Music

Double Threats

There is an article doing the rounds at Noisecreep about rockers who branch out into some other venture (like another successful band) or something that is beyond the musical medium.

So of course the lists focuses on the “SuperStar”. First here is the list from Noisecreep.

10. Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park / Fort Minor

9. Chris Jericho from Fozzy and Professional Wrestling

8. Henry Rollins from Black Flag / Rollins Band (I am adding acting to this)

7. Marilyn Manson

6. Maynard James Keenan from Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer

5. Jared Leto from Thirty Seconds to Mars and acting

4. Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters / Them Crooked Vultures / Nirvana / Scream

3. Corey Taylor from Slipknot / Stone Sour / Author

2. Rob Zombie from Rob Zombie / White Zombie / Directing

1. Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue / Sixx: A.M. + Radio DJ, Book Author and Photographer

What about the artists that are not superstars?

The artists below are doing an unbelievable job or have done an unbelievable job to remain a double threat in the music business.

1. Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambra / Prized Fighter Inferno + Comic / Book Author

2. Adam Dutkiewicz from Killswitch Engage / Times of Grace + Producing

3. Digital Summer (the whole band) – They hold down normal day jobs and they are also a successful modern rock band.

4. Randy Blythe from Lamb of God + successful photographer

5. Robb Flynn from Machine Head + successful blogger

6. John Sykes from Whitesnake / Blue Murder / Solo Artist / Thin Lizzy tribute

7. Joe Satriani – Solo Artist / Chickenfoot / guitar teacher

8. Slash from Guns N Roses / Slash’s Snakepit / Velvet Revolver / Solo Artist + Motion Pictures

9. Doug Aldrich at one stage was playing guitar for Whitesnake and Dio at the same time. Also involved with Burning Rain.

10. David Draiman from Disturbed / Device + Producer

11. Protest The Hero (the band) – successful fan funded band and campaigners.

12. Kevin Churko – Successful Producer / Songwriter and Studio Owner

Original Noisecreep Article: http://noisecreep.com/best-double-threat-rockers/

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Who Is the Real Star? The Band Name or the Personnel In The Band

There is an article doing the rounds at the Hollywood Reporter about how “The Walking Dead” is TV’s number 1 show and that the stars of the show are still largely unknown.

So it got me thinking. I was very interested to check out the show based on my love of the Horror genre. Once I checked it out, I was hooked. I didn’t start watching the show because they had certain actors in it. The only actor I was aware of was Daryl’s brother and that was from the movie Cliffhanger with Stallone and that was after watching a few episodes. So I got into the show because i was a fan of the horror genre.

However I got into “Sons Of Anarchy” because hard-core friends eventually got me to invest some time in it.

The point I am trying to make is that we get into certain TV shows, movies or artists based on a thousand different reasons. One thing is clear; we don’t get into these cultural icons because of the people in them.

For example, when Metallica started on the scene, no one was walking around saying that they got into Metallica because James Hetfield was such a cool cat or Lars Ulrich was the man. We got into Metallica for multiple reasons. For example, we were fans of the metal genre, the songs connected with us; we wanted to be part of the conversation and so on. From the outset, we become fans because of the music we hear.

That is what culture is all about. Sharing stories about the things we love.

Of course some outliers do exist and some artists have a cultural influence that transcends their music. They become institutions themselves. For example, Slash is now a cultural institution. Ozzy Osbourne is a cultural institution albeit with a lot of help from his “friends”. Nikki Sixx is a cultural institution. Robb Flynn is a cultural institution. Dee Snider is a cultural icon. These artists can all survive on their own. They are brand names themselves.

It’s taken Slash almost 14 years from when he left Gunners to re-establish and re-brand himself as a force to be reckoned with. That happened in 2010 with the release of his solo album and with a little help from his friends.

Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley helped Ozzy Osbourne break the shackles of Black Sabbath. Jake E. Lee and Phil Soussan enhanced what Randy Rhoads and Bod Daisley created. Zakk Wylde turned it all into a blockbuster with “No More Tears” being the pinnacle.

Nikki Sixx re-invented himself and Motley Crue by first gaining control of Motley Crue’s back catalogue from Elektra Records. A task that no other artist had accomplished before. Then he pushed for the writing of “The Dirt”. Since then, he has become a solo artist with Sixx AM, a song writer for other artists, a social media junkie, a photographer, a literary writer and a radio personality.

