Influences. Influences. Influences.

People sometimes ask me what made me get into metal or why I chose metal as the focus of my music career. Let us take a time machine back to fifth grade when I was starting to learn the alto saxophone. It was that year when music started becoming very important to me.

Through my middle school years I listened to bands such as Blink 182, Green Day, AFI, and Taking Back Sunday. It was the “alternative” years for me, and I was searching for something more. Eighth grade came around and I began listening to “heavier” music such as Trivium, Lamb of God, and As I Lay Dying.

Let’s skip through high school, because I could name off about a thousand bands that helped me gain an infatuation with the metal genre. When eleventh grade rolled around it was time to start taking the passion I had for music to the next level.

When I started Fail to Decay with my brother and a few friends I never saw it as a big deal, but more of simply something to do with my time. As we continue forward college brought on another huge responsibility and in my last blog you can read about how that affects me.

In college I started listening to completely different genres such as, folk, indie, and instrumental. Bands such as Iron & Wine, Foals, Russian Circles, and so many more. This was a time where finding other genres helped me better myself as a musician and lyricist.

So today I can skip between singer/songwriter to death metal and everything in between. Having that many variety of genres makes me more accepting to other genres and seeing multiple points of view. Even though metal sometimes sounds dark, there are plenty of folk artists that can really write a depressing song.

What kinds of music have affected your life? If so was there a specific artist?

 

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The Balance.

I started to talked about this in an earlier post, but just didn’t get in depth enough with it. The balance between being in a band and going to school is something I’ve been doing since this whole thing started. High school was easy to balance since it is simply that; high school. With minimal homework and studying involved it was easy to put the band first in my life and school second.

Once I started going to college though, it became tug-o-war game between my school work and working with the band. 

It may sound simple, take time during the week to focus on school, and on the weekend focus on the band. Although I have made this work, it has been hard to put a full effort into both when you have to focus on one more than the other. For example, during the week you’ll have your typical agenda; go to class, receive assignment, finish assignment, repeat process. But having time to sit down and talk with other band members and continue to forward the band also has to be put in there. And yes, I know this sounds like a simple task, but somehow it really isn’t. Keeping up with the band’s social media pages, emails, and phone calls with band members takes time. This is the tug-o-war factor I was speaking about, and there is always a pull in the back of your mind when you find yourself focusing more on one than the other.

Basically what I’m trying to get at is, there are hundreds, probably thousands of guys (and gals) who are doing the same thing I am doing and I’m sure they feel the same way. For me, I love getting off campus during the weekend to head back to the jam space, pack up the gear, and play shows. It feels as if there are two different worlds and you are constantly jumping between them.

So if you are one of those musicians who balances school with your band, tell me about it. I’d love to hear how you balance the two and make the time for both to work.

 

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Make the Connection

The last two years or so I have seen something change in the music scene. Ego’s have been on the rise by 200% and it is quite pathetic. When I first started playing with the band back in late 2008, everybody who went to a show was your friend, because everyone was able to relate through the same thing; music. Now the scene has changed to where no one even wants to take the time to meet someone new. 

As a musician, meeting new people is one of my favorite things to do other than getting on stage and playing a great show. Taking the time to get to know another band or even just someone who really enjoyed your music means so much more to the ones who do love music. Both of these things will make connections that may help you later down the road. 

When it comes to talking to fans or new listeners let them do the talking. By nature, we as humans love to talk. So simply take ten minutes to let them just say what’s on their mind and acknowledge that you are listening. Without people like them, you’d be playing for no one and personally I love meeting new fans. Hearing their stories helps me build memories and hearing they have a passion as strong as you do for music simply puts a smile on my face.

Talking to other bands or musicians comes with a little more dedication. This dedication has to come in the sense that we are all in the same musical boat trying to get our names out there. SO TAKE THE TIME TO MEET NEW BANDS. Sometimes you will run into plain out assholes who simply don’t care about you, because they have the ego the size of the statue of liberty. You need to be able to at least try and meet them even if they forget about you. One thing I’ve learned is never burn bridges with anyone. When it comes to bands who enjoy meeting other bands, it makes playing with them again that much more fun. I personally love playing shows with other bands that I’ve taken the time to get to know and have a personal friendship with them.

