Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Things You Never Knew About... Pat

38 views! That is something truly special for me, since the previously highest-rating post was my very brief rant about how I wanted to suggest a special segment to Ellen to have on her show just so that we could play it. And the amazingly shocking thing is that I never heard back from her! I know, who suspected?

So my original plan was to write one of these each week, but I've never been very good a things like "patience" and "pragmatism" and "not having ADHD" so without further ado, let me reveal to you...

Pat "Mixmaster" Beckett
Pat was conceived in Sarajevo during the Bosnia/Sarajevo conflict to a tank driver and her haberdasher husband. From conception and throughout his gestation, a regular pattern of falling bombs created a lifelong affinity for heavy, thumping bass and explains why he can only hear you if you talk to him using a megaphone.

During the testing of newly-acquired amphibious vehicles, his mother took an incorrect turn as she was too self-conscious to admit that she needed to rotate the map to read it properly, and wound up two months later landing in Bondi in the summer of 1987, breaking out of the water in a torrent of frightening power, which is coincidentally what Pat did not twenty minutes later. The amphibious tank drove to Royal Prince Alfred where they were not asked to pay the $5 parking fee, for some reason, and Pat was born.

An unusually advanced child, before Pat could walk, he had already begun mixing. First, it was whites with colours (laundry, that is- Australia in the 1980's didn't have segregation, you had to go all the way to South Africa to see that). Next it was soft drinks with juices.

In 1992, at a mere 5 years of age, Pat discovered Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. This was the catalyst for a lifelong love affair with loops, rhythm, and using words like "legit" as punctuation. By year 3, he had already mixed tracks such as Go Ninja Go Ninja Go by Vanilla Ice, and by year 7 he was consulting to Eminem, who is quoted as saying "if it hadn't been for Pat Beckett, I would have followed my original dream of becoming an opera singer with a mild meth habit."

In year 8, at the tender age of 14, Pat was on his way to a Home Economics class (which, coincidentally, is where he got the nickname "mixmaster"- nobody could make smooth cake batter like Pat, and he always maintained a silken texture in your cakes was like oxygen- simply a requisite for life), when he tripped on a step and dropped a dozen pots he was carrying. It was then that he suddenly discovered that drums weren't things you programmed into chart-topping songs, as he had been doing for so many years by that point, but an instrument that could be played loud. Really loud

Eminem was said to have personally begged him not to give up his studio career (and explains why he hasn't had a good song since Lose Yourself), but Pat was hooked. He enrolled in drum lessons and a week later completed his 12th grade drum exams, at one point also setting the world record for longest drumming session (36 continuous hours without dropping out of time).

Occasionally, in between drumming and finishing his high school, he would hack NORAD. But that's a story for another time.

We met Pat at a Western Sydney beat-boxing competition, where Pat was experimenting with ventriloquism beatboxing. Some performers managed dubstep, most just managed the beats themselves, but Pat completed a full rendition of Lose Yourself with all instruments and the chorus vocal lines without even moving his lips. Obviously, he won the competition.
We had to have him in the band. But given his previous grammy victories (which he had attached to gold chains around his neck), how could we justify joining a small, part-time Western Sydney band?

I told him I was an orphan whose parents had passed away in an unfortunate juicing accident (Worst. Smoothee. Ever.) and that it had been a lifelong dream to start a small, part-time Western Sydney band who would never get to play the Ellen show.
How could he refuse?

Pat enjoys drums, bass, drum n' bass, building things for bass to play through, recording bass, and having more TV's than people in his house (he is planning for his eventual kids, although I pointed out that he will need at least 6 kids to bring the ratio to 1:1).

Pat, we love you, and are ever so glad for the 6-inch armour plating that kept you safe in Sarajevo all those years ago. You're...the... bomb!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Things You Never Knew About... Micky

So, I have decided to begin penning a series on each of the band members' mini biographies, except myself, because you can't write your own review, so to speak.

Micky D
Micky was born in Romania to a sausage manufacturer and his pedicurist wife in 1989. As a young boy, he won a number of Romanian power-lifting competitions and eventually won entry and citizenship into Australia after lifting a Holden ute above his head.

Once in Australia's shores, the young Mr. D set about racking up an impressive number of awards. In 1997, he successfully built a particle accelerator using four coke cans, a television remote control and eight kilograms of Wonka's Nerds. The call of music was too strong, however, and so despite the heads of numerous universities begging for his attendance (and the ripe age of 8) to their various faculties of advanced physics, Micky elected to remain in school and begin playing guitar.

