Monday, April 9, 2018

Electric Funeral, Music Politics

Here's our rendition of Electric Funeral with my buddy Martin on drums, and Thelma on groans :D https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/electric-funeral 
I did a bit of vocals but not the full song. Enjoy!

I've been pretty busy practicing a lot of music, working on jazz guitar, jazz standards, as well as piano. I'm mostly just improvising on piano but I'm getting much better pretty quickly and I've only been playing since October.

The band situation is either getting worse or getting better depending on how you look at it. The drummer has improved a lot and I look forward to continue working with him for a long time. However, the singer might be leaving to join another band, depending on if he gets accepted after the audition process.

In the meantime we're still practicing together with the current singer. However, Martin (drummer) has found a new guitarist (named Stan) that also plays guitar and sings. I sing and play guitar too so if Alex (current singer) ends up leaving we have a good back up plan for the band.

I'm teaching my friend rudimentary rock bass and I'm hoping he can get good fast enough to play with us (our riffs aren't that difficult, just fast mostly).

As if that wasn't enough our current bass player can't play the songs the same way, he just improvises and changes it every time so we're going to have to let him go.

As you can see I'm dealing with a lot of politics! Me and the drummer are the unofficial leaders but man am I glad that he found another guitarist that can do vocals, that will make things a lot easier if Alex ends up ditching us.

Its a lot of pressure and I'm trying to stay positive about the whole metal band thing. One could take a look at my band and just say those guys are just fucking around.

As if that wasn't enough I'm also looking and talking to jazz musicians to play in a jazz setting. Hopefully I can do that soon because my heart is way more into jazz than metal, even if I do have a 7-string Jackson as my current main guitar. 

I'm going to continue to work hard and improve my chops, increase my repertoire and keep playing live at the open jam at Petie's Place, the bar on Reseda. I've got to keep pushing myself. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

More music

Here's some more music from the open jams. Its pretty crazy I have something like 24 weeks of tunes I've played at this open jam at Petie's Place, this low-key bar in Tarzana on Reseda and Oxnard. If you live in the Valley you should come check it out sometime. Anyways, here I played with the house band, we did Sunshine of Your Love (a favorite of mines) and John Coltrane's Mr. PC, a jazz standard I learned from the Real Book. Enjoy the music! Leave a comment, let me know what you think. 

https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/sunshine-of-your-love-latest
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/mr-pc-coltrane 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

More Jam Tracks

Here's some music from last week's open jam. I ended up playing with this older guitar playing friend that plays a Steve Vai Jem guitar while I used my Jackson 7-string. These are pretty much just jams we did, no songs or anything. However, this cool girl named Melinda helped out on vocals on the first jam. Lotta soul!

I think it ended up sounding pretty darn good. I distinctly remember the drummer, my good friend Jim X (from the jazz fusion band Oui3, whom I just saw at the Baked Potato on Sunday) saying that its not really a good idea to have two guitarists soloing at the same time. There are moments where it worked really well. I guess it just depends on how you do it. 

Interesting to note that I thought I was super loud, much louder than the other guitar but after listening back its the other guitar that louder. 

I've been practicing a lot of drop2 jazz chord voicings and learning a lot of rootless inversions as well. I brought my friends' bass to the shop for repairs, I gotta go back and pay them $40 for a a $100 bass, expensive for sure. Haven't had band practice for a while but hopefully we'll practice tomorrow or Friday.  

https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/sunshine-of-your-love-latest-version-1
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/jam-with-darkwood-on-gtr

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Songs with a producer

Here's two tunes I worked on with this producer from Poland, check it out! 

https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/teenage-tears
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=krvWoJdqOo0

I like what he did with my guitar parts. On Teenage Tears its a total rock type of thing at the end w/ my guitar sounding like a buzzsaw. The other tune (youtube video one) is more of an ambient backwards guitar parts sort of thing. Both are pretty cool. Enjoy!

More Jam Tracks

Got more jam tracks for you all. This was a totally impromptu jam as my drummer was out of town in Mexico and couldn't make this session. 

https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/soothsayer-guest-guitar
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/bad-horsie-guest-on-bass
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/sunshine-of-your-love-guest-guitar-and-bass

I think this version of Buckethead's Soothsayer is the best I've ever played, that guest guitar player really filled out with some nice chordal and rhythmic riffing comping, it was fantastic, he really made my solo pop out more with the emotional response, which is exactly what you need to play like Buckethead. Bad Horsie was also really well done, at some point I should bring my wah pedal so I can really make it scream like Steve Vai. Enjoy! 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Jam tracks

Here's the tracks from last week.
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/soothsayer-buckethead
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/sunshine-of-your-love-most-recent-version
https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-17/bad-horsie-improv

This was the last jam with my friend Martin on drums before he went off to Mexico. The first track isn't Soothsayer but actually an original tune that me and Martin play for our death metal band, called Wolves to the Slaughter. I think my vocals were a lot clearer and louder for Sunshine. And Bad Horsie is Bad Horsie lol.

Working on recording the band soon, we have a bass player now! More updates and blog posts coming soon. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Band Update: We're a death metal band called Wolves to the Slaughter, playing a show soon!

Hey, just wanted to do a short update on the band's status. For a short while I was just practicing and performing at the weekly open jam as a duo, two piece band with my drummer friend Martin but now we're working with a metal (screamer) vocalist, we're playing death metal with a little bit of black metal influence, mostly in the drumming. My guitar playing is more straight death metal with 80s shred guitar and progressive rock (jazzy distorted chords) bits here and there, a bit of black metal influence there as well. But I digress...

What happened with Martin's other group was that they decided their guitar player was holding them back so they kicked him out and recruited me to join. I reluctantly joined because at first I left that band (some months ago) because I didn't want to play death metal. But I changed my mind and I've been working with Alex (vocals) and Martin (drums) for a while now. So far we've only been practicing two hours a week but I think we're already ready to gig. We need a bass player but I think I've already found one, one of my friends.

We've got four songs down already that are originals, more if we count covers but we're not sure if we're going to perform covers, you see we've already got a gig lined up. We're going to be playing a backyard show at Martin's friends' house downtown LA (more information available as I find out more) on March 2nd. 

So yeah we're playing a show on March 2nd on a Friday. Unfortunately we aren't getting paid but it will be my first real official gig in California (not counting the open jams). I haven't played a gig since 2013 so this is quite a musical milestone for me and I'm quite pleased with the band, even if we ain't playing jazz (I wish I could be in a gigging jazz band). These guys couldn't play jazz anyways but they are pretty good rock and roll musicians.

It's all quite exciting and cool. Oh, and by the way the band is called Wolves to the Slaughter, I thought of the name and everybody agreed on it that it was cool. Hurrah for democracy! 

I'm using my 7-string Jackson for the band, I'll bring my Marshall amp for the gig, straight through the amp, no effects. The drummer plays a small jazz kit (even though he's a metal drummer), he likes the sound of small snares. And the singer has this whole vocal effects setup with his own personal microphone. The gig will probably go great. I'll post more information once I learn more about the gig. 

Another thing I'm gonna prioritize for the band is recording. I think we're ready for it, I could even record the bass parts if need be. 

Electric Funeral, Music Politics

Here's our rendition of Electric Funeral with my buddy Martin on drums, and Thelma on groans :D https://soundcloud.com/orlando-figueroa-...