Happy New Year! Holiday fun, the rest of the Blink-182 covers (x3), a sneak peek demo at 'Meteor Shower' from the new Better Than The Book album (+ some updates), reflections on 2017 + new goals and what to expect from JabunAudio in 2018!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've had a great time in the last few weeks since the previous blog post and a very merry Christmas and New Years celebration too whatever you were up to! As usual I was back in my hometown with family and friends, making the most of seeing people, being back, and generally just relaxing for a little bit, and as usual I've managed to pick up someone's flu/cold/cough etc... (thanks again) so hopefully I'll be fighting fit and singing again soon! Star Wars VIII despite its generally mixed reception I really enjoyed, and I finally visited the world famous Andertons music shop where my brother had been working for the last 6 months, playing on some lovely gear I can't possibly afford and generally being amazed at how big the shop is despite the small entrance.
The biggest highlight of the holiday though was a long overdue get-together of the 6 original members of my first ever band "Crow's Wing" (2 only short lived members, but all amazing friends throughout the years). It would've been the first time all of us had been in the same room in likely over 5 years! A great afternoon of merriment, catching up and good times! Some regrets as usual for the holiday season, my favorite burger place in Brighton "Burger Brothers" was closed for the holidays, so I couldn't satisfy my hunger from there, and due to illness, I didn't get to have a jam with my brother before he moves to Okinawa, though I'll see him again in a few weeks for his doctorate graduation (mega congrats to him) before he moves! No skating either, though the weather wasn't good for it, so not really much I could've done.
As with every holiday season, I also received some lovely gifts from family, including Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden)'s autobiography, a Star Wars Encyclopedia (I am a massive child, yes), some comics and many sweets and vouchers. The highlight present this year though was from my parents and brother who pulling some strings at Roland gifted me a TR-08 drum machine! For those of you who don't know, the tr-08 is a miniature and modernized recreation/reissue of the famous 80s drum machine the TR-808, a quintessential sound of Hip-Hop and heard in every genre from rock, soul, electronic, pop, and more! Possibly the most influential drum machine of all time, and with a very distinctive sound palette, I've been using samples and emulations of the 808 since 2012 when I first started writing music as Jabun, and in fact, ALL the electronic drum sounds in the "Daydream" album (apart from one other synthesized kick) were played from an 808 emulator. The Tr-08 was such an amazing and unexpected present and now that I have effectively an 808 on my desk, you can be sure to hear more Jabun soon (right after the new BTTB album). An amazing and inspiring addition to my ever growing musical armoury! Thanks so much guys!
And with that said, enough talk of the holidays and let's get to some of the usual JabunAudio news! First there's a load of new music to share, then let's take a moment to reflect on 2017 and set some new goals for 2018! Let's get started!
First of all, over the last few weeks, the final tracks in the Blink-182 covers series, to celebrate 4 years with my lovely girlfriend Eva, have been released and so I figured I'd take a moment to share them with you here. I really hope you've enjoyed the series and in this final blog post about it, I have "Wasting Time [Instrumental]", "Josie [Instrumental]", and "All The Small Things [Instrumental]" to share with you! In case you've missed anything too or if you simply want to listen again, I've also put together a YouTube Playlist of all 10 tracks from the project for your convenience. Feel free to explore the tracks again, and I hope you enjoy these final installments of the Blink-182 cover songs:
BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!!! So following the initial unveiling of the above Blink-182 covers EP, I received a ton of praise not only from Eva, but also from my parents when I was testing a back-up CD on the family Hi-Fi, so in the last few months leading up to Christmas I decided to put together 2 more cover EPs as Christmas presents for my parents and also Eva again! Despite a lot of production delays and headaches, I was really pleased with the way they turned out, but seeing my parents and Eva's reactions upon hearing it really made all the effort worth it, and with their permission, I'm super excited to share these 8 tracks with you over the following 2 months! The first EP is a 6 track (mostly) acoustic covers EP for my parents of songs I used to sing around the house a lot when we were still living together almost 2 years ago now, and the second is a 2 track mostly acoustic RAP covers EP for Eva because apparently I don't rap enough (you can be the judge as to whether I should!). With all that said, the video schedule will follow the same timeline as the Blink-182 covers and will be released at 12pm GMT on Wednesdays as follows!
17th January - Perfect - Alice Cooper
24th January - Aliens Exist - Blink-182
31st January - Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
7th February - For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
14th February - The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
21st February - Hurt - Nine Inch Nails / Johnny Cash
28th February - Papercut/PPR-KUT - Linkin Park
7th March - The Juggernauts - Zebrahead
I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to sharing these with you all soon!
