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How can we ALL get a decent music scene happening in Aberdeen..??

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4 minutes ago, ca_gere said:

Out of interest, aside from Teabagsy music what other niche scenes are there in Aberdeen nowadays?

@Dan G that travelling sounds fucking brutal. No wonder most Aberdeen bands don’t last.

Sorry pal,can't help you there. The only genre I give a fuck about is Teabagsy.

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That band Cold Years seem to be doing well for themselves, They just did a few dates in Germany.. other than them theres not much outside the Teabagsy scene.

from my experience its pretty much a circuit of Musical vision - Drummonds - Krakatoa on loop then the odd trip down to Edinburgh/Glasgow when the work schedules line up. its shite.. even Krakatoa is less of an option now cos if your a local band looking for a gig between June and September they're gonna want you to do the Battle of the bands thing which is fine But 3 summers in a row of bands not getting paid for gigs is a bit much. 

On another note, getting folk though the door is nigh on impossible. look at Full metal haggis, Captian Tom put on a sick little 2 day event, heaps of bands, reasonable prices and a bus going to a from the venue.. nae cunt showed up. when questioned why 'there's nae that many good bands on the bill' 'its too far' ' i cant be arsed' ...abysmal

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Also, a band from Aberdeen making it, if that were to happen, would do fuck all to the Aberdeen scene, really. It would mean more people in Aberdeen would go see them when they play a hometown gig. But only them. THose same people wouldn't suddenly start going to see smaller local bands. It wouldn't change where Aberdeen is geographically so other touring bands would still not come this far north. Would other 'made it' touring bands ever actually go "yeah, lets do the 6 hour round trip up to Aberdeen because 'The Bonnie Teuchters' are from there"? I doubt it.
 

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Also, a prime example of how much of a pain in the arse Aberdeen is...

2 years ago we toured with ACxDC from the States. We started in Bristol, then went Manchester, Hull, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, London, Plymouth, Nottingham and Newport. We didn't even bother taking the tour to our own hometown with one of our favourite bands because it was too out of the way and we'd probably do better staying further south. We did play Aberdeen on the final night, but that was only after we'd already dropped ACxDC at Heathrow to go back to the States, and we only played because there was a gig that night in Aberdeen and we were going home anyway. Driving from Heathrow to Aberdeen was about an 14 hour drive. It sucked balls.

Edited by Teabags

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27 minutes ago, AVB said:

That band Cold Years seem to be doing well for themselves, They just did a few dates in Germany.. other than them theres not much outside the Teabagsy scene.

from my experience its pretty much a circuit of Musical vision - Drummonds - Krakatoa on loop then the odd trip down to Edinburgh/Glasgow when the work schedules line up. its shite.. even Krakatoa is less of an option now cos if your a local band looking for a gig between June and September they're gonna want you to do the Battle of the bands thing which is fine But 3 summers in a row of bands not getting paid for gigs is a bit much. 

On another note, getting folk though the door is nigh on impossible. look at Full metal haggis, Captian Tom put on a sick little 2 day event, heaps of bands, reasonable prices and a bus going to a from the venue.. nae cunt showed up. when questioned why 'there's nae that many good bands on the bill' 'its too far' ' i cant be arsed' ...abysmal

Is the Tunnels still a thing? Been to many an empty midweek gig there. 

People talk about the early 2000s music scene as being amazing, which it was, I was there and part of it, but although there were loads more bands and a lot more enthusiasm, the same problems existed then too. I played to half-empty Dr Drakes or Lava plenty of times in 2001/02.

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11 minutes ago, Lemonade said:

Is the Tunnels still a thing? Been to many an empty midweek gig there. 

People talk about the early 2000s music scene as being amazing, which it was, I was there and part of it, but although there were loads more bands and a lot more enthusiasm, the same problems existed then too. I played to half-empty Dr Drakes or Lava plenty of times in 2001/02.

aye its still there but its heavily geared towards DJ nights, the odd rock/metal gig still happens but they are always horrendously underpromoted. ILast time i went to one a band that i saw play a sold out venue in Glasgow play to 12 people ( including the 5 members of the support band) in the tunnels a week later 

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Apparently Tunnels needs a load of work done to it.

Apart from Musical Vision, there's Punch Face, Laika Come Home, and Captain Tom. Without Tom aberdeen would be even worse off than it already is.

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2 hours ago, Soda Jerk said:

Perhaps it benefits from having over double the population than Aberdeen, but there must be more to it than that?

Bristol still has the likes of Southampton, Birmingham, Exeter and Cardiff within that 2 hours drive time. Aberdeen only has Dundee within that sort of range. It may feel a little isolated - but I drive past Bristol (to Devon) every year and although it's a bit coastal - it never feels like it's miles away from everywhere. Furthermore, touring bands will stop by Bristol because it's on the way to (or at least in the vicinity of) other places nearby. 

