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> My Solo Album Is Nearly Here !
Kristofer Dahl
post Apr 20 2014, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Apr 20 2014, 02:49 PM) *
Thanks Kris ! But YOU could do it !

I know there's a hell of a load of people who want that Kris Dahl solo album, right guys ??? smile.gif


hehe well I am working on a new song, but by the time I will have it finished - I bet you will have released a new EP..! wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 20 2014, 08:01 PM
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This will be a great test case to see if all the promo idea we've been tossing about actually help gain some traction!! Let us know what techiques you use and how each work!

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Apr 6 2014, 05:48 AM) *
Hey all, just wanted to say that I've finally gotten around to putting together my first solo album. You'll recognise some of the tracks which have been blessed with new drum tracks from my new Italian partner in crime, Andre De Carolis, as well as being remixed, mastered etc.



It was real fun to put together. Rather than being just a vehicle for guitar solos, I like to write stuff that is strong in structure and riff heavy too. So it's almost like an instrumental Megadeth album with hints of Opeth, Satriani, Becker, Friedman etc.. thought I'd put it up here in case anyone's interested smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 20 2014, 08:09 PM
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Oh, yes, that would be something smile.gif But I also know how it is when life gets in the way and you can rarely find that peace of mind to just sit there with your guitar and play. I think Ben did a great job and I would like to ask him about how he achieved the right state of mind to finish things. Did you give it full focus in a certain period of time, Ben?


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 20 2014, 08:43 PM
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These are good and valid questions. I'll take some time to give the answers the attention they deserve smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 21 2014, 08:32 AM
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Looking forward to hear more about the processes behind your masterpiece, Ben!


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 21 2014, 03:48 PM
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Ok, I haven't got any specific secrets or anything particularly revealing to share...

The songs themselves.. well I just started making some tracks for fun. Ilios was first. Then Hektor and Achilles. The story of Troy and the Trojan War is really inspiring and interesting to me, it's one of my favourite stories. The historical fiction series called 'Troy' by David Gemmell is out of this world. Obviously it takes license by expanding and creating alternate stories around the central characters of the Iliad but it's epic.. it really got under my skin and affected me. So I wanted to create some music that reflected not only my interest in the subject matter but pays respect to it.

By the time I was writing Achilles, my friend Andrew, the drummer, said he wanted to do the drums so that's why Achilles had drums. Then I wrote Mr. Badass. At this point, I was still just writing on a track by track basis with no plans for an album. At some point though, the interest I was getting on YT was making me think about an album.

I wrote another track, Hammer of Hephaistos, which also fits into the Troy legend.. Hephaistos (or Vulcan in the Roman mythos) crafted a unique set of armour for Achilles, not to mention a badass shield wink.gif Hephaistos is the God of smithing, metalwork, blacksmithery etc.. some of you sharp listeners may have noticed the anvil sounds in there.... That track was recorded in Drop D, which is reflected in the riffs but the lead work doesn't really use the low E string.

Welcome to Castle Higgy is just a kind of personal joke on my own childlike persona. If I had a castle, it would have a moat with some guard ducks. No doubt, a special donut producing kitchen as well. As a track, it's intentionally bewildering, slightly intimidating and definitely weird. Gitarrero and Slavenko said it was one of their favourite tracks. I'll let that joke write itself. tongue.gif

Sub Zero, I had written before.. many of you know it already. I even did a GMC lesson of it. I thought it was too good a song to languish, forgotten, on my YT channel so it had to be resurrected. Andrew's drumming added some extra, interesting poly rhythmic (damn, that was hard to spell) grooves to the main verses. Check out that hi-hat. I re-recorded the rhythm guitars and the lead guitars during the bridge / chorus section. The rest of the lead guitar was from the original.

Brittania... the main Em / C riff that is played on the semi distorted guitar had been with me for years.. way more than a decade. At last I found the opportunity to use it in a song. I put the whole thing together in bits.. adding a riff section and another.. drum lines and grooves all in my head at this point. Then I went through and did a basic drum track. then some bass. For a while I wasn't feeling the song but I decided to stick with it. I gave it to Andrew with just rhythm - no melodies at all. When I had the drums I put the melodies together. That's when it started to sound sexier.

Inspiration wise, I was thinking about the Roman invasion, what they saw, who they fought... and also it's just a nod of respect to our nation in general. smile.gif

I'm not sure if that's the kind of info you wanted, but hope you find it interesting anyway !

Re: finding the time to put it together. Time isn't so bad, it's the motivation that usually fails us, I find. I really have to be in a good enough mood to do it. If the inspiration's flowing, I can get a lot done very quickly. 'Castle Higgy' was the hardest track to finish. I wasn't sure what I wanted to say in it.. but it came eventually. Sometimes you can try to hard, put too much pressure on. Give it a few days away and let it come to you.

Also, one thing that makes me do these projects is an attitude of 'Why the hell not ?' I can do it, I've got the means, why would I not do it ? smile.gif

Regards promotion, nothing special really. YT and FB are my fave platforms and they have always brought the best results consistently. The 30 Shredders stuff has helped massively of course. I'll tell you guys what.. if something works, then I'll tell you about it ! biggrin.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 22 2014, 04:47 PM
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You pulled a big smile here man smile.gif The honest answer I was so looking forward to read!

And the story of the songs biggrin.gif Yes, yes, that too! You actually inspired me to push on with writing my own instrumental album smile.gif I always put this aside because I thought I don't have enough to say, but hell, I DO HAVE A LOT TO SAY! smile.gif

Thanks man!

C


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 22 2014, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 22 2014, 04:47 PM) *
You pulled a big smile here man smile.gif The honest answer I was so looking forward to read!

And the story of the songs biggrin.gif Yes, yes, that too! You actually inspired me to push on with writing my own instrumental album smile.gif I always put this aside because I thought I don't have enough to say, but hell, I DO HAVE A LOT TO SAY! smile.gif

Thanks man!

C


I'm glad it hit a chord, man - we're all looking forward to hearing what the C-Master has got to say !! cool.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 23 2014, 06:44 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Apr 22 2014, 06:06 PM) *
I'm glad it hit a chord, man - we're all looking forward to hearing what the C-Master has got to say !! cool.gif


Well, it's gonna take some time, that's for certain smile.gif And I am really thinking of having a mixed acoustic/electric album - I think it's who I am at this point, so it should reflect reality.


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 23 2014, 08:45 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 23 2014, 06:44 AM) *
Well, it's gonna take some time, that's for certain smile.gif And I am really thinking of having a mixed acoustic/electric album - I think it's who I am at this point, so it should reflect reality.


Yes, records are a snapshot of who we are at that point in time - go for it !!

You are the electric samurai !

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Apr 23 2014, 08:46 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 24 2014, 07:15 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Apr 23 2014, 07:45 AM) *
Yes, records are a snapshot of who we are at that point in time - go for it !!

You are the electric samurai !


That could be the opposite name album for Paul Gilbert's 'Acoustic Samurai' laugh.gif You know that both him and Marty Friedman have a fondness for Japan.


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