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Friday, March 27, 2009

T-Shirt

They don't make this t-shirt any more, but I want one (minus the star in the middle, and 'loves' instead of 'likes'). I am seriously considering having our t-shirt manufacturer make me one....I clearly have way too much spare time on my hands.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You and Your Gorgeous Behaviour

I am scared to find out my capacity for self-destruction. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is a tidal wave, an all-encompassing tsunami that could swallow me whole with disregard and contempt for whoever I believed I was before. It is only through sheer luck that my life has been lacking in any kind of catalyst to trigger any of this inside me, but sometimes with just the slightest of actions, I see the person that I could become.

You ever find yourself doing something and think, "hmmm, so this is who I am..?"

Don't worry, we're all going to be fine.

Max x

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Master In The Art Of Letting Go

I try my best to have a pretty good sense of perspective on life.  To be honest, I sometimes think my brain has glimpes of Ataraxia as I stuggle to care about things that other people find important.

Even when I do find an issue to take to heart, I find it hard to stick to.  I am not a great multi-tasker and whenever I am scared, nervous, hurt or down the best thing I can do to shake it off is just to throw myself into something else as hard as possible and distract myself from it.  My self-defence mechanism has become such a big part of me that sometimes it feels like there isn't anything left to defend.

What I am trying to say, and failing, is that I want you to know I do care sometimes - even if I've forgotten how to show it.  Of course, you must also deal with the possibility that I really don't care and I really do just want you to leave me alone.  I'll try and make it a little clearer in the future.


Been listening to this a lot:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This is what we do with our weekends.



Have a good weekend, it's almost summer here in the UK - make the most of the sunshine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"You're never alone with a phone."

Does anybody else get really bummed out when your phone/blackberry/iPhone tells you you've got an email, but it turns out to be a lonely piece of junk mail that has intrepidly made it through the hundreds of spam folders and junk filters that are out there to protect me from Nigerian Princes who have fallen on unlucky times and need my help.  

I need to get more emails that aren't about boring things.  Most of my emails tell me things I need to know.  I really want emails that tell me things I want to know, or even things I didn't even know I wanted to know.  If you have this information, send it to me.

I am getting through a long to-do list at a pretty good speed, the only thing that I actually care about right now is finishing all the lyrics I have to write.  Unfinished lyrics are like having the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head - I know that at some point very soon I will have to get these recorded, and it's a case of trying to work on them without worrying that they are taking too long.  We have put entire songs off because I couldn't make the lyrics fit - it does not feel good.

I gotta go post out some online store orders right now, thank you to everyone who still picks up our older stuff, we loved making those records and although we are usually wrapped up in the newest thing we never forget those songs or what it took for us all to put them together.  With that in mind, I put a quick thing together in the studio earlier, I'll post it up here later.
See you soon,

Max.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is this what we have left?

So while phoning around and trying to sort out insurance for our tour van, I watched most of Gene Simmons talking to Bob Lefsetz at Canadian Music Week '09. It did not inspire me for the future of the music industry. If you're bored, you can watch the whole thing here

I tried reading Bob Lefsetz's email blog for a while, but it was just too rambling and vague. I talk too much, but if that guy could take a leaf out of Seth Godin's blog and just write simple, concise opinions and we'd all get along better.

Anyway, new songs are back from San Diego where they've been mastered and there are just a couple of edits currently being made. Like I said on Twitter, they will be up for sale as soon as physically possible.  They are the last songs to be made with the old studio.  We have already started tracking new songs on the new system and I can already hear the difference.

We are working on a new area of the website, where you will be able to hear new songs straight from rehearsals.  The moment they are done we will be posting them up on the website.

One of the coolest things we are working on is a song called "Life, Stuck On Repeat" which has a full horn section.  This one is kinda my baby as a lot of it will be using computer production rather than just recording us playing live, like most of our songs are.

I am re-writing the lyrics and parts of the melody for the song which is at the end of this month's podcast which was called "The Girl Who Stole The World".  I can't seem to get a grip on it at the moment, but it'll come, just need more coffee and liberal use of the "repeat" button on my iPod.

