Tuesday, October 30, 2007

XONE in Beats Per Minute Maps

Last January, I wrote a blog about how XONE’s music couldn’t be fit into nice, tight Beat Per Minute (BPM) maps. I wasn’t the only one who was convinced that trying to make complex BPM maps for each XONE song was not working. After about 8 months of trying, we completely let go of the idea of using a Dell laptop with 512MB of RAM to tap BPMs into Sonar 4 PE and make BPM maps.

Then, while I was on vacation in Florida in July, I bought a Guitar One magazine to read while I was lounging on a beautiful white sand beach. It was a special Prog Rock issue, that featured an article on John Petrucci. Petrucci is undoubtedly one of my favorite guitarists ever, so I couldn’t wait to read his interview. I was completely stunned, but also, totally invigorated to read this quote:

“…most of our listeners don’t realize this…when we’re recording, we need tempo and arrangement references at all times, because the songs are long and they constantly shift tempos and time signatures. So once a song is written, there’s this whole process of writing a click track (on our DAW), where we go through and map out every time signature, bar, tempo change, feel change, whether the accent within the click track changes…The click track can sometimes take a couple of days. But the good thing about it, is that once we’ve finished that and have it locked in, we’ve got a map of the song. And that’s a very important part of making the songs come out tight…” John Petrucci (Guitar One-June 2007 Issue)

This single paragraph got me to start
rethinking the idea of making BPM maps.
Luckily, Jason and I were now using Pro Tools in a Mac with 2GB of RAM, and that seemed to be the difference. We are now making BPM maps for every song on our third CD, and it is working like a charm!! It has completely freed all of us from any questions regarding correct tempo in any particular section of our songs. I have been laying down scratch guitar to the BPM maps so that Ted can practice and record his parts up in Portland.

So, basically, I’m saying what I wrote in January 2007 is WRONG,
and what John Petrucci was quoted as saying in June is CORRECT!
I am not fool enough to think I am more experienced than JP!
I knew as soon as I read the paragraph that we had to get back to it.
I am so glad that we did, as recording this third CD will be a lot of fun as a result,
And a way tighter album than we’ve ever produced before.

Thanks John Petrucci!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

A New Live Video XONE

Following a successful 2-man performance by XONE at La Conga in September, we’ve decided to post a video of one our songs from that night.

Three songs into our show, we inserted a Free Jam that we basically played out of nowhere, in the moment. Since we were just guitar and drums that night, Jason and I decided to keep the guitar parts simple and let the drums carry the tune.

I (Will) used the Jam to show off some of the cool features of my Line 6 Vetta HD Amplifier (Ver 2.50). I use all custom Vetta patches made by me for my particular setup/rig. NO Factory Patches Allowed!!!

I started off the Jam with a Clean tone using the Fender Bassman Head for the Low, Low-Mid part of the patch, and the Line 6 Super Clean for the HI-Mid, Hi part of the patch, then morphed that patch into a Rush-like flange. Then I switched to a Hi-Gain patch utilizing a Line 6 Big Bottom (Mesa Triple Rectifier into Rivera Los Lo Bottom cab) for the Low, Low-Mid part of the patch, and a Line 6 Spinal Puppet (Suped-up Marshall) for the HI-Mid, Hi part of the patch. I finished the Jam with a Synth tone that I’m really proud of.

Jason, of course, did his usual job of pumping out the excellent driving and accented beats, that he produces at will…well not directly at me…on the club’s house kit, which doesn’t sound as sweet as Jason’s own Yamaha kit!
But you can bang ‘em like crazy!

We had a lot of fun playing for everyone that night, especially Shaun Luera, from Sifa, who stood up at the stage during our flagrant exercise in creating a wall of sound!! Anyway, Here’s the video posted at You Tube:

XONE Free Jam at La Conga Video

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thanks for a Great Night at La Conga!!!

Thank You, Friends of XONE!!!!!

We want to sincerely thank everyone who came out
and supported the 2-Man version of XONE last night at La Conga!!
It was an awesome evening,
and YOU excellent people made it all possible.

Playing for you is a special treat for us now,
since we are essentially a recording band, with Ted in Portland.
Last night was a great reminder of why we love playing music so much,
and that is the connection with our friends in the live environment!

Thanks again for coming out,
and stay tuned for the upcoming release of our second CD “The 4th Dimension” !!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Impromptu XONE Show Thursday Sept 13 at La Conga!!!

And Then There Were TWO…

Though Ted is still in Portland, and can’t logistically play Bass for XONE, Will and Jason will be playing an impromptu set of XONE’s classic material, Including songs from our upcoming CDs Thursday September 13 at La Conga in San Pedro at 9pm.

We’ll have copies of XONE’s debut CD,
And new XONE stickers…all for FREE!!!
La Conga is a great local Mexican restaurant.
The Live Music venue is located up the stairs in the main entrance to the restaurant.
There is NO Cover Charge!
We hope you’ll come out and join us for a fun night of XONE music,
in San Pedro’s newest Live Music venue!!

We hope to see you there!!

XONE 9pm
La Conga
465 W. 7th Street
San Pedro, Ca 90731
310 833 3388

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Long Distance XONE

Longtime XONE Bassist Ted Heming has moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue his fortune with his new catering business! Does this mean the end of XONE? Not in the age of technology!!

We’ve had a lot of fun over the last 4 years playing together as XONE, playing at the Blue Mule, KOOS, and the numerous venues we’ve played together. The most fun, though, was the creative process we undertook to write original songs together back at the Blue Mule. I personally will never forget those days when we were the “richest men in the whole world”, writing songs, and playing loud twice a week, without fail. Ted is the best music partner and friend that anyone could have. It hurts to lose him, but I have hope that we will continue to make new music from across the great divide. Thanks to the Internet, computers, and specialized software/hardware, Ted and I can continue XONE as a long distance project.

Luckily, Ted’s departure does not mean an end to XONE. In fact, both our second and third CDs will be mixed, mastered, and distributed. It’s just that now, the third CD will be recorded long distance with the help of modern technology. Ted knows all of his bass lines like the back of his hand, so it is merely a matter of tracking his parts. I (Will), and Jason will track our parts first and then send a stereo recording of both instruments to Ted. Ted will then record his Bass parts direct into Cakewalk and then send his mono tracks to me over the Internet. We may have lost the live aspect of our music partnership, but we haven’t lost the recording arena.

We hope you’ll stay tuned for our best music yet to come!!
Will and Ted

You can stay connected to the future of XONE by reading our BLOG at:

Our second CD “The 4th Dimension” is currently being mixed and mastered.
It will be our biggest musical venture to date,
and guaranteed to blow your mind!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Custom Floorboard XONE

You know what they don’t make? Floorboards for musicians that are big enough to accommodate today’s larger effects/guitar foot controllers for musicians who do double-duty in their bands by playing and singing. Setting up the gear for both a band player and a singer is a job for two persons already. When you play and sing, you do both setups. Adding new gear to this large setup requires simplification of the floor controller area into a single manageable entity. Like I said, they don’t make such a thing. You must create it yourself.

We get about 10 minutes to set up in Los Angeles area clubs. I realized that if I was going to add any new gear to my live rig, I would have to account for the setup fitting into the 10-minute limit. Otherwise, you’ll be playing a 3-song set between setup and breakdown. I recently added the TC Helicon VoiceLive, Behringer Shark Feedback Destroyer, and AKG Guitar Bug Wireless to my rig.

My setup was already pretty complex
since I am the guitarist and singer for my band, XONE.
I knew that I would have to create a custom floorboard to mount all my new gear on, as well as, my current Line 6 FBV Floor Controller. So I went to Home Depot (hardware store)
and built myself a custom floorboard after walking the aisles for
3 hours searching for the right parts. I used a conglomeration
of bathroom hardware and fence hardware to create something
that just doesn't exist - a custom floorboard for multiple, large pedals.

