What’s up, guys?!
I’ve been away from here for quite a bit of time because I’ve been focusing on composing and arranging for High School Marching Bands! Last year, I did an original tune for Northgate High School out of Newnan, Georgia that totally ROCKED, and this year I’ve composed an entire original show for Ogden High School out of Utah!
I’ve decided to open this opportunity up to everyone out there by selling these services here on the website! Feel free to hit me up for any questions you might have about the new service!
The design team for the marching shows is an absolutely top tier team consisting of myself writing for winds, Brandon Dodge writing for front ensemble, and Parker Brown writing for battery! It’s an absolute joy to write alongside these fellas, and I’m confident that we can deliver products that the world will find exciting!
A few months back a musician, whose entrepreneurial spirit and passion I madly respect, posted a status on Facebook looking for horn players... Knowing that tuba wasn't what he was looking for, I sent him some videos anyway. I remember waiting for like three days for him to respond and eventually developing a "shit!! he wasn't diggin' it" feeling... BUT!!! He eventually got back to me and was like, "Yo! Meet me in Detroit. If this works out, I'm gonna have two horns from now on! Meet me in Detroit. Bring your pedals!"
So, I drove my busted ass car with $50 in my pocket to Detroit... I thought at first that I wouldn't make it there... Something's going down with my back left tire, and it's most certainly going to fall off... So, the universe and the condition of the car both required that I drive less than 55 miles per hour, or the whole thing would rattle to hell and back. I remember thinking, "JUST MAKE IT TO F@&$ING DETROIT, CAR!!!" - Thankfully, It made it.
When I pulled into Detroit, the first sign that I knew that I was doing the right thing was that my sweet sweet friends Carrie and Josh Bickley from Calliope Musicals were in town. If you haven't checked that band out, DO IT!!!!!! - They were camping in their sprinter van and just sort of scoping out the area.
Seeing these beautiful faces at the end of such a long drive was AWESOME!!! We just took a couple of shots of our favorite cheap whiskey, Evan Williams, smoked a few jazz cigarettes, walked around town, looked at the beautiful murals that Detroit has to offer, windowshopped in some art galleries, and just talked about life and music. These two have a beautiful passion and drive, and they're always always always a pleasure to be around!!!
After I hung with those beautifuls, I ventured on to my good friend Candice Macon's house. This was an awesome reuniting - It had been ten years since I had seen her and her son Cam... He went from 3 to 13 in the blink of a freaking eye... It really shows how quickly life can pass you by... She allowed me to park my car there and crash for the night... Where it still stays. Thank you, homie!!!
The next day, I woke up and hopped in a van with ^ These two guys! Pizza Steve (left) and Paul Bouchet (right) --- I had no idea what these characters were going to be like... At first, they came across as heady crunchy festy kids... I was right.. We road an hour to meet up with the rest of the Andy Frasco crew and just talked about shows. So far, it was feeling good.
When we met up with the crew, everyone welcomed me in right away. I could tell that this was an awesome group of dudes with a like mindset. They all just wanna skip the bullshit and work together to kick some ass in life.
One of the first shows I really remember was in Brooklyn - We were the backing band for a drunken spelling be at The Knitting Factory... And it was fucking AWESOME!!!
This entire tour has been an incredible eye opening experience... For the first time in my journey, I'm comfortable every day, I get to explore these towns on my own, I get to play great music, hang out with great dudes, and I'm learning a shit ton about entertainment.
For the first time in my life, I'm starting to really feel like I'm becoming the player I've always wanted to be... And to be honest, I have stories from the hard work... But I don't really remember it being that hard... It's only hard while you're doing it... For short bursts at a time... Just keep going, keep doing the impossible, and you can do some really really really cool stuff.
Also, GAY MARRIAGE WAS NATIONALLY LEGALIZED DURING THIS TOUR!!!!! Pizza Steve and Andy celebrated briefly in the back of the van.
The shows themselves have been full of absolutely amazing (and sometimes crazy) people... This environment is such a beautiful one. It's a gift to be able to watch music influence these people to go crazy night after night after night. Andy has that frontman gift!
I also like to check out Nature's beauty when we're touring around... The scenery throughout these drives and shows has been absolutely breathtaking... I found places that looked exactly like Windows Backgrounds.
It's always been a dream of mine to play Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but I had never been there. :( After our Denver show, my beautiful friend Carol took me to see the place!!! SO BEAUTIFUl!!!!
Then, we checked out Bear Park!
When we decided to leave Denver, I met back up with the band... They were cleaning the house of the people they had stayed with, and someone had mentioned maybe doing the dishes for Kory... I volunteered since I had just participated in the Colorado Freedom and was in the particular mindset to do so... I did this guy's dishes, and hopped in the van where I heard Pizza Steve talking about Kory Montgomery and his "real gig" --- I asked what Kory's "real gig" was, and Steve answered, "He's the guitarist for the Blues Brothers" ...... So, YOU OWE ME ONE, KORY!!!