There's almost no reason to come to Aberdeen because from there you are just going straight back down south. Unless you want to drive another 3 hours north to inverness, on shitty roads and in shitty weather just to play to somewhere that's barely worth playing if you are a even vaguely established band.
 

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I think the gist of the original post was a call for collective action.  We can see that clubs and bars are stuggling to survive, that the Council has limited funds and that the public taste is changing, with endless distractions available, without leaving your couch.

There are a bunch of self-contained scenes- with (seemingly) little cooperation, between them.  The Jazz promotions at the Blue Lamp, have been carefully targeted at an older audience (who might not otherwise attend bar gigs) and have been well supported.  The Folk Club at the Lampie remains a fixture.  Captain Tom Simmonds continues to promote great opportunities like 'Full Metal Haggis' and 'Live at Captain Tom's', despite the costs and frustrations.  The Blues-Rock guys have brought bands to Aberdeen, in various venues and with reasonable crowd support.

Krakatoa puts on the most diverse bills and should be applauded, for nurturing grass roots artists.  The Tunnels and Drummonds run hot and cold- great places to play, or to see a band, when the planets are aligned.......  the Lemon Tree has filled the gap between the Music Hall and bar gigs, for a number of years, with again, a huge range of performers.

Should we be trying to create an umbrella 'scene', which encompasses the wide range of local talent and welcomes the underpaid visiting acts?  Do we have an extra responsibility, as performers and ex-performers?  Lots of great musical achievements have been the result of geographically remote communities hothousing their talent, before releasing it, into a wider world.  Should we be banding together, to generate a more mutually supportive and educational performance environment, for one another?  Do we need the benevolence of a Flash, a Captain Tom- or a friendly Councillor, to make things happen?  Are there DIY routes, for a new breed, of young promoter?

There are things that we can all do.  Start by putting your money into businesses that support local music- the bars, rehearsal spaces, music shops and others.  If you like a local band, make the effort to show up at their shows, to buy merch and music from them, directly.  If you pirate or buy their stuff online, they make next to nothing out of it- which can be demoralising.

Perhaps we can compile a directory of unused or underused venues?  Shocking though it may sound, a gig can be really wonderful, even on a wednesday, in a room without beer.  You might like to approach your local publican, cafe manager- or someone less obvious?  I've played and seen some interesting gigs in retail stores, village halls, school halls, malls and arcades- as well as in big sheds, in the (city centre) street and private gardens.

More questions than answers, I'm afraid.  Yes, we do need our exisiting music promoters and fosterers- and we owe Tom and Flash (amongst others) a great debt.  As the original Dead Kennedy might have said...'ask not what the Aberdeen music community can do for you, ask (yourself) what you can do for the community'.  :)

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The X-Certs were the "indie rock band" to which I referred, as it happens. But yeah, geography.

I've never been there, but Bristol seems like a weird place. As someone mentioned, it's got a bit of an artsy, hipster reputation; I'd guess partly because its university is probably the best in the UK that wouldn't immediately come to mind. I see job ads (or saw, when I actually thought maybe I could get a job in the UK. Ahem.) in Bristol; had a friend from uni working there; Soda Jerk works there now (?). I'd hazard (especially if real estate development and prices are going up; that's going the opposite direction in even London atm) that companies put themselves there 'cause it's seen as out of the way and hence is cheap, but, as pointed out, is not really that out of the way. Like tech companies setting up in Oakland because you have to outbid every billionaire in China to be in San Francisco. Or something. Lots of smart young people with money might sustain a gig-going culture. Phenomenon. Environment. (that s-word...). Aberdeen should in theory have that too, though; maybe that's why it did once have a thriving but isolated scene (ah, said it). And maybe lots of micro sub-sub-genre ones in the days of the Internet.

Having a "scene" and a band "making it" are two different things, though, as Teabags pointed out (and one may not do any good for the other). Does Bristol churn out bands to big record labels?

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Drummonds and Tunnels were my favourite venues to play between 2006-08 - might have been as much to do with the promoter, sound engineers and crowds that were there at that time as much as the venues themselves though.

Played Lava/Kef tonnes of times with various bands between 2002-2005... good memories, although never thought the sound was great on or off stage, it was overly dark, sticky and creaky floor, and my overriding memory of that is Paul Lava's "Four local bands...£8 please" door policy. Still had some great times there and is probably the venue, along with (Dr) Drakes that I am most  to thank for giving me live experience with bands in formative years.

I'm turning this back to the ab-music memories thread aren't I...

