Song Dissection: Bad List

BAD LIST
From the CD: Hearts For Bullets
Music programming, lyrics & vocals: Jennifer Parkin
Production, mixing, mastering: Sebastian Komor

Lyrics:

Somehow it feels I’m getting more frustrated
With every tongue tied, wild eyed, overrated
Narcissistic self absorbed spawn of a generation bored

Want to see you vulnerable
I am not your equal
Ruling with an iron fist
And you are on my bad list
A routine casualty
Razor sharp beauty queens
Bridges built are bridges burned
You will get what you deserve.

And now I think I’m done caring
Too many mindless self obsessed overbearing
Misogynistic, plastic hearts. Can’t wait to see you torn apart.

What did they do?
Made you so awful
Why do you say?
The stupid things you do
The ones you’ve hurt
I hope they hurt you too
The things you’ve done
Will eat away at you

You’ve made this list
You won’t be missed
You’ll have to learn
Some things you don’t deserve

The Dissection:

I was actually surprised when I went back through all of the working files for this song to realize that it took exactly one year from it’s beginning to it’s glorious finish.  That may seem like a long time to finish one track that comes in at just under 4 minutes but during this period,  I was working full time, trying to work on music in the evenings and any spared moment I could find, and also went on 3 different tours that took me to faraway places such as the U.S.A. and Europe!  When working on music, I tend to work on lots of songs simultaneously meaning the full “Hearts For Bullets” was all being worked on in various stages, all taking about 2 years to complete every detail.  I use a draft approach where songs will go through various lyrics and structure tweaks until I’m happy with them. I can’t create a song in one day.  I need to step back, sleep on things, listen again, re-work and re-peat the cycle.

“Bad List” is one of my favourite songs from this CD and that’s why it’s placed as track #1 on “Hearts For Bullets”. There is a science to ordering songs on a CD. I guess this concept has become less important in this digital age as listeners don’t often hear a full CD in order anymore.  Hearing single songs is more the norm now, which is fine, but I miss the days when you’d put a CD in and listen to it start to finish, anticipating each track.   So, back to the science of old-school track ordering:  track #1 should be a strong and immediate song that will instantly grab the listener and draw them in.  I personally felt that this was THE one.  Musically, It blends so many elements that I personally love including a strong gritty bass synth line, a big beat, loud crunchy snares and vocals somewhere between chanty but slick enough that you can hear them. I know it’s not one of my more complex songs lyrically, it’s fuelled by anger, frustration and a bit of good old fashioned passive aggressiveness but I thought the very straightforward lyrical approach was effective for this song to make it catchy.

Who is on your Bad List?

We all have a Bad  List. Don’t’ lie I know you do! It’s a list of those jerks that have done you, or the world around you wrong.  It’s those individuals that, if you could, you’d just like to smack and say “what’s wrong with you?”, or better yet, you’d love to sit back and watch their world come crashing down around them in a big mess and it would be totally what they deserve.  Now, if you’ve met me personally, this all sounds very shocking coming from sweet little me!  I’m not a mean or spiteful person, I swear! But I do like to express my darker self through music occasionally and  this song simply allowed me to vent some frustrations using a simple concept of having a “Bad List” but to avoid getting myself into trouble, I’m not going to print names… ;)

Lyrics & Words (plus a bit of venting..):

“Generation Bored”:  This was the original working title for this song which is from a lyric in the song “You’re all spawn of a Generation Bored”.  This became my term for those negative individuals (usually hanging out online) participating in circular arguments, ripping each other apart, being rude and mean to each other,  doing nothing seemingly positive or good with their time, etc.  It occurred to me how bored our generation must be for this to be a regular acceptable way of life.  The other title I now give this this song is “sound-check song!”  It’s the song I always check levels with on tour because of the dynamics.  I also have great tour memories associated with band members of The Cruxshadows singing along to this song , making up dances and even doing a surprise guest appearance with me on stage in Hannover and Hamburg, Germany in December, 2009.

