Articles

Shred Poets Society: Guitar Tips, Technique, and Tone with James Norbert Ivanyi

At some point or another, we’ve all felt it – that dreaded feeling of being uninspired, frustrated with your writing or playing – when you are, for lack of a better word, ‘stuck in a rut’. It’s something I discuss quite often with my students and peers alike. For artists, this is a natural, very real, and inevitable thing to occur, and it’s something we all deal with from time to time, as our ears and tastes evolve. Having constantly been working on and releasing music in one form or another since 2006, I have personally experienced this enough times to have developed some strategies in order to avoid getting held up for prolonged periods of time. There are occasions where you may just have to sit and wait it out, but for the most part, you can learn to recognise the warning signs on the horizon, and take proactive steps to help yourself quickly feel inspired and fresh again. 1: Destination Happiness This is a big one, and an easy one to fall into. In order to create effectively, one must have a vision. It’s generally this vision which makes us excited to work, however, a lot of frustrated musicians classify ‘happiness’ or ‘success’ as the completion of a task. That is true to an extent, but it is also misleading. Happiness, inspiration, and enjoyment of music should come from ‘the journey’. If you can learn to focus on the present during writing and especially practice, you’ll find pleasure in the smallest things, and ultimately find more inspiration as fuel for continued creativity. This is especially important for...

Five Music Documentaries That May Have Flown Under Your Radar

by GrassMan 1. The Smashing Pumpkins: Graceful Swans Of Never (2001) Frontman Billy Corgan’s explanation for the documentary is simple and straight to the point: “It’s your basic behind-the-music story. Band has nothing, band tries hard and band gets success […] Friends, drugs, and wives. The whole thing falls apart. Everybody cries. We used to at the beginning, when we’d do interviews, say we were determined not to become a cliché. At the end of the day we became every cliché, as you can imagine.” Graceful Swans Of Never covers the band’s history from the late 80’s to when they were just a “band with nothing who tried hard”, through to the period when they started to “get success”, and right up until (at the time) their last show together in late 2000. 2. Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008) Since forming in 1978, Anvil have released 15 studio albums and have been cited as having influenced ‘The Big 4’ (Megadeath, Slayer, Anthrax, and Metallica). The documentary features interviews with some of the biggest names in metal who have also been influenced by this band, including Lemmy, Slash, Scott Ian, Tom Araya, and Lars Ulrich. Oddly enough and despite their efforts, Anvil never achieved the same success as the bands who they influenced so heavily. As the documentary begins it shows a list of the headliners at Super Rock Festival, held in Japan in 1984: Scorpions, Whitesnake, and Bon Jovi. Those bands went on to become household names and sold millions of records over many years. Not Anvil, however. Try as they might, Anvil have always been that token...

IPHYB PRESENTS: A Foolproof Guide To Spending Nothing On Alcohol At Music Festivals

The summer is well and truly here, and with it comes music festivals of all shapes and sizes. The days of sneaking a bottle of spirits inside a loaf of bread, or a case of cans inside the spare tyre of your vehicle have gone the way of Tony Abbott. I, on behalf of IPHYB have outlined some new and experimental techniques to help keep your festival vibes up, while also keeping your budget low. 1. Activation Station Around the beginning of 2010, marketing companies came up with the ingenious term ‘Activations’. This was a tactful move which implicated to the event that it was receiving benefits – a great, new, fresh element to add to their then blossoming festival environment. The basic premise was to hand out free stock to the impressionable market that was already on hand, and to watch as the money-poor/social media-rich patrons shared the ‘goodwill’ of the multinational organisation in their own unique manner, via their own online ‘personal brands’. In turn, this helped the tactically precise brand to promote a new line or variation of its core business. This distribution is now usually done via a self-provided tent, and set up in prime foot traffic realestate. One of the most well known and popular ‘Activations’ is the ‘2 Girls, 1 Can’ method, which is used (and dare I say, ‘perfected’) by the Red Bull beverage company. So, the method is simple: – Set up your own business – Arrange an activation – Bring in as much liquor as possible in the form of your stock – Advertise free product in your own personalised...