Basically what I’m trying to get at is if you are a musician or an artist of any sort, networking and making connections with others is so important. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. So if you are an artist of any sort post a comment and I’ll check you out. If you’re in the hardcore/metal scene and post a comment with your band I’d love to get to know you and play a show with you!

 

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Fail to Decay and We Paint the Sky (2012)

Passion in Music.

When someone asks my why I am in a band, I could respond a thousand different ways. Though.. I only ever answer the same way each time and it’s simple. I absolutely love music and everything about it.

Playing music is the greatest feeling I have ever felt and it cannot be described. Whether it is playing for 20 people or 200, being on stage is a feeling that gives me butterflies and make me want to throw up. I love it though and wouldn’t trade for anything.

I started making music in fifth grade playing the alto saxophone for the concert band. Music has been around me all my life and I honestly do not know what I would do without it. There is this internal drive that pulls me in and makes sure that I devote every ounce of time towards bettering myself through music. 

It’s when people say things like “being in a band is like burning money” I will never understand. Being in a band isn’t going to make you millions of dollars or make you famous worldwide. It is about sharing your creativity and love for something in which words will never describe. I honestly have to say I would rather die than not have music be a part of my life.

Fail to Decay has been an ever changing life process that I would never give up on. It has grown me into a more mature person as well as seeing the world for what it truly has to offer. It has made me sacrifice time, friendships, money and so much more, but I don’t regret this. There is nothing in this world that will ever mean more to me than making music.

With all this being said I purpose one question. What do you have a burning passion and love for in life? Whatever that may be, never let it go, and never let someone get in the way for what you truly care for.

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Being a local band.

One thing that I’ve learned from being in a band for over four years now is the unity local bands form with one another. I love meeting and getting to know members in bands that we play with, because we’re all trying to do the same thing; get our music out there.

Being a local band in Southern Minnesota has always been a struggle. I have seen many bands I grew up playing with die out. The music scene has slowly been dying, and it is up to the dedicated bands to push through to rebuild it. Whether its playing with our friends in Our Judgment, Reaping Asmodeia, or the many others, I see the passion they have for this music and the hope they see for the future of the scene.

As for Fail to Decay, we are trying to do the simple things such as playing more shows and connecting with new fans. Meeting new bands is another thing we are hoping to do as spring slowly creeps upon us. With warmer weather we are hoping to play out more and meet new people. So if you want us to come play in a town near you email us!

Email: failtodecay@yahoo.com

With this being said, I’d like to hear who you think is a local band that should get noticed for their hard work and dedication to their scene. Who should be recognized? Let me know!

 

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Who is Fail to Decay?

Sitting in math class my junior year of high school (late 2oo8) I asked my best friend, Ray (former bassist), if he wanted to start a band. He stared at me for a while then answered with a simple “hell yeah.” We started to practice with my brother (who is still the current drummer) and his good friend Kyle (former guitarist). We were your typical garage band playing out of my parents basement and it was obvious we had no musical experience.

A couple weeks passed and there we were again, sitting in math class. Ray looked at me and said that we should find a band name. I agreed, so we both starting looking at math terms. We stumbled upon the term, Rate of Decay (the meaning of the term is irrelevant now), and we both thought it sounded “metal” enough. So at the next band practice we brought it up to the other guys and it was unanimous; Fail to Decay stuck.

 

Lets skip to present day. I am now a junior in college and as time passed so did several members of the band. The only original members left are my brother and myself. We have grown as both men and musicians. This band has grown from a fun high school pass time to a full on lifestyle. I sometimes even ask myself whether or not I am putting school first in my life or the band. It’s hard to do both and I do not believe anyone could understand this struggle unless you’ve done it or are doing it now.

 

As I continue to post more about the band I will start getting in depth with some future plans, funny stories, the struggles and hardships, along with so much more. This blog will contain questions and will be open for suggestions.

 

Fail to Decay Promo 2012

“Being on a stage is where I feel at home. Being on stage is an exalted experience I live for.”

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