Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Inspires You?

Hey guys,

I think one of the most important things about being an artist/musician is knowing what triggers your creative juices and makes you want to unleash some awesome wrath (In case of metal heads) to the universe (Also known as the internet!).

It really is all about being inspired and getting that urge to create something new. This NEW something could be picking up certain vibes that a song reverberates, a feel that a movie gives, or a story that you come across. The very interesting thing about inspiration and using that drive to create new ideas is that the perception in which we enjoy music/other forms of art and the way they move us is different from one person to the other. When two different people look at the same painting, they both may admire it and even get inspired by it BUT that doesn’t mean that they are looking at the very same parts of the paintings, or that they have been moved in the same direction by the art.

I met a jazz musician back in 2006, I was talking scales, modes, and jazz movements with him trying to get some questions answered from a true pro, and he said something that has changed my view towards the concept of inspiration up until this very day; he said “I’ve created my original style of playing and composing by trying to copy my favorite musicians”. Once I’ve placed that sentence in terms of technique, playing style, compositional style, production, and overall sound, it all just made sense because when you’re feeding off the inspiration of your favorite musicians/artists/authors/etc is when the true genius in you comes out.

So what inspires ME personally?

Here’s what gets my creative juices flowing (with specific examples):

1.       Live concert videos

I wrote the song “Haunting Shores” immediately after watching Arch Enemy’s “Tyrant of the Rising Sun” concert DVD. I just couldn’t not write music after watching such an intense, intricate, and raw live performance.

2.       Performing live / Going to live shows

Watching Zygnema’s live set at Metal Asylum Festival 2011, and performing up on stage just got me so inspired. I remember going to bed at 5 am after the show and waking up at 8 am, starting up my laptop and getting right to writing a new song! Hats off to all the other bands from the show!

3.       Behind the scenes footage of bands (preparing for shows / on the road / etc)

I guess this just boils down to seeing the vibe and psych that bands are in once on the road and with their game faces on.

4.       Drums playthroughs

Watching videos of really technical and groovy drummers on YouTube really just sets me into the groove to riff up some ideas! A lot of the times when I write music it all just starts with the drum beat, whether it is a fast beat, a triplet gallop one, or a polyrhythm, the drums are usually the first to be placed into the DAW

5.       Horror movies

Due to the fact that I enjoy working with so much background textures and haunting sound effects, horror movies really do set me in the right direction for that!

6.       Guitar playthroughs

This one is pretty basic since I’m a guitarist mainly. Though I find myself uninspired by virtuoso playing (Though I truly appreciate virtuoso players and have been driven by them through my years of playing), due to several reasons, I am more into watching videos of songs with very interesting structures and rhythmic phrases, that stuff is unreal!

Alright folks, I’m off for now! More yapping soon!


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