THE BLUE2NOISE JOURNAL ARCHIVES
August 14, 2004 – thanks for the memories (kenny)
About 3 months ago I wrote what I believed would be my last journal for blue2noise, but that journal never really explained why I left the band. The journal basically left more questions than answers, so I guess I’m putting all jokes aside, all politics (vote Kerry) aside as well and my opinions about everything out there (Britney Spears is fucking insane, but Locksley is fucking good www.bandoflocksley.com).
When Rob and I started to get the band together again our vision was to take the band to the next step. We started writing music geared in a new direction, but after 2 years into the “new” I felt as if we as a band skipped a step or two. I listened to our 1st album followed it with our last album while adding songs that were written in-between and listened to some shoe gazer bands (Ride, CW, MBV, Starflyer 59, etc.) which in return made me feel as if we did indeed miss a step. Don’t get me wrong; I loved working on the album with these guys and the material could very well be the best we’ve come up with, but the feeling that something was missing just created a void.
Normally I would talk to the guys, but the words weren’t coming out. I became a mute and basically drifted slowly. I tried to include sound effects (chorus, delay, overdrive) as a way to maybe change what was already written, but it didn’t seem to fly well with the songs.
On our last show I already came to a half assed conclusion that I wanted something else. I wanted to do the spacey, weaving, distorted music. My exact words that night after the show were “I don’t want to play live anymore, we just don’t fit with these new bands.” Some of the members agreed, while others just felt differently. The fact that 5 months of total silence had passed made my “half assed” conclusion not so “half assed”, so I decided to just leave.
I read the journals that followed mine and all I have to say is; thanks guys for the kind words. I still want to do music and in fact I’m planning to do my own thing. Hopefully I’ll be at Squid Studios recording 8-10 songs next year with the assistance of some cool musicians (Al, Fred, Rob, etc). I’m using one of the band’s many names, Painted Smile, due mostly because of its origin (look for “Smiles” on your B2N CD to understand).
The end of this band didn’t sink in until I heard news that the Continental wanted to book a show in August. It would’ve been a cool way to end blue2noise, but in return it would’ve been fake since through our journals you know we’ve disbanded.
I love these guys like brothers. I remember Al once saying “you should make musicians your friends, not turn your friends into musicians” (it’s a rip off from another saying that’s on the tip of my tongue) and although Al truly believed it at one point I know that he believes differently and the proof is in blue2noise.
To our fans, well, my sincerest apologizes I didn’t know that leaving would be the end of blue2noise. I hope we still have your support and that you’ll stick with us through whatever direction our lives take us.
Thanks for the memories…
July 19, 2004 – my moment of reflection (al)
I was quite touched by the journal entry written by Rob in response to the decision of our bassist Kenny departing from the band. I was flattered by such kind and yet poignant words in such entry but I think they were true from the heart.
I’ve been quite silent regarding the dissolution of the Blue2Noise experience and there a few reasons for that, although I can’t recall all of them for the purpose of writing this journal entry. First, I didn’t know how to react when Kenny’s announcement reached me. I was displeased, sad but yet supportive of his decision. I had a feeling that the vibe in the band was beginning to disintegrate especially after our last show at The Continental. I’m not sure what exactly had triggered it but I noticed that the motivation and gusto we had internalized years ago was simply not showing that nite. For some time I also had noticed the music creativity and direction of the band was not meeting our individual expectations either. Having said that, I supported Kenny’s decision.
I’ve known Kenny for many years, both as a friend and a musician, and I know he has expressed himself pretty liberally regarding anything that’s on his mind or discomforts he has. I respect Kenny very much. I believe he’s a uniquely gifted and talented bass player with a sound and creativity that puts him in a class of its own and a head of any other bass player I’ve ever heard. The only thing I can say to him is thanks for all the wonderful years we’ve played together and I wish him the very best. I’ll miss him in many great ways.
