Saturday, December 22, 2007

Less Crazy Post… Holiday Wishes…

I figure after that completely insane rambling post I would follow up with…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Hehe..

In all seriousness though… I have a friend who went under the knife last week and I just want to wish him the best. Justin here's to a quick recovery! *Raises glass* With so much metal in your veins you are basically indestructible and never forget that!...

To everyone else… Have a WONDERFUL holiday.. Take time to appreciate all of your loved ones and just enjoy the season for what it should be. A time where everyone is a little nicer to everyone else. I don't like the commercialization of Christmas but, the theory behind it and the true meaning is there… if you peel through the 20,000,000 layers of wrapping paper it's hidden under. I have so much in my life to be thankful for… and it's times like this that remind me of that.

So to all of you who visit the webpage, listen to the music… read my psychotic ramblings…
… Happy holidays!
Sincerely
H

Q&A: Questions, answered in an ungodly insane detail~!!!111

I've been getting a fair amount of e-mails lately asking me some PG related questions so I figured I would take the time and answer them here for all of you who visit the webpage…

Kay, this turned out to be a VERY LONG drawn out diatribe.
Reader warning.. my rambling gets rather insane at the end!

But, it's all my story and as always I try to be as much of an open book for you as possible.

Question: I was wondering if you've changed your mind about releasing Wicked and can I have a copy of the demos?

Answer: This question came to me in multiple forms to be honest, I'm kind of paraphrasing here for the sake of multiple responses. No, I haven't changed my mind about Wicked just yet. I do listen to the demos often. I love them and really think that it's going to make a great album but, the time isn't right. When Josh left the band it kind of left a bad stigma on that album for me and while it was all written by me… it was written in a very dark place. It's not that the material isn't good or I'm "insecure" of people hearing my emotions.. It's just that.. for this material to be put out there… it needs to be put together perfectly. The major problem with the release was that the first 6 or 7 songs are the best shit I've ever written. But, the last 3 felt a little like filler to me, and I just can't allow that to drag down the rest of the album. As far as letting people have demos. I've put up 3 or 4 tracks on my Virb page www.virb.com/planetgemini you can feel free to check them out there, however I am not ready to post anything quite yet. It's just not ready. Trust me you'll know if/when I'm ready to put it out.

Question: Why did Josh leave the band?

Answer: I've gotten this question a couple of times over the last year or so and always kind of steered clear of it, but I suppose that in the interest of "full disclosure" I can talk about it I do warn you… be prepared for a book.

Josh is…well.. Josh and to understand what I mean you have to know the guy. He bottles a lot of stuff inside and one of the things he was bottling up was the fact that Planet Gemini wasn't as much his dream as it was mine. We all get to a point in our lives where we evaluate what we've done and I feel that Josh decided that Planet Gemini was becoming more of a hassle and wanted to concentrate more on other facets of his life.

Now, to understand the ill-will of the situation is to know that… we started on many new endeavors and he never said anything BEFORE making prior commitments. Example: we started recruiting bands for a record label we were starting. All the while he never said ANYTHING about his discontent with me and music and things in his life that he needed to change. As a result of this I ended up screwing over some good people who made plans to travel to my studio to record. (which I actually still feel guilty about to this day) and well… lost my best friend… which was kind of .. unrecoverable.

On my birthday this year Josh came to my house (the first time I saw him in almost a year) we sat on my front porch and talked/cried/talked for a while. I don't know what the conclusion was to be honest but, Josh and I talk every now and again now. We've actually jammed together once but to be honest I just don't have that connection with him anymore. I love the guy, He was like my family for 10+ years… and like family if he ever needs me I'll be here. With that being said "you can never go home again" and in his defense… he doesn't want to. He's moved on and started his own life that is on a completely different path than mine. He is a very good guy and I will always cherish the times we spent together and the things he did for me. I think it summed it up when we spoke a couple months ago and he was like "There was one point where I would have taken a bullet for you… isn't that kind of screwed up?" and I felt (Shit, I think I still would for you…) but, alas time moves on. Life is different stages, different places that we all leave behind… (I'm sure I can quote a dozen lyrics of mine to summarize my emotions on the matter). All that matters in the end is that Josh is happy.

I think that in the end this was the best for all parties. I always go back to one of the last phone conversations we had when I basically said he should leave the band. He claimed "You were always Planet Gemini" and… he was right. I always kind of thought Planet Gemini was about 2 guys who just loved the music and creating… but the more I thought about it. Josh never really LIKED creating. It was almost a chore for him to learn bass parts. I recently have been working with a friend of mine Greg who plays bass and we sat down and wrote some stuff and he's like "Yeah! Let me try my fretless bass on this… *records it*… okay let me try it again cleaned up a little..etc" and like.. that NEVER happened with Josh. Josh wanted to record and be done. He would never lay down a "temp" bass track and then go back and clean it up… he just wanted the song done and put out. (which is why a lot of my old PG demos have no bass on them). So I guess the old Planet Gemini was one guy pouring his soul and passion into his music… and his best friend hanging out, throwing out ideas, coming up with a few melody lines and whatnot. I'm not understating Josh's purpose in Planet Gemini because.. when he left the band I must admit that I had a very hard time writing in a new totally different way. He did Planet Gemini for me… as a friend… and for that I thank him. Out of that my vision was born.. and he'll always be a part of what this band is. I'll never be able to listen to songs that Josh wrote (Taste the Smoke, My Black Cloud, Holy Father..etc) and not think of how much I enjoyed the time we spent in the studio just being complete goofs. It is a little tainted knowing that he was miserable for the last couple years of PG… but… I have all of these amazing memories of me and my best friend hanging out… almost like a journal… it's all there on 13, CoF, Supergod and COFII. Fact is.. after those albums I started to want the band to sound better/be more professional. I started wanting to tinker with different sounds. Josh was NOT a fan of playing around with things. He said many times "if I had my way we'd have like 10 albums out a year. Everything we wrote we get put out" but, I was very much the buffer. If there was something I wasn't feeling or I thought could be done better. I would axe a song and Josh was be very agitated with that. Josh was miserable during Wizards Blood. I didn't see it at the time but, looking back at it now I understand it. We recorded Wizards Blood twice for the most part. There was a lot of shit going on with Micing the drums. I was basically learning how to play a real kit (because the older stuff was done on an electric drumkit.. and well.. it is much easier to play when you can edit the midi if something goes wrong) and it was driving him nuts that I'd have to play a song 100 times to get the drums right.. hehe

Again, I'm sure Josh could tell you a million more reasons and maybe someday he will… but for right now I will just say this. The Josh era Planet Gemini is and always will be very special to me. It's when I had my brother by my side. It was much easier standing as two than standing as one. I was much easier having someone telling you "That riff is fucking awesome dude!" as opposed to writing by yourself.

Question: What is holding Wicked back?

Answer: It's really the setting.. The circumstances where a lot of Wicked was written was very insane.. and it's something I need to.. recapture..

For a while my studio became a very dark, lonely place. So dark in fact that I started going in there with no lights on. I was writing music in complete darkness. For those of you who don't know me you must understand the situations in which I write music. I basically close my eyes and just let whatever comes out.. come out.. I started going into the studio for very long stretches of time. (12-14 hours a day) I would hear sounds of things moving upstairs and just pretend it was someone around me. I called him "Grim" it was my "Josh-replacement" he was my devil on my shoulder. While he never really spoke to me I would imagine him in the corner of my studio (behind a curtain that I have up). I never wanted to look behind the curtain because… if he wasn't there I'd be alone again. My only friend… Grim.. My God of Red. Let me start this story at the beginning so you all have a full understanding of where I'm coming from (so no one comes along and puts me in a padded cell hehehe).

I was recording a song which would be entitled "Minus". This song was basically the first track where I started envisioning "Grim" when I closed my eyes. For those of you who know the story of Cauldron of Fuzz III will understand how I came to envision him (for those who don't.. read the Cauldron 3 discography page.) Minus's lyrics were completely improvised and they were written for me… to me.. by me.. as strange as that sounds. Believe me… this song was one of the most supernatural feeling songs I've ever written. It haunts me to listen to it. Chills me to the bone to hear the devil inside me speaking…

The Lyrics to the song are…
Your mind is fading away, I spin around and I can't control
This world of horror we made, another sinister, afterglow
Toy warrior crumble in fear, You're screaming out no one cares at all
Your bravery drown in your tears, denial of heaven's so beautiful
So let it sweep you away, the movement seems so peaceful but…
It's human nature to betray, We'll come together.. now move along.


This was my acceptance into Josh leaving the band. The last line was "We'll come together now move along…" and it was my mind giving me someone. Someone to lead me down this twisted path.. and I followed. The next song I wrote was "The Beast on Your Back" I wrote this immediately after I "found" Grim. But, it was not what I was expecting. The beast was about every fucking good thing that music has given me. Every empowering thing that Planet Gemini has given me. "This circlet of silver that I behold may be all that's keeping the devil inside me at bay" (Basically saying screaming into this mic and creating this music is what drive me.. keeps me sane.. makes me happy.. and makes me who I am). "My children of fire, unhealthy desire… may the beast on your back never die".. it was me… telling me not to lose this, not to forget what passion I had for this. I needed that "mental" cheerleader.. someone to… encourage me. "Grim" although he just lived in my mind (and I realize this.. I'm not crazy..heheh).. was making me feel like I had someone to share my music with.

