RSS Feed

Tag Archives: studio

Boy Band Extinction

Posted on

Okay, I know they’re not extinct.

Yet.

But c’mon, let’s be honest… One Direction feels like the last of a dying breed. Not that I’m trying to frighten their hordes of fans. I just think that particular industry season has just about run its course. Nearly every popular group from a decade ago has been gradually reduced to one (sometimes two) of its most popular soloists.

So anyway, I thought I’d upload a song demo from a few years back. I used to do studio work all the time for different producers, writers and indy record labels.  I’d record lots of demos for submission to various artists. Some got picked up, others did not. Here is one that I thought was pretty good.  This song was going to be submitted to a new N’sync type boy band that was scheduled to come out. But the band (and subsequently this song) never made it past the demo stage. Meh. I liked it though.

Riis Headphones

LOVE OFFERING

Verse 1
I’ve known you for a while.
No longer in denial.
I told you to come over cause I wanted to see your smile.
I watched you come inside
and though I really tried
what I felt was overwhelming and there was no way that I could hide.

Chorus
The way you make me feel
My heart I can’t conceal
It almost seems unreal
But I’m offering my love to you

I can’t believe it’s true
To be in love with you
I know just what to do
Girl, I’m offering my love to you

© SingOut Music, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Price

Posted on

Someone complimented me on my music the other day. After saying thank you, they proceeded to ask me why I haven’t “tried to get a record deal??” and blah blah blah. I’ve heard that question so many times now that I’ve developed the pat answer of, “because my wife and kids are worth more than any fame or fortune I’d have sacrificed them to obtain”.

Okay, I’m not trying to sound all doomsday. So what does that mean exactly?

Well, Day 150 - 05-29-2012I’ve had many occasions to “get a record deal” (which doesn’t mean what it used to). That isn’t meant to sound boastful. I just want you to know that it hasn’t been due to lack of opportunity. But once I started a family, they became my priority. It was my choice to do so. And no amount of money or notoriety was worth the very real possibility of giving them up. Which is what I was being asked to do in nearly every single circumstance.

See, I already knew what it’s like to spend countless hours in the studio. I’d paid my dues as an artist performing multiple shows a day, multiple days a week. So while it’s true that I would have done anything for my wife and kids, I had to draw the line at depriving them of a husband and father who loves them.

My decision was based on my personal experience and firsthand knowledge that the music industry (and the entertainment industry as a whole) is not very nice. The industry machine and the people who operate it don’t really care about you. Labels, publishers and some producers only care about how you will benefit them first and yourself second, if at all. Most will be expected to act selfishly, and you could very well be asked at some point in your career to compromise everything you believe.

I’m not saying this is the case for everyone. And I would never discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams. It’s just that with my circumstances, for me it was very clear what the end of the road looked like had I chosen differently. I have acquaintances who are both lonely and full of regret. I have other friends who are very fulfilled in their industry careers. It wasn’t until years later that they become acutely aware of the cost of  the road they chose. I just implore you to make an informed decision about these kinds of things. Because the price you pay isn’t always obvious.

TLM: Riis

Posted on

Music is my passion. I dream music. When I hear music I can literally see the movement of the notes, the syncopation and the various instruments used play out in my head like an old silent film with a custom score. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a type of synesthesia. Music literally conjures imaged in my head. It is as much a part of me and as natural as breathing.

I began playing the piano at age 7. It wasn’t that my parents felt that all of their kids should learn an instrument. No, that story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as the truth.  It all started because the brand new upright piano my parents bought for my older brother to practice on, sat in our living room untouched because he grew bored with the lessons he previously begged for.  I, on the other hand, was fascinated by this monstrous noise maker with the clangy black and white keys, and decided that since no one else was using it, I might as well teach myself to play.

And I did.

Slowly but surely I went from finger pecks to two-hand quad-chords. Pretty soon I was playing songs from the radio by ear. While I have never had a formal lesson,  I’ve been fortunate enough to work as a studio session musician, I’ve played in a few bands, and on good days I can play circles around as well as some of my friends who are trained musicians. I have also taught myself to play the drums, guitar and a little trumpet. Although little trumpets can be far more difficult to hold. 😉

Riis Playing Guitar

%d bloggers like this: