This page includes sections on Home Recording, War Pigs, ToneDefs and Related Posts.
As I get older I realise that digital media doesn’t last forever. Over many years I’ve fooled around with recording music with synthesisers – nothing special, just fun and games. I’m worried it may all be lost to a hard drive crash, theft or natural disaster. Therefore, I’ve decided to throw it up in the cloud. Why not share it with you, too?
I was in a band once – for about three years. It was a result of not wanting to die wondering what it would be like to do it. I had been following this Black Sabbath tribute band for a few months, and realised they were brilliant but raw. They needed keys, an expanded repertoire and some production values. After a gig one night I nervously asked the lead singer if he was interested. He was, absolutely, and the rest is history.
We recorded two live albums, but only one was finished and released. Both are made available to you here, the second album includes some great tracks like No More Tears, Suicide Solution, Miracle Man and Bark At The Moon. I also play on this album a lot more, but there are some bad mistakes in some parts, the vocals aren’t so good and the band didn’t have the motivation to finish the overdubs. A real shame, as the band is no more, and they provided some great memories for audiences who rarely got to see Ozzy Osbourne or Black Sabbath.
There is video of me performing with War Pigs, but it’s not on a format I can easily transfer to digital right now. This is a problem because I want to preserve it. I’m working on a solution.
Back in 2002 my friends and I were following a few local bands, one of which was run by a top guy – guitarist and singer, Marty, who was dating a workmate of ours, Max. Anyway, Max decided to leave the corporate life and try her hand at the rock life. She and Marty are still going strong in The On Fires. Back then, Marty used to run an occasional gig party where mates of his would sing, play and jam. Marty & I got the idea to turn it into an opportunity for non-performers to get on stage for a one-off reversal of the usual way things work. The ToneDefs was born.
At the time I had never played in public, so I was allowed in. Mat was the co-vocalist and bass player. He’d never played an instrument before so together we learned bass. I gave him help with arrangements and he learned the note progressions by rote – remarkable. We coerced Jamie as a very shy, reclusive guitarist in the first instance, replacing him with a similar hermit in T.C. for our second gig. Marty played drums. Our name was very well considered, as you can tell from the recordings. With no talent between us we chose makeup, hair and bombastic stage presence to woo our audiences. And it worked!
A side-project that came out of The ToneDefs was Rocket Queen, where Max stepped in to sing some female-led songs. That didn’t go down so well, as we didn’t rehearse the tracks much, but it’s fun to laugh at our clumsy efforts.
Finally! I’ve uploaded video of both gigs:
Here’s a little something I once did with Marty Ackerly (of The On Fires):
There are some other audio gems floating around, but I can’t find them right now. Stay tuned.