Roses Not Dandelions Baby
You know those days when you jump out of bed and everything comes up roses. Like today for example, I snapped my computer open to find this awesome gem: http://www.truthinshredding.com/2013/05/brennan-dylan-french-guitar-contest-2.html. Last week a clip of me performing Bitten was in Truth In Shredding as well. Now I know that its nothing like selling 15 million copies of an album in a week so I’m not crowing like the “Cock of the Walk”. Nope I’m just very grateful for the recognition and appreciate those who have helped me with my guitar.
I studied classical guitar with Michael Liverpool, a very patient and knowledgeable teacher. He prepared me for Berklee making sure I knew my stuff as did my Mum who drilled the fret board into my head until I was counting notes to fall asleep instead of sheep. And of course my Dad as many of you know is well……basically relentless. So when I hit Boston I wasn’t a walking music ignoramus. Berklee really opened my eyes to the language of music, its value, potential and power. Music is power……..an individual’s expression. So I give my guitar Hell. Larry Baione and his guitar department were very instrumental as was my very good friend, mentor and teacher Joe Stump…………man can he play. So I thank you for your help, support, patience, kindness and most importantly your belief in me. This one’s for you Joe.
The other day I asked a friend if Hendrix and The Beatles would make it in todays music scene. She answered no to my pal Jimi but yeah to John and the lads. The way I see it though we wouldn’t be where we are today in music if it wasn’t for everyone in music who came before and I mean everyone from groupies to label executives. So if Jimi was kicking around today he’d make it. And yeah he’d be eating acid like Smarties too which leads me to say there’d be no electronic scene and therefore no X if it wasn’t for Hendrix and The Beatles. By the way, which came first the electronic music scene or X? I’ve never liked eggs.
Music is an evolution that has absorbed me. I started playing jazz, classical and swing on the sax when I was 10. Benny Goodman is a big part of who I am but then so is Mozart and Bach. I caught the guitar bug when I was 14 and started studying every guitar great I bumped into…..Richie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Dick Dale, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck and everyone in between. I still study guitar players or violinists. I’m messing around with Paganini at the moment while I write and record. If it wasn’t for all the artists who came before me plus all those who helped them I would not be able to play like I do. And if wasn’t for the groupies Slash would not be Slash. After all it really was record executives that made it all possible and still do because without dough to get a tour bus for a tour you’re screwed, unless you have the cash to get yourself out of the garage. By the way, X came along before the electronic scene but X is just a diversion, something like eggs.
The first time I went to a dance club I was hit right between the eyes with a vision that has mesmerized me ever since. That vision…….my vision of ripped rock guitar welded to electronic music with titanium, burns inside of me. If you don’t mind take a look at this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjq16PNmAw8 The first show I played at the Whisky was a mind bender. There was a big music guy at the show with his wife who came decked out in a one off designer dress and a string of ice that was worth $250,000 if it was worth a dime. The guy introduced me to his wife, introduced me to Owen Wilson, talked to me 3 times that night about my talent, took my business card, wanted to do something with me but didn’t know what to do because he had never seen anything like me before. That was 3 years ago and the same scene but without the wife and movie star has played many times since. There is a revolution going on in music and its moving at the speed of light. Artists with $10,000 worth of gear in their bedroom can and do produce amazing music and this is just beginning. When the Moog first hit the stage what did people think? Well, I’d say musicians in orchestras freaked out but record labels and film studios saw less over head which looked like dollar signs to them. And now electronic music is huge in commercials. But……….people still thrill to live talent who can tear a hole in the Universe with a guitar as well. People like it when I throw Animal (my guitar) around like he’s a rag doll.
The digital age has connected all of us in ways most could not comprehend 10 years ago. If the hippies brought the thought that “we are all one” to the foreground it is the digital age that has glued us all together. 200 years from now we will be one. On stage an artist’s job is to engage their audience, bring them together so he/she can feed off their collective energy then throw it back to them in the form of music. Every show I play is different because its all about the crowd. Picture 50,000 music maniacs listening and watching a screaming guitar ripped to pounding electronic music run through a board connected to a bank of computers controlled by a couple of sound techs. Of course the show would need several cameras shooting the guitar tearing to music something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8l-eVQuLgA and projecting the onslaught onto a big screen behind the artist. Sound like a winner to you?
