Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy

Oh, the wonderful world of Disney. Apparently Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy were made-for-tv Disney movies that I've never seen. I used to watch Disney all the time and never saw these movies. I first heard about these movies through a fellow bootleg trader back in maybe 2003. He said he made a killing selling DVDs of Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy on eBay. I was interested in what the big deal was so I went on eBay and did a search. People were selling Mr. Boogedy VHS tapes for $30+!! What the fuck?! This movie was never officially released so these people were buying/selling a movie that was taped off TV and with the commercials taken out. I couldn't believe my friend would be making very much $ off of this. I checked out his completed auctions and he was making a killing. I wanted in. Since he made a decent amount already, he let me in on it for a while. All I had to do was buy the DVD from him which had Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy on it. I said "Sure, why not?"

After a few days, I received a DVD-R in the mail with no labels. I popped it in and sure enough it was the Boogedy DVD. I immediately got on eBay and listed a few of these at the Buy It Now price of $35 for the 2 movies on 1 DVD. I let that sit for a while and after a few hours no one was biting. I just continued to wait. I think over the course of that night all 3 of them were sold. That was $105 and all I had to do was copy this DVD and send it to them. So of course I decide to go big and list 10 more. Over the next few days I sold all 10 of them. I was making a fortune and I hadn't even sent out any DVDs yet. My Paypal balance was climbing. I couldn't believe it.

After the 4th day, my Paypal balance was up to over $1700 but I noticed something. Nobody had bought a DVD all day. I log into my eBay account and I couldn't log in. My account was frozen. I had an email waiting for me saying I was selling illegal DVDs and that my account had been frozen. I immediately transferred all the $ into my bank account hoping that Paypal wouldn't take any of it. After a while of trying to get my eBay account reactivated I was informed that my account had been deleted and they didn't even have a record of me ever having an account. Somewhere, someone screwed up. I just sold $1700 worth of stuff on eBay and now all of a sudden there's no record of it. I got an email from one of the buyers saying their $ was refunded and they were asking me why. I checked my bank account and no $ had been taken out. I checked my Paypal and everything was still in tact. I had a $0 balance.

After a while, I started getting emails from other people saying they had gotten a refund for the DVD they purchased. I thought this was pretty strange since none of my $ was being taken. My only guess is that whoever completely deleted my account at eBay wasn't supposed to because without that, they didn't have all the information of who bought the DVDs and who was selling it. But I figure there would be Paypal records with my bank account info and all that and the people sending me $. Neither Paypal, nor eBay took $ out of my bank account or Paypal account. I don't know how these people got their refund or where it came from but it seems like everyone except for eBay made out in the long run. I'll never understand and I'll never question it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Death Before Dishonor guitar tracks - Day 2

So I'm a little late reporting back on my 2nd day of guitars. This entry will probably be a little shorter and I didn't snap many pictures. Frankie and I went to Wendy's again before we went to Jim's. I got a decent meal for $5. Can't beat it. I was full. We head on over to Jim's and get right to work. I think I blew through 2 songs pretty quickly. Next up, I tried to pick a song that seemed pretty easy. Boy was I wrong. Any part where I start with just guitar has been a pain. I just gotta get the timing right. Frankie suggested that he play the part when he did his tracks and I could play the other one. I debated it for a split second but decided I wanted to get it right because I know later on down the road it would get to me that I couldn't play that one part.

We get through that song and blow through a few more. I think we had 8 songs done by 3:30pm. By this time, my fingers are starting to hurt from playing so much. My strings are starting to deaden. Now it was back to Wendy's to get lunch. Got the same meal for $5. 2 Double Stacks, 5-piece nugget and a small drink. Frankie got the same and I spot him on it. He's been picking me up and dropping me off so I owe him.

We get back to the studio and I get through the next song. There's one part in it that's annoying to play and I couldn't play it right. After a while, I managed to play it right once and I won't lie, we cut and pasted that shit anytime it comes back in the song, haha. Finally we got that song out of the way and we had one left. The cover. Jim actually recorded this song way back when and I got through it pretty quickly. Finally we were done and my guitars were done for the day. I was relieved. Like I said earlier, I am not a fan of recording. I am really happy with the way things came together and the way they're sounding. I'm anxious to get it out to people. It's different from the normal DBD that you're used to but it's still got that DBD flavor. I can't explain it. Right now it's only 1 guitar, drums and bass and it sounds badass. Really heavy. I get to go back on Sunday and hear what Frankie's been doing. He's got a lot more to do than I do. I will report back here for those that are interested.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Death Before Dishonor guitar tracks - Day 1

