Hired Gun

Hired Gun is a documentary film about the hired guns in the music industry; sidemen musicians who play on records and live concerts for bigger name artists and singers. Directed by Fran Strine’s Hired Gun, introduces the instrumentalists who’ve played everything from heavy metal to Disney kid-pop, and rarely doing much to capture its subjects’ individual quirks.

Interviews with ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, former Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Dio, Quiet Riot) and Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook, who was not only a sideman for Alice Cooper and Hillary Duff but is also an investor in the film as well. The movie’s interviewees played with acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and Alice Cooper and Billy Joel. Some went from nobodies to headliners abruptly: When Metallica’s bassist Cliff Burton died in 1986, Jason Newsted scraped money together from friends to fly out to audition, was hired for $500 per week and eventually got to join the band. Ted Nugent’s old sideman and vocalist Derek St. Holmes recalls how fans wrongly assumed the star sang lead on hits like “Stranglehold”; others were never even credited on records, trading glory for a paycheck.

The sidemen were usually among the best musicians, masters of their instruments of choice. Of studio perfectionists Steely Dan, one interviewee says, “whether you like that band or not, you know that if [a session musician was] ever on a Steely Dan record, they’re one of the baddest motherf—ers walkin’.” Drummers Kenny Aronoff, Glen Sobel and long time Billy Joel’s band member Liberty Devitto are also part of the documentary. What really got me was the story of Billy Joel’s band members, who were once a very tight family unit and post a major problem when Joel’s manager was discovered to have swindled millions from the singer, he changed and stopped trusting anyone. He would eventually fire most of his band, which led to the guitarist committing suicide.

The documentary features over two dozen musicians, who have worked with some of the biggest artists and bands to have graced the international music scene.

– Liberty Devitto: Drummer (Billy Joel)

– Russell Javors: Guitarist (Billy Joel)

– Jason Hook: Guitarist (Mandy Moore, Alice Cooper, Five Finger Death Punch)

– Kenny Aronoff: Drummer (Elton John, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp)

– Chris Johnson: Drummer (Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Seal)

– John 5: Guitarist (Rob Zombie, Rod Stewart, Marilyn Manson)

– David Foster: Record Producer / Session Musician (Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston)

– John JR Robinson: Drummer (Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Madonna)

– Steve Vai: Guitarist (Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth)

– Rob McNelley: Guitarist (Lady Antebellum, Bob Seger, Dolly Parton)

– Ray Parker JR.: Guitarist (Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Boz Scaggs)

– Jason Newsted: Bassist (Metallica, Gov’t Mule, Ozzy Osbourne)

– Justin Derrico: Guitarist (P!NK, Tina Turner, Beyonce, The Voice TV show)

– Eva Gardner: Bassist (Cher, P!NK, The Mars Volta)

– Mark Schulman: Drummer (Foreigner, Cher, P!NK)

– Glen Sobel: Drummer (Alice Cooper)

– Michael “Fish” Herring: Guitarist (Christina Aguilera, Tupac Shakur, Prince)

– Steve Lukather: Guitarist (Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Toto)

– Derek St. Holmes: Singer and Guitarist (Ted Nugent)

– Rudy Sarzo: Bassist (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake)

– Richard Patrick: Singer and Guitarist (Nine Inch Nails, Filter)

– Phil Buckman: Bassist (Filter, Fuel)

– Brad Gillis: Guitarist (Ozzy Osbourne, Night Ranger)

– Phil X: Guitarist (Bon Jovi, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson)

– Paul Bushnell: Bassist (Katy Perry, Phil Collins, Elton John)

– Greg Upchurch: Drummer (Chris Cornell, 3 Doors Down, Puddle of Mudd)

– Nita Strauss: Guitarist (Alice Cooper)

– Eric Singer: Drummer (Alice Cooper, KISS, Black Sabbath)

– Jay Graydon: Record Producer/Session Musician (Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Benson)

Artists Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and P!NK are also among the interviewees, providing the perspective of the superstars who use the services of Hired Guns, as well as Bob Ezrin (Record Producer for Cooper, Pink Floyd, and KISS), also giving his take.

Watch it, it’s good. I give it an 8 outta 10!

How to Make the Most of Your Time in a Recording Studio

When you finally get the chance to record some of your stuff, it’s a great opportunity to nail down your sound and start handing out demos. Whether you are looking to make it big or you just want to know what your mates think, there is no better way to share music than to share a recording.

But whether you are going old school and burning disks or you are planning to upload music on indiesound, there are a few rules of the recording room you should know. This could be your chance to really put yourself out there, so making the most of this short time is crucial to your success.

Practice Beforehand

If you are in the recording studio, you need to be able to play your music without tripping up or working it out as you go along. For all that some of the best songs have come from improvisation, the time for that has passed and you need to focus your sights on recording, not rehearsing.

Make sure that you know exactly what you are going to do before you even set foot in the studio. Give yourself plenty of time to perfect the music so that you almost don’t have to think for it to come out just as you like. A bit like rehearsing for an exam, the closer to second nature it gets, the better the quality of the sound will be on the recording.

