Current State

So, over the past couple months there has been some internal conflict with the team over philosophical differences. As of now, Nova and Amber have parted ways. I can’t speak for them, but as far as I’m concerned there’s no bad blood. I wish them well and hopefully we can remain friends.

Right now is a new period of figuring things out. I have a lot more free time ahead of me, so I’m going to try and start streaming more regularly. I feel like I’ve said this a lot. I’m in a better place now though. Quarantine has been a bitch and a half for my mental health. But I’m feeling pretty good lately.

The album is coming along nicely. I’ve had a couple small setbacks, rewritten some songs, among other things. Overall though, I should be on schedule to release in early October. For those of you who don’t know it’s called The Happiness Constant. I’ve actually got some album art I put together and have the first single ready.

The Happiness Constant (Concept Art, Not Finalized)

I hope to get back into making videos soon too. I’m just trying not to overwhelm myself and focus on what I can do in my day to day process to move things forward. I think that will be more successful. Anyways, that’s all I have to say for now.

At Long Last

It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve spent the past few months sorting out a plan to move forward. Videos have slowed to a halt, but I have been streaming with the others on Twitch every Sunday for the past few months. I’ve started work on my first LP album, The Happiness Constant. I expect to release it later this year. I’ll get back to posting videos soon enough. The vision I have for A World Without Gods is a content network and online community. I want to share ideas and inspire others, so I’m building a place where everyone can do what inspires them, focus on creating, and be their best selves. The team has come together nicely. It’s just a matter of time now.

The harder part for me is building some income outside of my work at the university. I’ve launched a website for personalized guitar lessons called Summit Guitar. I have some other ideas that I’m tossing around as well. I’m also building my own website for music related work. Mixing, Songwriting, Producing, that sort of stuff. I just need to get my name out there more and start finding jobs.

Triskelion Eclipse

A pretty exciting landmark. I’ve formed an LLC, created a logo, and have put together a plan for all of these projects.

I’m going to try to do better with keeping up on blog updates. There should be some new content here in the near future, so keep an eye out!

Figuring It Out

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time lately trying to develop a process. I don’t use social media much in my personal life, but it’s essentially necessary for gaining any kind of relevancy this day and age. Which I don’t particularly mind.

I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to approach things, but now it’s a matter of following through. I learn a lot through experience. So I’ll just need to start doing it and figure it out as I go. I’m wearing a lot of hats right now. I’m trying not to spread myself thin. All of the necessary upkeep gets in the way of my creative process, so I need to find a balance.

Spent the past few months dealing with life shit and getting back on my feet. So far so good. Made a new friend, I’m teaching him to play drums. In time he will be joining me on my creative ventures. I’d gladly drag everyone I know into the wonderful world of art, but it’s not for everyone. Put up my first video! Vocals are a bit weak, but I’m pretty happy with how the instrumentation turned out. Have the audio work done for the second one, but I’m focused on building some assets for the videos and whatnot this week, so delaying the release a little bit for that.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,

Landon

The Hibernation

So I’ve been absent for a while. I figured the least I could do is put out an update. I’m not sure if anyone follows this yet. But it’s a place to at least gather my thoughts. That being said, it’s winter. A good part of me wanted to come right out of the gate and start kicking ass in the new year. But life didn’t like that idea.

First, I got sick with a terrible cold for about a week. Then my car died on me. Luckily I got that sorted out before all the snow started coming down. It wasn’t cheap, but nothing in life ever is. I was talking with Andrew about it. We agreed that life tends to throw things at you just as you start to catch your stride. It also has a tendency to catch fire at the worst of times.

Life craziness aside, I’ve spent the past few months focused really heavily on self-study and improvement. Had a lot of honest talks with myself. Thought long and hard about what I’ve been prioritizing and what to focus on in the coming months. I’ve laid out a pretty good plan for my creative pursuits, bought some essential gear, and have been continuously learning new things. I’d say it’s time well spent. I’ve been trying not to kick myself too hard over my inaction with A World Without Gods and everything here.

As far as music is concerned, I’ve been practicing piano lately. I purchased Serum and have been playing around with that. I’d like to add synthesis to my repertoire and ultimately my music going forward. I have an 88-Key MIDI controller. I’ve been using my knowledge of theory to build chords and scales, so it makes learning it pretty easy in my mind. Piano is very intuitive. I wanted to get better at it since it’s very helpful to songwriting, having access to all that bass and treble in one place. It’s great.

I think what really gets me is that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of normal life. I find myself building a routine out of my work. Which is fine and all, but it’s getting in the way of my focus on other things. I look forward to the point where I can take time off to focus directly on what I’m trying to do. Until then it’s a delicate balance. I’m also going to be moving in a few months, so I’ve been focusing on that, studying music, and figuring out a social media strategy that will work for me. It gets very little attention most of the time, so I’m trying to work on that.

Went through Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring program and read 12 Rules for Life. I can’t recommend it enough. That guy is one of our generation’s wisest minds. You can find a lot of his stuff on YouTube as well. I have also spent a lot of time in meditation. I always find it very renewing. Been practicing it pretty consistently for years now.

