Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

The Value Of Friends

Posted: March 20, 2013 in 2013, , Friends

It’s been a while since my last blog, 2 or more weeks.

It’s been sitting in my mind for a fair while now of just how lucky I am in a certain aspect to know the people I call friends. Especially those I have gotten close to over the years, they know who they are, so I will refrain from mentioning them and the fact I have mentioned them in previous blogs so I don’t feel I need to mention them again.

I always felt like an outcast in school, sure I hung out with people I could relate to, but most of them I never considered friends. There’s all of about 3 that I keep in touch from my school days that I would call friends. But that’s not the point. I always felt more accepted on online communities where I had a passion, which was music and it still is. In fact two of my closest friends I met on music forums, one on an official band forum (Stone Sour) the other two on a fan forum (Green Day)

The friend I met on the Green Day forum, here & I have known each other 7 years now, we’re lucky we live in the same country and only about a 2 hour flight away so it is possible to see each other, in fact she was the friend that had me down in December for The Living End concerts, which is something I will never forget. She & her boyfriend also came to my 21st last year, something which I never expected them to do, but it really made it special having her there. I am extremely grateful to call her my friend, there is only two other people that have done as much for me as she has and who mean the world to me.

The other friend who I also met on the Green Day forum, is someone who I still consider close to me, even if we haven’t spoken much and don’t really keep upto date with each other. She has done some great things for me, she was also present at my 21st, she came over from New Zealand to spend it with me and attend Big Day Out that weekend, it was a great 5 days. I won’t forget them. I’ll never forget her, even if distance is creeping in between us, as much as it sucks. We can always pick up where we left off, like the time apart never existed.

The other friend whom I only met just last year via the Stone Sour forums is also someone who has done a lot for me, she was there for me when I was finding it difficult to reach out to other people, and in return I have been there for her through a recent rough period and I will continue to be, because that’s the kind of friend she is to me a very important one. On top of being a great friend she has also gone to the lengths to send me an awesome gift in the mail, which was a Stone Sour cd, which was lovely of her. I’ve also done the same by sending some TV shows, why? Because She’s my friend and I want my friends to be happy and if they’re happy then I am. I never expect anything in return EVER, well other than a thank you. I just do it to see them smile and know someone appreciates them.

Then there’s my other friend who I met at TAFE, she’s like a big sister to me, i’m an only child so I never had that figure around growing up. But over the last 3 years we’ve known each other it’s been an awesome friendship! We’ve seen the ups & downs of life, but it’s always equalled itself out. We can go months without catching up but when we do it’s like we only saw each other the day before. It’s always a pleasure.

I don’t know if those three friends understand how much they mean to me, but without them I wouldn’t be who I am. Even if one friend I haven’t even known a year she means the most to me for everything she has done for me.

My friends are the greatest people on earth, and they should know that I love them dearly for being who they are to me.

This is from my friend from the Stone Sour forums, sent me their latest album
because she had a spare and no where near me had any copies. Best friend ever.

Stone Sour: a cocktail featuring amaretto liqueur, orange juice and sweet & sour mix, or more commonly known as the heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa, formed by Slipknot singer Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root.

I’ve been following Stone Sour since their return in 2002/2003 from their hiatus in 1997 when Corey & James joined Slipknot in 1997 & 1999. Stone Sour has been a big player in my life in shaping me to who I am, I have made some amazing friends via their music. Most recently & notably my friend Kat who is a great person and has been there for me during some tough times of late. Easily Stone Sour would be a top 5 band of mine along with Slipknot & Metallica, those three bands are responsible more than any other band I listen for me being me, I like to think.

Not sure where I am going with this blog, apart from the fact I have been only listening to Stone Sour since I was able to finally see them at Soundwave last Saturday. It’s given me time to reflect how much the band has matured in the last 10 years since their debut self titled album came out. Back then, they were raw, pissed off and wanted to show everyone they were just that. The years to follow they found their sound & style and kept fine tuning it as each album came along. It’s obvious they never wanted to be the same from record to record unlike many bands have done because it’s a fail safe for them and they know it will always be a hit with their fans. But Stone Sour, nope, a mix of heavy, soft and in the middle is what they are and always will be. Some albums feature more heavy Come What(ever) May for example, whilst some feature softer songs like Audio Secrecy whilst still retaining that edge that makes them Stone Sour.

