NatureDevil has two gigs coming up this spring, both of which were unanticipated, yet we are looking forward to both of them. These two upcoming gigs will be different; the first is acoustic and the second will be part of the Dupage Libertarians neighborhood outreach program. Still, they will both rock, and we have been dying to get back onstage. Both gigs have no cover charge.
O'Malley's Bar and Grill
At the O'Malley's gig, Jay and I will be playing acoustic for 45 minutes, opening up for Citizen Spy, a cover band who covers some of the best stuff I have listened to all my life; Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys and more. In May, we will be supporting thre DuPage Libertarians for a whole night of rocking out, where Jay and I will acoustically deliver the pain for 90 minutes, followed by NatureDevil tearing open the stage for another 90+ minutes after that - almost all original music with some covers sprinkled in here and there. Both gigs are totally worth coming out for. Hoep to see you guys there.
Yes, Steam Powered Giraffe has been a great inspiration to me with regards to harmonizing vocals. We will be doing this a lot more this year, and with NatureDevil as well.
This is ontop of a small underground show we played a few weeks ago that was last minute and was kept off of the websote and social media strictly because it was quiet. A small corner neighborhood bar in the West Riverview neighborhood called Cody's gave us a few hours of stage time on a Saturday night - and even as rusty as we were, we had a huge crowd and recieved some major attention. Got calls for an encore too - which we unfortunately were not prepared to handle.
The fact that I can make insane stuff like this happen on a zero budget and in record time still impresses me.
But hey, checking back here every month or so to see what is going on is always a good idea. In the meantime, here is a picture of and my woman with Steam Powered Giraffe in Michigan. These guys are one of my favorite bands.
The top two are from different rooftops in the city while the third is from the VIP lounge at House of Blues. Yeah, there is a HUGE monthly fee to hang out in those rooms. I don't think it's worth it despite the great connections, but I know people who will spend endless amounts of money if they think it will help them out. Too rich for my blood.
Stop by for candy, IF YOU DARE!!!! I give out excellent quality of candy for the kids, but you really have to work for it. We patrol the grounds on Halloween, hiding behind the trees and the driveway and really put kids to the test. Their parents love it and usually want photos with us afterwards. Hey, some people like to spend money at Christmas - I like to go all out for Halloween...
Well, ABC 7's very own Steve Dolinsky is giving away another pair this year for a best video effort from someone who can convince him that they deserve the free tickets... so I took apart an older Billy Joel song and came up with this!!
This video project was experimental in that it proved many things for me; that I could write a song, record all the pieces of it, have it sent to California to be reworked and mixed by a friend of mine, sent back and then edited into a video that was filmed in a matter of hours, and in the freezing cold Chicago morning fog. From writing the first words to posting the final video copy on YouTube, total time took 4 days. That is a record for me.
Granted, the singing and filming looks like it was done at the last minute to meet the deadline of a bacon contest... but it was still a smashing success. I apologize for the rushed singing. Enjoy!
The biggest of these new adventures is my new addiction to Pro Tools. I finally have much more control over what I want to do and how I want to do it. Now, I just need a ridiculous experiment to test it all out on...
Granted, the newest film is COMPLETED - but it needs a soundtrack. That is very important because it is a silent film. Normally I would take on the task myself, but it clocks in at exactly 40 minutes, and I am simply not qualified to do a 40 minute silent drama justice. So the search begins to see who can tackle the project and help me finish it show I can showcase the damn thing.
Oh, and it looks like Jason Kluss will be busy in the new year. Lots of things happening on that end, but as I have nothing to show for it right now, stay tuned. While I may not be too busy musically, you can bet that I will be filming, writing scripts and directing movies and videos again. Hope next year leads us all to bigger and better things...
I have another music video project in the works, with an older recording of the NatureDevil song "Nothing I Can Do" as the track. No, I didn't feel the song needed a video, I just had a great idea for a video, and the guy whose songs I wanted to use turned me down - so I am back to doing what I always do; everything on my own. Thus, I dug out an old NatureDevil track. Let's see how the shooting goes next month.
Considering the tickets were $75 each, and I scored two of them for this video, I'd say it was well worth the effort. The trick is - if the contest is offered again next year, can I top it??
Yeah, we destroyed the apartment in the process, but it was a fun process and is my first full-fledged music video. I've been involved in other videos over the years, but this is the first that is entirely a project of mine, so all the credit and blame falls entirely on me and my editing partner Jeni - of whom we both spent 21 hours straight editing it together. Hope you liked it!!
This is my second film, released last year as well in the summer, titled "Friends For Dinner." This story revolves around a culinary student with some serious self esteem issues. Oh, and PLEASE don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube page, at NatureDevil on YouTube and let me know what you think.
This is my first film, released just last year, titled "Mission Apparition." It is a goofy little project about some lousy ghost hunters. Please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube page as well, at NatureDevil on YouTube and leave comments!
Portage Theater silent film organ player Jay Warren has agreed to write and perform the musical score for my silent film, "Victrola" which is slated to be completed this spring. Jay is an awesome guy whom I have known for years, and I am glad to have him help out with his talent and skill for this film, which is probably the most serious endevour I have ever taken in film to this date.
It looks as though our album release party will take place in the late spring or early summer, but man will we be prepared. Never been this prepared for a serious musical production like this before.
Oh, and the silent film I have been working on "Victrola" is coming along well. This film is looking to be over 40 minutes when completed; it is almost like a movie. This is definitely an exciting year.
The artwork has been sent out to a CD pritngin company here in Chicago, while the vinyl master must go on a tour of its own to New Jersey and then Nashville for completion. I've learned so much about this stuff, it is amazing.
The mastering is taking place today at Chicago Mastering. It is a long all day process that costs as much if not more than my mortgage payment. It will all be worth it.
And not only will we be releasing this album digitally online as well as on CD, but we will be pressing a limited number on vinyl. Records! That's right, 12" vinyl records will be available to the public as early as spring next year.
And just because I am cool, I think the first viewing of the album artwork will be viewable here on my website, simply because I designed the artwork and I have that inside connection thing going. Not like thousands of people come here looking for the inside scoop on anything, but it makes me feel cool.
Oh, and I am past the halfway point on "Victrola," my newest film. I am anticipating a mid-winter release.
Looks like NatureDevil will go to California to record in 2012.
Jason Kluss is also an official member of the John Michaels band as he has spent the last 2 years learning every song for the tour. Although not on the actual album recording, he did make his way into the album artwork.
My film is progressing. I think I can safely say I am 30% of the way through it. My silent, black and white drama titled "Victrola" is shaping up to be the best film yet. I hope everyone likes it...
Those would be the length of the film, and the locations. My first two short films both clocked in at 17 minutes (almost exact) and those were tough projects. This one is estimated to be 24 minutes - and it could go longer. I need to make sure it doesn't lag or 'drag on' as many have stated about the first film. We shall see.
The location issue is a trip because my first two films all relied on no more then 2 or 3 main shooting locations. This one is already on a dozen! I am driving all over the city of Chicago to make this happen.
Dedication, my frriends.
My first challenge was taking on a silent film. Yes, silent. That means no dialogue at all. I am also refusing to have title cards, because I think they can be distracting. I want to convey my message purely through the images and music presented. That challenge was met halfway purely through the writing and scripting.
The second challenge is making it in black and white. Lighting is everything, and we have been learning a TON of lessons with our first few shots. It is fun, but we always have to think a couple steps ahead so we know what we will have to work with.
Finally, the film is a drama. I am used to doing comedy, which is easy to me. Drama is new, and I want to make sure I do it right. There is a bit of comedy in the film, but I want to keep the focus on the story and the emotion of the main character.
