little bit more commercial appeal on this album, and I think that's what holds them back a bit. The lyrical hooks are enormous, and their venture into electronic integration on "Nobody Understands Me" in a step in a great direction, but they don't have the bashful charm of their debut. The lyrical themes on their first album were so ridiculously inane and catchy, that you had to love it - and somehow KJ manages to mention his Mom in every other song. Though it does lose points for bashing Rollins. Bad form.

Superior Prerequisite: Self Titled (1996)

9. The Locust - New Erections

If you were into hardcore in the late 90's and say you didn't like The Locust's self titled record, you're a liar. They made keyboards cool, which I suppose is kind of a bad thing, but still. Save for a few 7"'s they did after, they continually turned out drivel until New Erections came out in 2007. The toned down the distortion (only a little), didn't quite do that high pitched scream all the time, but didn't do the whine found all over Plague soundscapes, and really expanded their influences. You can hear a much bigger presence of noise and doom interspersed within their usual grind/electronic half breed. Maybe it was a more polished to their beginnings as just "Locust" (pre lawsuit), but it worked. Buuuuuut, not as much as their Self Titled LP. They'll never top "Skin Graft At 75 MPH". Never. Ever ever ever.

Superior Prerequisite: Self Titled (1998)

8. Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao

Their fifth album, and a big comeback after the years of drivel Mayhem turned out since the days of Euronymous. In fact, I think the circumstances surrounding the death of Euronymous (and Dead, Varg's incarceration, and the church burnings) rocketed the band's careers forward after what was an unbeatable album. But, enter Atilla, famed vocalist off of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and his eight dozen different voices and vocal sounds. Ignoring the high production trends, they embraced their roots and truely created a polished version of the classic lo-fi black metal sound. It's weird, ecclectic, genre defying. And, they've shedded the now over done corpse paint for elaborate costume design and stage themes. Like this:

Still though, they'll never top De Mysteriis. Especially when that first growl comes in on the title track. There was something dark and dangerous about that line up and that place and time. They made the world, both in and outside metal, fear Norway.

Superior Prerequisite: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994)

7. Propagandhi - Potemkin City Limits

Still as wordy, overly thought provoking, and indiscriminately politcally driven, these fellow Canadians come back with their longest effort to date. Released on double LP, and containing their usual 40,000 word booklet with in depth explainations, essays, and personal anecdotes from each member. Being only slightly less preachy this time around, the music is much more thought out, showing they really upped the chops on song writing and structure. Clinging to alot more metal influences in keeping things upbeat, they also break into jazz interludes and softer points. All things considered though, it's slightly less poignant than the album that made them big. Maybe it was John K. Samson's departure, but they don't hit as hard, both musically and emotionally.

Superior Prerequisite: Less Talk, More Rock (1996)

6. Alkaline Trio - Agony & Irony

Now dangerously stradling the line between commercial rock and underground punk rock, Alkaline Trio pull it off with was a great combination of the two battlegrounds. Still retaining the dark edge of their earlier records, they delve into a way slick production, and stick to some listener friendly album tricks. Rather than on Crimson, their previous album, where they got alot more creative and really spread their sound out, they seemed to have compacted it more this time around - sticking to formulaic rock songs. That being said, it's catchy as hell and rock solid. To boot, they bring in some great collaborators, including Norwegian black metal legends, Ulver. The overall result is an excellent album, falling just short of the bite their earlier efforts had.

Superior Prerequisite: Crimson (2005), Good Mourning (2003), From here to Infirmary (2001)

5. Neurosis - Given To The Rising

More wide open sounding than ever, the Oakland boys again rise from the grave they laid in in the early 2000's when the decided to cease touring. But in classic Neurosis form, they tread new ground like it was their hometown. They give the overall album a cavernous sound, dialing in the same melodramatics they're legendary for. The highlight of the album for me is the nearly 10 second gutteral that Scott Kelly lets loose on "To The Wind" marking the shift of the song. But, all that said, the boundary pushing, breaking, and rebuilding that made them legends will never be outdone. Maybe if they threw some bagpipes on this one it would've moved the chains.

