|Bad for Good|
June 10, 2021
I named this chapter after a Jim Steinman song (Song can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jujSbje7pZA )
So I'm still at the hospital, I guess I'm still not well. It hasn't metastasized anywhere, so I'm thankful for that. I'm fighting a war on multiple fronts even while I'm resting, it's sort of headache inducing. I want to relax and listen to music, but I'm busy. One of my friends is constantly on the verge of throwing away more than he's ever had. I'm constantly yelling at him as emotional support and motivation. I'm always these back and fourths like "Mina I'm sorry I'm not as strong as you. I can't stand up to everything making me sad" and I rebuke with "YOU CAN'T LET THE NEGATIVITY OUTLAST YOU! YOU NEED TO FIND THE STRENGTH WTHIN YOU TO STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK AGAINST IT!" and he responds with "I don't have any strength." and I yell "LIFE IS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT! STAY SHUT OUT IF YOU NEED, JUST PERSERVERE AND GROW AND GATHER THE STRENGTH TO STAND UP TO IT WHILE YOU DEVELOP INTO A BETTER YOU!" and it's just exhausting. I have six octave vocal range and using it for such purposes is a waste.
I'm always telling myself "I'm not going to give music another shot" "I'm not good enough". "I can't handle the ruthless music industry", "I've tried twice and failed why would I succeed a third time?. I have so many song ideas and lyric ideas bouncing in my head I'm always jotting down lyrics in a notepad when I get ideas. Normally when I get a song idea I go into my home studio and record it as a brief instrumental idea. Like a guitar riff or a solo, etc. However I have nothing like that in my hospital room. So I'm just going "Da na na na na" making weird noises to emulate guitar riffs I hear in my head. Or I making squely noises with my mouth to simulate a solo. I'm recording all of this onto my phone and I intend to work them out with real instruments when I get home. Further developing lyrics is something I find myself doing here too. When it comes to lyric writing people point out artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, etc as greatest writers of all time. However I feel Jim Steinman doesn't get enough credit. The guy is a genius lyricist and an amazing song writer, writing these big operatic over the top rock songs with a grand presentation. He was probably the biggest influence on my song writing, him and Ronnie James Dio. I've probably recorded hundreds of songs all backed up onto a hard drive, all different genres. I have lots of AOR, Neo Classical metal, power metal, punk rock, rockabilly, progressive rock, pop rock, jazz and just generally a big selection. I know more than 40 instruments and it's a crime to know that many instruments and commit yourself to just heavy metal and play exclusively metal. In my band I had Stardust on violin, I did that because I had her play violin in a John Wetton tribute band I sang in back in high-school. Lots of his material with King Crimson and UK had violin. Though I got the idea to invite her to my latest band last year because I was listening to a Megadeth album called "Risk". On the album there is a song called "Insomnia" and it has prominent use of electric violin, and I thought to myself "Why don't more metal bands use electric violin?". So I asked her to come over and lay some electric violin over some songs I had and it sounded really good. Also having my best friend in the band was cool.
Everybody in the band was influenced heavily in style by someone. It's something we all have in common. Cosmo was influenced on the keyboards by Keith Emerson, someone he downright worshipped, with Rick Wakeman also influencing his playing style. It's evident in the 14 keyboards he brings on stage, playing long keyboard solos and switching which one he uses at blinding speeds during the said solos. Stardust was heavily influenced on violin by Lindsey Stirling, who is actually a currently relevant artist. I bought Lindsey's new album: Artemis just to see why Stardust loved her so much and it's interesting. Lindsey mixes dubstep, electronic dance and classical in a weird way, making the violin as the lead instrument guiding said elements. I'm definitely going to have to check her music out again. The drummer Callisto wanted to learn the drums because he saw a Cindy Blackman drum solo online and was blown away. Seeing a fellow African/American woman on drums really made her want to commit. This was before Callisto changed his gender pronouns to male pronouns. My bass player Creaty (Only member to not have a space themed stage name) was influenced by John Deacon of Queen. Umbriel was mainly influenced by Ritchie Kotzen and Steve Vai, he likes the more technical side of guitar playing. Where as on guitar
I'm mostly influenced by Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert, Chris Impellitteri (Chris actually gave me a lesson) and in when I was playing guitar in highschool I worshipped and wanted to play like Yngwie Malmsteen. If you recognized those first two or three names you may be able to figure I like the more speedy styles of guitar playing. However when it comes to vocals there are two people that come to mind. If you're thinking I'm about to say Graham Bonnet just because we're friends than you're wrong. John Wetton (Also a big influence on me as a bass player) and Donna Summer. John is someone I've been listening to for my whole life both in and out of Asia. I know Ron Bumblefoot isn't a good fit for Asia and that sooner or later the guitarist/vocalist position will be open. That's when I approach with the fact that I know every Asia song like the back of my hand and am a skilled guitarist and vocalist. If that doesn't work too bad for me I guess. Anyways back on topic; John is freaking legend. In the child heroes journal I will probably never finish I dedicated the first entry to him. His voice on the records aren't autotuned or anything, he just sings with his natural voice. It's not particularly impressive with a high range, but it's how natural his singing voice sounds. it's imperfections and roughness makes it seem natural, and when it's augmented in the choruses of the songs it's just multiple vocal tracks layered over each other, giving it a sense of power and a yet it doesn't feel forced. Donna Summer as a vocalist was my other main influence. Sure I can belt out the Halford like screams with ease, but it's vocalists like Donna that I really appreciate. Someone who just sings in a small variety of registers, and sounds simple yet effective. I could listen to her chant out the phone book, that's how much I love her voice. And I've seen her live, she is a hell of a singer live. I know I normally credit vocalists like Dio or Don Dokken as big influences, but Voices like John and Donna that are just pleasant on the ears are the kind I want to try to sing with the most.
I always thought music united people in a way nothing else ever could. If you've read any notes on my fitness and such in previous chapters you know I am a big muscular and tall person. I had a boyfriend break up with me because I intimidated him and he wanted a relationship with a girl he was bigger than or could impress. So I seem like an intimidating person. A few months ago I went out to run errands in a Ramones shirt, I had some Bluetooth over ear headphones on listening to them to that day too. (If you haven't heard "Howling at the Moon" I beg you to stop reading and listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFh4_Xj5z7o ) So anyways I go to the grocery store and like five people tell me the shirt is nice or said they also like the Ramones. (this was the same day I met Shannon, who also complimented my shirt) So an hour later I'm at the bank and it's a soul crushing experience in line standing six feet apart from the other people in line. A guy compliments the Ramones shirt. I finally get to counter and I want to deposit some money. The women compliments my Ramones shirt once she took the money I wanted to deposit. I go to a local store that sold CDs because I wanted to buy the new Stryper and Deep Purple albums. most of the people in the store who notice me complimented my shirt. I go to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription and I got complimented for the shirt. It just kept happening. No matter how different I am from everyone else I had a connection with so many people that day all just because we all liked the Ramones. Similarly when you go to a concert you may not know anybody there, but all of you at least like the band to some degree and are all there to see said band play live. a mutual love for a band or artist is just something most people have in common that I feel gets overlooked. Such has lead to some of my longest lasting friendships. For awhile I used to say "make music not war", because of exactly what I mentioned above