Songs Are Like Poems, So Here's a Poem

*AUDRA* says:

I've always enjoyed writing. I remember from a very young age writing poems before I even started writing songs. I don't know if they were any good, but that doesn't much matter. It was more about the release. I still write poems to this day. Some situations call for a song and some call for a poem. And in some truly rare cases a situation calls for both. As most of you know, we released a song last year called "Lightning." There was also a big budget music video released for it as well. What you may not know is that "Lightning" was inspired by a real life experience. It wasn't mine. It was one I witnessed between a close friend and a very attractive man. It was a crazy ride and I wasn't even on it! So this is that rare case with a situation inspired more than a song, but also a poem.

--

Never Again
 
I’ll never believe in love again. 
Nope, never. 
If you’ve seen what I’ve seen, you’d feel the same. 
Two people bound by destiny, yet destine to be apart. 
Love shared for mere hours, but a branding on the heart. 
A passion that wakes the soul and opens the senses. 
Seeing love like that, for the first time, through others glances. 
I’ll never believe in love again. 
How can I? 
It’s not meant to send you spiraling. 
Down the rabbit hole you go. 
You’re left
Euphoric
But Lost
Suddenly unwinding. 
I’ll never believe in love again. 
Well, I guess, maybe I will. 
Seeing lovers strike like lightning
What hope it can instill! 
Peace, but agony, to know the touch of the one from the touch of others. 
An unearthly experience to carry through time. 
Worth it just to fleetingly grasp it
To taste it
To relive
Breathe. 
In. 
Out. 
I’ll always believe in love. 

He Has Entered The Twilight Zone

Chaser Eight says:

We are so excited to announce the final piece of our Chaser Eight puzzle. We have searched high and low for the perfect fit and we finally found him. Ladies and gentlemen please join us in welcoming our new drummer, Eliav Nachmani. This year is going to be insane. We are getting ready to share so many amazing things with you and we are so glad to have Brennan, our new bassist, and Eliav along for the journey.

Been Lost Dreaming

*AUDRA* says:

On January 27th, 2017 we released our second Naked collection, Been Lost Dreaming. Naked for us means something completely different than it does for most people. Playing off the album art cover from our full length LP, Chaser Eight, we decided to call all our acoustic versions of songs Naked. See, the LP had a picture of a naked side boob on the cover. And when you combine that with people calling acoustic versions of songs the  "stripped down version,'' BOOM, you get Chaser Eight Naked. Our first Naked collection featured four songs from the LP. This Naked collection features three brand new songs.

We are especially excited to release this collection because not only are these songs brand new for our listeners, but we also recorded and produced the entire collection ourselves in our home studio. That's right. After working through the arrangement of the songs and nailing down the ideas, the talented Pat Walsh put on his engineer/producer hat and took to his DAW to bring you what you hear today. So these songs are emotional and have an emotional connection to us.

So we really hope you'll take a listen to the three songs by clicking this link: Been Lost Dreaming

And then you can buy them here: ChaserEight.com or iTunes

Been Lost Dreaming Album Art by Haley Warren

Been Lost Dreaming Album Art by Haley Warren

Bill, I Love You So, I Always Will

Chaser Eight says:

It's the end of an era. Our beloved bassist and friend, Billy Wang, has decided to move on from Chaser Eight and start a life without a bass in his hands. It comes as a great shock to Pat and *AUDRA* as they have been playing in a band with Billy since they were 15 years old. We love Billy very much and wish him all the best in the future. And he better make it to some shows too!

But with the passing of one, comes the joining of another. Everyone please help us in giving our new bassist, Brennan DiLernia, a HUGE Chaser Eight welcome. He is in for one crazy ride and we have a feeling he's going to fit right in. 

Bye, Bill! Hi, Brennan!

The Spinal Tap Problem

*AUDRA* says:

We would like to welcome our newest member and newest friend to Chaser Eight, Dennis DeMorro a.k.a. Double D! Full disclosure, he has been a part of the band since April, but we've been so busy gigging that we haven't had the chance to officially announce him on the site.

As time goes on and we roll on, band members will come and go. And, as it seems in this band, much like Spinal Tap we keep losing our drummers to things like spontaneous combustion or choking on vomit that isn't theirs. Shit happens. But we hope we get to keep this gem for a long time because not only is he an amazing drummer, he's a damn cool guy to hang out with as well.