Max x


Monday, March 16, 2009

iTunes Top 30 Most Played Songs

Livin' Th' Dream - You, Me, And Everyone We Know
Everybody Knows - McFly
Smile - McFly
Stuck Between Stations - The Hold Steady
Do Ya - McFly
Fascination - Alphabeat
Catch Me if You Can/Proclamation of Emaciation (featuring Travis from Gym Class Heroes) - Fall Out Boy
One For The Radio - McFly
Beat It - Fall Out Boy
POV - McFly
The (Shipped) Gold Standard - Fall Out Boy
Chips Ahoy! - The Hold Steady
Falling In Love - McFly
Corrupted - McFly
That's How You Know (As Used In The Film Enchanted) - Alan Menken
Going Through The Motions - McFly
Hot Soft Light - The Hold Steady
The Last Song - McFly
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous - Frank Turner
A Walk Through Hell - Say Anything
(Coffee's For Closers) - Fall Out Boy
Hey Beautiful - The Solids
Friday Night - McFly
ALPHAdog and OMEGAlomaniac (demo) - Fall Out Boy
Lake Effect Kid (demo) - Fall Out Boy
Happy Working Song (As Used In The Film Enchanted) - Alan Menken
Same Kooks - The Hold Steady
Sugar, We're Goin' Down - Fall Out Boy
Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry
You Help Them - Say Anything

No surprises in here if you've ever met me. Newest entries by far are "The (Shipped) Gold Standard" and "(Coffee's For Closers)" as I've become a little addicted to those songs.

New Kelly Clarkson album is good, even though I've only listened once so far. New Taylor Swift album is ok, lyrics are little too pop even for me, but some good melodies I guess. The latest New Found Glory album rocks, but we all knew that was gonna happen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Did anybody else watch Jim Cramer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other day? It was some of the best TV I've seen in a LONG time (although I don't watch that much TV admittedly).  I'd watched the build up to this and thought it was gonna be the usual light-hearted interview that TDS usually has, but it totally blew me away.  Awesome.

That vid is part 3 of 3, you can find links to the others on that page, but that part pretty much says it all.

.p.s. If you have no interest in the current economic problems, or the hypocrisy that lies at the heart of it all, then this will probably be of no interest to you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My New Headphones and Other Stories...

Ages ago, I posted up some photos of the moulds I had taken of my ears for my new in-ear monitors on stage. Here's how it works: it doesn't matter what you can hear in the crowd, the band hear something totally different. We're standing next to drum kits and amplifiers and we are behind the main speakers that you're all hearing. A lot of times, we have speakers on the floor pointing up at us, but these aren't perfect as they have to be really loud to get through our earplugs and be heard over the sound of everything on stage. So we have a special mix of the sound set up and played back to us through a wireless pack that we wear (Dan keeps his in his back pocket, and I tape mine to my belt - see if you can spot them when we're playing).

As it's all so loud, we want to protect our hearing (it sounds a little dumb, being in a loud place and putting even louder sounds in your ear) so we want headphones that block out as much of the stage sound as possible. That's where these come in. They fill my ear up, and block out loads of sound, then they play me the sounds I want right next to my eardrum. Perfect.




As they are made from moulds of my ears, they won't fit anyone else, and they have to sit perfectly in my ears or they feel a little uncomfortable, but when they're in you can barely feel them. The only problem i've found is they are a little tricky to get out, but I'm sure I'll get used to that.

In other news, I've finished the new version of Brand New Enemy which will be up on the site for download soon, and a new song called "Take This Flight".

The new mixes I am working on are called "The Girl Who Stole The World" (working title, I am re-writing the lyrics so it'll definitely change), "Life, Stuck On Repeat" and "Get It On". We just upgraded the studio so it's now a pleasure to mix which means we'll be putting out new music on a much more regular basis...everyone wins.

I also found the sessions we did for a song called "It's not doing it, it's living it down that's the problem". It never got finished as I wasn't happy that I could make the chorus work, but the new gear means I can work harder and smarter on vocal sounds than ever before so I'm pretty sure I can make it sound awesome, and the song rocks from start to finish (I LOVE the middle-8). It also features some backing vocals from my ex-girlfriend which I had totally forgotten about, so when I lifted the fader on the channel it was a total shock to hear her voice...in a good way, don't panic - we're still cool...this isn't like the BV's on Brand New Enemy or anything.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Teenage Vow In A Parking Lot

Out of all the bands I love (and I use that word far more for music than I do for people in real life, but mean it just as much) I think the one that seems to get hated on the most is Fall Out Boy - it doesn't really bother me since pretty much everything I listen to is uncool by someone's standards.

