I’ve had the good fortune to end up as part of an amazing trio. After many, many years in the trenches of the professional music world, the creative forces in the Universe have put some things together. Three like-minded musicians make up the core of Imperial Triumphant, and the band is working very hard to carve out its place in the world. These adventures contribute greatly to my own spiritual consciousness, the rising of the self toward that ever-changing journey of learning, laughter, challenges, accomplishment, and the deepest of soul-searching around this planet earth, and so many awesome people I get to meet. Music has brought me here, and I’ve fucking earned it.
Here’s a selection of photos in no particular order, representing the amazing trip we had. Enjoy, and see you at a show!
This happened last year at The Blue Note here in New York City. Absolutely unbelievable that I ended up in the green room meeting the man himself, Chick Corea. To say it was a big deal is an understatement.
I don’t get starstruck by many in this life, but there are a few inspiring people at the top that certainly have affected me. The first time I heard Now He Sings Now He Sobs, I didn’t fall totally in love with it. However, it was so intriguing to me that I had to keep listening. Many listens (and years) later, it is in my top ten of most influential albums, and a massive pianistic force that speaks to my love of piano. I consider it to be one of the great works of instrumental music from the 20th century, and it’s from a time that seems to be the pinnacle of Jazz.
Cats like Chick set the standard post Miles Davis, Bill Evans, etc… His output has been diverse and far-reaching. It truly was an honor to have this pic taken, and speak to him for a few moments. Music is a mysterious force in the universe, and keeps me going through good and bad…
Did another kill button install for a client, and super cool dude. This is a fine example of an early 80s Fender® Japan Precision Bass® with a JV serial, which is the original series. I like these guitars, as the fit and finish on them is so close to early Fender® specs. It sounds and plays great.
It was somewhere in the two am time, just a few hours before the hour of the wolf. It went well, and I was listening to The Residents. A bit of drilling, soldering, and the usual stuff tests, then I had it installed. I decided to place it between the tone pot and output jack because I didn’t want to drill into the body up beyond the cavity. It could be done; It would be a 12mm hole drilled straight down into the body, then a routing hole drilled to run the wires into the electronics cavity. The customer and I both agreed to keep it simple, at least this time!
I’m delighted to announce a partnership with Optima Strings Germany. I’ve been using these for a few years now. In addition to the amazing look (I love gold), they are fantastic strings. I love the way they feel; Somewhere in between stainless and nickel. They have a nice sound, a bit warmer then stainless, but still with some bite. The low end on them is excellent. This is an important endorsement for me, because Optima is truly one of my favorite companies. They’ve been making strings for many years. In facts, they are one of the oldest string makers around today. German precision, and care goes into each wind.
Optima golds are so luxurious. If they’re good enough for Brian May, then you know they must be top shelf, as he’s a player with excellent taste!
What an amazing tour we had in France. Music has been going very well for me, and after many years of hard work I’m finally doing what I deserve to be doing. Playing more music! Traveling with my bandmates, Ron Anderson and Larry Kwartowitz was tons of fun. We had many challenges along the way, but we had many laughs as well! Ron did an outstanding job leading the band, and we had many successful shows. As always, many memories have been created with so many cool people. One of the best things about being a musician is the opportunity to meet new people, travel, and learn in this ever-expanding life.
The band that hosted us, Idiot Saint Crazy Orchestra, showed us around their beautiful country. The guys Valentin, Antonin, and Antoinne are so generous, and their hospitality will never be forgotten. They also became my new favorite band, and great friends! Such amazing musicians. So creative, and an absolutely amazing sound.
Idiot Saint Crazy in Grenoble, France
PAK in Blois, France
Here we are in the Loire Valley region in central France. As you can see, it’s very beautiful.
What an amazingly successful tour we had. It was tough to play 28 shows in 30 days, but the Imperial machine pulled it off with flying colors. We visited the Eastern half of the USA from Boston to Austin. The tour finished out with a bang at Quebec Deathfest, which was loads of fun. Many memories, friends, and experiences come with the passing of each tour, as the music
life is like no other.
Gearwise, I had achieved good success with my Aria Pro II bass, my Orange Terror Bass 500, and my diverse array of pedals. I had to perform one roadside solder point fix on the old bass, but everything went smooth. I also had one cable die on me. All in all not bad considering the abuse it all takes.
In April we (Imperial Triumphant) head to Russia and Europe for a luxe tour, which I’m very much looking forward to.
Emergency roadside bass repair in the laundromat!
It’s been a long time since writing here, but I have a new demo series on my youtube channel. Check it out! Best of luck with your creative endeavors.
After many years as a professional musician, I’m extremely pleased to announce a little endorsement relationship with EBS bass gear! EBS produces some of the best musical instrument equipment out there, including pedals, amps, cabs, etc., and I’m humbly looking forward to exploring their product line. (If only I were independently wealthy!)
Starting out here with the state-of-the-art Fuzzmo high-gain bass distortion pedal (which I will be doing a video demo for at some point), I am already beyond satisfied with my user experience. This pedal has been nothing short of stellar, providing me with some of the best bass tones to date. I’ve been using it on every gig. I’ve been able to dial in a very precise balance of gritty dirt while keeping a full, rich sound. It works very well with my other pedals, and I can even set it to give me a massive punch, without compromising clarity.
So far, I’ve been using it for bass, but I’ll be trying it out with my keyboard rig in the near future. It’s definitely coming with me on the next tour.
Check out EBS at www.ebssweden.com – Highly recommended from this working musician. Have a great day!
Here is a brief version of my bass build. It’s been an excellent project, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in assembling their own musical instrument. Those of you who have been doing this already (I am late to the game, as usual) know what I mean.
BODY • Warmoth Jazz Solid Alder
NECK • Custom Jazz, Maple
FINGERBOARD • Rosewood (Dark Stained), Pearl Block Inlays, White Binding, 9.5″ Radius
TUNERS • Hipshot Ultralight Clover Style
BRIDGE • Hipshot A
PICKUPS • Bartolini
ELECTRONICS • Passive Vol/Blend/Tone
FINISH • Black milk paint, sanded back with a dead flat clear coat
My shop! I was working on a mod of an ESP bass at the same time. That’s the body on the left. I refinished it, swapped out the hardware, changed the pickup, and set it up as a drop B bass for one of the metal bands I play in. That deserves its own post, so I’ll save that for a different day.
Shielding it up nicely.
These are amazing hand-made ebony knobs that I chose.
Some close ups of the completed instrument…
Here I enjoy the best times in life…A sunny day with my bass and great friend. I say great friend, meaning something of depth that will be there even after all has been lost, & I speak from experience.
There is nothing like practicing, bonding, and meditating with a musical instrument. It is truly a lofty spiritual journey, miles above the conventional existence. I have no use for convention, but music? Well, the music breathes life into this truth seeking soul. I wouldn’t want a day without it…