24 May 2011

Paul Bothner Music Birthday Sale

12th Avenue's amazing sponsors, Paul Bothner Music, are celebrating their birthday with a 5-day sale that any musician looking for incredible deals should not miss. Check out the details below and take a look at their website - www.bothners.co.za


Absolutely Everything on Special!!

It’s our Famous Annual Birthday Bash!!

MASSIVE Savings on ALL our Gear at ALL of Our Stores

Extended Shopping Hours 

5 Days Only!! Wed 25 to Sun 29 May

First come, first served!! Don’t miss out!!

R3000 voucher up for grabs!! 

Shopping Hours at Western Cape, KZN and Gauteng Branches:
All 6 our stores – Including Jean Village and Glenwood Village
Wednesday till Friday: 9 am to 6 pm 
Saturday: 08:30 am to 3 pm 
Sunday: 9 am to 2 pm

23 May 2011

Track by track - 12th Avenue (self-titled) - Why I played it the way I did...

This one is for the drummers, and for anyone else who might be interested in the writing and recording process of the drum parts on 12th Avenue's latest record.

Track 1 - "Walk on the Water"

The snare sound on this track came about by accident. After soundchecking the kit and getting a good sound to build from, we decided to record this track first. It was only the next day when we starting the next track, that we realised we hadn't hooked up the underside snare drum microphone. However, when listening to the song, we realised that it gave a nice industrial sound, so we kept it as is. The song features a fairly solid rock beat with fast paced fills. It was inspired by Josh Freese's drumming on Lostprophets' 2006 "Liberation Transmission". I was also listening to quite a bit of Paramore before recording this, which inspired quite a few of the snare-heavy fills.

Track 2 - "Wasting Time"

Lots of breaks and accents in this one. I planned a lot of the fills and breaks around the guitar riffs. The guitars also help to accentuate some of the drum parts through scratches and slides, which add another percussive element to the song. The drumming during the guitar solo is bit of a tribute to my favourite drummer, John Bonham (Led Zeppelin). In fact, several parts of the song are very Bonham inspired. The use of the splash and china without any bass drum or snare, just before the last chorus, was kind of borrowed from the Seether track "Burrito" where John Humphrey does a similar sort of thing. In addition to my 10" splash, I also used an 8" splash cymbal for quicker decay.

Track 3 - "Sally"

A bit more of a blue/jazz inspired track, drumming wise. Most of the drumming you hear on the track came about by accident. I really just jammed it out with the band, as I couldn't remember which part came next. I was quite surprised that it sounded so good when I listened back to the take. I tried to keep a lot of the drumming fairly simple in this one, as the song has quite a bit of dynamics to it. We went for a bit of a deeper tone on the snare and toms on this song as well, which gives it a nice vintage feel. To add to this, I used a 16" thin crash in the last section of the choruses to give an older, more worn-out feel to the song. Again, there's a big John Bonham influence, as well as influence from Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters).

Track 4 - "Taking my Heart with You"

This is probably my favourite song to play on the new record and also one of the hardest to play live, especially when singing such high backing vocals. Amazingly, it was done in a single take. More Josh Freese inspired stuff happening here. It's also the only song on the record in 6/8 timing.

Track 5 - "Lost in Confusion"

Even though it's the most simple song on the record, it took me the most takes to get right. There's nothing too crazy going on in the song, but the straight-forward beat, along with the pumping bass guitar notes, drives the song.

Track 6 - "Nightmare"

This track has a lot of subtle effects and really nice offbeats that fit in nicely with the bass guitar work in the second verse. The choruses are straight forward, but build up to an epic climax. We used a lot of the underside snare mic on this track, which makes the ghost notes in the verse sound really great. The simplified fill at the end of the song actually came about by accident, as I miscounted the bars and thought the song was ending a bar later. The explosive reverb on the bass drum at the end of the song ends the record off really well.

My drum kit! Ain't she purr-dy? :)

19 May 2011

A few things you didn't know about me

It's been too long since I last blogged and for that I apologise. If it's any consolation, I've decided as my next blog post, I'll divulge a bit of information that most people probably wouldn't know about me. It's probably not even that interesting, but whatever. If you got this far, you most likely have nothing to do and you'll read the rest anyway! :p

Fact 1: I have a birthmark under my toe. Don't ask me which one. I'm not prepared to take my shoes off right now to check, as it is cold, but I think it's the 3rd toe on my left foot.

Fact 2: Another foot one (don't ask). I always put my left shoe on first. Maybe it's a result of doing the Hokey Pokey in preschool.

Fact 3: I am Scoleciphobic (I have a fear of worms). Those legless buggers freak me out for some reason. Caterpillars are not so bad, since they have legs, but if it squirms...no thanks!

Fact 4: I taught myself how to play drums when I was 11. My grandpa and brother discovered my talent when I sat down behind a kit in a music store and started playing a beat.

Fact 5: I have never smoked a cigarette.

Fact 6: I literally got goosebumps when I saw John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)'s drum kit on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in London.

Fact 7: I once fell asleep for a few seconds behind the drums at a show in Durban a few years back. It was the second last show of an enormous summer tour and we were on stage at about midnight. I drifted off in the middle of song out of pure exhaustion. I felt really bad at the time, but I laugh really hard at the story now.

Fact 8: When typing messages on my cellphone, I have a terrible habit of accidentally typing "o" instead of "i". I'm just waiting for me to type "I'm just coming around to fetch a few thongs" instead of "things"! - Can you spell awkward typo?

Fact 9: I once ordered bottomless coffee at Mugg & Bean and drank 9 mugs of coffee in a couple of hours. I felt so sick that I drank a litre of water, which made me feel worse.

Fact 10: I have 6 less teeth than the average person. All 4 of my wisdom teeth were extracted, along with 2 other teeth when I was 13, as my jaw was too small for all those chompers. And yes, I had braces for 2 years and somewhat resembled the evil robots from Terminator. :)

So there you have it, a few things that I'm guessing you didn't know about me, but now you know.

04 May 2011

Busy busy busy!

After a moderately quiet April, touring for 12th Avenue is in full swing again. Already, we have a few battle scars, which are an inevitable part of any tour. I have a few scratches on the back of my hands that I assume are from loading equipment into a vehicle. I've also been dealing with blisters on my fingers from drumming, which are thankfully all calloused now, as well as on one of my toes, as a result of doing a 10km walk the other day. My bassist, Brian, was unfortunate enough to get his thumb caught in a car door at the last show, but thankfully it's just bruised and he can still play bass.

Apart from minor injuries, the shows have been incredible so far, and we have loads more coming up. Thank you to everyone that's come to the shows so far. Your support is greatly appreciated and you really make it that much more meaningful for us.

Make sure you get down to one or more of the following 12th Avenue shows. We'd love to see you there!

12th Avenue upcoming tour dates so far:

6 May - Nameless Pub, Somerset West
10 May - Aandklas, Stellenbosch
21 May - Private Event, Cape Town
26 May - Tings n Times, Pretoria
27 May - Cool Runnings, Fourways, Johannesburg
28 May - Die Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein
3 June - The Grand Daddy Hotel, Cape Town
10 June - Plaasteater, Brackenfell