I basically took some 3/4 inch plywood and cut a 44.5 inch long by 19 inch wide piece that I painted Black. The first pic shows an overview of the entire board. It shows the VL, Behringer Shark, Line 6 FBV Guitar Foot Controller, AKG Wireless Receiver, Belkin Surge Protector, and assorted AC Power wall warts for the different components. I used two bathroom towel holders, with the bottom hooks Dremeled off, to create separate cleats to wrap my extension cord and Mic cable around for easy transport. Tie Wraps tied to small, metal L brackets keep everything in place. I can turn the whole floorboard upside down and nothing falls off or dangles
It also includes 2 handles so I can carry the floorboard
like a surfboard under my arm.

The second pic shows a closer view of the VoiceLive area with the VoiceLive and Shark next to each other. I've used simple bathroom clothes hangers wrapped in gaffer's tape to keep the VoiceLive's front edge in place, but still allow me to step on the switches.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The third pic is a close overview of the VoiceLive's area.
It shows the L brackets used to keep the VL in place at the rear
using Tie Wraps.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The fourth pic shows a side view of the entire Custom Floorboard.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The fifth pic shows the VoiceLive pulled back a bit from the clothes hooks used to keep the VL's front edge in place.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hopefully these pictures illustrate how one can simplify a complex Stomp Setup into an easily manageable system for live setup.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Wireless XONE

I’ve long coveted both wireless for my Guitar and wireless for my Vocals. To be able to jump off the stage and play amongst people is a very interesting concept to me. The only way that I (Will) can do it in XONE, is if I have wireless for both since I play guitar and sing. This idea has led me into a three-year hunt for wireless products adaptable to my particular situation and needs.

I took my first step into wireless in 2005, when I purchased the Shure PG14 Guitar wireless system. My friend Brian got me a great deal at Guitar Center. Over a two-month period, I attempted to integrate the PG14 into my current rig of (Ibanez RG1570>Line 6 Vetta HD>Marshall 1960A cab). It didn’t work. The PG14 took all the “life” out of my killer custom Vetta patches. A friend at the Institute Of Noise Vetta Forum had the same problem with his PG14.

Obviously, the PG14 wouldn’t work for guitar, but I found out that I could get a nice Headworn Condenser mic for my PG14, since the UT14 UHF Shure Receiver was the same for vocals. The condenser mic was awesome and totally transformed my ability to play guitar, stomp-switch patches on my Vetta FBV floorboard, and hold long notes in certain parts. I didn’t have to stand in front of a mic stand to play and sing anymore. I was sold! We played a bunch of shows with that rig and I never got interference once on my headset.

I still never gave up on getting wireless for the guitar, but I had already put together a very large stage setup for myself with my two Ibanez RGs, Vetta HD, Marshall 1960A cab, FBV Footcontroller, Shure Headset Mic and receiver, Behringer Shark Feedback Destroyer, and TC Helicon VoiceLive Vocal effects processor. Adding to this complex setup isn’t easy. I had to build a custom floorboard to mount my FBV, Shark, and VoiceLive on so that they took way less time to setup at a show. I loved my sound, but I had created a massive gear setup issue.

Recently, I was given two college graduation gifts. I had wanted a Ferrari, but what musician needs that? You can’t use it in your live rig! So I got a newer Shure WCM16 Headworn Mic that has a HyperCardioid, Unidirectional Condenser Microphone in it. It will allow less noise bleed through my mic ( and the VL).

And I got an AKG WMS 40 Guitar BUG wireless guitar system.
The Bug is this tiny little transmitter that connect to both Gibson-style and Fender-style guitar input jacks and allows complete wireless freedom. I’m going to mount the receiver on a new custom floorboard that I’m building today to accommodate all my pedals and allow easy setup at shows.

I’m now completely wireless. Expect me to be standing next you during my next live solo…

Thursday, May 31, 2007

XONE Returns, Live Tuesday June 19, 2007 at 10pm!!!

Come down to the Blue Cafe and see us play on June 19, and pick up our debut XONE CD and XONE sticker for FREE.
Guaranteed to make you feel good inside!

Also, we're working diligently to mix and master our upcoming, second CD,
and we’ve into pre-production on our third.
We're looking forward to releasing a total of three CDs in 2007!

Once again, Amy from Glass Kitten Productions has booked us in an awesome venue, and we're psyched to play somewhere new and with Amy again!
So come on out and see us LIVE at The Blue Cafe, Tuesday June 19th!
Come see all the bands as the place will be Rockin' Hard!!!
...A New Era In Progressive Metal...
Show starts at 9:00pm
XONE goes on at 10pm

Tuesday June 19 at 10pm
The Blue Cafe
210 The Promenade
Long Beach, Ca 90802
21+ only

Right off the 710 South Long Beach Freeway. Exit Broadway and The Blue Cafe is located one block past Pine Ave on the left hand side on the city Promenade, half a block from Pine Avenue Restaurant Row.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Re-Tracking XONE

XONE is currently mixing and mastering their second CD of original Progressive music. The album was tracked from November 2006 to January 2007 at a local recording studio. Will, Ted, and drummer Gino DiLeva tracked the album, with the drums being completed on five songs in a single day. The performances are excellent, and we took the tracks we recorded home to mix on Cakewalk Sonar. Unfortunately, the Bass tracks are decidedly un-useable.

The mix down process has been slow, due to my (Will’s) final college semester, so the work began in earnest after I handed in my final history paper last week. Sunday, Ted and I set to mixing the new CD together. I had mentioned to Ted that we might re-track some bass if need be, and he quickly agreed that the bass tracks were way messed up. The studio had insisted on tracking the Bass both Direct and with a Mic. The Line 6 Bass POD XT Pro is set up be utilized for either Direct or Miked, but NOT both at the same time. Unfortunately, I did not speak up and insist that we ONLY record the Bass POD XT Pro DIRECT. It would have saved me and especially Ted, a great deal of work.

Needless to say, we had to re-track the bass parts for the CD. So using my new Line 6 Toneport KB37 with Bass model packs installed, Ted re-tracked his Bass parts yesterday utilizing patches in Line 6 Gearbox we created from the versions on his Line 6 Bass POD. The results were excellent! The tracks are clean and easily sound better with Waves plug-ins. Even though it took a whole day of tracking to complete, the tracks have made a huge difference in the overall sound of this next XONE CD.
Stay tuned for it’s release this Summer 2007!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thank You Rhythm Lounge!!!

We want to thank everyone who came out to see us last night at the Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach!!! We couldn’t have done it without you!!!
Jen, John, Mike, Jeremy, Jai, Don, Jessie…
You guys totally rule!!!

Special thanks to the Rhythm Lounge for having us, Johnny, Limon, Brian, The Judge,
and to Crush for being so cool!! You guys rock!!
We had a lot of fun playing for all of you last night, and we look forward to making it back to the Rhythm Lounge soon!!

We’re still working on mixing and mastering of our 2nd CD,
and we’re lining up shows for this summer.
So come on out and see us,
and get our Debut CD FREE!!!!
Plus free XONE stickers to plaster your favorite band everywhere!!!

Stay Tuned for more XONE action
by checking out our XONE BLOG at: http://www.xonelive.com

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Come see XONE Live Monday May 14 7:30pm at the Rhythm Lounge

Come out and see XONE play live in the Battle of the Bands at the Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach, California for a blistering set of Progressive Metal!!! We'll be giving out FREE XONE debut CDs with new XONE stickers!
Monday May 14, 2007 at 7:30pm...