“Misogynistic, self absorbed”: One of my pet peeves is to hear a comment like: “I hate female vocals in electronic/industrial/<insert hip genre classification of the moment here> music!” These people are on my bad list.  It’s unclear what they hate exactly, is it ethereal vocals, gothy, rock style, contemporary  pop styled, distorted or effected until it sounds like a man, cookie monster or killer alien robot from another planet? Or do they hate that it’s a woman singing at all?  It’s a big category to hate, it’s sexist and it bugs me.  Anywyas, to focus on the positive: the musicians, artists, awesome people I’ve worked with and met over the years have been such creative, talented, passionate, and open minded people. I respect them not because they are men, or women, that shouldn’t matter. They are on my “Awesome List” which is longer than my “Bad List” ;)

The rest of the lyrics, I think are pretty self explanatory but if you have questions about the meaning or motivation behind a specific lyric, please just comment here and I’ll reply to you!

Creative Process:

I want to share how do my lyrical brainstorming.  For every CD I work on, I buy a pretty little notebook (or two) that I use to jot my thoughts, ideas and eventually attempt structuring my final lyrics for a song. Yes, I’m old fashioned and I find actually writing with a pen and paper helps me stay outside of the lines!  I found some ramblings that eventually became some of the lyrics to “Bad List”. I know it’s hard to read. My hand writing is terrible at best but I thought it was kind of neat to share this part of the process that never gets to see the light of day and (big surprise) there’s even stars in my brainstorming. So predictable.

My Beautiful Mess of rough lyrics

My Beautiful Mess of rough lyrics

My Beautiful Mess of Words Part 2

My Beautiful Mess of Words Part 2

Production:

The produced song used some of the the origianal synths and demo elements, but Seb of course used his studio magic to make things sound bigger and better.  Here are clips of  the two main incarnations of the demos along with a clip of the finished produced version:

This was my very first demo file of this song.  It captured the main loop of the gritty synth that the rest of the song was based on:

[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/Bad-List_ROUGH_DEMO_STOMPY1.mp3[/podcast]

This version was a bit more flushed out.  I got my good friend and keyboardist Joe Byer from the band v01d to help me add some sweet moog synth and other sounds. The vibe was a bit more electro-y.

[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/Bad-List_ROUGH_DEMO_ELECTRO1.mp3[/podcast]

I wanted the song to be somewhere between the above 2.  Here’s the final produced version that captured the perfect blend of stompy and electro.  You can hear the chorus in here too. Seb worked on creating a layer of synth sounds for the chorus that would lift  it up a notch and make it stand apart from the bass synth in the verse that runs through most of the song:

[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/Bad-List_Produced_verse11.mp3[/podcast]

Ending Thought:  “The things you’ve done, will eat away at you”

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, and want to contribute to my 2010 journey and mission, as a musician working towards finishing the new CD, please check out my shop (I personally ship & sign anything you want)

OR you can purchase the mp3 of “Bad List” from iTunes for a mere dollar here:

Next Friday I’ll post another song dissection but I’m not yet sure which song I’ll do.  If you missed the first one, check out “1000 Transmissions” from last week!

So, what type of people or behaviours make your Bad List?

Jennifer

Song Dissection: 1000 Transmissions

From the CD: Hearts For Bullets
Music programming, lyrics & vocals: Jennifer Parkin
Production, mixing, mastering: Sebastian Komor
Hearts for Bullets (cover)

This is my first dissection of a song from this release and it happens to be one of the most emotional tracks for me, but I went for it and I’m here bearing my soul about the making of this song to the fans that care, appreciate the music, and wanted to know more :) I don’t go too much into production details here, since that’s better left to Seb, but I do discuss some of the additions, and I do discuss the motivation, lyrics, melodies, some of my favourite parts and share some clips as well as personal memories. I hope you enjoy!

Lyrics:

Just when I think it’s getting better, I relapse back to this place where the scenery has changed and it’s terrifying.  How can I go back, when it’s much too late.

Piece by piece, bit by bit, my heart aches and I feel sick.  There’s things you say, and things you can’t. Things you threw away and things you want back.  The fact that I’ve lost you erases all my sanity.  Seriously, how could anyone carry on like this? I’ll never look at things the same because of you.  I’ll never get that moment back I shared with you.

It only hurts when I remember.  I know you’re trying to make it better.

Bit by bit, my heart breaks. Your voice repeats and I can’t take it anymore.  Don’t compromise, save yourself, I’ll always be here. Don’t say goodbye, I’m not through with you. Don’t compromise. Don’t say goodbye. I’ve tried and tried, my head is full of memories and sleepless nights, an endless cycle. I’ve tried and tried but these thoughts just drag me down.