Robb Flynn showed the world that he can survive. He really went out of his comfort zone recently and performed acoustically. He survived the “Through The Ashes of Empires” era and lived to tell the tale. Talk about Grit and Roll. It was music all the way, with no safety net. No plan B. His Journals are pure gold. Even if you don’t like Machine Head’s music, you can still appreciate the Journal Ramblings. For any artist starting off, there is information in there that is real. There is information there that is not sugar-coated by a mainstream writer.

Dee Snider, what else can be said. Read his bio.

These artists have all connected with us on different levels. They have become so large in people’s lives that they have become cultural institutions themselves. We then stick with these institutions through the good times and the bad times.

So what about all the other artists. Well for the remainder of the artists it is still about the music. They need to have the music pumping out and they need to make connections.

Dee Snider once said that there are no more rock stars in this day and age. I took that to mean, that in the internet age, there are no real recognizable faces to put to certain bands. While I agree with that comment in parts, I also disagree with it.

For example, Coheed and Cambria has Claudio Sanchez. Watch them live and you get to see the hair. Instantly recognizable.

Five Finger Death Punch has Zoltan Bathory with the dreadlocks and the UFC/mixed martial arts look. They have Ivan Moody and the Mohawk.

Shinedown has Brent Smith, who performs like an adrenaline injected Steve Tyler.

Black Veil Brides have, well they have the whole band.

Avenged Sevenfold have Eighties rock star stage names with instantly recognisable faces.

However if any of the band members in the above mentioned bands, decide to go on their own, it will be a tough slog for them as the bands they are in have all become cultural institutions. Then you have a band like Protest The Hero who look like normal guys going to University.

So going back to “The Walking Dead”. The show is the rock star. That is the cultural institution.

So for any wannabe rock stars, think about all of the above for a second. No one is going to wake up tomorrow morning and think to themselves, “damn, I want to hear some music from Zoltan Bathory, or “Insert New Artist name here””.

We wake up in the morning and think to ourselves, “damn, we want to hear some Five Finger Death Punch. We wake up and go “damn its “The Walking Dead” tonight.”

That is what a lot of misguided artists fail to grasp when they leave a certain cultural institution citing musical differences. They (meaning the person) were never the stars. The band name is the star and it always will be.

That is why Guns N Roses is still rolling along, playing to large audiences.

That is why Tommy Lee returned to Motley Crue.

That is why James Hetfield returned to Metallica after rehab. That is why Lars Ulrich never contemplated anything else except Metallica during this period.

That is why Dave Mustaine resurrected Megadeth after he disbanded the band.

That is why Dimebag didn’t want Pantera to end. He knew that Pantera was the star.

That is why David Lee Roth worked with Van Halen again. That is why Sammy Hagar wants to work with Van Halen again.

That is why Alex Skolnick returned to Testament.

That is why there is a fight over who owns the right to the Queensryche name.

That is why Benjamin Burnley went all legal for the right to use the Breaking Benjamin name.

That is why Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to Iron Maiden.

That is why Rob Halford returned to Judas Priest.

That is why Black Sabbath reformed with three of the original members and released ’13’.

That is why bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Poison and Skid Row are still continuing.

That is why Joey Belladonna returned to Anthrax and why Scott Ian is still continuing the band.

That is why Slayer is continuing without Jeff Hanneman.

To finish off with the immortal words of Ronnie James Dio “And on and on and on and on it goes….”

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Persistence, Timing, Diversification and playing to your core audience

I am reading the recent issue of Guitar World and I come across a question where Mick Jones from Foreigner is asked how it was to work with Mutt Lange? For those that don’t know Mutt Lange produced the Foreigner 4 album in 1981.

Mutt had really wanted to do our second album [1978’s Double Vision], I believe. But he didn’t seem quite ready at the time. So we did the next one [1979’s Head Games] with Roy Thomas Baker.

So Lange goes away and he proves himself to Foreigner. He takes on AC/DC and produces Highway to Hell in 1979 (their American breakthrough album) and Back in Black in 1980 (their first with Brian Johnson and their biggest album in regards to sales to date). He also produced For Those About To Rock We Salute You in 1981.

He didn’t just give up. In between the period between 1977 and 1981, apart from AC/DC, he also produced albums for artists like City Boy, Clover, Supercharge, The Boomtown Rats, The Rumour, Savoy Brown, Michael Stanley Band, Outlaws, Deaf School, The Records and Broken Home. He is paying his dues, getting the stats on his side, just so that he can work with a band that he wants to work with.

… then Mutt was kind of knocking on the door again. I must say, he was quite enthusiastic.

