I swear I think about posting/updating this more often... usual excuses apply... things get busy, I start posts and rant... rants become novels... I decide to post later... but this gap also includes summer holidays! Summer has been awesome for me... so what's been going on since April?
.. frig, it's been probably longer than that looking at my iCal.
Basically, this year started off good, steady... then got rammed really quickly after taking on another Parabelle album back in January. I didn't have a ton of time in the schedule but Kevin asked about doing another acoustic/electro sounding thing similar to the "remix" of This Life a the end of the Starry Eyes album.
I have a lot of fun working on these kinda projects... outside the obvious stuff like acoustic/vocal, I get to build up the instrumentation somewhat on my own... it kinda feels like a school project. You get the main ingredients, you cook it up, serve it, and sorta wait to see what the reaction is going to be... not just from the fans, but from the band too!
Long story short, stupid me blocked out 2 weeks in the schedule to get it done, as I had another album starting right after... Kyle and Kevin were up for a few days tracking and then I ended up spending a lot more time on it than I'd originally planned... which is sorta normal... whether it's two weeks or six weeks, I'm going to work on it until I think it's "done".
... it got finished and released a couple months ago I think... maybe back in April? Yes, I think it would've been April because the Age Of Days album came out around that time.
After the Parabelle 'Air' album, I went into co-producing/engineering the next Vince Hawkins and Company Slave album. I had a lot of fun working on this... I love riffs... and I love (good) solos. I think I also had the largest drum kit so far in here as well for that... sorta left field since when I think "blues rock", I'm not thinking "6 piece kit, with 20+ pieces of brass". All good though, it was fun. The recording process rolled along nicely, with very few hiccups... always a bonus on the larger projects!
I think it comes out sometime this fall on Grooveyard Records. I'm looking forward to sharing some links once that's up. I'd link to the label page but I just checked... they have an auto-play.
After that (good ol' iCal!), Fallen Heirs were in to do a single. Often, I discourage bands from just doing one song. Time wise it's not efficient... but it is a great way to test the waters working with new people, plus I highly encourage bands frequently release material these days. It'd been a while since they'd released anything, and we'd been talking about working together for a while at that point. I had time for a song. They wanted to do a song. Sounds good to me.
Another efficient and hiccup free project, I feel like we were done within a weekend... then editing/mixing obviously. They are super nice guys too... and party responsibly. The track is called "Wake Up", I'm fairly certain it's on YouTube.
Yeah I could link to it... I'm still debating linking to everything in this post. It takes a while! I'm a busy guy!
... and it's really nice outside!
After that, I had a chance to play for the FLYING BURRITOS!!! in the Exclaim Cup hockey tournament. Why am I bringing this up? Because it was awesome.
I honestly don't do much outside of the studio... which is good because I love it, but also bad because your brain needs to step away at times to gain perspective. I play hockey a couple times a week which is good, but despite feeling like I'd been hit by a truck by the end of the tournament... it felt f*cking awesome. It felt like I'd been on vacation for a week... barely thinking about music, bands, or studio life at all. We ended up winning our division (lowest), in Disney/Hollywood fashion... in a shoot out... against the only team to beat us, in our opening game.
Again... it was awesome.
Post hockey super-greatness, The Joy Arson were back to record the 3 remaining tracks on their debut EP. I just got the masters back a couple weeks ago actually, and it sounds awesome. Lots of 90's influences, but hey, we're all 90's kids around here... hovering around our 30's now. I'll definitely be posting some links once it's released... I think in October... apparently alongside the new Breached EP... there's a release show for both here in Toronto... which we did sometime between January. That turned out awesome too... those guys are making some moves so I'll be surprised if you don't hear about it... if you call yoruself a rock fan.
From there it was into... no it wasn't... (thanks iCal)... I had a band called Red Steps in to track the beds for their debut album. I've worked with their drummer a few times now so he passed me some of their demos/EP. I really liked what I'd heard so I was happy to get the word they decided to scrape up the money (inside joke) to come in. I'm not sure what state it's in right now since they were tracking overdubs/vocals at their place... looking forward to hearing the end product though... regardless of whether I get my hands on it for mix.
So... from there it was into Age Of Days rehearsals. I decided back around Christmas that next tour, I would take some time off before to practice up... I also just simply wanted to take some time off this summer. Work has been non-stop for about a year and a half now... which is awesome... but you go through periods where you just have to grind through it... and grinding through the creative process sucks... it's still good when you know you can grind through it... but when you have too... and you're tired... it sucks huge.
Rehearsing was fun though... and the idea of heading out to do a few dates with Halestorm was f*cking awesome. Nobody seemed to know who they are in Canada... big surprise <-- sarcasm. Once things got rolling on tour though, post near death experience, no joke, it was an awesome "vacation" and the shows were good.
I sorta regret not keeping a journal... well the detailed type I normally would... but perhaps sometime I'll type it up what I remember and post it... in a few years. I still have last summer with Buckcherry done and ready to post... it might be more fun to post down the road though at this point. Who knows... my blog, my rules!
We ended up flying back out for a weekend to play a couple more shows with Buckcherry and shoot a video for "I Did It For Love".
I used to hate videos, but years ago, after watching a few from Soundgarden, I've accepted that 97% of all drummers look stupid in music videos, 100% of the time... so I just try and have fun with them. You are at the mercy of the editor!
I'm not supposed to say too much about it... but it's a pretty standard rock video. Hot chicks, muscle cars, rock band... we could've used better catering but hey... Canadian music industry we're talking about. Unless you're part of the 1%, you'll probably find yourself at a Walmart deli counter trying to figure out how much shaved ham is necessary to feed 12 people.
The band performance filming was fun... actually... I'll do a post about the video (please hold me to it!) once the video is released. Hopefully it's out in the next few weeks.
After all that, I spent some time up at the family cottage... that was July.
Age of Days did a quick festival appearance (first of five on the bill!) in their hometown of Fredericton this month. It was a pretty sweet bill as far as affordable small town festival rock bands go. Monster Truck, Big Wreck, Buckcherry, Sebastian Bach! All the bands were awesome, Sebastian was very entertaining... I love watching pros work a crowd. Skid Row was slightly before my time but I still recognized a bunch of the songs... couldn't sing along to every song like some people though... *cough*MattMcLaughlin*cough*.
Big Wreck was the highlight for me though... Thornley is a monster talent. I'd briefly worked with him years ago on a project that unfortunately never saw the light of day. It's one thing to hang with people in the studio, it's another to see them on stage. I believe the greats always shine on stage... "great" will always be argued... but watching Big Wreck was great. It was only fitting they were sound checking when we showed up that morning... and just finishing up their set when we had to head out... they sounded awesome.
I think that about brings everything up to date... better late than never! I'm currently working on a few tunes with singer/songwriter Rory O'Hearn and a birdie told me Rebel Hero might be heading in soon to work on a few new tracks. Along with that, men's league summer hockey playoffs are in full force, men's league summer hockey playoff beard is in full force, and Age of Days will be back to rehearsals soon for an upcoming tour this October with Papa Roach. Super stoked.
On a final note, that Papa Roach tour also involves some US dates. I told myself back in my teens I wanted music to take me to every province in Canada... territories, you're still on the list! Last year, finally hitting Manitoba, I'd reached my goal. This year, I'm hoping to start that adventure again with visiting all the states down south through music... should be good times.
P.S. Don't hit a moose... it f*cking sucks.
P.S.S. This post is probably full of typos... I apologize. I limited myself to an hour though!
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!