It only hurts when I remember.  I know you’re trying to make it better.

I can not steer this ship without you.  There’s no light guiding me to shore. I’m just left drowning in these nightmares, where will I go? I don’t know.  Let it go. Can’t let you go.  Let it go.

The Dissection:

I wrote this song about 2 months after my dad passed away in 2007 and it was also one of the last songs I had written for Hearts For Bullets.  Out of all the stages of grief, I had just passed the numb and in-denial phase and was in the full blown anger phase after losing him.  A lot of people  have interpreted this song as an angry break up song, and it’s definitely not, but I hope people can, and have used this song however they need to help them deal with their own situations of loss and anger.  The experience of losing my father was one of the toughest things I’ve had to deal with and has forever changed me.  Something I haven’t shared with many people about that time, was that I was at the hospital and held my dad’s hand as he passed away in July of 2007.  I have never been the same since that moment.   My life was hell for several months after that and this song  captures the aftermath of being left behind and left to deal with the confusing emotions of grief and loss.  I need to say, I can listen back to this song now and not be overwhelmed.  I’ve long since passed the anger phase, and when I perform it live, I find it a powerful, energetic piece that is actually a lot of fun to play!  I use the anger behind it still, but it comes from a different place within me. If that makes any sense?

I always give the songs I’m working on, random titles until something better comes up or sometimes the working title sticks.  I went through two working titles for this track.  First, was “The God Particle” after watching a documentary on T.V. about the hypothetical particle to explain the origins of all mass in the Universe, ok,  so I thought that sounded pretty cool.  I later found out a few other bands already had songs titled this.. we all must have been watching the discovery channel that day! But it didn’t connect to the song’s content either so I later changed the title to “Alive In Pieces” which, does describe my own state during that period, and to be honest, I can’t remember why I decided to change it from that, but in the end, I decided on something more relevant to my father “1000 Transmissions” came from the fact that my dad’s main hobby (obsession), was operating short wave radios.  In an attempt to further bond with him when I was 18, I studied to get my license as well… so, yes, I’m a licensed shortwave (HAM) radio operator and yes, I always made nerdy jokes about this! ;)

Having shared the theme of this song with you, I really doubt I have to further analyze all of the lyrics as I think they are pretty obvious but I do want to explain a few parts though:

The Bridge:

“I can not steer this ship without you.  There’s no light guiding me to shore. I’m just left drowning in these nightmares, where will I go? I don’t know.  Let it go. Can’t let you go.  Let it go.”

My father loved boats and fishing and we always had some kind of fishing boat that we’d take camping when I was young, out on the waters of Lakes Huron, Ontario or the up to the Ottawa river where we used to go camping.  I wanted to write a boat analogy in the song.  Musically, the reverse piano in the bridge was all Seb’s idea that came in the production stage, it was completely transfomed in production, and I absolutely LOVED the change, and thought it brought much more sadness and needed softness to it.  My demo was much more chaotic and just percussive. The first clip is my rough demo before production so you can see how it was transformed by production:

A rough Demo of the bridge – 1000 Transmissions (before production):
[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/Rough_Demo_1000_Transmissions_Bridge.mp3[/podcast]

Bridge – 1000 Transmissions (after final production):
[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/blog/1000_transmissions/1000_Transmissions_Bridge.mp3[/podcast]

after the bridge, I personally loved the progression of those notes of the bass synth (while I sing “let it go, I can’t let you go”) since when I wrote it, I felt it captured what I felt when I used to listen to 90’s industrial music.  Again, I can’t speak about all the production details that Seb did, but a few things that stand out to me in this track were the added layers of static noise to the full track which thickened up the song, fit the harsher sound, and complimented the “1000 Transmissions” theme.  I honestly gave Seb this demo a bit incomplete since I had no idea how to finish off this song after those notes in the bridge part! I had just hit a wall completely.  He added about a minute to the ending of that song including the last powerful break that I loved:

1000 Tranmissions – break down into outtro:
[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/1000_Transmissions_end_break.mp3[/podcast]

The Chorus:

“It only hurts when I remember.  I know you’re trying to make it better”.  I was, at the time, constantly remembering of course, and the second phrase was directed at the rest of the world and my family who were all trying to help overcome grief as best as they could.  Musically, it’s not my usual style of chorus progression, since it was so simple and short but it summed up everything so perfectly with just a subtle change. It was important to me to mainly keep the driving bass synth and stompy percussion constant until the bridge.