I always thought Audio Secrecy was one of my least favourite Stone Sour album and Come What(ever) May was my most favourite, it wasn’t until I had this discussion with a friend where she opened my eyes and I realised I don’t exactly have a favourite Stone Sour album, because I love them all despite they are all being different in some way from each other, which makes them unique and great. Especially House of Gold & Bones Part 1, I wasn’t in the right state of mind/place at the time when it came out so I never really gave it a proper listen. In fact I was probably in the worst place I had been in quite sometime when that came out back in October last year. Where I wasn’t into listening to much music, I pretty much stuck to listening to Slash, Alter Bridge & RUSH. Thankfully I made a great friend from the Stone Sour forums who helped me through it all.

Stone Sour, Soundwave Feb 23rd 2013

Stone Sour fans, some of them are amazing some of them, well I question if they’re actually fans given how much they bitch about the band. One thing that has always annoyed me about Stone Sour fans is the ones who say “Stone Sour sold out with this radio rock song” I would like to point out that Stone Sour never sold out, well in my opinion they never did since what I govern a sell out is making the same sounding record over and over again to guarantee sales, sure it works for some bands and you don’t want them to change, but for other bands, change is important, and with Stone Sour I think change is crucial. Who cares if the bands new single is a radio friendly song, their other previous singles from the album are definitely a lot heavier and ballsy.

I know I was probably one of those whiny fans at one point, but i’m not any more, i’ve grown up and realised what kind of band Stone Sour is. I don’t think they’re one to conform to what is wanted by the label or society, as much as it looks like it could be that sometimes, I am sure it is not. But also to those saying Stone Sour write radio friendly songs in terms for hits, where’s your logic behind that? Stone Sour has had on at least every album that has been a huge commercial success, whether that was Bother, Through Glass, Hesitate etc. They will always have that one song that will appeal to the masses that lets them discover the band. Which from a commercial standpoint is never a bad thing having more customers.

As I sit here writing this I have Audio Secrecy playing in the background, I decided to give House of Gold & Bones a rest for the moment since I was on my 63rd listen this morning since Soundwave, whoops. I think I know where this is going now, I just wanted to reflect on what Stone Sour means to me and what sort of impact they have had on me throughout my life. It’s been a positive influence, their music has been there through the lowest of lows for me and it’s made me feel not as alone as I would otherwise.

So to end this on a positive note, I just would like to thank those of my friends who I met thanks to Stone Sours music, you guys are truly some of the best people to grace this planet in terms of friends and being loyal to me.

Love you all.

My second time attending the Australian one day festival titled ‘Soundwave’ again I was setting off with my mate Mike. Unlike last year it was just Mike & I this time, no one else! Though I am hoping next year or the year following a dear friend of mine from England might be joining us for Soundwave! The traffic was non existent on the M1 northbound, couldn’t say the same for southbound, sucked to be anyone going south, ha!

So we got to Brisbane found the best parking EVER (5 dollars for 24 hours, BARGAIN!) and it was only a short walk from the showgrounds. We set off to the RNA Showgrounds in anticipation of not missing out on the first bands we want to see Anthrax for me and Dragonforce for Mike. So I made my way to Stage 1A where I planned to be all day, at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in the pit or not, I soon decided that it wasn’t worth NOT being in the pit especially since it wasn’t that full yet and I had plenty of barrier access!

Anthrax!
ANTHRAX!

My first band for the day and a band I have been wanting to see live for years now! Their set was pretty short only 45 minutes, which meant they only had time for about 5 or 7 songs 😦 and most of the material came from Among The Living, I was hoping more from Spreading The Disease and Worship Music (their latest album) they also threw in their cover of AC/DC’s T.N.T which was a really awesome cover, just a shame the crowd wasn’t that enthusiastic. My only issue with Anthrax’s set was Joey’s microphone was pretty damn quiet compared to everyone else, also fill in guitarist Jon Donais from Shadows Fall lead was almost unheard in the mix, which was a disappointment. Jon Dette (former Slayer drummer) was filling in for Charlie Benante who sadly had to sit out due to personal reasons, but he stepped up and did an amazing job.

Anthrax’s set as follows (from memory)
Caught in a Mosh
Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
Antisocial
Indians
Hymn 1 (played over PA)
In the End
T.N.T.
I Am the Law

It was a pretty good set, but I wasn’t that familiar/a fan of most songs they played. I wanted to hear more from the new album and some from Spreading The Disease.

Stone Sour!
STONE SOUR!

I’ve been a fan of this band since they reformed back in 2002/2003 and have wanted to see them live ever since, and yesterday was my chance I wasn’t going to let that slip through my fingers! I was in the same spot where I was for Anthrax, right on the barrier stage right (left of the stage if you’re looking at it) or Josh Rands side if you’ve been to a Stone Sour show before. I was pumped to see them, probably more excited for them than I was Metallica. The set opened with Gone Sovereign and into Absolute Zero the two opening tracks off their new album House of Gold & Bones Part 1. So much energy from Corey, he also sounded PHENOMENAL! Everytime I see him his voice has gotten better, I thought he couldn’t top it with Slipknot last year with his vocals, but I was wrong! His voice is like a fine wine gets better with age.