Well, it's been a really long time since we've played LIVE for you guys.
We've searched for a new drummer,
and after a tuneup show,
it's time to release our debut CD!!!
Come down and see us in the Battle of the Bands,
and pick up our first XONE CD for FREE.
Free XONE Sticker with each CD!!!!
Guaranteed to make you feel good inside!!
It will also be the official debut of new drummer Jason Seger
with XONE!!!!

Monday May 14 at 7:30pm
$10 Cover 21+ only
The Rhythm Lounge
245 Pine Avenue
2nd Level
Long Beach, CA 90802

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Sticker XONE

One of the most FUN things about being a band is getting stickers made up for your fans to proudly display their favorite band. They can go anywhere and if you’ve got a cool Logo, then you’re going to find all kinds of places to stick them, cop cars not included. We recently ordered our second set of stickers, and we’re excited to hand them out at our next show!

XONE was very excited when our friend, Director/Artist John Lechago, presented us with our new XONE Logo back in 2005. John drew the logo from his innate knowledge of XONE and it’s music. It helps that he’s one of our biggest fans from the beginning.
The logo was perfect, as it didn’t label us as one type of music or another, which is exactly what we are. We take many left/right turns in our music, and the logo captured our fluidity.

We had stickers made up for our Summer 2005 shows. When we first got them, Ted and I went crazy sticking them all over everything, our guitar cases, speaker cabinets, even my Vetta HD. We had them made by Contagious Graphics and they did a great job putting our Logo on black and white sticker. We handed those stickers out all summer until they were gone.

Jump now to 2007, and now that we’re ready to play live again, we thought we ought to get a new batch of stickers made. This time we added our URL to it so that folks could find our website from the backs of cars, etc…
We can’t wait to give these stickers to our fans!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Ibanez XONE –Part 1

Why do I love my Ibanez RG1570 and RG570 guitars? Cause they play better than any SuperStrat I’ve ever played. Don’t get me wrong; I love Gibson Les Paul style guitars. But technically, I prefer the SuperStrat design for playability and achieving my overall tone. Thus after playing a Fender Stratocaster for 12 years (and a Yamaha Acoustic for the 5 years before that), I, Will Austin, began a guitar search for a new, performance guitar in 2002.

I loved my Fender Stratocaster. But, see, I was a Metal player, and even though many of my guitar heroes such as Dave Murray of Iron Maiden and Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, used Stratocaster to get their Classic Metal sound, I needed a modern tone. Typically, Jackson Guitars were at the top of my list. I also considered a custom Strat. Guys like James Hetfield of Metallica, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, and even Randy Rhoads of Ozzy used Jackson guitars. They provided the classic Metal tone that we were all used to.
I had played a Charvel years earlier, and had loved it, playing stuff like White Zombie, Metallica, and Priest. It was truly a shredding guitar. Thus, I fully intended for the new guitar to be a Jackson/Charvel. Somehow, Ibanez slipped in to this mix right near the end.
I remembered that J Yuenger of White Zombie used Ibanez and I loved his tone. Also, Steve Vai, one of the best virtuoso guitar players in the world swore by Ibanez guitars.

I went to Guitar Center at 10am on a Wednesday in March 2002, bringing my Digitech RP-6 Multi-Effects Pedal, and my Monster Cables. I then proceeded to try the Jackson DKMG, Jackson SL-1, Jackson Randy Rhoads, Fender American Stratocaster, Ibanez S-Series, and Ibanez RG-Series guitars. I was looking for the guitar with the best playability and tone with my current rig. I plugged my RP-6 into a Marshall 100W head and 1960A 4x12 cab similar to my own rig. I spent 7 hours in GC trying guitars thru my rig. I really thought I would walk out of there with a Jackson SL-1. I left with the Ibanez RG570, and saved a couple hundred bucks. I really love this guitar. I’ve played many shows with it. It’s rock solid, and the V8 bridge pickup sounds great to me. The Wizard I neck is thin and easy to wrap my big hands around. The fretboard is spaced perfectly for fast neck runs.

In 2003, I bought a Line 6 Vetta I HD and it’s floor controller the FBV.
My tone was totally redefined for the better, and my Ibanez RG570 sounded more toneful than ever, just as XONE was really taking shape in terms of vision and material…

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Anyone who has ever increased or decreased the Low, Mid, or High on their home/car stereo to find a tone more pleasing to the ear has used EQ to shape sound. The entire realm of tone and sound involve a spectrum that runs from 20hz to 20khz. Every sound attainable by the human ear is represented here, and even a few it can’t. EQ is a major part of why XONE sounds like it does.

I’m sitting here now, mixing down the new version of “Beautiful One Day” that’s going to be on our second CD. The tempo is faster and the parts are more precise. Using Parametric EQ is how I’m going to get a 12 drum mic setup, Bass, and multiple tracks of guitar and Vocals to sit together nicely in sonic space. Now, I am no EQ wizard. But I do know this, Cut not boost, and if you boost, boost small and tight. I’m really learning a lot from working on this new CD, like I did working on our debut CD last summer.

EQ was already a big part of XONE’s overall band sound. Ted and I have always EQ’d our Line 6 Bass POD Pro XT and Vetta 2HD patches to work together sonically. When we make patches or a song, we make them at the same time, so we both cut thru: Ted on the Low End, me on the Highs, sharing the middle zone. Our Line 6 devices really allow us to dial in an exact blending of our tones to compliment each other. Ted, in particular, has an ear for EQ, so we rely on his expertise to finalize the process. He’s even tweaked parametric EQ on some of my Vetta patches, like Greed’s Rhythm patch. I use less Lows and Low Mids, and leave those for Ted to sound full and rich on Bass, not just thumpy. We want articulation in the Bass. In turn, I boost my Mids and Highs for my fullness and body, and so I cut thru. It’s a real finite process, as boosting any signal creates more noise as a side effect. Most of this live tone EQ-ing is done with the tone knobs on our Line 6 devices, and not much Parametric or Graphic EQ is used. These tones are recorded direct and then lightly EQ-ed in mixdown to give them more of their live sound.

On the new CD, I’m using the Waves Q-10 Parametric EQ per track, and it is awesome. We also really like the 7-band EQ in Jason’s Pro Tools! With every instrument challenging for sonic space, EQ is essential to give each one its own place in the mix. And that’s the EQ XONE

Here is Part 2

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Live Video XONE

Getting a quick, good, live video of your band for the Internet can be an easy thing to accomplish. All you need is a Mini-DV camera, someone to run it at your show, and a simple computer program like imovie (Mac), and you can easily create a video of a live song for your website.
Here's our new LIVE video from The Lighthouse on April 10, 2007.

XONE has been doing live videos for years. We try to take video of every live show we play, that way we can study our performance afterward, and as well get fodder for our website. Now there are 2 types of live video a band can get. One is just a standard recording that records the audio through the camera's mini microphone. Or you can record video with the camera (or multiple cameras), and record audio with a portable recording system. XONE has done both for years.

Admittedly, recording quality audio with a portable recording system requires a lot of setup time, and with most Los Angeles clubs giving you 10 minutes to setup, setting up a separate recording rig takes too much time. In those particular situations, we usually just take video and allow the mini-mic on the camera to capture the audio. It doesn't sound like a million bucks, but it does the job.

Our latest live video is a product of exactly this method. Our friend Jessie was the videographer at our last show at The Lighthouse, and he took excellent video that shows all three XONE members, all the time for the whole show. I cut the two best-performed songs from the tape and used imovie to add fade in/out and text: Song Title, Band, Location, Date, and Website URL. It's easily accomplished in about two hours, and bam! you've got new live video of your band on your website!

Here's the link to our new live video for Triangle

Here's the link to our live video of TKO

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Last night, XONE delivered a blistering set of Progressive Metal to the awesome crowd at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California! We played a 41-minute set, in what was an excellent return to playing live for the band. The in-house crowd at The Lighthouse gave us a loud response after every song and we really felt like our music psyched some people up!!!

