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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Im back!

It has been some time since I have posted here but I am going to start again. Over the last year my new band Soma was juggling dummers around but now we have a full time drummer now, an old friend of the band, Eric who really is doing a great job. Another reason why I didn’t post here in a while was that I fell madly in love, and like a fool in love, I concentrated all my efforts and time into that. But I got seriously burned when that ended and as always the only healthy option is to completely immerse myself in music again and put relationships and falling in love on hold for some time yet!



So it’s quite an exciting time in the band at the moment. The final line up is: Dave on bass, Walshy on lead guitars, Eric on drums and me doing my thing. The songs are flowing out and we are recording a bunch at the moment. I also successfully completed a sound engineering course, so I have moved onto computer recorded so I am fully armed with my mac mini and pro-tools now and they are being but to good use. We have recorded 3 songs in the last week I believe. We are also putting electricity and lighting in Eric’s “drum hole” (practice room!) as practicing with the band will get pretty full on in the next week or so. Expect gigs at Christmas.



Another thing I did over the last year was get guitar lessons; hopefully they will have benefited me in some way.



Some other things I did over the last year: saw the Smashing Pumpkins, bought an American Strat, saw the Shins in Paris, told someone I loved her every single day, was made a permanent Engineer, got my heart broken, did a parachute jump, did a bungee jump, bought an apple mac, went to Italy skiing, went to Paris, went to Germany, went to London, drove around the perimeter of Ireland in a bus to see ash in Donegal.





http://www.myspace.com/somamusiccork

i am currently listing to:

"Nighttiming" by Coconut Records,
"Gish" by The Smashing Pumpkins,
"Twilight of Innocence" by Ash,
"Libratd" by VR,
the new Modest Mouse album with the long title,
"In Moments" by Berkeley

Friday, June 29, 2007

One day I met a girl

One day I met a girl.

I really liked her.

We became friends.

I wrote songs and poems about her.

She really liked one of them, but she didn’t know it was about her.

We both had boyfriends and girlfriends that came and went.

3 years passed and we fell in love.

I was so happy.

I did everything I could to show her this.

I told her I loved her every single day.

When we kissed the world stopped turning.

I wrote more songs and poems about her.

We would turn off the TV and talk for hours on end.

I was so happy.

We went for walks by the sea.

She cooked me food.

I was too scared to cook her food.

She made me laugh.

I made her laugh.

My friends said my face would light up when I talked about her.

I took her to concerts.

I was always thinking about her.

I loved holding her in my arms.

I loved her smile.

My friends were so happy for me.

I took my Christmas Bonus from work and took her to Paris for her birthday.

We held hands, ate food and walked around the city.

It was the greatest holiday I ever had.

I was so happy.

3 months later she broke my heart.

Now I am so unhappy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Mardi Gras"

This was a song that was written totally from the stream of conscious, just like the isinglas song "Last Regret", but that's another story!! I just picked up the guitar and out the song came….

Ok here is the story that inspired the lyrics in the song. About two years ago I became good friends with a female (girl#1), there may have been chemistry between us, but the main thing was that we enjoyed each other company and her presence was soothing. Over the course of the year our friendship grew, girlfriends/boyfriends came and left and eventually a girl (girl#2), who was a friend of a friend, devolved a crush on me, her friends told me on every occasion, they even tried to get information out one of my best guy friends, but at the end of the day I didn't fancy her, nothing "happened" between girl#2 at all and that was that.

One day, girl#1 and I were taking our weekly walk around the block, across the river and back up by the church, getting an ice cream on the back up to her place. Girl#2 and some of her friends spotted us on our trek and sent me a text message later on that day asking was I going out with girl#1. I denied the claims and a couple of days later I was out in a club and I scored with a random girl and what have you. The next day I gotta another text off girl#2 accusing me of cheating on girl#1 and a bunch of colourful words and names in thrown in between. Before I knew it, half of Carrigaline knew of my "bad deed" and people were asking girl#1 was she ok and to forget me, that "he's only a Bastard, who doesn't know how to treat women". Aren't rumours amazing! That's what this song is about, wanting to getting the fuck out of a small town to a "bigger pond" where people don't give two fucks about who you are.