Superior Prerequisite: Times Of Grace (1999)

4. World Burns To Death - The Graveyard Of Utopia

In my opinion, World Burns To Death are the best current crust band in the world. They've got raw, staunch politics which are never, ever deviated from. The look of their records, to the players themselves, to their DVD is so bleak it perfectly compliments the music. Once subscribing only to an ultra elite group of crust/punk bands who fly extremely low under the radar (maintaining NO internet presence, playing and booking with ONLY bands in this circuit) with bands like Tragedy, Severed Head Of State, etc - these guys have finally branched out and begun playing to new crowds, i.e. Fun Fun Fun Fest with Atmosphere, Kool Keith, ALL, etc. This record is a bit of a representation of this. Recorded in Japan, it has a slicker production than their previous records, and encompasses much more classic hardcore punk songwriting, ala 'Never Again' era Discharge. There's guitar solos galore (even guest solos), and even some southern rock style riffery. They compiled a brilliant album overall, but it leaves me yearning for the stripped down, bleak hardcore of their earlier releases. The novel of lyrics, quotes, essays and explanations that comes with the record fairs better to the their last two. Plus, those ones have pictures of dicks on the covers. Though...this one has Satan.....that's a tough call.

Superior Prerequisite: Sucking Of The Missle Cock (2002), Totalitarian Sodomy (2006)

3. High On Fire - Death Is This Communion

Two things Matt Pike will never be able to rid himself of: the fact that he was in Sleep, and the guitar tones he got out of his Matamps on the early HOF albums. Sleep are easily the most influential stoner rock band of all time. Most big trends in the subgenre can be traced back to something they did initially - including setting the bar really, REALLY high for long songs with the 74 minute Jerusalem/Dopesmoker opus. The fact that Matt Pike could write a 74 minute song about marajuana is a task most potheads would masturbate too. And then, later in the day, they would masturbate to Pike's guitar tone. He made using a mountain of cranked amps not just for cock-rock assholes, and many people followed suit. Even looking past Sleep, his guitar tone on the first two HOF records makes many guitar nerds drool with jealousy. And ever since Pike stopped using Matamps, there's been a loyal following of those guitar nerds who obsess over everytime he changes his guitar setup. How do I know this? Because I'm one of them.

Death Is This Communion shows a true maturing of Pike's song writing, and his ability to combine heavy stoner metal, with modern rock delicacy. The production has gone way up, the grit to his guitar tone has gone way down, but anyone can admit these are amazing songs. For my money though, I've gotta stick with the OG. It is heavier, and even though I don't do drugs, knowing how potted out he was during those initial years makes it better.

Superior Prerequisite: The Art Of Self Defense (2000)

2. Black Flag - My War

Here's my novelty, non-new release. Much to some of my colleagues shagrin, Rollins was the best Black Flag vocalist. He had more personality than Dez, and more intensity than Keith. Some people call him cheesy or melodramatic, but that was part (and still is) of his charm. But I digress. The title track to My War is one of the best Black Flag songs ever written, and possibly one of the best punk songs to ever be put to tape. It's got the urgency in every aspect of the song that makes a punk song a classic, and Hank's intensity near the end of it is the icing on the cake. You can literally hear him step away from the mic while he enters some other state of mind amidst his screaming during the last minute, only to step back in for the last triumphant "MY......WARRRR".

Past that, to be perfectly honest, the album is pretty ho hum (save for "Beat My Head Against A Wall"). You can tell in the three years since 'Damaged' the band had degenerated a little and was trying to tread new land. Maybe it was the fact that Greg Ginn was the only writer/string player on the album, that no one could stop him from going into more sludgy song structures. They're still good, but Black Flag is famous for their faster punk stuff. It's what worked best, and I think if it wasn't for the title track, this album would have been very easily forgotten.

Superior Prerequisite: Damaged (1981)

1. Metallica - Death Magnetic

Cliff died in 1986. Many would argue that the band died with him that day in Sweden. I'm not one of them though. I'll admit that their best stuff was done with Cliff on bass, but I'll never dismiss some efforts after that.

I think the big thing you have to remember when you think about current Metallica is that the band has been together for 25 years. All of the core guys are in their mid 40's, and though it's no excuse for 'Load', I'm sure my interests will have changed in the next twenty years when I'm their age.

On 'Death Magnetic', they FINALLY fired Bob Rock - longtime producer and potential man of blame for some of he biggest atrocities in metal history, including 'Some Kind Of Monster' the in depth, cry fest documentary on the band in the early 2000's. The brought in long time high esteem producer Rick Rubin to sprinkle some fairy dust on them and try to snap them out of their 15 year rut. He succeeded. Kinda.