It was XONE's first show back after a year of not playing live. It feels really great to get back on this horse. We were playing live regularly in 2004-2005, but a drummer search and recording took precedent in 2006. Now in 2007, we are back with a new CD in hand and two more in the works. We've got an awesome new drummer in Jason Seger, and playing live is a great release for all the hard work we've put in at our rehearsal room at KOOS, preparing for our next CD.

We were lucky to have our friend Jessie along to act as drum/gear roadie and videographer. Initially, the club wasn't going to allow Jessie in due to an expired driver's license, but Will, the excellent head of security at the Lighthouse, saved us by allowing Jessie inside.
YOU RULE, Will!!!!!!

The soundman, Ray, accommodated our every need, and he made us sound great after a few initial problems with the feed from my VoiceLive Vocal Effects pedal. I'm still getting the kinks out with that thing. Thanks again, Ray, you made us sound great!!!
Also, the management down there is great! CJ, the manager, took great care of us last night and we are very excited to return and deliver an even better performance worthy of such awesome hospitality. If you haven't been to The Lighthouse, it is a South Bay/Beach Cities institution. That place totally rocks!! It has an excellent vibe, and for bands, they offer easy access to the stage with your gear through the back door. The Lighthouse rules, and we'll be counting the days until we return!

In the meantime, we are pushing forward to our next live XONE show, the Battle of the Bands on Monday May 14 at 7:30pm at the Rhythmn Lounge In Long Beach, California...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Why XONE appreciates the musicianship of John Myung

Back in 2004, XONE was looking for a bassist. Most wanted ads for musicians are a couple of lines and typically pretty vague. The ad for a band named XONE was highly specific and lasted several paragraphs (which I won’t bore you with), but what stood out from many other bands listing metal and progressive influences (o.k. so there weren’t many) was that it cited a little known bassist at the time John Myung. Numerous bassists tried out for XONE and many of them came in stating that they listened to Geddy Lee or Steve Harris, but only one, the current bassist, understood and was attracted to Myung’s understated but unique style. So what is the special connection that XONE has with the musicianship of John Myung?

It was actually stated in the original ad, “We’re looking for a melodic bassist…” And that’s really the core of what makes John Myung’s playing memorable. For those of you not familiar with John Myung, he is the long-time bassist for Dream Theater, a progressive fusion band that mixes rock, metal, and jazz with progressive elements.

John’s role has been to bring a classically trained background into the realm of progressive metal bass playing. What this means is that the bass is utilized for more than just root notes (which is the typical rock style), rather it focuses on counterpoint melodies that are a close cousin to the rhythmic or melodic lead often played by certain guitarists including John Petrucci. Myung’s style is often understated and can be overshadowed a bit in such a musically strong and at times overwhelmingly shredding Dream Theater. However, it is very clear that Myung is more than just the glue for the band, and he has the ability to express clear musical intension and passion which is most eloquently shown on his 6 string bass in songs like Metropolis Part II or on the Chapman stick in songs such as Take Away My Pain.

XONE songs that express elements of Myung’s influence on the band include portions of Mastermind, Change in Time, 4th Dimension and others. Also, Myung’s intensive work ethic (often practicing 8 or more hours every day) influences us to work harder and push to improve our sound with every rehearsal we do.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

XONE Tuneup Show Tuesday April 10 at Midnight!!!

The Lighthouse is a Beach Cities institution!!! We are psyched to play here!! We know it's late, but we'll be jamming out our original tunes anyway!!! Come if you can...

12 Midnight
April, 10 2007 at The Lighthouse
30 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach
California 90254

No Cover

Monday, March 26, 2007

Meaning Behind the Lyrics – Part 3 “Not Again”

Although it’s a little known fact outside of the band, the original working title to Not Again was actually Metrol. Although the current title is completely relevant to the lyrics that accompany it, the original title captured the high-octane punk metal feel that epitomizes the song. For those of you who haven’t heard it, I’ve heard it described as Iron Maiden meets the Dead Kennedy’s. Beyond this merger of unlikely music styles, what makes Not Again a compelling piece, are the comedic and tragic elements in the lyrics that have been carefully woven together.

The evolution of the instrumental version of this song came about as part of our early lyric writing phase, where Will in particular started feeling more confident in the lyrics he was writing and also he wanted to challenge himself to push beyond the themes of Sci-Fi and historical writing. When I first began talking to him about it back in early 2005, he stated that he wanted to do a comedy song. Personally, I didn’t really know what to make of that. I became even more nervous when I was told that I would be delivering the comedy lines – spoken word. Well, I’m no Jack Black so needless to say I was highly curious and highly anxious about this.

It turns out that I had little to worry about. When Will finally presented to me his initial rendition of the song I was impressed. Although I was thinking something like Monty Python funny, Will was going more for situational humor. And this situation was one we could both relate to, as we had both experienced and observed the crazy relationship between our mutual friend and his wacko girlfriend. And yelling out the words, “How the hell can you remember what I did one day 5 years ago” is pretty much something any guy who’s been in a long-term relationship can relate to when they’re arguing with their significant other.

Beyond the humor though, there is a serious story behind Not Again. It’s a song of a man caught in a relationship that is poisonous to him, but he just can’t seem to let go. In each of the verses Will sings what this man would love to tell his woman, “Cause, I think you've been lyin', and now you've stopped tryin', so this time I'm telling you so.” The verses also show that the man knows that this woman is controlling him but he justifies it by saying that he does it for her love, “And I'll try to make your needs, much more of my focus, with me spending more time at home.” However, the reality is that the man is just caught in a web and he is desperate for her to stay with him which is shown in the choruses, “Don't go, Don't go, Don't leave me here all alone.” The outro is the part where finally the man has had enough and he leaves her. The irony in these final lines is that once the man leaves the poisonous relationship he is free and so much happier than before, “I actually feel like myself again. This really isn't all that bad, so, you know what,
on second thought, just go...”

If you like Not Again, please let us know. Also, we’d definitely like to hear back from you as to what you feel the music means. Does this song strike a chord with you? Does it describe someone you know, or yourself? Let us hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Pro Tools Bug

Well, we recently wrote about the beginning of the Pro Tools XONE in an earlier blog. Now that we have been using the Pro Tools Rig for a week or two, the picture of "what's available" is finally coming clear. But first, before you can enjoy all of Pro Tools' excellent features, one has to get everything configured correctly before Pro Tools will even let you touch it's fuzzy warbles...

Jason and I were in Pro Tools Headache hell last Friday. Jason expanded the rig to by adding a Presonus Digimax FS digital interface to allow 8 of his drum mics to stay connected at all times. Well, adding one new element requires re-configuration. First, we had to get the Pro Tools to allow us to send the 8 inputs to the DAW. This meant we had to sync the internal clocks of both the Digimaxx and the Pro Tools. Then we needed to assign an input to each track for multitrack recording. Let me tell you, you do all this once and then you make a Template to start each new project with in the future. There's no way you'd want to go through this each time you set up a new project. Everything was set and then we started getting spikes on the drum mics, even though they weren't being played. It took us an hour of freaking out to figure out that the Hardware Setup needed to be configured for the Optical In, not the Internal clock. This is all starting to sound very technical and cold isn't it?
Well, that's the world of DAWs, and Plug-Ins, and Dongles, and Light-Pipe Interfaces, and XONE is deep in it now.
But it IS a lot of FUN too!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Drum Mic XONE

XONE is nuts about recording. I mean, we record everything. And everything must be recorded, in case we play something "brilliant". It sucks to have played something awesome, but you can't remember the exact progression, feel, phrasing the next day. Been there, done that! So, I learned to record EVERYTHING!