Next this week, some Better Than The Book updates! So first of all, as of right now, 9/10 songs are lyrically finished, structured and demoed ready to record with just one song left to finish the lyrics for! I'm aiming to have that finished before the end of the month, but whatever happens, BTTB hits the studio again to start recording by the end of February! Next and lastly, as a special Christmas treat this year and marking 5 years since the One Small Step EP was released, I decided to upload a sneak peek instrumental of an upcoming track from the new album! It's a heavy one, I hope you enjoy it, and get your hype train rolling for summer 2018: Here's "Meteor Shower"!
Lastly this week and as it's the start of a new year, I figured it'd be a good time to reflect on the goals I set at the start of 2017 and set some new goals for 2018. Now being honest and open about it for a moment, 2017 was not the best year for me, and if we look at the last 6 months specifically, due to various set-backs and above all else issues in my personal life which I don't feel my place to disclose, I'm just incredibly thankful for the support of my friends and family and that I was able to make it to 2018 and writing this blog post. Having said that and despite the most darkest moments of my life, 2017 had some pretty epic highlights too: the release of my debut album as Jabun - Daydream, following from my first spoken word interview, numerous other interviews and special features for both Jabun and Better Than The Book, breaking a Sonic The Hedgehog world record, and working on the most music I think I've ever worked on in a year: 21 tracks personally released, the recording and release of 18 more cover songs (some to be released this year) and session playing on a further 20+ collaborative songs to be released in 2018 (and that's not even including client work!). While it's not been a great year for money or mental health, it's been a phenomenal year for music making and I aim to continue that inspiration and motivation into 2018!
Now let's check back to last years goals list and see how I did:
1) Finish and release the debut Jabun album + keep doing more little jabun things on the side as usual
2) The ideas are gathering and overflowing so I'll aim to start work on a new Better Than The Book album as soon as the Jabun one is finished! Aiming for a beginning of 2018 release. Planning has already started!
3) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments
4) Make some new connections and help make more animations
5) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
Well 1) was clearly completed and well received so no complaints there! I didn't release any more Jabun stuff since the Daydream album, but ideas have still been gathering and planning and certainly started too for more albums and EPs in the future.
2) The 3rd Better Than The Book release is well on target for a slightly delayed mid 2018 release so I'm happy with how that goal is doing, and it was nice to release the bonus Two Years On [Instrumentals] album in February too, so I'm happy with the state of my beloved ska-punk project!
3) The MVP of investments this year goes to my Squier VM Jaguar which has really been a star player, firstly on the Blink-182 covers EP and also on the upcoming World Beyond album too. There's no question that this guitar will be a major player on the 2018 Better Than The Book album too. A fantastic and fun reward and investment! Some other small investments such as more acoustic paneling have also been incredibly valuable for work too, so let's not forget those.
4) Although the beginning of the year had some great animation work such as Fun Station 4 Kids' "3 Little Raptors & The Beanstalk", since about April I've not had any animation work due to various project delays (not necessarily unreasonable), and the now dubbed "YouTube Adpocalypse" which has adversely effected many YouTube creators leading to a knock on effect on my clients and collaborators. The at the time super exciting Yu-Gi-Oh! project you may have also noticed I've not mentioned in a while and this is because of various issues and headaches which have still yet to be resolved regarding my work. In terms of making new connections, this year hasn't been an incredibly great one for that, though I've made a few and have certainly been nurturing old ones. This whole point 4) is something I'd like to do a lot better with in 2018, and with the right attitude and motivation, I'm sure it's something within reach.
5) In terms of music production I'd say things are the best they've ever been and I'm really excited to continue the trend into the new year! No quarrels there, though linking to the last point, I've like to flex those post-production muscles again soon too.
So overall not a bad turnout at all on those goals despite it not being the most financially successful year. Let's take a moment to set some new goals for 2018!
1) Release the 3rd BTTB album in summer + continue gathering ideas for the 4th album
2) Either release a Jabun EP or be well into working on a new album by the end of the year
3) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments (I don't actually have much in mind for this at the moment, but it's always good to reward yourself)
4) Make some new connections and help make more animations
5) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
6) Be a better business as well as an audio engineer, music producer and musician. Make 2018 the best financial year for JabunAudio yet!
So a lot of repeat goals as well as some new ones! Let's make 2018 a kickass year!
Phew! That was a long post, and that's about it for this week! What's in store next week? Well my targets for January are to have all these new BTTB lyrics finished as well as the JabunAudio website fully complete and up and running so I'll no doubt be working on that. I'm aiming to get started on more music for the A P O T H E O S I S game too later this month so that's on my to-do list. In terms of the blog, I'll be sharing the first of the Christmas present covers "Perfect" by Alice Cooper, as well as an extra special video which I could've put in this post but figured it was probably long enough already! Whatever else happens, we shall see! I hope you all have a great week until the next blog post and as always thanks for supporting JabunAudio and my other projects. Once again Happy New Year and let's make 2018 an amazing year to remember! See you next time, and take care!
Nick Standing; Better Than The Book; Jabun!
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