Been Lost Dreaming

*AUDRA* says:

On January 27th, 2017 we released our second Naked collection, Been Lost Dreaming. Naked for us means something completely different than it does for most people. Playing off the album art cover from our full length LP, Chaser Eight, we decided to call all our acoustic versions of songs Naked. See, the LP had a picture of a naked side boob on the cover. And when you combine that with people calling acoustic versions of songs the  "stripped down version,'' BOOM, you get Chaser Eight Naked. Our first Naked collection featured four songs from the LP. This Naked collection features three brand new songs.

We are especially excited to release this collection because not only are these songs brand new for our listeners, but we also recorded and produced the entire collection ourselves in our home studio. That's right. After working through the arrangement of the songs and nailing down the ideas, the talented Pat Walsh put on his engineer/producer hat and took to his DAW to bring you what you hear today. So these songs are emotional and have an emotional connection to us.

So we really hope you'll take a listen to the three songs by clicking this link: Been Lost Dreaming

And then you can buy them here: ChaserEight.com or iTunes

Been Lost Dreaming Album Art by Haley Warren

Been Lost Dreaming Album Art by Haley Warren

Inside The Ears of Bill

Billy says:

What I've been listening to-

Megadeth - Dystopia

The band released their 15th album this past January and is the first since 2004 and 2007 to not feature their longtime drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick. Interestingly enough, the two announced their departure last November and formed a new band altogether. Nonetheless, the album is a fiercely aggressive album with tons of riffs and some might say that it's a return to form by the band after their last album Super Collider. Boosted by killer tracks like Lying in State, The Threat Is Real and Fatal Illusion, the album hosts some atypical tracks you wouldn't normally associate with the band. Tracks like the sole instrumental track Conquer or Die! features plenty of acoustic guitars from new guitarist Kiko Loureiro then rips into a full-blown metal barrage. A very solid album by the band overall.

Dream Theater - The Astonishing

There's a lot of music to listen to with Dream Theater's 13th album The Astonishing; it may even be too much for one single play through all at once. With over a little two hours of material, the band's second concept album features a wide range of styles matched by masterful song writing by guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess with strong lead vocals by James LaBrie. Considering the storyline and the need for many different characters, LaBrie plowed through and delivered a great performance. Songs like Three Days, The Path That Divides and Moment of Betrayal are some of the standout tracks. It will definitely take a few more listens by me to get the full experience.

Trivium - Silence in the Snow

I'm not that big of a fan for screaming/harsh vocals so to hear that Trivium finally did an album without any harsh vocals certainly stirred my interest. Released in October 2015, this album is the band's seventh release. It seems like the band is trying to move away from their traditional niche sound and more towards a deliberate, "popular" sound that was usually devoid from their previous releases. The title track, Blind Leading the Blind and The Ghost That's Haunting You still have crunching riffs but at a more relaxed pace.

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

After five years from their last album, Iron Maiden released their 16th and first double album back in September. The original release date and subsequent tour were delayed so singer Bruce Dickinson can recuperate from a small battle of cancer but the band is currently on tour supporting the album. Not straying from the band's signature post-2000 sound, the album has plenty of songs that herald as "classic" Maiden including Speed of Light, the title track and The Red and the Black. The album's last track runs at slightly over 18 minutes and can be referred to as a cinematic powerhouse. Another standout track is Tears of a Clown, whom bassist Steve Harris wrote it about Robin Williams' depression and suicide in 2014. The album is great by Maiden's standards and I think it's amazing that Dickinson did his vocals before receiving his cancer treatment.

It's Alive! Leveraging Technology In Our Live Sound

Pat says:

Some rock artists shun technology.  For instance, the iconic Jack White has said “Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth” and he clearly has made decisions in his career that reflect that opinion.

I must confess that I disagree. Certainly it’s true that If technology is used as a crutch to prop up untalented artists then it can have a detrimental effect on art and culture. But that need not be the case. If technology is used to enhance already good music then it can be an asset. Currently our band is trying to add two technological elements to our live sound:

1)     We have been incorporating prerecorded tracks – synths, strings and backup vocals – into our live sound. These are things we have already written and played (or our collaborator Phil Mann has written and played) and are simply added to the mix as we play through the songs during a show. We just don’t have the resources to have additional personnel on stage and this is an inexpensive way to help fill out our sound. I use my laptop and a Presonus interface to send the tracks into the house speakers.

2)     We are going to start using a Roland TM-2 drum module machine to transform our drum kit from purely an acoustic drum kit into a “hybrid kit”. By hybrid I mean that the audience hears both the original playing of our drummer Kyle as well as electronic drum hits on top of his playing. Electronic triggers are placed on the snare and kick drum and when the drum is struck it triggers the module to send an additional electronic hit to the speakers. This helps boost the punch and volume of the drums. It can also help the drums complement each particular song more – a more electronic song can have an 808 kind of vibe or a very dark song can have distorted, aggressive sounds.

Why are we going to the trouble of doing this? Firstly, it creates a more exciting, more dynamic experience for the audience. It provides a fuller sound inexpensively and we aren’t required to add more personnel to do it. Secondly, I think competitive pressure pushes us into making these decisions. If audiences are going to see bigger rock bands (or pop or EDM artists for that matter) then they set the level of quality they experience as an expectation for future concerts that they go to. As a smaller band we can't allow the gap between us and larger bands to be extremely wide in terms of sound quality and sonic detail.