 

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5 hours ago, Dan G said:

Drummonds and Tunnels were my favourite venues to play between 2006-08 - might have been as much to do with the promoter, sound engineers and crowds that were there at that time as much as the venues themselves though.

Played Lava/Kef tonnes of times with various bands between 2002-2005... good memories, although never thought the sound was great on or off stage, it was overly dark, sticky and creaky floor, and my overriding memory of that is Paul Lava's "Four local bands...£8 please" door policy. Still had some great times there and is probably the venue, along with (Dr) Drakes that I am most  to thank for giving me live experience with bands in formative years.

I'm turning this back to the ab-music memories thread aren't I...

 

Dr Drakes was my home from home. I lived 5 minutes from it and at that time was still young enough that I could stagger home pished at 1am and still be up for work at 8 the next morning without a bother on me. I played there a lot, hung out there a lot, must have seen hundreds of bands there. Losing Dr Drakes was a huge blow for the local music scene imo. 

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6 hours ago, Dan G said:

I'm turning this back to the ab-music memories thread aren't I...

 

TBF: There's a "top 5" thread somewhere in general discussion which sooner rather than later turned into comedy and there's a "top 5 am-mus posters" which largely ended the thing, on a piss-take, AFAIK. I was thinking, nevertheless, that I'd stick Dan G (or... Dan Weapon? Was it also once Dan Atom, or am I thinking of someone greater :P ? ) for coming back after years and years and getting some good discussion going. Definitely GBOL (you miss that one? Site has not been *completely* dead. Please. Taking and turning something - and in this case a 2nd hand meme - into a years' long running joke is still alive and healthy on this site, if nothing else). And this Dan guy isn't even posting from Poland, claims he's still actually IN Aberdeen (you can probably get that one... but not the extent to which we've been milking it and in practice turning into a site rule).

More seriously: the MMW-related input in this thread was really interesting and enlightening, definitely vis-a-vis the OP's question (from someone who was always just trying to get into a band, any band, as a guitarist; without ever getting to worrying about this shite; and as someone who was impressed by MMW but noticed that it was always an inch short of - here we go! - "making it", only to have a line-up change). The stuff in this thread, though, makes a lot of sense for anyone not just wondering in hindsight about XYZ back in the day, but also for a band or promoter (like the OP who may be taking notes but hasn't replied) who's in a similar position and might have gotten a rude but possibly career-making proverbial bucket of cold water.

Also FWIW: The singles MMW put out I found very impressive. The videos... I think you said something like "this is, as I understand it, the director's literal understanding of the symbolic lyrics", to put it politely... But then who now gives a fuck about music videos. Not even MTV. If you're a K-Pop band trying to sell in SE Asia, yes, need an MV; but also need to be a literally plastic - or silicon, minimum - bunch of ladies. Not applicable in all boxes. Confusion over the repeatedly screamed lyric  "discourse" and, uh, "Tesco's" is something that sticks in the mind and as being VERY CONSTRUCTIVELY critiqued and may or may not be in a bunch of other nostalgia threads...

...But, I genuinely did not get why a guitarist (and "touring" was definitely mentioned in the press release, if we could call it that) would leave just when the  band was seemingly bigger than ever. Nor why the singer might (less sure about this one). I knew neither the singer (a Ben?) personally, nor did I get into any arguments with (Mmm... Bladeola? Something?) his online persona. Those threads with him and either Jake or Scourge (neither of whom are around any more on here, also) are lionised on here (I think you noticed. If not indulge in more nostalgia and search more) as best-threads-ever and long-gone BANTER LADS but honesty, as a newcomer at the time, I thought them toe-curling. Especially when it got to "you don't say shit when we're going in and out of Tom's to practice!?!11" territory. But anyway.

Where was I going with this... the common denominator with people talking about MMW (not in this or any similar thread; the feedback threads at the time) was that no one liked the vocals (yes, got it, that's why I made a whole point about not having anything against the singer personally... because it seemed a lot of people did). Now that I am reasonably into djent and  prog metal, I run into god knows how many youtube comments that say stuff like "thank god, no vocals" or, conversely, "instrumental plz". Monuments would be an exemplar: gone through multiple vocalists (sometimes 2 at a time) with people still begging them to do instrumentals (and it seems, in this odd but outstanding case of a band, that the auteur of the band genuinely could not do anything great with a lead guitar driven track or album; genuine rhythm guitar virtuoso. I actually ran into the guy coming out of a guitar shop in London; he was texting on his phone the whole way up to Tottenham Road, I think it was, then went the other way. Didn't want to bother him, not my style. Almost posted it in the "lame celebrity meetings" thread, but didn't. Walking obliviously past Bill Nye was another London one. The thread about lamest celebrity meetings. You in there? The nostalgia man!). Someone called (on here) Keeno (I think; anyway he was in my top 5!) turned me onto them... I *think* I remember you mocking him for getting an 8-string and saying he should have got a 7-string and rigged it to play Meshuggah because it was entirely feasible. I think my last memory of you on here is saying that you totally got the hype about Meshuggah despite thinking that the guitar parts sounded easy enough if you've heard them; but there more so the respect for the drummer and the composition in the first place. To which I thought "yas! I'm not crazy". Are you aware that Soda Jerk said their songs sound like a million intros stuck together (I'm paraphrasing)? I'd find the quote but you're more of the nostalgic bent.