So all you Crazy 8s out in the world do us a huge favor and warmly welcome Double D to the Chaser Eight Family!

Pat's Pick - You and I by Jeff Buckley

Pat says:

Posthumous releases can sometimes be dicey. There can be a tendency for surviving friends and family to scrounge up the artist's every last recording and release them all at full price. Recording quality and artistic merit can thus vary widely.

No artist exemplifies this better than Jeff Buckley, the singer-songwriter who accidentally drowned in 1997. It seems that every few years a new collection of undiscovered demos, covers or musical sketches is found and released as a “long lost” album. The latest iteration is You and I which features a mix of all of the above.

Despite some questions I have about the motivations behind releasing this material, ultimately I enjoy listening to these tunes. The recordings feature sudden starts and stops, spontaneous A Capella sections and other quirky little gems. At one point in “Dream of You and I” Buckley stops to talk about a dream he recently had. The recordings are charming and very intimate, which suits his voice quite well.

I have to wonder what Jeff Buckley himself would think of this though. Based on his small sample of studio recordings it seems he was quite a perfectionist. Would he really want to charge full price for some of these sketches? Would he even want to release some of these songs when they are full of mistakes? We will probably never know. In the meantime, I will listen again to his cover of “Just Like a Woman.”

Jeff Buckley playing "Just Like a Woman"

Inside The Ears of Bill

Billy says:

What I've been listening to-

Megadeth - Dystopia

The band released their 15th album this past January and is the first since 2004 and 2007 to not feature their longtime drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick. Interestingly enough, the two announced their departure last November and formed a new band altogether. Nonetheless, the album is a fiercely aggressive album with tons of riffs and some might say that it's a return to form by the band after their last album Super Collider. Boosted by killer tracks like Lying in State, The Threat Is Real and Fatal Illusion, the album hosts some atypical tracks you wouldn't normally associate with the band. Tracks like the sole instrumental track Conquer or Die! features plenty of acoustic guitars from new guitarist Kiko Loureiro then rips into a full-blown metal barrage. A very solid album by the band overall.

Dream Theater - The Astonishing

There's a lot of music to listen to with Dream Theater's 13th album The Astonishing; it may even be too much for one single play through all at once. With over a little two hours of material, the band's second concept album features a wide range of styles matched by masterful song writing by guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess with strong lead vocals by James LaBrie. Considering the storyline and the need for many different characters, LaBrie plowed through and delivered a great performance. Songs like Three Days, The Path That Divides and Moment of Betrayal are some of the standout tracks. It will definitely take a few more listens by me to get the full experience.

Trivium - Silence in the Snow

I'm not that big of a fan for screaming/harsh vocals so to hear that Trivium finally did an album without any harsh vocals certainly stirred my interest. Released in October 2015, this album is the band's seventh release. It seems like the band is trying to move away from their traditional niche sound and more towards a deliberate, "popular" sound that was usually devoid from their previous releases. The title track, Blind Leading the Blind and The Ghost That's Haunting You still have crunching riffs but at a more relaxed pace.

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

After five years from their last album, Iron Maiden released their 16th and first double album back in September. The original release date and subsequent tour were delayed so singer Bruce Dickinson can recuperate from a small battle of cancer but the band is currently on tour supporting the album. Not straying from the band's signature post-2000 sound, the album has plenty of songs that herald as "classic" Maiden including Speed of Light, the title track and The Red and the Black. The album's last track runs at slightly over 18 minutes and can be referred to as a cinematic powerhouse. Another standout track is Tears of a Clown, whom bassist Steve Harris wrote it about Robin Williams' depression and suicide in 2014. The album is great by Maiden's standards and I think it's amazing that Dickinson did his vocals before receiving his cancer treatment.

Go Placidly Amid the Noise and Haste, Peeps

Aaron says:

Change. I don't remember where I saw or heard it, but someone said, "the only thing that does not change is change itself." And it's true in every aspect of our universe. The seasons change, the times change, our bodies change, our minds change, and even our lives. And if you actually think about it many things have changed since you started reading this.