The tour moved on - We ended it with two BANGING nights over the 4th of July in Ketchum, Idaho - The bar literally poured alcohol down our throats and the crowd raged and raged and raged. It was an amazing experience to say the least. Best 4th yet!!!
THEN!!!! I got a week and a half off in Denver and did ALL THE THINGS!!!
^ First, I played Mario Kart with my best bud and trombone extraordinaire Evan Johnson!!
Then I met up with my best bud Reddock Davenport!!!
Then, I ate a bombin' breakfast at The Denver Biscuit Company!!!
Then, Stan Renda and Lauren Nall showed up and hung with me and the most beautiful Carol Churchill!!!
Then, I got this sweet pen at a Colorado Dispensary! Ahhhh. Freedom!!!
Then, I saw Dinosuar Footprints at Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado!
And dinosaur bone!
And then, randomly, I found out that my drum corps is rehearsing 30 miles away from me... So, I HAD to go see Spirit of Atlanta while they were at Brighton!!!!
And then, I couldn't NOT go to the show, right?!?!
Exhausted from all the sun and drum corps, we decided to go to the farmer's market the day after the show and stock up on some samples and fresh veggies!!! This is one of the best farmer's markets I've ever been to!!! SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!!!!
Last night, I begin winding down my break by checking out the sunset at Buntown... Which is a creepy parked with tons of abandoned Pleasantville-esque houses running rampant with bunnies.. It was truly an amazing place...
I've had the freaking time of my LIFE!!!!!
I've got a few dates left with Andy, then I'm off to teaching High School kiddos. :):) - See you all on the other side!
Let's talk about Facebook.
First off, FUCK FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!
My account has been deactivated for using a fake name. As a lot of you know, my name has been "Matt Gameboy Owen" on Facebook since the day that I created my account in 2005... Ten years ago... But, that didn't seem to matter until recently... They asked me to upload a government issued ID and to change my name... Easy enough, right? I mean, besides the fact that this is a complete fucking forceful invasion of privacy... It's simple... So, I did it.
The worst part? This has severed my connection to websites that I chose "Log In With Facebook" - Which means my tour schedule, my websites (Electrobrass and ET), my blogs, etc. are all disabled. The entire existence of Eclectic Tuba is at an absolute halt.
As you can imagine, this makes me the angriest man on the face of the planet.
Not to mention that I've lost access to every photograph and video that I've ever posted.
Our June bookings have stopped because we've lost communication with our venue and city contacts.
I'm off the internet for an indefinite amount of time. Until then, #whereismattowen
Several very very unbelievably amazing things have happened over the past two weeks that have completely just placed me on cloud 9. Most importantly, I'm realizing that hard works truly does pay off... And when it pays, you don't even remember how hard the work actually was.
First off, I finished my ET rig.... It's never actually done, but I was finally able to fit all of my necessities on to one giant board. It's a hell of a workstation now, and it saves me some time from plugging hundreds of cables together and mix-matching gear - it all has a set place and duty now!!! It saw its Eclectic Tuba debut on March 27th, and its Opposite Box debut on April 4th (see the above photo. Shit got crazy.)
So, last week, I met up with Brent Rosborough from Jupiter.... The purpose of the meeting was to discuss some marketing options for the Electrobrass Conference (Electrobrass.com) --- however, when I got there, it seemed as though Brent had other things on his mind. From the get-go, we talked about Eclectic Tuba, and it felt amazing to hear some of the great things he had to say about the direction of our music. - he gave me a nice tour of KHS America where I got to see and play tons of Jupiter instruments and I got to see the Mapex "Build Your Dream" drumset assembly portion -There's some REALLY COOL STUFF COMING OUT OF THERE!!!
At the end of the tour,we found ourselves in the recital room of the building - There were several horns lined up, and Brent asked me to try them out and to give him my review... At first, I was a bit taken back by this! --- I was like, "You want MY review?!" --- but, I went with it and played on the horns... I particularly enjoyed the 584L CC tuba - so, Brent said, "Take that one home with you and do some Research and Development with us!" ---- So, I took the thing home and made a video.........................
!!!!AND THAT VIDEO HIT 64,000 VIEWS!!!!!
That literally could not have gone smoother....
.... So, after that, I went down to Chattanooga to record some acid tuba jams with Opposite Box. The new EP is sounding absolutely spectacular!!!!!! --- While we were recording, Ross Bartels from In Orbit Productions was hanging around with cameras, and he made the suggestion that we create a high quality video for all of you beautiful people!!! So, we did!!!
The new video looks GREAT!!! And you can find it on the front page of the website!!!
I finished all of this off with a huge bang in Knoxville at Presevation Pub. Where I crowdsurfed with a tuba again. Who would've ever fucking thought?! Crowdsurfing... With a fucking tuba....
I LOVE THIS LIFE!!!!'
Until next time, my beautifuls!!!
Well, dudes - The first week is in the bag!!! I was able to start working at 8am every day, and HOLY SHIT at the rate of productivity. I can't believe what I've gotten done... However, I'm so consumed by 6:00pm that I have this inability to stop working on what I'm doing... So, I've got to work on that next week.