Me, personally I don't write music with the thought that hundreds/thousands of people are going to hear it. If I did that I'd probably go crazy and never release anything. I write for me. At the moment.. and when you hear a Planet Gemini song you are hearing moments of my life. When my lyrics and music delve into insanity.. you can believe I am putting myself there as well… But, isn't that what an artist always does? We drive ourselves crazy for our craft, and above everything else. I consider myself an artist. (I won't be cutting off my ear anytime soon but… you get my point). One of my proudest moments was when I got back reviews from Supergod and Wizards blood… and people said "You can feel the soul and passion in this music"… Because.. I mean this 1 million percent. I pour myself into my music. I alter my state of mind to fit the music. I change who I am to sound the way the song is telling me to sound. Am I crazy? I don't think that there is a question about that. But, I have moments of craziness.. controlled insanity. So… okay.. if you're still reading this.. you are officially a true Planet Gemini super fan.. hehe or.. like to see someone deconstructing themselves, either or.

So yeah… Wicked was written under a very crazy veil. One that I must recapture and.. personally Grim isn't talking with me at the moment hehe. I want to become a better musician before finishing this album. There are drum parts on Cauldron of Fuzz V (Which can be downloaded for FREE in my downloads section) that I could have never done on previous albums (especially drum-wise). I really want to incorporate more.. power into Wicked. In the end I feel confident it will be released. It's just a matter of time.. and my state of mind.


 

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a quick THANK YOU to everyone.

I just wanted to take this time to extend my deepest THANKS to everyone who donated to the Planet Gemini project. It's such an honor that you all appreciate the work I do and it means that much to you all.

So… to everyone who donated… from five dollars to fifty.. thank you all so much.


 

I hope all of the visitors to this webpage have a fantastic Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it).

I may appear to be going "underground" for the next month or so but I assure you that I'm still around and I'll be working on a new project (that's not Planet Gemini) with some friends of mine. We're going to be keeping the same vibe as PG as far as just playing what we feel… no genres to hold us back... but.. I'd like to start fresh and come together as a new "group". Don't worry there WILL be much more Planet Gemini material in 2008 as I am really just getting started to explore different avenues of songwriting. The great thing about this new project is that it's just a bunch of friends getting together who happen to play instruments. I've known some of these people for years and years and we've never even jammed.. so.. It will be fun.

I'll probably post an update and maybe some demos of our new project as it comes together.
Thanks so much and have a wonderful holiday season
Sincerely
H

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How you can help Planet Gemini.

Something I neglected to mention in my last post is that I've been getting e-mails from a lot of people asking me if I would be pressing Cauldron of Fuzz V. A lot of people want to "Support" the project by buying the album and most of you already have the other albums I've released and or everything you don't have is out of print.

I have started a "donate" portion of the webpage. For those of you who enjoy the free albums and want to give a couple bucks… I would greatly appreciate it and it would really keep the project running and make it so I can press a lot more material. If enough money is raised to do a small run of Cauldron of Fuzz I will work out sending a copy of the album to you for just the cost of shipping. I'm not 100% sure how this will all work out and if anyone has any good ideas please feel free to write me about it.

The fact of the matter is that I'm not looking to "Charge' people for anything. The albums will still be free, and if you don't have the money to spare then by all means.. don't donate. But every little bit helps and my studio (while it does generate some money for rent) costs a hefty fee to upkeep.

So… in short if you enjoy the latest release "Cauldron of Fuzz V" and would like to help the project out please feel free to donate at our STORE's main page.

Again, to reinterate here. There is NOTHING changing about Planet Gemini. Whatever you donate is going DIRECTLY to the project. No middle man.. and will be used to press future albums and make it possible for me to offer more merch, bandwidth and other features that the page could use.


Thanks so much
H

Where it goes from here…

Hello everyone,

I just figured that I would give a quick little update about where things are going to go from here as far as Planet Gemini goes. Before I really get into anything major I seriously want to thank everyone that downloaded and enjoyed Cauldron of Fuzz V. I had reports from people that the server actually died on me on November 1st (4 or 5 e-mails saying the page was down). It's quite awesome that you all enjoyed it and it was actually a huge undertaking on my part (basically writing an album in 4 days and putting it out a week and a half later…

I wanted to comment on a post I made the day after releasing the album if you would indulge me for a moment. I posted a quick little "Thank you" post and posted the numbers that I got from my hosting company about how many people downloaded the album… and whatnot. Well, needless to say about 15 minutes after I posted it I got an e-mail that was basically saying that I was coming off pompous… and like.. that was never, ever my intention. I don't throw numbers out there to impress anyone. It may seem kind of hard to understand but, to be honest sometimes it even shocks me how many people download this stuff. So please understand that my intentions on posting anything like that is more in the lines of trying to give you all an inside look at the project and not me trying to "awe" you with numbers. To me all that matters is that you enjoy the music. Could be one person, could be hundreds. The person that wrote me with this wasn't rude about it and I truly do believe that they were calling it as they seen it. Due to that e-mail I definitely will be more weary down the line but I hope if anyone else had a chance to read the blog they didn't take it that way. Believe me the fact that someone is probably listening to one of my songs as I type this still blows my mind. Now, with all that being said.. back to news.

Where does Planet Gemini go from here?

Well I can tell you this. As of right now Wicked is being put on hold. It's not off completely but I really do have some stuff I'd rather work on. It's not that I don't love Wicked because I do. I'm just not ready yet to release it. It does need work. It's a fine release as is but it's not everything I want it to be just yet. So the album will go on hold and I will continue to work on other things until the time where I feel that I'm ready to tackle Wicked again.

I've already started writing new tunes for my next project (which is untitled) I must admit that the new stuff is a little more different. I'm broadening my horizons a bit and to me it really is a nice change for Planet Gemini. It's still Sabbathy and heavy in it's own way but I want to explore with more. More acoustic sounds.. more instrumentation. Things like strings, mandolin, and even (gasp) keys sometimes. Different percussive instruments are definitely in the future as well. I want to compose and I want Planet Gemini to be an explosion of different sounds. PG will always be a guitar heavy band and there is nothing to worry about as far as me ever selling that short. However, there is much more power that can be generated with other forms of music. I recently have been listening to the new High on Fire album and it's quite inspirational to hear how their songs took shape with different instruments. I am not a live performer.. and so.. I should be layering these pieces as if they are more geared towards a studio recording. The problem is that I've always played like a live player. I wrote like a live band member would write. Every song I released it was always kind of "well… if I ever need to pull that off live this is how I would do it". I want to do away with that. I want to be more ethereal, more powerful, more haunting.. and I think that in the long-run it's not too far off from where I was heading with Cauldron of Fuzz V.

While writing some of the material on Cauldron of Fuzz V I found myself saying (ya know I've never thought about approaching this song from this angle). With songs like "Ritual Evolved", "Temples of Infinity" or even "A Time Before Time" it wasn't as much a structured song as much as it was a fun jam session. I loved that Ritual and Temples were about 7+ minutes and Time Before Time was about 10… and I can listen to those tracks and they don't feel boring to me at all. Ritual Evolved basically got it's name because it was the same idea building throughout the 7 + minutes of the song. It started off with a tribal beat then the punching of the cymbals started growing. The vocals floated over but by the time you got to the end of the song you were still listening to the same tribal beat… it was just presented in a heavier way. The riff morphed and moved to make a heavier experience and in a nutshell that's what I loved about the track. By the end of the song with the three punches basically was basically the final breath of the song. It was born.. grew.. and died all in 7 minutes and 2 seconds.

I don't know when the next Planet Gemini release will be. I'm hoping for something in the spring/summer of 2008. I can't say that it's going to be Wicked because at this moment I have to look at what I have and look at what I'm stopping myself from creating in overworking on Wicked. In my experience when you hit a wall like this sometimes you need to take 10 steps back and find another route around the wall… if Wicked is meant to be released it will be. There is no question about that. However, I think that right now I'm creating music that is extremely deep and emotional and I feel that Wicked is holding me back from creating more.

For example, Cauldron of Fuzz V would have never seen the light of day if I didn't put Wicked on hold and decide to release something new, and Cauldron of Fuzz V is probably my favorite Cauldron of Fuzz project to date (it's definitely the most personal to me). So I don't want anyone to think that because Wicked is being put aside that I am going to stop writing and creating music. If anything I am doing this BECAUSE I want to write and create more deep, meaningful music.. and not limit myself to things that sound like they should fit in with the previous Wicked material.

Thanks so much for all of the response and to everyone who posted about Cauldron of Fuzz V on various message boards.
I know sometimes it feels like a thankless job but really every little bit helps. New people find out about Planet Gemini everyday and it's in a large part thanks to the people who go out of their way to spread the word. I can't thank you all enough.

Sincerely
Rev. H (The Hand of God)


 

PS: I wouldn't doubt if an extended edition of Cauldron of Fuzz V came out somewhere down the line with the full 13 minute Demonic Wall and maybe 1 or two more tracks. But, we'll see about that. One thing about Demonic Wall that worried me was making an album that started off with 22 minutes of drone. I can't stand too much drone starting an album. So Demonic Wall was stripped (not to mention the time restraints were quite huge).