Oh, and it looks like the John michaels album will be completed by the end of the year, though we are cutting it close! More updates to come.
This movie making thing is really fun and I am having a blast with it. I miss hanging out with musicians, but not everyone can play an instrument - almost anyone can act in a film. Thus, I have much more resources available to me. Can't wait to jump into film number three later this summer.
Of course you can view it at the NatureDevil YouTube page in a few weeks after I have the big premier later this month. After this film, I will start production on a silent black and white drama about a man in Chicago having a hard time finding a job. It will be a drastic change for me, mostly being a drama and not a comedy, being black and white, and having no dialogue. I won't even use title cards in this, I am keeping it strictly pantomime art.
As for NatureDevil, I am building my own recording studio in the basement. Actually, I am building two studios - one for the sound recording and another to handle all my new movie making. I do love being busy...
As usual, all the pictures are available in the photo gallery.
Yes, I am working with Arno Hachaduryan to finalize and complete a new record. We are doing it on a song by song basis, which actually works to our advantage and gives us time to tackle each song. I am really looking forward to posting updates about this.
I'm starting to work on the scripts for a few more movies as well, riding on the high I got from "Mission Apparition." I may even have to have auditions and casting calls for some of the rolls I need filled.
Mike Luzar was more or less the star of the movie, leading us through the entire night of events and drawing the plot along, while Julie Wilk had a small cameo near the end, involving one of my more favorite special effects.
You can see the movie in its entirely at the NatureDevil YouTube page - check it out!
We plowed our way through the John Michaels record, which we were hoping to have completed by now. It looks as though it will be completed in the spring, which is something to look forward to. I had a lot of fun playing a few gigs, including the reunion gig - playing again with Arno and Brandon was very memorable.
I also picked up new drummer Geoff, who is very dedicated and very excited to be doing this project. It still saddens me that we don't have a full time bassist that we can collaborate with and count on. New music is on the way, of which Geoff will be instrumental is writing drum parts.
Two years ago I wrote my own choose your own adventure book. Last year I wrote, scripted, filmed and directed my own movie. It is near complete - I have been stalled on the last 2 minutes of the 15 minute film. I am hoping to tackle the annoying culprit this or next coming weekend. I don't plan on being a full time film maker, but of all the ones I know who went to school and have degrees in the field, I think I am pretty fucking good for having no experience and no proper training. Fuck 'em. 90% of success is simply showing up.
All of these new projects have opened doors and flooded my brain with new ideas that I think I can pull off. Even if they aren't all entirely music related, they will probably in some form or another wind up on this website and in this news reel. Thanks for reading my page and following this long and often tiresome road with me. Honestly, if the financial aspect of everything would just come together and stop finding new ways to spear me to death, I'd be doing a whole lot more. Here is to hoping 2011 will suck just a bit less then 2010...
Never thought I would see her onstage in a NatureDevil set, even though she did play keyboards in a crappy metal band a few years back. Geoff is also improving his live performance from behind the drums and I am hoping we'll have much time to expand on that ground in the new year. Thanks to everyone who came out!
It was a Flabby Hoffman television taping, which are always a treat to do. We plan on doing another again next month - hopefully back at Exit Lounge. On that same token, we are taking a more active approach to hunting down a new full time bass player. I am hoping to have someone ready to play shows as early as next year.
But these are the gigs that show how well we can adapt to problems. We handled it well and played through, and in the end, all of our friends had fun. Starting over with a band is hard work, my friends.
Jason Kluss opened the show with Mike Sabia joining us on drums. It was an all around incredible night, with lots of fun and many surprising visits from friends. Maybe this will happen again in a few years; who knows. At least it happened now. Check out the photos in the gallery.
The Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago is conducting an experiment, and one lucky lab rat will be chosen to live in the museum for 30 days, with little to no contact with the outside world.
Foaming at the mouth, and drooling at the possibilities, a guy like me can totally run with this and make it a worthwhile adventure. Whether or not they pick me is based off of four things: an application I must fill out, a photo I send in, an essay I write and a 60 second video I submit.
Once they see me, I'll probably get disqualified on my hair alone, so I broke the rules a bit and photoshopped that guy from the Twilight movies in my place in the photo.
No, I actually had my friend take a few decent shots of me out by my neighbor's garage, and I spent almost 2 weeks slowly working my way through the application and the essay, having fun with it but also being honest about myself.
The video is tricky because they want you to display so much in only 60 seconds!! I may not get selected for this experiment, but man, I could probably get picked up for a director or editor position at Paramount when I finish it this weekend. Wish me luck on this guys!!!
Of the six movies they have scheduled, three of them are awesome classics we have already seen. The Lon Chaney movie is new to me, so I am psyched about that, and I am inviting as many friends as I can to the Douglas Fairbanks picture as there will be a five piece orchestra performing along with the film from top to bottom. Plus, The 'Mark of Zorro' is a classic that is way more entertaining than any CGI cluttered drivel that Hollywood could throw at us to make a quick buck.
I'll be posting the stuff on my FB page every week as the festival goes on - hope to see some of you guys there. Who else is dressing up with me??!!
Okay, so my car has been covered in this thick syrupy goo recently from the tree. We assumed it was an overabundance of sap this year, for whatever reason. Upon further investigation, we discovered tiny cotonball-like creatures attatching themselves to all the branches.
Turned out to be these things called mealybugs! They suck out the sap of our maple tree and replace it with this honeydo type of goop. I had to buy some kind of earth friendly tree stuff that strengthens the tree while ridding it of these creatures. Hopefully we have done enough of it in time to save the tree, because a few branches are already showing signs of decay.
Hopefully it'll happen. I'd like to have the four of us togetheragain - it would be the first time we've played together in over three years, and it would definitly raise all of our spirits. Let's see if we can make it happen.
I know, I know, this is supposed to be my band page, but c'mon! I need a place to post some pictures!! We kept the wedding fairly small at just over a hundred people, and fairly cheap as we aren't big spenders. Our one big splurge was on the West End Jazz Band... I did NOT want a DJ nor a cover band playing cheesy tunes or the bunny hop. No conga lines or electric slide. This 6 piece jazz/swing ensemble played original music from the 1920's and 30's that made the atmosphere enchanted in only a way goofballs like us could enjoy.
All of our friends and family had fun, and I have the pictures to prove it plastered all over my FB page for all my personal friends to check out and comment on. Thanks to everyone who was there, and a big shout out to my mom, who worked more magic then a Harry Potter book to help everything come together.
John Michaels opened up the show, with us performing more than half the setlist of all new songs, never performed before live. It was a great experience for us to feel out the new tracks, and to help identify with what we are trying to achieve with a live band.
NatureDevil and Jason Kluss did the usual combined set, mostly made up of our favorite stash of songs, looking for any and all excuses to unleash a bit of rage and fury onto an unsuspecting crowd.
May opens up a lot of new opportunities for all three bands regarding recording, and we are taking advantage of all of them. Slow going as the process may be, it is all required in order to make sure we are all happy with the outcomes of lots of hard work, creative and otherwise. I am hoping it will all pay off this year.
NatureDevil has a new drummer in the works, but for this last minute gig, Mike Sabia will be doing the job. Endless work on the John Michaels followup record continues, and mixing down of the NatureDevil and Jason Kluss tracks continues.
As usual, I'll have the pics from the show probably the next day, and hopefully NatureDevil can start playing out more shows in the next few months with the new drummer and hopefully new bass player. It'd be nice to be musically busy again.
Note to all people reading this: if you EVER need people to come out and sample food cooked by an awesome chef, my e-mail address is at the bottom of this page.
Andy Lencioni displayed bass awesomeness and Mike Sabia commanded the drums. Jay and I did our normal routine. Thanks to everyone who came out on such a cold, lonely night to watch us do our thing, and dance to our stuff; you made our night worth the effort.
I also added Arno's website to the links page, www.hachaduryan.com which is Arno's online resume for all his achievements in music engineering and production. Yes, he finally registered his own site, though I have no idea how anyone will be able to spell his name. I personally think he should have worked with "The Mad Bulgarian" angle.
Hmmm... I wonder of that domain name is free...
I finished 11 of the 12 basslines in the studio for John Michaels where we have been recoding at, Gallery of Carpet Studios. I got my hands on an upright bass (THANK YOU MIKE TEACH!!!!) with a bow, which I have been diligently practicing on for that last track. We may just move it to a few cellos and I'll go back to my usual bass; depends on how it all sounds.
That NatureDevil record is going in even more circles again. I swear, next time when I record a record, I am just going to pay a professional drummer to come in and do it right. Lesson learned.
I'll be booking a few shows this year to keep my sanity. Keep an eye out for the information if you are interested. Take care and good luck to you and your hopes and aspriations in the new year.
Yep, that means Mike Sabia on the drums and most likely Andy Lencioni on bass. Lost Dog will open up for the first hour and then we'll take over the remaining three hours with a bonus Jason Kluss set somewhere in the middle of it all. All the details are listed on the tour dates page.
Yes, I had a victim in chains, which probably isn't too much of a stray from my normal hobbies, although the monster gremlin in the room before us was definitly new. Linda had a blast, and we put out a great performance. I even got my picture taken with Svengoolie who came by on the opening night!!
We probably won't be staying long due to poor management and schedule conflicts, but I haven't done it since just after high school when I used to terrorize people at the legendary Amling's Haunted House in Melrose Park, back in the day. What a way to earn extra cash - if you can find a haunted house near you in the fall to work at, do it. Great stress releiver to yell and scream at total strangers and collect a paycheck for it.
It took about 6 weeks to plan and work out, and it was an incredible secret to hide from everyone, considering everyone wanted to be there for it. The video quality isn't the best because... well... I had a lot on my mind that night and recording it wasn't too impoprtant at the time, but you can still see enough. Hope you enjoy.
Maybe I'll post some pics from out studio session this weekend. Take care...
Help me get this interview on the Soupy Gato show! The Soupy Gato Show is a podcast where these episodes are pumped out several times a week. There is great music and interviews you may never hear anywhere else. Sometimes you'll hear interviews with musicians, sometimes you'll hear some rants about ridiculous things (usually music related) and sometimes you'll just hear random tracks thrown together with some commentary. Recently there have been much more themed episodes. Reminds me of my college radio days.
So here's the info. Soupy Gato is holding a mini competition thingy to choose what next band he will interview. Yes, there is voting involved, how'd you guess? So by clicking here at Podcast Alley or clicking the photo below you can reach the site where the voting takes place.
It's a fairly easy process; click the "vote" link in the upper left corner, type 'NatureDevil' anywhere in the comments section, and then make sure to click the link in the confirmation e-mail that is sent to you or the vote won't count.
I would love to do this, as it has been a while since we did radio or a podcast. Jay and I are itching to play out again, and if things go well these next few weeks, the tour dates page may just start fleshing out again. Thanks for your time and I'll see you guys again soon....
First, we played with Right Rongly and Her Savage Grace.
Right Rongly is a good friend known as Scottish McMillan, who, paired with a drummer, comes onstage in a wave of awesomeness hat cannot be stopped. Her Savage Grace, our hosts, is a hard rocking 3 piece steered by their captain, a man they call Muppet, whom I had known from the Promise Takers a few years back. We were greatly honored that he invited us onboard for the gig, which was celebrating his 40th birthday.
Crowd turnout was better than I predicted. I also want to thank Andy Lencioni and Mike Sabia for making the show possible by playing bass and drums for Jay and myself.
As for me, I need sleep. Tonight is monster movie night at the Portage Theater on the north side, and I need to wake up enough to make it. Until next time....
....except when regarding NatureDevil!!! This has been one of the hardest years for this band. I lose my drummer and bass player fresh before playing live on Q101 (a definite highlight, I must say) and have yet to find permanent relacements!! Thus, I toil away in the studio working on the album and LP, slowly cascading past the two year mark, looking ahead to the Jason Kluss album on the horizon and the John Michaels album even further down the road. Could 2009 be the year I put out four records?
Maybe. But I have two businesses, a friend from Argentina living with me, and a ton of personal highlights that although I should be depressed about music taking a nosedive in the last year, I really can't complain too much. All has been good, with the only exception being that I have gone from 2 gigs a week two one a year.
And it looks as though that one gig this year will be Penny Road Pub in a few weeks...
Penny Road Pub
I am hoping to have a relaxing and yet intense time at this show, and the PRP is ALWAYS an awesome place to play. If this should turn out to be the last gig booked ever for NatureDevil, I can say that it ended on a high note... but I am not ready to just cash in my chips yet. I still plan on having a CD release party to celebrate all the hard work and money spent on completing those damn records!!
If you can make it out to the Penny Road Pub on the 23rd, I'd love to see you....
More work on the album to come. I really really really need to rework a few things on three songs. Wow. If I had a label backing me, even a relatively small one, and a decent budget to work with, this would have been done a year ago....
So yeah, aside from redoing an intro to a song on the EP -I had to debate this a lot- and then applying some new mixing programs to make the drums not sound like ass (note: NEVER use a garage band drummer on a serious recording) all is well. I still have to raise some money for the printing of the CD's and the artwork... have no idea where that money is coming from just yet.... but it is there. In the meantime I have a lot of running to do....
Back in March I did a first ever acoustic interview and performance for the Chicago Acoustic Underground at ChicagoAcoustic.net which you need to check out. Some of these songs sound GREAT the way we did them, and I am very proud of how it turned out. Please, check it out and leave comments!!!!! Tell them how much you loved hearing us!!!!
I will still be trying out new musicians, but I gave up holding my breath on it months ago. Instead, I will probably finish up my work with Jason Kluss and John Michaels and then begin work on a second record, which will be a much different process.
You need to go check out the Chicago Acoustic Underground site for the performance of John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs last March. NatureDevil did a performance too in April, and as soon as that shows up I'll have it posted as well. Simply click on ChicagoAcoustic.net and leave a message for Mike and tell him what you think.
Oh, and I started advertising this week at the Portage Theater. Yep, you'll see NatureDevil as well as Jason Kluss and John Michaels all on the big screen during the August Wednesday matinees as well as the Friday night Silent Film Festival features! I bought a season pass and haven't been disapointed yet.
Alrighty, that is enough for now, gota get back to work...
Anyway, I gotta keep this short, today alone brings in endless hours of stuff that needs to be done before noon. Take care and talk to you soon...
First however, we have some voting to do. You know, that same ol' stuff every band needs you to do for whatever reason. This is for WSVNRadio, and helping get "We're Big In Europe!" on the "Best Of" CD they are putting out. The links are as follows:
Voting is going on from today till Monday the 14th, and remember, we are all from Cook County, voting is a skill for us all. Thanks a lot and I hope all goes well. More info next week on the album...
In the meantime I have more rafting to do, and my business is taking off faster then I can keep up with it. Yes, I am happy to be busy, but I could really use a breather...
Lyrics have been rewritten, basslines recorded and demos made. If I had any free time I would tell you all about it....
Completed a few basslines for Jay's record, and reworked some vocals for NatureDevil. I'll be damned if I don't get NatureDevil playing a few shows before the summer's end.