I’m going to end the post here since I feel I’m getting kind of ramble-y. I also posted Part 2 of Inspiration that I had written but forgotten to release. There are a few more in that series coming up as well. Oh, worth noting, since I’m shifting my focus to video and social media I’m not going to hold myself to a schedule for blog posts. I’d still like to update regularly, but it’s less of a priority than my other content (that will take the majority of my focus) for the time being.

I’m thinking about calling my followers Neophytes. It’s A: a cool word and B: a tongue-in-cheek nod towards religion in an atheist context. I appreciate that, no idea if anyone else will though. I had fun coming up with names for my Patreon tiers too. I’ll make a post when I finally go live with all of that. Anyways, that’s all. Ciao.

Inspiration Pt. 2

I left off on the 90’s last article. Instead of going on more about that, just go put on a 90’s playlist. You’ll see what I mean. Pure gold. No nostalgic bias at all. Kid’s these days just don’t get it. “Okay, dad.” (Everyone ever)

So, around my middle school years my family moved into a nice little suburb, our suburb before that was nice too I guess, but our house was bigger here, so upgrade? I had some pretty kick ass neighbors though. This one kid Jacob lived a couple streets down from me, he was a couple years younger than me, but we were decent friends. Sebastian lived across the street from me too. Also a cool guy. We used to sit out in my drive way and play guitar together. Back then I was rocking my Walmart Strat and little 10 Watt. But we always had fun. I remember I was listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers around then.

First song I learned was Smells Like Teen Spirit. Still to this day I think, “It’s amazing how a riff so simple got so big.” But I always say, “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it.” A million people have played the Pop-Punk Progression but every time it’s something different and unique. I’ve never understood why some people find that diminishing (ha, music puns) to its value though. The fact that those four chords resonate so much with us is beautiful if you ask me.

I digress. Living in Texas at the time, we would occasionally get tornado warnings. So the family would cram under our staircase. I always thought it was kind of bullshit. I remember playing Don’t Fear the Reaper just to fuck with everyone. I also really loved Blister in the Sun for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure that’s the only Violent Femmes song I know though.

It was around this time when Guitar Hero and Rock band came about. I used to sink my entire life into those games. I remember the first time I beat a song on expert. Pure dopamine. I was hooked. In all fairness I kicked ass at those games. Looking back I wish I spent more time at that age actually practicing my real guitar. But I don’t regret anything. I learned a lot about rhythm from those games and got to listen to all sorts of amazing music.

Next I’ll get into my teenage years. There’s plenty to talk about. Until then, stay awesome.

YouTube

So I’ve got my YouTube channel up. Right now it’s just hosting the songs from Permanent Press. But this will be the main hub for long form content, behind the scenes videos, and just random shorts and ideas I’ve been coming up with. I’m working on a welcome video today and figuring out an upload schedule that I can adhere to. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on my releases. Thanks! (Video should go live @ 12 PM EST)

Suicide Sunday

I put this track first because of its importance to me. I’ve had my own struggles with depression and I know many others do too. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our lives. Routine, stress, let downs, and negativity. They’re all normal parts of life. Yet, somehow they always manage to capture our attention the best.

So I tried to draw a contrast between these warring states of mind between the verses and the chorus. To illustrate the melancholy of daily life being fought by the truth that we so blindly ignore. The world around us is amazing. Life is something to be cherished. Something to be celebrated. Yet our very society has constructed our prison of thought. What we have is somehow never enough.

We live in a world that is constantly telling us we aren’t good enough. That we don’t have enough. Idolizing celebrities and painting this picture of lives that we will never have. Yet we chase them, day in day out. It’s hubris. We never accept things as they are. We have this internal bias to fixate on what we don’t have. Setting conditions for our own happiness.

It’s a choice though. Every day you can either see the world full of obstacles you may never overcome or choose to see it for what it is. An endless expanse. Full of opportunity. Full of wonder. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes.

Prayer

O’ Muse

May I prove worthy of your inspiration

As I write, Let your song sustain me

And my passion flow

Let me see beyond myself

Grant me freedom from fear and apathy

Above all let me find purpose in my pain

So that I might create something worthy of your favor

And give meaning to my sacrifice

So, I’ve always been a big fan of mythology and fantasy. Ironic I name my band A World Without Gods and begin my first album with a prayer. But I’ve always enjoyed the idea of the muses. They are considered the source of knowledge in all art. It makes me think of Homer’s The Odyssey. It was common practice to invoke the muses before poetry, hymns, or epics. So I figured, if I’m going to make it big, I better ask some goddesses for help. In all seriousness, I think of it more as a mantra to guide me through my journey as an artist.

Once I had the words together I put down some nice atmospheric synth chords. Then I copied those same chords to a cello section and noodled around with the violins ending on a tense fifth into my wall of sound guitars. Honestly probably could have taken that tension right into starting Suicide Sunday, but I decided on a guitar solo instead. Because, well… I was having fun and that’s how it ended up.

