Saturday, 6 October 2018

UPDATE 06-10-2018

Greetings! Just a quick update as once again I've fallen off the blog wagon....or is it fell on? Regardless I've been striving to post on a bit more regular basis and I did make slight progress with that resolution but not as much as I'd of liked.... Now with summer being over and my seed back in school I'll be attempting to get some legs under this story again. 

In the meantime i wanted to quickly announce that I've been given the opportunity to open up for Everlast from House of Pain/Rhyme Syndicate fame and needless to say I'm pretty stoked. At this point in my life I merely create music as an expressive means as it is in my blood, it's not like I'm trying to land a deal or anything of that sort, but it's quite an honour to get to perform on a show of this level. I generally only perform once or twice a year and this year it's definitely going to be a memorable one!

I'm really looking forward to this and I'd like to thank my pal Noel & Inertia Entertainment for making this possible. I'd also like to thank my boys Mach Spitz and DJ Kevindicator for backing me up on this performance. I hope to see some familiar faces there and have a killer time! I was also a HUGE House of Pain mark back in the day, having seen both of their first two performances in Toronto, and Ev absolutely influenced me in the early 90's so this is going to be quite amazing for me, once again coming full circle to perform with one of my influences!

Post show stories and whatnot to follow for sure! Cheers!

Friday, 31 August 2018

Born In Darkness

Happy Friday and happy Labor Day weekend. It seems summer is getting ready to shut things down for another year, and I must admit it passed by way too soon. As the old saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun” and that certainly held true this year. I did have my son with me quite a lot which is primarily why this season flashed by in the blink of an eye. I hope you all had a great summer and got to spend quality time with your loved ones. We will be finishing off strong with FanExpo this weekend in Toronto, hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces there. 

Today is also the official release of the independent short film “Born In Darkness” that I was fortunate enough to become a part of. I’m quite excited to have some of my music in a film as I’m a huge movie buff and I hope to continue down that path in the future if at all possible. 

I just wanted to take a moment to thank my good friend Mike Myre for opening the door to this opportunity for me. I’d also like to thank the creator of the film Daniel Groom for taking an interest in my music and feeling compelled enough to use it in his film. It is a great honour for me and I hope we get to work together again in the near future. Daniel is a talented young man and I can see him doing big things for himself as his career progresses. I strongly urge everyone and anyone to check the film out and to support indie artists from all walks of media. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

1996: Year in review

So let’s do a quick recap of 1996 shall we? One of my best friends dies, I find love, I move multiple times, Black Belt Jones breaks up, Wiggaz breaks up....that’s about it in a nutshell. Speaking of which, just as BBJ played our final gig at Ching Park in Brampton, one of the final Wiggaz shows I remember was also in Brampton. This gig in particular was at a shopping mall I used to frequent as a teenager because Chuck E. Cheese was located there and it was the only place in town I could play the tag team wrestling arcade machine. 

Now here I am 23 years old performing in said mall. It was quite surreal, and Brampton seemed to not want to cater to live music around this time, so there were all of these ridiculous stipulations having to have two police officers present. So basically the promoters were losing money because they had to pay for the cops to stand there and do nothing, meanwhile the people doing all the work (bands included) weren’t making any money. It was truly a frustrating time for the scene, yet it was satisfying to be playing there for me personally, and even more satisfying to see the looks on the faces of the cops when the devil himself, in a Herb Tarlek suit, met them eye to eye whilst approaching the stage. 

There was also a new wave of younger punk bands emerging from the Brampton scene at the time, most notably Perfectly Normal and Dylan Dog. The bands Fence and Dirge were still doing their thing, yet I think Fractured had folded by this point. Viciousphere was still going strong, and Knuckles our faithful engineer had started a band called Xanax with a few friends. Some of the guys from Yet Another Posse had also started a new band called Bad Blood which was pretty exciting, as they were now incorporating live musicians into the fold.

Meanwhile on the international front a “nu-metal” band named Korn released their second album “Life is Peachy” and it seemed like a lot of local bands were now trying to emulate their look and sound. I personally found Korn to be very repetitive musically and they just didn’t appeal to me. 

Here are a few other note able musical happenings that caught my attention that year:

  • Kiss revealed that they had reunited with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, with a surprise appearance on the American Music Awards. The band took to the podium in full makeup and costume for the first time since 1983. They eventually kicked off the Alive/Worldwide reunion tour at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It was the first tour by the original lineup of the band since 1979.

  • Snoop Dogg and his bodyguard were acquitted of first degree murder. The jury deadlocked on voluntary manslaughter charges and a mistrial was declared.

  • MCA Records bought half of Interscope Records. Time Warner had owned half of Interscope until September 1995 when it sold off its share due to political pressure for the explicit lyrics of the label's gangsta rap artists.

  • M.C. Hammer filed for bankruptcy.

  • The first Tibetan Freedom Concerts were held in San Francisco. (Yes the concert Black Belt Jones was asked to perform on)

  • Phil Anselmo of Pantera overdosed on heroin after a Texas homecoming gig, and thankfully survived.

  • Influential punk rock group The Ramones played their final show at The Palace in Hollywood.

  • Rapper Tupac Shakur was shot several times whilst being driven from the MGM Grand Hotel along Sunset Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, after seeing the allegedly fixed Mike Tyson versus Bruce Seldon boxing match, in what was apparently a drive-by shooting. Tupac dies as a result of injuries sustained six days later.

That’s all for now folks, join me next time as we jump into 1997, one of the most important years of my life...