Oh, and I think I joined a Nirvana cover band. They needed a Kurt Cobain, and even though I am not blond, short, skinny or left handed, I am everything else required to go and sing and strum the songs. I'd have more info for you, but I need to go jogging. I lost ten pounds in the last few months and have much more to lose. Gotta run...
I need a break. I started out by rafting around a few Illinois state parks; my little way of celebrating the good week of having the "Event Promoters Ordinance" fall flat as well as the mastering of the EP "Doesn't Play Well With Others." I am listening to it all next week to see if I like it.
In the meantime I have vocals to redo for three songs along with basslines for Jason Kluss to get underway, and I start writing out my parts for John. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I watched, for the first time ever, all three Lord of the Rings movies, the extended versions. Good stuff. I need sleep.
A very talented bass player has appeared and may be interested in playing with NatureDevil; along with Brandon on the drums and Jay taking the acoustic, I would LOVE to start doing shows fulltime again.
I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend; mine starts today. It is the unofficial begining of summer my friends....
Stop the Promoter’s Ordinance
Imagine a Chicago with no Metro or Double Door or Schuba’s. Imagine a Chicago with no Royal George or Bailiwick or Athenaeum. Imagine a Chicago where local music is only heard in the suburbs and theater is limited to Wicked and Jersey Boys.
Scary thoughts. But if the City of Chicago’s City Council doesn’t hear your voice by Wednesday, May 14, they’ll become reality.
On that date the council will vote to approve an ordinance that has the power to stifle creativity in Chicago’s musical, theatrical, and general cultural scenes. With no public discourse or commentary, this proposal has been approved by the City Council Committee and is on the fast track to be pushed into law. It is up to us to let our elected officials know that Chicago’s creative scene is too rich, too varied, and too vital to be regulated in such a blanket fashion.
The definition of “event promoter” is so loosely defined it could apply to a band that books its own shows or a theater company that’s in town for a one-week run.
“Event Promoter” must be licensed and will pay $500 - $2000 depending on expected audience size.
To get the license, applicant must be over 21, get fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and jump over several other hurdles.
This ordinance seems targeted towards smaller venues, since those with 500+ permanent seats are exempt.
Police must be notified at least 7 days in advance of event.
For the complete ordinance, check out Jim DeRogatis’ blog on the Chicago Sun-Times:
We are collecting signatures to present to the council voicing our opposition to this ordinance. YOUR VOICE IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE CHICAGO’S CULTURAL SCENE CONTINUES TO THRIVE. Please leave a comment as your expression of disapproval. These will be presented to the City Council and to all Chicago Aldermen prior to Wednesday’s vote.
Thank you for helping to protect Chicago’s Culture.
We now move to the post mixing stages, which is fairly quick and involves a few touch up here and there, including some vocals, sound effects and other odds and ends. I still need to find a triangle for the end of a track.
The next step is the mastering, but before I get to the mastering I should mention that John Michaels and Barbara Hollek began some preliminary recording at western suburban studio Gallery of Carpet, officially starting the long hard road to the followup album to John's 2006 debut "A Legend In His Own Mind."
Of course, we can't forget the Jason Kluss record. The next step for him is the basslines, but as I am the bassist, and we are both recording at DeMented Recording, Jay will have to wait possibly one more month till NatureDevil is completed.
Oh, one more thing. John Michaels was interviewed at The World Was Once Flat which you can see and check out at theworldwasonceflat.com now. Incase you missed it, NatureDevil was interviewed back in April.
I hope everyone is doing well as the weather warms up and I go running, swimming, hiking, camping, rafting, traveling and whatnot.
Check out the site for ChicagoAcoustic.net and you'll hear our episode show up in June after it gets properly mixed and mastered down. The John Michaels episode should be released any day now. I'll give you a heads up here when it happens. Oh, and check out the pics from the performance on the photos page.
Also this week, I was interviewed at The World Was Once Flat which you can see and check out at theworldwasonceflat.com right now. Make sure you stop by the Ten Questions page to see my pointless thoughts and self promotion on all that is NatureDevil.
This Saturday John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs will be playing Lilly's in the city, a place I have yet to ever play! Not only will I be making my debut at the venue but I will also for the first time ever be sitting in on bass with the Wandering Endorphin himself Jim Greene and his band. I am a bit nervous as I have under 2 weeks notice, but the challenge is what makes it fun!!
Oh, and we are finally down to the last three tracks for mixing in the studio. They are the hardest ones that I have been putting off, but we are here. Twenty tracks and we are down to the last three. I can hardly contain myself...
Most of my time lately has been preparing for the acoustic show on ChicagoAcoustic.net next weekend, and mixing the final 4 songs for the releases.
I'll be in and out of town for a bit, going to down to Tennessee and up north to Wisconsin. I am working on putting together an interesting record release party, with some bands that I have performed with over the years making some appearances. Of course, as soon as the ND record is complete, it is straight to work on Jay's second record, then John's, then NatureDevil's again....
I only have five tracks left and some extra singing to redo for the album. As soon as that is completed, it is straight to the bass for both Jason Kluss and John Michaels in the studio.
The weather finally improved in Chicago and so I have spent a lot of time outside, not counting the two hours a day I have dedicated to the gym the last two months. Aside from all that, I hope everyone is enjoying the spring so far, and I shall have some more interesting updates before the end of the month...
John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs performed on the show a few weeks back and it was a great experience. Michael is a great guy to work with and he really has a lot of passion in what he does. Guys like him are a rarity in Chicago, and not just because he books NatureDevil; because he really gives a lot to the local music community in every way that he can. You can check him out at ChicagoAcoustic.net to hear all the stuff he has up there so far.
Oh, and this weekend, aside from playing a bunch of shows with John and Jay, involved the completed mixing of 2 more songs for the album.
Jay, Mike and myself spent a whole frigging weekend at DeMented Recording down in Tinley Park hammering out the drumbeats for Jay's forthcoming record. Tentatively titled "Take Your Pill" should be completed before the end of the 2009 summer.
While on the subject of the studio, we managed to iron out the mixes for three more NatureDevil tracks. I may have to redo the vocals for two songs, but aside from that and a few other small tidbits here and there, it looks like the rest is all smooth sailing. I am consulting an artist in Oak Park for possible album artwork. She does excellent work; I was blown away by her stuff when I saw her at an art fair and since then I feel attached to much of what I saw. Time to start looking into it.
John Michaels performed an acoustic interview and performance with all of us for Chicago Acoustic Underground, and NatureDevil has been invited to come play in April. I"ll fill in more details on it next week so I can truly do it justice, cause this is a great thing in Chicago more people should know about.
One last quick thing. I sang in this Addison Idol contest out in the Chicago suburbs... it was cool and I took home a trophy, so I thought I should share that with you. Yay. More stuff next week...
First, about the NatureDevil record. Roughly half of the tracks are mixed. The artwork is going well, and if we can get the mixing completed by mid March, I may be able to announce a CD release party date. Jason Kluss goes into DeMented Recording Studios next weekend to begin recording the follow up to 2006's "No Fear In Me" album. Mike Sabia is playing drums and yours truly is producing.
John Michaels will begin recording the follow up to his 2006 release "A Legend In His Own Mind" at Gallery of Carpets out in the suburbs.
Regarding my band members, it looks like I may have a drummer and a bassist ready for shows by next month, but I am not making any promises yet. I have a few shows and podcast performances lined up, but who will be performing with me is still up for grabs amongst all my musician friends. With a music video for John Michaels that I am directing coming up next month (when the weather warms up because it is outdoors) and the completion of my record, this summer is going to full of stuff to keep me busy. And I am really looking forward to it.
Oh, the MySpace page hit 20K friends. Yippie. Can't wait till I can actually sell my album there.