The same cats play on this song, with the exception of newcomers Julie on backing vocals and Colin The Cormack on Pneumatic Hammer Drills. Emer supplied the beats again and flew thru it and got it in her first take. I especially like her drumming on the "lets keep breathing part", it really adds texture. I wanted her to play violins on it, but later I had a revelation to use the e-bow. I recorded 5 of them to make it sound like an orchestra.

When Dav came up to recorded his bass part I was in a bit of a rush so he listened to the song a couple of times, I hit record and said "One take Dav!!" the pressure was on, as was evident from his face cos he looked petrified, he got the song in one take! A true pro!

Next was backing vocals, I knew I needed someone who could sing harmony and sound great at the same time, Julie was my first and only choice, some of you might know from the isinglas song "Anon". I was only thinking the other day of how naive and ignorant I was about playing, writing, recording and been in a band! Good times…..

So I went over to Julies and tried a few harmonies and I hit record and she got it in one take, she definitely took the song to a better place.

"Look Before You Leap"

Probably the best sounding song sonically in the sessions so far. I actually dont know how the drums ended up sounding so well! The right channel effect? I wrote this song late one night when there was no one in my house and I cranked up my guitar loud. I didnt like it at first, I taught it sounded like Green Day or something, but it was stuck in my head for the next few days and I had to finish it off! I slowed down the tempo and tried to change the melody a couple of time to keep it interesting.

Emer flew threw the drums, (as usual!) I kinda wanted to go for a Tom Pettyesque drums. If you listen carefully, I think the contrast between the different parts of the songs is brilliant. It defiantly gave the song shape and dynamics.

Next came James Walshy Walsh, or Walshy for short! We had jammed at a party before and I fell in love with his guitar style straight away, he is very graceful at playing and he makes it look so easy! We jammed out the song in his room amongst his Junior Cert revision and ole skool pringle cans, and he instantly had loads of different ideas for the different parts in the songs, to add flavour to my same boring guitar part. About a week later, he came up my house and he had all his guitar parts recorded in 15 minutes, happiest guitar solo EVER!!

The following day it was Niamhs turn. I used work with her, and I heard her sing at a Rose of Tralee Contest and I knew I had to ask her to record with me sometime!

I came up to her house that morning and she listened to the song a couple of times and she got the song in one take! A true professional!

And last but not least Eammon provided the Bass line, again he added to the contrast and dynamics of the song with his bass line. He also suggested the rising bass line at the end of the song, carrying the song out to finish!

Thanks to everyone who played on the song, now start dancing to it.

Pallus is currently listening to:

Automatic and Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain

INXS Greatest Hits

Wolfmother

Boston Greatest Hits

In Moments by Berkeley

In Your Honour by The Foo Fighters

Staring at the Sea by The Cure

Blink 182 Untitled Album

"Catch the Wind" by Donovan

"Pretty Pageant"

This song was a pain in the ass to record and mix! Even thou we balanced the drums in stereo for Empty Dance Halls before recording it, they came out in mono, but we used the right leads in this song, all the drums are panned out from left to right in the final mix! During the recording of the drums I spilt a WHOLE glass of water on my me-50 and made shit of it! I had to open it up when I got home and throw it into the hot-press for a couple of days and its happy out now! Had to borrow Foleys me-50 for this song, cheers dude! It was actually fun sitting down with Emer and going thru all the parts in the song and seeing what would suit each part and chopping and changing, we never did that with Darren..

Once again, this song was written late at night when the main guitar part came into my head and I sang it into my Dictaphone. Best tool ever!

There is a lot going on in this song, I think ¼ of it got lost in the final mix, but I think the last minute guitar riff I added for the chours and the backing vocals really took the song in the opposite direction. Thanks to Emer and Dav for supplying the beats and bass once again, Id be lost without ye! And thanks for Podge for trying the backing vocals! Ha!

Someone told me this song sounds like Coldplay, buh.?!!