Sooo, I was supposed to start tracking my guitars for our new CD yesterday but we took a little extra time for the bass and it sounds pretty fuckin good so far. It's been a while since I've been in the studio and I must say, it is my least favorite part of being in a band. Don't get me wrong, I like to hear the final product and have new songs to play but just the whole process of it stresses me out. We practiced/rehearsed for a whole month and came up with 11 songs to record. Recording started on Feb 27th, I believe, with Memphis laying down the drums. They sound ridiculous. This was our first time writing/recording with Memphis since he's been in the band and I was pretty psyched on getting these songs recorded.

I wasn't present for any of the drum recording since there was really no use for me there. I stayed in the city and worked cus I knew I'd be taking time off to do guitars. Anyways, next up was the bass. We decided that Frankie would record the bass since he had a lot of ideas for different bass lines and it would just be easier in the long run as far as consistency. We had Rob pick up the bass from Broken Neck Guitar in Boston and bring it to the studio. Of course, something is wrong. The bass was set up for E tuning. We play in Drop B. Useless bass. Rob brings the bass back up to Boston and explains what happened. The guy fixes it and Rob heads back to the studio. What do you know, the bass is right except for the lowest string. It's still in E!! What the fuck?! So now a day of recording is lost and I had Frankie pick up my guitars a couple days beforehand. He goes home and checks them. My main guitar is fine but the backup is wrong too! So we have to bring that back and get it set up AGAIN. What a mess. Because of this, I had to switch my time off which was a pain in the ass. In the end, it worked out. The bass sounds killer. We used a JCM800 guitar head into a Marshall cab. It sounds great.

Today I woke up at 8:45am. Got on the train around 9 to head to Braintree where Frankie was picking me up. We stopped at Wendy's real quick before we went to the studio cus I was starving. We get to the studio and are delayed by a locksmith putting in a new lock. While that happens, we set up the cab and the mics. After a while the locksmith is done and we start trying out sounds. We started with the 6505 using the settings I use live. We tweaked it a little. Brought the gain back and brought back the lows. We tried to incorporate the Tubescreamer but it just wasn't happening. After a little bit we got a basic guitar sound and tried a song out. It was a little rusty at first but I started to get into the groove of things. After a little while longer we get a good sound that Frankie and I both like. But we wanted to try out the Mesa Dual Rectifier as well just to see. We plugged it in and turned it on and got a basic sound out of it. We recorded the same part with both heads and the 6505 prevailed. I start off with the song that Memphis wrote. It's so goddamn catchy. It's one of the longer ones on the new CD but really fun to play. After laying down the skeleton we went back and picked apart each piece of the song. I still haven't fell into the groove but I was gettin' there. After a while we finally got the song done and sounding awesome. After that we did 2 more songs. One of the shortest songs on the album was probably the most pain in the ass song to record. I was getting so frustrated. After a while I nailed it, 3 songs in about 2 hours wasn't bad. Now it was time for a lunch break. Back to Wendy's we go.

Once we got back Jim got the next song up and ready to go. This song has a lot of fast palm-muted picking so I knew it was going to be a bitch to get precise but it's one of my favorites. Again, I laid down the skeleton for the song and then we went back and nitpicked everything. The fast picking was hard but I got it eventually. The guitar sounds so heavy mixed with what we have so far. I'm really happy with how it's sounding so far. While we were doing this song, Bryan showed up. He was really into how everything was sounding. After a while, I finally got the song done and we called it a day. I was really hoping to get this one done and try to do another song but we were spent. Tomorrow will be longer since everything's all set up and ready to go. We played Bryan the other songs and it sounds awesome so far. 4 down, a lot more to go.

Tomorrow we start at 10am. Hopefully, I can get the rest of my tracks done. I'm really psyched on these songs and can't wait for it to actually be out. It's definitely more fast-paced than our last CD. A lot more just straight up and in your face. We also throw in some different flavor as well. I think it will turn a lot of heads into seeing what we're really about. Either way, I just want the damn thing out so we can get back on the road again. I'm going crazy having a job. That's all for now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mini update...

We went to Japan last month. We played 4 shows. One of them was a fest called "Pump Up the Volume". It was our first time in Japan and we were co-headlining this one show with Shai Hulud. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous and didn't know what to expect even though the first 2 shows were amazing. We had the best time and everybody there was just as psyched as we were for us to be there. We started our set and it was super fun and energetic from beginning to end.