Anyway: you're not talking horseshit, running your mouth and pointlessly talking back-in-the-day (conversely: clearly, what I've written above is a masterpiece that field). I didn't really get why MMW, while touring and putting out music/videos on serious, if not "major", pro labels, did not move to actually doing its thing full-time. And that every new high seemed to bring about a line-up change. The singer I could understand (critically; not anything to do with who, how, whatever he was trolling on here  or anywhere else, or whatever), but he was defended through all of that (musical criticism; nothing else), AFAIK.  So that's all legit great info. Not to torture you, but one wonders what might've been if MMW had moved to Glasgow or Brighton; even if the members all got day jobs in Glasgow or within an hour (say) of each other in England. Might've been Aberdeen metal's X-Certs. On the other hand: as the internet gained speed, would've faced (in lined with increased youtube views or bandcamp downloads) yet far further increased requests to fire your singer; and scarily good, globalised competition (to the point where I wonder if admiring MMW's music and chops is unrealistically nostalgic; haven't done so in posting this). And the site really didn't fall off a cliff, there's been good stuff while it declined over a decade or so.

 

 

 

 

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Krakatoa and Drummonds/Tunnels have to all intents and purposes stopped being venues for anything that isn't a tribute act or battle of the bands. 

There are still promoters around - we put a show or two a month on, and we generally get enough people in to pay the bands and keep a float for the nights we run a lil bit short. 

My experience, the scene in Glasgow isn't any better than the scene up here, it's just bigger with more bastards in it. We're putting on gigs down there ourselves now to save dealing with said bastards. 

I'm too old to care about making it, so I'm quite happy that the big boys from London aren't cutting about Aberdeen. Would be nice to get a venue the size of Downstairs back on the go, we're kinda missing that more than 50 but smaller than Tunnels kinda room. 

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8 hours ago, scottyboy said:

TBF: There's a "top 5" thread somewhere in general discussion which sooner rather than later turned into comedy and there's a "top 5 am-mus posters" which largely ended the thing, on a piss-take, AFAIK. I was thinking, nevertheless, that I'd stick Dan G (or... Dan Weapon? Was it also once Dan Atom, or am I thinking of someone greater :P ? ) for coming back after years and years and getting some good discussion going. Definitely GBOL (you miss that one? Site has not been *completely* dead. Please. Taking and turning something - and in this case a 2nd hand meme - into a years' long running joke is still alive and healthy on this site, if nothing else). And this Dan guy isn't even posting from Poland, claims he's still actually IN Aberdeen (you can probably get that one... but not the extent to which we've been milking it and in practice turning into a site rule).

More seriously: the MMW-related input in this thread was really interesting and enlightening, definitely vis-a-vis the OP's question (from someone who was always just trying to get into a band, any band, as a guitarist; without ever getting to worrying about this shite; and as someone who was impressed by MMW but noticed that it was always an inch short of - here we go! - "making it", only to have a line-up change). The stuff in this thread, though, makes a lot of sense for anyone not just wondering in hindsight about XYZ back in the day, but also for a band or promoter (like the OP who may be taking notes but hasn't replied) who's in a similar position and might have gotten a rude but possibly career-making proverbial bucket of cold water.

Also FWIW: The singles MMW put out I found very impressive. The videos... I think you said something like "this is, as I understand it, the director's literal understanding of the symbolic lyrics", to put it politely... But then who now gives a fuck about music videos. Not even MTV. If you're a K-Pop band trying to sell in SE Asia, yes, need an MV; but also need to be a literally plastic - or silicon, minimum - bunch of ladies. Not applicable in all boxes. Confusion over the repeatedly screamed lyric  "discourse" and, uh, "Tesco's" is something that sticks in the mind and as being VERY CONSTRUCTIVELY critiqued and may or may not be in a bunch of other nostalgia threads...

...But, I genuinely did not get why a guitarist (and "touring" was definitely mentioned in the press release, if we could call it that) would leave just when the  band was seemingly bigger than ever. Nor why the singer might (less sure about this one). I knew neither the singer (a Ben?) personally, nor did I get into any arguments with (Mmm... Bladeola? Something?) his online persona. Those threads with him and either Jake or Scourge (neither of whom are around any more on here, also) are lionised on here (I think you noticed. If not indulge in more nostalgia and search more) as best-threads-ever and long-gone BANTER LADS but honesty, as a newcomer at the time, I thought them toe-curling. Especially when it got to "you don't say shit when we're going in and out of Tom's to practice!?!11" territory. But anyway.