Verse:

“My head is full of memories and sleepless nights, an endless cycle. I’ve tried and tried but these thoughts just drag me down.”  This describes late 2007 where I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, afraid of dreaming.  Musically, I want to point out that I loved and was surprised by the desperation in my voice in the recording during the: “sleepless nights, an endless cycle” part.  It came out accidentally in the demo before final recording (meaning it was pure emotion) and it reminded me of , again early 90’s style of vocals (think Nine Inch Nails even) which is a cool thing.   The distortion effect adds to the desperation and a tiny moment that Seb added that I adored, is right after the first phrase “Bit by bit, my heart breaks” there is a distorted sound that to me, sounds like a demon saying “LIAR!” it struck me and I sometimes mouth that word when I perform it live. Here’s a clip of the verse so you can hear everything for yourself:

1000_Transmissions_Verse 2:
[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/1000_Transmissions_Verse2.mp3[/podcast]

I wanted to point out another very very subtle vocal effect in this verse (since I just love vocoding). If you just listened to the clip of the second verse, there is a second layer of vocals present that are vocoded under the more prominent distorted layer. It’s very quiet but it gives it such a nice thickness. I just found this clip going through my old files and I’m posting it is so you can hear what vocoded vocals sound like on their own:

Vocals: An example of vocoding effect used in 1000 Transmissions:
[podcast]http://www.ayria.com/wp-content/uploads/0-Vocoder.mp3[/podcast]

CD Liner Notes:  “This CD is dedicated to my Dad who gave me the gift of music and who I know is still here with me”

dad_fishing

dad_and_me

Yeah, that’s me and my dad, proving I’ve been wearing pink for years! ;)
So, now that I’ve shared this deeply personal part of my world with you,  and knowing that I’m currently a struggling musician working here in Toronto on my new CD (hint, hint), if you haven’t already, please consider purchasing the CD through my website (I will sign it and include a personalized note for you, etc):

OR please purchase the mp3 of “1000 Transmisions” directly from iTunes for a mere dollar through this link:

Thanks for reading! Not sure which track I’ll dissect next week yet…

Jennifer

Dissecting Hearts For Bullets

Hearts for Bullets (cover)

This winter has definitely had many ups and downs.  I came back from a steady stream of European touring lasting from October – early January and once I had recovered, I found myself feeling a bit lost, which is a weird feeling when you’re finally home.  I am excited for a bunch of things coming up later this spring, but in January, I came home to not having a “real-grown-up-job” for the first time.  I had taken one too many leaves of absence at my last place of employment (which I completely understood since I was off for a total of  3 months in  2008 and 2 months  in 2009 before I even decided to leave in October).  I’m unable to hunt for work right now since I have a month tour coming up in June, I’ve declared 2010 a period to focus on myself and music!  My last CD “Hearts For Bullets” came out in the fall of 2008, meaning it’s been a year and half since my last release and until January, I hadn’t started working on any new music!  I was creatively drained for the year of 2009.  I really wasn’t feeling motivated musically, and wanted to take a necessary break while I focussed on my day-job (which was, when I was there, all consuming) and touring instead (I played close to 70 shows last year in Canada, the U.S.A., UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Greece).  I don’t regret any choices I’ve made as of now, and I’m not complaining about my current situation since I’m getting to do this thing I love to do, but I know it will  be a bit of a tough time financially  but I know I’ll be alright and I’m really looking forward to the future challenges and possibilities!

It’s now mid April, 2010 and I’ve been concentrating on working on demos for the upcoming CD which is still untitled.  I’m proud to say that I’m about 8 demos in.  Now these “demos” are all in various states of progress,  with some being  completely finished song structures and all lyrics and vocals and some only the first 1.5 minute loop with rough lyrics in place that I need to further develop,  but still, I’m happy and excited where the new stuff will lead me and where production (by none other than the amazing Seb Komor who also produced “Hearts For Bullets”) could take these demos.  I admit to myself  that getting this far on music this year would have never been possible if I were at my last job since I work on music slow enough as it is

