Thursday, May 26, 2005

Losing Your Muffler In Canton

Had a good time at Heritage Christian School in Canton, OH yesterday. Rob, AJ, and I all piled into the station wagon along with 4 guitars, a keyboard, and a couple amps. About 45 minutes from Canton, my muffler fell off (it was dragging on the road). There's a story for every trip. =) Unfortunately, we didn't snap any photos. I need to get a digital camera one of these days.

We played an hour set for about 130 middle school and high students. AJ shared about his unbringing in my music, and also shared his testimony. We learned that Marilyn Manson attended elememtary school at Heritage Christian School. Hung out with four students afterwards for a few minutes. Pretty cool kids.

After pulling my muffler off and disposing of it in a trashcan, we jumped back on the road toward Columbus. On the way, we stopped at an Applebee's, and talked music, Christ, and life. I'm honored to work with Rob and AJ (as well as the other guys in the band). We had some pretty cool discussions yesterday.

Our next confirmed show is at the Driven Young Adult Conference in Gambier, OH, June 16th. I'm going to start working on trying to book some shows at various colleges. I'm just seeing more and more that I need to focus on this age group. It seems to be who my music really reaches.

God is good, and is teaching me a ton. I'm pretty tired today. I was up late last night practicing piano. I'm really trying to stay in the habit of practicing everyday. Also, trying to get out and run several times a week. It's amazing how your metabolism begins to change when you're reaching for 30. =)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Looking Forward To The Concert

Tonight, we play at Delaware Grace Brethren Church in Delaware, OH. (visit for more details) The whole band will be there...Brian, AJ, Joey, Rob, and Rich. I think the church is expecting about 75 people, so it'll be a little smaller of a show...but we're excited.

We had a practice yesterday afternoon and it went great. I just picked up a new 180 watt keyboard amp which is sweet. We plugged Joey's bass into that thing, and let me tell!! It's great to hear the low end. Tonight, I'm also planning (for the first time) to use my new Alesis Ion analog ing syth for some effecty stuff. Rich will be using my Kurzweil PC2X for piano and organ sounds.

I am trying to add a new twist every couple practices. As an example, about a month ago, we finally got rid of all the charts. Everybody's playing from memory now, which really helps with stage presence. There are a still several songs I'd like to add to our set list including "A Thousand Gods," "Ladder," and possibly a few more tunes from "Dishes." There is even an unreleased tune which I'm considering adding to the list.

Arranging set lists is always interesting. It's important to keep the energy going, and one of the toughest things I've run into is knowing where to stick the slower songs. Sometimes, it takes playing a set list live to know if it's working or not. We've even switched things on the fly before, depending on the crowd response.

Well, its time for a quick lunch. After that, I'll pack the station wagon with gear and head up to Delaware.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Music, In A Broader Sense

It's funny how we sometimes fight so hard for the things we think we want. For the longest time, I've thought that my dream job would involve being a traveling Christian musician...and though I still am very interested in traveling and performing, I've realized just how much broader my interest in music is.

I'm currently working about 40 hrs a week producing audio/music for a soon-to-be nationally syndicated children's television show and I'm having a blast! I think it has only been in the last couple years that I've really developed an interest in music production for television and movies. There is something that I enjoy about working in musical styles which I am not neccessarily familiar with. I suppose it's a challenge, and the reality is, every bit of music that I involve myself in eventually contributes to my own sound as a Christian rock musician. I also like enhancing the mood of picture through the vehicle of sound.

It's quite ironic that nearly five years ago, I was offered a job to compose music for a children's television show, and though I began working for that company, I hardly wrote a lick of music...until now. After being employed by that company for 3 1/2 yrs, I was laid off in 2004, and was just recently rehired to do all things but...produce and arrange music for a children's show! Weird how God works sometimes.

In working this job, I've started to see how much of my interest lies in the producing/studio work of music, regardless of style. It also seems that I could survive much longer as a producer than as an "artist." There's a lot more 50 yr producers who have jobs compared to 50 yr old rock stars.

In conclusion, I am still very interested in getting out and doing music from "Backstage Pass" and at some point, Lord willing, I'd like to work towards putting out another album. It's just that now I'm trying even more to have my irons in many fires. You never know what will take root.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pairing Off

You know you are old when kids you used to work with in Neighborhood Bible Club are pairing off. I attend a young adult group both on Thursday and Sunday night, and it is a strange dynamic at times. There's some people that are there just to grow in their walk with God, and then there are those guys and girls who have one thing on their minds - getting hooked up. I once attended a young adult group where a number of the girls where frustrated because the guys in the group were always trying to get numbers and go on dates. So, I suppose I'm a little gun shy now, fearing that I will offend a girl if I try to ask her out. Friends of mine keep bringing random women to the group, and before much more than a week goes by, these girls seem to start pairing off with guys in the group. It's like how do you even have an opportunity when every potential interest is swept away before you have a chance to open your mouth? On some level, it's frustrating even trying. I've met some girls who appeared to have some interest, and more often than not, they are just being friendly. How's a guy to read these things? I certainly can't. I wish the whole relationship thing could be simpler. Maybe this is extremely selfish, but it was annoying tonight as I continued to get stuck in conversations with guys (not that I wasn't interested, but this seems to happen every week), and hardly had a chance to meet any young ladies.

I wonder sometimes who actually reads this blog. For a while, I kept from addressing certain issues in the blog (ie. the dating issue above) because I didn't want people to see that I really struggled. I've been afraid that some woman was going to read my ramblings and think I was a freak, and make decisions about me before ever getting to know me. I guess there is just so much pressure to be perfect. It seems like women these days want the perfect guy, the man who is always strong...the reality is, I'm an average guy who loves Jesus, and makes a lot of mistakes in the journey. I'm not perfect; I'm not some super hunk nor super saint. I'm just a genuine guy who wants to learn to love a genuine girl. Why is this so difficult? The more you desire to have a relationship, the more it seems wrong, as such things should occur naturally without forced effort. So again, I try to forget that I ever wanted such things, as I once more seek God for a patient heart.

Blog Overhaul

The blog is getting an overhaul!! As you have probably noticed, I've changed the colors and layout. I've also started moving all the old blog entries to a new journal page on website:

After two years of blogging, the blog was getting a bit cluttered and I decided it'd be a good idea to categorize my blog entries. All the newsletters and entries from the "Making of Backstage Pass" will soon have their own page on the journal page at In addition, all the "Behind the Songs" entries have been moved to a new page on the above journal page. I will continue to add new song descriptions as time permits. The last song I dissected was track #7 "Fooled."

Soon, this blog will become a broader journal of my own life experience, although it will still include many entries regarding concerts and musical ventures. Stay tuned.