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Death of 96’

1996 was winding down and so was my “musical career” considering Black Belt Jones was now no more, and a few months later Wiggaz dissolved as well. Mike started jamming with our friends Gary & Sue, as well as former EBS drummer John McCuish. Pauly would go on to start a band in the years to come called 3 Pounds, which was an early pre-cursor to emo punk rock. So what was I doing now???

Myself along with Jay Dove and his girlfriend/my best friend Julie (and my trusted cat Fritz), ended up moving into an apartment building in Brampton called Silver Maple, high up on the 19th floor. Jay ended up getting me a job where he worked in Woodbridge at a place called Beek Industries, or was it Beak? Regardless I had the most odd occupation I’ve ever acquired, taste testing fish for ph levels from wood pulp. It was only one or two days a week but the pay was great, and I was also still working part time midnights at Shayne’s mothers’ gas station in Woodbridge. 

I wasn’t really doing anything music related with the exception of making mixtapes using Jay’s awesome setup which included a drum machine he had bought off Pauly. I’d program beats to use in my mixtapes but that was it. I wasn’t creating songs and I wasn’t writing lyrics. I was however working on comic strips again and I was spending a lot of evenings at the Crown & Anchor, a pub close by that a friend of mine had recently became owner of. 

Fritz and I in Silver Maple

I was playing a lot of video games, as a brand new system called PlayStation was released, and Paul hooked Jenny up through his job at K-Mart so she bought it for me as a Christmas/early birthday gift. It was a mind blowing leap in the evolution of video games, which were now on discs and longer in cartridge form. For the most part I was always playing Twisted Metal 2, Jet Moto, Power Move Pro Wrestling, and WCW vs. The World. 

Jay and Shayne weren’t talking, and I was no longer talking to the guys from Wiggaz, so our circle of friends had become quite awkward with all these strained relationships. I just stayed at home for the most part and spent time with Jenny, Jay, Julie, and a few close friends. New Years came and went quite uneventfully as we were all divided into small groups. 

Jay & I New Years Eve 96/97

1996 had definitely been a rough year with the passing of Jay Poole, the death of Black Belt Jones & Wiggaz, and the tension amongst our circle of friends. A new year was upon us with 1997 and I held my head and my hopes up high. I was ready for whatever life had to throw at me, yet I had no idea that I was in for a life changing year...

Monday, 23 April 2018


Wow I really, really suck. It’s been well past 5 months since I apologized for not posting enough and vowed to come back with a vengeance. I started off with a bang and then fizzled out. I really don’t know what my issue is. I was having some memory and continuity battles, but I managed to get past those so there really is no excuse for me not blogging. It is a bit of an undertaking and a bit overwhelming trying to recount the ways and days of my life in a fairly descriptive yet vague nutshell.

Truth be told I’ve just been slacking in general and have hit a proverbial funk if you will. I’m at a crossroads in my life where I don’t know what I really want to do. I feel like I’ve been soul searching the last year or so but haven’t come to a conclusion on that journey. I knew my life needed changes but I didn’t really know what changes it needed, and I’m still somewhat in the dark about it.

I felt like perhaps kicking myself in the ass to continue blogging again could be a good way to promote some change in my life. I’ve never been one to openly share my problems to others and I’ve never been overly verbal in general. Writing has always been my voice. I could most likely talk my way out of any jam in a heartbeat, but through written words I seem to be able to truly express myself tenfold.

So what’s been going on? For the most part not a whole lot. I cherish my time with my son and my girlfriend and that’s all that really seems to matter to me as of late. When I’m alone however I just can’t seem to bring myself to want to get anything done. I’m really trying to make a conscious effort to break this chain, wether it be through art, music, or other creative activities. In the words of the late, great Owen Hart “Enough is enough and it’s time for a change.”

I guess my biggest dilemma is really that I don’t know what I want to do with my life at this point. Having the freedom to live as an independent artist is very rewarding but it’s also easy to slip into lazy habits. I could literally spend each day of the week working in different mediums though as I love the variety of creativity.

On the creative front I am still working on my upcoming album “NORTH OF HELL” which is moving along at a decent rate considering my current situation. Musically it’s almost a wrap, lyrically I’ve still got some writing to do. It’s been an interesting process this time around as I think this is one of the first instances I’ve walked into a project blind with no general ideas or “big picture” in mind. It’s been fairly liberating to say the least, just making music solely based on how I’m feeling that particular day. That in turn sometimes spawns a lyrical idea for the song, but for the most part I’ve just been letting the music talk to me as I write blindly.

I did also complete a few tracks with my boy Pauly whom you should know of if you’ve even half heartedly followed my story. We’ve worked together on and off over the years and we’ve always had great chemistry when it comes to music. You can check out the brand new “CORRUPTED E.P.” courtesy of the link provided below.

Asides from music I’m really striving to bounce all over the map creatively speaking. I’ve started working on a comic book and a kids coloring book, and have also been digitally designing art for t-shirt and print designs. I took a break from tattooing for awhile so I’m slowly trying to transition back into inking again. My son and I have been customizing action figures for our ever growing collection and it’s been very inspiring to see his creative side flourish.

All in all I’ve really been enjoying life, I’m just uncertain what direction my life is heading. All I can do is take it step by step and one day at a time & see where the road takes me. I know I’ve promised this before, but I am truly going to make my best effort to get the story of “Heavy Ghetto” rolling again in a more consistent manner, even if it’s only one post a month, but I shall shoot for weekly entries.

Most importantly though I need to pick myself up out of this slump and keep on keeping on...