Some things change for the better and some things for the worse. The only thing we can do is be aware that things are indeed changing.  And if we have any control over it, we can try to make things change for the better. Unfortunately, we don't always have that control. So to shield ourselves in those times I think it is best to strengthen our inner spirit to help guide us through those changes. I'd like to share something that has helped me change my paradigm about life. Take from it what you will. And with this new season coming in I hope it can help change you for the better as spring brings new growth and new life.
 

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. 

© Max Ehrmann 1927 

Faring Thee Well Now, Colonel

*AUDRA* says:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our 6th member and former manager, Colonel Doug Grabowski. He was not only a great leader and guiding force for this band, he was a friend. Life will never be the same without him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Colonel, this band wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for you and your vision. You always believed in us and we will take your memory on every journey.

On a personal note, Doug was more than just a manger to me. He was someone I called my best friend for a very long time. I spoke to him everyday, all day. He molded me into the businesswoman I am today. Without his guidance I wouldn't be half the friend or musician I am now. Losing him is something I will feel for the rest of my life and will think about everyday. DGrab, I love you.

May the four winds blow you safely home. Rest easy, my friend. We love you.

It's Alive! Leveraging Technology In Our Live Sound

Pat says:

Some rock artists shun technology.  For instance, the iconic Jack White has said “Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth” and he clearly has made decisions in his career that reflect that opinion.

I must confess that I disagree. Certainly it’s true that If technology is used as a crutch to prop up untalented artists then it can have a detrimental effect on art and culture. But that need not be the case. If technology is used to enhance already good music then it can be an asset. Currently our band is trying to add two technological elements to our live sound:

1)     We have been incorporating prerecorded tracks – synths, strings and backup vocals – into our live sound. These are things we have already written and played (or our collaborator Phil Mann has written and played) and are simply added to the mix as we play through the songs during a show. We just don’t have the resources to have additional personnel on stage and this is an inexpensive way to help fill out our sound. I use my laptop and a Presonus interface to send the tracks into the house speakers.

2)     We are going to start using a Roland TM-2 drum module machine to transform our drum kit from purely an acoustic drum kit into a “hybrid kit”. By hybrid I mean that the audience hears both the original playing of our drummer Kyle as well as electronic drum hits on top of his playing. Electronic triggers are placed on the snare and kick drum and when the drum is struck it triggers the module to send an additional electronic hit to the speakers. This helps boost the punch and volume of the drums. It can also help the drums complement each particular song more – a more electronic song can have an 808 kind of vibe or a very dark song can have distorted, aggressive sounds.

Why are we going to the trouble of doing this? Firstly, it creates a more exciting, more dynamic experience for the audience. It provides a fuller sound inexpensively and we aren’t required to add more personnel to do it. Secondly, I think competitive pressure pushes us into making these decisions. If audiences are going to see bigger rock bands (or pop or EDM artists for that matter) then they set the level of quality they experience as an expectation for future concerts that they go to. As a smaller band we can't allow the gap between us and larger bands to be extremely wide in terms of sound quality and sonic detail.

In the end what really matters is how good our music is and how well we perform it – the technology is just used to enhance the music. If  this gear all crashes on us in the middle of a set then we would keep playing the tunes as normal (and some, less perceptive people may not even notice :) ). I am always looking for new ways to incorporate technology so keep on the lookout for more!

Pictures of Gear:

1) Drum Trigger Module

2) Gear For Backup Tracks

For The Love Of Phil Collins

Kyle (the drummer) says:

Hello Crazy 8s!

Firstly, let me say, I’m proud and happy to be on board this wild ride that is the Chaser Eight train. These guys (and gal) are some great musicians, and even more so, great people to be around. I’m lucky to have found them and even luckier to now call them new friends.

So what should my first blog be about? I know; Phil Collins. Why Phil Collins you ask? Well, he answers many generic questions about my life as a musician and why I chose this path as a career. A perfect segue into my introduction to all our fans.

Who is your main musical influence: Phil.

Why did you get into drumming: Phil.

Why did you get into music: Phil.

Why did you decide to go to college for music: Phil.

