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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let me show you my rig....

I am not a guitar player. But I have worked with some of these knuckleheads. But what excites me about drumming is the noise that is coming out of a guitar amp. Someday I would learn how to play guitar and rip through with blazing slows and murderous riffs like I do everyday in my dreams. And everytime before the Rock in Rio gig, I have a backstage interview where I show off my gear. Well, since I have no real gear, I put together a wishlist. From listening to a ton of great guitar players and knowing what kinda sound I love, this is what I want in my setup.

That beautiful guitar that you see alongside, is going to be my weapon of choice. It's the PRS Mikael Akerfeldt SE, basically an Akerfeldt-ized version of the amazing Custom 24. And if you have ever heard Opeth's music, you would know that this guitar is great for any kind of sound. Death metal savagery, ambient landscapes, stoner doom riffs, anything. Just gotta have it.

This gorgeous metal diabolical deity of sound that you see alongside is one of the greatest amps ever built. The Mesa Boogie triple rectifier is where a lot of great guitar players get their sound from, chief among them being John Petrucci and Mark Tremonti. Most people associate heavy metal with a stack of Marshall JCM heads, but I would much rather prefer these. With a gang of tubes glowing in through the back, when set up right, this badass muthafucka will deliver such a ripping sound, you will either feel that cold chill down your spine or maybe shit your pants.

To know what this pedal does, first head over to this link right here and watch the video. Tom Morello and Co start riots with their rebellious sounds and some ingenious techniques. This pedal is such an integral part of his setup and gives him that unique sound that I just love. No other Whammy even tries to come close to this one.

Now now, I know that a lot of people will be screaming bloody murder because I put this up here instead of the classic pedal or the Dimebag Wah, but the simple fact of the matter is using Wah is a disorder called Hammettittis. And Metallica is my favourite band of all time. The End.

Another legendary pedal from the great guitar players. Absolutely vital if you want to play blues or blues based music. Most people go in for a big effects and modelling pedal to save money in the formative years. I would rather start with these small pedals to understand the basics and form my own sound.

The TC Electronics CX 400 Compressor is another indispensible tool when it comes to creating a signature sound. This very model has been discontinued, but it is the best of its kind. This is rack mount version and very convenient to use.

The big mother of all on stage MIDI controllers, the Voodoo Ground Control board. However complicated your effects rack/setup is, this board can handle it and then some more. Must have for a good on stage performances.

Probably the best guitar - amp and effects modelling system out there. The best players rave about it and it shows in their sound and playing style. This comes when I have a lot of money to spare.

And last but not the least, the Furman AR 2 power conditioning system. Living in India makes you insecure bordering paranoid about the power supply and spikes and the kind and you want a good system to protect your equipment for over voltages and keep everything in good shape. This takes a lot of brunt and has a lot of tolerance built in.

Well, there you have it. There will be additions and subtractions in this, but this is what I need in my dream setup. Gimme my sound. Gimme.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep the Faith

Yesterday and completely unknowingly, I uttered, "The only true equivalence to organized religion is organized crime" and earned nods of approval and the odd stare. Though I did not shovel a lot of thought into it, thank you ADHD, I keep coming back to it. How much credibility does this statement and indeed this argument merit?

Religion came about as a guideline for a "flock" of humans to live together in harmony and with an odd power struggle thrown in for good measure. The fact that religion did not establish the general laws of being a sentient human being, those coming directly from common sense, what it did was present those principles to the congregation with a sugar veneer on a fancy plate.

This does make sense, as a way to avoid complete anarchy, religion works wonderfully as a tool of control and discipline. People feel safer following and when the majority tends to agree with something, everybody unarguably, gets a sense of what is right and wrong.

What went wrong in all this, according to me, is that the "Rules for good living" are dated and stagnate as we tend stretch them out too far. So the practise of "Sati", honourable at one time, is abhorred now and rightly so. Like any organism, religion has to stay vital and fight for survival. And the way most religions did it, is through power and money.

Cashing in on a devoted fan following is not a new concept, as opposed to what some Babas and Gurus would have you think. Creating enough gravity through religious books, saints and seers and the occasional God, with plenty of folk yarns about sins and virtues thrown in to stitch it all together, not a lot of people escape this black hole without feeling a huge void. And all the capital that goes into creating an even bigger pictorial representative of how good religion is.

With the current state of all religions being so abominable, thanks to wars, discrimination and the kind, what happens to faith and belief? Well, what happens is, people are forced to rely on their common sense, which unfortunately, they have been stripped bare of. The euphemism that is religion, relies on some basic human values which do not need any tome or recital. To simply put it, I quote the lead singer of Slayer, Tom Araya, who is a devout Roman Catholic. He says, "I might not clearly know what is right and best, but I and everybody else do know what is wrong. There are some things that you do not do, doesn't matter what religion or caste you come from."

I have already signed an agreement to comply with whatever Tom Araya says, in Slayer or otherwise. But, I do welcome everybody to ponder over his statement, leaving aside the fact that he is the lead singer of a band which has made albums like, "Hell Awaits", "Haunting the Chapel" and "Christ Illusion".

Bottom-line, every human, with some basic rules, can carve out his/her own faith that he/she can live with comfortably and still be a "good" human. Some may point out the underlying convenience that features so prominently in the previous sentence and others might paint horrible word pictures of anarchy. But, if you have a brain of your own, not beset by the woes of ADHD or any other mental illness, please do ponder over this.

To me, religion is not an important thing. I would rather ignore it than waste any brain power thinking about it. And I do stand by my sentence about it being criminally equal to organized crime. To put it very simply, back when the Italian mafia in New York was only 20 years old, a leading light of that fold said "We are bigger than U.S. Steel!" and that for them was a great landmark, an absolute pinnacle of how far they come, earning money from shady schemes.

Everytime I look at a temple, mosque or church, it dawns on me, the fact that, organized religion controls more power and money than many a U.S. Steel and some countries put together. Hard to forsake all that, ain't it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Born to be Wild........

A keyword can be defined as the central theme or idea expressed in any written or said body of lingual work.

Road. Speed. Miles.

While the idea that one word can represent a whole is tantalising enough, it's main fallacy lies in the very fact that most words around it are short changed.

Friends. Marriage. Music. Laughter

So what happens, when there are a bunch of keywords themselves that make up the body?

Islands. Endless. Water.

What is discounted then? What is the central idea? Wherein lies the theme? A question that I have wrestled for the some hours now and reached nowhere.

Wilderness. Thunderstorm. Sunshine. Rain.

Maybe the answer lies, in not discounting words, but in the way we define them. Keywords are just words. Maybe saying more isn't actually saying more. But, saying less is more


Life. Longing. Future. Satisfaction.

So when we read this body of work, and let it stand and define itself, we see a finite creature. It will mutate. It will die. Come back to life. Around those very words. Without trying to over analyse these small spurts of intellegible syllables, just letting them stand and talk to each other. Let them be human, so to say. Their mistakes are just errors we injected into them in creation. And then, maybe, just maybe, we might actually come close to understanding our own creation. And live with it.

Journey. Space. Time. Human Contact.

So, in a bid to escape this tussle between my mind and it's creation, I become the arbitrator. To understand what my mind is made up of. Here is hoping, that I understand the language that I created.