The band went onto play Mission Statement followed by two new songs, then the obligatory playing of Through Glass which actually brought a tear to my eye and reminded me of those amazing friends I have met thanks to Stone Sour, it was beautiful. It was at that point where Josh attempted to throw a pick to me and the girl next to me, but landed short next to the security guard who wasn’t exactly helpful (he redeemed himself later that night though by giving me a Metallica beach ball) he threw the picks deeper into the crowd. Oh well!

The band closed on their highly energetic song 30-30/150 which in a sense means a lot to me, since I had printed on the back of my year 12 jersey in high school. Over all it was an amazing set, I just wish they had a 90 minute set or something. Given the band A Perfect Circle were dead boring and did not fit being on Soundwave. As usual Corey was great with the crowd, he’s a real character live. He’s fun and knows how to interact with a crowd. This picture here is possibly my favourite that I took all day, and it just so happens to be of Corey Taylor throwing water at me.

Corey Taylor

It’s just an awesome action shot of Corey, one that I am quite proud of.

The setlist for their 45 minute set was as follows, some stuff maybe out of order though.

Gone Sovereign
Absolute Zero
Mission Statement
A Rumor of Skin
RU486
Through Glass
Reborn
Say You’ll Haunt Me
30/30-150

Slayer
SLAYER!

It was time for the band I was rather sceptical to see after the weeks events with drummer Dave Lombardo. So I wasn’t going to go to their stage and lose my awesome Metallica spot. I was genuinely excited to see Slayer, but I had been feeling it less and less as the day progressed. Not that Jon Dette who replaced Dave isn’t a bad drummer, he’s actually quite great was just the fact it was Tom & Kerry being the only 2 original members in Slayer at the moment which was a real let down, since Kerry is dead on stage and Tom, whilst he is awesome it’s obvious he’s been feeling it less and less these days. Where as Jeff & Dave always came off as the life of the band and with them both not present it sucks. Though Gary Holt (Exodus) and Jon Dette (former Slayer) were great live.

Slayer opened with Disciple, fucking killer. Jon’s double kicks were powerful, so much so it actually hurt. They played all their hits, which was cool. The crowd seemed to love them. I seemed to ruin a blokes day who was handing out the wrist bands telling him that Dave wasn’t present, sorry dude!

The thing I was sorely unimpressed with Slayer was Toms vocals were soft and Gary’s leads were not mixed into both channels making it look like his guitar was turned right down. We finally heard him on the left side of the arena during their 3 encore songs. But other than that all you could hear was Kerry King which was pretty boring, might I say..

Slayers set was something a bit like this, there’s either something missing or it’s out of order.

Disciple
Die by the Sword
War Ensemble
Chemical Warfare
Altar of Sacrifice
Jesus Saves
Mandatory Suicide
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
Angel of Death
South of Heaven
Raining Blood

Then it was a painstakingly long wait for Metallica had to put up with some band I had never heard of “A Perfect Circle” who were dead boring and had no idea how to interact with the crowd or themselves. The singer also looked like he was coked out of his mind. Linkin Park then came on afterwards, they’re okay, but i’m not a huge fan of them they have a few alright songs.

METALLICA!

It was now time for the biggest band in the world, that’s right the band 50,000 odd people came to see, Metallica. The band opened with Hit The Lights which sent the crowd INSANE, myself included. They then went into Master of Puppets, possibly their best song ever written. They ran through a few older songs from Justice & Puppets before playing something a little newer Fuel, when James sung the line “Gimme Fuel, Gimme Fire, Gimme That Which I desire” the entire back of the stage lit up in flames from the pyro. You could feel the heat 30 odd metres away at the barrier, it was something. Cyanide followed Fuel, it was also the only song off Death Magnetic they played which sucked cause I like a few other songs off that and the EP as well. During Cyanide the camera guy who was positioned front of the stage went down along the barrier 3 or 4 times during the song, broad coast everyone who came into view up on the massive screen at the back of the stage, of course I got a bit of screen time which ended up being texted by a bunch of mates who were also there saying they saw me. There’s also a blurry as fuck picture circulating facebook!

After Cyanide it was some older tunes then intermission, which was followed by a short videoclip and then the gun fire started.. Yep, it was the intro to One. The whole stage was lit up with all sorts pyrotechnics from small charges, all the way upto fireworks lighting up the sky, it was spectacular. As the smoke cleared James entered and started playing the opening riff to One. The band powered through another 4 songs before ending on Enter Sandman which ended in James on the stage floor with the cameraman zooming into his guitar pick which had a special design for the Australian tour, which consisted of an Australian flag one side with Metallica 2013 and the other side a map of Australia with Australia in the Metallica font with a Kangaroo with a skull and horns.

