EBS Artist

IMG_4859After 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.

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Check out EBS at www.ebssweden.com – Highly recommended from this working musician. Have a great day!

~Steve

A Great Tour

Had a great tour with Imperial Triumphant. Looking forward to the next one! Here’s a few pics.

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

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Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

Imperial Triumphant Tour

MONOKULTURE BASS BUILD

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.

Bass Specs:
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

An overview of the bass.j_bass_shwcs_3-17-15

Beautifully crafted body from Warmoth 10849898_10152903932877351_6657104898421470501_n

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.10989952_10153119870947351_6572973840064235302_n

Shielding it up nicely.11018772_10153109902122351_3829318295281890292_n

These are amazing hand-made ebony knobs that I chose.10959538_10153097547742351_8136169476620683270_n

Some close ups of the completed instrument…jbass_cu_3-15FullSizeRender 5FullSizeRender FullSizeRender 3

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.11017188_10153210041517351_8548572131224294222_n
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…

Elegance + truth to you all.
~SB

A VERY SPECIAL SHOW

This will be a very special show, indeed! I’m excited to report that El Chico Blanco will be performing the music of Twin Peaks to select images from the TV series. We’ve chosen the Slipper Room for the show. El Chico Blanco & I have put together a cool set from Angelo Badalamenti’s brilliant score, in which we will play the original music in our style, with some improvisational interpretation, and huge respect to the master composer. This will be a one-of-a-kind event. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes after our maiden voyage with this project. It will be a most memorable evening for me…

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SBT JAMZ

SBT playing at Spike Hill in Brooklyn…sbt_spikehillWe had an amazing set, on a nice stage, with great sound! As we get closer to the recording dates for our new album MONARCH, we’ll be trying out new material. I also took my newly wired rig on its maiden voyage, with full success. All of the brain-melting work paid off. I’m looking forward to trying it out with my complete live setup, which includes my Nord, and two analog synths. It’s a bitch getting my mix, amplification, power, and effects under control (the consequences of playing keys), but it is getting there.

I’m currently utilizing two tiny pedal boards; One with my rhodes effect chain, and the other with my mixer and global delay effects. This will enable SBT to take our sound on the road, and closely reproduce what we achieve in the studio. If the venue has a Fender Rhodes, that will bring our live performance even closer to that of the record. This allows me to utilize my Nord as a third-up board, with extra sounds I can play, sustain, and layer.

My three boards have been performing better than expected, and I’m beyond happy with the quality of my Nord, Arturia MicroBrute, & DSI MOPHO x4. These are damn fine, badass instruments, with power to fill an arena. They are helping to make my return to music dynamic,  interesting, and awesome.

I still have to figure on a custom stand that will accommodate my three boards, and is portable enough to roll right off the stage.

It’s going to be a wild ride. I hope to see you there!

~PW

 

{ANN} MONARCH HAS BEGUN

NEW WORK
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NEW ALBUM IN THE CARDS FOR SB TRIO

Indeed it has been some time between recordings for us, but I’m still chipping away through the night with a flicker of light that remains the dream. When all has proven time & time again to be tricks by the superficial materialists, I find solace in the great work. For me that medium is music. There is an interesting world out there filled with mind control, propaganda, and massive campaigns, all working in concert to create the illusion that the common man is thinking for himself. In fact, it hinders the individual from producing a truly original thought. So the journey of life then becomes about “un-programming” through various means of extended research, exhaustive truth seeking, and spiritual exploration. As this is unique to each of us, I have likened it to the flight of the Monarch. The term Monarch has been adapted by many cultures and organizations for a variety of different applications. One can research (extensively) to find out more about the fascinating applications, symbolism, and beyond of the Monarch.

In my universe I choose a positive application of the Monarch symbol, which is in direct opposition to the material dupe and its deployment. The Monarch goes through four stages during its life cycle. I’ve named them accordingly for the new album as per my interpretation, which will be revealed when the album is released. Each of those stages is crucial for the evolution of a Monarch. After the third stage a most miraculous change occurs, and the emergence of such rare beauty seems to make things feel that all is OK in the world for a moment. It is short lived, however, and within weeks the Monarch will die. But not until after preparing a path for the next generation. So, the first three stages are a melange of struggle and survival, mixed in with mundane…Then flight is taken for freedom maximus. It is this flight that shall represent the event horizon and our journey into the unknown. I embrace this flight with inspiration, learning, passion, and spiritual fulfillment. There are many who will try to squash the Monarch. If the Monarch represents the above and the dream, then war shall be waged to keep the dream alive. If the dream dies, so does the Monarch…

~Steve

SOME NOTES BELOW

The image above isn’t the cover of the new record, rather, an picture that represents the current phase of the project…Like a working title I suppose. Many a blazed spirit, sleepless nights (or whatever fucking schedule I’m on now), and I’ve managed to chip away at some new work.

