Category Archives: Random/off topic posts

When you’re a musician getting a lot of bad publicity like me, here’s how to handle it…

Are you a musician who gets a lot of bad publicity? Ya know, the type of musician when you’re getting a lot of negative feedback of your songs or even full studio albums. You get a lot of negative comments from anonymous trolls in youtube, blogs and message boards… things like that. Even worse, you’re not very well respected in the music community and you’re one of the most hated musicians out there. The pros and more established musicians always looking down upon you and not giving you the respect that you deserve.

Well, I have been through all that over the years of my life and still do get negative publicity. I used to be upset at getting bad publicity but over the years, I’ve learned to get used to it. You just got to be able to learn to accept that not everyone is gonna like you that’s all. You can’t make everyone happy and you can’t please everyone. The trick to dealing with bad publicity is that you just be flattered by it all ’cause after all, bad publicity is not a bad thing. It’s actually good promotion for your music… the haters, trolls and critics promotes your music when they aren’t even realizing it. It’s so true if you think about it.

Another trick on dealing with bad publicity is just keep playing the music and ignore it all. A lot of musicians have a problem at responding to negative things aimed at them which is a bad idea really and it’s an unprofessional thing to do is to be confrontational at the haters.

I went through a lot of negative crap over the years of my life, sure. All one would have to do is google my name and you’ll see it all. People bashing me publicly. All it did was helped make me an even stronger person.

I’ve had too many local music websites over the years not being very accepting of my music… basically ’cause of the cliquey scene we have. They thought my music wasn’t professional enough and I didn’t get too many article write ups, didn’t get much radio airplay locally and didn’t get many shoutouts on local music blogs.

When you get all this, you have to ignore it all completely and just keep playing ’cause there will be many out there who’ll think you’re nothing musically. I’ve learned that I should just keep playing music for myself and that’s the attitude you should have. Just keep playing and do your thing. Writing the songs, releasing them and let people hate.

Who knows, maybe one day people will come around and realize that you are talented then the haters will get turned into fans. It can happen. You just gotta keep playing and enjoy yourself no matter what anyone says. No matter how negative people get around you, just gotta keep playing the music. I’ve had this attitude a lot lately and it does make life easier.

It is interesting though how the local music scene claims to support all local music and yet they look down at certain musicians. Think about it, right. You already are going somewhere with your music if you’re getting so much bad publicity. There’s a saying out there that says, “Your haters are the biggest fans” which is true if you think about it. Take your haters and critics as your motivators. Honestly, they inspire me to keep going in my music and I have much more music coming up ahead. I have seen so many other musicians get destroyed by bad publicity and many gave up because of it. I won’t give up what I do and you shouldn’t either.

Kev

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Programming my own drum tracks when recording my own music…

One thing I’m trying to teach myself when recording on DAW is programming my own drum tracks. I want to be able to program my own drum tracks and I’m gonna figure out a way to do that in Mixcraft. In Mixcraft, you can program your own drums. Sometime down the road, I’m still planning to buy “EZ Drummer” software by ToonTrack ’cause I heard that’s really good software, but for now I’ll use what I have in Mixcraft.

This is why I’m doing my best studying rhythm and timing. Ya know, get good real good with the metronome and learn to play in the pocket which I have improved a lot on. I used to hate playing along with the metronome but now I love it and take the metronome very seriously now.

I want to program my own drums for my songs ’cause I don’t have a drummer and I don’t have a real drum set of my own. I am trying to study drum lessons even if I don’t have a drum set ’cause I feel I need to learn this stuff if I’m going to program my own drums.

Learning to program drums shouldn’t be that hard at all. As long as you understand timing and rhythm, should be a piece of cake for you.

I’m studying this stuff by myself ’cause someday I want to be a one-man band when making an album. I want to make a full band rock album all on my own. For bass lines, I think I’m gonna buy myself a real bass guitar pretty soon.

My full band rock songs will probably be pretty simplistic anyways. I’m not gonna be playing technical virtuoso stuff like Dream Theater or Yngwie Malmsteen or anything like that. I just want to write bad ass rock n’ roll songs with big riffs, guitar solos and vocals and all that stuff.

I think I’m capable enough of making good full band rock music. People don’t think I can but watch me.

I don’t know, maybe I should collaborate with a real drummer. I’m actually thinking about that too. Finding a good drummer are hard to find, though. I’ll want to find a talented drummer who can stay in the pocket and rock tight. For now I’ll just use drum programming through software and things like that.

Studying timing and rhythm in music is everything. It may seem intimidating and annoying which is why it’s overlooked by a lot of musicians but it’s crucial to learn. Studying timing is not that hard as you think. Someday, I’ll want to jam with a real drummer just to see how I do.

Kev

Friends are gonna stab you in the back and cut you out of their lives… when they do that they were never your friend to begin with?

