Die Like Gentlemen [UPDATED with video]

So I have a new band. It's called Die Like Gentlemen. I play guitar, sing, and do most of the songwriting. We're kinda like a chunkier version of Black Sabbath. You can "Like" us and listen to a few rehearsal tunes on our Facebook page while you read this, if you like.

We played our first show last Saturday at an excellent local Portland dive music venue called Plan B. We had a great turnout, played really well, and got a lot of positive feedback. It really went excellent. The most popular songs were "Covetous" and "Hidden Switch" (the latter of which discusses my tinnitus).

You may remember that I was unsuccessfully seeking a second guitarist. One of the main reasons was to have a more accomplished lead guitar for solos and such. Soloing was never my strong suit, I've always been much more of a composer. Some guitarists pick up a guitar and start soloing, I pick one up and start writing parts.

Well, we didn't want the lack of a second guitarist to stop us from gigging, so I manned up and started working specifically on my solos. I started sketching them out, trying to figure out how to play what I was hearing in my head or just sloppily improvising until I lucked upon something that didn't suck. After a couple of months I felt I had improved from "embarrassingly bad" to "could easily fool non-musicians" so it was time to put ourselves out there. Which, like I said, went excellent.

I gotta tell ya, though... The whole week leading up to the show, my anxiety about playing was pretty damn strong and all-consuming. When I was gigging constantly in New York City with Brompton's Cocktail and/or The Invincible Doctor Psyclops Invasion I didn't have near this level of anxiety. Was it from acclimation because I was playing out so often? I don't think it was just that; I remember being pretty fearless about performing when I was younger.

I remember, however, that the very first show of The Monster Project had me terrified. That was somewhat understandable: I was debuting a seven-piece band doing complicated instrumental music, and I was slightly worried about the possibility of something totally falling apart onstage. I had personally booked the venue and all the bands that evening, including the duo of Shelley Burgon and Trevor Dunn, the latter of whom is the bassist in two of my favorite all-time bands -- and here I was about to play bass onstage in front of him. I even had solo sections where everybody dropped out but me. This was all a terrifying amount of anxious pressure if you're an ego-fixated perfectionist like I am. The gig went great, though, and subsequent Monster Project shows were much less stress-inducing.

I was looser as well when playing with I Disagree, perhaps because I was just the singer, but I did notice that my baseline gig anxiety was still higher than it had been in NYC. I worried about my voice not being up to the increasing endurance and range boundaries I kept pushing. By our last gig, though, I was fairly casual.

So perhaps the cycle is just starting all over again. Hopefully in six months I'll hardly fret over Die Like Gentlemen shows at all.

Nonetheless, I spent the day in advance of our first performance willfully distracting myself with episodes of Star Trek and ER, plus a documentary on Black Sabbath's Paranoid. Anything to not think about the fact that in several hours I would be playing guitar and singing in front of 50 or more people, most of whom had never heard me sing or play before. First impressions, man. They're crucial.

But like I said, it went well. We played like fatalistic heavy metal gentlemen and acquitted ourselves admirably, especially for a first show.

Check out the tunes on Facebook and let me know what you think.

UPDATED with video!


a hidden switch is flipped
a nerve has bitten down
a permanent alarm
a static piercing sound

inverted pedal tone
infuriating noise
interminable climax
instills what it destroys

can't say that you weren't warned
a warning you ignored
the cost of all that volume
is silence nevermore

I thought it was a great show! I have trouble talking when my surroundings are so loud otherwise I would have chatted you up a bit more afterwards.

You certainly pulled a better crowd then the next act. I felt kinda bad for them.
» Posted 5.08.2012 10:55:51 by Tom [Website]
Dude. You guys killed it.
» Posted 5.08.2012 13:22:20 by Carl
Diggin' that live clip. Some real good meat and potatoes going on here.
» Posted 5.21.2012 11:09:43 by Carcass [Website]
What happened to the lead guitarist? in the 80s everybody wanted to be the man and have their 2 minutes of fame masturbating the frets and working the whammy bar. Now its all disco beats and chugging along with the low bass.

Man up indeed Botch and if all else fails just follow the Kerry King school of soloing!!!!
» Posted 5.26.2012 4:02:50 by Gloon
"ego-fixated perfectionist like I am"... I love how self-aware you are. In my experience few people have this ability.

So was this the opening show I saw or did you guys play another already!?
» Posted 5.30.2012 10:57:14 by Ryan
Thanks, guys!

Ryan: The video is from our first show, yup. And egoists are intolerable when they're not self-aware. ;)

Gloon: Looks like we found our lead guitarist in the audience of that show. That said, I did man up and go all Kerry King. I play a short solo in that video!
» Posted 6.03.2012 11:55:03 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Good stuff old boy!!! Great to see you behind the guitar again!!!
» Posted 8.02.2012 12:15:44 by The Wickerman
I remember I got you onto Black Pyramid many moons ago so just poppign in and dropping some more names for ya old and new ha ha
The Vision Bleak
Project: Failing Flesh
Goathanger - greatest logo ever!!!!
Beheaded - one of the best DM releases of last year
Wolfsbane - new one, fuck its funny sounds like David Lee Roth doing Meatloaf
Hour of Penance
Fleshgod Apocolypse

extra points for finding Mism!!

and I think you'll enjoy pockets and crosses from Goathanger, enjoy.

\m/ (- -) \m/

» Posted 4.26.2013 6:43:53 by Gloon [Website]

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