Monthly Archives: September 2012

Why We Profess Such Intense Hatred Towards Bad Music

Everyone is entitled to their own preference and opinion, but there is a unique level of disdain that takes place when someone displays their hatred towards a specific style of music. We’ve all had a moment in life when a horrible song crosses our ears, and suddenly our blood begins to boil. When we hear something that strikes us as profoundly irritating, it suddenly becomes our mission to clearly articulate why this music is so vile. There aren’t many aspects of society that we can all relate to on the same page, but there is an obvious similarity when reacting to bad music.

The P Word

Pop music is beloved by some and despised by most, but what exactly makes it so excruciating to hear? Well to start, music fans have a tendency to adhere towards rebellion, and popular music is an easy starting point to rebel against. Other genres like hip-hop or even country have a certain soul to the music where people can identify with their own emotions. Pop music is the exact opposite, and is strictly marketed for making lots of money. Once the all mighty dollar becomes your inspiration, things like lyrics and melody tend to lose focus.

Getting Better With Age

When you’re young the mind resembles a sponge soaking in any and all information around it, and this is particularly crucial in building ones personal taste in music. Typically a young music fan will lean towards whatever is popular or current in their favorite genre at the time. This is a great starting point as it usually opens up new doors into the past where older bands get discovered for the first time. Some people thought that over time bands like The Doors or Led Zeppelin wouldn’t last, but talent is talent and good song writing will always stand the test of time.

You Get What You Put In

Music fans are extremely devoted and intelligent people who can spot dishonesty from a mile away. So when you have an artist who pursues a career in music solely for the purpose of getting rich and famous, fans will pick up on this immediately and the artist will become nothing more than an expendable commodity. This explains why bands like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones had such longevity, because their music was saturated with honesty and integrity. When you build music based on truth it becomes something pure that people can respect, and something that can endure any time period despite what trends may stand in its way.

How Does This Equate to Hatred?

Music has always been a form of personal therapy for people throughout history, and just as if you were to visit a licensed therapist, you seek credibility. The same aspect reigns true with music, and fans will not accept someone who appears disingenuous. So when a band comes along that plays pre-processed pop music that we have all heard before, and sings lyrics with no particular meaning beyond trying to be catchy, its almost like a personal insult to our integrity as music fans. As if the musicians in question think we are idiots who would actually swallow the garbage they are trying to force feed right down our throats.

Its difficult to keep bad music at bay in a time where record companies believe in quantity over quality, but thankfully there are more and more independent artists rising up to show record companies they aren’t needed anymore. Your average independent musician will embrace transparency, and open up to the world with no remorse. However, a phony artist will stick out like a snake in the grass, and its important to call them out for it. As fans, its crucial for us to continue weeding out the fakes so that the music we love can hold on to its integrity throughout the future.

When and Why I Started Playing Each Instrument

I was never strong with academics, and it was easy to tell where my attention was focused just by glancing at a report card of mine. Outside of school the only activities I ever showed interest in was drawing, martial arts, and music. I started at a very young age playing alto saxophone, and soon after devoted my creative life to percussion. As I got older there were more opportunities to learn other instruments, and each one was essential in building a foundation which would later give birth to Autumns Eyes.


I started playing around third grade, and I can remember my music teacher giving lessons in the gym storage closet since there was no official band room at the time. It was a dark room with a single snare drum surrounded by rubber kick balls and soccer nets. I practiced on a daily basis, and when it came time for High School I had to make a decision on whether to join football or pursue the drum line in marching band. Thankfully I made the decision to stick with music, and honing my skills in percussion provided a strong rhythmic background to start learning other instruments from.


It wasn’t that I was getting bored with drums, I just sought out a bigger challenge musically by attempting to learn guitar. My brother and several of my friends were guitar players so I was lucky to have enough reference around me when I needed it. Since most of my time behind the drum kit was spent learning Mike Portnoy’s parts for Dream Theater songs, I used the same blueprint for learning guitar. Not long after I picked up the guitar was when I received a four track recorder as a gift, which soon became the starting point for Autumns Eyes.


