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.

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

Inspiration Pt. 3

High school was great. Sexual tension and social anxiety. Ah, the formative years. I’ve always been kinda nerdy and weird. I used to have really long hair, wore mostly black, and didn’t give a single fuck. Played tons of video games. Started on console at a young age, but eventually evolved to the PC Master Race. Took a year of piano before getting uprooted from my friends at the end of my junior year. Got to graduate in the great state of Oklahoma. Took music theory in school there. I didn’t really appreciate that knowledge until I got older. But it helped immensely in my understanding of music.

It was in these years where I really delved into metal. Iron Maiden has always been a favorite of mine. Followed by System of a Down and Nine Inch Nails. I listened to Disturbed, Bullet for my Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, and My Chemical Romance. Oh yeah, all that scene music really. I was just talking to a friend recently about Paramore. Hayley Williams was bae for sure. Around that time I really started getting into metalcore, deathcore, hardcore punk. If it had a core, I probably loved it.

I remember seeing iwrestledabearonce live. That show was nuts. It was before their original singer departed. I think she got pregnant or something? I always loved their wacky energy though. Went to an Oceano show once. It was pretty crazy. There’s something about moshing that’s just cathartic. It’s like everyone is both simultaneously trying to kill each other, but also keep everyone alive. It’s fun if you’re not afraid of injury. Thinking back, I didn’t really start going to shows until I had moved out though.

I also went through an explorative period. Listened to a lot of indie. Then went through a trance phase. Parents loved that one. Constant four on the floor kick at all hours. Eventually moved on to drum and bass, then at some point dubstep and trap. The techno kind, not the rap kind. Never been huge on Hip-Hop/R&B. Not that I dislike it, I’m just not really called to it. Though I do think it’d be fun to write some rap verses. Might give that a go sometime.

I’ve been more and more interested in adding synths in to my work. I’ll probably test the waters with that on this next album. That’s all for this post. Up next I’ll get into my adulthood and more of the music I’m listening to these days.

Inspiration Pt. 1

The other day I thought I’d sit down and talk about all the music I’ve listened to or appreciated throughout the years. I know it’s a long list, so we’ll just start from the beginning and go from there. The first song I can remember ever liking was “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Segar. I remember dancing around the house to it when I was like probably 5 or so.

I grew up when cassettes still existed and CDs were just getting popular. It still blows my mind to think I live to see the advent of the iPod. More on that later. I remember my dad had a cassette of Metallica’s black album that I listened to a lot when I was younger. My mom listened to a lot of 80’s pop and arena rock sort of stuff. So I was always around stuff like Prince, Madonna, Journey, and Whitesnake. My dad was a Motley Crue fan too. So plenty of “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” growing up.

I didn’t really explore a lot of the classics until I was older. But I still have a spot in my heart for Black Sabbath, Boston, Queen, Rush, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Guns and Roses. To name a few. Every once in a while when I’m feeling particularly nostalgic I go back and listen to some of the top hits. But I typically stick to newer artists when I’m listening these days.

Of course, being born in 1992, there was tons of great stuff getting radio play through my childhood too. One that stands out the most is Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind. It’s my favorite song about crystal meth. I always picture some studio executive with that look of, “Wait, what?” when he heard the lyrics. But I remember a lot of other good stuff from these times, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead. The list goes on and I know there are tons that I haven’t mentioned. But all of that stuff, I grew up with it, of course I love it.

I’m realizing now how much I will probably write about all of this. I may even dedicate an entire post to the 90’s alone. So I’m going to turn this into a short series. I know nobody has the attention span to read more than 140 characters these days. I like writing since I can just sit and listen to music while I type. Feels natural. Anyways, until next time.

What’s Next

As of right now I am trying to start building a community. I’m not exactly sure what that even entails at this point. But I’ll just keep talking and hopefully at some point people will start to listen. I really enjoy writing either way. So it’s not much of a concern. Once I released Permanent Press I made my next goal to develop a presence on social media and start networking over the course of the next few years.

Musically I’m always coming up with stuff. I’ll probably start making some smaller videos with some of them. But a lot have been piling up for ideas on my next album. I’m thinking I’ll call it Hidden Sunrise. I like the ring of that. It should be a full length record. I would also like to find myself some other band members so I can tour with my music.

I’m also in the process of figuring out the overall image or “brand” if you will for my musical venture. I’ve got some thoughts in mind for a new website header and should carry over a lot of that to the social media realm as well. I plan on getting a YouTube channel up at some point that I’ll use for video blogs, behind the scenes, and just general nonsense probably, knowing me.

Beyond that, I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting a live music stream for a while now. I really think it would be a great way to collaborate with other musicians both locally and abroad. But at this point it’s one thing at a time. I’m still working a day job to pay my bills at this point. Should probably set up a Patreon at some point too…

I’ve got all sorts of ideas. But at this point I’m just taking it one day at a time. There’s so much work to do. But I’m pretty happy to do it.

Who I Am

Musician, Mentor, Lover.

These are the three words I use to describe myself. My name is Landon and I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember. It comes naturally to me. I am always growing as an artist. There’s certainly a lot to learn, but I love it. So the work is always worth it. I am full of ideas and can’t wait to explore them.

I’ve lived in Michigan for a few years now. I grew up in Texas, lived in Oklahoma for a while. Though I have great friends in both of those places, I’ve always felt a bit odd for the culture there. Then again, I basically live on the internet anyways. Just now getting into social media, but I’ve been lurking since the early days of 4chan. End result, I’m kind of eccentric, but surprisingly social for someone who grew up online.

Free-spirited and adventurous. Typically more than people are ready for. Wisdom and Charisma haven’t failed me yet. I’m what you’d call a Protagonist. Definitely the chillest person I know. I care about those I keep close and live to share my experience with the world. Most importantly, I love to have fun. Life should be lived smiling as much as you can.

Been playing guitar for over a decade now. But at this point I dabble with just about any instrument I can get my hands on. Been building my mixing skills and working on my voice over the course of this last year. Grew up around a lot of 80’s music, pop and metal alike. I could go on forever about bands that have inspired me or what I’m listening to now. My tastes are pretty eclectic, but I always come back to pop-punk, post-hardcore, and prog. Then again, I’ll get on random coffeehouse or techno kicks. I’ve got a soft spot for Taylor Swift’s newer stuff too. The production is seriously on point. I also enjoy ambient and post-rock.

That’s about all I can come up with right now. Feel free to ask questions. I’m always open to conversation.

Thanks,

Landon