I am officially deep into composing & organizing new material for my next album. SB TRIO’s MONARCH will be a departure from our previous two records CONTACT and PIANO WARRIOR, as I’m electrifying my workspace with vintage keys, analog synths, and effects. I’m hoping to achieve a large, gritty sound, steeped in melody, while tastefully blending in the right amount of effects. Very challenging. Everything will be able to be performed live.

{Please like my Facebook page & join the mailing list to stay updated.}

Below is an announcement:
MONARCH will be the third studio album by the Steve Blanco Trio with Sunny Jain & Adam Roberts. There will be various original compositions, including a four part suite, MONARCH, that will represent the 4 stages of the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, and its reflection upon elements of society , civilization, mythology, etc… It should take the listener on a journey from the ‘Dawn of Conception’ up through part four – ‘Monarch’, which will be representative of the triumphant spirit within an individual to break free from societal homogenization and programming, offering an alternative to the self-destructive, reactionary mechanisms that often manifest in a negative block chain due to a natural opposition to “group-think”. The solution emerges as positive productivity and a strong climb out of any abyss one might find themselves in. To aim high and reach for the stars, which will align given the right energetic circumstances. We are all capable of this, and as each individual contributes his unique experience the whole of society elevates. I believe music has the power to tap into this potential.

The album represents a return to music for Steve from a 2 year break in which some personal struggles sent him astray. Out of chaos comes order…And so, after two years of not playing a note, inspiration enters. During that 2 year period Blanco founded and built an emerging cookie company called Black + Blanco. All of his creative energies went to work in a different world.

“I could write a book on the challenges facing anyone wishing to start a small U.S.A. – based manufacturing business in the current economic climate.”

As it is strength that is needed to rebuild, grow, and stay on a righteous path towards a fulfilling, wholly productive, and spiritually enlightened existence, Blanco looks forward to creating new music with his trio.

FCK BANKS COIN ROCKS!

JUST FOR THE FCK OF IT
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Good day all,

A short post here in between the juggling of many tasks & composing material for my new album. Busy times.

With all the altcoins emerging, it’s difficult to find a refreshing crypto currency to follow. FCKBANKS coin just refreshed me! Hilarious, and smart, I’m actually behind this coin and curious to see where it goes. If it is a common man’s challenge to grab up the scraps left behind by the PTB, then what feels better than just saying FCK banks? I pulled my little scrap pile of musician dollars out of my own bank last year, after i couldn’t get anyone at the branch to close my account. One phone call to the bank’s customer service line (and a rant from yours truly) closed my account in a matter of seconds. What’s even more amazing is no one at my branch could explain fractional reserve lending to me – hahaha. It’s all so amusing. Just like getting rid of my television 15 years ago, I haven’t looked back at dropping my account. It is my little way of saying FCK you.

It’s a wild time right now in the crypto world, and fascinating to watch the story unfold in real time. Will the people get onboard and maintain some level of control, or will ‘you-know-who take over, or will it all crumble by the wayside? I have my own theories, but I’ll save them after more data has been gathered.

Big thanks to the FCK team for adding some real enjoyment to my day. I wish you well. Check out their video bellow.

I’m in, just for the FCK of it, and because I give a FCK!

~Steve

RUSH, A LIFETIME OF INSPIRATION – CLOCKWORK ANGELS

Clockwork Angels

 

I recently had the very good fortune of experiencing the movie preview of the new Clockwork Angels DVD from RUSH.  I missed the tour, and am kicking myself very hard about it. They remain one of the single most important creative influences & forces in my life. For decades now, I’ve been listening to their records, and as I pass through the phases of life so does their body of work…WITH TOTAL RELEVANCE. Although I felt the significance of their work as a kid, it has grown over time to epic proportions.

The new album is one of their best since Power Windows, filled with powerful, genre-crossing (Whatever – it’s RUSH!) music and messages. Sonic landscapes paint a picture of mass thought, individual liberty, and that lifelong journey of freeing oneself from the programming instilled onto us since birth. I’ll write more about the record in another post.

