Update: What's Up?

Sunday, July 14, 2024

So far the Summer has been pretty damn good. The heat has been a bit taxing as of late, but nothing to the point where it's getting me to hate the outside. I'm happy. I'm smiling a lot. I'm eating good food. I have a lot of things going on. I'm busy. Everything is fine you know?

I sometimes feel bad that I don't write a lot considering how life has been treating me. Most of the time writing was an outlet to talk about how low I felt, but now things have been just good. Good because I make the best of the good. Good because I'm not struggling like I was years ago.

One of things I've been trying to do is be a bit more social. I know, I'm kinda like that already, but there's been a bit of resistence in the past few years considering how much of an emotional wreck I was. Since I started my new job things have been just moving so fast for me and making new friends have been kinda in the back burner. My supervisor Mike has been helping me casually meet new people along with other outlets like Discord and Instagram freeing me up a bit more. I've also been shooting here and there for things that I'm more interested in rather than be stuck on doing these parties I've been doing for a good minute.

Music has been a bit of a challenge lately, but I think I've been going a little too hard on it for a good amount of months and I suddenly burned out earlier this year. As of late I've been picking it back up to just see what other additions or subractions I can make. I'm kinda back in the saddle, but I think I need to be a bit more laxxed rather stress on having to make work complete immedidately.

I'm good here guys. I think I'm going to keep it here for now.

- Arthur


7 w/ Nick Danes

Friday, June 14, 2024

This is an ongoing series called “7” which asks seven questions to the artists I love. These questions were answered by Nick Danes.

1. As of late you’ve been consistently documenting your weight lifting journey and was curious as to how it’s affected your creativity? Has it helped with endurance or perhaps spark new ideas for random things?

You know I've never really thought about how it affects my creativity. At the start of the pandemic, I sort of faded in and out of posting little drum videos as a means to socialize with folks in the world and I think that habit sort of stuck with me once I got interested in my health and fitness.

I've pretty much vlogged almost every at-home workout since about September 2023 and it's pretty much just become part of my routine in my life. I think the biggest thing is that It's allowed me to know fear expressing myself on camera and also not really caring who watches. When it comes to my musical process, I think it's come out with recording some of my live sets and also sharing those things on social media.

As for the endurance part, it's definitely made a massive difference. When I used to play hardcore shows with Faim, I would get pretty winded but our last Europe tour that never really ended up being a problem. I'm also far more useful in general with load in/load out and that also feels good.

2. Coming from Fresno, CA what did you bring from our hometown that has helped you succeed as a musician today? And can you remember the bands that helped inspire you to play music growing up in the local scene?
I think the big thing I took from the local Fresno scene is just to be friendly and charitable to folks. I went into the Denver hardcore/punk scene as a "veteran" from another scene so that took some major adjustment.

Some of my favorite Fresno bands that inspired me the most would have to be Dead Elizabeth, Prove It, Elmo Marconi (haha, I know your band but it's true!). Dead Elizabeth was the first time where I was like, metalcore/death metal can be melodic yet heavy and technical. Prove It was a band that gave me entry to meeting most of the Fresno hardcore scene through their bass player Chris Dichosa. I have a vague memory of my first local hardcore show going to Daniel Dominguez's grandma's house to watch way too many bands play in was basically a shed, including Prove It and I think Aiden? Finally, I have to mention Elmo Marconi because this band really opened me up musically beyond hardcore/punk and really told me that even hardcore can be expressed musically in so many different ways. Elmo definitely had some major influence on the last few songs of Bridges before we ended, and carried over to all my future drumming projects.
3. To follow up with the second question as an Asian American growing up what records started your journey into punk/hardcore and who were you around at the time that helped you identify with that sound?
My entry into Punk was unexpected one. For some context, my mom is from Taiwan and my dad is a white American from the South. They got divorced around the same time where I first started discovering music. I ended up living with my white dad during those years, which is a whole story in itself which I won't get into. In short, I sort of grew up as a "white" kid from that point and honestly my identity as an half-Asian was hindered after the divorce.