Apparently, before writing began he told the gents that if they wanted to make a comeback record, they had to get into the same headspace they were in when they wrote 'Master Of Puppets', because that was their high point. Knowing that, when I listen to this album, I can really hear 'Master' all over it.

The big thing is they are a commercial band. This is their job and they've got more people to please than just their egos (or fans who are still stuck in 1986). I think there is alot of commercial appeal on this record, aimed toward the new generation of metal fans. People who are stuck on Disturbed will like this, and I think that was part of their intent. If they wanted to make a successful album this late into their career they had to appeal to everyone: 17 year old new jacks and 37 year old metal heads. Looking at tracks like "The End Of The Line" or the ballad-esque "Unforgiven III", you hear alot of commercial appeal, but still maintaining qualities long time fans can appreciate (at least if they liked The Black Album). But, when "All Nightmare Long" or the album ending scorcher "My Apocalypse" kick in, you could swear it was a re-recorded outake from '...And Justice For All'.

The end result was a really strong album, on par if not better than The Black Album. Did they beat the classic 'tallica? Hell no. They never will. Did they redeem themselves from their atrocities spanning from '96 to '03? Definitely. You just can't expect a band this old to re-create what have become some of the best metal albums of all time and still be as important as they once were. Cliff is dead. Newsted plays indie rock now. Yes, the guys are still trying to be young, but then again, so are you.

Superior Prerequisite: Everything 1983 - 1988

BSK shirt

Here's a shirt design I did for my new band. Thoughts?

(Click to view bigger)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dog Modeling

My dogs have started a modeling career together behind my back.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008


Thanks to those who expressed interest in my rantings. The love of my life, a best friend, a lyrical/musical inspiration, and an old friend is motivation enough. Thank you, my dears.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I'm not digging for comments or compliments or anything like that, but does anyone regularly read this? I started posting on this blog with the intention of compiling stories/memories/pictures/nostalgia for my own selfish use. But, there's still a part of me that hopes a handful of people get some enjoyment out of regularly reading my rantings. Plus, I do write as if it's going to be read by someone other than myself (meaning I do withold some details and events for me and my accomplices' privacy).

So...do me a favor here - if you read this regularly (or even semi regularly...or even now and then) put a comment on this post. You don't have to say anything specific. You don't even have to put your name, which works if you're an internet stalker and secretly read about my life. Literally just mash the keyboard with your hand or face to let me know someone's paying attention to me.

Even if no one does, I'll still write on here. But knowing I'm not just some everyday self indulgent prick will motivate me to do more.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand go.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Snot Party

In the mid 90's I sang for a band called Snot Party (ten points if you can catch the Simpsons reference). We played short, stripped down thrash/punk with lyrics you could swear were written by a retarded 14 year old - wait, they were. Every show was a costume party, and the four of us often competed for who could compile the best and/or most offensive costume and perform the most outrageous onstage antics.

Some classic costumes included me wrapping my whole body in toilet paper Mummy style, Gerry covering his whole body in vasoline for our last show, me taping a 12 year old boy to my back for an entire set, and Lance completely stealing the bulldog mascot costume from our high school to wear.

This is a video from 1997 of us performing a hit number entitled "I'm A Butt Doctor". This was at the last show at Eastern Canada's premiere all ages club Cafe Ole - the night which marked the end of an era for punk rock in Halifax.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hardcore Idols

I've given up on idolizing people (peers) in hardcore, but sometimes I can read some lyrics or an interview and really connect with someone. One of the names on that short list of people involved in hardcore I could say I still look up to is Mark McCoy - the former singer for bands like Charles Bronson, Holy Molar, and more recently The/Das Oath.

Whilst expelling feces this morning I found an old copy of HeartattaCk in the pile of magazines in the bathroom which had an interview with Das Oath. McCoy's answers were so riddled with wit and sarcasm it reinspired me on the subtle art of the written word. When asked about connecting to audiences, this was his response. I feel it put my perspective on the shallowness of hardcore quite eloquently:

I'm never connected to any audience. I'm no entertainer. If there's anything I can't stand its inclusive music because its loaded bullshit with anticipated reactions. I hate sing-alongs, addressing crowds, and group hugs from self-assuming know-it-all's. Everything's always got to be so fun. I'm tired of fun. I'd much rather have people walk away saying we're total bullshit because we played for eight minutes and didn't say thanks and are still touring on the same old crappy record no one likes (but with a new cover, of course).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zine Questionaire

Someone I knew from back home had some college paper she was writing on fanzines and needed people to answer questions for her. I volunteered to and kinda liked how my answers came out. Aaaaaaand, go:

When did you discover zines?