"Empty Dance Halls"

The first song I recorded the drums myself, bought a mixer to do, and I must say it sounds great! We recorded the song one Sunday afternoon in her bedroom. It took 2 hours to setup because we didnt know what we were doing, but after Emer got the song in like 2 takes!

All the music in the song was already written in my mind, it was just a matter of figuring it out! I wanted a guitar sound for the guitar solo to be like that 80s rock band, Boston.

Dav one again supplied an excellent bass line.

I wrote the song one nite after I had a dream about and woke up and bounced out of bed and wrote it and recorded it onto my Dictaphone. Empty Dance Halls came from a memory I had from when I was a child and we were up in Granard in Longford and we passed this old ceilí hall that was abandoned in the car. My uncle said it hasnt felt a single beat in 30 years. The image of this large building with broken windows, which really needed a lick of paint, was just powerful in my mind. All the weird any wonderful things that could have happened there and the loved made and lost and of course all the babies that were made!!

This is my goodbye isinglas song. The memories will stay with me forever. This song is for everyone who was anyway involved with the band, thanks for all the great nites and shows. You made it possible

Another Rant

A couple of months ago, during a period of intense stress with my final year exams looming I woke up to find I had a missed call on my phone, from a strange number. I listened to the voicemail and it was the sweet, sweet voice of a girl I was with in LA two years ago. This girl was the subject matter of numerous isinglas and Pallus Sinfony songs and is the person, naive and foolish as this sounds, but at the time, she was, i taught the ‘one’.


When I left LA to come home, it was pretty obvious that nothing could be taken further. We emailed and phoned for a while, the usual until it kind of faded out. But the whole romantic notion of the short while we were together didn’t fade for a second and I taught about her grace and beauty everyday.


Anyways, her voice mail told me to call her back as she had something to tell me. Then the questions started to form in my mind. Is she ok? Is she coming to Ireland! Did some kind of TransAtlantic Conception take place and now I’m the father! I called her back later that day in Podges’ house, while Podge was in the shower; she told me she couldn’t talk, that she would call back later. 5 minutes after that my phone rang again and it was her, I went outside the house and we began to chat. It was amazing, we could still chat away to each other and there was no awkward pauses, suddenly, she said “I have to tell you something”, again the questions raced thru my mind, she’s in cork airport, she’s a guy and so on!


“I’m engaged”


My heart sank to the bottom of my body and I fell to the ground, trembling and clutching to my phone after the revelation.


You’re engaged? What? Who! That’s great!”


She then went on to tell me the rest of her news. She’s 21. He’s 27. He’s a musician. Getting married next year. She has known him a year. He’s great.


I sat on the ground taking in all the information that I never wanted to hear. It was time to move on……

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Soma" is my new band!!

My new band with Dave and Walshy have finally decided on a name, we are going to call ourselves “Soma”. Check out the Myspace site below!

“Picture Painting”

The riff for this song was written while I was playing songs for Sham and POD and some girl I didn’t know last summer. I started to play it and I recorded it into my phone straightaway, whilst the guys looked at me very confused!

The rest of the song was written before my first jam with Soma, I needed songs to play for them. We setup and started to play the song and it came together pretty fast!

Emer recorded the drums for this during Christmas, we recorded this and “Knew I Needed You in the same day. Dave and Walshy played bass and guitar and it all was effortless coming together until it came to the vocals! I spent 1 week recording the vocals until I finally liked what I heard. Julie of “Mardi Gras” fame, sang some harmonies and the song was done!

Pallus is currently listening to:

“Phantom Limb” by The Shins (a lot!)

“Glass” by The Frank and Walters

“Honeys Dead” by The Jesus and Mary Chain

“Complete John Peel Sessions” by The Jesus and Mary Chain

“Pinkerton” by Weezer

The Greatest Hits of Hank Williams Snr.

“Knuckleball Suite” by Peter Mulvey

"United by Fate" by Rival Schools

"Knew I Needed You"

This song took a while to record. I knew I wanted two, so the first was recorded last September and the second over the Christmas. My life has changed dramatically over the few months, finding true love and what not and I think this song reflects just that.

