Suburban Legend/Transposed (2002-2003)

     Although I had played out professionally for a few gigs as a latin percussionist in a local band called Kokopelli, these were the first bands that I was a part of upon graduating high school. Everything was tracked on a Roland V-Drum kit with a single pedal in one or two takes (full band playing in the same room). The mic'ing was hilarious and it was all patched into/recorded with a tape deck. I remember hearing the playback, astounded that I was listening to myself for the first time. This was back when the mention of a metronome would garner shrugs of indifference from me.

     There are some good ideas here ("Playing In The Rain," "Hostility Song: FunkPunk," "Fragments Of Life," "Twitch Monotone" {Transposed edition}), just not executed very well. To my credit, I was occasionally adjusting to the guitarists' time. I've also provided a batch of recordings that we did in a local project studio; I used an acoustic kit.

     SL was a straight-up punk band, which transmogrified into Transposed upon booting the 'punkers' and recruiting some close friends of the band. My split didn't transpire amicably, but I have many fond memories of rehearsing and gigging from back then.

Wiredrawn (2003)

     I met these guys whilst playing out with Transposed. It was a lot of fun writing/playing more rock-oriented material. We recorded at a studio in Baltimore that was intended only for hip-hop production and it certainly shows. This was my first experience recording to a click track; I was able to knock out about half of the tunes and the other half I did sans click. I recall doing the first song of the session -- "Da Wrap" -- in one take to a click, thinking I was hot shit. Then my ego quickly melted upon failing at "My Direction," haha. Meh… still sounds decent, I guess. I've also provided a live recording that was broadcasted on a local radio station.

Before I Die/The Murder Cadence/Ascend In Red (2003-2005)

     I ran into a kid (then) named Taylor Larson at a Wiredrawn gig at a skate park; little did I know I'd be working with him so extensively (and still, to this day). We began corresponding over AOL instant messenger and he expressed interest in jamming with me. Wiredrawn was beginning to wane, as some of the members had moved away from the area. Taylor sent me demos of his current metal band (BID) and I composed some parts for the project. We did a rough home recording at the bassist's house. Shortly after, we changed the name to TMC and began composing more technical, abrasive music.

     Taylor was the first musician I played/wrote with that could keep up with my wacky, rhythmically-intense ideas. We wrote nearly all of the music together following the name change. It was very organic and an altogether rewarding experience. TMC eventually evolved into a more simplistic version of itself (AIR); there was basically a revolving door of members between the three bands, with the only staples being Taylor and myself. I wrote some more notes regarding some of the tunes below the player.

     I was recording frequently around this time since the vocalist of AIR owned/operated his own project studio. It became abundantly evident that my time was not nearly as steadfast as it should be. Granted, we never recorded to a click but I still had much work to do!

Well-Wishing And Lilies (2004)

     This was my and Taylor's 'break' from AIR; we wanted to write some 'techy,' crazy stuff again without worrying about what people would think of it. We composed all of the music for this project in probably less than a week -- just day after day, grinding through riffs and playing off of one another's ideas. There was a bassist in tow and it was too much fun perverting his mind with twisted rhythms and forcing him to lock in with a 2-3 son clave, hehe. We recruited another guy from a local band to do vocals, although it's mostly Taylor screaming solely on "Flowers Yay!" (the bassist and I peek in now and then). I titled all of the tunes and the recruited vocalist wrote the most preposterous lyrics he could conjure up at the time. We played out twice and that was that.

Ever Since Radio (2005-2006)

     Taylor eventually grew weary of the internal band conflicts and constant quarreling and jumped ship from AIR to local/regional pop/rock outfit ESR. At the time they had recently changed their 'sound,' formerly playing a fairly raucous brand of punk/hard rock. I came to the same realization and followed suit, joining Taylor and the rest of the gang. It was around this time that I began revamping my hand/foot technique and playing MUCH more often to a metronome (even live, eventually).

     I've provided some home demos that we made, but the most precious recordings -- to me -- by far are the tunes that comprise the three-song EP that we cut at a home studio in northern Delaware. I was knee-deep in the beginnings of my 'Mangini phase,' with my now-common setup but with criss-crossing cable hats as my hi-hat(s) setup. This recording is so special to me because it was the first time that I tracked ALL the tunes to a click, listened to playback and realized that I could be a good drummer. I have plans to construct a video series documenting all of these parts, honoring a proud moment for myself.

     (Even though this section covers my bands/projects from '02-'06 it segues quite naturally into my time with Periphery, so here are some stories regarding the aforementioned!)...

Periphery (2006-2009)

     Eventually, everyone lost interest in ESR for one reason or another and I found myself without a band for the first time since graduating high school. One night, moments before I fell asleep it dawned on me -- Periphery! It's nigh comical how the 'doors' in my music career have seemed to close and lead to others, and this is no exception. I knew of Periphery for they added AIR -- when Taylor and I were still a part of the group -- as friends on MySpace. I vividly recall driving to Taylor's house one day to scoop him up for band practice, when upon entering he bellowed to me, "Dude, check this band out that added us; they sound like Meshuggah!"

     Anyway, I instant messaged Misha on good ol' AOL AIM and told him that I was interested in trying out if they were still having trouble locking down the drummer spot. I sent him some drum solo MP3s and the ESR stuff and he dug what he heard. When they added AIR a year or so prior they hadn't anyone drumming, but they now had a fellow. However, he wasn't working up to expectations so I was instructed to make a video of "The Walk." I came back a day later with a crummy digital-camera-produced (no, not camcorder) video of myself playing said tune. I was told that I MUST come to their practice spot -- learn one more song ("Letter Experiment") and come on out! I had the gig after the first practice, and thus began a long year of five-hour-long weekly drives to rehearsals.

     Even though I don't have anything properly recorded with Periphery I do plan on documenting every part that I composed via recording/filming and posting on YouTube for public consumption (as I already have). There are still 'flares' of my playing (programming) evident on their debut release but I'd prefer to set the record straight my own way -- for better or worse. If you made it this far, kudos to you and thanks for reading! Enjoy the tunes… hopefully.

The Murder Cadence song notes

     The EP that we cut back in late 2003 is arranged as per the track listing ("The Murder Cadence," "A Ghost's Agreement," etc.) and features a full band; as a side note, I did this with anything else with "EP" following the band title (SC only allows 50 characters per title, so bear with me). The mic'ing for the TMC home demos is the same as the one AIR home demo and my old drum solo clips ("Savage In The '04"): three Shure SM57s and a Shure BETA 52 patched into a Fostex multitracker. In the case of the band situations, however, the 57s were spread around the room and the 52 remained in my kick. That said, with some silence and a pair of headphones you can distinguish everything that's being performed.

Anyway, we hadn't rehearsed the "Untitled" tunes much before tracking, so there were quite a bit of warts here and there. The lineup was comprised of myself, Taylor and another guitarist. These three tunes are arranged in a way that makes sense, as it was to be a single giant song. "Throw All The Numbers In Your Backpack!", "I'll Have That Centipede Super-Sized, Please," and "Put On Your Dancin' Socks" are transitional pieces, as we had a concept album in mind. I played bass on "Put On Your Dancin' Socks" after I finally figured out how to multitrack, haha. All of the TMC home demos were tracked in early 2004.

Back to Top

- Or -

Back to Aural Menu