PSS. And to the bible thumpers out there who tend to read my messages and then send me e-mails advising me to stop "Dealing with the devil"… I'm going to leave you all with… I don't judge you.. nor do I ask you to conform to my way of thinking. Hell, You don't even know what my way of thinking is.. so.. please… stop carpet bombing me with your church spam. I realize this is just acknowledging you and now you're just going to continue… if not get worse.. but I assure you.. I am saved.. you are much closer to satan than I will ever be… J

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Final Progress Report (The Day Before)

So it's the day before Cauldron of Fuzz V's release and I'm still quite hard at work finishing everything up. Rest assured it will be ready to go by tomorrow night (barring any bizarre computer incident that might happen). The album sounds good. It's a little more ethereal. Kind of "experimental" in some points.

I really made a cognoscente effort to avoid the "Verse, chorus.. repeat" thing on this album. It's there sometimes but… rarely.

I can tell you all that the album should be 40 minutes + of new material.. and I'm thinking of throwing 2 b-sides out there as well. Right now there is a guaranteed 6 that will be on the album tomorrow and I have about 5 tracks that I didn't get to use. So, somewhere down the line there might be a COFV "The Bonus Material" but rest assured these 6 (or 7) tracks will be worth the wait.

This is going to be a very doomy yet very spacey release. I'm very happy with everything. Just got some vocals to throw on tonight and I'm finished. Very minimal in the way of mixing but that's always been the COF way. I hope you all enjoy it.

BTW, Thanks so much for the e-mails and myspace messages to everyone who has written me proclaiming their excitement for the album. I'm pretty psyched too. It'll be nice to actually sit back and listen to it when it's finished.. (which will probably be around the same time you all get to hear it.. oddly enough).

Due to time constraints I am only going to be putting the album up in MP3 form for tomorrow night. The WMA (Lossless) stuff will be available the next day. (This is obviously depending on how much time I have to do this stuff. But, as of right now it's looking like the mp3's will be the way to go for tomorrow. But fear not. The WMA stuff WILL be put up. Just.. when I have more time. It is Halloween tomorrow and I have children and small animals to throw in the meat grinder.

So, seeing as this will probably be my last blog before Halloween (That won't be a press announcement) let me just say "I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween… and I truly hope you enjoy the album"… and to those of you who wrote me saying that COFV will be the center of your Halloween gathering… that's just fucking awesome.

You all rule!
Sincerely
H

Friday, October 26, 2007

The King of Lies

Scratch that, I went to the studio. Lots of progress too. Temples of Infinity and "The Start of Your Demise" are done..

Man, Temples is freaking me out at the moment. It's so.. weird.. and ethereal.. but yet.. It's hard to describe really. It starts off in a major key and then switches to minor almost immediately.. the result is kind of disorienting.. and then once you get used to it the song changes again. This will totally be a "Love it, or hate it track" I almost wanted to put piano at the end.. it's just so messed up.

Goodday today.. Maybe I'll take off tomorrow.. and then.. come in and finish everything ;)
Just figured I'd update
H

The Inevitable Burnout Has Occurred!

Well, It is day 5 of the studio mixing/mastering week and yesterday I finally hit a snag. I'm working on a couple of other tracks that I wrote that didn't finish up so easily. I'm really trying to include a wider variety of stuff. As of right now.. I have 9 tracks for the album. 4 are completely finished and ready to go. 2 are a little ways away but that will be no big deal. The others are "iffy". I'm trying to tell myself that this is a Cauldron of Fuzz album and that perfection isn't as important as the emotion behind the music. Some of these tracks are very powerful and just crazy sounding. Here is the names of the tracks I have so far.

Ritual Evolved
Demonic Wall
The Start of Your Demise
A Time Before Time
Temples of Infinity
We All Fall Down
SINsation
The Gallery
Day of Reckoning

Again, this is not a guarantee of anything here but I feel confident that I can get out these songs for the final release. (Keeping in mind that I have roughly 5 days to finish this.. hehe) I just had to take today off or I couldn't see myself making it through the whole weekend in the studio. Sometimes the walls.. they.. speak to me.. and they were telling me to get out yesterday…

I would pretty much say that yesterday was the first "wasted" day in the studio. Trying to clean up "The Start of Your Demise" was ironically enough the start of my musical demise. The good news is that this weekend is completely devoted to the Cauldron of Fuzz album (Sat, Sun and Monday).. I'll take most of Tuesday as well and at that point hopefully Wed morning I'll be done with the album. "We'll see about that".. COFV WILL be up on Halloween. I'm just hoping it's all 9 songs. If It's not.. for some reason.. (this isn't making an excuse or anything) but I am going to try my damnedest to get it finished by the end of the week and I will put the songs that ARE finished up for download. If I had to put a % rating on the progress of each track it would go…

Ritual Evolved 75%
Demonic Wall 75%
The Start of Your Demise 40%
A Time Before Time 95%
Temples of Infinity 50%
We All Fall Down 95%
SINsation 95%
The Gallery 80%
Day of Reckoning 100%

As you can see there is still some work to be done but it's nothing insane. Nothing that I haven't done in years past for the COF albums. I'll probably design the webpage for this project today…. Who knows.. I might as well get something done.

BTW, I got the new Electric Wizard today…. I don't know what to think of it. It's different that's for sure.
Hope all is well… and thanks for the continued support
Sincerely
H

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More about the New Fuzz Album

Hey everyone,

Trying to make sure to keep everyone up to speed on the progress of the new Cauldron of Fuzz album (Which will be available on this webpage www.planetgemini.net at 8pm EST on October 31st 2007) now with that blatant self promotional plug out of the way I am going to take a little time to talk about some of the songs that I've got coming on here and where they are as of right now in the production process.


 

  1. Ritual Evolved:
    Right now Ritual Evolved is done musically I just need to work out some vocals and maybe a few guitar harmonies for the track. It's about 7 minutes long and it's very "tribal" sounding. While I would call it "Riffy" per say it is very "invoking". This was the first track that I ended up writing for the album. It just came out and I thought (well that was fun) from there it just grew heavier and heavier. 7 minutes in and the song is crushing until it finally builds to a big finish. I really enjoy this track and I think you will as well. A little different from the past Fuzz Ritual songs that started off the COF albums. This is not as guitar driven.. but very guitar heavy. You'll understand what I mean when you hear it I'm sure.
  2. Demonic Wall:
    Demonic Wall's drums are done and bass are finished I need to layer guitars over it. Vocals are done but not perfect so I'll probably sing them over again. Another slow tempo'd song. Very doom laden (as is most of the tracks on this album). It features my high pitched screetchy voice (which I'm sure will THRILL those of you who can't stand it…) hehe but what can I say.. it serves the song well. Demonic Wall is all about the main Riff.. it's got this riff that you would imagine being in Sabbath's Volume IV album just much much heavier. (think Under the Sun and I think you'll have an idea what this track sounds like)
  3. Temples of Infinity:
    This one is finished with the exception of the ending which contains a spacey clean solo track that I haven't recorded yet. It's once again mid tempo to slow.. and actually contains some tribal drumming in the middle that sound very strange. Followed by this "rolling" bassline and it just strikes me as odd for a Doom band to experiment with these different sounds. The song is fairly straight forward with a nice mid tempo groove double timed in the middle and end. No chorus on this track but like I said there is a look of weird musical things going on here. This will be the track that people either love or hate. However, one thing that surprises me is the people that listen to my music are usually very open minded to new styles and music. So.. I hope you all enjoy it.
  4. A Time Before Time
    This song can be heard at my Myspace Page www.myspace.com/planetgeminidoom for those of you who haven't heard it yet. It's finished but might get a guitar harmony at the end. Not 100% sure yet I guess it depends if time permits.
  5. The Gallery
    A song just basically thrown together off of an A Minor progression. Sounds very dark and evil. The songs meaning was discussed in the last blog post I did. All in all it's a good track. Finished with the exception of vocals
  6. We All Fall Down
    This song also can be found at my myspace page www.myspace.com/planetgeminidoom it is a little bluesy in a way. Just straight up riffage… vocals were secondary here but it was a fun track to record. The middle part needs fixing on the demo and maybe a little harmony on the guitar but that's always the last thing to go on for me
  7. Day of Reckoning
    this track to can be found on my myspace page. So what are you waiting for.. go.. now.

So there are 7 days left to the release of the album and I still have a fair amount of things to do. But nothing that will hold me back from the release. I should have at least 7 songs and I'd like to add one more (a fast original)… I also wouldn't mind ONE more song that I've been kicking around for a while called "Iron Voices"… I think it would fit well. All in all this is going to be a very very doomy release. Heavy.. lots of riffs.. (in the key of A for some reason… guess I got tired of B and E… )

Not long now. I may end up doing a whole new webpage design for this release but I'm not sure if I'll have the time. I'd rather spend more time on music than webpage art at the moment.