Get Ready for 420
Yeah every year the world unloads into a cloud of smoke at 4:20 pm on April 20. Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83m7mMZz23k Its by the Lords of Weed themselves. Oh yeah I’m rippin’ away on guitar. Enjoy!!
Everybody Stop…….Nurse Jackie you are…..Slammin’
When I was 15 I stood outside the Whisky A Go Go for the first time. I wanted to play there so badly I could taste it but I didn’t have an act or a band or even a repertoire, so going upstairs to talk to Celina Denkins, the booking agent, into giving me a shot was out. Hey, at that time I didn’t even have a MySpace or Youtube account for someone to check me out. But that was then and this is now.
I kept the dream of playing The Whisky fresh in my head, thinking about it every time I picked up my guitar to practice or perform. Then one day just like magic I walked in to see Celina and I was in. She introduced me to Stacey Blades of LA Guns fame and booked me great shows on bills with guys like Michael Angelo Batio, Deathriders and Gorillaz. She promoted me like crazy. But that happened when I finished school.
Throughout high school I focused on my guitar playing, performing and music. I started getting radio play when I was 16. I wanted a record deal so I could escape into my music and got one when I was 17 but I turned it down. Actually, my parents persuaded me to go to Berklee College of Music and to forgo the record deal which I’m glad I did because at Berklee I really learned the language of music which enabled me to get involved with Nurse Jackie.
Yeah, I’m involved with Nurse Jackie, more formally known as Edie Falco and let me tell you she is………..Slammin’.
Check out this video of us together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDBSIenFME0. My music comes in just after some guy says, “Everybody stop”. The song is called Slammin’ and is in the last 22 seconds of the video. I’m happy because my first music placement is with Lionsgate. Even though I know its no big deal in the grand scheme of things, it does prove Music Connection Magazine right when in their October 2010 issue they said this about me, “There’s no question Dylan should pursue film/TV opportunities.” As well they said that several of my songs “have film/TV/net-junkie/hacker music written all over them”. It’s very rewarding when your work is recognized, placed and then distributed, so I’m very grateful.
But you know it just seems to be getting better and better because about a week ago The Clinic Records: http://www.theclinicrecords.com added me to their roster and began supporting me. Things are really starting to click. My first electronic CD “Raining in Berlin” will be released on April 17/13. That will be followed by “Animal”, a CD that goes in a bold new direction. And now the phone has started to ring. I just got off the phone with a publisher in L.A. who wants me to send him some of my music. Thank you Nurse Jackie………maybe you will help me get a second phone line.
Tony the Tiger Eats Brown Rice
Not everyone can stomach a brown rice & tofu breakfast but Tony the Tiger can. He does it not because he’s a natural born Vegan but because all the Sugar Frosted Flakes he ate in the ’50s turned him into a toothless fool so now he can’t get through a zebra bone let alone a juicy steak. So to keep from sharing most of his hard earned money with his dentist he gave up the flakes and now chows down on something more sensible. He even looks younger don’t you think? Anyway I do.
Things continue to click along for me. Not at warp speed but at 1870’s steam engine speed……….slow and steady. I’m being supported by The Clinic Records: http://www.theclinicrecords.com which is unbelievably great. As well I’m about to close a publishing deal with Soundscape Media: http://www.soundscapemedia.com. And I’m still chugging along with my new CD. All is well in NYC.