Then he gets the gig to do Foreigner4 which came out in 1981. Persistence. Paying your dues. Credentials. Hard work. Timing. They all play important parts in the recipe for success.

Mutt’s persistence to hard work, made him turn over a lot of records as a producer. A lot of those records made a large impression with the public.
Mutt’s timing was off when he first approached Foreigner in 1978. It wasn’t off in 1981. This time around he also had the credentials to back himself. For a producer, your credentials are the works that you produced, for an artist, your credentials is the music that you make.

He was the first producer I worked with who really challenged me. He was not only very insightful with the songs and in helping to bring them to fruition but he was also really great at achieving sounds.

The real rock stars hated to get challenged. The “songs are their children” is a common cliché that so many of them would say. Mutt Lange didn’t give a shit about that. He wanted perfection. He wanted greatness. He wanted to be involved in something that would last forever.

He was just unbelievably dedicated to the process…to the point where I think we kept Def Leppard waiting six or nine months because Mutt was still working with us on 4.

Def Leppard waited for him. Why? They knew. They knew that this guy was special. They knew he was the person that would be able to capture their pop leanings and merge them with their rock and blues influences. All of that pales, compared to what they really needed. Def Leppard needed a song writing partner. Look at the history that they created.

Def Leppard – High ‘N’ Dry, 1981
Def Leppard – Pyromania, 1983
Def Leppard – Hysteria, 1987
Def Leppard – Adrenalize, 1992

Mutt really set a standard with Def Leppard. I called it the layers standard. Others call it the over dubs or over producing standard. Others call it multi-tracking. The fans loved it. They wanted the big vocals, the arena rock chorus’s layered in harmonies. Once Hysteria exploded every other band released albums in the same layered style. Suddenly every hard rock band was doing the Bon Jovi and Def Leppard thing. Kiss went all pop metal with Crazy Nights and Hot In The Shade. Whitesnake did it with Slip Of The Tongue. However, there was one band that was doing things their own way. That one band is called Guns N Roses. I digress.

Once you become successful, it doesnt mean you stop. Mutt Lange didn’t. He kept on going.

Song writing for other artists became a new income stream for him from the eighties onwards. As an artist, if all you do is just write music and perform it live, you are limiting yourself to that income stream. However, if you write songs for other artist, you have an additional income stream. If you produce for up and coming bands, sharing your expertise and knowledge, then you have another income stream. If you are a guitar player, become a guitar teacher on time off from recording and touring. That is another income stream. Suddenly, you have a years’ worth of work. Yes it is hard work. It was never meant to be easy.

Look at the following list of people that keep on working hard;

Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater. He plays keyboards in Dream Theater, he is a solo musician, he is an instructor and he is an app developer.

Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. He is the founder, singer, guitarist and main songwriter for Coheed and Cambria. He also has a side project called Prize Fighter Inferno. He has written novels and comics. He appears at Comic Conventions. He has just signed a production agreement for The Amory Wars story to be turned into a movie or movies. He is also an app game developer.

Corey Taylor is another. The recent House of Gold and Bones releases by Stone Sour have seen that concept story turned into a graphic novel and comic book, as well as a production deal to turn it into a movie. Apart from Stone Sour, Corey still tours with Slipknot. He is also a novelist.

Nikki Sixx is the leader of Motley Crue. He does Sixx A.M as another band. He does photography and his work is being exhibited on line. He has penned two autobiographies (The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries), as well as a picture book/biography for This is Gonna Hurt. He uses social media to build connections with fans. Finally, he is overseeing the long overdue Motley Crue movie. There is also the SixxSense “radio” gig and a range of other outlets like clothing and accessories.

Phil X is currently fill in guitarist for Bon Jovi. He is a session musician. He is a fill in guitarist .He is a solo artist. He is a band member. He is a guitar teacher. Five different income streams. He endorses different product lines of gear.

Kevin Churko is a producer, sound engineer, masterer, mixer and a songwriter. While his production credits involve the hard rock and metal genre, I bet a lot of people didn’t know that he was involved with Britney Spears when he started off. Yep that is right. In 2000 he was the Digital Editing and Programming guru on Britney’s Oops!… I Did It Again album. He had that same job title for The Corrs, Shania Twain and Celine Dion albums that followed between 2000 and 2003.

From 2003 onwards, he then started getting appointments as an Engineer and a mixer. He had those titles for Shania Twain and Ozzy Osbourne albums.

Then from 2006 and onwards he started getting producing appointments.