In the end what really matters is how good our music is and how well we perform it – the technology is just used to enhance the music. If  this gear all crashes on us in the middle of a set then we would keep playing the tunes as normal (and some, less perceptive people may not even notice :) ). I am always looking for new ways to incorporate technology so keep on the lookout for more!

Pictures of Gear:

1) Drum Trigger Module

2) Gear For Backup Tracks

For The Love Of Phil Collins

Kyle (the drummer) says:

Hello Crazy 8s!

Firstly, let me say, I’m proud and happy to be on board this wild ride that is the Chaser Eight train. These guys (and gal) are some great musicians, and even more so, great people to be around. I’m lucky to have found them and even luckier to now call them new friends.

So what should my first blog be about? I know; Phil Collins. Why Phil Collins you ask? Well, he answers many generic questions about my life as a musician and why I chose this path as a career. A perfect segue into my introduction to all our fans.

Who is your main musical influence: Phil.

Why did you get into drumming: Phil.

Why did you get into music: Phil.

Why did you decide to go to college for music: Phil.

The first record I ever heard as a young lad was Genesis’ We Can’t Dance album (Phil’s first band). It happened completely on accident when a CD fell off a shelf at my parents’ house and I asked them what it was. I was five years old at the time and had no idea what this compact disc thing was. My parents put the CD on the boombox and I sat there watching this disc spin around and around while hearing these intense, full, rich, complicated sounds coming from fingers and voices of the group Genesis. As the time went on I believe I got used to this sound and slowly craved it. When I was old enough to decide that I wanted to get my own cassette tape, I asked my parents for Genesis. From there on out, I was hooked with this sound of Progressive Rock and Genesis. I soon got deeper into the careers of the band members (Phil, Peter Gabriel, etc.) and there was no turning back.

I started watching concert footage of Genesis and fell in love with watching Phil behind the drums. The power and force that he effortlessly had when he sat down behind a drumkit was something that I didn’t hear or see anywhere else. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to figure out how. By age seven I had my first piano lesson and since then have learned most of the Genesis songbook. I got my first pair of drumsticks and began slamming away on pillows along with Phil on all the concert videos I owned. I never took a drum lesson in my life. I taught myself completely from watching Phil Collins. His mannerisms, his approach, his playing style. It’s something I’m very proud of. And the best part was, he’s a lefty just like me!

Elementary and High School came and went quickly, I played in jazz bands and orchestras throughout my years there, both good and horrendous. When it was time for college I didn’t want to do anything other than music. I ended up with a Bachelors Degree in Music and studied at Berklee College of Music and Western Connecticut State University. I majored in piano and organ and minored in classic guitar.

Fast forward to 2015. Chaser Eight reached out to me. I listened to a few of their tracks, could hear that there was something there. Something good. I knew I needed to explore this and give this a shot. Within a few days I was on the phone with Audra and we had a plan. I went down to an audition and hung with everyone and there seemed to be an instant chemistry between all of us both musically and emotionally. I’m happy to be on board with everyone and I look forward to meeting you all along the road!

CHEERS!

School Days: Billy Gives It A Grade, Again

Billy says:

Earlier this year, I rambled on about some musician books I've read so here's part two. I'm definitely open to more suggestions too.

Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica: Author Joel McIver wrote this comprehensive account of metal band Metallica. I liked how he covered the band members' history before they all joined Metallica and how he portrayed Metallica's up rise with how the music landscape was changing and evolving throughout the 80s and 90s. The book is incredibly detailed yet the book is structured where there's no direct dialogue between the band and the author; all of the facts are recounted through established interviews with other media outlets and secondhand accounts to people close to the band. Lastly, the author gives his own opinions on the band's albums. He hated Load/ReLoad and spends numerous chapters crushing those albums. Now, I'm all about opinions, but devoting that large of a portion of the book to that subject wasn't warranted.

Grade: C+

Watch You Bleed: The Sage of Guns N' Roses: The first 300+ pages of the book are devoted to the band's history from the early 80s to its demise around 1994. It's very detailed but the last 25 pages cover the band and its former members from after 1994 to around 2009. Granted GNR wasn't as prevalent during those years as it was from the 80s and early 90s, but dedicating those few pages to that large amount of years was kind of disheartening. Much like many other band biographies, there are no direct interviews with band members in this book. While the author had 13 people interviewed for the book for details, they asked to remain anonymous, thus the book doesn't have that direct appeal or personality.

Grade: C

Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction: This book is unique in a way where it solely focuses on the time before and during the band making their debut album Appetite for Destruction. There are tons of pictures and behind-the-scenes photos of the band during that time and it gives the book that personal feeling. Marc Canter, personal friend of the band during the early days, compiled the book together and framed the book by detailing all of the gigs and venues the band did leading up to making their debut album. Canter even listed all of the set lists the band did and you can clearly see when and where the band debut all of the songs that would eventually land on Appetite. Details like that made this book very interesting to read.

Grade: B+

An Oral/Visual History by The Red Hot Chili Peppers: The band collaborated with author Brendan Mullen by giving their own accounts of the band's 20+ year history. There were even interviews from past members of the band which provided that extra little detail to the topics. In addition, there are tons of photos throughout the book that give a different outlook that other books tend to be missing. The structure of the book is a little confusing since it just jumps around from subject to subject. The titles of each "chapter" are taken from a song by RHCP so it’s unclear on what's about to be presented. Nonetheless, the book is very informative and expressed new facts that I previously didn't know.

Grade: B