Even though I find the process of creating music incredibly personal, I want to document parts of my journey and share a bit of what’s going on.  I think that in order to move forward,  it’s important to remember where I came from so, I thought dissecting the songs from Hearts For Bullets would remind me where I was at in my life and help me remember the work that went into the songs.  It would also give me a chance to let you into my world a little bit since I sometimes get asked what inspired certain songs,  and what they are about and I’ve been bad at posting stuff regularly.  It won’t be in any particular order and some songs will have more stories and explanation behind them than others, but I do want to try and post a write up weekly for the 12 tracks on Hearts For Bullets. My first song for this Friday will be the deeply personal and very stompy track: “1000 Transmissions”.. stay tuned.. yes, pun intended ;)

♥ Jenn

2009: My year in review (Part 1: January – June)

First off, Happy New Year to everyone!  Here’s a few pics of me kicking off 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany having just ended the “Quick Silver” European tour with the Cruxshadows with my keyboardist for the European tour, Justin Pogue (who has also played live with me at DragonCon and a few dates on the 2008 U.S. tour). But I’ll write more about that tour in part 2!

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I’m going to break the year up a bit and start with the first 6 months. After a 3 month long tour of the U.S.A. with the Cruxshadows finishing up the last quarter of 2008, in comparison, 2009 started relatively quiet, I went back to my “real” life and full time job in Toronto and basically hibernated for the winter. I made the time to catch up with friends (I had been out of the country for 3 months!), go clubbing and go to shows that came through. Not a lot happened on the Ayria front until April when we played Toronto at the DarkRave on April 4th. So, here’s a timeline of my 2009 to recap some of the highlights and some memories of my year.

January/February/March 2009:
- fairly low key period. Went back to work, recovered from the three months of solid touring the U.S.A., had a Battlestar Galactica party for the series finale.. yep.
- Recorded a cover version of Depeche Mode’s “In Your Room”. I did a full write up about this last winter and how my actual room inspired me . The write up is complete with pictures of me in my room (sample below), and an mp3 clip of the cover (read here): http://kittenflug.livejournal.com/58788.html


- hung out with friends, went clubbing and went to some shows (Combichrist and The Presets):
Meeting fans at Savage Garden - Clubbing in Toronto

Meeting fans at Savage Garden – Out Clubbing (January, 2009) YAY! Renata

Meeting fans while attending the Combichrist show in February.

Meeting fans while attending the Combichrist show @ the Operahouse in February (hi Lazarus!)

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Hanging out before going out to Basement club with my friends (Steph, Alana, Joe & I – January)

April 2009
- Ayria’s first show of 2009 and it’s a hometown show in Toronto at the Dark Rave:
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- There’s a link to several great shots from this show linked here (credit: Dylar Pillar):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dylerpillar/sets/72157616306825539/

Here’s some pics after the show with friends (left to right: Steph, Matt and Lukas)
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May 2009
- My birthday kicks off this month, my favourite of all months. I had a Hello Kitty themed party with custom made hello kitty cupcakes, kitty décor and temporary tattoos and grab boxes (sigh, I will never grow up!)

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Went for drinks, me showing off my new pink sharpies ;)

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me styling it up with some kind of kitty-tini beverage ;)

- Kinetik Festival (May 14th): My drummer Mike had made the trip up to Toronto and from there, we (complete with both keyboard players Joe and Jeff) made the trip to Montreal for our appearance at the Kinetik Festival. Saw tons of friends old and new and as always, I love hanging out in Montreal! My friend Stephanie “Blepharisma” put together an awesome promotional video for me to promote our performance at Kinetik.  I’m attempting some kind of dance in it…

- I also did a promotional photo shoot with the talented Alas Vera showing off my Plastik Wrap clothing, new pink hair with a hint of New Orleans.  Here’s a link to all 10 shots:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=117946&id=14321604993

I really wish I had pictures of the perfomance showing all 4 members up on stage but sadly I don’t. I also wish I had more pics of just haning out with friends from that weekend but I’m horrible at remembering to take pictures while on tours and at shows so I’m often relying on others to take pictures and share them with me!

- Kicked off the Ayria Canadian tour hitting London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton & Calgary taking us into June:

Hanging out in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on a beautiful day in early June.

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Me with a polar bear in Winnepeg, Manitoba

June 2009
- Returned from the Canadian tour on June 8th, had to work for 2 weeks while simultaneously preparing for departure to Los Angeles to start the VNV Nation – Faith Power and Glory Tour as a support act.. much fun ensued.. but that will be in Part 2.