I was never one to cut people out of my life. It’s just something that I would never do. At least I try not to. If I did then I would only do it if some people get way out of line about me. If I did cut people out of my life, I would welcome them back in it as long they are all for it. If not, then I’m okay with that.

Yes, you’re definitely going to go through with this a lot in life. Friends stabbing you in the back and cutting you out of your lives all of a sudden. I’m sure it happens with you whether you have male friends or female friends… it happens to me too. I’ve had a lot of people come and go in my life and I’m okay with that. I’m not heartbroken if someone wants nothing to do with me anymore. Life goes on, ya know? It always does. When people shut you out, all you need to do is to move on and forget about them. When friends turn out to not like you anymore, you get so hung up on defending yourself and winning them back. A huge waste of time, in my opinion. I say just let them go and give them the big middle finger.

When people stab you in the back, it’s definitely gonna make you think to yourself… “What did I do wrong? What did I say that pissed them off?” The answer to those questions is that you didn’t do anything. It’s them. Not you. They are the problem. Why are they the problem? Usually ego, jealousy, insecurity, selfishness, etc. Friends becoming enemies with each other is becoming a major problem in this society. It definitely is for sure. Can’t deny it. What’s even worse about ending friendships nowadays is that they end it quickly over social networking. You’ll know a friendship is done when they block you in all social networking. Instead of calling you by phone or writing an e-mail to you, they just block you with no explanation. In the old days when there were no internet, people used to end friendships by hanging up phone or getting their ass kicked on the streets. Now people end friendships over the internet which makes it easier for them.

Like I said, you’re definitely gonna deal with backstabbing friends and betrayals a lot. It’s part of life so you gotta learn to deal with it. I’ve had a lot of people in my life that I thought was my friend but wasn’t after all that time. Your true friends and people who truly care about  you would be the ones who won’t stab you in the back and won’t cut you off. When people decide to cut you off, they are just showing their true colors. They weren’t your friends at all so you gotta stop calling them your friend.

People call them “fake friends” nowadays and there’s a lot of them out there. When you have a fake friend and they cut you off, you really need to let them go and leave them be. Don’t try to win them back. I’ve tried my best to win some of my former friends back but was unsuccessful at most of them. They bury the hatchet with you on their own terms, I guess, but I must warn you that when your ex-friend tries to bury the hatchet with you and you did for a while… you’ll be feuding with that person again. Remember, they were never your friends — they never were.

So you may ask, why would someone fake a friendship with you? Well, maybe they just want to use you and take advantage of you, ya know? Maybe they just use you ’cause they have no one else to go to. Some would use you for money, would only come to you when they need something and some would ride your coattails for their own success ’cause they know you got good things going. You can’t trust a lot of people nowadays.

So when you run into fake friends in your life, you need to tell them to fuck off and move on with your own life. Just keep smiling and keep moving forward. That’s what I’ve been doing lately and I’m doing a much better job at that. I don’t really give a shit if people don’t want to be in my life anymore. My life is good and I’m happy. I don’t have time for drama and negativity. I have music, I’m a musician and I’m also a fitness/bodybuilder guy so I’m good. Those are the two things that I care about most.

You don’t want to waste time with people who hates you. Losing friends isn’t actually a bad thing ’cause you can get even more friends out of it. There’s a saying out there which is, “We don’t lose friends, we just learn who the real ones are”. Which is very true if you think about it. The ones who stays with you all the time and is loyal to you are the real ones.

Most backstabbers only care about themselves anyways… they’ve always been pretty selfish. When they stab you in the back like that, they just confirmed that they are selfish so don’t worry about it.

Like I said, don’t try to win the backstabbers back. Move on with your own life. Keep on’ keepin on’ and keep being happy. You can’t make everyone happy ’cause the world doesn’t work like that.

Kev

I was never the best at producing my own music. I’m the worst at it but I’m learning, though…

Over the years of my life being a home recording artist, I was never the best at producing my own music. I was never really that smart about recording. In the past, I never really cared about sound quality. All I did over the years was hit the record button and what you hear is what you get. I didn’t care if the recording sounded bad whether it had background hissing, humming, clipping and all that stuff. I just wanted to make music and listen to it. I would also share my songs with other people to get feedback. Despite the bad sound quality, people would strangely give me nice feedback on my songs anyways. It’s like as long as you can listen to it, who cares about sound quality?

I am trying to educate myself on producing my own music which is what I want to do. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and researching about mixing and mastering. I’ve gotten much better at educating myself at getting recording equipment to get a better sound. For now, I don’t have a pro-studio yet, but I just have a small and basic home studio. I have a computer, a DAW (Acoustic Mixcraft), an audio interface, speaker monitors, a phantom powered mic w/ pop filter and things like that.

