Friday, September 28, 2012

Exploring new grounds

So I've been working with some material that I see as the songs that doesn't fit in anywhere (in any of my bands or projects that is), the odd songs - though most common people would probably consider them the most normal songs I've ever done - but to be me they stick out and are odd, close to the border to strange. The first one out now is a little thing called "360 degrees" it's written by me and it has me on vocals and on two tracks, left and right, of a very clean guitar, actually a Gibson Les Paul even though it has a Strat or a Telecaster feeling to it - I'd spontaneously describe the guitars on this one, without really knowing why, with the three words: Knopfler, Country, Strat. It also features my drummer Vesa Kallio playing a Ludwig Bronze snare with his hands and, well, that's it. I've arranged, recorded, produced and mixed it.

It has always been important to me that a song is a good song, to me the foundation of any music. That you can just sing it with only an acoustic guitar or a piano, and it still sounds as good no matter which type of music it is or how it's arranged. But I believe that when it comes to "singer-songwriter" music (I just had to use that description even though I really, really don't like that naming - I mean aren't all singers that writes their own music singer-songwriters, regardless the type of music?) it's even more evident and even a bigger and more vital part, the song comes to carry an even heavier weight because it stays in it's more primal, clean and simple form - It kind of becomes about the songs itself, giving the song life.

I've always written most of my music, regardless of the style, on an acoustic guitar. Most of my riffs, even the hardest and the heaviest ones, are written on an acoustic. But I've also touched the singer-songwriter vein with some acoustic tunes like "Let the Piper Lead The Way" (13 Chaos St) and "Unclose" (Inagone) and when I did "Aspects on/in life" in 2005 (you'll find some of the songs at my Reverbnation site But this time, with this handful odd songs that doesn't fit in, I've kind of written material from that point of view from start, focusing and basing it all on the song itself, the chords, the melodies and the lyrics. Aiming to keep the music as simple as I possibly can (even though the main riff, the verse, on this first song happen to have an irregular time signature, it's in 7/4, but it sounds natural and simple).

You'll find "360 Degrees" on my Reverbnation site at: and on Myspace: Hope you'll enjoy it and find it as exiting as I do.

/ PM

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The battle of getting things done rages on

With all the things I've got going on one might think that time is my worst enemy when it comes to trying to get some studio work done, but it's really not. I'm pretty effective and dedicated so it's not really the lack of time that is the main thing holding it all back, it's something else - The anguish of recording.

I mean when music is recorded and put out it's really there and it's that very version and it'll be there like forever. With that in mind its a huge load to perform it, but even a bigger load when you're the one the pulling the strings and making the decisions - It's all on you. I believe it's even worse the more you improvise, and I improvise A LOT, and obviously when improvising it can turn out in any way depending on so many factors. It's like I love recording but I hate it, it's the best thing I know and the worst at the same time. It's a struggle, a battle every time. However I'm getting better at handling this, decreasing the pressure and I've found a way to snatch hold of myself by seeing it just as it is: A snapshot of ones feelings and thoughts delivered out in that moment in time, a documentation of there and then, just like when I'm playing live. 

Anyway, the studio work goes on in it's pace and I'm actually getting stuff done now. I've nailed some 20 hours studio time weekly with the Inagone album and the drums are practically recorded and the upcoming week or so we'll record the remaining bass and put on some more guitars. What takes time here is the production and the mixing which all eventually turned out to be handled by me and are done along the way with the recording, and since I haven't quite decided exactly what I will be going for with the album there's a lot of time-consuming testing and trying. One thing I know however - there will be a lot of guitars on there. Straight Eight Diablo are about to start recording the drums on the upcoming full length album, and I won't be involved with that until the drums are all done and it's time for me to start working on the guitars and vocals, not probably for the next two months or so.

I've also been writing some new 13 Chaos St material and will soon be involving Mr Norkko, who has written some really cool 13 stuff as well, and Mr Kallio in the pre-production work. Also Mr Gudmundsson and I are trying to schedule some studio time to start working on some new Lizard Eye stuff ...then there's off course some other odd things laying around or turning up every now and then which will be revealed if and when they crosses the border to this world.

Been rehearsing with both my solo band and Straight Eight Diablo pretty frequently now the last weeks and it feels real good that it's all coming together. When it comes to these two bands/projects for me it's mainly getting my vocals to work smoothly and naturally with what I'm doing on the guitar and I've realized that it takes it's time and can't be forced. As you might know rehearsing and practice really ain't my (or our) thing and it really feels like we're rehearsing a lot now when we rehearse about three times a month with each of the two trios (at least it'll most certainly not be over rehearsed). I'm trying to put as much time as I can on my vocals now so I'll be fit and ready when the time comes for me to put on the vocals on my solo album (and also some other things I have plans for...). Anyway, we're on a roll and hopefully we're taking these two trios live in winter, but we'll see.

Here's a video of me and the boys rehearsing my instrumental tune "Soul Slip":

I've also done a little facelift of my official web site so check it out at

/ PM