I've been recording every rehearsal of XONE for the last 6 years. In the beginning, I recorded with a Yamaha mixer into a Sony Mini-DV cam for stereo recording of every rehearsal. Then I got a Fostex VF-160 and began to multitrack record every rehearsal. It's been my workhorse for the last 4 years. It's very portable, and I basically "rubber stamp" mix my mixes so that I can have a CD of our last rehearsal ready for the guys at the next rehearsal. Obviously, I put way more work into mixing our actual CDs, but for rehearsal CDs, time is of the essence.

Since both the Line 6 Vetta and the Line 6 Bass POD Pro XT feed direct into the Fostex, they use no mics. But Drums need mics to record them. For the most part we've been faking our rehearsal recordings with a 4 mic setup. A Kick Mic on the Kick drum, a mic on the Snare & Hi-Hat area, a Left Overall mic that picks up both Cymbals, Ride cymbal, and the Floor Tom, and a Right Overall mic for the Cymbals and Rack Toms. It wasn't perfect, but it did the job, day in and day out. This somewhat easy setup has served us well for a number of years, although we used an 8 mic setup on our debut CD.

Well, all that has changed for the better!! Jason, our drummer, got an excellent kit of Beyerdynamic Opus Drum mics for his drum kit and we now have a 10 mic setup on the drums. Jason also got a Presonus Digimax FS, which is a Digital interface that allows us to hook the mics directly to the Digimax and then connect all of that with 1 optical cable to the Fostex (or Pro Tools). Talk about simple!! The mics stay in place as each one is hooked up to kit and the cables are snaked together and labeled at both ends. We now have mic coverage of the Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Left Overall, Right Overall, 10" Tom, 12" Tom, 14" Tom, Left 18" Floor Tom/Ride Cymbal, and Right 18" Floor Tom. I'm mixing down 2 free jams that we played after we got the new mic system setup and configured. The drums sound so 3D, it awesome!!! And that's at 16 bit! We'll be doing everything in 24 bit Pro Tools when we track our third CD starting in April!

We can't say enough about having quality mics for drums!
They are making all the difference...

Be sure to check out our latest Blog on Drum Miking Jason's Kit!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Meaning Behind the Lyrics – Part 2 “Beautiful One Day”

Will and I have always been fascinated and a little bit horrified about how women are portrayed in the media. From the time they are young girls reading things like Cosmo Girl or watching shows like America’s Next Top Model, they are bombarded with the idea that they must be thin, their hair and makeup must be perfect, and they that they should look like the idealized version of female perfection – the Barbie doll. This of course is anatomically impossible in the first place.

XONE felt that the world needed to hear that this image of female portrayal is horribly wrong and despite what the popular media sources would have you believe, men aren’t attracted to popsicle women who look like an Auschwitz victim. Additionally, we felt that we needed to branch out and tackle some song content that wasn’t either a historical account or a science fiction theme. We felt that this would be might be our version of a metal "love song".

The writing process for this song began with this idea of wanting to let women know that not everyone agrees with the popular media stereotyped image of them, and this evolved once Will brought the music from one of his old songs into the mix. From there, we began discussing the types of things that did make a woman beautiful, things like their presence, charisma, confidence, intelligence, wit, and natural charm. Many of these themes resonate strongly within the chorus parts, “your energy is beautiful, contagious as can be…” and “confidence is beautiful…” Other themes such as the implication that these media moguls are actually destroying their bodies are reflected in the verse areas such as “staring back from the magazine, like a victim of an evil regime, a world of purging behind the scenes…”

Admittedly, what Beautiful One Day ended up being was not a love song at all, but more of a call to arms for women to stand up and be in charge of their own bodies. This reasoning is reflected in the line "why don't you just stop a moment, and look at you like me...". What this means is that we actually all have the potential to see each other as beautiful and that if women could look at themselves from their lovers and best friend's eyes they would see that they really are beautiful already and don't need "fixing".

We’d like to hear from you about what you feel Beautiful One Day means to you. Leave your comment and be heard. Thanks!

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Blue Mule XONE

For almost 4 years, XONE had the same rehearsal room at The Blue Mule in San Pedro, Ca. Even though it was a rehearsal studio, the Mule was our home away from home. It was more like a clubhouse than somewhere we merely rehearsed twice a week. Some of our best material was written there and when we play those tunes, the memories come back.

I (Will) was one of the first customers the Mule had, so I saw it's entire lifetime. The Mule was our clubhouse. It may have not been the poshest resort in the world, but XONE had the run of the place. Danny Melendrez, the proprietor, treated us like family, and he only ever charged us $20 a week for what amounted to over 10 hours of rehearsal a week. Our friend Don started running the place for Danny in Fall 2003, and we spent many nights up in Don's Tiki Room upstairs, honing our lyrics and song structure. Songs like "Beautiful One Day", Young Man's Destiny", and "The Mastermind" were all written in the Tiki Room. For XONE, a great clubhouse evolves into great inspiration. The Mule afforded us that and more. We remember hanging out with Chuck and Don and watching tapes of "MXC" and having a lot of fun. That place really took away all my stress from raising kids and school. It made life easier. I personally really miss hanging out on the roof in the summers watching the world go by while we took a break from playing. I tell you, we were the richest men in the world!!

Well, the Blue Mule closed in September 2006, and we really miss it in a lot of ways. The camaraderie of bands there can hardly be replaced. We were lucky to move into a new place with our friends E Backwards E and keep that little bit of Mule history alive. We now play at KOOS Rehearsal in San Pedro. It's a nice place with secure parking, 24 hour-7day access, and our friend Jessie is on the staff there. We're glad we landed at KOOS. We wouldn't trade it for anything now, in some strange way, we still miss the Mule...

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Vetta/POD XT Live Connection

Without Line 6’s excellent work in the modeling arena, XONE would not sound like it does today. Both the Vetta and the Bass POD XT Pro help us make our sound rich and full. But how about the POD XT Live for guitar? How does it sound in context with the Vetta?

Recently, both XONE and members of the band EBackwardsE have started getting together on Sundays to create a Supergroup as a side project to stretch our abilities. It's a lot of fun, and we may even play live for a few songs at a XONE/EBackwardsE show. To start off, Jeremy Larsson of EBackwardsE, Will Austin of XONE, and Jason Seger of EBackwardsE & XONE, have been mapping out the direction of this "Supergroup yet to be named". This project has allowed for the Vetta and the POD XT Live to come together in a two-guitar environment.

It is a really cool and interesting situation. First off, I (Will) play an Ibanez RG1570 guitar, and Jeremy plays an earlier RG Series Ibanez guitar. Both guitars utilize the Ibanez V8 humbucking pickup in the Bridge slot. This could create a problem for both guitars in the overall sound since distinguishing one guitar from the other could be difficult due to their similar makeup. This is where the Vetta and the POD XT Live have become essential to giving each player his own respective place within the live mix. Overall rigs of each player consist of:

Will = Vetta HD ver2.50>Marshall 1960A 4x12 cabinet with G12_T75 speakers

Jeremy = POD XT Live>Mesa Boogie 2:90 Power Amp>Mesa Boogie 4x12 with V30 speakers.

Now some in the Tube Snob community believe that one digital modeler, will sound dry, harsh, and well, "Digital".
Similarly, they believe that two digital modelers will sound like "Stale Doughnuts".
Do the Vetta and the POD XT Live sound like stiff, stale doughnuts?
Well, in our opinion, "NO!"