I had Berkeley going on in the back of my head so I wanted the guitar sounds etc to be like that. Emer supplied the drum beat in one take (a true professional as always, PS congrats on passing the test!) This song was been jammed out with the new band alot so it was only natural to get them to record it! Dav listened to the song and threw out, what I think is his finest bass line to date on a Pallus track. Walshy put down some more guitar tracks that really gave the song lift in the right places.

The noise before the second part of the song is a “crash cymbal” that I got Emer to play and I reversed it and slowed it down, it took a while to place it in the right place, to get the maximum effect, but I think it sounds really cool!

Picture Painting coming soon….

"Lunar Tides"

A simple song written during jamming with the new band, due to lack of drummer resources, I decided to leave drums out! Walshy provided the lead guitar, Dav on Bass and Simom provided the keyboard and violins late one Tuesday night!! This song could have turned out a lot better I guess…..

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Strangest Day…..

The other day a friend of a friend of a friend twice removed came up to me and asked me for a favour. I said “Cool what can I help you with?” and he asked me “How would I like to earn €100 this Friday for 3 hours work?” Suspicous? I asked more questions! He said all I need is my car and my guitar. “So I’m off to rob a bank now or something?” I asked. He replied, “No, I want you to go up to the hospital to sing love songs to my Ex-Girlfriend, in the hope of act helping us to get back together.” I got excited cause I could be a chance to crack out some Ryan Adams songs. He preceded to hand me a list of such classic love songs as “Flying Without Wings” by Westlife and “Back for Good” by Take That. Suddenly the reality of the situation hit me and I formed and opinion in my head using my limited knowledge of the ladies I have gathered up over the years. I declined his offer and added “How would a hairy bollix like me, who is a complete stranger to your Ex, turning up a strange person’s work place singing Westlife songs help your situation man?” He taught about it for a second and added “Do you know any Celine Dion Songs?”

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Site/New Songs/New Band

It has been a while since I have added to this site, I was unleashing my creativity on my MySpace account (www.myspace.com/pallussinfony) for the last couple of weeks.

But anyways here is the brand new site that I spent a couple of days working on. I included pictures that I have taken over the past year too from all over the world. Also, there is a secret song somewhere on the site!

The new Sessions is called “The Last Train to Budapest”, I have bought a new mixer for this session Emer and I have successfully recorded drums for these songs and I think the drums sound great! I am quite proud of that. We are getting better and better at it each time we record a new song, learning from our mistakes.

I am currently jamming with some people in the hopes it might eventually lead top a new band. It won’t be a Pallus Sinfony band, but so far the songs are sounding fresh and exciting, mostly because of the drummer Jazz style, which makes it interesting. The songs are a lot more melodic and relaxed than isinglas, and in fairness to isinglas there were times when the songs boarded noise!

Hope you like the new songs……

Pallus Sinfony

Sunday, April 30, 2006

So What Happens Now?

I think I have come to the end of the “Steady State Sessions Demos”. It’s nearly coming up to a year now from when I started and in that time I have recorded 25 Songs, isinglas was laid to rest, college is coming to an end and the exams are looming. I rang Darren earlier, he and Remma are doing well for themselves, I wish them all the best.

So what happens next for me? Hopefully I’m off to Limerick for my Masters in Biomedical Engineering, I don’t feel like I’m ready for a job as of yet! Push back reality a while longer. I am hoping to form a band with Steve up there.

Over the summer I will start up a new Session, I think I will call it “The Last Train to Budapest Sessions”. Bands have asked me to record their music too, so I’m up for the challenge. Bands have asked me to join them. I don’t know if I will. The remainder of isinglas want to record what we have written for old time’s sake, maybe so. I got rid of the isinglas logo off my amp, weird. I have a new bunch of songs written too, their a lot more advanced than the Steady State stuff, there was only so much I could do with the old songs with lack of facilities; I wanna try different stuff this time round. Record drums. Sessions mark 2.

I was asked to play at a Fundraiser Open Mic Nite on Saturday the 13th of on Cove Street. It will commence at 8pm. I will debut some new material at that gig.