In the meantime check out the new videos I uploaded to YouTube featuring NatureDevil and John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs. Good news is coming. It is time for a big change in the right direction..
What a great show! Below is Happenin' Harry on the left and Dizzy Reed on the right; you know where to click to see photos from the show.
Now that the hoopla is over from last week, attention can be put towards my album as well as the start of Jay's. Studio man Dave has fallen terribly ill, but he should be back and up and running in a week or so, and when he does, asses will be kicked and progress will be made.
Also, John Michaels makes his return from Texas. With me filming for my YouTube show, recording with Jay and mixing down NatureDevil stuff, January has become incredibly busy. Which is good. Take care everyone, 2008 is starting off with a bang...
Sounds pretty intense. We are definitely looking forward to it, and honored to be a part of the show. And yes, there will be pictures. So if you are free, pay the five bucks and come out to the Double Door or Legends this Monday or Friday...
Monday, January 7th @ 8pm
Oh, and finished mixing on a few more songs today. More mixing on Monday and perhaps next Saturday.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable New Years and no one got (seriously) hurt. Take care and I'll see you next week....
As much as I would love to say 2007 was an incredibly great year for NatureDevil, it was very disastrous.
So what accomplishments did I make this year? In the first half of 2007, I added seven new venues to my resume, including one in Kalamazoo, MI. Played the Double Door again, had my songs played (and currently played still) on countless radio shows and podcasts across the country and the world, and the biggest thrill came from doing a live performance in WKQX in Chicago, better known as Q101.1 to the locals. What a thrill and lifetime achievement that was.
I also completed all the recording for the long awaited album and LP. Yup, I can officially announce that all recording is completed and I am mixing the tracks at breakneck speeds.
Most of my time has been put towards John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs, which has proven more professional than the people I usually get stuck working with in NatureDevil. John and I have made quite an impact in Australia and Ireland since he released his debut album "A Legend In His Own Mind" late last year.
With massive promotions, new productions, a huge list of goals and a lot of push behind us, John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs has a lot to offer in 2008.
The big question for me is this: what will become on NatureDevil in 2008, when the long awaited debut album is released? I wish I could say.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this last year. Everyone wants to be with success but no one wants to pay the dues and put in the work. The trick is weeding out those people, and moving beyond it. It is tough as hell, and I feel as though I am on my death bed half the time, but it still moves. It will always move forward.
I bid you all a happy new year; may success come to us all. I look forward to seeing you in the new year, and no matter what form of music I am playing, at least I will always be playing. Ciao..
I broke it into four segments, with a break after each of the songs we played. If you want to hear the actual songs, I uploaded them to the MySpace page, which you can get to by clicking below.
I am very proud of the interview as well as the kick ass performance of the songs, some of the best performances ever. Adam Veronica played drums, Andy Lencioni played bass and of course Jason Kluss is on the acoustic. Next week will be the 2007 year in review. Hope you all have a great holiday season this year. See you next week for the year wrap up.
Rascal's was kickass as always, and the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger. We also debuted a new 'John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs' display which did its job in selling CD's.
Oh, and CD mixing is looking. John is leaving for about 6 weeks on a road trip around the southwest side of the country, which leaves me in charge of a LOT of projects. December and January are going to be very busy months, creatively speaking.
Have a great holiday. My next posting will be my NatureDevil 2007 year review, as incredibly successful and yet sad as it has been, and then we roll into the new year...
Finished all of the guitar on the album. Also had time to get in a clarinet solo on "Callisto" and some percussion toys on "Mary-Kate + Ashley" before the session was through. All that leaves is vocals on two tracks to be done this upcoming weekend, and a well placed triangle hit.
Friday, Nov. 30th is our next big fiasco at Rascal's. Scottish McMillan is doing sound and you will hear the lovely sounds of John Michaels, Jason Kluss and Barbara Hollek from 9pm till 1am. There is no cover, it is all ages and the food is excellent. I will be dominating the bass all night long.
Right now I am on a mini vacation. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and everyone has many great things to be thankful for this year. I know I do. Take care...
For starters, I am playing bass with Kadro, a band from Detroit who needed a bass player to sit in for a few shows. We played out in Morris last night and we'll be playing Reggie's tomorrow night. I promise promise promise this is not a permanent thing, there is no way I can pull off being in a fourth musical project, much less one out of state, but it is fun and a nice distraction from everything else. Check us out this weekend if you can.
I am directing a video for John Michaels for a song off of his "A Legend In His Own Mind" album which came out earlier this year. I am hoping to get it done while we still have relatively decent weather here in Chicago, especially since I plan to be filming for a few hours straight downtown.
Finally, there is that album of mine. I am going to finish up all the vocals this week. Also, I am recording a clarinet lead and some guitar lead. After that, all we have left is the touching up and the mixing.
Oh, and next week I should have up our full interview with Alan Cox on Q101's Morning Fix show back in October. Unfortunately it appears that the local band showcase on Friday mornings will be no more. It was short lived, but damn, it was great to be a part of it while it was here!
The place was also packed bigger then we've ever seen. When NatureDevil played there, we celebrated birthdays and didn't bring in half the people that were there last night, which is funny because the Village of LaGrange Park decided to tear up the whole street and sidewalk on Friday, and that didn't affect a thing that night for us. It was so good that both John Michaels and Jason Kluss got invited back again in mid December.
Saturday was spent in the studio. I completed the vocals for a few songs.
For no particular reason at all, here is a fantasy picture of me with Stacy Keibler. Q101
First, the music page has been updated with the first ever mp3 release of "I Think I Was Born Depressed" performed live on Q101's Morning Fix last Friday. You can also hear the recording of "Spam I Am" from the Q101 spot on our MySpace page. Be sure to check them both out, as they feature Andy Lencioni on bass and Adam Veronica on drums.
I should have the full interview with possibly some video footage of the Q101 spot on YouTube in a few weeks. Q101 will send us the tracks this week.
WSVN Radio has released 'WSVN Radio Hall of Fame Vol. 19' this week and it features our demo version of "We're Big In Europe!" on it. You really need to check this station out as it covers and plays a lot of great stuff on it from all over the place. Check out the WSVN Radio website for more details.
Oh, and remember that Double Door show we did about four months ago? Well, you can find a new video on YouTube from NatureDevil of another unreleased song "Answer Phones" performed live from that Double Door show.
What a productive two weeks I have had. I have been so motivated you would not believe the changes that have taken place and the projects I have evolved on and developed. Oh, good things are coming. I am in the middle of so many video projects, it is great to see scripts come to life. Until then....
Thanks to host Alan Cox for the phone call inviting me on. In record little time, I pulled some of my best troops out which included Andrew Lencioni on the bass and Adam Veronica on the drums. Jason Kluss was of course present as always. We brought the whole morning crew fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. You can see the gallery on the photos page and I will have the performances as well as the interviews up hopefully by next week.
I want to stress that this was the best performance in almost 2 years. Having band mates who care, are passionate, talented and bring only positive attitudes to the game make it so much more rewarding. Having Adam, Andy and Jay be so excited and professional with the positive attitude they brought helped bring out the best in me, as we all did in each other. Now if I could only find that in a more permanent capacity.
Our set included "We're Big In Europe!," "Spam I Am," and "I Think I Was Born Depressed." All were incredible performances. I can't wait to upload the tracks, which are studio quality thanks to Q101 studio sound engineer John.
Phew. Now that the Q101 fiasco is over, I can relax a bit and try to get things back to normal. I play tomorrow with John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs at Legends in Addison, and I do more studio work Monday.
