For about 5 years, I've had my own little "studio" here at the house. It's not much.....really not much at all. It's an old late 60's single wide mobile home that is falling down, has leaking windows, no plumbing, no heat and one small window unit AC. Guess you can figure out now why it's called "Rat Hole Studios" can't you? lol. Anyway, it's not the nicest place in the world, but for cutting good quality demos, it's perfect. I have spent the time I've had this place getting the sound I want in a recording, getting the guitars to sound just right, getting the drums to sound right and learning how to make vocals stand out. I've tried to keep up with the local music scene around here as much as possible and recently stuck up a deal with a young band, "Edomode" (pronounced Ed-o-mode). They're a power trio, get along very well and are super easy to work with. This is also the first time I've been exclusively in the producer seat. Have to say I really like it. I've decided not to listen to their other demos so I can add my own vision to each track we do and so far neither side has been disappointed at all. We have three down so far and, not to sound overly proud, they all sound great. Especially considering the equipment I use is all low budget stuff, the real working musicians studio. All that being said, any local bands, all of you are welcome in my studio. The rest of the year is devoted to Edomode, but starting in January, I'll be taking on other projects. Fees are as follows: $10 per song or you can do a three song EP for $20 or a complete album up to 15 tracks for $100. You won't find a better deal than that. You will be responsible for disc copies. Only thing I will be providing at these prices it the file which can be copied to a flash drive. Once I have new computers in the studio, I will start providing discs, prices to be set later. So remember, Rat Hole Studios, the poor, working musicians studio.
This is a short one....use to be, local artists kinda stuck together. Like a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" deal, ya know? I've been more than happy over the years to help guys out here and there. Even helped bands or artist get their first gig a few times. In the past few weeks since I started this new project, I've seen that all but gone. Seems some feel they are above lending a hand to other artists in need. I don't understand that one at all. Just remember there was a time when you were a nobody to the music world....and think how awesome it would be to have someone help you out when you needed it. Not to put myself up on a neon billboard or anything, but I have offered local bands the chance to use my studio, free of any charge, to make better demos. Have one band and one solo artist coming in next week as a matter of fact. All I'm saying is remember none of us are signed or getting regular radio play and none of us are winning freakin' Grammy's so get off your high horse. Stay local and stick together dammit.
Just so I don't miss anybody, almost every track I've posted here is a demo version and in some cases just a sample of the track. Most aren't finished, some are still in development others are ready to lay down for the actual record, but I just think it's cool to share the whole process with the people that take time to listen to my music. I dig it.
This new track I've posted, "Remember...?", is a really rough demo/sample version of what will be the opening and closing of the new record. Using a bit of my Floyd influence, this track will be the opening track (there's alot left to add to it, samples etc.) and also the last track. Just like The Wall, "In the Flesh...?" was the first track, then later on "In the Flesh" was towards the end. And since the record is sorrta a concept, as we open we are asking a question, do you remember? Then after we give a more insight, we are asking you to remember. Simple. Unlike other artists, I have no problem letting you hear these demo's and rough starters. I like to include my listeners in the process so they can see where we came from, where we started and where we finished. That's cool to me. Anyway, hope you will listnen to the track (and the others) and feel free to leave any feedback, I welcome it. Hope I will be finished with this thing before the end of the year, but time seems to move a lot faster as I get older, lol. Shooting to have at least 10 tracks on this thing, so I have much work to do. Biggest thing has been finding a drummer to help me get the drum tracks where I want them, but a good drummer is hard to find. So looks like I'll be doing that as well, and I'm no drummer, so it will take longer to get it finished. Plus I'm looking at the deal with the Fall Rally in Myrtle Beach that I have to be ready for, so there's sooooo much to do. But this track, the piano piece, was an idea I came up with back in the mid 90's. I would sit at the piano in my parents house and just goof off and this is one of the things that came out. Never found a use for it til now. Strange, 20 years later, it's found a home. Like I said in a previous blog, music can come easy, you can write a hit in 5 min. or it can take years......I just never thought it would be 20.
One of the most frustrating things I've had to deal with since I've been "on my own" has been finding a drummer to work with.......come to think of it....that's been a problem ever since I started jammin' with bands. Around here, it's very difficult to find a good drummer. I know guys that can play the drums, I can play a little, but a drummer is a different beast all together. Some people don't get that, but it's like..........say this for example.....you may be able to change a flat tire on your car, but you sure as hell couldn't rebuild the transmission. Just really frustrating to work with a guy that can sit behind a kit and jam out and sound kick ass but when it's time to lay down trax, the guy can't hit fills, can't maintain constant tempo, and doesn't understand the structure or progression of the song. I can keep a steady, simple beat, play some of my own work on the drums. Others I have to program the drum trax or sometimes I combine the two, real drums and programed sets. Anyway, what I'm getting at is all these trax are labled as demo's being that they are not the complete song and the drum trax are not complete, not done by a real drummer. I'm looking hard now trying to find someone that is willing to tackle it, but so far have come up empty handed. I may have to bite the bullet and get serious and do it myself....hard enough trying to finalize all the material then have to jump on that , but that's the joy of being a solo artist lol. Anyway, the latest track, titled "Remember" will hopefully be up next week, maybe the week after. It's a more melodic piece, like "Eagles" mainly performed on piano. Don't worry, there are more aggressive n heavy trax on the way as well, most are nearly complete, just need to mix them and maybe redo a thing or two. They may just be demos, but I like to share them as soon as they are passable so those that enjoy my music can experience the journey with me. I think it's just cool to hear a demo then compare it to the finished product. Then you can see how much progress you have made.
