Last night, before I drifted off to sleep, my wheels were spinning, as they so often do at that time. I was thinking about how temporary everything is - circumstances, relationships - even life itself.
I am so thankful for the lessons I've been taught and the opportunities I've been given. Ive repeated this time and again, but I'm thankful that I get to play music with my best friends. And I'm especially grateful that my parents got to witness this particular opportunity (pictured above) unfold firsthand, especially after all of the years they spent watching me sacrifice everything at the altar of music.
It was nice to show them that my hard work is beginning to pay off. But no amount of money in the world could buy the sense of validation I got when I saw my dad after the show. And that means more to me than anything. Besides, if you're in this business for money... well... good luck to you! Or better yet, get out.
The fact that Brian Gilpin (the production manager for the show that day) found my mom and got her a folding chair so she could sit on stage on my side of the stage and watch the show made it so much sweeter. (My 85 year old father was lost in the crowd somewhere, wilin' out with my brother haha).
All we can do in life is play the hand we're dealt, and use the information we have to make the best possible decisions. All in all, I think I've done an ok job, so far.
I think the two most important lessons I've learned so far are that the biggest risk a person can take in life is not taking any risks, and the biggest mistake a person can make in life is assuming that they have time.
I hope to see all of you out there happy and CRUSHING IT. And if you're not, I hope you make a change, because we only get one shot in life--and it's high time to step up to the plate and take it.
The Universe. God. Fate. Whatever you want to call it, sure works in mysterious ways. Several years ago, I had probably one of the most bizarre guitars ever. It was an acrylic B.C. Rich Mockingbird, like the one Meegs Rascon from Coal Chamber played. The dudes with whom I was playing at the time, Steve and Dave, hated it!
Anyway, one day, I wasn't paying attention, and it fell, and the neck cracked. Because the headstock was also made of acrylic, it proved to be a quite difficult repair. That's when I enlisted the help of a man who was not only like a father to me, but also knew guitars inside and out. Mr. Nelson De Jesus.
We were like family long before his son, Michael (one of my best friends), married my niece. We spent a lot of time playing music, talking about music, listening to music, and repairing musical equipment together. Many, many late nights, great meals, and a lot of laughs, too. He pretty much taught me the ropes when it came to the maintenance and repair of my own gear, and has probably saved me a small fortune over the years. Whatever I couldn't fix, we would work on together.
We spent a considerable amount of time with this guitar, before we finally decided that the best course of action was to scrap the old neck and start over with a new one. So, the search was on, but we could never find one that was quite right.
Sadly, before the guitar could be repaired, Mr. Nelson passed away. All of his guitars, amps, pedals - everything he had - were either sold off, or given away, including my guitar. I thought I'd never see it again.
Then, just this morning, I got the urge to scroll through the musician's swap meet on Facebook, and there it was. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! There was my long, lost guitar, all fixed up, and ready to jam! After contacting the seller, we verified that this guitar was indeed the one that I'd lost.
Now, I don't much believe in coincidences. But I do believe that if you pay close attention, and are in tune with the world around you, you can pick up on some things that most people can't or won't see. This is definitely something that would have amused him, and I'd like to believe that this was Mr. Nelson's way of telling me that he's OK wherever he is, and that as far as the guitar is concerned, better late than never.
I'd like to take this opportunity to give a HUGE THANKS to my new friend Norman Cash for reuniting me with my long lost guitar - and for bringing it back to life. It might look silly to some people, but it means the world to me.
I went through most of my life thinking that I was the black sheep in my family. I took an interest in music at very young age, and that interest blossomed into the love and devotion I feel for it today. When other kids were outside skating, I'd be inside working on scales, or trying to nail down my favorite Metallica songs. Hell, I'd even skip school just to come home and lock myself in my room to spend the day with my guitar in my hands and my amp cranked to 11. If I was headed to a friend's house, my beloved guitar was always in tow.
That was just the way it was. As far as my family went, I always thought I was a bit different. Maybe I was. My older brother played a little, but he didn't stick with it. Sports and chicks was more his thing.
But then I started to find things out.