I am going to bed. What a week. Thanks to everyone who heard us, and to all the new people coming to the site after hearing us, uh... hi. I'm NatureDevil. Hoped you liked what you heard and you stick around the site for a while. Take care everyone and have a great weekend.
There was a cancellation and we got the offer. First of all, I don't want to make judgments on the other band, whomever they may be, but you must have a damn good reason for canceling a once in a lifetime opportunity (at least for a band and a guy like me) to play live on THE alternative rock station in your home city. I would be crawling on my deathbed with my Ibinez in hand to play "Spam I Am" for Alan Cox if he asked me. I hope the other band is okay and can make a quick recovery from the bus accident or the meteor crash or whatever forced them to cancel, but hey, I will take the open spot.
I don't think I have ever yelled so loudly into another man's voice mail as I did today when contacting the rest of the band members. If all of them get stricken down with typhoid, I will still perform this Friday morning by myself if I have to.
Anyways, this middle of the week update is to let anyone who stops by aware of the performance Friday morning. If I can get pictures or video taken, I'll have them up by the afternoon. Thanks, this is NatureDevil's moment to rock...
Also, we begin filming a John Michaels video Wednesday at a state park out west. It is a simple script I wrote for "Yours For Free", much less complex than the one I wrote for "Made For Each Other" which we begin sometime in late October/early November. Should be up and running in a few weeks.
Oh, and I will be posting a video or two from our 2007 performance at the Double Door in early October. Until next week...
...who needs a record??
Well, I still do. Tons of work tomorrow on it. I have been spending my free time at the gym and working out basslines for John michaels. I have so many new songs it is ridiculous, and my preparations for recording them for album two is going smoothly, though my main focus is on this first record.
Anyway, not much on the home front. I remember a year ago at this time I was booked almost every week, sometimes twice a week. Now I spend my time in a studio recording and re recording vocals and spare parts.
Oh, when this album is ready.....
Mr. Studio Engineer Dave is on vacation all week so most of my time is spent on developing the new songs while working with possible new studio drummers and fine tuning my bass lines for John Michaels and preparing to produce Jason Kluss' second album in the studio. Yeah, I keep busy.
I sent in a press kit to Q101 this week (finally) hoping they'll bring us in for their local band Friday morning thing they started doing every week. Several bands we've played with in the not so distant past have already been on, so I think our chances are pretty good. I would LOOOOVE to play "Spam I Am" or "We're Big In Europe!" to Chicago via the Morning Fix as I think those guys would appreciate it as they have their own flare for the musically creative blended oh so well with humor. Q101 played us a few times before (thanks Fook and Sherman!) so maybe we can get lucky again....
The 15 track album as well as the 5 song LP are officially 90% complete. A few more vocals, some guitar work and final mixing and mastering is left. October will be one year I started this project and I hope to hell it was worth it. Hell, I just hope I finish it before I go crazy and jump off Navy Pier....
I hit the 8000 friend marker on MySpace last night, and in my online travels have managed to get on several CD compilations as well as almost two dozen radio shows and podcasts around the world.
Then something occurred to me. I am probably the only musician in the world who is played on radio programs everywhere, who has been played on major radio markets in Chicago (million plus listeners) and has done over a hundred gigs in the last 18 some odd months and STILL DOESN'T EVEN HAVE AN ALBUM!!!
Until then, I will see you next week after I have spent sufficient time wandering around old Civil War battle sites in Tennessee. Take care....
Yeah, I have more vocals today and Wednesday to tackle, but the gunfire cannot go undone. Mixing is going well. I still haven't gotten Jason Kluss in there yet to do his vocals, but he only has a few parts to lay down and I can handle most of what needs to be done. I am hoping to get "Spam I Am" added to the MySpace page as soon as it is ready.
Soon, very soon, I'll be releasing the official track listing of the record. There will be at least twelve songs on the album but as many as fifteen; depends on how I feel about them all when it comes time to mastering the tracks.
Another week, another update. Oh, how I cannot wait until the record is completed!! I should probably start planning a release party....
Oh, and there are many new songs being prepared for the second album. While I scan the great midwest for the perfect drummer and bassist, I have devoted more time to the song writing process and the energy that goes with it. New original songs include "Bottle of Whine," "Answer Phones," "I Am the Bad Guy," "Plan B" and "Has Been." But since I am not playing live NatureDevil shows for a bit, it will be a while until they get played out. That makes it more fun.
I have played with a few drummers recently, but if they have any hint of an attitude I won't bother pursuing a serious professional relationship with them. I'd have better luck hiring a professional to job for me than I would finding someone dedicated to making something happen, but if that is the way it must be, then so be it.
Aeorl will fill in on drums and Andy will fill in on bass for the Tonik show in October.
Several things are taking place. First, we are in the process of hunting down a theater for filming of the first of a series of videos I am scripting; the first being for the John Michaels song "Made For Each Other" off of the Legend In His Own Mind record.
Secondly, I am developing the production schedule and specifications for the follow up Jason Kluss album which features Mike Sabia on drums.
Third, everything for the NatureDevil record is vocals, vocals vocals. All of it sounds pretty damn good.
Fourth, I am already in pre-production of the follow up NatureDevil record. You'd be amazed if you could see the list of musicians I have lined up for it. Wow. Hopefully going to start recording around the holidays.
Finally, I just finished the last Harry Potter book.
I have no choice. I need to get the vocals down as best as possible, and if that means I have to live off of oatmeal and rice for a month or two, then so be it.
Oh, and the final Harry Potter book came out, so I'll be busy today. Check us out this Friday at Legends here in Addison. It should probably one of the most fun shows we've played in a long time.
John Michaels has a lot of stuff going on, and now NatureDevil is getting more attention than I can handle, and all of it when I have part time drummers and bass players playing with me. Isn't that how it always works? I'll have to post a list here sometime of all the radio shows and podcasts I am taking part in, including a few CD compilations around the country and possibly one in Australia. I think when I go back to the studios, I'll record a few tracks that I will keep off the records specifically to be exclusive to some CD compilations out there that we get invited to do.
In the meantime, it is back to reading Harry Potter and working on the vocals.... see you guys Friday....
Anyway, as opposed to my usual long, dragged out updates I will keep this one very short because I am busy as hell. I am working on the vocals for the record album and LP this week. The album is probably just over the 80% of completion. It's about damn time too.
Aside from little gigs and the album, I am have been involved in LOTS of online promotion, doing online radio show podcasts and stuff for lots of people around the country and around the world. I just like to keep busy, and people seem to enjoy "We're Big In Europe!" no matter where they live.
Alrighty. We play at Legends out in Addison on the 27th, but you can get that info on the tour dates page. We haven't been playing out as much but that is because I am becoming obsessed with finishing this album as well as working with new musicians. Alright, I have to go to that place now where I do manual labor in a warehouse and a guy hands me a check on Friday. Take care everyone....
While we're talking about being proud of things, I realized I am incredibly proud of the things I have accomplished in these last two intense years of performing with my band. It is a shame that it will momentarily be slowing down, but it will not stop me.
Last night, Jason Kluss took the place of NatureDevil as my vocals never quite recovered from my massive head cold that I have been fighting for a week straight. I didn't want to risk damaging my vocals right before I have to sing in the studio this month.
As for the future of NatureDevil, I am going to focus more on my bass playing for John Michaels and Jason Kluss, and I will focus on taking my time finishing this album, producing Jason's second album, and producing the second NatureDevil record. And yes, I am taking my time.
A friend said to me the other day that I shouldn't be taking so long on my record because I am not being paid to do it. He believes that you should rush through and hurriedly finish a record if you are not being paid. If you are on a payroll, then you should be able to take your time and take as long as you want.
