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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FP Update: 10-25-2011

Howdy All...

Things have been a bit scattered and disorganized for us of late. But good things have been happening:

1) Perhaps the biggest news in FP Land is that Jake got married back at the beginning of October. Congrats to Jake and his wife Sarah! (And of course Jake has been gone a bit for their honeymoon...) On top of that, shortly before tying the knot, Jake took on a sweet new job doing marketing and photography. Lots going on in Jake's life! And then Matt, Robert, and myself were all groomsmen in Jake's wedding. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to snap a couple pics of the four of us together while we were all decked out in tuxes (this pic was taken just minutes before Jake and Sarah said 'I Do'):

Something else that came along with Jake getting married were the coolest groomsmen gifts ever: Jake made us all matching FP logo Bags board sets (or you might know it better as 'cornhole' depending on your locale):

FP has a history of Bags (or 'Cornhole') competition within the band and the competition can get pretty fierce. And for the record, even though mild-mannered Jakeman is usually the biggest smack-talker of us all, Jake doesn't always win. He does win quite often, but definitely not all of the time...

2) I haven't been able to spend much time lately working on studio recording stuff. Not sure if I've temporarily fizzled out or if I've just had a tricky time of switching hats, but we've starting putting more focus upon our 'live' performance to prep for playing out in a few weeks/months. As such, I've not had quite as much 'brain juice' for doing the intense editing and detail work that recordings require. I will of course get back on the studio stuff, but part of me realizes that I need to be in the right frame of mind for the task at hand, and I hate doing something creatively at half capacity. So fear not, more song recordings (including 'Rabbit Hole' and 'Getting Away') will get finished and released to our fans, but we need to do these things on our own time-frame and not spread ourselves out too thin. I guess that's the advantage of being an unsigned band without any imposing deadlines looming over our heads. Fact of the matter is that I wish we were ready to release "Rabbit Hole' and 'Getting Away' now because I have two or three more awesome songs that I'm looking forward to recording and rehearsing for our live show. But one thing at a time... :-)

3) One of the big distractions that I've personally been dealing with has been equipment changes. After some unexpected (and expensive and untimely) equipment failures, I realized I needed to upgrade my rig, especially where my amps are concerned. I had been using a pair of Line6 half-stacks for everything and honestly thought I had the ideal set-up. However, after some serious thought and contemplation I realized that those half-stacks were entirely too big to be convenient for any future live shows we'll be doing. I also realized that I wanted something much nicer and more toneful as far as my amps are concerned. So in the end I have settled on this current rig (pictured in the order of the signal chain):

1) Guitars: Vibrance Ambrosia Double-Cut and Vibrance Padauk Single-Cut (custom made for me by Craig Collins of Vibrance Guitars):

2) Pedals (this will evolve over time of course):

Cause and Effect FET Dream Overdrive Pedal (my main Tone):

Seymour Duncan TweakFuzz (one of my Favorite Fuzz machines - very nasty):

Way Huge Swollen Pickle Fuzz (another Favorite Fuzz - very wooly):

Pigtronix Tremvelope (my newest addition - makes everything go 'woo-woo-woo-woo-woo...')

Strymon Timeline Delay (Echoes, Ambiances, Filters, Beautiful-Things-in-general...this TimeLine delay is like Heaven-in-a-Pedal)


A stereo pair of Swart AST's (Atomic Space Tones):

Needless to say, lots of guitars, pedals, guitar parts, and other gear have been sold in order to acquire the above mentioned gear. And perhaps some may question how researching, demo'ing, and buying new equipment can be such a distraction. But imagine a NASCAR driver completely changing out his cars, tires, sponsors, pit crews, etc.. Or imagine changing from a PC to a Mac. Or imagine relocating to a different city and moving into a new house. Everything changes. All of the rules, all of the familiarities, all of the quirks, everything. And such is my rig. Everything in my rig is different than it was even just a year ago, and all of that new gear requires time to get used to, and in some cases (especially where the guitars and amps are concerned) certain playing approaches and techniques have had to be largely readjusted. Fortunately it has been an extremely fun ride and (going back to the 'moving into a new house' analogy) it feels like I have stepped up from a 'fixer-upper-starter-house-in-a-so-so-neighborhood' to a 'wow-this-is-the-kind-of-house-I've-always-dreamed-of'...It really does feel like that. Of course any adjustments I've had to make along the way have been totally worth it and I'm grateful to be at this place as a guitar player where I can use high-end gear to get the job done. I do love gear...

So I suppose that's all for now. We've been busy. Lot's going on.

Adios until next time...

~ Todd