As far as Rob and Fred, I can’t think of all the wonderful and inspiring words that describe the venues we enjoyed as musicians as well as friends. You guys have been the best people I’ve played with through out the limited yet emotional times in my life. I will truly miss being part of that sharing experience.
The years as Crayon, Painted Smile and Blue2Noise have been pivotal on my maturing as an individual. I’ve learned a lot from all my bandmates whether it was during a recording session or just simply talking about bullshit during a barbecue. In an odd way, I almost feel you guys were like family to me…believe it or not. The circle I consider as Rob, Fred, Kenny and Al will always be at heart and forever cherished. I just hope we never ever dwindle away like many acquaintances and friends I’ve stumbled along throughout the years (well…they’re really no longer friends either…that’s just to show how fucked up the human social experience turns out to be!).
As for me, well, I really don’t know what to do with respect to music. At times I think about just putting the sticks down and contemplating the drumkit from a distance and reflect and say to myself…hmmm…it was good playing drums while it lasted. Sometimes I think of awaiting for any of the guys to call me to tell me about their solo project and how exciting it would be for me to be a part of it. There are also times where I think to myself and say..hey I should consider joining a band or experimenting with another musical interest such as jazz, progressive or even new age music (..oh no..no John Tesh music!). So, I find myself at a dilemma and at a point where I just simply don’t know what to do. But I’m reassured that whatever I end up doing it just simply won’t be the same.
With that said and as a final closing argument, I want to also thank the guys for being especially patient with my schedule and commitments thru the years. We all had responsibilities and endeavors that at times conflicted with the affairs of the band. Although it was challenging, I sometimes found it hard to be in the band while being a student, husband, and last but not least, a father. I also have to thank my wife and kids for being there for me and allowing me to enjoy my tenure with the band and all the projects we developed together.
For Rob, Fred and Kenny, I hope sometime down the road we can rekindle and revive some of the great times we had as a truly original alternative NYC band. Whether we’re in our 40’s, 50’s or even 70’s (I hope some of us make it that far!), I look forward in picking up our instruments and jamm out to ‘Crabcake’ or ‘Pontiac Crash’ .
Just remember my phone number and address and whenever you need a drummer…I”ll be there….To better days..
June 3, 2004 – blue2silence (rob)
Well it’s been a few weeks now since Kenny broke the news to us and everyone else that he has decided to leave Blue2Noise and move on with what he wants to do. Since his journal entry was a bit vague I thought I would take a second to not only address what happened, but also to give my feelings on the whole thing.
Kenny asked if he could come out and speak to me alone about a month ago. We sat down outside on a beautiful day and he began to tell me about how he wasn’t feeling what we were doing anymore musically. He also went on to say that his desire to record another record (which was on the table) has pretty much faded. Kenny is very much into the shoegazer type of music, as am I, and sometimes the ideas don’t turn out the way you planned once you have everyone’s input. I always felt that you could hear one of our songs and pretty much identify that Blue2Noise type of sound. It’s what comes out, no matter what your idea was, that everyone hears.
So he went on to explain that he would like to start working on his own stuff and that he has a vision of what he wants to do. Right now that vision does not include us. He also asked if he could use the Painted Smile name to do it (our name before Blue2Noise) which we not only released a single under, but played about 20 shows under as well.
What was my reaction to all of this? Well, good for him. He doesn’t need my support but he damn well has it anyway. You see, Kenny and I never said to each other “let’s start a band”, we said “let’s write some tunes” and when we got together and started writing it just snowballed. I’m not going to get into an exhaustive band history here but we have been through a lot together, the four of us. The bottom line is if James Brown is the hardest working man in show business, we are the laziest fucking band in show business.
We haven’t played together in months. We take insane amounts of time off . Hell we even took five years off at one point. To record another CD would have taken a massive commitment from all of us. It’s not fair to ask Kenny to do that if he’s not feeling it. Hell it’s not fair for Kenny to fake it as we go through with the whole thing either. It also would have taken a lot of time on my part to mix the thing and that’s a bit of a relief now.
