The last month and a half has been a stifling experience, to say the least. I'll do my best.
Beginning of October, I signed out on transition leave and officially made my way out of the active duty Army. The last five years of my Army experience have been... interesting, populated with a plethora of both good and bad memories. I think that is a safe assumption for anyone who has served before. I'll save the long farewell speech and say that the Army did teach me a lot of neat job skills, and it did allow me to network with a lot of good people. But it also presented me with a lot of bad people and their atrocious habits. It presented me with a vast amount of unpleasantries, which all seem trivial on their own, but they do add up. To a vast amount. I won't get into it, because it's all in the past now, and it would just be mundane and trivial to do so.
And now I sit here, in between jobs. Newly transferred out of the service, joining the civilian work force once again. I've worked as a civilian for years before the Army, so it's not unfamiliar to me. I know how the world works... for the most part. I'm taking the steps to get back on my feet. My family depends on it. Again, lots of details there as well, but I won't get into it. I will only get so personal with an online blog.
But my life right now currently puts me in an awkward, and very interesting position. Or several positions, rather.
If you follow me on my FB page (if you don't, it's cool, you're not missing THAT much, unless you like memes), you may know that I was recently added to the ranks of Iraconji, a Nashville death/thrash metal band. I play drums for the band. It's been VERY exciting, and it has reminded me of all the joys and excitement of playing in an active band. This is something that I was missing out on over the last five years, because of the Army. I feel rejuvenated, as the strongest moments of my life before have mostly stemmed from being in an active band. Performing for people. Recording. Producing results. Getting our names out there. Playing in a band and being a part of a metal force, and to be recognized for it (that sounds pretty arrogant but I promise you that is not the intention) has made up the core of who I am as a person. I belong in a band. I belong behind the drum kit. I feel at my best in said situations. Mentally, I am at ease. Playing in Iraconji is not only fun as shit, but it has done absolute wonders for my mental health and stability. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't play an instrument, or at least plays an instrument on a serious and dedicated level. Playing in a band and creating music as one full entity, with similar creative minds, has always brought me total inner peace. My mentality feels equalized. Depression practically disappears. Emotions are almost always positive. This greatly counteracts the trials and tribulations that I have experienced over the last five years.
I sincerely hope that anyone else out there who plays an instrument in a semi-serious fashion can only understand what I mean by all of that. It's more than just a hobby for me. It's a passion. It's awakening.
Of course, being a father and a husband plays a very important role of my being as well. In fact, that is first and foremost. Always will be. Just trying to be at my best as a dad and another half. It also brings me great joy and pleasure to see my child display things that I have taught her; to see the things that I do bring joy to her life, and vice versa. I think this goes without saying. Again, I hope some of you out there agree with me on that, as well. Being a parent is the shit - enough said, right?
Anyway - I am in between jobs. I'm falling back on my skills as a mechanic. It's what I have been doing the longest, professionally-speaking. I was a welder in the military, and while those jobs are out there, I'm in a position in my life right now where I can't quite jump on them. So I'm seeking employment elsewhere, as a mechanic. Or if something else comes along that allows me to provide.
I'm in a position where I can chase the ultimate dream and pursue music full time. Iraconji as a whole is nowhere near the level (yet!) to do this, but I have alternative means an ideas. I am trying to branch out as a studio drummer. I'm looking for session work in Nashville and surrounding areas. I don't care what genre it is. All I ask is for compensation. I have been behind the drumkit for 20 years now, and I know my way around it. I can cover many different genres. I think that I am pretty marketable as a musician. And of course, if you know about my solo project Algarothsyum (see links below, /shamelessplug), I can play guitar as well. I'm not really venturing out as a guitarist, but I figured I would at least mention it. There's no harm in that, right?
Another idea that I have been materializing is becoming a drum teacher in Clarksville. I have the necessary equipment in my own home to do so. I'm working on a plan to offer weekly lessons by appointment to anyone who desires to learn the drums. I come from a strong background of drum instruction, and I have experience in marching band as well, which is also pretty marketable here in town, given the schools that we have here. I haven't finalized anything yet as far as rates and individual plans and curriculum yet, but it is definitely in the works. I have taught people before on various topics (mostly in the military), and honestly I did enjoy teaching and training, quite a bit. I feel like I could do well to teach music to younger students (or older, doesn't matter!), because I really did get solid satisfaction out of doing so. Spreading the wealth of music around is a dying art, and frankly I feel like I would have failed if I didn't partake in doing so. So this is something that I really want to do.
