By Chris Grigg (Woe) Hello once more, Deciblog! Been a while. Not long enough, some would say... but their opinions don't matter. In case you missed the earlier installments of this series, my name is Chris Grigg and I am in a band called Woe. On October 12, Candlelight Records is releasing our new album, Quietly, Undramatically, in the U.S. with the European release following in February. Some drunk at the Deciblog decided that this was reason enough to let me talk or babble or whine (the interpretation is yours) on their fine website, so here I am... again.
It's been two weeks since my last entry in this series and for that, I apologize. What can I say? Things have been busy. This has been one of those things that I planned on doing every night but every night, something else got in the way. Such is life! Tonight, nothing gets in the way. Well, as long as I can focus on this and not Aeon Flux, which my girlfriend is watching. Anyway...
The past few weeks have been extremely busy. Fall is upon us. I'm listening to The Mantle and Jesu's Conqueror almost non-stop in my car, singing along loudly. I recorded two bands: a punky black metal band called The Beyond and a group of techy Philly guys called Dirt Worshipper. I decided (read: was sort of forced thanks to a botched upgrade attempt) to replace my studio workstation, going from an Athlon X2 4400 with 2GB of RAM to an Intel i7-950 with 6GB of tri-channel DDR3 once the stuff arrives in a few days. My studio project is going well. Along with the new system, I upgraded my AD/DA converter thanks to a ridiculous find on Craigslist ($1500 unit for $350? Yes please!) and picked up some new plugins. Sessions are being scheduled for next month already with more pending.
Sanford Parker, eat your heart out.
Recording is what I've always wanted to do. When I was young and my friends wanted to be rock stars, I wanted to own a studio. It's really the only aspiration that's been with me since I was a kid so I'm glad to be able to pursue it on the side like this. The shitty computer was getting in my way and aside from some more tuning to the room itself, having it replaced will put me in a good place.
Even though I've been spending a lot of time (and money... d'oh) on my project studio, my music world is starting to get busier. With the Woe CD release a mere twelve days away, a few new interview requests have rolled in and the band has started preparing for our release shows. Last night was our first practice in a while and it went very well. The set is now about half new, half old, and the new songs sound exactly the way I hoped they would in a live setting. We still need to work on one, a song that happens to be the most challenging and complex of the entire album, but we'll be good for it.
I received word today that the CDs arrived at the label's office. A box was overnighted to me so by this time tomorrow, I will hopefully have the finished product in hand. As you can probably imagine, it's an exciting event. I still remember when the first CD arrived: shipped to my office, two large boxes from Stronghold Records, 200 copies of this album by a band about which nobody could give a shit. I remember wondering how I'd ever be able to get rid of so many copies, feeling so amazed that someone was willing to take a risk and put so much money into releasing my music. It was my first professionally-manufactured CD, the first time any music I'd ever worked on was released by a label. It's kind of funny but I'm still just as amazed that another label is willing to take a chance on my music, still wondering how they'll sell so many copies, whether Woe will actually recoup our expenses. I'm in awe of this whole thing, really.
Tonight was rehearsal for the other band that we do, The Green Evening Requiem. It's the same Woe lineup with Shane and Ben (our new guitarist) swapping positions, Shane on guitar and Ben on bass, Shane handling vocals. We have a show on the 23rd of October so we need to start getting ready too. Complicating things for both bands, Ben leaves for California for ten days on Monday, a work obligation, so we wanted to get these practices in before he hits the road.
It's amazing what a little practice will do for you. I've never been great at any instrument, I usually just get good enough to get the job done but never to a level that really "wows" anyone, never really practice drills or things like that. When it comes to drumming, I used to spend a lot of time playing blast beats to a metronome but that was really necessary for what I was doing and once I got to the point where I could get the job done, I sort of stopped. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I've found myself playing guitar for at least a few minutes every night for the past few weeks and it's made a huge difference in my playing. Even two nights of back-to-back band practice, Woe last night and TGER tonight, sees improvement on the second night. I guess this is one of those, "no shit, dude" things; my opening sentence of this paragraph was meant a bit facetiously but there's still a sliver of truth to the sentiment.
Evan Madden prepares for blasting.
At practice tonight, Shane brought something for me: his copy of the new Decibel, featuring an article on Woe! The issue isn't out yet but Shane has a subscription and, like all ego-maniacs, knew that I was very excited to see the piece. I am, in a word, really-fucking-happy with how it came out. The article is based around a phone conversation/interview I had with the author, Shawn, and he had great things to say about the band and the new album. This is my first appearance in Decibel, so while I know plenty of my friends are going to be all smooth and it's-no-big-deal-I've-been-in-there-a-dozen-times about it, I have to refer back to my earlier statement of surprise that this is actually going on.
There's so much going on, so many things that are interesting to me but probably make for a boring blog entry, and without an editor to tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing, it's up to me to figure out what to include and what to omit. Apologies if this is rambling and dull. Gratitude if you find this at all enlightening. Alas, the month of September is over, so unless the bosses decide to give me one more piece to make up for the one I missed, this will be my last note to you. I'm not really expecting them to grant me that. After all, I was the one who missed the deadline, not them! We will see. I plan on writing occasional blogs on the new Woe website, quietly.woeunholy.com (woeunholy.com also redirects) so if you'd like to keep up with the band, that's a good place to check. I plan on using that space to not only put news updates but also write a bit about the ideas that motivate the project, a bit less of a "today-I-did-this" journal and more of a sounding board for the philosophies that are related but don't translate to song so well.
I started rambling again. I'm going to bed. Thanks again for your time and check out Quietly, Undramatically. It fucking rules.
Woe's Quietly, Undramatically hits unsuspecting stores October 12. Click here to order your "fucking rules" copy.