One thing I've realized over the past few years is that I'm willing to do insane amounts of work for this project that I would've never ever done for any other human at any other job... It's bizarre... But, beautiful... And, every time that I dive relentlessly in to a project, a beautiful gem eventually pops out of the other side... And, that gem always leads to another amazing opportunity - and when that opportunity shows it's face, you forget the amount of hard work it took to get there.
... The universe can be a fucking awesome friend.
It's back to the musical drawing board this weekend. I have three goals:
1. Arrange "Peace" Tunes for Liveness
2. Write Something New
3. Record a new Video
I've been trying to play the Peace tunes for an extremely long time, but I just haven't been able to find the right dudes to play the parts... It's not that the musicians we've jammed with have been bad - They've actually been incredibly talented - It's just that Lucas Parker put this element of soul into the recordings that no one has been able to match - If you get a chance, please please please go watch that guy play guitar live. It is an absolute blast, and he totally brings you straight into his world... One day, I'm hoping we can snag him full time... Then, we'd have no problem playing the new stuff. It would be magical.
Also, we're working on something that I believe is truly amazing... I hate telling you about these things, because I just cannot tell you what it is... But, I've felt this pull to design this thing for years, and now is just the right time to do it... So, stay tuned for absolute magic, my friends... Because the entire musical is about to be flipped upside down.
STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH
STRESS STRESS STRESS STRESS
I've been in this kick, guys. Where I feel as though I'm stumbling over myself in a race against me... I keep having these ideas of what to do next, which project to start, or who to begin harassing for the next ET collaboration and my brain's starting to spin in circles, and I feel like I'm constantly running behind...I' becoming so stressed that the sound of most music only pushes my bitchass nerves further... I gotta get out of this!!!
So, I'm going to stop, breathe in for a second, and start fresh...
First, I'm going to start holding myself to a more structured schedule... I've been sort of waking up in the morning and working on and off throughout the day, and not really allowing myself any down time, or time away from noises... So, I'm going to start pumping it out at 8am, and calling it quits by 6pm.
I'm going to block out specific tasks throughout the week... Maybe even write out some goals for each week.. We'll see. I'm hoping that this will sort of straighten out my terrible sleeping habits as well... But, we'll see... I'll probably still experience the late night creativity burst every now and then...
Secondly, I'm going to start eating better - Like, actually having meals throughout the day instead of just nibbling on garbage every time I'm hungry. If I stick to my schedule, this should be easy.
Third, I'm going back to a creation a day. I've never felt more productive than when I went on creative stints... I pump out a lot of garbage during those periods, but in the end, you come out with one or two beautiful gems... And, you can never practice enough... So, there's that.
I'll keep you all updated here with the progress... I just feel that it's totally time to kick an entirely new kind of ass, and it's going to take structure and great planning to make that happen.
LIVE THE DREAM, SHARE THE PASSION
Just finished up an amazing run with Opposite Box in Knoxville and Asheville, and holy shitballs I'm exhausted ---
Wednesday at Preservation Pub was SICK - Finally got to hear Downtown Brown live... If you get a chance, catch them while they're on the road. I promise you've never laughed harder at a rock show.
Thursday in Asheville with our boys "The Main Squeeze" was rocking as well! I LOVE THE ASHEVILLE CROWD!!!! This show involved a slight misunderstanding... You see..... The Main Squeeze was planning on playing Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" ........ However....... We totally played it first... I'm not sure if it was an asshole move or not, but we definitely lost some friends in the process - So, to the Main Squeeze guys - WE LOVE YOU AND WE'RE SO SORRY!!!!
And, while we're in Asheville, we had to stop at the MOOG factory, right? - It seems like we're starting to do this more and more often, and I couldn't be less angry about it... I'm literally so not mad about it that I can't handle myself right now, guys. SERIOUSLY.... My "Thingamagoop" (my insane acid-in-a-box noise machine) has been having some troubles, so we took it in to see what they could do about repairs. Without hesitation, the dudes were on it like Donkey Kong. I was able to exchange mine in for a brand ass new one. HOWEVER....... These things are very limited edition... So, during the exchange, the guy informed me that the green Thingamagoop that I was returning was the VERY. LAST. ONE. IN EXISTENCE...... But, I had to let it go................... Because this new one has freaking rainbow LEDs inside of it that get twisted with the sound..... Time to take some folks to freaking SPACE!!!!!!
And, while we were there, they hooked Ryan up with a sweetass new backing for his MOOG Little Phatty, which is BEAUTIFUL, and totally the shit.
So, if you're looking around for a synth, I say drop the bones on a MOOG, because after you buy their stuff, they treat you like family!
Here we go again!!! Shit's getting crazy in the van as we speak!!!!! We've got two Opposite Box shows coming up tonight and tomorrow, and we fully intend to do everything we can to blow the mother fucking roof off of these places!!!!!!
Hit me up if you're coming out to party! We'll throw down!
LIVE THE DREAM, SHARE THE PASSION!!!
Decided to play a little guitar on a track for this first time ever - It only took about 64,567 takes, but I think it's close to sounding decent!!!