I can't sit around and wait for it to happen, of course - I have to jump on it and do it. In the meantime, I will still have to work a day job. And that's ok. If it allows my family to live under a roof and to keep food in their gullets, I will do it. My point here is that I am formulating several plans here that will allow me to do just that, doing what I truly love - playing music. Music has always been a life passion ever since I first picked up a pair of drum sticks, sat behind a kit and bashing the hell out of the drums. That will never die. So why not make it a dream job?
The only thing that is stopping me, is myself. I'm writing this blog right now, not only to motivate myself to get off my ass and do it, but to hopefully motivate anyone else out there who MIGHT be reading this. Don't get me wrong, I do like turning wrenches and fixing stuff, and I am pretty good at it as well. But it's not my life calling. I don't want to do it forever. I KNOW some of you out there can relate to this.
Coming home from work every day while in the Army left me a miserable wreck. The Army is not for me - I'll just leave it as that. It did provide me with great things, though, which should not be unrecognized. I was able to buy a house for myself and my family. It moved us to the great state of Tennessee, which in turn introduced us to the big circle of friends we have now. It has brought great, great joy to my wife's life and mental state as well. It brought me to another continent, in another country, and allowed me to experience and see the truly hard life, which in turn left me with the mentality that we really should never take anything in life for granted. It introduced me to the amazing metal scene in Nashville, which now I can proudly claim that I am a part of. Without the military, these things would very like have never happened. I'll say that much.
I feel like I've been back and forth with this blog post, but I can say that everything I have said has been heartfelt. I hope you readers get something out of it, at least. Feel free to comment, or add me on FB and talk to me there about it, or whatever. I encourage interaction, because I love to hear other people's stories as well.
Now, now that's out of the way...
In other news - Algarothsyum is at a standstill at the moment. My recording PC is officially wrecked. It needs a new GPU, and I can't justify spending anything on it to get it running again. It's simply too old and outdated. So until I can get a new means of recording material, I will focus on just writing the rest of the new album. Plus, I've shifted my main musical focus towards Iraconji, as we are ramping up to record our debut album in the winter, as well as gearing up for several shows. The momentum of Iraconji is in full swing, and frankly the ride so far has been amazing. I want to stay on track of it. If you have been patiently awaiting the new Algarothsyum album, thank you. I greatly appreciate your patience, I really do. But you will have to wait a while longer, indefinitely. It's unfortunate but these things happen. It will be a while. With that said, I would love for you to check us out! Iraconji is based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and we play a healthy blend of death and thrash metal. If that sounds like your thing, please feel free to like our page on Facebook. We update regularly, so you won't be left in the dark with the details. You won't regret it.
Oh yes, one more thing - back in September, I released a 5-track EP under the name Vhyle, and it's called "Morning Light". It's an instrumental, all-acoustic, mellow album. It's dark, somber, comforting, and easy going. It's a short depiction of the wide array of emotions and life experiences that I have dealt with over the last year or so. There are no lyrics, but the meaning is there. Anybody out there who has dealt with heartbreak, depression, or joy and enlightenment, you should find your particular sound in the record. At least I hope you do. If not, enjoy it anyway, because it's chill music that you can sit back and sip on your favorite cocktail to.
The EP is available at Bandcamp, and you can get a digital copy for a mere $4.
Ok, that's about it for now. Thank you for reading this supremely long blog entry, and again, please feel free to comment. If you want to talk to me personally, hit me up on Facebook. Any questions you want to ask, I'm fair game. Until next time... *cue outtro music*
PS: here are some links for you, if you're not in the know.
http://www.facebook.com/Vhyle - my personal page
http://www.facebook.com/Algarothsyum - my solo project
http://www.facebook.com/Iraconji - my band
http://vhylemusic.bandcamp.com - the Vhyle - Morning Light EP