I learned that my sister used to be the lead singer of this crucial local metal band back in the 80's. Whoa. My sister, the professional baker. My sister, who goes to church every Sunday. I wish I had some pics of that to share with you all.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a thrash trio called Nemesis. Haha. In a time when everyone else in school was listening to Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and 98 Degrees, and whatever other overproduced garbage was on the radio back then, I was listening to and playing bands like Metallica, Machine Head, Sepultura, Vision of Disorder, Slayer, and Pantera, just to name a few.
Guess I always kind of went against the grain - whether or not other people approved. I didn't care. I was an angsty little bastard with a big chip on my shoulder. Music - especially metal - was my escape, my refuge. So it was definitely a life-changing experience to find like-minded folks who wanted to jam, who felt the way I felt, and dug all the same bands.
It was the first time in my life I'd ever fronted a band - and most likely, the last. I learned a lot in those early years... What to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do. Haha.
But... That monster scream you hear all over the first Fatally Yours record got its start way back then, in my dad's garage, in that band.
I can't help but feel a sense of irony that I write this. You see, back in those days, I had a bit of a reputation for being the "last man standing" at parties. I could drink men twice my age under the table. This morning, I learned that as of Saturday, I am the last surviving member of that band. Our drummer, John, passed away suddenly a few years ago. And so went our bass player, this past weekend. My "rhythmless section" is gone, but will never be forgotten.
It seems, once again, I am the last man standing.
Thanks for the laughs. And thanks for being such a good sport.
To most of you, this is probably just a long, dark, dirty hallway. To me, this is my youth. I cut my teeth in this place. I've poured my blood, sweat, and tears into my art and honed my craft in this place. Good old Studio 14, in Baltimore, MD.
It almost feels strange to walk this hall in the footsteps of a young, angsty teenager with a chip on his shoulder, and his heart dead set on world domination, and reflect on all of the things that have brought him to this day, and made him the man that he has become. It almost feels strange... But it doesn't. It's kind of funny that all of the paths, detours, and deviations I've encountered in life have always seemed to lead me right back to this place. Not necessarily this hallway itself, but a certain place within my soul.
I'd say one of the most important lessons I've learned in life up to this point is this: when the universe speaks, it would serve you well to listen. At least every once in awhile.
Cheers, y'all. ❤️
We here in Fatally Yours are all about some hometown pride. From Boh's and O's to crab cakes and Ravens football - THAT'S WHAT WE DO!!! With that in mind, I decided to do a little bit of research to find out what other notable people call Bawlmer their hometown. What I ended up with was a huuuge list that I've painstakingly narrowed down to just 10. 10 is a nice, round number that people seem to like. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here goes...
Since we've released our debut EP, Every Moment, a lot of you have been asking about what inspired the art. We heard you loud and clear, so I'd like to take a moment to address that very good question...
We wanted the artwork on Every Moment to do a few things for our fans and potential fans. We wanted to give the listener a visual darkness that you can feel in the music. We wanted every panel to be a separate piece or print, but all from the same artist, and preferably someone we know and is from our hometown of Baltimore, MD.
We did not want the listener to judge what the music was about simply by looking at a band photo or promo shot of the band. How many times have you looked at a record and decided if you we're "into" it based on what the band looked like?! It happens ALL THE TIME!
I remembered that one of my close friends was an artist, but had since moved away to San Francisco. I contacted her about providing artwork for the EP, and the rest is history.
Dara Lorenzo is an American artist from Baltimore, MD. You can get more familiar with her and her art, as well as see the other prints from the same batch we choose our artwork from by clicking here. Enjoy!!
In no particular order, here goes:
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Grace was released on August 23, 1994. I remember discovering Jeff through the “Last Goodbye” video. I remember being so overtaken by his wild and unpredictable vocals. My pick of this album will have to be "Lover, You Should Have Come Over." Here is a live version from the Live in Chicago DVD. He was the purist of the pure.
It's Early on Saturday morning. As half the world sleeps, I'm sitting here listening to the rough mixes of our forthcoming EP, quietly contemplating things to come - all the while reminiscing on days long passed. I can't help but think of all the miles I've traveled, challenges I've faced, decisions I've made, love I've lost, personal sacrifices I've made, and everything else that's led me to this very moment in time - and how far I've come.
Check out this rad vid of Keith and his son covering the Ozzman!