When I was in my early 20’s just starting out in home recording, I remember using those old Tascam 4 track cassette recorders. I remember I used to own that thing and I used to record acoustic demos on those things all the time. I kind of wish I kept it but the old school 4 track Tascam broke ’cause I used it so much.

I’ve been doing home recording for many years. Long before DAW’s on computers started coming out and my first computer DAW for music recording was Cakewalk, I think. Then I used the old ProTools software for a long while which I don’t use anymore due to getting a new computer. The DAW that I currently now use is Acoustica Mixcraft which is very cool. I’ve contemplated going back to ProTools and someday I will whenever I can afford it but for now I’ll use the affordable Mixcraft. I think Mixcraft is way better than ProTools, in my opinion. Not only that Mixcraft is a DAW, it’s also mixing and mastering software too.

I really am trying to educate myself on how to produce my own music better. I want to teach myself mixing and mastering. Do it all on my own. Is it possible? Yes, it’s definitely possible with all these DAW’s and digital recording is huge nowadays. Recording the old way (Analog) is still possible, though. I want to teach myself mixing and mastering ’cause I want my own ideas and my own sound. I’ve educated myself about “clipping” finally and know what that’s all about. Now I got to learn how to mix which shouldn’t be hard and mastering shouldn’t be hard either.

What is my recording process like when recording my own original songs? Well, most recording artists would just record little bits at a time and finish ’em later but I never recorded like that though. When I hit that record button, I keep working until the song is done complete. I record all in one go pretty much. If I can’t come up with another riff, I’ll just make something up and improvise.

I’m now taking producing very seriously and I want to to make the best sounding music. I want to make music as if a professional engineer did the work. Is it possible to teach yourself how to mix and master your own music? Yes, it’s definitely possible. Jimmy Page taught himself how to produce Led Zeppelin music. I don’t think he spent a lot of money on courses. My guess on how Jimmy Page taught himself was that he learned by watching other engineers do the work with his other bands before Zeppelin. With DAW software, it’s definitely possible now. I’ve been teaching myself by reading books, watching youtube videos and things like that.

I’m getting slowly better at producing my own music but still got long ways to go, though. This year, I’m gonna mess around with mixing and mastering through Mixcraft. I just need to get a TRS balanced cable for my speaker monitors and audio interface which I plan to order online soon. I want to practice producing my own music and get good at it.

I want to make an actual album and doing all I can to make that happen. I love recording music and want to get back into it this year.

Kev

 

 

Why I enjoy singing cover songs… you should enjoy it too…

I know people want me to do mostly original music nowadays which is good and I do like making original music, but the thing is I like playing and singing cover songs too. I’ve always loved to do both originals and cover songs. I’ve always thought it was important for me to do both. In the local musicians community, we’re now in an age where original music is finally accepted and cover songs are now in the past. It’s good that people mostly want to hear originals but you shouldn’t forget cover songs either.

I like to do cover songs ’cause first of all, they are fun to do and secondly they help improve my musicianship. Yeah I like to play and sing a lot of cover songs. I just want to perform all of my favorite songs that I’ve loved over the years. Sometimes I would pick some pretty odd covers that no one would expect me to do… I just do them ’cause I simply love the songs. I just perform any cover I want and the ones that I can do well.

Each time I put out a cover song, someone will ask me, “When are you going to put something original out?” Well, I like performing cover songs ’cause I love playing them. Cover songs are pretty important to do anyways and you shouldn’t neglect them. When I perform a cover song, I give it my best. I’m gonna get back into performing cover songs again on video whether me playing an instrument or just doing it karaoke style.

Lately I’ve been working on Judy Garland’s “SomeWhere Over the Rainbow” the song from Wizard of Oz. I’m doing that one ’cause I love that song and it’s a song I’ve always wanted to cover so I downloaded the backing track of that song from Itunes. I’ve been practicing that song everyday, trying to get all the notes down and seems to be a pretty simple song to sing really. It’s not that hard as it sounds. That song has a bit of a range but I seem to do quite well on it so when I’m ready, I’ll video tape myself singing it and release it for all to hear. It may seem weird to do a song like that but I dig all kinds of tunes. I dig everything pretty much.

I love singing and I want to be able to sing as much cover songs as possible. If it bothers other people then I don’t care. It is interesting though, how nobody cares about cover songs anymore. It’s important to have a wide range of cover songs that a lot of people know and I’m trying to do all that.

I like to perform covers to put on a little excitement. I played so many cover songs on guitar over the years that I’ve probably forgotten how to play most of them, but I’m gonna re-learn them. I like to learn covers from every genre of music really. Now that I’ve been messing with electric guitar a lot more, I’m gonna start learning some metal and harder rockin’ covers. I’d like to start learning songs from Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Dream Theater, etc. I’ve already started learning songs by Led Zeppelin on electric guitar, I’m still trying to master the solo part on “Stairway to Heaven”. I know how to play all the rhythm guitar parts for that song but it’s the solo I’m trying to get down note for note and I’m getting there.