I have vague memories as a small child listening to Chuck Berry. I found out later that my dad had The Clash and Sex Pistols on vinyl. However, most importantly, I remember at a very young age, probably 4th-5th grade, getting on the family computer and churning up the dial-up internet modem where I ended up finding a bunch of Dragonball Z Anime Music Videos (AMVs). These AMVs inadvertently had me hear some of the first rock and punk bands I'd ever hear. On that list of course, was Blink 182. Within those years, I also played the Tony Hawk games and of course the soundtracks for those games speak for themselves.

I wouldn't say I considered myself a "punk" kid probably until about the 7th/8th grade, where I really discovered all sorts of more underground punk bands and eventually become straight edge due to listening to Minor Threat. I had some other friends in middle school that were also into the standard popular 70s/80s punk bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Ramones, The Misfits, etc as well other friends who were into bands like Rancid, NOFX, etc.

My jump to get into hardcore wasn't into the second half of my freshman year of high school. I had a friend named Chad who recently transferred there who was also straight-edge and fan of a bunch hardcore music. Through him, I ended up meeting Chris Dichosa who was looking for a straight-edge guitar player for a band Pinky Swear. I ended up meeting Chris, joining his band and getting exposed to a lot of Hardcore music, from Youth Crew to beatdown and to melodic hardcore. Some of the first bands I remember him showing me were Comeback Kid, Gorilla Biscuits, Casey Jones, and Set It Straight, among others. Over the high school years, I would listen to lots of different hardcore, emo and pop-punk bands that I'll try to summarize below.

If I had to boil down to 10 records that shaped my early music years, I would say:

1. Blink 182 - The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (first record I bought on CD)
2. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
3. AFI - Sing The Sorrow
4. Comeback Kid - Turn it Around
5. Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today
6. Carry On - A Life Less Plagued
7. The Get Up Kids - Something to Write Home About
8. Lifetime - Hello Bastards
9. The Ataris - End is Forever
10. Crime in Stereo - Explosives and the Will to Use Them

4. I was inspired by your veganism along with our good friend vxDEDxv who used to cook for me when I visited him to write records. What’s something you’ve been cooking up lately that’s vegan friendly?
My cooking habits ebb and flow when I'm creative versus doing the bare minimum. I'm kind of in the bare minimum phase right now, but the payoff is still good. Today I grilled a bunch of beyond burgers and impossible bratwurst on a charcoal grill. Low effort, high taste. One of my favorite breakfasts to make is a simple oatmeal cooked in soymilk with some cinnamon, sliced banana, and peanut butter.

5. Straight edge was also something I gained being around you and the crew that’s changed my life indefinitely. Were there any particular events that occurred that inspired you to go that path of sobriety?
My path was pretty short. I was in the 7th grade and I went over to a friends house and had the opportunity to drink for the first time. It didn't go well, so I haven't drank since. Despite this, of course I grew up around lots of friends who dabbled with drugs and alcohol and I was always just terrified about what could go wrong, so I never tried.

6. Coming from the Central Valley to now Colorado how has the different climates change your perspective? I know that for me the snowy winters can either elevate or kill my moods lol.
When I first moved to Colorado, the winters were extremely rough. The snow makes you not want to go anywhere, especially when you're initially scared to drive. Thankfully, Colorado is still a relatively sunny place and the snow melts quickly.

Usually these days when it snows, I just accept it and don't worry about getting things done.
7. What was the best advice you received from someone that sticks with you to this day?
It's hard to say, but something that sticks to me is a bit cheesy. My strength and conditioning online coach has become a close friend of mine and he often loves to spam things like "I WILL WIN" and it's honestly just a reminder to avoid negative self-talk in anything you're doing, outside of fitness/training. I've historically always been a big negative self-talker and this is something I've tried to improve on by reminding myself with this silly mantra.

Thank you Nick for responding to this questionnaire. It's awesome to see him really taking his fitness and music journey up high. I'll be supporting this dude all the way out.

- Arthur


7 w/ Mei Semones

Friday, May 24, 2024

This is the start of an ongoing series called “7” which I’ll be conducting casually to artists that I love. These questions were answered by Mei Semones.