Five Albums That Aren’t As Good As You Think They Are

by Dongslurper Oh boy, another opportunity for me to tell you that you’re wrong. Everybody has an opinion on overrated albums. There are already a million of these lists on the internet, which usually tend to feature the same albums over and over again. Typically, these lists are littered with much older titles, which of course stands to reason, as there’s more potential to build unwarranted hype over a longer period of time. In response to that, I’ve decided to keep it relatively recent (albums released within the last 25 years), thus eliminating the obvious ones. People tend to use the term ‘overrated’ as a knee-jerk reaction to anything they don’t like, so I’m only including albums that I do enjoy to some degree. Ready to see how wrong you are? Here we go. 1. The Strokes – Is This It? The album that brought guitar music back to the radio, they say. The album that inspired countless bands in the years following, they say. I’m sure the term ‘the sound of a generation’ has been thrown around too. All reasons why we’re supposed to worship The Strokes’ debut offering. Well, I’m not exactly sure which rock these folks were living under, but somehow they managed to overlook the entire decade of guitar based tunes preceding this album’s release, and the thirty odd years of the same prior to that. Sure, Backstreet Boys were topping the charts in 2000, but fucking ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ and ‘YMCA’ were doing the very same while Led Zeppelin were ruling the world. Hot tip: just because it’s not #1 on the Billboard Top...

5 Perfect Examples of Tension & Release That Put Modern Heavy Bands to Shame

by DeadParrot Breakdowns. Love them or hate them, they are ubiquitous. But, being on the hate side of this camp doesn’t mean I don’t understand them. Actually, I have a fair bit of appreciation for them, where they came from, and how they should be used. Unfortunately, however, for the past ten to fifteen years, they have increasingly become unwarranted and overused. With the likes of Metallica and Slayer, the world was introduced to what Hell might have sounded like to a completely religious person with no clue of the outside world. They were fast, aggressive, and drank like your uncle this Christmas as he stares at your sister’s tits and wondering if it’s cool to bang her behind the shed. Because she’s almost of age, right? And it’s not like there’s a lot of blood relation left. She is your half sister. Or was it step? He can’t remember as he pours another glass of scotch down his gullet, not realising his hand is down his pants and that he might also have a hard on. Anyway. Bands like Metallica and Slayer (and in no way am I saying they invented the breakdown) used the device to release tension after these balls to the wall hectic sections. This is what’s called ‘Tension and Release’. Something, I’m convinced, that modern breakdown-laden bands have NO idea about. ‘Tension and Release’ works because, as the name suggests, there is a discord in the music. This could be a harmonic or melodic choice, an A minor chord progression switching to a major, or, as most bands of the past fifty years have...

TOOL’s New Album Release Date Worked Out With Science and Junk

If you blinked you probably missed it. Or you simply just don’t give a fuck. Either way, it is exciting times for the few remaining Tool fans out there who are yet to die from being an old cunt. Unfortunately, after nine years of waiting around for Maynard to stop stroking his ego long enough to actually have a small amount of spare time to work on the album, it doesn’t look like anything will be released any time soon. Tool have been kind enough to release a “tease” of what they are working on, the main problem being is it’s only 15 seconds long and doesn’t really offer any hope that the long-awaited follow up to 10,000 Days will be worth the wait. With the various “theories” floating around regarding the name of the last Tool album, long suffering fans will be hoping that it isn’t 10,000 days between releases. The fortunate thing for any Tool fan who might be reading this is that will NOT be the case. How do I know this you might ask? Let me explain. Sometimes the most obvious thing is staring you right in the face. When one is dealing with an ego so strong like the one Maynard possesses, you must always assume that in his mind everything revolves around him. 10,000 days = 27.379 years. Maynard James Keenan was born April 17, 1964. The band’s first release was an EP titled Opiate and was released March 10, 1992. The band recorded this release between December 1991 and January 1992. Remember, when dealing with giant egotistical fucks you must think like...