I figured it would be interesting to give some insight in to my thinking for the songs I’ve written. So this is the first of many posts about the songs on Permanent Press.

The Walk

So that was my first winter walk of the season. It’s here early this year. I’d best describe it as an enlightening experience. I’m the highest I’ve been in years. Wandering and pondering. It’s primordial in a way. Mankind has always traveled and thought.

But it’s an Ypsi suburb and it’s 30 out. Lots of traffic for whatever reason. It’s still early enough that leaves are still around. But we’re already getting snow every night. Anyways, stage is set. You never really think about the cold until you’re in it. You can feel your body acclimate to the climate.

Walks always get me thinking about the journey. Life. I’ve been in Michigan for a few years now. Got depressed, got meds. Eventually felt stable again. But it’s been formative. You learn to love yourself after a while. At least, as best as possible. I find great peace in creating. Music is something I refuse to let go of. Passion. Purpose. That’s the good shit.

So, a good friend of mine told me everyone needs to fight for something. Got me thinking about history. Mankind has fought for generations. We always find something. It’s necessary to evolve our way of thought. Even this day an age we have people with some very archaic worldviews. Racism, violence, crime. Those are only symptoms of greater problems. We’re oppressed. The millennial generation knows it and a lot of us are getting sick of the way things are.

We have to make that difference. It is the legacy of our people. The message we will pass on to futures ahead. But we will never share that unless we fight. Now I’m not sitting here calling for all out anarchy. Though I can see why one would feel that way. We have to spread the ideas. We are the greatest creators of human kind. We are the bleeding edge. In this digital age, we are the majority.

I’m not here to vilify the 1% but let’s be honest. Corporations have done plenty of fucked up shit. We don’t have to stand for that. But if nobody spreads that message, it’s lost in the chaff. Painted over by advertisements and porn. Our lives are comfortable. Fighting is hard. But spreading ideas? That’s easy mode right there. We do it daily. Just memes and whatever other internet content we consume. It’s modern civilization’s TV.

I digress. Sharing thought is what matters to me. So, that’s what I’ll spend my life doing. I expect it’s going to be a grind just like anything else. But the internet is an amazing place to exist these days. There’s a lot of means for creators to engage with people. I prefer writing. So that’s why I do this. I think of it like shouting into the void. Eventually the void should shout back or something. I don’t know. Nobody knows what they’re doing. Myself included. But, I’ll be damned if I don’t spend my time doing what I love.

Optimistic Nihilism. I dig it. Let’s have fun.

Thanks,

Landon

Edit: Oh and for the love of uh… anything, subscribe, repost, follow me on social media. Help me do my thing and I’ll help you do yours. This is a community. Let’s talk. Thanks again.

PS: #awwgods is kind of adorable. I like it. Have to have a hashtag for shit right?

Inspiration Pt. 4

To start things off I’ll talk about an idea I had going forward. I’ll start curating playlists. Post what I’m listening to, talk about it. I’ll call it Now Listening. Catchy right? I’m hoping at some point people will realize that I don’t take myself very seriously. I don’t really care to staple emojis and LOLs everywhere though.

So, for many years I worked a dead end job at a dying retailer selling office supplies. Luckily I lived with many awesome people through those years. Our living room was like sanctuary. We had all our computers set up there. We’d sit around, do shots, smoke weed, and just have fun. You know, living the dream. I’ve always been the most musical of my friends. Towards the end of that I had actually started making music. My older work is still up on Soundcloud. I’ve come a long way as an artist.

Anyways, I really settled into the assorted metal, post-hardcore, and prog sort of stuff. I’d like to give a shout out to Between the Buried and Me. They are seriously talented guys. Their music has come a long way throughout the years. I’m not really sure when it happened. But I slowly started moving more into the pop-punk realm of things.

I’d actually say I blame A Day to Remember. Common Courtesy is one of my favorite albums. It’s a pop-punk gem for sure. Also a big fan of Periphery. As of writing this they’re working on a new album (P4) and I am stoked. Saw them live in Dallas with Protest the Hero. Worth noting, their album Kezia is another one of my all-time favorites. It’s a concept album that follows a woman’s execution from multiple perspectives.

Of course, I listened to a lot of other stuff as well Lamb of God, Coheed & Cambria, Baroness, Opeth, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, Slipknot. All great artists in their own ways. During these years I also listened to a lot of electronic music. We had a favorite Pandora station called “Chill Wubs” built around Ronald Jenkees. Also, The Glitch Mob, Yellow Claw, Purity Ring, Pendulum, and last but certainly not least Girl Talk. Those are the few that come to mind immediately. I also really like the band Destroyer. Sounds intimidating right? Super chill. I haven’t heard most of their discography, I started on Kaputt (2011) when I had discovered them.

That puts us basically up to date. I’ll talk more about what I’m listening to currently and over the past couple years in some following updates. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this.

Thanks,

Landon