Arthur: First of all thank you for making time to answer these questions Mei. I’m happy that the algorithm had led me to your playing and have been enjoying what you’ve released so far.

Mei: Hi Arthur,
Thanks so much for your email and for this interview! I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying the music.
1. On your newest record the first thing that starts is a guitar arpeggiation leading to a Bossonova rhythm. As a guitar nerd my ear immediately went for your guitar tone and had me reflect on a French guitarist I used to listen to religiously Rene Thomas. What does your gear look like these days and how long will you keep the integrity of this sound as you grow as an artist?
My gear is pretty minimal. I have a PRS McCarty 594 and a JC-Roland 40 amp. That's pretty much all that was used for the main guitar on the Kabutomushi EP. The guitar overdubs / layers have some different effects like distortion that were added during mixing. I've recently been playing more acoustic guitar and writing more on the acoustic guitar so I think that will be a bigger part of my sound moving forward.
2. I saw on a recent Red Couch interview that you were asked about collaborations which got me curious. Recently I saw that you had done vocals for an upcoming Orchid.Mantis project (this project is freaking exciting based on the concept by the way) and for some reason wanted me to ask this: Aside from the musicians that you play with currently name three other artists that you would want to create a supergroup with?
No one in particular comes to mind, I think the musicians in my band are already the ultimate supergroup! Someone I collaborate with frequently that isn't in my band is John Roseboro and his band, and I think they are their own supergroup too.
3. Aside from music what other types of art are you currently involved with? And if you’re not currently involved in other mediums what would be the medium you would want to dive into?
I don't really have any other interests. I used to read a lot though, and would love to get back into it when I have some more time.
4. What subject/subjects interests you when writing songs? Does the guitar start first or the lyrics?
The guitar always comes first, then melody, then lyrics. In terms of the subject for the lyrics, it's basically just whatever pops into my head -- a reflection of what I'm thinking about and how I'm feeling at that moment.
5. As an Asian artist myself I’m thrilled to see more representation be put on my screen. Growing up it was hard to keep an identity for myself as a Filipino knowing that the music I listened to doesn’t have much of an asian representation here in the states. Who were artists that you sought refuge as influence growing asian in America?
I think my biggest influences have been jazz musicians like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Jim Hall, Wes Mongtomery, etc. I was also really into Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins when I was younger. Being Japanese-American / multicultural has been a big part of my songwriting and finding my own voice, so I hope my music encourages other people to embrace their own identities and backgrounds too.
6. What was your first guitar? And what was the first thing you learned starting guitar?
My first guitar was a nylon string guitar that my dad bought for me when I started taking lessons. I think the first song I learned was twinkle twinkle little star or mary had a little lamb, because it was Suzuki-style classical guitar lessons.
7. What was the best advice you received from someone that sticks with you to this day?
My parents have always encouraged me to do what I love, and I think that has been really impactful in my life.

Thank you Mei again for your time to answer these questions. This series is going to be fun to do considering I have only 7 I can ask. I'll be continuing on with some artist in the very near future so stay tuned!

- Arthur


Funeral Quick Trips

Monday, April 22, 2024

So, these are the pictures from the funeral trip I went to. It was strange to see some old haunts and such, but it was expected considering the last time I was in California. I know nothing around anymore and the vibe just strange. I felt a bit uneasy being there to be honest.


Though that my trip was a bit grim it was nice to see my family pair up all at once. It's been over 10 years that we all got a chance to meet up like this. Hopefully this won't be the last time.

I know I haven't been updating the blog as much, but believe you me I've been sooooo burnt out on everything. Recording this new record had sort of lost control and I'm trying to figure out how to get it back on path. I've been doing a lot of observing and listening lately as the last few years I've been consistent on writing and releasing works. I might need to delay this release unfortunately, but sometimes things need more time and I think this is one of them.