Churko built up a credentialed name for himself between 1999 and 2006. Since then he has done I Don’t Wanna Stop, Black Rain and Scream by Ozzy Osbourne. Apart from being the Producer, he was also the Engineer, the Mixer and Composer.

He has filled the same role for In This Moment, Hinder, Beggars and Thieves, Emerson Drive, Five Finger Death Punch, Otherwise, Kobra and The Lotus and Rob Zombie.

The point in all of this. Success in music is not just about writing a song and watching it sell. You need to earn your success. You need to pay your dues. You need to live and experience life. You need to be patient. You need to persevere. The bottom line; don’t quit.

And remember: still play to your core audience. That is what all of the above artists are doing. They are keeping their core audience satisfied.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, Piracy

Creativity involves Diversification

I love creativity.  It could be a song, a story, a novel, a comic, a movie, a photograph, a TV show or even a website.  We are overloaded with people creating something.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad.  However that is subjective to my tastes and interests.  Stuff that I like, a lot of other people don’t like.

Due to the Internet, the entry barriers to promote creative works have diminished greatly.  That is a good thing.  Sometimes it takes years for the creative works to be discovered by an audience that appreciates it.

Check out Randy Blythe’s Instagram account.  This dude, takes awesome photo’s and then adds a story to each photo that he takes.  He personalises his creativity.  You don’t have to be a fan of Lamb Of God, to appreciate the creative work of Randy Blythe.  He doesn’t even advertise that he is the singer of Lamb Of God, all he has are the words, “In some band. I try and be a good man.”  Make sure you check out his photos from Prague, during the court case.

Nikki Sixx is another, that is creating quite a few different creative outlets.  Apart from Motley Crue, he also has Sixx A.M.  On top of that, he is a book author, photographer, web show DJ and many more.

Check out the photos on his Tumblr account and on his Instagram account.  Even Nikki Sixx has started adding stories about his photos, in a similar vein to Randy Blythe.

There are others, like Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria and Corey Taylor from Stone Sour, that released concept albums and are branching out into graphic novels, comics and movie deals.  Robb Flynn from Machine Head is another that is building connections with his fans, by posting his Journals/Ramblings up once a week.

That is what it takes these days to make it.  You need to be creative 24/7.  You need to remain in the public eye.  You need more than just one outlet.  Selling music is a zero sum game.  Having all your eggs in the one basket, is not good risk management.  Spread out, diversify.

You need to connect with people.  It could take years or it could take days, so be prepared to put in time.  You probably will not be paid and any monies you are paid, would not be enough to support a family, but then again, all creative people create because they love it.  It is an outlet to them.  Somewhere through the years, this changed to people creating just to be paid, which is a shame.  Look back at all the masters of history, from Beethoven to Bach to Dali and Monet.  They created music and paintings, not to be paid in the millions, because they wanted too.

So don’t buy in to all of the piracy and copyright infringement bullshit, put forward by the entertainment industry’s lobby groups like the RIAA or MPAA or the labels/studios themselves.  Creativity can bring back many financial gains, you just need to be prepared to put in the time.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Coheed and Cambria – Metro Theater, Sydney 20 April 2013 – A Set List Of Classic Songs To Be Discovered

Parking in the Sydney CBD.  It’s a nightmare, especially if you don’t frequently drive there.   Miss just one turn and you are screwed, caught in an endless maze of one way’s as you try to work your way back to where you should have been.

I had a VIP pass for the show.  I also purchased the VIP sticky pass for my cousin.  Initially, the VIP pass was to allow you inside the venue 30 minutes before normal doors opened for an acoustic show by at least one member of Coheed and Cambria (COCA).  I then saw on Facebook a few days before the show, that all VIP pass holders for the Australian and New Zealand shows will be a meet and greet session instead of the acoustic show.

Due to my issue with the parking, i didn’t know if the meet and greet went on as planned.  When i got into the venue (which was 10 minutes before the doors opened), I was treated to Travis Stever performing an acoustic song from his side project.  I didn’t realize he was such a good vocalist but it wasn’t what I wanted to see.  By the way, the meet and greet didn’t happen in Sydney, however it happened in Brisbane.  Apparently, too many people had VIP passes for the Sydney show, hence the acoustic set.

Coheed and Cambria is Claudio Sanchez.  So when i saw the rule that at least one member of Coheed and Cambria will perform an acoustic song, i always assumed it would be Claudio, since he is the vocalist and the guitarist and the main songwriter for Coheed.