PART 2: COMING NEXT WEEK
If you have any decent pictures from July-December 2009 you want to share, or to be included in the upcoming blog, please send pics or a link to jennifer@ayria.com

Upcoming European Tour with The Cruxshadows (November & December 2009)

I’ve only been back for a week after touring Europe with the always amazing VNV Nation (and the completely insane Straftanz). I haven’t really even had time to recap how awesome it was to be on tour with those guys (<3) and how much we all loved the shows in the UK, Holland, Belgium and Greece!  Now, I’m already preparing to leave for Germany again!  I’ll be flying back into Hamburg two weeks from today to embark on my next European adventure supporting The Cruxshadows!  I’ve toured with them extensively in the U.S.A. in 2007/2008 so it seems fitting to make the journey together over the Atlantic this time.  I’m very excited for this upcoming tour, and hope my European friends and fans can make it out to a gig to support and say hi to me!  It isn’t often that I get to Europe (before this year, we made it over in 2007 for a short tour with Angelspit and Ego Likeness) so come out and please share these tour dates with all of your friends!  NOTE: if you saw us last month, our set length will be longer on this tour so we’ll be playing more songs!

Tickets for German dates only: www.ticket69.de (check the local venues for other ticketing information)
The Cruxshadows Pages:
http://www.cruxshadows.com/frame.html
http://www.myspace.com/cruxshadows

The Cruxshadows & Ayria
(Presented by Sonic Seducer & musix)

20 Nov 2009 Dresden, Germany Strasse E
21 Nov 2009 Magdeburg, Germany Factory
22 Nov 2009 Bremen, Germany Tivoli
24 Nov 2009 Osnabrück, Germany Lagerhalle
25 Nov 2009 Aschaffenburg, Germany Colos Saal
27 Nov 2009 Sheffield, United Kingdom Corporation
29 Nov 2009 Leeds, United Kingdom The Cockpit
30 Nov 2009 York, United Kingdom York Fibbers
1 Dec 2009 Sunderland, United Kingdom Independent
2 Dec 2009 Liverpool, United Kingdom Masque
3 Dec 2009 Manchester, United Kingdom Moholive 1
4 Dec 2009 Birmingham, United Kingdom Eddie’s Rock Club
5 Dec 2009 London, United Kingdom O2 Academy Islington
8 Dec 2009 Nürnberg, Germany Der Hirsch
11 Dec 2009 Rome, Italy Black Out Club
12 Dec 2009 Florence, Italy Siddhartha
15 Dec 2009 Zürich, Switzerland Abart
18 Dec 2009 Saarbrücken, Germany Festhalle Saarbrücken-Brebach
19 Dec 2009 Leipzig, Germany Theaterfabrik
20 Dec 2009 Erfurt, Germany Centrum
21 Dec 2009 Berlin, Germany K17
22 Dec 2009 Hannover, Germany MusikZentrum
23 Dec 2009 Hamburg, Germany Logo
28 Dec 2009 Bruchsal, Germany Fabrik Bruchsal
29 Dec 2009 (New Date!) Dortmund, Germany FZW
30 Dec 2009 Regensburg, Germany Alte Mälzerei

(More dates to be added)

Memories: December 2008 with The Cruxshadows, Ayria & I:Scintilla in Atlanta, GA

The Cruxshadows, Ayria, I:Scintilla in Atlanta, GA, December 2008

The Cruxshadows, Ayria, I:Scintilla in Atlanta, GA, December 2008

2 AMAZING videos from the tour

In Austin, Texas we got a surprise visit on stage from the Cruxshadows dancers Jess & Sarah. Seeing this video makes me think that the audition for Ayria dancers should happen in early 2009! ;)


Can’t see the embedded video? Click here!

Here’s me getting inked before a show in Columbus, Ohio. Yeah I know what you’re thinking.. I’m totally awesome!!

Can’t see the embedded video? Click here!

I’m in Omaha… ramblings…

Wow, it’s crazy being in America during the U.S. election and not being able to be part of it at all! Madness on the T.V. I tell you.

So, I’m unfortunately very, very sick. I almost cancelled a show last night due to having no voice at all. It was terrifying! I pushed through and somehow did a show (I thank Rogue for his magic steam machine and great pharmacy recommendations) but now I’m completely drained of all energy, drugged up, and planning to sleep the day away in this Omaha hotel room.