- Arthur


There's Nothing Like Running From A Place Called Home

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

About a couple of weeks ago I found out my Uncle had passed away. I was out and about with my girlfriend and her brother when the news hit. At the moment I couldn't fathom the fact that this was happening and sort of brushed it off. As my family started to gather the news on our messenger app it kinda began to sink in. All family members started making plans to visit Cali to pay respects.

Pulling it back a bit my Uncle and his family went to see my father get buried in 2003. I was going through a lot at the time and they managed to come through in support and respect to my father.

Pulling even further there was a moment my brother Bernard was sent away from our household to live with our Uncle and cousins and unfortunately came back to our household kinda worse at the time. He was the one responsible for Bernard to sort of keep away from what he was dealing with back at home.

And now... here we are. Uncle is gone and all these memories starts to sink in...

I didn't know my Uncle and cousins as well as Bernard did at the time, but I looked up to them sort of seeking guidance on how to be like them. They were that cool Asian click that I wished I was apart of being around gangbanger fuck shit. They were that cool Asian click that smoke and drank because that's what you did in the 90's. Obviously that faded away considering how awkward I am as a person and the fact that I couldn't really match what they got going on.

I wouldn't see them for a long time until we visited the cousins for a funeral visit for our cousin Chico who was murdered. This was fresh after my father had already been buried. 2 Knockout back to back hits and I still stand here thinking how is okay?

I'm going to Cali this Saturday. My brothers Bernard and Christopher don't know that I'm coming home to also pay my respects (and to be honest I'm glad they don't read this shit). I'm not sure why I'm only letting my sister Diana and younger brother Eldon know that I'm coming, but there's a thing in me that was apprehensive in letting them know that I'm going.

And in fact I was a bit apprehensive to even go. I don't want to deal with this. Because it's bringing me back to a point in my life that changed everything and everyone that I didn't really want. But here I am... fucking sober and trying to deal with it.

Nothing like running away from a place called home. There's a reason I don't want to come back to Cali. And with all that has happened I don't think I want to be around those towns ever. I wished my family lived here instead

- ArtB_)


OMFG I'm Soooo Late

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Happy New Year everyone and yes I'm definitely late to the party. This is not the first time not updating anything during the first week of the year, but as of late I've been making a lot of progress on just everything that I'm involved in. And considering what I'm working on it's just been exciting that I'm starting the New Year trying to be creative as best I can.

The first day of the year this sees a release and continues the ongoing momentum that I'm trying to keep at for 2024. Honestly a lot of my release runs from 2023 was wild and I think I'm happy to know that I can do something this crazy for the foreseeable future. I'm hoping to find myself focused on the bigger projects this year and to release some singles here and there just for fun.

I realized that projects can be finished on the LST LVS angle. I intend to keep this for the longest time considering my images don't have enough power to stand alone. And you know what? That's okay. I'm happy that I'm continuing this feat.

And that's just reallly it for me for 2024. My intention for this year is to keep the momentum going for this project. There are a couple of things that I'm trying differently this year though:

DigiCam Project
Last year I was able to find a "DigiCam" that was good enough not only to shoot pictures, but to print out images at a reasonable size (it can almost print out to 8.5 x 11). The latitude of data is good enough to bring back some details in the highlights and shadows with the current camera raw software that I have. Since it can shoot in TIFF the images generate pretty well in Adobe Camera Raw. My angle is to photograph in black in white all year. Lets see if that lasts lol.

Lately I've been trying to figure out different ways to write guitar parts. Metronomes have been something I've been very curious about working with in which could help me stay strict on writing than going to outer space with just noodling around all the time. I want to become a better player and this could perhaps help me get there by working on my timing. I'm timing deficient and I think it's one of my weaknesses as a player.

Other than that I'm not really pushing anything else different as I continue to try and write for my full length in the morning, attend Muay Thai classes and eat a bit healthier. Keeping at it and just figuring it all out.

I did end up having to be an official state worker here in Connecticut and now my schedule to work from home is 60 - 40%. I get more time to record in certain weeks so this'll be my chance to get more done.

I hope you all had a wonderfull New Year. Keep at it with the resolutions. This is the time to fail for sure and a time to learn what works and what doesn't work.