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, which would make it about 1993 or 1994.

How did you discover them?

Initially, usually from older friends whom I skateboarded with. My parents were a little over protective, so the skate culture that existed outside of the physical act of skateboarding was pretty foreign. They introduced me to punk rock, and while at their house I would look through zines on bands I had never heard of.

Why do you like them?

My reasons for loving them when I was young are about the same as they are now: they report and expose a culture that you can't just turn on the TV or go to a newstand and find. Well, you used to not be able to, now you get a watered down, parent friendly version of punk culture where ever you go. Zines are beyond the underground now. Now that regular society has exploited all of it's classic resources for musical entertainment, it's bringing what was once a big secret into the open, and the proof is in the "punk" hairstyles in extremely upscale salons, to the CBGBs shirts at the mall, to being able to buy shirts with pre-printed tattoos. The underground is in the limelight, and zines are fighting to keep an underground scene alive. Sometimes the challenge in finding truly underground bands in obscure zines from around the world is where the excitement is.

Do you favour zines over regular magazines?

To be honest, I don't read much of either anymore. The accessability of the internet has really rendered zine printing a lost artform - much like creating quality records/CDs. There's alot of esteem in it, but usually half of your reader base will just read it online, rather than put the effort into hunting it out and buying it. Generally speaking though, if I want to read about punk, I want it to be written by a punk. Rolling Stone or Spin (generally) employs outsiders who are just following the trends, because that's what they're paid for. If I'm going to put the time into reading about a band, I want it expressed by a real fan - which is exactly why fanzines were created in the first place.

What magazines do you read?

Usually none. I'll pick up the usual tattoo magazine, but generally it's for the pictures and not the articles. I'll also read just about anything on football.

Have you written for any zines?


( If yes ) How did you come to contribute?

When I was about 13 or 14, two friends and I started our own locally based zine called Incoherent Crap. It was only circulated locally and focused on bands everyone knew in the local scene. It was something I wished someone else was doing at that time, and about stuff that I was familiar with and could relate to. We did that zine for upwards of 3 years I believe before it fizzled out. I kept writing here and there, publishing in other local zines, online when the internet started to explode in the late 90's, and then started my own zine, completely personal/opinion based, called Murder which I only did one issue of.

( If yes ) Have you had any professional training?

Several college level writing courses, and some jobs that entitled some creative writing. But I'm an electrician.

What do you know about the history of zines?

The same history everyone else really knows: when punk started in the 70's, big named music magazines wouldn't publish articles on it (unless it was more of a "look what these crazy kids are doing!" one-off article), so the fans took it to themselves to do it. They wrote and published their own photocopied magazines, and dubed them "fanzines", since they were written by the fans they were writing to. From there it snowballed - people started publishing picture and art zines, writing purely personal stuff, and so on. Now zine has basically become a term for someone writing independently with the intention of publishing independently.

What is your favourite type? (ie: music, art, cooking, diy)

I still stick to punk rock.

What do you look for in them?

Honesty. That's the one thing they should always have, because without that, you're just as bad as the pigs pretending they know the culture in order to sell more newstand copies.

Where is your favourite place to buy them?

Ideally, from the zine maker directly (either by mailorder, or off of a table at a show) because when I do that I know my money is going directly into the pocket of the creator. No middle man, no profit margins, no bullshit. That being said, I've slipped into a stage of complacency and laziness as I get older, and usually opt to just read interviews, essays, etc online, or buy whenever is convenient for me (be it at a show, or picking up the newest MRR at Borders).

Do you collect them?

I used to, religiously. Nowadays, since I'm a packrat they pile up in my bathroom or get boxed up and eventually lost, given away, or recycled during spring cleaning, moves, etc.

What else do you collect?

The usual for an aging punk guy - music (vinyl), tattoos, musical gear, etc.

What do you do with your old zines once you’ve read them?

As above, they float around unread for a few years until it's time they get disposed of in a proper manner. Some though, if there's a particularly inspiring article, interview, picture, etc in it, I'll hold onto it for years and years and years in hopes that one day my kid will find it and find the same inspiration in it that I once did. Then write his own zine about it, only then it will just be a blog. Or whatever blogs will have become by then.