Where was I going with this... the common denominator with people talking about MMW (not in this or any similar thread; the feedback threads at the time) was that no one liked the vocals (yes, got it, that's why I made a whole point about not having anything against the singer personally... because it seemed a lot of people did). Now that I am reasonably into djent and  prog metal, I run into god knows how many youtube comments that say stuff like "thank god, no vocals" or, conversely, "instrumental plz". Monuments would be an exemplar: gone through multiple vocalists (sometimes 2 at a time) with people still begging them to do instrumentals (and it seems, in this odd but outstanding case of a band, that the auteur of the band genuinely could not do anything great with a lead guitar driven track or album; genuine rhythm guitar virtuoso. I actually ran into the guy coming out of a guitar shop in London; he was texting on his phone the whole way up to Tottenham Road, I think it was, then went the other way. Didn't want to bother him, not my style. Almost posted it in the "lame celebrity meetings" thread, but didn't. Walking obliviously past Bill Nye was another London one. The thread about lamest celebrity meetings. You in there? The nostalgia man!). Someone called (on here) Keeno (I think; anyway he was in my top 5!) turned me onto them... I *think* I remember you mocking him for getting an 8-string and saying he should have got a 7-string and rigged it to play Meshuggah because it was entirely feasible. I think my last memory of you on here is saying that you totally got the hype about Meshuggah despite thinking that the guitar parts sounded easy enough if you've heard them; but there more so the respect for the drummer and the composition in the first place. To which I thought "yas! I'm not crazy". Are you aware that Soda Jerk said their songs sound like a million intros stuck together (I'm paraphrasing)? I'd find the quote but you're more of the nostalgic bent.

Anyway: you're not talking horseshit, running your mouth and pointlessly talking back-in-the-day (conversely: clearly, what I've written above is a masterpiece that field). I didn't really get why MMW, while touring and putting out music/videos on serious, if not "major", pro labels, did not move to actually doing its thing full-time. And that every new high seemed to bring about a line-up change. The singer I could understand (critically; not anything to do with who, how, whatever he was trolling on here  or anywhere else, or whatever), but he was defended through all of that (musical criticism; nothing else), AFAIK.  So that's all legit great info. Not to torture you, but one wonders what might've been if MMW had moved to Glasgow or Brighton; even if the members all got day jobs in Glasgow or within an hour (say) of each other in England. Might've been Aberdeen metal's X-Certs. On the other hand: as the internet gained speed, would've faced (in lined with increased youtube views or bandcamp downloads) yet far further increased requests to fire your singer; and scarily good, globalised competition (to the point where I wonder if admiring MMW's music and chops is unrealistically nostalgic; haven't done so in posting this). And the site really didn't fall off a cliff, there's been good stuff while it declined over a decade or so.

 

 

 

 

Are you drunk? 

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20 hours ago, scottyboy said:

Dan G (or... Dan Weapon? Was it also once Dan Atom, or am I thinking of someone greater :P ? ) for coming back after years and years and getting some good discussion going. And this Dan guy isn't even posting from Poland, claims he's still actually IN Aberdeen (you can probably get that one... 

Hey man, thanks (I think!?) for all that - not quite sure if it was questions or statements, but I'll do my best to clear up as much as I can - and hopefully in a manner that is constructive to this thread rather than just banging on about myself. And yes, Dan G/Dan Weapon/Dan Atom are all one and the same...although I'm sure the even older residents of this board will more fondly remember me as Dan Loaded (my first band)!

And Cloud I presume? And yes, I still reside in Aberdeen many years later.

More seriously: the MMW-related input in this thread was really interesting and enlightening, definitely vis-a-vis the OP's question (from someone who was always just trying to get into a band, any band, as a guitarist; without ever getting to worrying about this shite; and as someone who was impressed by MMW but noticed that it was always an inch short of - here we go! - "making it", only to have a line-up change). 

Also FWIW: The singles MMW put out I found very impressive. The videos... I think you said something like "this is, as I understand it, the director's literal understanding of the symbolic lyrics", to put it politely... But then who now gives a fuck about music videos. Not even MTV. 