Lots of guitar players, myself included at one point, are extremely cocky towards bass players. They assume bass is nothing more than a downgraded version of the guitar, and would be simple to master overnight. I had a similar mindset when it came to recording bass parts for the first couple songs I wrote, but soon found that bass was much more than just mimicking what the guitar was doing. My brother in law, who is also a musician, was the one who inspired me to check out bass players who used their fingers instead of picks. This opened up a whole new level of respect towards the craft, and from that moment on gave me enough reason to learn without a pick while focusing on what best suited the songs backbone.


Growing up I can recall my mother casually playing piano in the house, and even dabbling with the flute at times. I messed around with keys from a young age, but had nothing more than very basic melodies in my tiny bag of tricks. For the most part I was self taught, but there were times where my mother would show me basic chords and arrangements. After learning guitar, I came back to the keys with a creative revelation. Everything seemed much more connected, and I quickly picked up the ability to write parts that complimented each other.


Lets get something straight, I am not a singer by any means. Just because I can spew out some words with tone in them doesn’t put me in the same category as one who has talent in this field and practices every day. I approached singing with a mild anxiety since it wasn’t something I could pick up and hold in my hands. The notes were inside of me, and I needed to figure out how to spit them out without sounding too much like a jackass. Screaming over heavy metal songs proved to be much more challenging than singing in key, and took an enormous amount of time to find my own voice in that department. At first I was throwing all I had into the screaming which would end up destroying my vocal chords in a short period of time. It wasn’t until later in my recording career when I started practicing endurance techniques that would train my voice to last longer without serious damage.

The one aspect I love more than any other about being a musician, is the constant progression and ever expansive environment to learn new techniques. It never gets stale, and Im always making time to explore uncharted areas. As Ive stated numerous times, I don’t consider myself a virtuoso in any of these fields by any means. I hold so much respect for musicians who devote their life to learning one of these instruments alone, and mastering every aspect of it over time. Hopefully one day Im lucky enough to find a few of these devoted musicians who would be interested in taking Autumns Eyes to the stage with me.

How BC Rich Became My Weapon of Choice

Im a big fan of todays music industry and the almost limitless amount of options one has to create music, but there are a few areas where my devotion holds true to one specific product. A lot of players prefer to explore different sounds they can achieve by switching guitars every now and then, and there are others such as myself who utilize one guitar to do the job.

The genesis behind my love for this company started with the music video for one of my favorite Guns N’ Roses songs, You Could Be Mine. The video held my attention at first because of its relation to the bad ass flick Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but it wasn’t until I laid eyes on the red mockingbird that Slash was playing when my jaw dropped to the floor.

I was only a drummer at that point, and never picked up a guitar, but I swore from that moment on if I ever became a guitar player that I would be playing that same guitar Slash was playing in the video. A couple years later I borrowed my brothers acoustic guitar which had no brand Id ever heard of, and all it said on the headstock was “Carlos”. I started by teaching myself how to play “Pull Me Under” by Dream Theater, and soon started craving an electric guitar under my fingers.

Not long after that I was better trained at playing guitar, and started playing in small local bands here and there. It wasn’t until I joined an industrial metal band named SIKS, when I started taking my playing seriously. The first guitar I purchased was a BC Rich, and I never looked back since. Its body style was all its own, and there was nothing else on the market that looked anything like it.

Over the years Ive come to respect BC Rich for their devotion to what they believe in, a quality I always try to uphold with my own life. They don’t waver to trends, and set standards that others try to follow. It was around 2007 when I first got in contact with some reps from the company about gaining endorsement, something I hardly thought was possible, but I was still curious. Long story short, I didn’t have enough exposure to gain endorsement.