This is a video of a part of that set in Kawasaki. I watch it a lot but my favorite part is at 2:50 of the video. This kid climbs up on stage and rocks the fuck out with me. He gave no fucks and air guitar'd and sang along with me. I loved it as you can see by my facial expression shortly after. If you can't have fun and get wild doing your own thing then what the fuck's the point? Cheers to that kid and everyone else that saw us in Japan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We've got no food, we've got no jobs...

Our pets' heads were not falling off. In an earlier entry I told a story about how I left my previous band. I think I mentioned that while I was in California I had thought about moving there since I had no more ties to staying in Massachusetts. I figured I'd go home and get my shit together and save some $ to move to Redondo Beach. After being in Cali for about a week I flew back home to my dad's and tried to form a plan. I didn't have much luck finding a job on the Cape and I had a little money saved up so I could live for a little while. My dad only had a 1-bedroom apartment so me living on his couch wasn't cutting it and he told me I had to get moving. I got some boxes and packed up my stuff and brought it to a friends house where it would stay in his basement for at least a year. I took the rest of my essentials and packed it in my car. I called some friends who were living in Boston in the Mission Hill area and asked if I could stay with them for a little while. They were in the middle of moving but didn't have a problem with it. I was in Boston for a few days before I called my old friend Josh who lived near the Cape and lived in a trailer with 2 other people. I was desperate and had nowhere else to go and he said I could stay there.

The next afternoon I left Boston and headed back to the Cape and to the trailer park where my friend lived. It wasn't the greatest but it was a roof over my head so I wasn't complaining. I slept on a big leather sectional couch. I immediately tried to find a job so I could start saving up for my California move. I got a job delivering pizzas for a place called Pizza Boy. They made these roast beef sandwiches that were phenomenal. The $ was good and I was pretty much in my car all day/night and could listen to music so it was great.

I managed to save a good amount of $ and I had maybe 3 more weeks to go before I could actually get the hell out of there. This was around the time of the annual Skatefest at the Palladium in Worcester. I really wanted to go but was unable to. I found pictures from the show online the day after the show and was looking at pictures from the second stage. I started looking through pics of Death Before Dishonor and noticed that there was no bass player. The bass player was playing guitar and I looked through the rest of the pictures and there's just no bass player. I immediately thought to myself "What the hell happened to their guitar player?". I think I hit up the band right away on Myspace and asked what the deal was and told them I was able to tour and had my own equipment and everything. I got no reply. A few days later, on the B9 board there was an announcement that Death Before Dishonor was looking for a 2nd guitarist. I figured I might as well try. If I didn't HAVE to move, then I wouldn't and just join a band that tours as much as I wanted. I still get no reply from these guys. I emailed the email and explained again. Finally someone got back to me and told me to practice 2 songs and go to Brockton to practice with the band. I got right to it.

Long story short, I ended up practicing with DBD a lot and after a 2 week trial tour became a permanent part of the band. I was able to keep working the pizza job and go on tour whenever I needed. At this point, winter is getting near and the trailer has no heat. This was going to be a problem. I had a tiny heater pointed at me while I slept with 4 blankets on the couch. Sometimes the heater would blow a fuse and all the power in the house would have to be reset. You couldn't turn on the microwave while the heater was on.

A couple months go by and it's cold as shit in this place. No heat. My toes froze every night. The hot water tank was super small since it was a trailer so you had to take quick showers. The floor in the bathroom was deteriorating every day. There was a hole in the floor in the hallway. I'm still working the pizza job. The cable was shut off so we had no TV or internet. I would drive down to the Best Western and sit in the parking lot to use the internet to keep in touch with people. The good thing was we still somewhat had hot water and electricity. January finally comes and we go back on tour for about 6 weeks. When I finally got home from that tour, everything back at the trailer was normal. We had electricity, we had cable, hot water, everything was doing good. Then about 2 days after being home, everything went back to shit. This time everything was off. Luckily this would only last for 2 weeks and I would leave for tour from March - July. These tours would include Canada, Puerto Rico, Europe, Mexico and the United States.