Especially by utilizing the Mesa 2:90 Power Amp with the POD XT Live, and the Marshall 1960A cabinet with the Vetta, we are having no problem getting an organic sound out of our rigs. We are also creating patches for each prospective song that give each guitar its own sonic space in the live mix. It's necessary, but also a great excuse to tweak new patches!!! Last Sunday, we worked on a souped-up version of "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath. We created a patch on the POD XT Live that utilized the Soldano SLO-100 model. We tweaked the patch predominantly to carry the Low and Low-Mid section of the overall tone. Alternatively, my patch on the Vetta would carry the Higher End of the overall tone. I had created a patch that utilized the Engl Powerball model for the Low End of my patch, and the Line 6 Agro model for the Highs. (Vetta uses 2 amp models at once). The Powerball carries most of my patch, but I've added just enough Agro to bring out the highs in the Vetta patch. When we played them together, you could hear each guitar's specific tone in harmony with the other's. Instead of giving off a general swirl of muddy noise, the two rigs hammered out an evil sounding, jacked-up, twin guitar version of Sabbath's classic song. It did not sound like "Stale Doughnuts".

Hey, maybe we should name the Supergroup that...
"Stale Donuts"....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pro Tools – Learning a new DAW

As Will and I have mentioned before, we’ve used Cakewalk Sonar exclusively for our mixing and mastering needs. We’ve spent nearly as many hours working on mixes that had needed improvement as we have fine tuning our musical skills. Additionally, we’ve become modestly familiar with some of the other popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) out there and have concluded that Sonar has strengths that many of its competitors lack. What Will and I had not ever experienced was working with the granddaddy of them all – Pro Tools.

So how did we get to try our hands at this recording wonder tool? About a week or two ago our drummer Jason heard from a good buddy of his at Sweetwater that there was a special deal on Pro Tools that rarely comes up. The package was for Pro Tools V7.0, a Digi 002Rack, the Digi interface and plugins. Normally this mixing monstrosity would sell for a whopping $3k, but Jason (our drummer) had the opportunity to pick it up for about half that. Talk about a sweet deal. Unfortunately Jason, like most musicians was short some cash. Fortunately his dad agreed to help him pay for it even though his parents didn’t normally fund Jason’s music career. Both Jason and his dad realized the opportunity to really get some great recordings of Jason’s and his bands’ music.

Now I have to admit that when Jason brought the boxes down to Koos the first night I was impressed immediately with the Digi interface. I could imagine what that could mean for improving the ease of use for any DAW software. I was also equally taken in by the Digi 002 Rack which I had heard had exceptional preamps. What I was skeptical of was the software itself. How did ProTools stack up against Sonar? Admittedly I hang out in the Sonar forum and I’m a bit biased. I’ve heard complaints that ProTools can be difficult to use, unwielding, and after all who likes dongles? Well Friday night Jason and the rest of XONE really had the chance to fire this puppy up. And after setting up the band (barely even looked at the manual – which by the way is far more succinct and easy to use than Cakewalk’s), checking a few levels and getting familiar with the interface we were up and recording some amazing sounds. Will and I were absolutely floored by the recording quality of the 24 bit at 44.1 (we didn’t have enough ram to run at 88) and we gazed over the natural sound of it. Our recordings actually sounded like what we were playing in the room. And as far as interface, it was classically easy to use and some features definitely were better than Cakewalk, while others were pretty close. I’m sure that once we have more familiarity with it, the process will only get easier.

For the coup d’etat, we pulled in some of the ProTools plugins that Jason had received with the package. Let me tell you right now, that the standard reverb, delay, and compression floored the Sonitus (Cakewalk plugins) and even the Sony Sound Forge plugins were stomped. I still can’t get over how easy to use and natural sounding the compression is. Yes!! And the granddaddy of them all was when we threw on the bomb factory mastering compression to the final mix. I think I wet myself. It sounded better than any of the mastering compression tools Will and I have heard including the L2 (Waves) which we demoed.

Needless to say, if there were any doubt before about what DAW we were going to utilize for our next album all doubt has been removed. My only criticism of the unit at this point is that I hate dongles. Well, for sound like this I can live with the dongle!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Vetta Crash XONE

Well, with our first live show back coming up on Sunday, XONE is just rolling along. So it probably seems strange, that I would decide now, to load the latest Vetta Operating System ver2.5 to my Vetta HD amplifier. What a blunder! My timing couldn't have been worse...

With our first XONE CD already duplicated and our second CD in the mixdown process right now, the Vetta won't be recording again until April. With that in mind, I took my perfectly setup Vetta HD (ver2.11) and upgraded it to the latest software OS (ver2.50). The newest OS has some great features in it. First of all, it adds a Presence control that I have really needed since we first tuned down to DGCFAD in 2005. I lost some Presence with that move, and the new Presence control alleviates the dampening of my overall sound that resulted. Secondly, the newest OS features the Dumble Overdrive Special model, the single best amp model I have ever heard in the Vetta. I really want to use that model for some of my clean tones, but it isn't available in OS ver2.11. So I took the plunge and upgraded. Big mistake!

Last night at rehearsal, I had to deal to deal with some major OS issues. First, the newest OS ver2.50 has a small problem with it. It has what the folks over at the ION Vetta Forum refer to as the "Delay Bug". Patches with the Delay engaged end up with a 100% mix setting when the patch is switched to, totally destroying the usefulness of the patch in a live environment. There is a workaround. You have to edit the delay mix by one click and then back and SAVE for your original setting for the effect to track correctly. Then you have to make sure that the Foot Control doesn't have either expression pedal on the FBV set to Delay Mix. If it is, then you have to change that to another variable. What a pain, eh!?! Well, let's face it, we didn't buy the Vetta cause we wanted anything simple!

Anyway, as we neared the end of the set I went to fix a patch for the Delay Bug, and the Vetta totally froze and went blank. I had a $2000 paperweight on my hands. Well, it was 11pm, so we called it a night, and I knew I had my Flextone III+ as a backup, complete with patches for every one of our songs, so I wasn't totally screwed for the show. As well, I always bring my laptop to rehearsal and its sole job in life is taking care of my Line 6 gear. I attempted to reload the Ver2.5 OS, but again it froze. So I reloaded the older ver2.11 OS and the Vetta came back to life immediately. I then reloaded all my custom patches for our songs and the Vetta was ready again to play the upcoming show. I even spent an hour just playing the Vetta with my tried and true patches. I'm sure I'll figure out what the problem is with ver2.50, but in the meantime, the Vetta OS ver2.11 is still the best tone I've ever had!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Writing XONE Lyrics to Tape

Writing lyrics for a new song is a daunting task. For XONE, our lyrics are the most important part of each song. Because we are a Prog Metal band, we push ourselves to have intelligent, intelligible lyrics that tell a story for every song we write. Each new XONE song requires a clear musical vision that has to be imparted to the listener 100%.

Admittedly, in XONE, we tend to write the music first and the lyrics second. I have done the opposite a few times just to test myself, but music first, lyrics second is the standard. We work hard to put each new song in as realistic a structure to allow for lyrics to be added quickly. The last thing you can afford to do, is have a bunch of finished music waiting around for the lyrics to "come".

Luckily, we record every single thing we play at rehearsal into a portable Fostex VF-160. This allows us to hear the development of our songs step by step. It also allows us to write lyrics much faster. The key is, getting a version of the song recorded that has all the parts set into stone essentially. We might add a few counts here or there as the lyrics dictate, but for the most part, we've established where the verses, bridges, and chorus' are in the song and how many counts we'll need to tell our story. Since Ted bogged about the XONE lyric writing method earlier, I've posted an example of the song structure for "Face This World".

Once we have the structure for a new song recorded, it is easy for either Ted or I to listen to this version in the car (or even in front of the computer) and fashion lyrical style and content. Last Monday, I was driving to school, listening to the music of our new song "Regret". All of a sudden the lyrical style of the song just jumped out of me, and knew how it essentially would be sung. Then Thursday, while I should have been writing our next blog, I had the song playing and the lyrics just came!! I dropped everything I was doing (which is what I have to do when I'm creative) and wrote the lyrics for "Regret". It took about 2 hours. Then I quickly laid down a Bass and Vocals version into Cakewalk Sonar using my Line 6 Toneport KB37 to make sure that I could remember later the intricate vocal inflection I had polished.