Micky graduated high school with a fierce sense of protective civil duty. Unfortunately the local police force were not accepting applications and so Micky found a cave and became Batman. After 10 years in the security industry (based on total hours worked measured against a standard 40 hour work week), Micky realised that his desire to protect humanity came not from being Batman, but a shared parentage with Superman and therefore he had to fly.

He left the security industry and began his pilot training, which he continues to this day. Like, four days into it.

We first met Micky when he was tearing the door off a wrecked car and saving the occupants along the Western Distributor on our way back from a gig. We asked him in passing if he played any instruments.
"I play every instrument," he replied humbly. "All of them. At once, sometimes."

We watched him perform Beethoven's 5th Symphony in its entirety and were sold. There was only one thing for it: how did we convince him to join a small, fledgling, Western Sydney project.

So I told him I had cancer and he couldn't say no.

By his own admission, Micky considered himself (up until recently) a guitarist who also plays bass. This changed a few months ago to being a bassist who also plays guitar (extremely well). It's possible outlaying a few thousand dollars for a sexy Fender bass had something to do with this change in status.

Micky, we love you and are glad you play in our band. Stay away from kryptonite before gigs!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

'Abandon'ing the last tuesday

This past Tuesday we played a short but amazing gig at Glenmore Park for an event called "Abandon". There were two other awesome bands, White with One and Whitefield (formerly The Cameo), which I think both impressed and inspired us with their talent and energy - check them out when you have a moment!


The near-term sees us taking a quick break for 2 weeks then back to heavy practice mode (yes, 1 times a week) in prep for the Western Sydney Showdown where we will be sharing the stage with the dudes from Chasing Light.

Thanks again to all who encourage, support, and tolerate our musical endeavors (and putting up with listening to rough recordings at every chance)!!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Only the greatest idea EVER

I've always wanted to play something big. Like a stadium or something. Or any crowd in excess of 500. The flat bed of a big truck turned into a mobile stage.
The Ellen show.

Ellen is about the only daytime TV show that's on my lunch break that isn't entirely depressing, boring, or a very bad straight-to-TV movie about a shark that swims up from the salt water area to the fresh water area and then eats 1960's kids or something (I wasn't paying huge attention to that one).

Ellen's show is always coming up with new segments, so I thought of a mad name for a segment that would totally get her attention. Time Travelling Obscure Australian Band Friday!

See, 'cos of the time zone difference, travelling from Point A to Point U (Australia to USA) would mean that if we left at the right time, we could play yesterday in the States. In the imaginary situation (much like 'what-I'd-do-if-I'd-won-the-$70m-Oz-Lotto-on-Tuesday, which, it turns out, is buy all the wrong things and have a fight with my best friend because I'd got him the wrong house, car, and Angelina-Jolie type adoption because there's apparently a difference between adoption and human trafficking, and the answer isn't "peak hour"), we'd totally pay for our own air fares and Ellen would supply instruments because they're too big to put on a plane. Then we'd play either Hoping For Jupiter since it ties in with our album release, or Monsters In Mirrors because it'd show we're mega versatile and ahead of the musical curve using loops, real drums, and multi-instrumentalism.
Except if I stuffed the solo. That would be embarrassing.
Then Ellen would interview us and we'd be all "we've got a web page and a blog and you can buy a song for $1!" and then we'd get a hundred downloads and it would offset the cost of the flights by $100. Leaving us... ummmmmm... about $6000 down overall. Not too bad, really.

So now, all I need to do is either start stalking Ellen on Twitter or send her an email because she's totally sympathetic to Australia after Finding Nemo even though she didn't actually come here and instead recorded in a sound studio in LA. Because her character spent time in the mouth of a pelican flying around Sydney Harbour being chased by seagulls.

This plan can't fail!
Unless, by some miracle, she ignores a small obscure Australian time-travelling band. But what are the odds of that?

First post, like, ever.

We're super excited about the launch of our new website to coincide with the launch of our first EP. Moreover, we have some fantastic gigs coming up with some super talented bands, and you'd be crazy to miss them!

This area will be where we post photos of gigs and ramble a little more about life in the band and thoughts as they come along. When we begin recording our full-length album (tentatively titled Telling Tales, which is a lot of t's to use in one go) we will have a log of all the steps along the way and the craziness that ensues. Given that we recorded electric guitar on a laptop on a City Rail train and 5am on our last album, we can guarantee that some hilarity will ensue.