 
I'll give you the horse's mouth abridged history of the band throughout my reply if you were interested (or even if you weren't haha).
Firstly, thanks man, and in hindsight I'm super glad we did those videos - a fantastic keepsake as much as anything! I'm also not hugely embarrassed by them, which is nice 10 years later. Also the Kokura video was shown on MTV2's headbanger's ball which although means nothing in the scheme of things was awesome for me and Ben on a personal level as we'd grown up with that show. I slightly disagree in that no one gives a fuck about music videos though...whilst that's true as far as TV channels, streaming on youtube (and spotify etc) is valuable these days. Anyone can knock up lyric videos, but I'd always far rather watch a professional performance/concept video. Streaming wasn't a consideration back in 2008 when we did our videos though - we just wanted to look as pro as we could, get our music out there in a different medium, and do what bands we respected were doing!
 

Confusion over the repeatedly screamed lyric  "discourse" and, uh, "Tesco's" is something that sticks in the mind and as being VERY CONSTRUCTIVELY critiqued and may or may not be in a bunch of other nostalgia threads...

Hahaha "Discourse and indecision", but yes it did sounds like 'Tescos' .

...But, I genuinely did not get why a guitarist (and "touring" was definitely mentioned in the press release, if we could call it that) would leave just when the  band was seemingly bigger than ever. Nor why the singer might (less sure about this one). 

 
Not sure which guitarist you were referring to, but assuming you meant Jamesy? 

He sort of left on mutual terms, but in fairness was more ‘persuaded to leave’ rather than decided to leave himself. Jamesy started the band and was absolutely the driving force behind MMW in the early days - he got us so many quality support slots, tours and was generally the fire behind it. I never had any intentions of ‘making it’ and all that – I just liked playing guitar and hanging around with mates – but Jamesy had real drive and point to prove. However he’d be the first to admit he wasn’t the most gifted/technical guitarist. He also wasn’t that into metal and his initial vision was more of an emo/screamo/punk band, but Nick and I were far more into progressive metal, which is what it eventually became musically.

By 2005 Jamesy was far more interested with his work at Moshulu putting on gigs (he entirely stopped playing guitar in that Summer) and we realised we weren’t going to get any better if this continued, so parted ways. He often wound people up (both inside and outside the band!) but I believe his heart was always in the right place, and he had ambitions far beyond what anyone else in the Aberdeen music scene had. Or at least he tried harder to make them come to fruition.

 Ben leaving was an entirely different matter. It’s unfair to air it in full in public, but essentially he quit after having a minor disagreement with Nick that was completely unrelated to the band.  They made up a couple of days later, but I think Ben was too proud to ask to rejoin, and we figured this was our opportunity to replace him with someone better. I remained good friends with him at the time, but like you say our biggest criticism was the vocals so we saw it as the opportunity to improve with our second album. At this stage Scott Bowden was playing bass, and we were the tightest we’d been...me, Nick and Scott had some real chemistry. I was writing some really tech prog-thrash at the time and believe we could have done a killer second album if we found the right singer. That was not to be however, as we couldn’t find (or didn’t try hard enough) to find a replacement, and I was taking way too long to write new material.

If Ben had never quit, I reckon we’d have continued the band for another 5-10 years, though I doubt we’d have gone on to ‘achieve’ that much more than we did.

I knew neither the singer (a Ben?) personally, nor did I get into any arguments with (Mmm... Bladeola? Something?) his online persona. Those threads with him and either Jake or Scourge...
...the common denominator with people talking about MMW (not in this or any similar thread; the feedback threads at the time) was that no one liked the vocals (yes, got it, that's why I made a whole point about not having anything against the singer personally... because it seemed a lot of people did). 
 
Ah, good old Ben - AKA Ben Quik, Bladeola, Highroller, Wolf.biker and a few other guest accounts after his various bans.
Ben was never the best singer/screamer in the world, but I think at the same time he got the most amount of abuse on accounts of his online antics. And to be fair he really was an arse on here – but goddamn it was hilarious. I’ve re-read so many of his 12-15 year old, uh, ‘discussions’ and every facet and flaw of his personality is laid bare on this site in some form. You don’t need a degree in psychology to see that he just needs to be loved; he’s got a very fragile ego, insecurity issues that rear their head as arrogance, he struggles with criticism and has a startling lack of self-awareness. The latter was especially transparent when he’d come on here using an anonymous account pretending not to be Ben and getting busted by everyone 2 posts in.
He was a good friend though. He did so much for the band, and was a hard worker… he bought his own mic(s), drove the band everywhere, put in a shift loading gear, was great at helping out and getting on with other bands – and in reality/on tour/offstage he almost never displayed any of the prima donna bullshit that singers often do. Given his on-stage and online persona, I’m sure people who never met him imagined him to be an absolute twunt, but that wasn’t the case at all.
 