Viola!! We had finished the song. Now we just need to rehearse it, and copyright it from one of those rehearsal recordings. This how every song from our 21+ original song catalogue
has come to fruition. It’s a fun and interesting process.

"Face This World" is featured on our debut XONE CD available now.
"Regret" will be featured on our upcoming third XONE CD "Elements", currently in pre-production, and due in late 2007/early 2008.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Meaning behind the Lyrics – Part 1 “Face This World”

As a progressive metal band, XONE has plenty of fans who are “prog heads”. These are guys and gals (o.k. mostly guys) who enjoy shredding guitar riffs and weird time signatures. And we love you folks for your technical questions about chord progressions and which strings we use.

Increasingly, however, XONE seems to appeal to less technical listeners as well. Someone who enjoys metal (or being introduced to it), but doesn’t necessarily know their Dorian from their Ionian. These folks are constantly asking us about one thing it seems – the lyrics. We hear comments, like “Dude play that song about Vietnam again”, (which would be Hero). Or, “I don’t really know who plays bass in the band, but I love the singing.”

So in order to educate our less geeky brothers and sisters about XONE (and because we just posted the lyrics), I’m going to discuss some of the things that were going through our minds as we were writing the lyrics. I will try to cover one song in each article, and for this article I will be discussing the first song that Will and I wrote collaboratively on – Face This World.

Back in the fall of 2003, XONE consisted of Will, myself (I joined in the Summer of 2003), and Kirk (our former drummer). I had talked with Will several times about adding both vocals and lyrics to our songs. At that time Will was doing rhythm and lead guitar, but we had not yet talked him into doing vocals. In fact, we felt confident that we would be able to audition a front man who would be able to deliver the technical lyrics that we felt would best fit with our music.

So, after discussing with Will what he felt would best fit the musical content of Face This World (which at that time was known by a working title – Pilate), I set to work listening to the music and trying to get a feel for what lyrical content might work best. After several incarnations and some long discussions with a good friend of mine (Mike), I decided that I wanted to focus on the topic of psychological solitude. In particular, when deep in philosophical discussion Mike and I both concurred that as the famous psychonaut Timothy Leary had stated, “You’re born alone, you trip alone, you die alone.” And from this statement, and while I listened to our song and contemporized further, I really began to see that even though you have family and friends, compatriots and co-workers, no one can bear the choices, joys, burdens, and sorrows you experience. In other words – you must face this world alone.

No some of you might be thinking that after such an “aha!” moment that the song would be written. Far from it. After that initial session and several subsequent sessions of listening to the music and attempting to explore the idea of facing this world alone, I had come up with a very rough sketch of the song that very vaguely resembles its final incarnation. In fact, it was rough and hardly high quality lyrical content at that point. But what I had come up with was a concept that I felt was compelling.

At that time certain pieces of the song really came together and worked:

We are all born in darkness
We face this world alone….

Enter the dark
Enter the mind….

In a haze where thoughts fade quickly
but neurons fire in time
Locked in a state of lucid dreaming
I look in my mind's eye….

But a lot of it did not. So I came back to Will at that point and said, hey I’ve got this concept that I really like. Can you take a look at what I’ve got here so far and let me know what you think? And so Will took the idea home and worked on it. The next week I asked him what he thought. He said that the idea really worked for him – he got it and that he thought he could add some things to really make it solid and make it work so it would no longer be poetry, but an actual song. So I told him to go for it and that I was looking forward to what he came up with.

A couple of weeks later, Will brought his version of Face this World to practice so I could have a look at what he’d come up with. I was immediately impressed with how he had built certain parts so that they had real flow – like a story, but I was skeptical if it could be sung and how it would work with the song. After stating this, he sung for me several of the parts and I was sold. From that point on, Will and I have often written our lyrics together in this format or by collaborating directly together. We’ve found that doing it this way really makes you clarify your ideas (so you can explain it to the other person) and helps give the song structure.

As you can probably tell from our process and the time and care we exert, Will and I feel very strongly about having quality, discernable, and meaningful lyrics. We try to write our lyrics in a way that is direct enough to convey a point, but multifaceted enough to cause the listener to reflect in a unique and responsive manner.

We’d definitely like to hear from you about how this song makes you feel. Please email me and let me know what you think Face This World means to you.

Email: xonebass@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 8, 2007

XONE - Debut CD: The Lyrics

We've posted here,
the lyrics to XONE's self-titled, debut CD
in the order that they appear on the Disc.

1. Face This World


Verse 1:
There is a definite silence
Within the starless night
There is a sacred science
Where all our dreams take flight

We are all born in darkness
We face this world alone
It's the journey that defines us
We are the great unknown

Enter the dark
Enter the mind
You came to see
What you will find

Verse 2:
There is a deafening silence
Within the starless night
We use a ancient science
To make our dreams take flight

Although wisdom divides us
We face our minds alone
And debate our own impurity
Details of the seeds we've sewn

Chorus 2:
Enter the dark
Enter the mind
You might not see
so look a second time


Verse 3:
There is a threatening violence
that is devoid of right
Laws of a sacred science
Plunged into darkest night

We put the past behind us
We face this world alone
We attack with impunity
and defy the great unknown

Chorus 3:
Enter the dark
Enter the mind
Take a good look at the inside

Enter the dark
Look into the mind
But you might not like what you will find


Verse 4:
In a haze where thoughts fade quickly
but neurons fire in time
Locked in a state of lucid dreaming
I look in my mind's eye

Chorus 4:
(and) In the darkness of my mind
I'm left with nothing

And except for the pain within my soul
that comes from long ago
I am not suffering

And I know that the truth can hurt sometimes

Verse 5:
Yeah, you'll face this world alone
from the center of your XONE
You gotta face this world alone
And you're never going home!

And I know that the truth can hurt sometimes...

2. Not Again




Verse 1:
Well babe I could tell you,
if only you'd listen,
about all these things that I know.

Cause you can't fake desire,
if you ain't got that fire,
that comes from way down below.

(So) I need you tell me,
about what's in question,
or what I've done to make you so cold.

Cause, I think you've been lyin',
and now you've stopped tryin',
so this time I'm telling you so.

"How the hell can you remember what I did one day 5 years ago?"

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me here all alone.

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...

Verse 2:
Now, I'm sure that's there's someway,
that I can convince you,
in so many ways I have grown.

And I'll try to make your needs,
much more of my focus,
with me spending more time at home.

I'll do all of those things,
you say I'm not doin',
and hold you, so you won't feel alone.

So babe, now can you see,
I'll let you control me,
and I'll do all this to make you feel whole...

"What is it exactly that you want me to do for you?"
"Can I do that?"

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me here all alone.

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me here on my own.

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...

"Wait, didn't you say that, the last time we did this?"
"Yeah, you did..."

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me here all alone.

Don't go,
Don't go,
Don't leave me, leave me, leave me...

Don't go,
Don't go,
I can't believe you just left our home.

Don't go,
Don't go,
Why'd you leave me, leave me, leave me...

Hey, this feels interesting,
you know, it's better than that,
I actually feel like myself again.
This really isn't all that bad,
so, you know what,
on second thought,
just go...

3. Passion


Verse A-1:
My eyes grow weary
as I stare out the window
Remembering faces
that I never thought would go away...

Now I'm here all alone
and where did they all go?
Journeyed into the XONE
that I would never know...