If there was a permanent zine library opened would you use it?

I'd support it, but probably rarely use it.

Is there one main person who you could say is responsible for introducing you to zines/ punk/ hardcore/ diy, etc?

I wouldn't say there's one main person. Plenty of old friends, bands, and zines who kept feeding my thirst for the obscure. Zines like Maximum RnR, HeartattaCk, Profane Existence got my wheels turning on finding new bands and learning about the "punk life". Then reading others like Cometbus and I'm Johnny And I Don't Give A Fuck made me realize you can take that punk lifestyle outside of the show venue and apply it to real life. Zines like that kept me continually inspired and pushed that "against the grain" mentality I had since a young age, and still have to this day. And whether or not it was those authors intention of creating something so inspiring and insightful, it really kept me going on that path when I would have just slipped into a coma of normalcy like everyone I went to high school with. In hindsight, I guess it's sometimes the most unintended actions that make the biggest impact.

Tell me something inspiring that has happened to you.

I think I just did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Stole this from Stephen O'Malley's blog. I thought it was hilarious.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

26th Birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday, but this weekend was my birthday party. I must say it was a good one.

Didn't really do much Friday other than work and run errands. Saturday afternoon was spent running more errands and looking for a new car for Krista. Saturday night we got Wolfes BBQ catering and had a bunch of people over for food and drinks.

In hindsight, it was kind of a monumental thing, because I don't think we had ever had that many people over at our house at one time. We've always been low on good friends in Denver, but Saturday we packed a wholloping 9 people (not including Krista and I) into our spacious house. Having a party that people showed up to and enjoyed themselves at was incredibly refreshing and it was probably one of moments in the last 6 years where Denver had felt the most homey.

After eating, we went bowling. Some more people came, we played a few games, and I drank everything that was handed to me. This later proved to be slightly poor judgement when a full stomach mixture of BBQ tofu, cupcakes, an assortment of beer, and Jim Beam was hastily evacuating my body in several violent hurls. This was followed by about 10 more minutes of trying to sneeze vomit out of my sinuses.

I don't remember cleaning up after myself or getting to bed, but I was able to and proceeded to keep Krista up for hours with voluminous, drunken snoring in what proved to be an impregnably deep sleep.

But, like clockwork, I woke up at 8:00 am unable to fall back to sleep. Much to my cohorts of Saturday nights bowling eventual surprise, I awoke refreshed and hangover free; further cementing the fact that I am impervious to hangovers.

Sunday morning I had my first practice with the new band I will be playing drums for until next summer. The band is called Cadillacula, fronted my old friend Chris Watts, whom I solely worked with while tattooing for the first 2 years at American Tattoo. It's a horror punk band who pretty much wears their onemain influence on their sleeve. I have no problem with this - I love the Misfits. I've been wanting to play in a punk band again for awhile. While I didn't really want to be the drummer, I have to take what I can get, and I'd rather it not be ideal so in a year when I potentially move out of Denver, I won't have a hard time walking away from it.

Practice was followed by enjoying my birthday present from Krista: tickets to the home opener game for the Broncos. We were in the nosebleed section, but had a good view of the field. Everyone was pumped about the game, not only because it was the first home game, but it was against the Chargers who have stolen the divisional title from us for a few years running, not to mention their pretty boy bitch of a QB got caught on camera talking shit to Jay Cutler (whom is my long lost twin brother).

Let me preface: Krista and I generally try to go to at least one pre season game per year, and then about 2 regular season games, give or take money and ticket availability. We have a tendancy to end up at the nail biters, and this one was no different. The Broncos took an early lead, dominating the first half. They let the Chargers catch up, and eventually take a 38-31 lead in the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. The Broncos were able to sneak in for a touchdown, and then, showing balls the size of watermelons, with only 25 seconds left in the game, Shanahan decides to go for the 2 point conversion rather than kicking a field goal and going to overtime.

You probably could have heard a pin drop when that ball left Cutlers hand. Maybe the adrenaline rushing through me made me temporarily go deaf, but I could swear the 76,000 people in attendence all shut up at once. Cutler connected to Eddie Royal, making the score 39-38 and winning the game. I nearly had a heart attack and Krista cried. I hate the Chargers and it was awesome to see the Broncos beat them after last season, even if it was a bit of a messy win.

Good birthday.

Also, I bought this shirt outside the stadium: