Posts Tagged ‘Rhombic Void


New demo

I’ve got a new demo up, another instrumental. you can check it out here:

Also, met my old drummer the other day at church… nice to catch up. We were in a band together in the 90’s, but things have changed a lot since then, and we’ve all gone out separate ways. Music is still my passion even though it’s just a hobby. I don’t have a band now, but I enjoy just arranging and working on demos… Now I’m more into the songwriting process, and I have my other hobbies that keep me busy, such as blogging and cartooning (Munhwa Experience).

The drummer enjoys a bit of tapping, but he doesn’t have a kit these days -he’s more focused on saving and the corporate ladder. Sometimes I think it would be cool if the band got back just for a reunion bash -I’m still friends with the singer, but his passion is home brewing now anyway. And we’ve lost contact with the other member  -and half the band is all married with kids.

Interesting seeing other bands that were gigging round the scene make it now -I mentioned to my drummer that we’d supported a band back then that’s quite successful now -COG. I’m full of admiration for those guys because we saw from the beginning how dedicated and focused they were. At that gig in the southwest of Sydney the pub was virtually empty (this was the late 90’s) -for them it was probably more just a practice gig. For us it was the usual. We’d forgotten to bring the ride with the drum kit and they kindly lent us theirs.

The message for me, (which I was telling the drummer), was that success is attainable for the truly dedicated and persevering. Many bands have the talent, but it’s putting in the hard yards and developing the sound. But COG sounded great live back then, imagine how they sound now!

But the toll of touring must be heavy, and that was something our band wasn’t willing to do, which was the next level for us to shoot for -hire a van and tour up the east coast of Australia on a shoe-string budget. We were all too nerdy, conservative and cautious…

I feel we had the songwriting and the tightness, but we didn’t develop stage presence and work on our live act, and every member needs to have the same commitment -it’s like a chain being as strong as its weakest link. And a few albums on we would’ve developed the songwriting into something special, instead we never got past the 12 song demo stage…


Rhombic Void on Reverb Nation

I’ve added my old band, Rhombic Void, to Reverb Nation for some of the free downloads. I’m finding it quite useful in that respect, it’s fairly easy for people to download. They don’t need to join or jump through.

I’ve noticed I’ also reached chart position no.6 on the Lismore alternative on Reverb Nation. I don’t think it means much, because there aren’t many acts in that category, but hey, it’s something to yarn about. However, I did fall about 1000 places on the global all-genre’s chart.


Looking back on Rhombic Void

I’ve found that reading several books on the music industry has helped me look back on my experience in a band in the 90’s (called Rhombic Void). In the greater scheme of things it’s all about learning the lessons of life and striving to better oneself from one’s mistakes. But I’ve realised only just recently that the more you do your research, the more you’ll capitalise from these lessons, otherwise you can just continue on with your bad habits and ignorance.

If there’s one regret I have, it’s why didn’t I do my homework back in the day. In all probability it wouldn’t have made much of a difference, as none of us had discussed about really going for it career-wise. In a sense we were typically ‘middle-class’ coming from backgrounds where any consideration to go into the entertainment or culture industries was frivolous, vain, even embarrassing and almost definitely futile. I suppose the others treated it as a serious hobby, while I dreamed about making it something more without really communicating and discussing it.

Furthermore, I think I wasted a lot of time, effort and energy because I didn’t have an understanding how the industry worked. Like building a fan-base for a band, or developing the appropriate contacts. And like the typical amateur I was, I readily sent out home-made demos to every record label address I could find without considering if it was an appropriate genre and who I could contact personally. I just thought (or assumed) that the music industry was this tight little family (in Australia anyway), and if you got one contact, then you were ‘in’, and it wouldn’t be long before a record company would come along, patch up all the band’s inadequacies and send you on the road to a rock’n’roll career.

So, looking back now with ’20-20′ hindsight, there are certain things I would’ve done. I would have invested in every ‘how to’ book on the music industry I could get my hands on. Heck, I could gone to the library and probably found useful stuff. Back then I just relied on the local mags, but the band needed more direction and background input.

And it’s not just about trying to make a ‘career’, (it was super competitive back then as it is now), but giving yourself the best shot. There still may have been no way to give up our day jobs, but building a modest fan-base of even a 100 fans would have been a rewarding experience.

And other things on the business side I would do (that I had no idea about back then):

<> Draw up split letters so every member is clear about the copyright splits.

<> Communicate with other band members about what we specifically want out of the band and how we can go about it, rather than just float along vaguely.

<> Go to available music-biz conferences and showcase events (appropriate to budge and genre)

<> Actively seek bands of similar circumstance and genre that we could gig with (and allow greater chances down the road to support bands just ahead of us).

<> Research indie labels and publishes appropriate to our genre and location, rather than just send demos out unsolicited to every address willy-nilly.

<> Along side the band, do other music projects (accompany singers etc) and build up a network of other musos, so if the band needs a new member or falls through I already have a network to work with.

<> Given more thought to my presentation and be more sociable.

I suppose back then I thought it was just simple: get a band together, write songs, do demos, get gigs. That was what it was all about. You do it because you enjoy it, right? Why waste time reading up on business stuff anyway? Well, looking back on it, doing the homework would have allowed me to work smarter, rather than just harder, and allowed us to get more out of the band even if we couldn’t make a career of it. Rather than a handful of friends and family for fans, we might have got a hundred or a thousand people who enjoyed our gigs and paid for our recordings. Rather than find a gig once every blue moon, we may have got a gig or two a month (it was a time when venues were closing and poker machines were taking over). Rather than doing a demo live-to-DAT, we might have launched a professional sounding EP or two. We might have got a write up in the local music mag, and we’d be better musicians for it.


Obout my old band…


I’ve been notified that Geocities is closing down, which was where my old band (Rhombic Void) held its website. So I’ve scrapped the remaining memories and put them on it’s myspace page -even though Rhombic Void is defunct it’s nice to keep the memories running. And to add to the vanity project, I’ve pasted the bio and song run-down into this post…

The Rhombic Void Story
Rhombic Void began in 1995 under the name of “Half Constructed Beard” . Starting out as an ad hoc blues and jazz outfit, we have developed into a rock band of many influences. However, at the time of forming, the bands main aim was to have fun, consisting of 2 guitarists, a drummer, bassist, singer and flautist.
We played at the local club, which hoped to pull in the uni student crowd. On our first gig, we pulled in no less than a total of 8 dedicated fans, which did not encourage a continuing relationship with the club. However, we managed to play the odd party and college bash over the year, and as time went by, our line up changed and molded into a four piece. The flautist and one of the guitarist left for overseas, and we picked up a singer -Rod.
So with this line-up, including Tim on bass, me (Don) on guitar, Dave Rule on drums and Rod as our frontman and singer, we began to get a vision and started some serious song-writing. The first song to emerge was “Traveller”, which sparked a chemistry with its catchy rhythm and melody. Other songs that came from this line-up included “Burning Eyes”, “Dream World”, “Only the Lonely”, “Gasoline” and “Funk Cafe”.
By 1997 we had performed at several parties and local pub gigs, performing our originals as well as some covers such as U2’s “Even Better than the Real Thing”, “All Along the Watchtower”, “Cross Roads” and other classics. However, the line-up began to break up as the drummer left due to career constraints, and the singer moved outside Sydney for studies. As a result, it was a quiet stage for the Void, but we used the time to work on our song-writing, thus producing “Plastic Woman”, “Fire Breather” and “Worm” (still not really finished), as well as finishing up some loose ends of all the old songs.
Since we had lost half our line, we also used the best part of the year searching for replacements. Advertising in local mags (“Drum Media” etc), we talked and interviewed several singers, who were turned down usually for problems with “attitude” and “ego”, before we got to even test for talent. Drummers seemed to have more reasonable personalities, and were joined in our line up by a drummer called Alfie. So for a good 6-9 months we survived as a three piece, working on some more material with almost enough for 2 sets of original material.
The final stage to date, occurred during Autumn of ’98, as Alfie left the line-up, but we found a new drummer in the form of Jason Russell, who has had much experience in several Christian bands through the uni circuit. Furthermore, we were also fortunate to get our old singer, Rodrigo back, as he moved back to the inner city, and thus our present line-up is a solid four piece.

Rhombic Void Songs
Below is a list of some of our songs, which we hope you will have the opportunity to listen to one day.

The Traveller
This song is one of our first original compositions, which came together well. The guitar melody was originally written for flute but the flautist left soon after the song was written. However we discovered it was more catchy on guitar anyway, and flows well over the boppy rhythm beat. The words have vague meanings about the pilgrimage of life, but the nature of the song suggests it is not too serious.

Courage in that Lonely Hour
This song is also about the long and winding road of life, with allusions to the spiritual battle with its highs and lows. It has a mixture of influences, with a Flamenco rhythm and pumkinesque melody line. We also tried to gain contrast with the fuzzy bridge section and the main melody.

Burning Eyes
Another oldie of ours, Burning Eyes is a small epic. Slightly atmospheric in the verse, we tried to contrast that with a melodic (but dark) chorus. It is another of our more “serious” numbers.

Only the Lonely
This song is another of the first songs written. It is simple but catchy, even though the lyrics are flavoured with a bit of “doom and gloom”

Plastic Woman
The words from this song were originally inspired by a nasty “relationship” experience Tim had with a girl years ago, and were adapted by Don with the music. This song is one of our more complicated numbers, grungy in parts but also playing around with the rhythm in the solo break (there is no lead guitar).

Rod wrote the lyrics as a poem years ago, and when Tim came up with the bass line, he added a simple yet beautiful melody over the top. It sort of has a “Dire Straits” influence to it.

Gasoline is a slow grungy number, mixing the blues scale with an exotic minus9 major4 scale (I don’t know the technical term for it). Don’t try and read anything into the lyrics, because they don’t really mean anything.

Dream World
Keeping in line with the title, the music for this song is dreamlike with a slightly medieval feel as well. One of our “pop” numbers, the words are as deep as you’re willing to make them.

Elephant Man
One of our funk numbers, and despite its off-beat lyrics, it is actually intended to be sincere and not in bad taste. We were trying to convey a desire to be grateful for whatever looks one may have.

Funk Cafe
Obviously another funk number. This one is just for fun.

Fire Breather
This is one of our rocky numbers, starting with a drum solo, then building up with bass, and bursting in with a fiery guitar riff. It also has a mellow interlude that provides a balance.


From the sea of failed 90’s bands…

I’ve been practising on the same guitar instrumental for a few weeks now. It’s basically my version of a ‘shredder’, only I’m not that great at shredding (playing guitar like a wiz such as Joe Satriani etc…). I like tapping, so for the intro part I’m taping with two tracks, either side of the ‘stereo’ (when mixed with my friend at the studio -who has postponed my for the second time, and I’m guessing that this Saturday which he promised will be postponed again…)

Anyway, it’s just going to be a demo so far, because I’m going to need a lot of help with the percussion and drumming.  I’m plan to shop around later, see if I can get a good drummer or even traditional military drum sounds. Just an idea at the mo’ anyways.

In the meantime I’m also working on some other songs, trying to get my vocals up to scratch. I don’t plan to be a singer per se,  but I want to be good enough so that a pro singer would want to cover my song. Something like that.

To give you a broad view of my situation -I’m a bit of a washed up muso, with tons of songs lying around, with the main hope of having one of my better-crafted songs covered or even published… And even if my band, like the sea of bands out there from the 90’s who couldn’t get a gig in the digital/DJ/rave age,  hardly made a tiny dent of an impression in the music scene of it’s day, I still have a resource of songs I can use.