Consistency vs. Diversity: Skullfinger is lurking just around the corner

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I’ve sometimes been told that the reason I manifest obscure creations is that I must be bored. Bored?! Quite the opposite, I say! Every creation is an opportunity to explore the outermost/innermost regions of space/mind. Few things are funner.

Anyways, I’ve encountered an internal dichotomy: it occurred to me that, despite all these years of searching for lost chords and shoving square pegs into round holes, a lot of my favourite listening material is totally mainstream. That’s right, I love a good pop tune! Even though I love diversity and a wide range of musical colour, I found that my favourite albums for repeat-listening are the ones where every song sounds pretty much the same. If an inconsistency comes along (in the form of a solitary ballad amongst raging jungle metal anthems, for example), it pops my bubble and I want to fast-forward or change the disc.

The radio sometimes reminds me that the genre closest to my heart, standing the test of time, is… classic rock! I almost never seek it out, but when it happens on the airwaves… it reflects deep imprints on my psyche. The new world and its problems dissolve and are replaced by a timeless homey peace. I thought I’d left so much of that behind, but no.

Learning this about myself, I decided the right thing to do is to make an album full of rock vocal tunes, hopefully worthy of repeat listening. Hence, Skullfinger was born! In about mid-2013, I began writing and recording songs for Skullfinger, came up with a logo, and doot dee doo, rock marches on in this little corner of the world.

Now that the album is almost ready for worldwide release, there are many moments when my biggest influences from the rock world are apparent… Led Zeppelin, Rush, Pink Floyd, SRV, Bob Marley, The Police, Megadeth, Cream, Frank Zappa, White Zombie, Steve Vai, Steely Dan, Devin Townsend, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Edith Bunker, David Bowie, Beethoven, Pachelbel… yeah, that’s right, I borrowed the Canon progression. See if you can find it when the album drops.

Hmmm, okay, I admit it – staying in one genre may not be an option for Skullfinger. Luckily classic rock is actually really diverse so I don’t mind using the term. Maybe we’re prog. Or simply rock. Suffice it to say that every song has lyrics and guitars! Lots of guitars. Stratocaster. 7-string (purchase of which was inspired by seeing Archspire play at The Plaza). A bit of classical guitar here and there. And tons of keyboards.

The album is scheduled for release on Ulusulu Music in spring of 2016. It’s called “Turn Down The Quiet” and you’ll be able to find it everywhere.

^ album cover art for
^ album cover art for “Turn Down The Quiet” by Skullfinger ^

In the meantime, a teaser single is available for your hot, hungry little eardrums. “Walk Right In” is a cover of the old tune written by Gus Cannon and Hosea Woods in 1929 and later performed by The Rooftop Singers in 1962, when it became a #1 hit.  You can download the Skullfinger version for free (for now) at bandcamp and there’s also a music video. It’s industrial country metal! Enjoy.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

P.S. check out these nifty Skullfinger guitar picks.

^ Skullfinger guitar picks ^
^ Skullfinger guitar picks ^

 


End of report.

SL

 

SadHum on video soon

Once upon a time (1989-1994) I played 6-string in the Kamloops metal band Sadistic Humor. Just tonight I got a whole bunch of old VHS tapes of live gigs and interviews and who-knows-what-else from Craig McKay (our drummer – we have a new band, by the way: Crushing Complex has re-formed as a power trio with Justin Perfilow on Drop-A 7-string and myself on 8-string standard tuning).

So… these VHS tapes are an amazing time-capsule for me right now! I’m digitizing them for upload, and I think there are a few Kamloops people from “back in the day” who will enjoy watching them as well. I admit, some of the interviews are pretty embarassing (arrogance is hardly ever attractive – live and learn, I hope) and there’s a few rough notes here and there but whatever. Good times. I’ll start uploading as soon as I can.

Metal!

^ Sadistic Humor live at the IOOF, being digitized from VHS at this very moment ^

 


End of report.

SL

 

Classic 80’s, Mind Blown

Watching the video for “Addicted To Love” by Robert Palmer (I need to learn how to play it for an upcoming gig… always wanted to know how to play this one, actually), I found 2 really amazing details that I never noticed ’til today.

  1. The drum intro starts with a bar of 7! (4, 3, 4, 4, bam.)
  2. In a closeup, one of the “guitar dancers” is using a very unlikely technique on the electric guitar, at least for this song. The technique shown is more applicable to electric bass. I wonder if the video director was playing an inside joke to see if anyone would notice. This song was released in 1985 (hey, that’s the same year I started playing guitar), so I guess it only took me 30 years to notice.
^ she's using inapplicable technique here. I think the director must have been a genius to include such an anomaly ^
^ unlikely choice of guitar technique for this particular song.  ^

Mind blown.

Daily basis.


End of report.

SL

 

Feeling Rich

I’m feeling rich today. I’m broke as puck, but there’s more to life! Last night was a metal show at The Kami, so that was fun. Good to tear out of the coccoon every once once in a while, see some good friends, check out some good tunes, beautiful happy people everywhere. Hemptress is one of those bands with the very low, big tones that have therapeutic effect. Sinksincider had real high energy, I especially like their last tune, “Car Ramrod,” apparently inspired by Super Troopers. I should see that movie, so everyone tells me! Black Mastiff was the headliner, also super good.

I snapped a few photos:

Photo 2015-10-22, 10 35 59 PM
^ critters in the clumsy crane machine game ^
Hemptress snare drum.
^ Hemptress snare drum ^
Photo 2015-10-22, 10 34 01 PM
^ pool table with the snazzy stripes ^
^ cool Kami sign ^
^ cool Kami sign ^
^ Hemptress bass rig ^
^ Hemptress bass rig ^
^ Sinksincider plays
^ Sinksincider plays “Car Ramrod” ^
^ Hemptress ^
^ Hemptress ^

Then what? Jamming in the parking lot… “Lost Lighter Blues” hah awesome – had to be there. And played a few tunes on rhythm guitar at the Open Mic at The Central with Lori Bluebird on lead vocals. Good times!

Wait, there’s more… Sleep is for quitters. Up ’til 6am, I excitedly spelunked through my vinyl record collection, getting ready for tonight. Diggin’ through records can be such a fun adventure. Calming, simple. Vinyl: an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Tonight… my debut as a vinyl-spinning DJ, at the Melophoria event at Barnacle Records!

^ the first record of my vinyl set tonight ^
^ the first record of my vinyl set tonight ^
^ Barnacle crew at Melophoria ^
^ Barnacle crew at Melophoria ^
^ these are the records I played tonight ^
^ these are the records I played tonight ^

Well, that’s about it. Some days are better than others and right now I ain’t cryin’. This is my first blog entry on here so what the hell, there it is. Boom!


End of report.

SL