Before I crash, here’s 6 current songs that I’d recommend to anyone with similar tastes in music as me. I’ve been listening to these a lot in the van and I like sharing!
1. Humanitarianism – Zeitgeist (this is my current favourite song)
2. Wait For You – Hadouken!
3. Boxed – Jabberwock
4. I Never Said – Kloq
5. Fail – Everything Goes Cold
6. You’ll Find A Way – Santogold (thanks Blepharisma!)

I need more new music though! I’m bored of my iPod right now so recommendations would be great!

Tour Blog Part 4: Texas, New Orleans, etc.

On our way to Texas, we stopped to play Phoenix (Tempe) which is always a good stop for us and we had a great time, and then Albuquerque (which was surprisingly an AMAZING show having never played there before) I bought these really cute new shoes in Hollywood and I braved them onstage in Albuquerque despite the extreme platform high heels to them and they were just awesome! I just loved my outfit that night. Felt right. I’ll have to wear it again and I know it seems weird to say, I just did. I got to meet Mr. Tommy T who I know through mutual friends and who is apparently a huge Ayria fan! Everyone was so nice in both the above cities.

Next stop, one of my most played states: Texas! I LOVE this state. I love the people, the weather and the guacamole! We played most of the same venues that we hit with Combichrist when we supported them last August and it was great to see our turnout increase even more and to see a lot of familiar faces at the shows. I don’t really want to write a novel about the past two weeks but basically, the highlights included:

• playing the Church in Dallas, which is just an amazing venue to play and honestly, some very attractive people were in attendance.. ahem
• The energy of the San Antonio crowd (hi S.A. Jeremy! ;)
• Getting to have a “pool day” in San Antonio with Jessica, etc. with our make shift swim up bar (thanks Vince from I:Scintilla for the fuzzy navels ;)
• The entire tour of 17 people going to Six Flags for the day, eating green funnel cake and not surprisingly, not feeling well afterwards
• Celebrating Brittany’s (I:Scintilla) birthday in style with a huge Mexican dinner out with everyone, and going to a Coyote Ugly bar, jumping up on the bar and dancing to “Smack my bitch up”
• getting to Houston again and seeing Naikia and company (you guys absolutely rock!).. unfortunately also having some of the worst sound problems ever! (sorry crowd!)
• Playing Elysium in Austin, getting to sneak off to my favourite little vegetarian Asian fusion tea shop by myself and enjoy some amazing chai tea and food.
• Being put up at the friggin Hilton in Austin, nicest hotel EVER!
• Finally last night in College Station; playing an outdoor venue and freezing our asses off but loving the crowd and every minute of it.

In this leg of the tour, we also played New Orleans. It was my first time there and I unfortunately didn’t get to see all it has to offer since we had back to back shows these past 5 days. But it seemed like a place I’d like to go back for the real experience. The promoter made us Jambalaya! Yummy Yay!

I have two weeks left on the tour before my 10 day hiatus for Joe and Steph’s wedding. I’m looking forward to the break having been out on the road for almost 2 months now. But then we rejoin the tour in NYC on Nov 26th (The Azoic is replacing us through the 7 North East Dates).

Also, a few new shows have been added*. Here’s what we have left these next 2 weeks until I return for the East Coast:

OCTOBER 30TH INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ TALBOTT STREET
OCTOBER 31ST MILWAUKEE, WI @ THE MIRIMAR THEATRE
NOVEMBER 1ST LACROSSE, WI @ WAREHOUSE
NOVEMBER 3RD OMAHA, NE @ THE ROXBURY
NOVEMBER 7TH COLUMBUS, OH @ SKULLY’S MUSIC DINER
NOVEMBER 8TH DETROIT, MI @ SMALL’S BAR
*NOVEMBER 11TH CHAMPAIGN, IL @ THE HIGHDIVE
*NOVEMBER 12TH LOUISVILLE, KY @ CLUB FUZION
NOVEMBER 13TH CINCINNATI, OH @ THE DOCK COMPLEX