So now it's July in the trailer and we have no electricity, no cable, no internet, no hot water, no nothing. At this point we're getting eviction notices from the park. We haven't paid the park fees in forever and they were getting ready to condemn this trailer. A month and a half into August goes by and we decide to pack up everything and move across town to our friend's trailer. He lives with his father who has heart problems. It's me, my 2 roommates, this dude and his dad living in one trailer. Not the most comfortable thing. We did have a lot of luxuries while we were there since the bills were being paid. I was constantly trying to find a place to live and still working the pizza job. In between all of this I was juggling the job, the band and driving to Long Island every weekend to see Allyson. I just love the long distance thing for some reason, haha.

Finally after a few weeks, our friend's dad had had enough and told us we had to find somewhere else to live. It was the first week of September. I immediately got in my car and started driving. I called an old friend of mine who recently moved back to Cape Cod and he had lived with me a long time ago so I called in a favor. He was able to hook me up with a room in the basement for pretty cheap AND I would only have to pay while I was home. Good deal. Going from a shithole with no electricity or anything at all to a real house on the beach with my own room was a pretty big leap.

After a couple months, I eventually managed to make my way back to Mission Hill. I was staying with friends up there because I had crashed my car on the Cape and didn't want to buy another one. It was easier to get to practice/start tour if I was in the city rather than be on the Cape trying to find a ride somewhere. I had gone back home to the Cape here and there but for the most part stayed in Boston since it was more convenient and it was a lot cheaper. This was in November of '06 and I've been living with these guys ever since.

All in all, it was quite an experience. Getting kicked out of my dad's place, to living in a trailer with literally no utilities, to living in ANOTHER trailer with 5 people to living back on Cape in a real house with my own room to living in Boston on my friend's couch for a couple years makes me wonder how the hell I kept my sanity at all. At the time, it was a struggle but I got through it. The worst part was the summer months in the trailer with no power. I don't know how we did it. You do what you have to do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I do what I can do, when I can do it.

From January til September I was on tour. I've been all over the world and back. Today while I was trying to write some new songs for our new CD I began to reminisce about where I've been. I can't wait to get back out there. Here are just a few videos I found on Youtube.

This first one is from Sofia, Bulgaria. I had never really been to Eastern Europe before and I must say it was very exciting. While our intro was playing I felt a little nervous and as I walked out and saw 400 kids packed in I just knew it would be crazy. From beginning to end the set was pretty wild.

Later on in the tour, we would find ourselves going to Belarus. We were supposed to play 2 shows. The first one was supposed to be in a city called Brest (haha). Anyway, I remember waking up and people had already started loading in the gear upstairs to the club. As soon as everything was up there, we had to bring everything right back down. The show couldn't be held there due to skinheads threatening to shut it down somehow. I'm not really clear on the exact details. So we loaded everything back down and into the trailer. The show had already been moved twice so far. We had one other option and it was a small place in the middle of a park in Brest. We get there and can't bring the bus all the way in so we had to load the equipment through the park and up more stairs into this new club. While we were setting up, everyone who wanted to see the show were pouring into the park waiting outside for the show to start. There were probably about 250 kids waiting outside. The owner of the club decides after a while to pull the plug. Again?! Fuck. Well that was our last shot and we loaded everything back down the stairs and back to the bus. While this was happening, we took pictures, signed CDs, signed posters, etc. We hung out with the kids who never get to see hardcore/punk shows. Even though there was no show, it was quite an experience and I was really excited to just hang out and answer these kids' questions and let them know how much we appreciated them being there to see our tour.

After a while, we packed up and were headed to Minsk, Belarus. We were assured there would be no problems with this show. We get to the club and do our usual. Once doors opened, kids were pouring into the show and I couldn't wait to play. From the time our intro started til the end of the set it was just mayhem. Stagedives, singalongs, kids packed up front, circle pits. It was a hardcore show. To come all this way across the globe and have these kids go off is the best feeling in the world. Some bands I'm sure take that for granted but I never will. This next video is a song from that show.

It's crazy to think I get to see the world because I'm in a band. Most "normal" people working their 9-5 job could only dream of doing it. I get to because I play guitar in a hardcore band. How messed up is that? I thank everyone that allows me to be able to do this. If I wasn't doing this, there's no telling what I'd be doing with my life. Anyway, this next video is from our recent tour with Terror, Trapped Under Ice, Warriors and CDC. It was shot @ the Chain Reaction in Anaheim. I love playing there, I love playing California. I can't wait to go back. It was the last night of the tour after 2 months but only felt like 2 weeks. Thanks to everyone on that tour and everyone that came out. That night in particular will always be burned into my mind.