So yeah, Travis played a song from his side project.  This was unfair to the Sydney fans, it was unfair to me.  Australian fans do not get a chance to see Coheed and Cambria all the time, so an acoustic song with Claudio should have been the norm here.  Next time guys, keep us in the loop.  COCA fans are devoted to COCA, but remember it’s a two-way street.  Don’t fall into the one way street train of thought that a lot of bands seem to have.

Then Circa Survive came on.  I haven’t heard a song from them, so i was interested into hearing what they are like.  What a disappointment?  All I can say is that they are the most luckiest band in the world, as Coheed as taken them around the world on The Afterman tour.  I like a song to have a good riff.  Coheed have a lot of songs that fall into this category.  Circa Survive don’t have that.  The last song Get Out and the second last song, The Difference Between Poison and Medicine Is The Dose weren’t bad songs, however that was it.  Actually one of the guitarist’s stormed off the stage pretty quickly.  He was tuning up his guitar the whole night, which was confusing, however there was an incident early on in the set where the singer hit the neck of the guitar, so maybe something got messed up there.

COCA opened up with No World for Tomorrow.  The title track from their 2007 album, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow.  This is where Claudio (the character) comes to grips with the fact that he is The Crowing and sets out for the ultimate battle with Wilhelm Ryan and Mayo Deftinwolf.  

This is the battle cry.  COCA is the ring master and the fans are the IRObots.  It was the perfect opener.

Bye, bye world, or will our hope still hold on?
Boy, you’re never going see,
The things that will come of these (days.)
Raise your hands high!
Young brothers and sisters,
There’s a world’s worth of work and a need for you.
Oh, a change is coming, feel these doors now closing in.
Is there no world for tomorrow, if we wait for today?

In the whole story arc of The Armory Wars, the characters are tools of fate.  Raise your hands high, young brothers and sisters.  We are at the show, and Coheed and Cambria has come of age.  They opened up with No World For Tomorrow and then took us to the pop/punk – emo tones of A Favor House Atlantic.

A Favor House Atlantic is from In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.

During the War of the Mages started by Wilhem Ryan, Althaddeus Favor was a Mage that disappeared, and it remains unknown what happened to him. Ryan then moved in on his home, the House Atlantic.  This part of the story came to light during The Year Of The Black Rainbow release.

A Favor House Atlantic is about the death of Al The Killer.  At the start, Al betrays Claudio (the character), as he takes the group to the House Atlantic, which is Wilhelm Ryan’s headquarters.  Al redeems himself at the last-minute, and helps the group to escape, which in turn will cost Al his life.  The Bye Bye Beautiful part is said to Ambellina who Al started to like and it was for that reason he made his last heroic stand.

Bye bye beautiful
Don’t bother to write
Disturbed by your words and they’re calling all cars
Face step, let down.
Face step, step down

It is well-known that Coheed and Cambria songs have dual meanings, referencing real life events that then are woven into the story arc.  There are good arguments put forward on a lot of Coheed blogs, that mention this song is about the Columbine shootings.

Goodnight, Fair Lady was up next continuing with the pop rock feel started with A Favor House Atlantic.  We have gone back in time for the story.  Back to the time of Sirius Armory.  This is another song with a dual meaning.  In the context of the story, this is where Meri, the wife of Sirius is saved from having her drink spiked by a police officer called Grave Colten.  Sirius is presumed dead at this point in time, as his ship had exploded.      In real life, it is about a creepy looking guy at a bar.  The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.

I’m the snake waiting for you, dear
And eventually you’ll come to me
I know you will

The Crowing kept the pop rock feel going.  This is where Claudio (the character) is woken up by Ambellina, a member of the Prise (a form of guardian angels) who has been sent out to protect Claudio and ensure that he becomes The Crowing, the one foretold in the prophecy, that will be responsible for the end of the Keywork.  It is from the album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.

If I form mistakes, would I take them back
If erasing them could, if erasing them would
But would they be the words that I would say

Next up is Vic the Butcher and the show has moved away from the pop rock feel into a more heavy rock feel.  Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher, is about Claudio’s and Chondra’s real life relationship.  In relation to the story Vic is a tyrannical general who massacred innocent people for the good of the cause.  The Achilles heel for Vic The Butcher is Sentry The Defiant, the Sargeant that defied Vic and paid the price with his life.  The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.  