The first record I ever heard as a young lad was Genesis’ We Can’t Dance album (Phil’s first band). It happened completely on accident when a CD fell off a shelf at my parents’ house and I asked them what it was. I was five years old at the time and had no idea what this compact disc thing was. My parents put the CD on the boombox and I sat there watching this disc spin around and around while hearing these intense, full, rich, complicated sounds coming from fingers and voices of the group Genesis. As the time went on I believe I got used to this sound and slowly craved it. When I was old enough to decide that I wanted to get my own cassette tape, I asked my parents for Genesis. From there on out, I was hooked with this sound of Progressive Rock and Genesis. I soon got deeper into the careers of the band members (Phil, Peter Gabriel, etc.) and there was no turning back.

I started watching concert footage of Genesis and fell in love with watching Phil behind the drums. The power and force that he effortlessly had when he sat down behind a drumkit was something that I didn’t hear or see anywhere else. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to figure out how. By age seven I had my first piano lesson and since then have learned most of the Genesis songbook. I got my first pair of drumsticks and began slamming away on pillows along with Phil on all the concert videos I owned. I never took a drum lesson in my life. I taught myself completely from watching Phil Collins. His mannerisms, his approach, his playing style. It’s something I’m very proud of. And the best part was, he’s a lefty just like me!

Elementary and High School came and went quickly, I played in jazz bands and orchestras throughout my years there, both good and horrendous. When it was time for college I didn’t want to do anything other than music. I ended up with a Bachelors Degree in Music and studied at Berklee College of Music and Western Connecticut State University. I majored in piano and organ and minored in classic guitar.

Fast forward to 2015. Chaser Eight reached out to me. I listened to a few of their tracks, could hear that there was something there. Something good. I knew I needed to explore this and give this a shot. Within a few days I was on the phone with Audra and we had a plan. I went down to an audition and hung with everyone and there seemed to be an instant chemistry between all of us both musically and emotionally. I’m happy to be on board with everyone and I look forward to meeting you all along the road!

CHEERS!

Farewell To Pete

Chaser Eight says:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce our longtime drummer, Pete Giannini, has decided to move on from Chaser Eight to pursue other things. We love Pete and will miss him dearly and wish him luck in all he does. But we are excited to announce that we now have Kyle Davis on drums and he is an excellent new addition to the Chaser Eight crew! Everyone welcome Kyle! Let's do it!

School Days: Billy Gives It A Grade, Again

Billy says:

Earlier this year, I rambled on about some musician books I've read so here's part two. I'm definitely open to more suggestions too.

Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica: Author Joel McIver wrote this comprehensive account of metal band Metallica. I liked how he covered the band members' history before they all joined Metallica and how he portrayed Metallica's up rise with how the music landscape was changing and evolving throughout the 80s and 90s. The book is incredibly detailed yet the book is structured where there's no direct dialogue between the band and the author; all of the facts are recounted through established interviews with other media outlets and secondhand accounts to people close to the band. Lastly, the author gives his own opinions on the band's albums. He hated Load/ReLoad and spends numerous chapters crushing those albums. Now, I'm all about opinions, but devoting that large of a portion of the book to that subject wasn't warranted.

Grade: C+

Watch You Bleed: The Sage of Guns N' Roses: The first 300+ pages of the book are devoted to the band's history from the early 80s to its demise around 1994. It's very detailed but the last 25 pages cover the band and its former members from after 1994 to around 2009. Granted GNR wasn't as prevalent during those years as it was from the 80s and early 90s, but dedicating those few pages to that large amount of years was kind of disheartening. Much like many other band biographies, there are no direct interviews with band members in this book. While the author had 13 people interviewed for the book for details, they asked to remain anonymous, thus the book doesn't have that direct appeal or personality.

Grade: C

Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction: This book is unique in a way where it solely focuses on the time before and during the band making their debut album Appetite for Destruction. There are tons of pictures and behind-the-scenes photos of the band during that time and it gives the book that personal feeling. Marc Canter, personal friend of the band during the early days, compiled the book together and framed the book by detailing all of the gigs and venues the band did leading up to making their debut album. Canter even listed all of the set lists the band did and you can clearly see when and where the band debut all of the songs that would eventually land on Appetite. Details like that made this book very interesting to read.

Grade: B+

An Oral/Visual History by The Red Hot Chili Peppers: The band collaborated with author Brendan Mullen by giving their own accounts of the band's 20+ year history. There were even interviews from past members of the band which provided that extra little detail to the topics. In addition, there are tons of photos throughout the book that give a different outlook that other books tend to be missing. The structure of the book is a little confusing since it just jumps around from subject to subject. The titles of each "chapter" are taken from a song by RHCP so it’s unclear on what's about to be presented. Nonetheless, the book is very informative and expressed new facts that I previously didn't know.