Thy Art Is Impoverishment: How CJ McMahon Is A Fiscal Genius

This week we saw the tragic story of vocalist CJ McMahon announcing his departure from Sydney deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder. Every publication in Australia was alight with the juicy details surrounding his exit, with the singer citing the inability to continue to live on the meager wage generated from life in a band. The main sentiment propelled by the media was that life in the music industry – even if you’re in one of the most popular Australian metal bands – is a financial struggle. CJ stated that he had earned a lousy $3,000 maximum per year during his time with the band, a figure that came as a shock to just about everyone, including the band themselves. Fellow Australian artists such as King Parrot, industry figureheads, the aforementioned music publications, and every Converse-wearing local band member shared the sob story on social media, flailing the three thousand dollar figure about like an almighty sword of justification. A collective nod to the stifled cash flow of many Australian bands. “See, Mum?” Three-thousand dollars! – and that’s a huge band like Thy Art Is Murder. You wanna know why I’m 32 years old and still live at home? How do you expect my international collaborative progressive melodic deathcore project Cut The Pastry to generate enough money to live off if TAIM earn a measly three grand a year? PEOPLE STEAL MUSIC! FUCK YOU, MUM! CAN I PLEASE HAVE A BOWL OF COCOA POPS?” It’s easy to hear the figures and instantly dismiss it as part and parcel with being in the music industry. It’s not until you really...

IPHYB Top 5: Lost Treasures & Guilty Pleasures (Sam)

Let’s face it: a lot of these LTGP posts, as no one calls them, aren’t really either of the above. They function more as a vehicle for us writers to say “Look how diverse my musical tastes actually are! Doesn’t that make me cool? Damn I’m lonely.” But I’m gonna buck the trend. Here are five examples of bands that deserve more exposure than they get, and perhaps one or two that deserve less flak than they get. 5. Puddle of Mudd – Come Clean Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Date of Release: August 28, 2001 Genre: Dad rock, post-grunge, hard rock For Fans Of: Staind, Nickelback, Shinedown Why They Aren’t Famous: The only press they get these days is from Wes Scantlin’s legal troubles We start the list off with a guilty pleasure so huge that I don’t tell people I listen to it out of fear that my credibility as a music journalist will come into question. If I were the last person on planet Earth, I would still listen to this album with headphones on. I know people who would rather contract Ebola than listen to this album, then claim there are many similarities between the two. Is it unabashedly dad rock? Check. Is the lead singer a drugged-out son of a bitch? Check. Was it produced by Fred fucking Durst himself? Check. Despite this overwhelming adversity, this album is pretty good. “Control”, “Drift and Die”, and especially “Blurry” were all massive hits (and rightfully so). Tracks like “Out of my Head” and “Nobody Told Me” are fun post-grunge romps. Even if it was critically panned,...

I Probably Hate Christmas – 6 Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

[DISCLAIMER: IPHYB is neither endorsed by, nor endorses these products or their creators/retailers] Okay fuck-alls, it’s that time of year again where we confuse religious beliefs with pagan traditions and mask it all under the capitalistic free-for-all which we call Christmas. Whatever you do or don’t believe in, we can generally all agree that we like getting given stuff and that there’s some form of endorphin-producing element in giving to others as well. So, in the spirit of consumerism and chemical releases, here’s I Probably Hate Your Band’s guide to what you should get for that discerning music lover and/or hater in your life. 1. Headphones/Earbuds There’s a good chance that your intended gift receiver thinks that they have good taste in music – but you probably think whatever they listen to is shit, and most definitely don’t want to fucking hear it. Shut them up by confining them to their own audio prison with a pair of headphones or earbuds. There are some pretty good cheap, yet quality earbuds on the market, though some premium models can cost you hundreds (and even thousands). There’s an even greater price range in headphones, but a good pair of Sol Republics or entry level AKGs can please most listeners without breaking the bank. For something different check out Aftershokz, a Bluetooth bone conducting headset that allows you to secretly blast your music all day while still being able to hear and interact with the world around you. 2. Portable Speakers Okay, so sometimes other people’s musical choices aren’t so bad and you can stand to listen to their relentless flogging of...