My view on the whole Scorge/Jake arguments is this: I've never really been one to attack other people unless provoked or attacked myself. Ben used to wind up Scorge/Jake and vice versa, which would lead to those two slagging off MMW and therefore me - so I'd jump in and take the piss/argue back (although I only went for personal insults... I don't think I ever ripped on Spike Pile Driver as a band even once, as for one I always liked Hog). Essentially they constantly called the music I'd written fake, image-based rinky dink pop music, with no credibility or integrity etc. I took that pretty personally given anybody that knows me is aware that a) I've spent 1000s of hours of my life practicing the guitar/writing songs, and b) I never had any desire to achieve anything in music beyond having fun. 
It just so happened that the music I wrote for MMW ('Metalcore' if reduced to its simplest form) became popular, and as such we got lumped in with a trend. But I'd been writing In Flames and Killswitch style modern metal stuff in Loaded circa 2001-2002 before it became the fashionable thing, and many years later the music I write and listen to is much as it was during the height of metalcore's popularity. One of the reasons I'm still proud of our album is because ten years on I don't think the majority of it has dated badly... sure there are metalcore breakdowns, but there are also loads of proggy time signature/key/tempo changes, guitar solos, synths, pre-djent meshuggah style grooves etc. Not just drop-C open riffs with a floppy fringe bollocks. Regardless of whether it was good or shit, it was a real honest bunch of songs that featured all our influences chucked in a blender!
 

Monuments would be an exemplar: gone through multiple vocalists (sometimes 2 at a time) with people still begging them to do instrumentals (and it seems, in this odd but outstanding case of a band, that the auteur of the band genuinely could not do anything great with a lead guitar driven track or album; genuine rhythm guitar virtuoso. I actually ran into the guy coming out of a guitar shop in London...

 

John Browne you mean? I know him well-ish... we toured with Fell Silent (his pre-monuments band) circa 2008 as both bands were signed to Basick records and had just put out an album. He spent most of the tour in our van, and stayed at my folk's house with us rather than the rest of his band. Funny-ish story - we gave him a bit of a metal schooling by playing Dream Theater's 'Metropolis pt 2' and Pantera's 'Far Beyond Driven'. He'd never really heard DT, and in tour van chat he said he didn't think Pantera were good... naturally we told him how incorrect he was, and got him to rescind his comment playing him 5 minutes Alone, I'm Broken etc. I'm pretty sure these days you'd hear him say how Petrucci and Dimebag are legends/big influences haha. Incredible rhythm guitarist these days to be fair.
 

Someone called (on here) Keeno (I think; anyway he was in my top 5!) turned me onto them... I *think* I remember you mocking him for getting an 8-string and saying he should have got a 7-string and rigged it to play Meshuggah because it was entirely feasible. I think my last memory of you on here is saying that you totally got the hype about Meshuggah despite thinking that the guitar parts sounded easy enough if you've heard them; but there more so the respect for the drummer and the composition in the first place. To which I thought "yas! I'm not crazy". Are you aware that Soda Jerk said their songs sound like a million intros stuck together (I'm paraphrasing)? I'd find the quote but you're more of the nostalgic bent.

If I said it like that, then I regret it if I was mocking him... I can't really remember it but I totally stand by it! In fact I bought my first 7-string a year or 2 back. It's currently got the normal 6 string tuned down 3 semitiones to C# standard, with the 7th string tuned to F# (so it's like a drop-D relationship between bottom 2 strings). That's as low as an 8 string, but without the hassle of an extra string and hardly sacrificing any high end. You could get far better value for money on 7s rather than 8s back then, so unless you were a total virtuoso I reckon 8 strings are highligh unnecessary. 
Can't remember that Meshuggah quote but I've always really liked the band - especially Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere (I was ripping off that album for my own band Loaded back in 1999! Albeit artistically rather than musically...). If I was making a point about them, I imagine it was more that their riffs aren't necessarily finger gymnastics but complex in other ways.

Anyway: you're not talking horseshit, running your mouth and pointlessly talking back-in-the-day (conversely: clearly, what I've written above is a masterpiece that field). I didn't really get why MMW, while touring and putting out music/videos on serious, if not "major", pro labels, did not move to actually doing its thing full-time. And that every new high seemed to bring about a line-up change. The singer I could understand (critically; not anything to do with who, how, whatever he was trolling on here  or anywhere else, or whatever), but he was defended through all of that (musical criticism; nothing else), AFAIK.  So that's all legit great info. Not to torture you, but one wonders what might've been if MMW had moved to Glasgow or Brighton; even if the members all got day jobs in Glasgow or within an hour (say) of each other in England. Might've been Aberdeen metal's X-Certs. On the other hand: as the internet gained speed, would've faced (in lined with increased youtube views or bandcamp downloads) yet far further increased requests to fire your singer; and scarily good, globalised competition (to the point where I wonder if admiring MMW's music and chops is unrealistically nostalgic; haven't done so in posting this). And the site really didn't fall off a cliff, there's been good stuff while it declined over a decade or so.