Grade: B

Transformers Or Just The Two of Us

Aaron says:

So I was watching one of my favorite movies, Transformers, and I got to thinking about when I was a child. I always thought it would be cool to transform into something else and adapt to the situations at hand. I used to run around in the woods, grab anything I can find, and pretend that I was battling the enemy. Then reality set in. Even though I am still a child at heart and can act childish at times, I have had a recent and huge transformation, from a renter to a homeowner. Although it may seem like an adult transformation, I realized it allows me to be more like a child. I have my own place, I can do what I want, and I can build whatever I want. And in that lies the childlike qualities. I have a huge garage that I can build/fix things in. I have a great big backyard that I plan to build tree houses to play in and around. There will be zip lines, rope swings, and secret hiding places. All of these things and more will adorn my property. I know that sounds childish and yup, it is. Yet still I know I have to be responsible i.e. paying the mortgage, making sure all the bills are paid on time, and all the domestic engineering is being done. Although, I still have a chance to transform back into a child every once a while. I know this is not a typical topic anyone would think of while watching the Transformers now or as a child, but it definitely got me thinking. Back then in the woods as a kid, was a time when my imagination got the better of me and I had nothing else to worry about in life. My imagination still runs wild but I have more knowledge of the world and the way that it works. Being able to transform into the things you desire can be literal or figurative. I believe as long as you don't lose those childlike qualities you can always transform into whatever suits your mood and your lifestyle. So whatever life may bring you, whatever responsibilities you may have, always let your inner child be a part of who you are and don't scold them when you think something is silly or out of reach. Just find your secret hiding place, sit down, and have a chat with them. You may be pleasantly surprised with what the two of you conjure up.

What's Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It

*AUDRA* says:

As a relatively young band we've encountered and created a substantial amount of success in the few years we've been together. Of course, we've made our share (and then some) of mistakes, but here are some items I would like to share about things we have done that have worked really well that I think you will appreciate. 

1.        We trust, love, and respect each other. I've been very lucky that I've been playing and creating music with my best friend and guitarist Pat since we have been 10. My bassist, since 18. My drummer and keyboardist have been with us for 2 years, and we're family. Trust, love, and respect are the foundations upon our success. It's special, and something we don't take for granted. Without these three items, we'd be unable to accomplish anything. It may sound trite, but we encounter so many bands that are seemingly thrown together, or share the goal of money. It never works. Unless you live 24x7 for your music, your band, your career, and have people alongside doing the same thing, it never works. 

2.        We've invested heavily in ourselves. We have invested substantial sums of our time and our own money into Chaser Eight. We practice every Tuesday and Friday for several hours. New songs, live set, recording (check out Pat's CD Baby blog on the topic at http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2013/08/5-tips-to-improve-your-home-recordings-right-away/). We're always doing something. On weeks we have a show, we practice on Thursday and do several run-throughs of the set we are going to play. We have self-recorded three EPs, and our fourth was a HUGE studio  production. We're always working on improvement. We just don't show up and play. It's a well-rehearsed performance.  

3.        We have people that believe in us. The first time I met someone outside of my immediate circle of family and friends that said he believed in me, my world changed. Here was someone who believed in me! And he invested in us. Many people have invested in us, and we're incredibly humbled by their support. Their belief in us helps propel us forward.

4.        We network. We're our own #1 fans. We have invested heavily in social media. I think that the days of someone buying a concept album like Dark Side of the Moon and getting a group of friends together and listening to, and more importantly, discuss, the album are gone. Today, we are competing with single tracks for $.99 and thousands of other things to do on a night than go see a live show. To embrace this reality, we have marketed to our fans directly: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, internet radio, blogs, and word of mouth. We've promoted posts and tweets with our own money. We've invested in a PR agency, which has produced tremendous dividends for us. We have engaged a manager to control everything but our music, so we can focus where we need to. Everyone we meet knows who we are, gets a band business card, and is incentivized to connect with us online (special free tracks, content, etc.). We have built our site out extensively, and have many new items in the works, too. 