Years went by and I was lucky enough to gain a bit more exposure in the music community, something that proved much harder without having the ability to tour and greet people first hand. I decided to get in touch with the same contacts at BC Rich, and see if Autumns Eyes would peak their interest now that there was a larger audience. To my shock and surprise, they agreed to endorse me as an official artist.

Lots of musicians seek endorsements solely for the purpose of getting free or discounted merchandise, which is completely understandable given the average musicians salary these days. However, with BC Rich it was quite a different experience for me. I wasn’t interested as much in any of the perks towards having an endorsement other than the fact that I could proudly represent the company I have devoted my entire guitar playing career to over the years, and do so on an official level.

I don’t ever foresee myself changing brands in the near or distant future, and I will continue to recommend BC Rich till my heart stops beating. Even then you would still be hard pressed to find me losing interest in their guitars. If there ever was to be an actual zombie apocalypse Id be the easiest one to spot, as the only way you’d separate me from my mockingbird is to rip it from my cold, blood stained, flesh ripping hands.

Learn to Disappoint and Accept Failure

There are so many factors that come into consideration when you seek success in any aspect of life, but one of the most important lessons you can teach yourself is how to fail. Not necessarily if you’re going to fail, but when its going to happen. Everyone must face that negativity at some point, and you’re better off being prepared to accept it than be abrasive and let it destroy you.

Ive come across so many people over the years who have an attitude like they will command and conquer anything that comes their way, which is good to a certain extent. They build a level of confidence that lifts them above others who lack drive and motivation. How quickly things change once their plans don’t go the way they expected.

A great example of this is a metal band I knew from the west coast who had been playing together for a couple years in small local clubs. They received positive praise from friends and locals alike for all their hard work and perseverance. Then came time for them to branch out into the national spotlight, and see how other metal fans would react.

They spent much of their hard earned time and money on perfecting a newly recorded album, and submitted the record to several metal magazines for review. Only one magazine responded, and it happened to be one of the larger metal magazines out at the time. Not only did they dislike the record, but the magazine ripped each one of the band members a new asshole for their lack of individuality and ability to rip off other musicians so easily.

Needless to say the band didn’t take this well by any means. They took it personally, and sparked a war of conflict within the unit. Eventually the band fired members, and soon cowered back into the local spotlight where they first started. It was some what of a safety blanket for them as they pined for that show of support, but the fans took notice of the bands instability, and wrote them off quicker than the metal magazine which previously sent them into this downward spiral.

The bottom line is they were never prepared for failure, and let their ego’s get the best of them. They thought they were untouchable and destined to take over the world, but were grossly misinformed. Had they been more humbled by the experience, and learned to take pain with pleasure, they might still have had a fighting chance. Despite all of their efforts, the band is now one of the biggest laughing stocks of that particular local scene.

This is a perfect depiction of what happens when you’re not prepared for negativity at some point in your life. There are always going to be people who hate what you do, and try to shit down your throat. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it, and trying to please everyone will lead you down a road with no answers. The only thing you can do is know how to react, and be ready for whatever comes your way. If you feed into failure it will come to you like moths to a flame.

Its also important not to let failure guide your decisions, no matter how bad it gets. Once you start changing direction based on what others say is when you become nothing more than a lie. Time will always be on your side in these situations, and its the only defense towards getting through it. The negativity will come and go as the years pass by, but you’re the one who makes the decisions on which direction you’re headed. You can give in to failure and let it take control, or you can brush it off while moving forward on a path built from integrity and perseverance.

Best Heavy Songs to Break Out This Fall

Many of us have a selection of certain songs that bring us back to a specific time in our life, but are there any songs which can match the mood of the season at hand? Here are a few of my own personal choices for metal songs that fit the fall season like a glove, and are the perfect soundtrack to a long drive throughout the brown and gold draped roads of New England.

Iron Maiden

Fear of the Dark

The song was still somewhat new when I first heard it, but it also possessed a new sound I had never heard before from these bad ass brits. The riffs were familiar, but the overall production was different. Not to mention the lyrics fit the whole Halloween theme perfectly.