Received an email from a listener today that made me realize I haven't been very clear on what exactly "Rex Mac" is all about.....sooooo here goes......
I've been in and out of bands since I was in high school, none of them to be taken seriously until I was in Dead by Dawn in 2001 and then Forgotten in 2003. After Forgotten just fell apart, I was left not knowing what I was going to do musically, just lost. The bass player at the time and I tried off and on for about a year(between 2010 and 2011) to get it back up and running with no luck and I also had another deal going on, a Pink Floyd tribute band that has also been hard to get past the developmental stage (I'm not a singer, that kinda puts a cap on that one). Anyway, in late June I was looking around in my little crappy studio (Rat Hole Studios) checking little tid bits of jams I had laid down, or, in some cases, complete songs that just didn't fit in with my previous bands. I also had three new tracks laying around that were complete instrumental pieces that I really enjoyed playing and messing around with. So, I said to myself, "hey, why don't you just do an instrumental record". Damn, sounded good......after all I am the guitar guy, that's what I do, and I don't sing very well, so, that's where it really started. Then I needed a theme to go by, and the whole "Patriot" idea had been there for a while too, so it just kinda came together from there, all around July 4th, so there you have it. The second half of this story is this: I can do this all by myself! It's hard enough trying to get me to agree with myself, let alone trying to get a whole band to work together, so I do all this stuff alone. BUT.....I hit a little problem.....I'm not the best drummer in the world either, so I've been looking for a drummer to help me finish up a few trax and to help me create what are called "Backing Tracks" in the "bizz". Basicly it's a guitar version of kareokee or something, just allows me to go out an gig alone, just me, my guitars and a computer loaded with all the accompaniment already there. A good bit of solo musician's play venues in Myrtle Beach, SC(closest area with a big selection of venues) just the same way. Currently, I have a few places ready for me to come in and do sets, but I'm not ready just yet, that's why you won't see any show listings on the page. I'm getting there though. I'm sure I'll do a couple gigs here in my hometown to work out all the kinks and such before I'm on the Grand Strand, so I'll make sure I let all of you know what's going on. Remember, support all your local musicians. We depend on you to help spread the word and our work, especially the younger artists. So if you're a parent and your kid is in a band, be their biggest fan and do as much as possible to promote them. Hope I've shed a bit more light on what this is all about, where I'm heading. Just to add, I'm not that guy that wants to be some damn rock star or crap....I just want to make good music that means something and share it with others that share my same view point. And maybe try to make a little cash to support this effort.....it's a necessary evil unfortunately these days.
Sometimes making music comes very easy and other times it can take years (that's right YEARS) to finish something up. The idea for "Eagles" came to me sometime earlier this year, I even laid down a demo using the 4 track recorder on my phone, but the finished product lay just outta my hands.....until yesterday. Out of the blue, the damn thing just came out the way I wanted it to sound, but only after a little experimenting. Being a BIG fan of David Gilmour, I decided to take a page from his playbook. I restrung an old acoustic I had been trying to sell to what is called Nashville tunning or high strung (also know as a poor man's 12 string). Guess that's why Karma didn't let me get rid of that old Fender, huh? Anyway, I laid down several trax for the guitars on this song. There's the lead, a clean electric with heavy chorus, delay and phaser, an acoustic track using a pickup then an acoustic track using the condenser mic panned to the left and finally one using the Nashville guitar panned to the left. Alot of work just to get that sound I was hearing, but I found it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new music, I'm working on more every chance I get. Just finished up editing a video for "Eagles" that I hope will be ready to go up tomorrow after some screening. Until then, rock on and God bless the USA.
When I fist had this idea, it was around July 4th....maybe not exactly on that day, but close enoungh for me. That being said, I'm considering the possibility of changing the name of the new record to "Born on the 4th of July" and move Patriot Dream over to title an new track. Just seems like a better fit to me. We'll see......
I'm not very good at telling stories, I tend to jump around way too much, but here it goes..... I've been sitting around for over two years trying to figure out where to go with music. I tried to continue with my last band effort, Forgotten, but it just has been a bitch trying to find musicians that have the same vision. The Mack Floyd thing, my Floyd tribute, has also been hard to nail down. See, I'm no singer and no matter how good I can make myself sound in studio, I don't feel I could ever replicate that live......another dead end. That puts me here. Most people know that I'm very outspoken when it comes to politics and the views of our country. Let's keep it short and say I'm pissed off with our current situation and it needs to be changed.....big time. That said, the only thing I can do other than complain and argue with dumbasses that are happy with what's going on today is to create music. Me and my axe. So I've set off on a journey to to create an EP that will consist of instrumental tracks, heavy rock guitar tracks based around my love of country and my belief that we need to return to ways of old as some would say. Patriot Dream will be my out cry for people to remember that they should be proud to be an American, proud to believe in God and love and respect family. Seems strange I'm sure to hear nasty guitar that sounds like it came off a bus from Seattle and say it's about American pirde and faith in God, but this is me. I'm not the typical guy by any means.....soooo much more to the story that will have to wait til next time.....
New EP coming soon! Patriot Dream featuring the guitar sounds of Rex Mac. For God and Country demo version now available.