5.        We say NO. Perhaps the most overlooked thought is to say NO. We adhere to a very specific gig schedule to accommodate many event locations and promoters with whom we speak. We want to leave our audience wanting more. We don't want to play three nights a week, not because we don't want to play, but because we can't draw and engage our audience. This way, we aren't over-exposed, and we are able to give our existing fans, our new fans, and people interested in us a great product.

These five items are just a few of what's worked well for us. I could tell you them all, but I want to leave you wanting more…

Order Up: The Album is Done! Now What?

Pat says:

Every artist that has finished making an album knows that feeling. It comes when you finally hold up the finished record and let a sense of pride and joy just wash over you. All of the months of hard work have finally materialized into this tangible, beautiful object. But after that wave of emotion finally passes a thought usually creeps in. “So what do I do with this thing?

All musicians want to promote their album as well as possible to make sure that fans get a chance to hear it. Our band is in this very predicament at this moment. I’ve really learned over the past several weeks is that once the album is done the real hard work begins. With more albums than ever being released it requires way more effort on the part of the artist to have an effective album promotional campaign. Here are some things that we have been doing and that every band should be doing after they release an album:

·        Network. Network. Network. Nothing can replace going out to as many concerts and festivals as possible and connecting with musicians, journalists, venue owners and potential fans. Tell everyone about your band and your new album and let them know where they can hear it. Hand out as many business cards as possible and always accept them from other people. We also make little gig cards to hand out to people to let them know about upcoming shows.

·        Partner with a PR Agency. It is essential to make sure you partner with someone in the PR industry with real contacts so that your music can be heard by the right bloggers, concert promoters, college radio station directors, and other key contacts. PR firms can also help get the kind of gigs and festival slots that you would not otherwise be able to obtain. We’ve had the good fortune of working with Effective Immediately and we are already reaping some rewards.

·        Swap Gigs With Bands From Other Cities. The image of a band hopping in a van or bus and trekking around the country to play as many gigs as possible in support of an album is a familiar one. It’s definitely important to get out there and play in order to promote your new album and let people hear your tunes. But a slightly better approach is to research bands in other cities on the internet, find the ones that are drawing big crowds and are within your genre, and then offer to swap gigs with them. Let them know that you can draw in your home city and that if they let your band open for them in their hometown, you will return the favor down the road. It doesn't make sense to drive from say New York to Boston just to play in front of 10 people and be grouped with bands outside your genre. Why not partner with a band who has fans that might be interested in your band and can draw a crowd?

·        Host a Release Party or Album Release Concert. It’s a good opportunity to build up buzz and also to give yourself a chance to sell some albums and recoup some of the album production costs. We are in the especially unique and fun position to be hosting 2 Release Parties (The First one took place during a blizzard so we decided to do another!).

·      Create Supplemental Content. You need to keep the buzz rolling after the album is done and one good way to do that is to keep coming out with supplemental content. Things like lyric videos, an official music video, and acoustic versions of the songs. All of it needs to tie back to the album and drive people to check it out.

Hope this is helpful!

Feed Your Head: Inside the Mind of Pete

Pete says: 

So what is it? What are we doing? Where are we going? We've all got so many questions and no many answers in sight. At least not the ones we want to hear. 

Over the years life’s little curve balls can take their toll that's for sure. The defining decisions you'll have to face that can make or break you. The passion and desire that motivates and drives can sometimes feel like a burden and be discouraging. Do you always push for more or occasionally settle for what is given to you? It’s easy to end up in that grey area and feel no solution in sight. The question is how to get out of it. All of our ideas will differ. Things that seem so close can still be so far from your grasp and yet something else is right in front of you and you'll pass right by it. Most would probably think watching life pass you by is a waste. Go out and grab it, take what's yours. Live every day like it’s your last. We've all heard the clichés, but do we all have that inner strength to live with such drive day after day? When do you know enough is enough and it’s time to move on?

Just some of life's random thoughts and questions that rattle around in my head. 

Let's See Who Passed My Test...

Billy says:

Some quick reviews of musician books I've read over the years. I'm always on the lookout for suggestions too!