It’s time for me to buckle down and finish my script and plan on shooting this movie I’ve been working on like I’ve always dreamed of doing. A majority of my time will now be dedicated to that. I’ll always love writing and working on music, maybe now I can do it for my movie. Maybe I won’t do it at all but at least I have no excuse not to put everything I have into it.
The person I most feel for is Al. I know he loves playing more than any of us. I told Kenny right off that bat that he wasn’t going to take it well. Anyone who doesn’t know Al will tell you he is the most passionate of the bunch because his passion for playing never fades. The rest of us are on and off, but not Al. I can only hope that Al does some drumming work on Kenny’s songs and more importantly that he starts writing his own stuff. Al’s solo stuff keeps getting better and better (see “Believe” off of Shapes and Lines). So I Think it will be tough for him at first but he’ll come out better off because he won’t have to try and force his ideas on a bunch of songwriting lunatics.
I know Fred is cool with everything. I’m sure as everyone knows Fred has been my best friend for my entire life. He came into this band and gave it new life. Our friendship only grew stronger and stronger because of it. As if playing onstage isn’t enough of a thrill, looking over and seeing your best friend up there with you is an even better experience.
Some of you may be thinking “why is he writing a eulogy instead of getting another bass player”. Well fuck that. Blue2Noise was always the four of us and it always will be. I wouldn’t replace any of them and I know they would never replace me (why do you think I hold all the equipment?!). Could you image getting an email from us signed “Rob, Billy, Fred and Al”? Oh the humanity.
On the other hand, I can only hope that anyone that wanted to go out and start another band or join another band would go ahead and do so. Al comes to mind as a drummer that is so amazing and employable by any type of band that he should start looking around. Of the four of us, he was the true musician. We were just guys that played instruments.
So what happens now? Damn good question if you ask me. You see, we never really “broke up” so to speak. Kenny, or any of us for that matter, ever said “I don’t want to do this ever again”. It does seem a little more final because we are older now than we were when we first took our legendary “break”. I think I was 27 years old then, I am 34 now. I can definitely tell you that we don’t want to be 43 years old and playing rock gigs. I may entertain the idea of playing an acoustic show here and there for fun. I have a lot of song ideas that I would love to just write simply and play. Don’t get me wrong I’m no Nick Drake, but it’s a little more dignified than doing scissor kicks in your forties. Thirty-four years old for a budding director, however, is pretty young. I figure I can try my hand at failing doing something new now. I definitely will always need to be doing something. The guys can tell you that when I get passionate about something, I really put my heart into it.
As far as this website, I’d like to keep paying to leave it up. I may need to take the videos down to cut the monthly fee a bit so you may want to go watch them while they are still up. I’d like to think that all the members can use this site to continue writing journals on what they are working on. The interesting thing is that we have sold like 15 cd’s in the last two weeks to people in the midwest. I have no idea that the fuck that is about, but it would be nice to use this site if Fred writes a song, or if Al wants to put one up for download. I plan on starting another site with a journal following the struggles of writing the script too because I really felt this journal was phenomenal. So blue2noise.com will still be sending you updates from time to time. You may even wind up hearing more music than before because we don’t all have to get together and work on any given idea (shit I feel like recording something now).
All in all, when I look back on everything, I am so proud of what we did as a band.
• We’ve played great stages like CBGB’s, Brownies and so many others in New York.
• We’ve been played on the radio (which I can tell you that when you hear your song on the radio, it’s the greatest feeling.)
• We recorded two cd’s and have sold them to people we have never met.
• We played the New Music Seminar and felt really” industry” at all the conventions.
• Our music was used in an MTV workout tape and the show Planet X for MSG Network
• We’ve had some celebrities at our shows such as Evan Dando, Claire Danes, Cypress Hill, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton etc.