When you are practicing though, don’t just play through. Do pick bits apart and rehearse tiny segments of the music by themselves. This will help to aid the cohesion of the piece so that the hard bits sound just as easy as the basics. In fact, recording yourself on your phone before you get to the recording studio will give you an idea of what you can and can’t get away with!

Figure Out Your Musical Priorities

Because recording studios are expensive to rent, you need to have a game plan in order to make the most of the time you have. Even if you can afford multiple goes to get it right, recording fatigue is a real problem for musicians and what might have started out as a raw expression can quickly fade into an average, over-produced flop.

It can take much longer than you might think to record a single song with some methods even taking hours to achieve – especially if you are dubbing over each instrument and you have a big sound! But even if you aren’t putting a professional album together, you need to leave plenty of time to have a few goes at each song you want to record.

You should also leave some time for warming up. This is really important for everyone because warming up isn’t just about heating your instrument or loosening your vocal cords, it’s also a chance to get used to the room you are playing in. Having a particular warm up song or piece that gets you in the mood is a brilliant hack if scales and intervals aren’t your jam.

Have a Goal in Mind

People use recording studios for all kinds of things from creating a memento to building a first single as a way to promote yourself as a musician. Knowing what you are here for is essential for the process to work.

Kids bands and musical companies often use studios to record an album that can be treasured for years to come. These albums are usually a bit rough and ready because the songs tend to be done in one take, but they are also hugely valuable as they bring a real sense of achievement. When the goal is to have fun in the studio, you need to make sure that this is the top priority and allow the sound to go just a little bit.

However, if you are recording a single to present to a producer, you will definitely have a different attitude altogether. In this case, you need to make sure that you are completely focused on the sound and willing to go again and again until you have what you are looking for. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun (you should!) just that your schedule will be a bit tighter and a lot more intense.

Recording for any reason is always a great experience to have as a musician as the microphone captures exactly what it hears. If you ever want a true glimpse of your musical talent, the studio can be an unforgiving space, but it can also bring the magic to your ears.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: First 11 Songs Listened To In 2019

Every year on January 1st, I post about the first 11 songs that I listen to on my Mp3 player on my system. I pick them at random or like today when I specifically selected a couple of songs because I was thinking about them. This year I picked them on random but on Youtube instead.

  • Master Of Puppets – Metallica
  • Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf
  • I Saw Red – Warrant
  • Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
  • The Flower Song – Tom Keifer
  • In State – Kathleen Edwards
  • Life’s About To Get Good – Shania Twain
  • Say It Isn’t So – Bon Jovi
  • Don’t Tell Me What Love Can Do – Van Halen
  • Holy Diver – Dio
  • It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

RIP Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor

Mike Taylor, keyboardist and vocalist of Canadian band Walk Off the Earth, known as the “Beard Guy,” has died, the band confirmed Sunday. “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor,” the band said in a statement on Twitter. “Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means.”

The band said that he passed away peacefully from natural causes last night while in his sleep. He has left two children.

Walk Off the Earth, from Burlington, Ont., became famous in 2012 after posting a cover of Australian artist Gotye’s Somebody that I Use to Know, with all five bandmates playing the song on a single guitar.

It became one of the most-watched clips on YouTube in 2012 and has since gained over 185 million views since being posted January 6, 2012, with viewers especially taking notice of Taylor on the far right and his stoic appearance. “6 years later, I still want to become as majestic as the beard guy,” one viewer commented eight months ago.

The band had planned on kicking off a world tour with a set at CBC’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Niagara Falls Monday, but a representative for the band said they will no longer be performing tomorrow. The show, which also features The Sheepdogs and Burton Cummings, will still go on.

Promoting Yourself As A Musician

If you are a musician, there are a few things that you will need to be aware of if you are to make the most of it as a lifestyle. As long as you know how to do that, you should be able to make it worthwhile, and that could mean that you really improve your life in a number of distinct ways too. The truth is that it can be very hard to be a musician professionally and make it work, but with the right attitude and approach and a sprinkle of luck, you can find yourself making money and a career out of playing music. One of the major things that you will need to do is to make sure that you are promoting yourself as a musician – something a lot of people find hard to get right. In this article, however, we are going to take a look at this, so that you can hope to get your music career moving in the right direction, and at a speed that suits you.

Understand Your Genre

It is hugely important to make sure that you are aware of your genre and where you fit within it, as this affects the way in which you promote yourself quite a lot. You can think of your genre, in business terms at least, as a kind of branding, and once you understand that bending you can make sure that you are going to be promoting yourself in the right way. If you do not really grasp what genre you play or how it appears to others, you will find it considerably more difficult to really make inroads with your self-promotion, so it is important to make sure not to make that mistake. The more you know your genre, the easier you will find it to promote yourself, so start researching and understanding it from others’ perspectives soon, so you can do that as well as possible.