Slash (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, and solo career): Very detailed orientated account of the guitarist's life and career. He talked about the formation of Guns N' Roses, his reasons on why GNR broke up, his various solo projects during and after GNR's demise, his marriage, his drug addictions and recovery and the formation of Velvet Revolver. I really enjoyed the immense detail behind his song writing and other tidbits, like what guitars he used for which songs. Other than some grammar errors, the book is highly recommended.

Grade: A-

Scar Tissue (Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers): The book talked about Kiedis' life starting from his birth all the way to around 2004. The book delves heavily into Kiedis' various battles of drug addiction and is very detailed about his thinking and opinions during those times. I did enjoy his explanations behind many of the lyrics for various RHCP songs but like his lyrics, his explanations and phrasing of words could be confusing. 

Grade: B

Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir (Dave Mustaine of Megadeth): As the first lead guitarist for Metallica to his entire career with Megadeth, Mustaine doesn't miss a beat with this book offering. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed because I felt it focused too much on his personal life and his new found outlook on religion. Being the front man of a massive metal band, I thought Mustaine would go into way more detail of his music career but he only offered a few details regarding each of the band's albums; so much for the subtitle of "Heavy Metal Memoir".

Grade: C

It's So Easy: and other Lies (Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses, Loaded, and Velvet Revolver): McKagan is one of the bassists that had a huge influence on my bass playing so this book was very high on my anticipation list. Fortunately, the book delivered and is highly recommended. He goes into heavy detail of the bands he's been in over the years, the background of his musical upbringings and his recovery from alcohol addiction. The last half of the book explained his new outlook of living a healthy lifestyle along with pursuing business ventures and martial arts. Articulate guy and the book content are very comprehensive.

Grade: A

I Am Ozzy (Ozzy Osbourne): It's a gigantic narrative of the singer's career and it does take a little while to get used to his rambling and "distinct" manner of speaking. But after that, his stories are hilarious, enlightening, interesting, weird, and bizarre. The book has its charm but the subject matter can twist and turn at a drop of a hat. 

Grade: B

Lifting Shadows: The Authorized Biography of Dream Theater: The book is a very large and thorough account of Dream Theater's 25+ year lifespan starting from its humble beginnings of three guys from Berklee's College of Music. Its layout is told through mostly quotes from the band members extracted from interviews and statements so it's not a firsthand experience. I really enjoyed the chronicles of the band's career and the book presented many previously unknown facts about the band to me. The only detraction is the author inserts his own personal opinions on other bands and Dream Theater's catalog and his perspective is a little ridiculous.

Grade: A-

My Life with Deth (David Ellefson of Megadeth): When you think of Megadeth, one could think of just front man Dave Mustaine but there has been another person in the band since the beginning and that's bassist Ellefson. I liked the book because he doesn't mention Mustaine a lot and instead talks about the band from his own point of view. He delves into his lows of addiction but also highs of his success, staying sober and finding religion. Like Mustaine's book, he does talk a lot about religion and I respect that but sometimes that subject is not for everyone. Still, it's very recommended.

Grade: B

Simply The Best...Better Than All The Rest

Aaron says:

One thing I've learned in my days on this Earth is that you should never take what you think you know for granted. We all have our talents and aptitudes, but thinking you don’t have to exercise them can leave you short of your full potential. For instance, I've been playing guitar for quite some time, and although I don’t consider myself any sort of virtuoso, I can hold a tune, write a riff, and throw lead down when the time comes. I've been playing with Chaser Eight now for over a year now and have been willingly challenged by the caliber of its creators. Throughout that time, I learned all the songs that I need to know in order to play with the band. Pat and *AUDRA* are great. They write the complete songs then bring them to the rest of the band with all the parts lined up. They also allow some creative input on the individual parts, but for the most part they already have it worked out. We typically practice as a group at least twice a week and a few of us get together for some other smaller creative sessions. It's great to be surrounded by talented and creative musicians. There are certain challenges and standards that need to be considered, but all in all its a rewarding experience. 

Now, getting back to the what you think you know part. I know our songs, I know my parts and we practice all the relative material pretty much every week. We all have our moments and have bad days, but when you want to be at your highest potential, you need to make those bad days good and those wavering moments sparse. Sure, I practice on my own, but when it's go time and I don’t feel I played my best or I didn't live up to my highest potential, I need to practice more. I want to be the best I can be and a little more than that even. I know not to take any of my skill for granted, but it happens. Then there are the moments that remind me and that's when I buckle down and forge on. 

