about the phil ware experience
In the beginning there was thrash, and it was good. It just wasn't by me.
I started listening to Metallica in 1985. I credit "Freestylin' Magazine" with the introduction, since it was Lew's review of "Ride the Lightning" paired with a "Thrasher Magazine" interview from around the same time that convinced me to check out this up-and-coming band. Well, Pushead's art had a little to do with it, as well. It was new, and it was amazing. It was hard, it was heavy and dirty and mean. It was also guitar-driven, completely outside of my musical tastes at the time, and completely intoxicating. I wanted to do this. Problem? No guitar.
In 1986/7, in 8th grade, there was this new kid in school and, having similar interests, we fell in thick as theives. He was going to be a drummer and after talking for a while...our drummer. We decided we needed a band! Sonic Repercussions was the name we settled on.
Problem? Neither of us had instruments.
He got his drums and I put a Kramer Aerostar ZX10 on layaway at Alpha Music over the summer of '87. I then snapped my knee and my dad bailed the guitar out. He is, as the say, the man.
So, it came to be that I needed lessons. It's impossible to dispute this. So, I took lessons from the coolest teacher ever. She insisted I play and string the guitar in the same direction, "You're not Jimi...pick one," and so, I am, to this day, a left-handed thrash metal guitarist. She also would sit me down with my Metallica songbooks and teach me
the theory, to a point, behind "One," "Welcome Home," "Master of Puppets," and "Dyer's Eve." We didn't get very far. On the day I showed up for my lesson with my shiny, used Kramer Condor custom (pictured in my prom photo, above....note the scalloped frets from 14 up -- MAN, I miss those), she skipped town.
Then came lessons from a teacher that was not as cool and not understanding of what *I* wanted as much as I would have liked. I quit. I haven't had a lesson since, for better or worse.
In college in the early '90s, Metallica still ruled the day and I started recording my own songs. I started writing lyrics, prolifically, in high school, but didn't do much with the music -- in a serious, could be considered a good song way -- until college.
Because the electronics in the Condor were suspect at best, I decided I needed a change. Back to Alpha Music. For the record, sales people love it when you walk in and say, "I'm buying a guitar, today." What I walked out with was a Jackson Stealth EX which, with some modifications, is still in use, today, some 21 years later.
Recording became a lot easier and more "professional" as I traded in my pedals for a QuadraverbGT and the ol' stereo for recording in favor of a Fostex 4-track. Many a demo knew what it was to be recorded in the depths of a sloar that day, I can tell you.
I've recorded a LOT of songs over the years and have, to a certain degree, gotten better and more proficient at my craft.
Steady as she goes, really, and nothing changed in the landscape of instruments or gear for a while. I bought a different amp, inadvertently burned out the QuadraverbGT, replaced it with several multi-effects floor pedals until settling on what I still use, today, a DigiTech RP350. The USB-out is the bees knees and really helped me record a LOT of things, but still gave rise to latency issues with the audio hardware on computers, today. So, I picked up a MobilePre+ and it solved the USB overdub conundrum.
I then decided to take the aging electronics in the Jackson and do something about them -- the crackling jack, crackling switch and, for whatever reason, the passive pickups in favor of actives. This did two things...first, it took the Jackson out of "recording ready" status for over a year and a half and so, secondly, brought the Ibanez into the fold; a cheap Gi0, lefty.
So, we come to the present where my recording and playing involves less gear aquisition and more creative output and working on refining the music, itself. That said, when my birthday came around, this past year, the Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Diamond Series entered the fold. This is a truly beautiful guitar and while fairly low on the overall Schecter totem pole of products, there's nothing cheap about this instrument and has some damned fine tone -- the diamond series pickups are light years ahead of whatever Ibanez put into the Gi0, and, for my money, tighter, really, than the Seymour Duncan Blackouts. True story.
So, now, the gear lineup is complete and is viewable over on the gear page. The current projects involve recording both a decent run down of covers as well as a metric ton of original music. Here's where technology has really helped -- GuitarPro has really helped in capturing a ton of riffs that would, ordinarily, have disappeared into the mists of "I don't remember." So, I am looking at doing more recording soon.
In addition to recording my own music, I've started looking into the world of production. I had the opportunity to mix and produce Brendan Loughrey's "Erin" album. This was an experience like none other. I encourage you to check it out. Additionally, on the production page, I'm putting up some work samples on the off chance you need something mixed and my "style" of mixing appeals to you.