RUSH created a complete universe all their own, never giving into the filthy (and often pedestrian) establishment, and upholding the principles of which their music and lyrics represent. Somehow, they managed to connect so many of us living largely outside the box and confines of group-think society to their music. So powerful is their energy, that at every show, when the star-man emerges behind them on screen (as they play that great music from 1976) chills run up and down my spine. These chills can only be attributed to RUSH’s quantity of truth and spiritually uplifting symbology, echoing through the years. Shreds of this synergy flow through my veins, as I continue my own quest for original thought, individuality, and a unique experience in this realm that is universally present. I do believe that the notion of each of us as an individual life, seeking its own truth without harming others, is the only sincere humanitarian trajectory towards greater good – NOT a world of ONE consciousness, singularity, or homogenized global culture. No, thank you!!

The vision of the Starman from 2112 has never left me. In fact it has become more relevant the more I’ve opened my eyes to the world and the way it’s been run over the past millennia. An “anti” symbol. That value system has always been an integral part of my daily existence, transcending the mistakes I’ve made, continue to make, and learn from. It’s interesting to note that for many years it was powerfully present as an undercurrent or subliminal force, fueling focus, drive, and life battles vis a vis what I refer to as the “Travis Bickle Syndrome”. Standing up to the control, superficial, material, and propaganda we grow up with. Unfortunately, I do see a very dystopian world, with a population largely duped by it all. Still, there is something in all of us that may go back to the tide pool, searching for truth. As I’ve gotten older, broadened my perspective, and raised thousands more questions with less and less answers, the force of that value system is right out in front.

I recommend a viewing of this video from the Clockwork Angels DVD. For me it is most inspiring and enlightening.

Thanks to RUSH for keeping it most elegant with “grace & comfort”. They are a real class act.

~Steve

LOSS OF THE INTANGIBLE THEN INITIATE A REBUILD

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A continued series of initiations that make up life in order to allow visualization through imagination, that will manifest the intangible into creative work.

More than three years ago some personal life struggles sent me into a spiritual whirlwind that produced a negative affect on my music flow, and creative workflow in general. When I say negative, I mean dark – extremely dark. Dark as the desert on a moonless night. A place where the intangible meets its star creators, but also birthed its original rite of passage. It is this rite of passage that one cannot describe with the limiting medium of written language. It is a journey through initiation. A solaris or rising sun that must always set through its natural cyclical life, and give way to darkness in order to rise again.

SUNSET
As the giver of life went down in my existential microcosm, I found the very essence of my being staring hard at a life in need of reorder. Chaos lay before me and all of my tools and skill sets remained fractured. It grew cold and dark. A man must always be prepared to take action. At the very least, as much action as can be taken in the confines of our crudely structured society led by entities concerned largely with control. So be it! I will not comply as best as I can. A man must be prepared to stand up to the filth, scams, programming, and group-think. Was this a programming meltdown?…A rejection built up over half of a lifetime? Perhaps. This is no excuse for giving in or laying down, for this is exactly how the slave masters wish humanity to be. To bow down before them. To bring us to our knees. I wasn’t about to fall, but I did find myself wading through a sticky substance. It slowed my progress until I slipped into the void…

NIGHT
Black as black can be was all I could see. Occasionally there would be photon. I would reach for it, but couldn’t put my fingers on it. It seemed to always be just beyond the scope of my perspective. It was intangible. It was the dream-creative. Lost was I, in a sea of madness, sadness, and despair. When the dream dies, so does the man. A spiritual death that precedes the physical one…Whatever the “physical” is. The illusion is only known to me as my mind perceives it. All that is the universe is nothing more than a perception. So was I perceiving the night as black as black can be…

SOL-A-RIS (Rising Sun)
Life is at least partly a manifestation of our individual perception or visualization. Much of this happens through consciousness expansion, which can only be achieved by way of struggle. A man must dive deep down into the great void in order to experience a shift in perspective massive enough to initiate a new beginning, which life is full of. This new beginning can be likened to a sunrise, bringer of light, giver of new life. However one wishes to think of it, but there is no denying the direct correlation between this part of our individual journeys and of those outside the human realm that exist in the universe or maybe beyond…such as the life cycle of a star.

Reaching the sunrise is possible through this manifestation. If I imagine a new record it will happen, but only after much work and in steps. So to work through the night at these small steps one will eventually reach it. Sometimes this “manifestation” will take a long period to achieve. Often it will be through many cycles of darkness & light with perspective shifts along the way. These shifts will continue to reorder the original visualization and the imagination will oscillate to alter the work accordingly.

It has been five years since my last trio record, but my imagination has never stopped visualizing a new one. With a great black stone before me and walks through the mud, an opportunity for renewed creativity presents itself…And so I must follow it, however intangible it may be…

~Steve