 

Thanks again guys
and keep in touch
H

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cauldron of Fuzz V: Information


Well, I am very happy to say that Cauldron of Fuzz V is written and just being polished now for the October 31st release (at 8pm EST) on www.planetgemini.net . I know, I know.. I'm already plugging away but you'd be surprised I've actually gotten a few e-mails from my myspace friends that have never downloaded a Cauldron of Fuzz album before so they are unaware of the process. So.. yeah… just for clarification the album is downloaded on the official webpage NOT a myspace, virb or any other page like that.

The album's tracklisting is as follows (so far)

01. Ritual Evolved
02. Demonic Wall
03. Temples of Infinity
04. A Time Before Time
05. The Gallery
06. Day of Reckoning

As of right now the album is about 40+ minutes. I have a couple extra songs that I've recorded but I just want to be sure that I am giving myself a big enough window to get the album done for Halloween. If I finish mixing and mastering early (which there is a very good chance of this) I may add another track or two. This album is very downtrodden, slower.. more loud than "The Path" ep. I wanted to clearly make a disctinct difference between the two. This is a Cauldron of Fuzz album and should be just blaring guitars and lots of loud Heavy Metal.

Some of the song lyrics have really surprised me. The track that I've just recently named "The Gallery" is a great little story about an art gallery that the devil presides over. He enlists a painter to the paint the picture of people he's never met. He goes into this trance and closes his eyes.. envisioning the person he is to paint the person painted then loses their soul to the devil. The thing is that after he paints 5,000 people the 5,000th person takes over the gallery and becomes the new painter… and the first picture he paints is the previous artist.

I love when music comes together like this. This album was written and recorded so quickly that it really does feel fresh. It's what I enjoy most about having my own studio. I love recording other bands and working on my own projects.. but, I really excel in improvisational playing. I always have.

The album will be released on time. Feel free to check out 3 tracks on the Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/planetgeminidoom and any comments or questions can be sent to me via my e-mail address hellion@planetgemini.net.

I hope you are all doing well and thanks so much for the support
Sincerely
H

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Planet Gemini - Cauldron of Fuzz V: Sometimes it Comes Back



Well THAT didn't last long... I know I said last years Cauldron of Fuzz was the final installment... but... I've changed my mind. With WICKED giving me such greif I figured I would just have some fun and write some music.


Here are the details
I started the project on monday.
I'm giving myself till the middle of next week to write the album
I have 4 songs recorded

01. The Wretched (8 Minutes)
02. Temples of Infinity (9 Minutes)
03. A Time Before Time (10 Minutes)
and a cover of Pentagram's "Day of Reckoning".

Basically I'll be in the studio everyday this week and whatever gets recorded is going to get released. Even if it's just what I have already.


For those of you new to Planet Gemini
The album will be free to download via my webpage
http://www.planetgemini.net

Cauldron of Fuzz V: Sometimes it Comes Back will be available at 8pm on October 31st (as the COF series always is). Here is a little more info about the Cauldon of Fuzz project for those curious.

Cauldron of Fuzz projects consist of material that is mostly improvised. It's basically glorified jam sessions the vocals are not really written out. I just turn the music on and sing whatever comes to mind.

This is the 5th installment of the series and will be the 2nd Cauldron of Fuzz that I've written myself (I also wrote 3 pretty much by myself all the time). It is about a "Jammy" as one guy can get. I record the drums and basically hone a riff around it. Then I re-record the drums to punch with the riff.

I'm done this for one reason really. I know a lot of people out there are looking forward to some new Gemini and I really have to buy more time for Wicked. So I hope this album will appease you all.

You're all the best and thanks so much for the continued support.
I'll post more on the album as it progresses
Thanks
H

Monday, September 24, 2007

*sigh*.... The fact of the matter...

*LATE SEPTEMBER WICKED UPDATE*

Hello everyone, I hope that your summer was as productive and non-stop as mine was and I am truly sorry for lack of updates to the site. However, as everyone around me is noticing I've been burying myself in the studio a lot lately. I wrote about 4 or 5 new songs all of which came out very refreshing and clean sounding. But we'll get to that in a little bit.... first of all onto Wicked.

A lot of people have written me asking why I haven't taken pre-orders yet. Hell, I've even had a couple people just send me money already for Wicked (which I have returned).. the fact of the matter is until Wicked is 100% ready I can't release it and I don't want to release an album that is under 1 hour long.

So here is the whole situation as it stands.
I have 8 tracks on Wicked that I am completely satisfied with.
The album is clocking around 48-52 minutes (I'm unsure because I still have a little trimming to do on the tracks). I would like the album to be 65-70 minutes. The way I see it is like this. A lot of you spend your money on PG music and I want you all to have the most value as possible.

So I have a few choices that I have been toying around with.
1) releasing Wicked as download only for now and then working on it and revising it for pressing with the bonus songs. It would basically get all of the bullshit out of the way, get the album out there for everyone to hear.. and because it is more of a "temp" release I wouldn't be so anal about the production values..

2) just hold off Wicked until the album is truly done.

I have to be honest. In the time that i've spent harping on Wicked's "perfection" I've accumulated enough material to release another album. A word of advice to bands out there NEVER NAME YOUR PROJECT UNTIL IT IS FINISHED!. I have done this two times.. and both times it has bitten me in the ass.. (Diabolic and now Wicked). The issue with Wicked.. is.. I've already got the coverart made up.. I've already got the ads ready to be placed.. I've got everything out there already. I wish that I could just flush everything I have and start over... however, I know that I would be flushing the best material I have ever written.

So my dilemma is quite huge actually. I'm not entirely sure where to go from here... Wicked NEEDS to be released but I am afraid that there is no way it is going to be released in September. Which means.. I will NOT be giving another release date for Wicked until the album is 100% finished.. All 70 minutes of the album are recorded, mixed and mastered... Because I do not like letting down anyone who looks forward to these things being released.

I'm still quite unsure about what to do. I can tell you that my new material is quite aggressive. Not as doomy persay.. but tons of groove and dark, evil lyrics... (Think Mercyful Fate meets Black Sabbath meets Deep Purple... which is kind of what I think Supergod was like)... I've been a big fan of chanting lately (ala Ian Gillan, Dio) in songs.. I don't know.. some shit I'm coming up with sounds quite creepy. I have one track entitled (Summoning My Demon) and it's just tribal drumming with a high guitar line.. and bass thumping with the drums... and this tormented chanting and lyrics "I know where he goes... The devil watching over...etc" even I get quite spooked at the places these tracks are going. Once again I keep writing tracks to finish Wicked but they end up being their own thing. Older listeners of the band probably remember this happening in 2004's Diabolic and 2005's Oblivion... I'm just too a point where everything new is so good I'm not sure where to go from here.

As always I value your opinions so please feel free to e-mail me.
and thanks so much for your patience.
Every time someone writes me about Wicked and I tell them I'm not sure about it.. I get a reply like "dude take however long you need to get the album perfect. I'll be getting it whenever it comes out" to me that is so humbling.. people are ready to buy this album basically without hearing much of it.. just based on my prior work.. Fucking amazing I tell ya!.. and mostly that's my major concern.. while I must admit I write music for myself (and would do it if only one person listened to this stuff) I never want to let down the people who have followed me for years and years...

I thank you all so much for your support
and understand on this matter.
Look for new demos soon in the next coming weeks.
I've got a lot of new stuff I'm really looking forward to throwing out there.
Maybe even another free EP in the near future (cough cough Halloween perhaps)...

Again you are all the best
Sincerely
H

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Planet Gemini September Update

*September Band Update*

Hello everyone, I figured I would stop in and give a quick update of how the album is going and give some more info for everyone who's wondering when the presales will start.

As of right now the album is still set for September. However, I must be honest and say that it is not 100% where I want it to be at the moment (I've only got about 40-something minutes of music and I really want more than that). So.. there may be a chance of another pushback when it comes to the release date.

It's funny because I have about 2 other albums worth of material however it's very important for me to make sure this album flows perfectly. So throwing any "cool" song won't do without being 100% sure it's going to benefit the album.

I am not going to give another release date if indeed I push this up again (as this is my 2nd now and I don't enjoy pushing albums up). But, I will say this.. I'm going to continue as if this album needs to be done by September.. and if it's not.. then it's not.. and really I can't do much in the way of speeding things up. Creativity just happens.

Until then I'll be posting a couple new DEMOS in the DEMOS section on the page. and I've even been contimplating another EP release before the end of the year (because I really enjoyed the last release and I got a lot of feedback from listeners who really enjoyed it.) I don't want you all to think that I'm putting anything on the backburner here. I have been very busy but still allocating a lot of time to the Planet Gemini album. My attention span as of late has been crazy. I've been learning many new things about production.. things that I want to impliment on this album the problem is.. the more I learn the better I want this release to sound.

Thanks to everyone who's written me about pre-ordering the album. (and the 2 people that just sent me money for it.. hehe) however, I can't accept money for an album that isn't finished just yet. It's on it's way. Trust me on this one. But... I need it to be perfect. I look to spend the next weekend writing new material and trying to throw some new ideas on the album. So far the track listing is.

Incantation
Grim (My God of Red)
Silver Strings
Lightmare
Minus
Moondancer
The Beast on Your Back
Author of Pain
Preachin to the Choir
The Man Who Killed the Sun
Eden

I just need to finish up "The Man Who Killed the Sun" and maybe write another track or two (more interludes really than songs).

I want to thank everyone for their patience. I've gotten a lot of e-mails saying "Take as long as you need for it to be perfect I just can't wait!"
and seriously... the fact that you are all so understanding about my obsession with this album being perfect is fantastic. This album is going to be very heavily promoted. It is going to be featured on many webpages and some magazines. I just need to be sure it's the perfect album. Technically I've only spent about 6 months on this album because I haven't been in writing mode all that long. But, 6 months is a long time. The next PG album will be out quickly and like I said earlier do not discount a free EP being thrown up on the webpage before the end of the year.

Thanks again everyone
Sincerely
H

PS.. anyone who needs to get in contact me can do so via e-mail at
hellion@planetgemini.net
I try my best to reply quickly but if it takes a couple of days please understand that I've been spending a lot of my time in the studio.

Dexter: The Return of Everyone’s Favorite Serial Killer!









Okay, so let’s put the Halloween rant behind us shall we? Perhaps try to focus on something a little more positive; Something more along the lines of a series instead of a movie.

I am a huge fan of Showtime’s original series “Dexter” and recently I have been blessed with the first two episodes of the season to check out before the series returns in late September.

First of all: I suppose I should address you who haven’t jumped aboard the “Dexter” train just yet. The series is about a serial killer who was raised by his stepfather (Harry) to channel his inner monster on people who deserve it. On people who prey on weaker people. As evident by the first scene in the first season where we find Dexter stalking a priest who was sexually assaulting children and then murdering them. Dexter is trained well. Harry is a police officer and has taught Dexter everything about covering his tracks and waiting for the right moments to strike. Dexter is a diamond in the rough and really is one of the best shows on television (Premium channel or not).

In the beginning of the 2nd season of Dexter we pick up about 35 days after the end of the first series. Dexter has a new “admirer” who is over his shoulder with every move he makes. Which isn’t much of a shock if you’ve read the 2nd book in the series “Dearly Devoted Dexter”. But from what I’ve read that’s about where the similarities to the book are going to end. As they are not following the same storyline from Jeff Lindsay. Which I think is somewhat of a good idea because the writers of this show seem to understand the character and world that Dexter inhabits rather well.

I have to say these episodes show more of what I love about the show. We are seeing the character of Rita evolve and even little nods to certain personality traits Dexter was picking up on in the 2nd book.

This show is extremely well acted and if Michael C. Hall doesn’t get some major recognition for his transition from an incredibly flamboyant (yet very self loathing) gay man in the HBO Series “Six Feet Under” to the cold, calculated, often humorous character he is playing now I would have wonder what is going on in these peoples heads.

All in all I can’t say enough good things about this show.
Go out and buy the first season on DVD if you haven’t seen it yet.
If you have… Buy it and watch it again.
The Moondancer within you commands it.

BTW: The new book “Dexter in the Dark” by Jeff Lindsay should be getting released this month… You might want to consider getting that as well. Since you’re out and spending the money.


Thanks for reason
H

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rob Zombie: Halloween (Thoughts)

Rob Zombie's: Halloween (Thoughts)
...SPOILERS AHEAD...

I managed to score a copy of the workprint of Halloween from a friend (Thanks.. btw). My friend is kind of close to the movie so he was really anxious to hear my thoughts on it. He gave me the workprint (that was cut in May of 2007) and I sat down and gave the movie 2 good viewings before giving him my general thoughts on everything.

Let me start of by saying that I've been skeptical since hearing Rob Zombie was the new writer/director chose to rework this movie. Also let me declare that I am not your average Halloween fan. I have loved this story for as long as I can remember. When my friend handed me the workprint he said "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised"… After viewing the movie twice my reply to him was "Think again"…

Now before I go ripping into this movie let me start by saying.. "This is not the worst Halloween movie created" it's actually pretty far from it. I would say that it had potential to be better than 3,4,5,6 and 8…. However… this movie had something that the others didn't really have… Rob Zombie had to go and rework the history of the Michael Myers character.

So here is the gest of my discontent with the movie. Here are some things that made me shout INCONSISTANCY!
********************************SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!****************************************

>Michael Myers starts off as a little pudgy long haired blonde boy who is considerably small for his age. When you see him in school the other kids are dwarfing over him and then he turns into this 7ft 300lbs guy with brown hair in a matter of 15 years. Now.. I can buy that he worked out (even though he was supposed to be in a somewhat catatonic state) but… somewhere along the way.. this maniacal, cold… calculated demon.. decided he'd look better as a brunette… Maybe I'm reading too much into this one but… consistency is everything right? I also love how when he breaks out of the asylum he JUST SO HAPPENS to find a trucker who is 7ft tall and 300lbs to steal the uniform of.. convenient… I would also like to point out that.. 15 years.. and he is clean shaven.. (I know that's being wicked nitpicky… but.. I can't help it)… I always think it's funny when a movie has a maniacal character who has incredibly neat facial hair… it's like… good to know that he won't talk to anyone.. or do anything for that matter except ya know.. shave… Again.. I realize I'm overanalyzing this..

>The Myers family lives in the suburbs in the original movie.. they were an obvious middle/high class family with a nice home and a mother and father that appear to be coming home from a social event well dressed.. well the movie is still set in the suburbs.. but now the family is consisting of white trash members (Remember… Rob Zombie… The Devils Rejects, House of 1,000 corpses… ya know.. apparently Mr. Zombie has a thing for the white trash, inbred characters. The mother is a stripper/whore the step father is an abusive drunk/alcoholic who is verbally abusive to Michael. His sister follows suit in making fun of him.. and.. well the kids in school are beating on him and making fun of him because his mom is a slut. (okay.. remember this now)

>Michael meets with Loomis for the first time and basically doesn't remember anything.. so he's a polite kid who is kind of joking around and what not.. Yet… Later on.. Dr. Loomis gives a speech about how he didn't speak for 15 years and how he could never get him to open up. I realize that they didn't want to change the "Devils Eyes" speech and all.. but.. yeah.. Not so enjoyable…

I guess my major gripe with this movie is that.. he rewrote his childhood.
The movie itself wasn't terrible but it was like taking everything that was enigmatic about Michael Myers and making him just like anyone else.
No longer is he just this shape that exudes evil. No longer is he this cold calculated killer.
Rob Zombie has made Michael Myers into a battered and abused stepchild who is lashing out at the world that shunned him.
It's a fine story.. just not the story of Michael Myers.

My biggest problem.. is that this will now be the Myers legacy.
When the sequel is made.. it is not going to follow Carpenters vision.. it is going to follow the new Zombified Myers… who is masturbating to dead rats and whatnot.
In the end I will say this. This is Rob Zombie's best movie to date.
It was a fine film. If he would have used any other character.
If you want to see Halloween with a touch of Texas Chainsaw Massacre…. This movie might be for you
the death scenes were brutal.. awesome to watch.. just.. fantastic work there.
The sound design was good. Even bringing back some old sound effects from the movie.
and there was a scene in an empty pool that was extremely tense and just fun..

If he would have left the white trash out of this movie.. I would have had no problem with his vision.
But the fact of the matter is.. He ruined the thing that made Michael great..
He gave a reason.. and evil never needs a reason.

With all this being said.. I won't bash the movie horribly because it wasn't a difficult movie to watch.. and I think most people won't care as much as I do about the character developments.

Just my opinions and thoughts… you can all feel free to post yours if you'd like once it comes out.
Hope you are all well
Sincerely
H

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

David Lynch's "Inland Empire"

***Not Band Related****


I know, 3 posts.. one day.. 2 not band related... Crazy huh.

I just wanted to post that I watched David Lynch's "Inland Empire" the other day. 3 hours of complete insanity. I don't know what to think about the movie. It's so bitter sweet to me that all of the major Lynch moments are there. All of the characters are quite off kilter... yet... 3 hours of this is very hard to digest.

Once again Lynch thrusts you into this world where time means nothing. I can't even imagine how he plugs this stuff to people and gets funding for it. It's so.. off the wall that it really is genius in it's insanity.

I really do enjoy movies like this. Sometimes I feel that watching a David Lynch movie is like unlocking this amazing puzzle that exists in the mans mind. Only difference is... you never know if you've got it right. I know that a lot of people find most of his movies to be unwatchable. However, some of Lynch's work has been the blueprint for many directors before him. His concept of dream & reality are so fused together that it is almost awe inspiring to watch the way he weaves between the two. I am always looking for "The Devil" in the David Lynch film... and in my theory I am very rarely let down. In this it was the elderly lady. The Rabbits that subside in this pseudo comedy realm representing the afterlife. The story of a woman (or 4 women for that matter) who breaks down and loses control of their life.

I honestly only got a small taste of what this film holds.. but I can say this. I can almost guaruntee that after this film was done Lynch felt he had made his best masterpiece to date. This film had more "Lynch" in it than any film before it.

One thing I would like to say about David Lynch is... How can ANYONE deny this mans creative vision? He has this way of portraying so much emotion with a simple camera angle. He always makes something just a little off. Just enough for you to feel uncomfortable. The moments of "I've been hypnotized" and EXTREME closeups of the faces of the characters. Frightening almost how he paints with such a demented brush.. and yet calming how he can return to a scene that is a little more comforting.

Lynch makes us feel solace in the worst places. A woman dying in the street... and a story being told by a homeless woman that is completely ridicoulus. Only to be revealed to be true in the end.. and the last story that our heroine will hear.

I don't know if this is my favorite Lynch movie. I won't know that until another 20 viewings. I can also say that 3 hours of lynch is very hard to digest. But, with all of that being said. David Lynch is a man that can make some very magical things happen on my tv screen. His moments of "horror" are done with such uneasy, disorienting camera angles that it just makes every scene build into this amazing fatal ball of confusion.

How is it that when I'm watching a Lynch movie I can't be shocked?. It's perfectly normal to see someones face just become distorted... to see Rabbits talking and answering phones to a laugh track. Saying things like "Who am I" and "Have you seen me before". This movie was not without it's comedy as well but I must say that you would have to be dialed in to Lynch's humor for it to sink in.

I don't know if I would recommend this movie to anyone.
I don't know if anyone else will enjoy this movie but me.
To be honest I'm not even sure if I've truly enjoyed this movie.
But I can say that I am looking forward to the next time I try to digest it.
because above everything else. David Lynch is a fantastic artist and his vision (no matter how demented) can not be denied.

Thanks for reading
I'm not even sure if I understood this post

Rob Zombie's "Halloween"

***NOT BAND RELATED***

Okay, as I'm sure most of you know already I am a HUGE fan of the Halloween series. I have been for a long long time. (Probably longer than some of the people who listen to my music have been alive... which makes me feel old). I remember very well as a child watching Halloween 1 and 2 almost every year when it would come on television. I grew to appreciate the series and just enjoy the subtle trademarks of "evil" that the movie embarked upon.

On August 30th of this year Rob Zombie will be remaking Halloween.. I fear for it. I got a very early copy of the script from a friend of mine (who got it from a friend and so on and so fourth)... and if this script is followed I see very little hope of this being a good movie.

However, I must admit. The last couple of trailers/video clips I've seen have definitely peaked my interest as to what this movie is going to be like. I can't judge until I see the movie myself. But... there are some thoughts I'll post from what I've seen.

Michael Myers is TOO large!... one of the great things about the Michael Myers character is that he was just like anyone else. He wasn't some freak you'd point out walking down the street. Anyone wearing a mask could be mistaken for myers. Zombie's casting of an ex-Pro Wrestler caught my attention right away. When I read the script (again.. very early copy)... I remember the first thing I thought was... "This sounds very leatherface like in a sense". It makes sense if you saw house of 1,000 corpses.. as it struck me as just a cheap Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff. It sure will be interesting to see if Rob is going to go through with the "different paper masks for each emotion.." thing.. annd.. judging from the trailer that I saw on Yahoo.com... it looks like he hasn't changed that.

Loomis: Probably my favorite character in any movie is the Dr. Loomis character. I love the concept. He sees evil that no one else sees and so it consumes him. He obsesses with an evil that no one else believes is there. However, he knows the truth. He sees what no one else wants to see and would stop at NOTHING to stop the evil from escaping.

There is a movie I watched recently called "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" and in this movie they refer to the advisory of evil as the "boon". Every stereotypical "Boon" in every horror movie since the first Halloween has been filmed is cut from the Donald Pleasance mold. That's how iconic this character is. I think that Rob Zombie actually did a great job in casting Malcom McDowell. He seems like he is going to play the role quite well from the little bit I have seen of him. The shoes this man must fill are enormous... As I am a HUGE fan of Donald Pleasance's work on the Halloween movies.

((((Sidenote, In my side project with Oly Olson I pitched to use the name "Loomis" as the band name, and before that when Josh was talking about leaving the band last year I was going to start a solo project called "Loomis".. I love the connotation that it brings fourth. The antithesis of evil. Oly didn't understand the concept and thought naming the band after a movie character wasn't a good idea, and Josh ended up leaving Planet Gemini and saying "You are PG anyway" so I continued using the band name)))


One thing is for certain, It's going to be interesting to see if this movie pans out. I'm hoping to get an early copy and check it out next week sometime. If I do I will be sure to give you all a quick little write up of my thoughts on the first viewing.. and then my thoughts from the 20 viewings after... To clarify; if Zombie hits a homerun with this movie I will be extremely happy. However, even if he hits a single I will buy a ticket for it. I'd be impressed with a step up from Resurrection.. and quite honestly that shouldn't be hard to do.


Studio Hell...

For those of you following the "Wicked" project it's been a bumpy road. Tons of distractions and setbacks. The latest of which is the new addition of a very expansive mixing board... now I'm actually considering doing some construction in my studio to expand on the sound proof features. I've got so much shit on my plate and it really seems like I keep adding more and more. (which isn't always a bad thing mind you). The studio is becoming very lucrative and I must say I'm finding a huge passion for being a producer/sound engineer. Along the way (whilst recording Wicked) I must say that a lot of the tracks sound a little different. Almost like they aren't part of the same project. I've been looking for various ways to correct that. I've found that maybe doing some drums over again might be beneficial to the recording. But then with that I may have to re-record a lot more songs than just 1 or 2 to make them even.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. As it really does seem like I'm posting whatever is popping into my head here.. hehe.. But I can tell you this. The songs on the album are so damn good I would hate a little thing like production to hinder the final product.

So I'm left with the dilemma and the question at hand... should I A.) Release this album and focus on the next for a better production value or B.) do more to make this album feel more .. polished and perfect.

I know it's me. I know people that have heard the album and have been extremely happy with the music that's been recorded. I strive for perfection. I really will accept no less than perfection with this album... and I really feel that it is almost there. I keep trying to buy myself another month. Instead of just saying "It's on hold indefinitely until it is finished". If you all saw how "complete" this album is you'd probably scoff at me. (A month to finish this should be easy)... The fact remains whenever I go into the studio I'm playing around with different sounds and different approaches. I'm moving songs around.. adding sound clips to transition to songs. I just watched "Inland Empire" from David Lynch and needless to say even while watching that I'm like "What a great idea... I should incorporate something like that into Wicked"...

All in all I am still sticking to my guns.. and saying September will be the release date.
Sometimes I just need someone to vent to.. hehe

I was thinking on the 25th (as it would be the release of the High on Fire and Down album... so.. might as well throw it all out there at once).

I'll be getting 2 new snakes that I ordered in the mail on thursday.. once I do.. it's time to become a studio monk again. Pulling this off in less than a month might be a little crazy.

***sorry for all these random thoughts to the blog God***

I'll be in touch.
Thanks again for all the support and the great e-mails I've gotten in the last couple weeks.
Good to see that no ones forgotten about Wicked.
Trust me... after everything is said and done.. it WILL be worth the wait. I'm not looking to make a so/so album. I'm looking to make the best album I can possibly make.
Your patience shall be rewarded... I promise

Sincerely
H (The Phantom of the Recording Studio)

*PS*
I'd like to really take the time and thank everyone for their e-mails and such lately. I know it sounds stupid to some people but those e-mails asking me questions about the band (even if it's a question I'm asked over and over) shows me that you are all interested in the new album and my music in general. I try REALLY hard to respond quickly but sometimes I am just not around and can't get back for a little while. It doesn't mean your e-mail isn't important. On the contrary.. there was a time when Josh left the band that I was really wondering if I could pull this shit off alone... and everytime I thought I couldn't I would open up your e-mails and read them for inspiration. I know it's not the "cool" thing to do in this style of music to talk about how much your fan-base means to you. But seriously.. I consider you all my friends and when I look around and see people posting links on message boards about my band. Telling people to check my music out. It's like... unbelievable to me.


This is probably the most nonsensical message I've ever written. Maybe it's the Mike's Hard Lemonade talking (am I becoming a lightweight?) hehe..

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Mixing Board...

***Studio Related Post****

As you all know by now (or maybe not) I've opened up my studio and have been recording bands for the last 3-5 months. It's been very successful and I can't even begin to say how thrilling it is for me to be working (and mostly producing) with other local bands. Things have been updated significantly since the days of Wizards Blood. I got a kickass studio drumkit. A ton of effects units and I just recently went out and bought a Mackie 32/8 Mixing board for my studio. I've been doing a lot more "Studio work" so I decided that the studio needed a bit of an upgrade. I've even done a couple DVD Voice Overs. and I'm looking into recording a charity album for a "Music in Schools" program... My issue... is simple. This board is MUCH more complicated than my old board. I don't know if this is going to affect my mixing of the album but I wouldn't assume so.

I get the board in my studio I try fiddling around with it.. and don't get me wrong it sounds great. But, I just don't have a full grasp on it yet. (it's a huge step up from my 16 track mixer that I've been using for the last 3 years). There are features I just can't figure out and it's going to take some reading up in the manual (and I'm sure some playing around).

Here is a pic. (PS: Don't mind the mess that is my studio.. I haven't been able to place this mammouth thing anywhere just yet)


The board is quite pretty and sounds fantasticly clean compared to my last board. Again.. it's a $5,000 compared to my old $700 mixer.. so.. I would hope there would be a slight difference.

