Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Orchestral Piece - TSHECK IT!

Hey guys,

Check out my new orchestral piece! This one is based on a filmscore type theme (inspired by the work of Hans Zimmer)...probably for an eerie scene that builds up into something epic.

Why is it called Misunderstood? Well, the contrast between the minor, major, and augmented feel in the main chords that roll through the whole song led to that title. Picture a character in a slow motion scene where it portrays him going through a confused state of mind...a righteous / sinister contrast...or even better a benevolent / malevolent contrast...JUST SO I CAN SHAMEFULLY PLUG MY BAND'S NAME [BENEVOLENT] INTO THE DESCRIPTION.

Enough senseless blabber, check it out!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it in the comments section.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Benevolent live at Ratsky 3 Gig Experience

Hey guys!

So it's been an awesome few days, my brothers-in-metal came down from Kuwait and Bahrain to slug out a Benevolent gig and boy was it a great experience.

Our new session drummer Prasad Jayaruwan flew in on Tuesday night, Fadi and I drove down to Sharjah pick him up. It was awesome meeting Prasad, we've been buddies through the interwebs for a while and been talking metal for long enough to finally get to not only meet up but also gig it out together. The cool part was that Prasad and ourselves IMMEDIATELY hit it off with great chemistry and the excitement vibes were all over the place for the gig. We were really psyched to be opening for Nervecell and to be playing in Dubai again!

After picking up Prasad and chilling for a bit, Fadi and I made our way to pick up Sarj (from Sarj's Studio) who came down to be here at our gig and hang out with us! It was great seeing Sarj again and was awesome catching up on geek gear talk with him.

Wednesday night cometh, Fadi, Prasad, and myself went to In The Mix studios for our first official rehearsal (Sarj joined us too, he's the band's babysitter when he's not making us sound awesome). It was such a fun experience playing those songs straight up from the get go with Prasad, it's crazy thinking that this is the very first time we get together as a band (well, half the band that night) and the very second day that we hang out as peeps. CRAZY!

The rehearsal was electric, we all vibed right off of each other and had an absolute blast.

Right after rehearsal, we all went out for dinner and hang out right until it was time for Mohammed Gad and Hisham Khalil to arrive in town. The guys arrived safely, it was great seeing the guys once again. I haven't seen Hisham since leaving Kuwait back in March, but I did see Gad when I was in Lebanon last since he came down to visit.

The next day (Thursday) was when it all got pretty crazy, the very first (and only) pre-show full band rehearsal. The entire gang head over to In The Mix studios once again to prepare for show day. The rehearsal was great! We all prepared for those songs individually as per the album and since we're playing those songs live down to the tick it all just came together neatly. Again, it's pretty crazy that with just one rehearsal we all managed to put it all together for the show!

Show day comes, June 29th, no kidding, it's happening! We were up to an early start, had breakfast together as a band and then went out to buy some last minute things (new picks, spare strings, etc). Right after, we immediately made our way to the venue and arrived around 3:00 pm. The drums were still being setup and we just carried our gear inside and made ourselves comfortable with the location.

We helped the crew setup where we could, hung out, took some videos and photos, looked around the area, warmed up on our instruments, ate again, and what not.

When it was time for us to get onto our soundcheck, we got up on stage and put our pedalboards up (I was using my new POD HD500, which sounded unbelievable! Hands down the best live tone I've ever had...more on this!). Everything was plugged in perfectly and we played The Quantum Paradox at sound check. I was really psyched about how insanely HUGE my tone sounded straight into the mixer, I wasn't plugged into any amp and could hear myself perfectly through the monitors. I only had the new POD for a couple of days before the gig but I've just toyed around with some of the built in presets and downloaded a few tones from the Custom Tone site and with some tweaking I've found the right tone, it just sounded amazing and made me play better!

The guys from Nervecell came into the venue straight from their earlier all ages show while we were going through The Quantum Paradox and hailed us as they walked by. The entire time after getting off stage from sound check we just hung out with these guys (whom if you haven't met, are the nicest most genuine people you could meet), the crew, the band, and just everyone around.

People started coming into the venue and the energy was great! Echoes With Laughter kicked off the show playing a killer set of rock n' roll/metal covers by Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica, some originals, and more! They had a great energy about them on stage and played with great enthusiasm and got everyone going and singing along, awesome band!

We were up next, we got right up on stage and put up all the gear in place and plugged everything in and got our metal faces on. Our setlist for the show was:

  1. Haunting Shores
  2. Purgatory
  3. The Quantum Paradox
  4. The Tyrant
Halfway through our first song, Haunting Shores, I realized that the backing tracks weren't playing through the PA and are only playing through Prasad's in-ears (the backing tracks basically have all the atmospheric stuff that sit in the back, which is important to our full sound and basically would be damaging to play the show without). Right after we finished playing through Haunting Shores, I jumped down to the house board to check on what's going wrong and Barry helped out immediately in solving the problem.

From that point onwards, the show went in a great direction. We all got into our muse and had a blast playing the songs. The 4 songs we played felt like we were up there for no longer than one minute, it all flew by really quickly. I definitely cannot wait for our next outing! It was a great pleasure for us to be performing alongside Nervecell and to have met so many great people and made some new friends at the gig.

Huge thanks to Spellbind Records, Thomsun Pure Music, the organizers (Sary, you the man!), the awesome guys at Nervecell and Echoes With Laughter.

And finally, thank you to all for coming out and I can't wait to see you all soon!

Don't forget to check out our page for more updates on dates and news on the new record at HERE