My listeners and fans do enjoy me performing covers, though ’cause they get a lot of good feedback each time I upload a new video. I know I haven’t released anything in a long time, but “Somewhere over the Rainbow” will be the next one soon.

Don’t criticize other musicians for wanting to do covers. It’s a good thing to do and always has been. Any musician that says that it isn’t is probably not a real musician themselves.

Kev

Just met Jason Mewes of Jay and Silent Bob, he’s pretty awesome in person as expected!!!

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So I went to Saratoga Comic Con at the City Center in Saratoga Springs this morning. Yeah, it’s Comic Con season again and Saratoga Springs host a comic con every year. I went last year and went this year.

As you can see in the pics, I just met Jason Mewes who is most famous for Jay and Silent Bob. I’m a huge fan of Kevin Smith movies and the Jay and Silent Bob duo. I’ve seen all Jay and Silent Bob movies but my favorites are “Clerks” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back”. I told Jay that and he said thanks. Jay was such a cool dude in real life as I figure he would be. Jay was talkative and approachable but he couldn’t talk long ’cause of the line. I would have talked to him longer but he looked to be in a real hurry ’cause he wanted to get the line moving. There were celebrities doing autographs/pics. Jay was obviously the most famous there so his lines would be longer. Thankfully I got to see Jay early before the long lines hit.

I bought the “Clerks” movie on BluRay and had a few of the cast in the movie sign it for me. I had Scott Schiaffo, Marilyn Ghigliotti and Jason Mewes sign it.

Ya know, the thing is that autographs/pics with the celebrities aren’t free. You gotta pay something for them whatever price they ask for. I bought the “Clerks” BluRay off of Marilyn the actress in the movie. She asked for $40 for the BluRay but didn’t ask for extra money for autograph which was nice of her. I talked to her for a bit and she was real sweet and down to earth. I think she was the only actress there who didn’t ask money for autographs/pics but she was selling stuff on her table, though. She was a super nice lady and it was great to meet her. Remember, Marilyn played Veronica. She’s that lady who breaks up with Dante toward the end of the movie.

I’ve seen “Clerks” too many times. It’s a great film.

I like Comic Con events. They’re fun, but those are the type of events where you spend a lot of money so you better make sure you have some cash on ya. lol….

Yeah, I want to get into comic book collecting as it’s a new hobby that I want to pick up. I bought some comics there earlier today. Mostly Batman, Superman, The Punisher and Wolverine since they are my favorite superheroes. I not only want to collect comics as a collector’s item, but I just want to get into them to read. Some of the superhero stories are real good and interesting. I want get into comics for the stories.

The Comic Con in Saratoga was an awesome time. Had a blast.

Kev

Looks like ReverbNation and Soundcloud both allows you to create albums now which is cool really…

I used to use ReverbNation and Soundcloud to upload my songs for all to hear, but those websites only allowed you to upload songs individually. At first, they didn’t allow you to upload albums and release them. Now both ReverbNation and Soundcloud do allow you to release your albums on there which is cool.

If I ever did an internet only album, I was gonna use Bandcamp to upload it there but now I don’t have to since ReverbNation and Soundcloud both allows musicians to create albums now.

It’s so freakin’ cool, though! I’m gonna start making my own albums and release them all on the internet for free. I don’t need money for them ’cause I don’t do music for money. I won’t make people pay for my songs just to get people to listen to them.

If I ever made my first internet album with title and cover and all, I’ll probably use Soundcloud to release it exclusively. I’ve always wanted to do my own album. In the past, it used to be very hard for musicians to upload albums for the internet but now it’s much easier everywhere.

I still got my old songs on both ReverbNation and Soundcloud so I’m gonna have to start doing some changes on both sites.

I really want to make my first album and it’ll probably be homemade. I got good enough sounding home studio gear so I’m really good to go. I’m glad those music sites improved and that way I can start using them again. I do want to get back into songwriting and I will.

When I start recording again, I’m gonna try to make them sound as best as possible. I’m not the best at producing but I’ve been reading and researching about that stuff. I’m gonna teach myself mixing and mastering and all that stuff. I want to produce it all myself.

What songs would I write about? Whatever I can come up with really: fictional stories, horror songs, political messages, poetic songs, etc. Just whatever comes to mind. If I want to write political messages, I probably will. Just write whatever the hell I want to!

After I make my first album, I’ll come up with a title, come up with a cover, get it copyrighted and then release it. I do want my next batch of material to be more melodic. Music that can be listenable and enjoyable. Songwriting is fun and I want to get back into it.

Kev