After that the band left the stage, only to have AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ play over the PA whilst the band went to prepare for their encore of three songs. Their encore consisted of Creeping Death, Battery & Seek & Destroy. The final song of the night Seek & Destroy was energetic as all hell, during the set the Metallica crew threw Metallica branded beach balls into the crowd and more descended from the top of the stage! It was truly a great way to end the night. After the show was over, that wasn’t it, the band came back out with plastic cups full of guitar picks for us! And Lars have out a dozen or so drum sticks. It was really awesome to see a band of their stature put so much effort into giving back to their fans.

Metallica’s set as taken from Metallica.com was as follows.

Hit the Lights
Master of Puppets
The Shortest Straw
Harvester of Sorrow
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Fuel
Cyanide
Sad but True
Fade to Black
…And Justice for All
One
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Blackened
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

Encore:
Creeping Death
Battery
Seek & Destroy

After that we made the timely walk back to the car to head home. It was great cause all we had to do was get in the car and drive out. No waiting around for an hour to pay for parking, downside no talking to cute girls, but we all have to make sacrifices. So we hit the highway and went south first stopping at Yatala for food, but it was too packed with people from Soundwave so we thought fuck that! and decided on Coomera about 10-15 minutes down the road. Which was a smart move there was next to no one there at all! We got some “food” and then went on our merry way at this point it was 1am and we were both buggered, it was a long day and we just wanted sleep. I got home around 1:45am and promptly passed out after texting a friend to let her know I was home safe.

And what I scored from Metallica/my ticket/time table/wrist band for the day.

Stuff!

Happy New Year people.

Not much is new with me so far, though I did get my new phone! Nothing fancy, tis only an iPhone 4, though, it’s quite awesome I must say. It does everything my old iPhone 3G couldn’t do, which was pretty much everything. Especially Twitter, it now launches Twitter instantly without crashing ten times in a row! I am happy with that, i’m more than happy because I love using Twitter.

Happy New Year

Speaking of Twitter I’ve just passed 19,000 tweets. In the last year i’ve gone from around 6,000 tweets to 19,000 which is amazing. A few times I hit the tweet limit for the day, oops. I just decided to see who my 19,000th tweet went to the girl I met at The Living End in Melbourne, Viola. Ha! At least it wasn’t wasted on some bullshit tweet!

What else… What else… New years resolution? Nah don’t have one, just goals I always have lying about that never seem to get met. Y’know find a job, for some reason the Gold Coast has plenty to spare yet no one wishes to hire you unless you have experience, well smartass how am I meant to get experience if I don’t have a job, answer me that! Other than that, live life to the fullest, etc etc.. Probably get in better shape somewhere along the way too.

I’d like to make more friends this year, especially those who will stick by me and not turn around and tell me to fuck off for no reason and leave me puzzled as to what just happened.

So far i’ve just spent the first week of 2013 playing games I bought in the Steam sales, hanging out with mates and watching Metalocalypse in my spare time. I went to Billy Hyde the other day with my mate Rhett, i’ve now seen what a 16,000 dollar guitar looks like. It wasn’t a Jimmy Page signature, no, it was something better than that, it was a signature guitar by a guitarist who could play, Ace Frehley. Former lead guitarist of KISS. Who was replaced by Tommy Thayer. I bet i’m going to make a lot of friends with that Jimmy Page remake, don’t believe me, go watch any live Led Zeppelin video from back in the day or even Celebration Day, Page butchered songs so often it wasn’t funny.

This year I also want to get back to playing my bass, I think I might purchase Rocksmith when I have the money to get me interested again. But before then I need to get new strings and the neck realigned, and there’s a problem, i’m not sure what strings I even want. I currently have Ernie Ball Hyper Slinky’s on it, but they aren’t exactly ideal for what I play… I’ve been thinking about a set of Steve Harris signatures, but again not sure if they’re ideal for what I play and how I play. I use a pick where Steve uses his fingers in a galloping motion.

Though i’ve been thinking about a set of Dave Ellefson (Megadeth bassist) signature strings.. He plays through the same brand of amp I own, and they sound pretty punchy coming from his Jackson basses. So I think they might be what I am after.

Not really much else to report on for the year so far. Though Duke Nukem Forever is an awesome game I must say, also i’m replaying Grand Theft Auto IV for about the 4th or 5th time. I’ve clocked something stupid 170+ hours according to Steam.

Oh well, that’s all from me. Time to watch more Metalocalypse!