• We were able to record an album own our own with no outside help in my home and get some pretty damn good reviews of it to boot.
• We recorded in RPM studios, a pro studio if there ever was one.
So am I sad that this may be the end? Sure I am. I’m sure as time goes by it will feel a little worse. I will definitely miss it. Only yesterday, someone asked me “how’s your band doing?”, and it was just easier for me to say “good, good” like I always do. But for a minute there I was a little sad about it. There’s nothing that beats your cool factor when you hand someone a CD of your band and they say “this is you?” I’ll miss that type of stuff. Most of all I will miss playing with three of the greatest guys you ever met. I can tell you at times these guys put up with so much shit from me over the years, but I hope they know it was only because I cared on how things came out. The one thing I always wanted to project was that even though we aren’t a signed or pro band, we always projected the image that we were. I love those guys and I have plenty of photos and recordings and videos to remember how great of an experience this really was. I remember being in high school and playing guitar thinking you’re gonna “make it”. Well in my heart I think we did make it. No matter what bullshit came across us or who was against us, we always stuck together as a family. And we will be a family until the day we die.
Most importantly, I want to thank every one of you. Everyone who’s ever put on our CD’s, came to our shows, shook our hands when we were done if the show sucked or not. Everyone who’s ever come out to see us at 11:00 on a Monday night or some other shitty time slot. We went on stage with so little nerves because we would look out there and see people we love. For as many shows as we played (I think 60 or so) there was always support from you guys. I’ll miss you guys the most. Thank you for making one of the geekiest bands on earth feel cool as hell.
May 20, 2004 – and then there were three (kenny)
Last time I wrote a journal I talked about events in history that we seem to repeat and how we could possibly stop them from becoming worse, this journal is no different.
Here are a few points…you may repeat after me:
1. Faith makes religion work, not the other way around. So have more faith in yourself.
2. A human being wrote the Bible, not the divine hand of God.
3. Greek mythology was a religion.
4. If you look at history and if you read or listen to the news you will realize that religious beliefs are of the reasons that no one lives in harmony (repeat points #1 and #2).
5. Through the centuries politics and religion have always mixed together in one way or another.
6. The Ten Commandments were the basis for the laws that we now know.
7. Any economic highlights seen in the Bush administration are not because of Bush, but because of Clinton. It takes about four years for any presidential plan to occur. The increases in prices (inflation) that we are seeing now are the beginnings of the Bush administration.
8. Bush is a very successful…loser.
9. The Iraq war is slowly, but surely becoming the new Vietnam War.
10. The “eye for an eye” concept is never a solution.
11. Any band that has a singer that looks and sounds like Tiny Tim while playing 70’s glam rock sucks.
12. White Stripes suck, but Meg White is cool.
13. New York bands are the new British invasion.
14. Jessica Simpson, although hot but stupid, is highly overrated.
15. Dave Navarro sold out! But at least he did it for the money and for Carmen Electra (one makes more sense than the other).
16. Is Velvet Revolver the new Guns N Roses or the new Stone Temple Pilots?
17. Hilary Duff is the new anti-Christ.
18. The Olsen twins look like they stepped off a Steve Madden ad.
19. If it weren’t because of Jennifer Lopez ass J-Lo would have not existed.
20. VH1 Classics is the new old MTV2 and the new MTV2 is basically MTV.
There are other things I fail to mention on my list, but then again who cares!
I have been using this forum to voice my opinions, mention the good, the bad and the ugly of B2N, talk about other bands, and myself. Today, B2N has three members instead of four. Someone in B2N has decided that he needed some time away from the band to pursue another form of music. Can you guess who that S.O.B. is? This character supposedly was contemplating this idea ever since January. When asked “why?” he just answered that he was not “feeling” it. What kind of a fucking answer is that? Can you believe that! What a fucking bastard! The only cool thing is that he still wants to do a summer show with B2N. He is so fucking generous! At least we do not have to read his journals. There is always an upside to everything .