Baby I’m bad company,
And you don’t have a mark
You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen
Come with me, I want to make you dirty

This will cut you down to pieces
One-eighty-four, let’s burn it down
And if I can’t keep from living with this regret
I’ll need to change the way I think

The show now went into the mellow part of the night.  The hair from Claudio was all tied up.

Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful is the opposite of Vic The Butcher.  It’s about loss, when a person that we love is gone, how would we feel.  Evagria pulled Sirius from Vic’s possession and acts as his savior from the souls who want him.  The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album. 

I am not who I seem, who you thought I could be,
The support you could lean up against when you need,
I’m the dark when you want, the lights out at all costs,
This is mine, that is yours, I’m the bricks in your wall.

The Afterman started with the beautiful delay lead written by Travis, that goes throughout the whole song.  The song was written when Claudio’s (singer) wife Chondra, found out that a very close friend passed away via Facebook.  In relation, to the story, this is where Meri, Sirius’s wife hears the news that Sirius Armory is feared dead, after his ship explodes.  

She gave her heart to a falling star
When news filtered through of his tragedy all the walls went up
Around a world she declines
As the tears from her eyes fall
No one understands, and no one will
All she has lost

Here We Are Juggernaut is heavy.  It’s a perfect pick me up after The Afterman.  In real life, it is Claudio referring to his wife Chondra as his secret weapon and together they are unstoppable.  In the Amory Wars story, it refers to the characters Coheed and Cambria, the growing attraction they are felling for each other, the discovery of Wilhelm Ryan’s plan to siphon the universe’s energy for his own use and the plight of Dr. Leonard Hohenberger, the creator of Coheed and Cambria.  Here We Are Juggernaut is the battle cry.  It is from The Year of The Black Rainbow album.  

 

We were stupid, we got caught
But nothing matters anymore
So what? Here we are, juggernaut,
So let’s hang us a hangman, we’ll bury our burdens in blood

Dark Side of Me is about allowing people into your world, the good and the bad.  As mentioned by Claudio in the deluxe edition book, “True intimacy lies in the dark side, in making peace with the fact that it lives somewhere, so that you share it with the person and they can be there to help you overcome it.”  

In relation to the story, this is after Meri had died in a crash caused by Sirius after she told him she couldn’t be with him and that she was carrying the baby of Officer Colten.  The song is on The Afterman; Descension album.

“You had a million chances to play the hero for her, but you made your choice and hers too.  You left that woman in the dark and came back like you could just turn the light on?  If you loved her, you would’ve stayed up there Sirius, you would have let her go.” Colten said to Sirius.

I gave my everything
For all the wrong things
In this cold reality I made
This selfish war machine

Oh, this has become hell
How can I share this life
With someone else?
I promise you
There is no weight that can bury us
Beneath the ghosts of all my guilt

Here in the dark side of me

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is the closer of the first set.  Its epic and the crowd sang it all the way through.  Man Your Battle Stations is the war cry as the Rebel army prepares for war.

In the seventh turning hour
Will the victims shadow fall?
Should the irony grow hungry?
With the victory and all they sought for
We were one among the fence
One among the fence

The encore begins.  Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute was written before the final Michael Todd (ex bassist in Coheed) episode.  In relation to the story line, Domino is a form of energy in the Keywork, angry and bitter, forever stuck in the afterlife.   

The story of Domino, a boxer with talent that gave in to all of the temptations of fame, like drugs and fell in with the local mafia boss.  After losing a fight against the current champion, Domino is offered a chance to redeem himself to the mafia boss by committing a robbery.  He convinces his brother, to help him.  It all goes wrong, his brother gets killed and Domino unable to live with himself, commits suicide.  The song is on The Afterman; Ascension album.

Welcome Home is closer, with its Led Zeppelin Kashmir groove.  It’s as epic as Kashmir.  A song dealing with loss that turns to anger.  The Writer is the character in this, he is the reaper, about to kill a woman that he loves as she pleads for her life.  The song is on the Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness album.  

One last kiss for you
One more wish to you
Please make up your mind girl…
Before I hope you die

Overall, Coheed put on a show.  They easily could have played another 5 to 6 numbers, and in my view they should have, as they don’t tour Australia often.  I remember Dream Theater put on a three-hour extravaganza the first time they toured here.  

Also a big thumbs up to Josh Eppard on drums (Welcome Home) and Zach Cooper on bass.  You guys killed it.  

Till next time.  

One last thing, parking cost $29.  Nice hit on the wallet.  Thanks Sydney CBD for ripping people off again.  At least the Beef Yeeros at Brighton Le Sands made up for it.     

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