So I saw this post over at Ask Hey Chris asking a few people for their top 5 most significant Fall Out Boy songs and thought I'd post mine up too, seeing as I'm supposed to be working but I've finished and now about to go down the studio instead and work on lyrics.  Not my favourite FOB songs, just the most signifgicant like the man asked for.

These aren't in any specific order.

Dead On Arrival
The first FOB song I ever heard.  There used to be a channel called P-Rock TV which started around the same time as Scuzz TV.  They started rotating this video really late at night and I caught the end of the track a couple of times.  Dan was in my room a few days later and the song seemed to have been bumped up to a pretty regular rotation and we watched the whole thing and both agreed we'd have to go check them out. Loved it from the first time I heard it.

Sugar, We're Going Down
I listened to the sampler that FOB put out for "From Under The Cork Tree", which contained 30 second samples of each track.  This song stood out a million miles above the rest.  I took the sampler on my iPod down to rehearsal and played it to the others and made them listen to that hook specifically.  It is one of my favourite songs of all time, no contest.

Hum Hallelujah
This came out way before the recent 'Hallelujah' craze, and it works way better than a lazy X-factor cover ever will.  This one also stands out to me because of the lyrics - "I love you in the same way there's a chapel in a hospital" is just one of the lines that I really, really wish I'd written.

Catch Me if You Can/Proclamation of Emaciation
This one pushed the lyrical thing even further for me - I was gutted when this didn't make it onto Folie A Deux and just ended up as a track on the Gym Class Heroes album (it has different lyrics and production altogether).  I like the fact that not only did it show how far FOB had come from their first album, but also that they were willing to use references that 90% of their audience will never get.

"Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today"
I still find myself singing the first few lines of this song on a fairly regular basis and it made an immediate impact that first time I heard the album.  I still love how it sets the incredibly dark lyrical tone over some super-happy melodies, I kinda miss that from the first album, but they're still doing something new which is worth the trade.

I could do this for a bunch of bands that have provided the soundtrack to my life, but they don't seem to take that flack that FOB do, so I'm just showing that there are real old-school (well, since TTTYG) fans out there, and I am one of them.

Max x


Monday, March 09, 2009

Tony Maserati

If any of you are into recording in any way, then you should definitely be member over at the Gearslutz.com forums - it's not obscene or anything, so don't worry about that.  It's just people who work in the recording industry who offer loads of advice and cool stuff for recording music.

They have Question & Answer sessions with some of the worlds best mixers - you are allowed to ask them questions about their techinques, people they've worked with...anything really and they respond directly and try and help people out.  This month it's Tony Maserati who has mixed some seriously cool sh*t - Notorious B.IG, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Tupac, Jason Mraz, Pussycat Dolls...you can check out the full list here.

It's so cool that pro's are willing to help out people who are just starting out....and they have way better stories than everyone else.  Check this out from this question.


"When working on the mix "One More Chance" for Notorious BIG at Hit Factory studio A (no longer in existence), I worked on the mix for almost two weeks. After about five days the track was printed and most of Faith Evans' vocals. Big was in an out during this time and sometimes would sit next to me and jus listen. For two days, he would jus say, play it one more time. I tried to keep myself busy by tweakin this or that, and he'd jus keep saying play it one more time... after sitting next to me for several days he finally said, "aiight, put up a mic". He went in (no paper, no pens) and knocked out his vocal and adlibs. Killed it. I don't think there were more than two punches on the whole vocal track!"

or even this...

"[When]Whitney Houston sang in studio D at Sigma Sound Studios (tiny little room) with Michael Masser producing. He never erased anything so we'd spend all morning making as many 'slave' tapes as possible to be ready for the many many tracks he'd ask her to record. She'd sing one after the other, with so much power you could hear the walls of that tiny room shivering when I walked in with her tea or water! Awesome. I think she loaded up 45 slaves (for all you youngins, that's 22tracks times 45 tapes) 990 takes!!!! try that and still perform yer ass off!!"

They may not mean anything if you're not into music, or into the process of how music ends up travelling from the imagination of a songwriter to your ears, but if you are, then it's stuff like this that makes you want to be part of one of the most unforgiving, least-likely-to-succeed, dream-crushing industries in the world.

Max x

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Flyer for our show on Saturday...

 
 
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