If you are genuinely interested I can tell you more about exactly why we didn't go full time and why there were further line-up changes... I've already gone on for so long though so will only continue if requested to do so! I honestly don't think I was ever really one to run my mouth or be an arrogant twat about the band (happy to be disproven with evidence if anyone cares enough) apart from the aforementioned flamewars with various members of Spike Pile Driver and Ascension. Funnily enough that mostly all stopped once we did that charity show for Hog and certain people were found to only be able to talk the talk, but not walk the walk... but let's not go there :D
And don't worry - wondering what might have been really doesn't torture me at all! I picked up a guitar purely to play my favourite bands riffs, and I joined bands to hang out with my friends. I never, ever set out to do anything more than that.... but even by achieving very little (by other people's standards) MMW achieved things on a personal level that I could never have dreamed of! We had a vid shown on MTV, played the SECC twice, supported numerous of my all time favourite bands, were signed to a great label and released an album that you could buy from any shop... to name just a few. But far more importantly, had an amazing time with good friends, plus making so many more good friends/memories. :) 

 

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Yeah, was genuinely interested. At the time I assumed internal drama (but then, I deal with drama in a job and whatnot; what might I put up with do make my job "metal guitarist"); but then with all the discussion, it occurred to me maybe impossible to quite that happen from Aberdeen. If it was indeed internal tension then, yeah, woulnd't be worthwhile going more into it: I already dunno who Jamesy and Nick are (I remember maybe multiple changes, with one being now? ; if it was after the biggest release and there was only one on a label out with Aberdeen, that'd make sense... but I couldn't be sure who it was I was thinking of). Anyone else I mentioned I know only the nicks on here, maybe a real name if I liked a band they were in; not the real people. I was 99% sure I saw Browne walk out of a guitar shop next to or ahead of me once, yeah. Don't show him that post though if you actually know him. olol

The rambling tangents I was probably just trying to bore myself to sleep, basically. Aside from being in another time zone, I have an "unsociable hours"  job and am, really, frequently both awake and knackered at stupid o'clock. While my significant other doesn't, so I can't quite just live like a vampire (nor could I just get tanked at home, posting online, if I were inclined). This happens to be the case (i.e. it's late and I can't sleep) atm, but I'm trying to keep this sane to clarify, yes, was very interesting; but don't want to have maybe (re)started an argument among some guys I don't know. And I got yelled at for posting that at night; I'm going to do some work shit or read a book to sleep...

Edited by scottyboy

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On 6/8/2018 at 8:11 PM, scottyboy said:

Yeah, was genuinely interested. At the time I assumed internal drama (but then, I deal with drama in a job and whatnot; what might I put up with do make my job "metal guitarist"); but then with all the discussion, it occurred to me maybe impossible to quite that happen from Aberdeen. If it was indeed internal tension then, yeah, woulnd't be worthwhile going more into it:

I already dunno who Jamesy and Nick are

 
Nick (scholey) was our drummer, jamesy the orginal guitarist/formed the band.
 
Nah, there was no real internal drama so don’t mind sharing what happened...put simply we never went full time because I refused to. In 2007/08 when things were going pretty well, the band discussed going full time. However I said no because; a) I was just married, b) had just bought our first flat (so had a mortgage), and c) was a year or so into a career job (that I really enjoyed) after spending 5 years in uni... I would undoubtedly have lost all 3 of those going full time, and I really wasn't prepared to. The other guys weren't in serious relationships, didn't have jobs that they were bothered about, and either rented or lived with their folks - so taking a couple of years out of their lives to tour wouldn't have had such a big impact or been such a risk.  
 
I'm still happily married and have the same job 12 years later, so in hindsight it was 101% the correct decision - which is one of the many reasons it doesn't bother me thinking 'what might have been' if we actually went for it.
 
As far as other guys leaving the band - Alex, our original bass player (and still one of my best friends today) quit the band shortly after the above as I think to him the band had run it's course if we weren't going to make more of it... touring/playing live was always of more interest to him than writing/recording etc. 
We had another couple of guitarists (Niall and Mark) who were with the band for a year or two each, but there's no interesting stories or drama as to why we parted ways. Despite what might externally have seemed like a revolving cast over the years, we were actually extremely stable with all line-ups, and got on really well. No bad blood or grudges held or whatever. Plus the core of the band was the same as it was me, ben, nick and alex who played on 99% of the recordings and gigs we did. 
 
Sorry for derailing this thread - didn't mean to turn the clocks back to 2004 and make the site all about MMW! (or mmW or MMw, or whatever stupid abbreviation someone-that-wasn't-me came up with...) 
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