I've pretty much cleared my time this week and will be working on figuring out all of the "bells and whistles" of this thing before continuing on. Wicked is still on track to be released in September (No worries there).. Maybe I'll pull out a little more hair in the process but... you take the good with the bad. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

NEWS: Status of the new Planet Gemini release, Free EP download and PRE-ORDER information for "Wicked"

Wicked’s Release Date Change/Pre-sale information
By: Planet Gemini Official Homepage

Wicked Release Date Changed

As reported in the last blog post written a couple of weeks back the August release date for the upcoming album “WICKED” must be pushed into September. I hate to do it because I know a lot of you are looking forward to hearing the final product however it is very important to me to make sure the album is perfect and a complete experience. The artwork is finished and I have mixed and mastered over half of the album. My major issue is that I think the album could use another track or a little re-working to add some more weight to the release. I’ve said in the past the first 5 or 6 songs are astounding the last couple of songs are fantastic however there is something it needs to tie everything together. This is something that I have always traditionally done with Planet Gemini. (even towards the end of Wizards Blood I wrote and recorded a song 4 hours before sending it out to press). Anyone who has followed my writings and work on this album knows how important this release is to me, and while I know this delay might upset some people please understand that it will make for a better album in the long-run.

FREE EP Available for Download (For anyone that’s missed it)

On June 13th I put up “The Path of the Wicked [ep]” up on PlanetGemini.net for everyone to download.
It is 6 new Planet Gemini songs that were made in the last year but did not fit on the “Wicked” release.
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who say they enjoy it so if you haven’t heard it yet please take some time and check it out.
The Path of the Wicked can be downloaded HERE. In both mp3 and wma (lossless) format.


PRE-ORDERING information
Pre-Orders for the Wicked album will begin on August 20th 2007

I will be offering 100 numbered/signed pre-orders (just like on the last CD which was very successful).
The price of the pre-order will be $9.99 and that will include shipping & handling to anywhere in the USA.
The international cost will be $13.99 and will include shipping & handling via “USPS Media Mail”.
As of right now orders are scheduled to ship on September 11th 2007.

People who pre-order from the official Planet Gemini homepage (www.planetgemini.net)
Will get the album about a month before other retail outlets.

Please check back to PlanetGemini.net for more pre-order information as I will definitely be packaging all 3 of my major retail releases together for a special price..
and I might include a t-shirt package as a pre-order special as well.

As always thank you for your support and I look forward to getting all of your thoughts on WICKED.
Sincerely
Planet Gemini

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July Update: Wicked, Path of. Next Projects and More.

Hey everyone,

There have been some slight developments to the "Wicked" release date so I figured I would come on here and give you the full details.

First of all "Wicked's" finalizing is coming along nicely. However, I do feel that finishing up the polish on this album and having it pressed by August 4th might be a bit of a stretch. So I'm going to give myself another month and say "early September" I will however be taking pre-orders for Wicked in August and I will be doing the "signed" copies again for this release (seeing as it went over really well last time). I need to be certain that this album is perfect in every way. To be honest part of me just wants to throw this thing out there for everyone to hear. But, I have to be smart about everything and make sure the album sounds perfect.

Speaking of "Sounding perfect". I was recently listening to "The Path of the Wicked [ep]" that is available for download right here and I must admit I was considering adding a song or two to the release to kind of ... make it more varied. I've kind of always done this. If anyone remembers the Blueprint: DIABOLIC ep that I put out years ago... it also mysteriously had 2 new songs tacked onto it a couple of weeks later. Some people say "It's only an ep.. don't worry about it" but I really do enjoy this release. So much in fact that I'm considering doing a small run pressing of it later on this year. I wouldn't mind another 10 minutes or so put onto the release. A couple more DOOM laden songs to even out the album.. and maybe even another fast number to add some dynamics to the whole thing.

We'll see... as of right now my goal is Wicked. I'll worry about "The Path" at another time.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Imperial Media... (Not Band Related) Please read...

Since 2002 I have been close friends with the people that work at Imperial Media Services (http://www.imperialmedia.com) I had some headaches with a company a long time ago when pressing "13" and Imperial Media really bailed me out. I got a call from a friend of mine today who informed me that their building caught fire and they sustained major loss to their corperate headquarters. While they have re-ordered everything and they are in the process of rebuilding their main building they do still have a secondary plant open.

I just want to first of all wish my best to everyone in that company. One thing about that place that I always loved is that while they are pressing these huge runs for major labels and while they are dealing with much much larger companies than mine. Imperial Media always treated Planet Gemini like it was a valued customer. Like a friend really.

When she called me and told me there was a fire I naturally thought they were inoperable and in that scenereo I would have pushed Wicked up until they had the time they needed to press my material. I am loyal to them and will not waiver on that.

Anyway, to make a long story short. I know I have a lot of bands and labels that visit my site and I just want to point you all in the direction of this fantastic company. To all of you who have ordered my CD's you KNOW what quality they produce. One of the compliments that I always got was how professional my CD's looked... and while yes it is my amazing artistic ability (heheh) it is also incredible materials made by incredible people who actually CARE about my product.

Whether I've pressed 100,500,1,000 or 10,000 these people have done their best to make sure it is treated like a number 1 priority.

If you have a project that you'd like pressed (even in short run) give them a call.
800.736.8273 and talk with their customer service staff. You'd not only be helping out my friends... but you'd be doing your band/project a favor in aquiring such high quality services.

I would like to take a personal note and wish the best to everyone at Imperial Media Services . To THANK them for working with me over the years (and for the many, many years to come) and most importantly a hope for a quick recovery so they can be more successful than ever.

Sincerely
H

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wicked Progress and Drumkit Photos

Hello everyone, I figured that I would take some time to write up a blog about some things that have been going on with Planet Gemini and give you all some insight to the release of the new album.

As of right now the album is on target to hit it's release date. I have the album completely written and recorded and right now it's just mastering the material that is going to take a while (seeing as the company I use to press this stuff with usually takes about a week to do my pressings).

I have been recording a couple very cool bands and I must admit that it's been a little more time consuming than I anticipated. However, there is plenty of time for me to still do the Planet Gemini stuff (as it is my number 1 priority). I was pondering even adding one more track to the album at the last minute but we'll see how that goes.


The other day I was bored in the studio and took some pics of my drumkit on my phone's camera.. For those interested it is a Mapex Studio kit. It's maple with a single layer of Oak. Most people that hear this kit can't believe that the bass drum is only a 22 because it is so heavy sounding. I just outfitted it with new aquarian heads (which sounds very nice but I still think I like my Remo Pinstripes better) As you can see I use all Zildjan Cymbals accept my Hats which are 13inch Sabian Paragons. I also have a Wuhan 20inch China.. they are cheap cheap cheap but sound amazing to tape, and that thing has lasted me about 2 years now so it owes me nothing.















I know before you say anything I do tend to play my kit more in a "Jazz" position but it's really just as much done for sound as much as comfort. Having the rack toms lower tends to give them more low end in the mix. Also the 16 inch floor tom on the left was originally done for Oly Olson (of Trouble fame). Oly plays Righty/Lefty and liked a floor tom on that side so I decided to put one over there.. I got so used to it being there that I use it often myself now. It's great for accents... and if you are an open player (which I do try to be)... it is rather convenient. The sticks on the snare are the M2 Marching sticks which I do use on the heavier "Appice-ish" tracks but... I have been a big fan of the Buddy Rich stick from Vic Firth and also the Neil Peart Sticks from Pro Mark (I swear those things can't be broken).

Next time I'll do some photos of guitars and basses.
Thanks for stopping and in
Sincerely
H

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Path of Thoughts....

One thing that I'm really loving about the ep is the fact that most people seem to like different tracks on the album. Everyone loves "Take Me Home" (that I've talked to) and who wouldn't? I mean it's the quentisential album opener. It's heavy, it's fast.. it's aggressive. It's just a great song.

Conspiracy seems to be the sweeper hit from the album as everyone who has e-mailed me has said that was their favorite "new" track from the album.

Funny story about that song. I actually mic'd the drums the same way John Bonham did on the track "When the Levee breaks". I actually stole a lot of mic'ing technique from the great John Bonham (as their drum recording methods are quite well documented). Now keep in mind. I am no John Bonham on drums (Though I do feel my drumming has gotten much better... but that's what lots of practice will do for you).

I've seen the comment "Planet Gemini is a better one piece than a two piece" in places and I really think I agree with that. Before it was always me telling Josh what to play, what notes worked or didn't. Josh had some awesome moments don't get me wrong and I really do still think very highly of the guy... and inversly I wouldn't trade the 9+ years that we made music together for anything because... he was my best friend. But... I think that with Planet Gemini just being me you get my full vision. No intermediaries.. nothing.. Just me..

for my "first" release I think "The Path of the Wicked" came out very well and it feels really great to listen to now. Now, with that being said it's on to the main stage. WICKED!

I can tell you this. Wicked is amazing. It's so twisted and evil.. The track "Grim (My God of Red)" is probably the best song I've ever laid down. My major issue is that the track "Demonic Wall" which I wrote back in November (or so)... sounds very similar to Grim.. and Grim is much much better... So I'll be axe'ng Demonic Wall for now.

I would also like to comment on someone who said "He's taming down on his vocals finally!"... I assure you that it was done unconsciously. If there is a song that sounds better with a bit of a scream in it. I will use it. I know that some people dislike the screaming vocals.. But... I do feel that there is a place for them in the PG songs. I equate it to Deep Purple or Judas Priest... it's really what makes me stand out from other bands. So don't be pissy if you hear some screaming return very soon.

"Never Satisfied" (the judas priest cover) on the Path... I've actually gotten a few people saying that it doesn't fit as well as the other songs on the EP. Listening to it with that point of view I can see where you are coming from. The drums are not being played as hard or as well.. it definitely leaves it with a "less aggressive" feel than some of the other tracks. With that being said... I don't think the drums are bad... and.. the song was done RIGHT when Josh left the band. The lyrics "Where do we go from here, there must be something near, change in you.. change in me.. forever. Places change, faces change, life is so very strange... " I don't know.. this song was very emotional for me. So it went on the ep. I hope you all understand my position. Planet Gemini has always been about emotions. My passion for music.. and in this case.. I not only lost my bandmate of 10 years but I lost someone who I considered a brother of about 13 years. So... this song said everything I wanted to say.. and it basically said everything I felt at the moment. So please listen to it with that in mind and I think you'll find that the song is done fairly well and at the end of this CD I think it works perfectly.


That is all for now... If you have any questions or comments please feel free to send them to hellion@planetgemini.net and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks so much for checking out my music and supporting the band
H

PS: a HUGE thanks to those spamming message boards for me. I'm going to make some "Planet Gemini" banners this well you guys can put up on places... again... words can't express how awesome you guys are...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not Band Related: Woke up this morning.... got myself a gun...

My Thoughts on the Sopranos Finale
By: H

Those close to me know what a huge fan of the show "The Sopranos" I have been for years. I mean if you walk into my studio (DoomRoom) you are going to see a huge poster of Tony Soprano right next to the drumkit. Make no mistake about it I am a "Die hard" fan of the show and the series and while I kind of had an idea of where some of the storyline plots were going. I must admit that Mr. David Chase shocked me one last time with that ending.

What ending? Oh come on. You've had to have turned on a radio or tv in the last 3 days and heard someone bitching about it right? I've heard everything from "David Chase just pissed on all of his fans" to "David Chase stuck to his guns and is a genius. Well while I honestly will say that David Chase shocked me with the ending I will say this. David Chase has always marched to the beat of his own drummer and for that I applaud the man for the ending he left us with.

Did I like it? At first I kind of chuckled at it. It was clever enough to enrage people. My girl was looking at the screen and saying "what the fuck?!" and I almost expected the screen to come back on showing a dead Soprano being worked on my the E.M.Ts but it didn't. The show ended it's "Journey" with the message of "Don't Stop Believing" and for me that was fine.

I pretty much immediately subscribed to the theory that David Chase killed the audience. The Sopranos lived on but we as viewers couldn't see it because we were dead. I watched the ending 4 times and the full episode 3. If the show would have ended with the screen on Meadow (which is what I thought I initially saw) I believe that would have signified the death of Tony. I mean look at the show history. When Tony went into a coma or had a dream we were right along for the ride. So if Tony would theoretically get "whacked" and "never saw it coming" why should we? The fact of the matter is that I do not think that Tony got whacked. I think that Tony went on being a selfish prick. Along with his selfish son and selfish wife. Why was Meadow late? I feel it was because she was the only one in the family who is really going to make something of herself.

So that leaves me with the question; Do I think the show ended well? I think that the show ended exactly the way David Chase wanted it to and he was the main storyteller. His "Lynch-like" ending was controversial but it also insured that the Sopranos will be talked about for a long long time. Did I like it??? The more I watched the ending the more I enjoyed the brilliance of the episode. The more I thought about the finale the more I got out of it. To those complaining about the show I offer you this piece of advice. "You only get as much as you put into something" if you just wanted the hand holding ending this wasn't it. But, you have to admire what Chase did. Other directors/writers are praising Chase up and down for this ballsy ending. The viewers (that expected a bloodbath) were let down but... is there anyway to please everyone in life? No, there is no middle ground. Please yourself and hope that everyone following along for the ride respects your choices. If you try to please too many people you'll be bastardizing your ideas.

With that being said was a sad moment. Watching my favorite show of all time go away. I will miss the Sopranos. More than any other show I've watched.

I guess there is always Dexter (Showtime) which is a fantastic series.
Thanks to David Chase and crew for an amazing show!
Sincerely
H

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Press Release: The Path of the Wicked [ep] Available for Download

The underground traditional doom metal band called Planet Gemini has been making music for 10 years and now In anticipation of the bands “Wicked” release on August 4th 2007. Planet Gemini has released a 28 minute [ep] for the visitors of the webpage to download for free. “The Path of the Wicked” artwork can be seen here and the album can be downloaded in either “mp3” or “wma lossless” format at this location.

This is the first “official” Planet Gemini release since the bands 2005 album “Wizard’s Blood”. Which was heralded by critics as an “instant classic”.

Planet Gemini will be taking pre-orders for “Wicked” next month. Which should include their normal “T-shirt+CD” package deal.


visit www.planetgemini.net for the latest news of the band
You can also hear Planet Gemini’s music on their myspace page

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Path of the Wicked [ep] Latest Update

So as reported yesterday "The Path of the Wicked" EP is pretty much in the final polishing stages. I just have to clean up a couple of vocal harmonies. I'm experimenting with different mixing and mastering techniques but all in all it should be done within a week or so. I'm going to shoot for the 2nd week in June for the release date.
The tracklisting thusfar is...

01. Take Me Home (07)
02. Two Worlds
03. Oblivion
04. Tonights Sunrise (tentative title)
05. Here in My Mind
06. Never Satisfied (Judas Priest Cover)

It will be available for free download in multiple quality rips.
I'm going to offer a "Lossless" form of WMV and a 192k of MP3.
I'll also be providing all of the album artwork (in full 300dpi quality).
So everyone can choose to do what they will with this release.
I am also considering going with one of those "press by the piece" companies for this album.
Now keep in mind.. this will be in CDr format. But it is just for the people who like the artwork and do not want to go through the hassle of burning the CD themselves.

I hope that you all like this EP it is about 30+ minutes long and it really is a mini-album.
I have to say there is a little more "experimental" moments going on with these songs. But as you are all aware of the days of a straight forward 2 riff Planet Gemini song are (for the most part) over. I like to add peaks and valleys to my music.

I think you'll all enjoy the new tracks.
BTW, For those unaware "Two Worlds" a track from the upcoming EP is available for download off of the main page (via the banner at the top) please feel free to give it a listen and drop me an e-mail to let me know what you think.

Take it easy guys
DOOM!
H

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Shure Beta 87A died... *sigh*

I suppose it was bound to happen. My beautiful Shure Beta 87A condenser Vocal mic died. Now, I am not a sentimental person. I don't really care when things go I just run out and buy something better. However, This really bothered me. It bugs me when something works amazing and then all of a sudden just dies.

I know I can just drop another $250/$300 for a microphone but... There's so much history between me and this Mic. I screamed every Planet Gemini song ever made into it. Fuck it lasted longer than my bandmate. hehe.

Well I suppose time moves on. I'm going to take it apart and see if there is anything that can be done. But I highly doubt it. The mic has never given me an issue before. It has endured me screaming at extremely high volumes into it for years. So I guess it deserves the rest.

The Path of the Wicked EP
Is done and is in mixing stages now. I just need to throw vocals on one more song (DOH!). I should either have a new mic or have this one fixed by the end of the week. I've got two bands to record in the next two weeks so replacements are a must!

So... a moment of silence for my friend the Microphone.
May he Rest in Peace.
Doom on MIKE!
H

Friday, May 18, 2007

Information for the DIY'rs

I know there is a large part of my visitors to this webpage that are kind of semi producers yourself. Actually I must say that one of the coolest things about the webpage since posting up the "Wicked" demos is the feedback I've gotten asking how I get certain guitar sounds.

I must admit that my guitar sound is somewhat of an anomaly. I can pretty much get it on any guitar/amp combo I've used. But the drum thing is so trial and error it isn't funny.

For the Wicked setup I'm actually using a method that Vinny Appice recommended to me. (Drums about 5 feet away from a padded wall and very low overhead mics). I've also used some advice from my friend Dale (who is a phenomenal drummer) and dropped my snares very low and loosened my snare head quite a bit. (doesn't sound that great to the naked ear but on tape it cracks very nicely).

But this is all besides the point. I wanted to come on here and pass along a great webpage for all of you do it yourself musicians.

www.recordbetteraudio.com

These guys go into very great detail when it comes to mic'ing amps and drums. Using things like compression and how to avoid phase on your mixes. These guys are great and I freakin' wish they were around when I started this project. (The other PG stuff would sound much better).

I've even learned some techniques from this webpage on how to get rid of some unwanted ringing from a drum (I have a 16 inch floor tom and is just deep and rings like a fucker).

So.. check out this page and enjoy the amazing learning tools they provide you with.
Make some music and send me an e-mail with your myspace page or something so I can hear it.
We're all friends here and I just want everyone to be able to do what I do.

Take it easy
H