Chorus 1:
Renew me from within
Thicken patience growing thin
and bring purpose to my actions

From tragedy and pain
make me complete once again
and reanimate my Passion


Verse B-1:
And it's not something that I control at all
I'm at it's mercy, found myself against a wall.
but I know someday that something has to break this hold,
I just hope that it is soon because I'm getting old.

Chorus 1:
So, renew me from within
Thicken patience growing thin
and bring purpose to my actions

From tragedy and pain
make me complete once again
to reanimate my Passion

renew me from within
Thicken patience growing thin
and bring purpose to my actions

refit me whole and sane,
Inspiration gleaned out of strain,
to re-animate the Passion.

Verse A-2:
Who gave up so long ago
to become what they opposed.
Tried to go against the flow
But failed along the way.

The drive is gone
cause something doused that fire.
I thought I gave it all I had
against the phantoms of my darkest hour.

Verse B-2:
And it's not something that I control at all
I'm at it's mercy, found myself against a wall.
but I know someday that something has to break this hold,
I just hope that it comes soon, because I'm getting old.



Chorus 1:
Renew me from within
Thicken patience growing thin
and bring purpose to my actions

From tragedy and pain
make me complete once again
and reanimate my Passion

Verse B-3:
And it's not something that I thought I controlled at all,
I was at it's mercy, found myself against the wall.
but I knew someday that something had to break this hold,
I just hoped that it came soon, cause I'm still getting old.

Chorus 2:
renew me from within
Thicken patience growing thin
and bring purpose to my actions

refit me whole and sane,
Inspiration gleaned out of strain,
to re-animate the Passion.


4. Downtrodden

Verse 1:
Child is hungry, mouths to feed,
Can't bring home a decent living.
Cold and Ruthless in the streets,
Tag a wall, and make your image.

Bound and Broken, do you weep for me?
I'll take whatever you are giving.
Not sure what I want or need,
because this world owes me something.

Don't doubt me,
Don't naysay,
I don't want to hear how you've suffered.

Don't doubt me,
Do you hear me,
you can exchange one grief for another...

Don't doubt me,
Don't naysay,
I don't want to hear how you've suffered.

Don't doubt me,
Do you hear me,
you can exchange one life for another...


Verse 2:
Stark contrast in the night,
you may not even know we're living.
Everyday we have to fight,
There's no escape from the hell of the City.

Bound and Broken, do you weep for me?
gimme some of what you are giving.
Not sure what I want or need,
but I know this world owes me something...

Don't doubt me,
Don't naysay,
I don't want to hear how you've suffered.

Don't doubt me,
Do you hear me,
you can exchange one grief for another...

Don't doubt me,
Don't naysay,
I don't want to hear how you've suffered.

Don't doubt me,
Do you hear me,
you can exchange one lie for another...

Post Chorus:
At any cost,
at any price,
You don't know what it's like,
the grass is greener on the other side...

5. Greed

Verse 1:
My soul cries out,
Locked in pain.
Return to me,
what you have stolen.

And I should never,
have trusted in you,
cause now I'm left with,
what is broken.

You came to me,
with paths of glory,
now empty roads are all I see.

I couldn't breathe,
still choking on the mystery!

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
a bitter place,
without compassion.

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
Devouring me, constantly...

Verse 2:
I seek your touch,
I feel you warming,
Only if I've got the key

To want so much,
it's so alarming,
with what I've done to you and me.

I have no fear,
as you have shown me,
Seeing only, what I wish to see.

I'm in so deep,
I'm almost empty,
I'm leakin',
and I can't break free!

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
a bitter place,
without compassion.

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
Devouring me, constantly...

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
a bitter place,
without compassion.

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
I can hear it, calling me....

God of Money!
Destroying me,
Choking me,
Killing me slowly...

God of Money!
Won't leave me be,
I'm your slave,
And now you must beat me...

Verse 3:
How'd I go wrong?
You were so disarming,
Yeah, you swept me off my feet.

I took the bait,
and you were charming,
I let my guard down easily.

I let you in,
and you destroyed me,
then you were just on your way.

So I'm left here,
depressed and lonely,
One last time, I chance my fate...

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
a bitter place,
without compassion.

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
Devouring me, constantly...

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
a bitter place,
without compassion.

This is Greed.
This is Greed.
I can hear it, calling me....

6. Paradise


Bridge 1:
Moving out into the Sunset,
push away from the concrete life.
Escape the depths of a daily struggle,
I want to see the stars at night.

Lucky that I get to do this,
not many get to feel this at all.
Impatient en route to landing
at long last my destination has called.

Verse 1: (enters on 3rd count)
I know exactly where I'm going,
It's been more than a long time.

And now I'm here,
I'm never going back,
You can't stop me...

...And I'll be off the beaten path
So you can't find me...

And now I'm never going back,
You don't know me...

...Live every moment to the last,
until the ending...

Verse 2: (Enters on 2nd count)
This is where I always should have been
Here's where time will wait for me again.
And I get this feeling now and then,
I want to throw it all into the wind.

Chorus 2:
And you're not here,
you're offa my back,
you can't touch me...

...I traveled off the map,
so you can't find me...

(And now I'm here), I'm never going back,
You don't know me...

spend every moment like the last,
until the ending...

The sun shimmers across the water
I stare lazily, hypnotized
Caressed by an endless sky of blue
If you could only look through my eyes.

Man, I could get used to this,
It's worth more than all that I own.
Forget about a life that's so demanding,
At long last, I finally feel like I'm home...

Just like a feeling I get now and again
Fleeting glimpses of what could have been
It feels exactly like not knowing
Like I've been gone such a long time...

Cause now I'm here
I'm never going back
You can't make me….

….i've stolen off the map,
So you can't find me….

Yeah, now I'm here,
I'm never going back
You don't know me…

…now every moment is the last,
I can feel it ending…..

Lifting off into the sunset
The jet begins its journey home
Smiling, I turn back for one last look
As I wave, it climbs into the great unknown

Wonder what they'll say about me?
Wonder if they miss me today?
but here I am in paradise,
So, what do I care anyway?

(Austin Heming)

Verse 1:
How can I forget, I cannot let go.
The past it haunts me, yet my life remains.
I see his eyes, the bullet's hammer blow.
A sick note, only his death refrain.

Losing a part of me...

Verse 2:
Every night I dream awake, after all these years.
Fade away the grief and hate, try to calm my fears.
Raining blood I am the beast, seems that I'm still here.
All hell has been unleashed, hate becomes my fear.

Losing a part of me...

Is it a dream,
or is it real?
I can't escape,
Paralyzed with fear...

Verse 3:

Total Destruction!



Was it a dream,
or was it real?
I can't escape,
Paralyzed with fear...

Losing a part of me...

This is the end of me...

8. Beautiful One Day

Verse 1:
One Day is not enough,
to judge what you've seen.
You're in the middle, you're all caught up,
you don't know what to believe.

Remember when you were young,
and saw yourself as the Queen.
Your world wasn't hectic then,
you were still wild and free.


Chorus 1:
Your energy is beautiful,
contagious as can be.
Why don't you just take a moment,
and taste some with me...

Verse 2:
One day is not enough,
and I know what you've seen.
It's what your reading, it's on your lips,
and it's on the TV.

Staring back from the magazine,
like a victim of an evil regime.
A world of purging behind the scenes,
how can this be healthy?


Chorus 2:
Confidence is beautiful,
if only you could see.
Why don't you just wait a moment,
and no longer be deceived...

Verse 3:
One view is not enough,
and you're how you should be.
It's in your making, it's in your skin,
and the way that you speak.

I understand the way that you think,
and it makes sense to me.
Like the curve at the small of your back,
and the grace of your being.

Chorus 3:
Inside you are beautiful,
outside for all to see.
Why don't you just stop a moment,
and look at you like me...

All Songs Copyright - 2006.