Now that's just one example of not taking things for granted, but it also should encompass all that we do. Another for instance, my day job. For all that don’t know, I am a professional commercial truck driver (yeah the big rigs). I've been doing that for many years as well. Now not to make any of the two topics seem more important than the other, but if I take my driving skills for granted then "Oops, sorry, you're dead." 80,000 lbs of death can happen in an instance. Like I said before, taking these skill for granted can leave you short of your full potential. And I'm sure most of you don’t want me running you down. So in that regard I'm always alert and ready to realize and use the skills I've attained to be the best at what I can do. There are little reminders all over our lives that can realign us to remember that we can always do better. We can and should, always be thankful and aware of our potential. And try our best to live it to the highest levels. So live it up. Keep on trying to find that higher ground. And no matter how good you think you are at something and how much you know. Please don’t take it for granted. We can always get better.

Unicorn Chaser (Eight)

*AUDRA* says:

Catching a unicorn. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Well unless you know exactly what I mean or what I am feeling you don’t know that it is the most plaguing feeling on the planet. It’s like a curse to those who know it. What is a unicorn? It’s going after a dream that is so huge that only a small percentage of people actually make it to the big time. Musicians, writers, actors, professional athletes; the list of the elite can go on, but that’s the very point, it’s an elite list. You have to be elite in some way, shape, or form to make it. And when you do, you are forever a part of the elite. You know something people that didn’t make it don’t know. You have tasted the forbidden fruit. You have caught your unicorn.

Often times wish I were normal. And I don’t mean normal in a negative way. I mean it in the way that I wish I had an obtainable and realistic goal. I wish it was my life’s ambition to be a teacher. Teachers are a tremendously important part of life. They are knowledge bearers that feed our youth to become the next knowledge bearers or healers. It’s amazing. And if you study hard enough and read the right books and pass all the tests, your dreams of becoming a teacher will come true. Your dreams of becoming a doctor will come true. Your dream of becoming a (fill in the blank) will come true. Unfortunately, that is not true for the unicorn chasers. It doesn’t matter how much we study or learn. Without talent, luck, and opportunity we could be left chasing forever. And it’s a chase that kills us.

For me, there is no backup plan. There is no “what happens if this doesn’t work out?” This is my dream. My life. My body and my soul yearn for this. How can you give up something that lives inside of you everyday? Unless you’re in the business of unicorn chasing, do you really even understand this life? Do you understand what it feels like to want something so much, but never quite having it in your reach? And it’s completely out of your control. Sure, you can practice and be the best you possibly can, but what if that’s not good enough? Or what if you were born with the wrong stroke of luck? I ask again, do you understand my life?

Listen, I’m happy for people that can be happy and fulfilled being married and parents and successful in their jobs. I’m even happy for the people that don’t want any of that and just want to live their lives. It’s just not me. It’s not a unicorn chaser. I want to be a wife and mother, but there is nothing I want more than to stand on a stage for the rest of my life and have people hear my music and sing my lyrics. Being a wife and mother or successful at my job is not what drives me. It’s not what lives inside of me. I die inside every time I have to sit at a desk or learn a new job. Not because I don’t enjoy it. I’m actually very good at finances and have had many fortunate positions over the years. I was even making fantastic money at one point. And it was great, but at the end of the day I felt like a sellout. I felt like someone who had sold my soul for the comfort of a good job with good money and good benefits. I wasn’t me. The unicorn chaser had turned into the chaser of an animal I could actually catch.

I’m happy to say I’ve found my way and I’m back to chasing my unicorn. It didn’t take much for me to get back on track. Honestly, when you feel a calling with such great passion as I do, it’s a constant voice screaming in your head not easily ignored. And after all these years of chasing my unicorn I have learn two things: Unicorn chasers are the most hopelessly romantic people on the planet. We have the ability to dream beyond reality and envision a life that may be out of our grasp. And even though it may be out of our grasp we never stop chasing it.  And that I am a successful and famous musician already because I will never give up on this dream. So many try and fail and the difference between them and me is that 10th time they fell, they stayed down. I will always get up the 11th time. Always. Until I no longer fall a 10th time. Until I am my dream and I’ve caught my unicorn.