Ahhhhhhh………ain’t that the paint
Rhythm and Blues was then and this is now. But so what you ask. Well my point is things change. For example, in ‘75 David Byrne, David Bowie and Brian Eno (One is reverse) hung out in Berlin doing whatever fit in their nose to the tune of only talking to each other. But people with pale blue eyes don’t rule the Universe and now no one really cares about those dudes, except of course people who grew up in their era. Continuing, this is a new century and like the 20th Century was ruled by copper, the 21st is ruled by fiber which in theory carries data at the speed of light. Copper can’t do that. So it only stands to reason that a big shake up in the communication industry lead to a big shake up in a lot of industries including the music industry. Some guys like David Geffen and Richard Branson headed straight for the exits while others like Edgar Bronfman Jr. walked right through music’s front door with both guns blazing and just as the digital age was launching its rocket too.
Anything earth shatteringly new is usually looked at with a jaundiced eye because people generally don’t like change, especially one as disruptive as what we have just gone through. But the new technologies meet inventors who see opportunity and develop their ideas into reality by partnering with money which allows them to make the new technologies easy to use and therefore lives easier. Simply put these life changers who were initially viewed as heretics suddenly become geniuses if their thinking takes off. If it doesn’t they go back to the drawing board again and again until they click or their wife threatens to leave them. Luckily I’m not married so I still have a drawing board.
Electronic music is hear to stay and its quality will increase. Think about this……when Baby Boomers had runny noses all movies that they watched had music performed by musicians. Now even ads are backed by electronic music written by drunken sailors kicked out of the navy for not being drunk enough while on duty. Ahhhhhhhh………take it easy……….I’m joking……..but just to some degree. There are a ton of great electronic artists and I think Deadmau5 is one of them. Skrillex is another. We are in a time when East meets West or Analog meets Digital and finally after years of dancing around a few successful marriages have taken place but mine wasn’t one of them.
Broken Glass was my last CD, released April 17/12 amid absolutely zero fanfare. It was rock, metal and ripped neoclassical guitar welded to techno, dubstep and industrial. I thought it would really click but it went over like a deflated Led Zepplin because it wasn’t definitive enough one way or the other. Now that is the market. It was too electronic for rockers and metal heads and too ripped for the electronic crowd but has gotten me a ton of great press and my audiences love what I do. However if I stay the course like a mule my bet is I’ll be stuck in The Twilight Zone until Hell really does freeze over, so after much recent trial and error I believe I have come up with a sound that will click. My next release will feature hard rock riffs, riffs my Dad calls “Keith Richards on steroids”, as well as plenty of single note melodies and vocals. Yeah you heard me…….VOCALS!!! The test market releases I have done have been excellent but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. I almost forgot……..its very definitive.
I gave a lesson until midnight yesterday which was great. Teaching makes me reach back to grab what I have learned so I can deliver my knowledge is a concise but fun manner. In short I have to really know what I’m talking about so I can show my student in an easy to understand lesson how to do what I do. It’s made me a much better player and also gets me the hell out of my dungeon of an apartment. Besides that I make a few bucks which makes me feel great. But hey, performing is my favorite however I’m seriously sick of playing shows for free ie working for free. Who the hell does that…………my lawyer charges me by the minute. LOL!!!
One the sunny side of the street………I have a ton of irons in the fire. I’m talking to lots of people (agents, managers, labels) who are interested in working with me. So I know I’m close. Really close. And that tastes pretty good.
Well I’ve been a little remiss in adding info to my blog. Sure I’ve got 1000 excuses but not one of them is worth a gain of salt. But after reading the other day that for a bolg to be a success it has to be delivered to your phone, tablet, desktop, laptop and/or TV regularly like your morning paper once was. Ever wonder what paperboys do for money these days? Me either. Also, blog must be spelled correctly.
So these are the facts peoples………for the past 2 months I’ve been getting gear together for my stage show so I look more like a professional instead of a guy standing behind a table at a bake sale playing the guitar. I’ve been teaching to make a few bucks and writing/recording new music. I should release “Raining in Berlin” in April 2013 and hopefully should be able to announce a publishing deal sometime before the spring. And the music I’m writing now is for my next release due in May 2013. So that’s it for today. I’ll be back soon sometime after noon but before the full moon. How about Thursday of this week? Perfect.
March 4, 2013
Photos at Goodbye Blue Monday