Tour Recap Part 3: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles

I’ve always loved Seattle and this city will always hold a special place in my heart. I almost moved out there in 2003/2004. Plus my Drummer Mike is from there so we’ve seen all the best this city has to offer! We pulled into Seattle on a night off. Went up to Broadway and got some delicious and cheap sushi with I:Scintilla, and my good friends Mike and Amy. We had split from the Cruxshadows at this point since we had places to stay. Then I actually broke off from everyone (ok, Jeff my keyboardist came too ;) to go stay with Mike and Amy. As much as I love everyone on the tour, it’s always nice to get some time to myself to visit friends. The next morning Amy made the most amazing omelets with fresh spinach for us! We spent the day running around doing errands, picking up stuff, then going back to Broadway for Pho, and finally hitting up the Mercury for a night of clubbing. This is the first night of the tour I feel I let loose. I think we all did. All 3 bands came out and had a really fun night. Good times.

The show the next night in Seattle was amazing. The crowd there keeps getting better and better for us. It was awesome to see some of my friends there at the show too. The set went over really well, especially the new stuff.

The next day was really tough to say goodbye to Seattle but luckily Mike and Amy came with us to Portland so I rode with them. The Fez Ballroom is a great venue to play. The backstage room was huge and I’ve been friends with the promoter Derrek for a while now too. Again, I feel like a broken record gushing over how awesome the crowd was, but it’s true. I met some amazing people that night too as well as got to see a lot of familiar faces too. Derrek took me out for an amazing latte too (yay!) and we reminisced about him putting on one of the first ever Ayria shows. Then we stayed at the Jupiter which is a crazy rock star oriented hotel that’s obviously for bands… but anyways, we woke up super early to do the insane drive to San Francisco simply for the reason to hit up Death Guild on that Monday night. We did it! Brittany (I:scintilla) and I actually changed and did makeup in the van while driving and we pulled up in the parking lot about 11:00 pm to be greeted by [info]dtk, [info]structurefall, [info]rabbitron and headed in for another night of fun. Ok, so the pattern is starting to look like we’ve been clubbing a lot. We haven’t. It’s something specific to the West Coast for me. I have a lot of people I want to see out there and it just so happens it’s easiest to do by going out to clubs. Anyways, the next day was a show day at the DNA lounge and I won’t go into any details since that was pretty much covered in my last post (yeah, the S.F. Ayria cheering squad). The next day, we had off again and we mainly just hung around and relaxed. Then I broke off from the group again and [info]structurefall took me out for an AMAZING seafood dinner because he is awesome like that. It was so elaborate and delicious that I could barely move afterwards. It was funny because the place was super classy and all I have is tour clothes so I tried to class it up by adding heels.. kinda worked, not really.

Then we got the call that our L.A. show for the next night was cancelled since the venue shut down unexpectedly.. so that evening was stressful. But magically, by the next day, almost ALL promoters in L.A. got together to make this show work! I’ll be honest. The place we played had a less than desirable sound set up, and the weirdest stage ever but the energy of the crowd made this make-shift show work still! We were just so happy the show didn’t get cancelled! Luckily, while we were there, they actually arranged a second show in Hollywood for the following Monday night since the original all ages plan fell through for the first show. The second venue was the Knitting Factory right on Hollywood Blvd. and you would never believe that a show announced with 3 days of online promotion only would do so well! It was amazing. While in Hollywood, I shopped way more than I should have. I’m just lucky the stores rejected my Canadian debit card! I’m still nervous to see the credit card bill though. Anyways. I scored some AWESOME Shoes that I later wore onstage in New Mexico.. I also hung out with my friend Noah in Hollywood who took us out for sushi.

So between the 2 L.A. shows, we played in San Diego. I’d never played there before. We had fun but due to an unexpected city curfew, all bands had to be off stage by 11 pm, which meant, our set was cut in half pretty much. The next day, us and I:scintilla hung out with friends of Mike’s who took us to the beautiful San Diego beaches were we went swimming in the Pacific ocean. It’s my goal to go swimming in every ocean! So far I’m at two. Haha ;)

Ok, after our swimming adventures, we head back up to Hollywood and ended up out at Bar Sinister. This club is cute. It’s where I had my first Ayria L.A. show ever, back in 2004. We danced and had fun. We mingled, met people and promoted the show that would be happening at the Knitting Factory.

The next morning after the show, we left L.A. signaling the end of my West Coast visit unfortunately. But now we are on to other adventures we just played Phoenix and New Mexico and now we have arrived in San Antonio TEXAS where we have a show tonight… more to come with pics soon..