Right now, anyone reading this who is an artist of any kind is laughing. If only it worked that way. It is quite the opposite. Being paid for a job, whether you are a musician on a record label, or a painter for an art school, or a graphic designer for a marketing firm or a writer for a publisher knows that when you are being paid, you have deadlines. You must put out results and have them ready by a certain date, or else.
The flip side is when you are not being paid. When you are doing it because you love it, whatever 'it' may be. If a song is not coming out the way you want it, you can scratch it, or erase it, or redo it... whatever you want. People may set personal goals and deadlines for themselves; I want to make sure that when I put my hard work and effort into creating something I want it to be the way I want it.
You also can only work with what you have, including skills, equipment and time. If I were being paid to do this, then I wouldn't be going to the studio one day a week for several hours. I would be there 6 to 7 days a week pulling 12 hour shifts doing what I love. I wouldn't have to go to a 'job' somewhere because the music is how I pay my bills. My studio engineer would focus all of his time on my record because this is his full time job and it is what he does. My drummer or bass player or lead players would always be available to work on the record because this is their paying job and it is what they do.
Of course, this is not how it is. My drummer hasn't been in the studio since October of last year. My acoustic guitarist has been there a total of four times altogether. I, however, have been there almost every week since, sometimes twice a week if we can schedule it in. And I am not paid to be there. Quite the opposite; it costs me money to use a studio that I do not own. And if my money were to dry up, my album would be put on hold for who knows how long.
Luckily, I am resourceful enough to make it all work and I am lucky enough to work with some decent and talented people. My second record is going to be incredible, but first I have to lay down the brickwork with my first one, which will be good. Hopefully I can convince others to think that way too. Only time will tell.
...and with that, I return to the studio this week where I will take my sweet, relaxed time completing some tracks.....
I feel that I spend more time playing counselor then I do being a musician. Everything I get from the musicians I work with I can get from renting a movie at Blockbuster. If I want drama, I'll get Gone With the Wind. If I want suspense, I'll pick up an Alfred Hitchcock movie. If I am ever in the mood to deal with utter stupidity I'll rent the entire Marx Brothers movie collection. The only difference is I like the Marx Brothers (ironically, they were all also accomplished musicians).
Where was I? Oh, being a musician; right. I have many options available to me that will allow me to keep busy, active and possibly earn me money.
For example, as soon as I complete the NatureDevil album, I wanted to tour with it and promote it and get as much attention as I could with it. Instead, I think I will start immediately on a follow up album. I don't need a BAND to be a musician; as in, I don't need three or four people to loyally dedicate themselves completely to me and my ideas for a huge undertaking of something as monumentally lifetaking as recording an album.
I am a musician. I am an astronomer. I am an economics student. I am a video gamer. I am a history buff.
I am not a truck driver. I am not a salesman. I am not an advertising agent. I am not a cosmologist.
I am defined by the things I do in life that make me who I am. I am NOT defined by the things I do in life to earn income and pay bills. Some peoples lives are determined by the phones they answer and the prime time television they watch. My life is determined by what I do for my love and my passion.
I know there are others out there, possibly reading this right now (I am sorry) who refuse in life to allow the wrong things to determine who they are.
I do not play around with music in my free time or go to the gym when I can squeeze it in. The gym is my life and the music is my life. I would rather drive an older car and have more money to keep my frugal living in order and allow myself to do what I want when I want because I want to do it.
So if this little project; this little band, can't handle the bigger picture, then the bigger picture will have to adjust to the new changes that will keep barrelling forward so I can keep creating and keep accomplishing things.
Whew. Rob, this one was for you.
That's about it. I need to relax and regenerate myself this week. Vocals in the studio have got to be the hardest thing. Production on a John Michaels music video also starts soon. You know where to go to see all the photos from our most recent shows, so with that, I bid you farewell until next week...
Now that this Emergenza stuff is over with, we can focus on other things. So much is going on, with me having my own business (which is now making money) and the studio album coming along, new songs being written (we debuted 'Answer Phones' last night) and me being a DJ for an hour on 9FM here in Chicago sometime next week.
But for now, I am going to focus on finishing up the record. We have a few more gigs this month including Memories and the Gallery Cabaret, and then one show in July in Kalamazoo, MI for the fun of it. I am keeping the gigs low for now until the album is ready and the new songs are mastered.
For now, I am going to go outside and burn a lot of wood in my firepit. I am going to drink a lot of iced tea and read about the second Battle of Bull Run. It has been a brutal week. Thanks to all who made last night a huge success for both NatureDevil and John Michaels.
I really wish I understood people and the Internet.
For some reason, all throughout this last winter, we had record highs of hits and downloads on the website. It is starting to decline a bit. As I sit here looking at the data, I have to wonder, "what did we do differently several months ago that we need to recreate again now?"
I have a few theories, and they will be my challenge to create them again to emulate our previous success. Not to say I am unhappy about anything now, but spending 8 months in a studio recording an album can really get to a person.
Jay played the Mutiny Wednesday with Symptom, which was fun. He will return to the studio to finish up his acoustic parts next week. Then we start vocals....
In the meantime, we are playing the Double Door on Friday, June 8th. Tickets are a ridiculous $12 each, but you get to see Naturedevil as well as John Michaels, whom I play bass for, immediately afterwards. I am looking forward to uploading the Double Door pics the next morning.
Oh, here is one more bit of interesting news. We start filming a practice video, if you will, using Jay's debut album "No Fear In Me" as a test subject. We chose Time Is Right, and have already filmed over half of the footage.
Only two more recording sessions left till we get to start vocals. "Imaginations and Mind Games" needs a bass solo and I still have no idea what I am going to do with one song in particular.. it is kind of my experiment-as-I-go song.
Jay plays the Mutiny this Wednesday with Symptom. Although NatureDevil has graced the stage of the Mutiny many times, Jason Kluss and his band never have. NatureDevil has other plans for now...
...and that would be the Double Door on Friday, June 8th. Show starts at 8pm, and we hit the stage shortly after that. John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs comes on right after us. Tickets are $12 in advance or $18 at the door. I am going there in a little while to put some posters up. If we manage to garner enough attention and votes this round, we have a fighting chance of advancing to the Metro.
And I swear, after this year, no more of these ticket selling events. Too many places will book us as it is. I really can't wait till we get the album and the LP completed.. but until then, wee must keep busy. Until next week...
King Moxy and Uremia kicked ass at Fantasy Lounge and each band put on a great show. As always, you can check out photos on the pictures page.
I have been doing nothing other then studio recording and band rehearsing for almost 2 weeks straight. I am going rafting on Tuesday, which will be the first relaxing thing all month. We start vocals at the end of May.
Aside from the usual, we will be working on getting people psyched up for our Double Door show. Friday, June 8th is the day, we go on fairly early, and immediately after us is John Michaels and the Invisible Dogs. Tickets are $12 each (yeah, the price went up) and your vote could help spring load one of us, or both of us, to the Metro in July. Until then, I need to try to get some rest.... ciao....
...NatureDevil is playing the Double Door on Friday, June 8th! John Michaels is also performing that same night, which means I will be very busy (which is how I like it). Tickets are $12 each, and this is our chance to advance to the Metro. Surprisingly, our chances look pretty good. More on that as we get closer to the date.
Next week I am going rafting a few hours south of here, Jay gets married, we play Fantasy Lounge for the first time, and Jay prepares for a show at the Mutiny on Wednesday, May 30th. Oh, and I followed up on some of our material that I submitted to MOBFest here in Chicago, which takes place this June. I'd love to play MOBFest.
That is it for now. Hope to see some of you people at Fantasy Lounge on Friday, May 18th. We're playing with Kristen Ford, King Moxy and Uraemia. Wait till you see the artwork we've been brainstorming...