So that is what is happening with B2N and with that I say goodbye to our fans whom have become our friends and a special goodbye to my brothers Rob, Al and Fred. Thanks for the memories!
In case no one knows who left B2N and you need me to spell it out, it’s me!
March 30, 2004 – witch hunt (kenny)
I was going to write about me in this journal, but decided to go in a different direction. I was going to mention my break-up with my girlfriend and I was going to mention the fact that I returned to my “team” again (this was before meeting my girlfriend not after). I was going to mention all of that, but instead I decided to write about this…
In 1692, 100 people were charged of being witches. A village doctor failed to cure the daughter of a Reverend and diagnosed his daughter with “bewitchment”. In less than 10 months 19 people were hung, 1 man was crushed to death, and 17 others died in prison.
In 1950, the U.S. was scared of the “red plague”. Joseph McCarthy went on a witch-hunt and persecuted anyone who opposed the “real American” way of life. People who opposed his viewpoints were considered communist and were heavily prosecuted. The nation’s ideology ended. The cultural and intellectual life suffered. TV aired bland shows and a blacklist contributed to the reluctance of the film industry to deal with controversial social and political issues. People were fired from their jobs without any unemployment benefits and were put on trial and sent to jail to eventually die.
Today congress is on a witch-hunt again. They’re covering this witch-hunt by using excuses like Janet Jackson’s boob (not a looker), Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ”, Gays and Lesbians right to marriage, and Howard Stern. It seems that congress has taken upon themselves to violate our civil and constitution rights. Let’s be honest, the war in Iraq had nothing to do with Bin Laden and what he did to us on 9/11 or the possibilities of Iraq harvesting W.M.D. (none were found) or even Saddam’s reign of terror over Iraq. The war in Iraq was all about oil and how much richer corporate America could be. If you notice right now the prices of gas are reaching the 2 dollar mark, this is not due to the fact that we don’t have oil it’s just another monopolistic thing that oil corporations are doing to gain more money.
What does the above have to do with B2N, well; actually this is something that concerns all of us. Are we going to let our rights be taken away? It might not look serious at the moment, but remember even bad things take time. It took a civil rights movement and a problem like the Vietnam War to end “McCarthyism” are we going to wait for another Vietnam War (the Iraq war is on it’s way). Election time is coming and it’s time to learn about these candidates. We have a tool like the Internet to aid us, so let’s not only use it only download the Paris Hilton porn tape (by the way does anyone have it?) let’s use it to learn about our future.
As for B2N, well, thoughts of recording a new album have been flying back and forth. What kind of noise we’re planning this time around is anyone’s guess. I’ve been listening to “shoe gazer” bands like M.B.V., C.W., Slowdive, Stone Roses and Ride, but I have also been listening to the Cure and B.R.M.C. (the new J.M.C.) too. I guess I’ve painted a good picture of what direction I’m leaning towards, but as far as the other guys…who knows. Talks of another show have been tossed around; so keep coming to the site for more details. With that said….
January 20, 2004 – continental setlist(rob)
Here’s a qucik rundown of the Continental setlist from last night. Recap and photos to follow.
Willy Wonka’s Radio Song
Picture of Fantasy
Biscuits and Gravy
This Is Where The Break Begins
I’ll try and get the full recap up soon. Thanks to everyone for coming down. More show information coming later .
November 23, 2003 – PETE’S CANDY STORE SHOW (rob)
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On behalf of the band, I’d like to thank everyone who came down to Pete’s Candy Store to see our long overdue show. For some reason, it was probably the first time I can say that I was never nervous before this show. Seeing so many friendly faces and the amount of people that managed to make their way to Brooklyn on a Thursday night gave me the most comfortable feeling I could have.