Im off to Germany for a couple of days to the Rock Im Park Festival, maybe ill get another tattoo.

Quick thanks to anyone who expressed interest in Pallus Sinfony in anyway over the past year.

Stay tuned for more. A new site, new songs and more.

Rock 'n' Roll Band

This song is hidden somewhere in the site!

The song is also what exactly it says on the tin.....

“Courage of Thought”

This is probably the saddest song I’ve recorded for the sessions! Everything about the song is sad, from the music, to the words, to the time when the song was written. I wrote the song one night when everyone whom I had organised to hang with, cancelled on me to do something else. Pretty much everyone told me they going kiss their girlfriend/boyfriends or whatever they had. I rang up Jurgen, the old reliable, to do something, I asked him did he want to jam, and he was up for it! I was to go down to meet him after work that night.

I went down to Jurgen’s workplace and went upstairs to wait for Jurgen to finish up. I’ve probably mentioned this before but when I was living in LA I used go up on top of the roof of where we lived in the middle of the night to write songs, whilst everyone was sleeping, I gazed upon the whole of Hollywood and strummed away until the Sun peaked his head from up over the hills. That nite I meet Jurgen I went onto the roof of this particular building, via the fire escape and started to strum away like the old days and this song pretty much wrote itself from the first chord I played. When Jurgen finished work we went back to his place and played Pixies songs till we couldn’t stay awake anymore, and during this time Jurgen’s infectious “Jolliness” passed onto me and I was all good again! Thanks man!

Anyways, I forgot about the song, until my friend Podge was at me to let him sing on something I was recording. I taught his voice would be perfect for this song; as I’ve been listening to him sing me Damien Rice songs at 3.30 in the morning while walking home after the pub! I initially wanted to be just a simple piano song and vocals but when I jammed along with Simon playing keyboards, it was obvious that it sounded better with Simon “plinking” along with me on the Spanish guitar. (Cheers to Andrew for letting borrow your guitar!)
I typed out the lyrics for Simon on my Typewriter, I was meaning to get it photocopied, but forgot, so he re-typed them out and we made note on what he was gonna do for the song on this, the most professional and high-tech devices are available to you when you record with Pallus Sinfony, as you can see here!!:
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2078/1410/1600/pLINK.jpg
I was really happy with Simon’s keyboards on this, they are so pretty and it adds a depth to the song, merci muchly Simon!!

There are pretty much only a couple chords in the song, but I play the exact same notes for the song, it quite easy to hit the wrong string and when I was recording the guitar tracks, I had to give up because I was getting quite frustrated! When I went back to it the next day, instead of concentrating on each note I played, I just closed my eyes and zoned out and taught about The Tempest. When I “returned” to reality, I had nailed the song in one take! The next day my friend Sham was telling me about “letting the music control you” when playing it, that he was gonna touch on this subject for his Psychology Thesis. I was “ahhhh!” More on Shams Thesis in the near future!!

Next up was Podge for vocals. He was at me for ages asking me when we are going to record something, and I hadn’t recorded anything that I think would suit him, I write and record songs and afterwards who would be suitable for the song. When I recorded this I know Podge would be perfect for it!! The only time I heard him sing before was when he sings Damien Rice songs at 3.30 in the morning awhile I carry him home after the pub! I picked him up, he bought a pack of biccies in the shop and we went back to my “studio”. By “studio” I mean the spare room, and by spare room, I mean the room where all the shit that isn’t wanted goes! Ha!

I gave a copy of the lyrics to Podge, and started to playback what I had recorded to him over headphones, while I made tea. From my studio (ha!) I could hear Podge sing the words and the song was being played back. All I could hear was squawking and hollering and he sang back over the song. “Its gonna be a long recording session!” I said to myself. Suddenly, he cleared his throat, and beautiful singing began! And in 20 minutes the song was completed.

I really like how this song turned out, everyone who contributed to the song executed exactly what was needed to add to the emotional scope of the song that I was going for. Nearly everyone that listened to the song couldn’t listen to the song the whole way thru because of the “theme” and they just handed me back the headphones. I didn’t mind, I have recorded it the way I wanted to.