Hopefully, by next month I will have the track listing for the full length album, which will be anywhere from 12 to 15 songs, all written solely by B. Scott Lambrecht (that's me) and is titled "Better Living Through Denial" which is a very fitting title and will include tracks such as "Nothing I Can Do" and "We're Big In Europe!"
But, I need to get them finished in the studio first. My big project this month is to work on the record some more and get the artwork ready for the LP. This week, for the first time ever in my life that I can remember, I got hit with a 103.6 degree fever which has thrown EVERYTHING in my life off balance. I accomplished almost nothing, and as of this writing am almost back to 100%, but not quite yet.
I have put in so many hours in the studio this past week and I have much more to do in the following few days. I can honestly say that both the full length album and the LP are approximately 70% completed. Which means I get to do something I have been wanting to do for years... add a discography page to the site!!! Joy. More coding work.
We played Wise Fools Pub on Monday night, acoustic. A very talented indie rockabilly band from Canada called the Weber Brothers shared the stage with us while they lived out their dreams of touring the nation playing whenever and wherever they felt like it (something I hope to emulate one day). We picked up a copy of their record and next time they are in town they can grab a copy of ours, because those NatureDevil records are OH SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE!!
But hey, when they are complete, I'll now be even more in debt and, thus, motivated to go into full blown promotion with a record to run around and show off. I have been planning this kind of thing for a long, long time and I am much looking forward to it, though it will probably suck the life out of me over the next several months. Ah, the life of an indie musician.
Oh yeah, we played the Note last night, didn't we? That's why I am tired and sore today. I played twice, once with John Michaels and then again with NatureDevil.
It looks like John Michaels advanced to the Double Door. It looks like we may be playing the Double Door in the summer with some friend musicians of ours, and honestly, I really, really hate playing these damn ticket selling shows. I'd rather play Rascals' or the Mutiny or Jefferson Tap or Memories or Tiger O'Stylies any day of the week where the gig is free and we can pack the place all night long.
I am taking a break from booking shows because doing one or two shows a weekend was really getting to us considering we really need to get this album finished. I have bills to pay and new songs to write, so this summer will be lightly booked with shows here and there, unless something REALLY good comes up.
Speaking of the album, Jay is going to the studio next weekend to lay down his acoustic leads, and once we get the bulk of those down, all we have left are vocals. This studio process is going on 9 months. I could have had a kid from conception to birth in the amount of time I have spent slaving over getting my first album done.
I would also like to send a shout out to ex-Q101 DJ's Fook and James VanOsdal who are no longer with the radio station as of this past week. James did the overnight slot and was one of the best, most informed DJ on music of all kinds I have ever heard, and Todd "Fook" Fooks was one of the most entertaining and intelligent DJ's I had listened to in a long time. Fook was also the first DJ to play NatureDevil on Q101, and on a primetime slot during the week, on his show when he didn't have to. That was over 6 months ago and we are still riding high on that buzz. Thanks.
Oh, and on a completely different note, I went to this Civil War expo at the DuPage County Fairgrounds and I picked up a couple shells that were used in the month long siege at Vicksburg in the summer of 1863. Nobody else here reading this will probably think that is cool, but for a history loser like me, I think it is awesome. I have to go cut the lawn now. Until we meet again...
....first, we had the U.S. Beer Co. last night with Muttonchop Joyce and Lost Dog. Show went great, and all the pictures are already uploaded on the pictures page for your viewing pleasure.
The long awaited NatureDevil press kits are nearly completed. I bought a new printer yesterday for the sole purpose of printing up the artwork and biographies. I expect to have them mailed out Monday morning.
I also have a copy of some 'rough cuts' from the NatureDevil studio tracks on my desk. Wow. It sounds better then I expected but damn, it still needs a lot of work before I will be happy with it. Jay will be laying down some more acoustic tracks next weekend.
Oh, and if you could only see the massive lists I have put together here. Almost every college radio station in the country. Almost every record label in the Chicagoland area that I think could support NatureDevil. I am laying off booking lots of gigs due to paranoia and me personally taking rage at getting this other stuff done since I will now have the free time.
Maybe I'll post some of the press kit artwork for you to check out. I have about ten new songs I am working on putting together for the live shows. We shall see.
...but we pulled off another victory for all who performed, which includes NatureDevil, John Michaels, and Jason Kluss.
I am putting in 6 hours in the studio this weekend in a push to get this record done.
Next weekend we play U.S. Beer Co. with Muttonchop Joyce, Under the Sun and Lost Dog. Hopefully. There are already rumors circulating that this place has closed down as well, reminding us of our recent history with Bar Vertigo. We shall see.
Oh, and Saturday, April 21st... most important is our show at the Note to help advance us towards the Double Door. John Michaels is also playing that night, so we both have a chance to advance. Until then...
We played Bird's Nest and had a pretty good time, despite a tiny stage with little room for me to 'do my thing' and make a mess. Despite that, I liked Bird's Nest a lot... I would love to play there again before the end of the summer if possible...
Going on no sleep again, I have made significant leaps in everything from my business to my current studies of the Civil War. I am working on everything around me, it just all takes time!! Arg!! If we are ever to get anything accomplished we have to do it ourselves, and we have a long list of goals....
I'd also like to mention that these last two month have completely broken records for hits to this website. More people are clicking on to NatureDevil.com then ever before. Our original records were broken last year in the summer, but we smashed that, with almost twice as many!!! That means I'll have to work harder to make sure everything here on the site is working.
Next week we have Rascal's again, and those are the always the ones to watch out for...
I am getting prepared for our debut at Bird's Nest on the 30th, and I am working with a new bassist again who looks to be very promising. Hopefully, he will make his debut with us at Emergenza...
...which brings me to my next issue, our second round at the Note on April 21st. That's right, we are still involved in the Emergenza festival. Both NatureDevil and John Michaels are playing on the 21st next month, and we need everyone's help to vote us into the next round at the Double Door.
Also, we are playing with some new bands that we have recently met, including Instigator, Uraemia, and King Moxy. We'll be doing shows with them in May and June.
Ah, then there is the album. Yeah. Working on it. These things, you know, they take time, energy, patience, devotion and a reckless sense of self indulgence to keep it going. It's coming....
Well, no. We actually won for 'best lead vocals' which scares the hell out of me. We really need to fix this bass player issue. Andy wasn't able to make it to the show, and Brandon got pulled over on the Dan Ryan, so we had NO bass player at Triton last night.
We did have a leprechaun though, as you can see on the photo gallery. Rich's friend Stan filled in the bass position the best he could considering he didn't know any of the parts, but it was better than nothing. We greatly appreciate him helping us out the way he did at the last possible moment.
Luckily, our next show isn't for two weeks. We'll start the vocal work on the record before March is over.
I want to thank the guys at Triton College and Delta Omega Pi for letting us make a mess on their stage. Most appreciated. Until next week....
Well, NatureDevil is still chipping away at that album I keep talking about, and they are preparing for a performance at the Triton College 'Battle of the Bands' thing going on this upcoming Saturday, March 17th.
Tickets are $8 from any member of NatureDevil. Although we have been in many competitions musically, we have never actually been in a 'Battle of the Bands' before. We are not really gunning to win anything, we just want to play at our old college. Literally, all of us in the band have taken classes there at one time or another. The stage itself is beautiful too, and as I said last week, there will be a huge screen behind us where we will be able to have animation and photos in the back throughout our set. I am also under the impression that the show will be video recorded for DVD purposes.
So please come check it out and support us so that when the DVD comes out and we finish our set, you don't hear crickets chirping. We need people to make some noise for us next week. You know how to get in touch with us if you need to.... until next week....
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