Make Use Of Free Publicity

If you look around, you can always find opportunities for free publicity, and you should be able to make use of these to enhance and further your attempts at promoting yourself as an artist. Of course, when you are just starting out you will probably find it a real challenge to come across these opportunities, but the more that you look, the more that you will find, and that is the important thing to bear in mind here. It might be that you have found a way to get free soundcloud plays on your account, and so draw attention to your music that way. Or maybe you are just making good use of networking and talking to people, and then people start offering you the chance to publicise your work. However you do it, you will find that such chances appear for you more and more often once you start to look. That will then mean you can expect your career to be much more successful and lucrative than you might have even thought possible.

Play!

One of the most important things you need to be doing is actually playing your music live. If you are not performing, you might still be able to garner some interest in your work, but you will probably find it much more difficult indeed to get the ball rolling short term loans for students uk swiftly. You need to make sure that you are playing your music on a regular basis – and if you are not, you will have to think about what you can do to make up for that. Performance is the best way to get known in your local area and beyond, and it’s enjoyable too. It also helps you to get more in touch with your own music, and that can mean that you start to feel yourself more, which leads generally to more of an ability to promote yourself successfully. The more you play, the more that people will hear you, which is after all exactly what you are looking for here.

Support Others

This kind of thing always works two ways. The more that you support other musicians, the more they are likely to support you in return, so it is actually in your interests to make sure that you are supporting the people out there as much as you can. Get involved in your local music community and support the work of other artists. You will find they reciprocate most of the time, and that is all you need. The other meaning of support here is, of course, to support them on stage, which is also a hugely effective means of promoting your music.

Going Back In Time: Why Vinyl Has Made A Comeback

The association with vinyl is that it is an older generational way of listening to music, or at least it was, until vinyl became hip again. All of a sudden the world has become an increasingly vintage place with retro being the new trend, in fashion, interior design, and music.

Retro is cool, quirky and ultimately the on-trend style, which explains why vinyl is back to being cool again, but is the music actually any good? Back in the day, when vinyl was all there was, the listening quality was unquestioned, because it was all there was, but today that obviously isn’t the case. Luckily, the sound quality of vinyl has improved vastly due to advancements in record players – there are some incredible designs out there now.

Anyhow, the question is: why (aside from fashion) has vinyl made such a successful comeback?

The sound quality

Sound quality is superior. This is down to the way the music is produced, it is what is classed as ‘lossless compression’, which means when the vinyl is pressed nothing is taken away from the audio, it remains the same. Whereas, when a modern-day CD or digital file is produced, it is compressed into mp3 or mp4 which actually takes parts of the media away to compress it and make it smaller, so that it will fit onto mobile devices without taking up too much storage space. What this means is that the music does not play as it was intended to be when it was produced, so when you listen to it on vinyl, as sites like Vinyl Vintage will tell you, you get better audio as there has been nothing taken away.

The modern speakers and equipment is highly advanced

Today, the speakers and equipment that can now be produced to create record players for vinyl is way more advanced in comparison to when vinyls were first around, so you can actually get an even better sound quality with these modern sound systems. With these new record players, you can also connect your media devices to them, whether that be by Bluetooth or aux cable so your not limited to just using vinyl while you build up your collection.

With this ever-increasing use of vinyl there has also been a production of modern vinyl, so you can listen to your favorite modern songs on vinyl as well as via Spotify The fact that record labels are now creating these modern types of vinyl and record players shows how popular this type of retro music listening has become.

It’s easy to see why vinyl has made a comeback; combined with the amazing sound quality that vinyl offers unsecured payday loan and the modern players and speakers created to play records on, vinyl is once again peaking in popularity. It’s hip, it’s stylish, and it’s something unique. Vinyl creates a different vibe to streaming music, it’s about having the record right there in front of you, instead of a cloud system that you can’t see.

RIP Balabhaskar

Noted singer-violinist Balabhaskar who was seriously injured in a car accident last week in Kerala died at a hospital early in Thiruvananthapuram this morning. His two-year-old daughter was killed when the family’s car hit a tree after the driver lost control. He died at around 1 am after a cardiac arrest, hospital sources said. Balabhaskar’s wife Lakshmi and the driver are recovering in hospital. Balabhaskar, 40, and family were returning from a visit to a temple in Thrissur after thanksgiving prayers for their daughter; little Tejaswini Bala was born after 15 years of marriage, according to sources close to the family.

The car rammed a tree on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram around 4.30 am, the police said. The couple’s daughter was declared dead in hospital. The driver is believed to have dozed off and lost control of the vehicle. Balabhaskar was on ventilator support after being seriously injured and had undergone a surgery. His body was taken to Thiruvananthapuram’s University College, his alma mater, where people from all walks of life queued up to pay their last respects. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Issac were among those who reached the college.

The last rites would be held on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram. The musician shot to fame when, as a 17-year-old, he composed music for a Malayalam film and has scored music for several films. A rising musician, he was was known for his stage performances and concerts in and outside Kerala. His fusion music was popular among his fans. Balabhaskar and Lakshmi were students of the same college.