When we first arrived at Pete’s, we were less than thrilled. The stage was so small and after Al assembled his kit, we had little to no room to stand up in front of it. I was particularly upset at first because the Pete’s owners saw my guitar amp and immediately started warning us to keep the volume way down. Things got a little worse during soundcheck when they kept saying “lower, lower..the neighbors will call the cops”. This was not exactly the return to glory I had hoped. It got to the point where they told Al to cover his snare drum with a shirt “because it was too piercing”. We went through soundcheck and things sounded pretty well on the (facsimile of a) stage. The stage was so tight that when I was asked to lower my amp, I couldn’t even get to it!
Hugo arrived to help us with the soundcheck and started riffing on the place to cheer us up a bit, as he could see we weren’t pleased. Finally, after being the one who set up the show and being understandably tired of the whining, Fred said something that snapped me out of it. “Let’s wait until the night is over and then we can all talk about how it sucks.” He was right. There was nothing we could do about it. Instead of bitching and moaning about it, we needed to step it up and make sure we put on a good show in spite of it all. I shut up a bit after that. If I thought the pressure was bad on us, I can just imagine how Fred must have felt.
Is it me, or is this eerily reminiscent of the Beatles at the Cavern Club?
So we soundchecked a few songs with Hugo’s help and even though it sounded way too quiet onstage, it seemed to full the room nicely when I stepped out into it while playing. The room is not wide at all but it does go back very deep. Tremendous credit goes to the sound man at Pete’s who was so polite and helpful in getting it to sound good at a reasonable volume, you couldn’t help but want to accommodate the guy. Everyone at Pete’s was incredibly friendly and professional. I was even offered free food even though we were only supposed to get one drink. Pretty cool people.
When soundcheck was finished we dipped over to Bamonte’s for dinner. We planned on a few of us going to have a bite and by the time we got there the reservations had grown to 15 because so many of our friends wanted to have dinner with us before the show. A tremendous thanks goes out to Mark the Dude for stepping up to the plate with the dining arrangements so we could be free to keep our heads clear. We chowed down on a family style meal while people began filing into Pete’s around the corner. By the time we got back, the place was getting crowded and the vibe was so good that the stage problems were becoming irrelevant to us. After six and a half years, we were finally about to play.
Finally at 9:45, we made our way to the stage. Hugo introduced us and said some very kind words and did such a pro job it is only fitting he’s running an internet radio station now. He seemed just as excited to introduce us as we were to actually play. Finally, he ended with “Ladies and gentleman, Blue2Noise”. Everyone started screaming and Fred started the opening riff to “Emmanuelle”, a new song in which I only sing but do not play. Just like that, we were back. The set list was as follows:
Willy Wonka’s Radio Song
In The Middle
Picture of Fantasy
Overkill (Men at Work cover)
Shipbuilders and Tornados
Biscuits and Gravy
This Is Where The Break Begins
At about 80 minutes long, it was by far the longest show we have ever played. Everyone was right there with us, cheering, yelling and moving around. As a matter of fact, some people moved more than we were able to! In watching the video though, we definitely played a good, tight set. It was a good mix of our old and new songs and I really do think we are a better band then we were at the time we stopped playing. People seemed to really like the show. Sometimes it is hard to tell but this time I really think everyone had a blast. Kudos to Fred for putting up with our BS and staying positive when we weren’t I am working on putting a video clip up on the web for you guys too.
A lot of credit goes to Al as well. In our case, we just had to keep lowering our amps. But Al had to try and find a way to play quieter. Imagine practicing playing the drums hard for two years only to be told to play completely different two hours before the show. As usual, Al delivered big time and played solid all night. He’s a damn good drummer, that Fongo. Kenny was as relaxed as I have seen him in a long time. He nailed his bass lines and looked like he was having a blast. Fred was Fred. Mr. indie rock delivers again. He even brought the pogo back for a bit. Hey, if you can’t move sideways, why not up and down?
If you missed it…no worries. We have added a show at the Continental in NYC on January 19th. I may even be able to spread my arms at this one.