In Remembrance – An Appreciation

I woke up this morning to the passing of one of most influential guitarists, Alexi Laiho. Back when I was a young, budding guitarist in high school (early 2000’s), I started getting into heavier metal in a general succession. It started with Led Zeppelin, on to Black Sabbath, Metallica, Black Label Society, and eventually Alexi’s band Children of Bodom. I remember reading articles about him in my subscription of Guitar World that my parents bought for me (they were and are still very supportive). There were tabs in one issue for their song “Triple Corpse Hammerblow,” but I never had the patience to learn it (or anyone else’s music for that matter.) I was more likely to be inspired by imitating something I heard or saw. I remember distinctly writing a song and getting stuck – not knowing where to take the composition next. I turned to a burned copy of Children of Bodom’s Hatebreeder for inspiration – naturally, I found it.

We had terribly slow 56k internet growing up. Many nights were spent setting up a music video to download in hopes it would have finishing by morning. One of those videos included the clip below (2:30 mark) in which Alexi plays harmonics on his fretboard by alternating his left hand over and under the neck – I definitely stole that move for at least 2 – 3 songs I’ve recorded.

Very recently, I had been going through my stacks of old CDs. I came across the CoB album Hate Crew Deathroll, and it has been in my car’s CD player in recent weeks. In regards to losing musicians, 2021 is apparently not starting off much better than 2020 (we lost Neil Peart early last year). But – I am thankful for the memories, I cherish the inspiration, and we can go forward in optimism and hope for this year. RIP Alexi.

Refresh

Happy New Year for you all! I’m sure all other bloggers are revisiting their sites to reignite good writing habits, and I’m certainly no different. With the new year, I hope to be more candid with you all. I want to share life, feelings, and to ask important questions. Still, I want to share music and to hear from you all! Many blessings to you all – now, let’s move forward!

Enjoy this atmospheric composition from the summer of 2020

John Matthew Newman – “Satelites” video

At the Time of the Spring Rain

Staying home all the time is hard on us all. The silver lining is what saves us; not being at the office late, dinners together, playing in the backyard; seeing the kids grow; not paying for daycare; creative Zooms with family. The work/life balance has been shattered, but we at least have each other. I’m sure our ancestors might scoff because they dealt with much harder tragedies. The news doesn’t help; the politics; the divide. Wearing a mask has become politicized when all we all want is for everyone to be healthy and safe. Let us all acknowledge that this sucks for everyone, treat each other how they want to be treated. Love God, love people, and move forward. Now here’s some music I wrote.

An Aria for Anxiety

I’m proud to release my next album, An Aria for Anxiety; for fans of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Guðnadóttir… also thrilled that all inspiration for this album was from all female composers. In a time where most musicians and local businesses are struggling financially during the pandemic, I’m fortunate enough to not have to worry about my next paycheck. Please, support your local musicians and small businesses; this album is free of charge.

An Aria for Anxiety album cover

http://johnmatthewnewman.bandcamp.com

Oscillating

I’m a little late sharing this on the blog, but it belongs here nonetheless. I finished this track over a month ago, and I’m very proud of it. I’d like it to be a part of an EP, but that is delayed to the worldly events happening now.