inside the world of American Hard Dance

That moment When….

You are sitting at home, and suddenly realize your favorite band ever is playing 15 minutes from you…for free.

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Bobaflex, was doing an acoustic set over at badass biker bar Venom 2 in Hudson Florida. Bobaflex!? Acoustic? at Venom!? WHAT A COMBO! i thought that show was next week! OH SHIT

I start blowing up my friends phone, trying to see if she was there and if Bobaflex had taken the stage yet. No answer. I grab Rob and tell him to call her husband, Julius…his band was playing and he'd definitely know the set times. " oh no did we miss them did we miss them shiiiit" going through my head.

Little did we know that he had his phone plugged into the house PA and was playing Pandora in between bands. We come to find out later we were the ones confusing the hell out of people as Julius came rushing in to see who the hell was calling every 5 minutes over the PA.

We eventually got a hold of him, ( sorry folks, for screwing up the music) and was told we had 15 minutes to get down there, before Bobaflex took the stage.

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I don't think i ever got ready so fast in my life. Threw on my Bobaflex shirt, my kikwear 42" phats, shoved my wallet and keys in my pockets and dragged rob out of the house and was a horrible backseat driver the entire way.

to back up a bit - I have had a serious love for Bobaflex for years, their songs are truly from the heart, their passion comes through in every riff and guitar lick, and for anybody who's seen them live - there's no doubt that these guys live for every damn moment they're on that stage. They love their fans, they go out of their way to really make sure a show is a great show. They're real; they talk about everything from marriage to addictions, victories to hopeless moments of self doubt, together they weave a story for those of us who have gone through hell and back and are still standing proudly to raise a finger to the establishment.

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One song in particular, "Home"…is one of those tracks that will forever have me misty eyed when i hear it. When i FIRST heard it actually a good few years ago now- it made me cry. It means alot of things to alot of people, but, for the touring musician, and those who are in the industry themselves, its a striking testament to that reality check we ALL face. When that love for the music is gone, whats left? it asks, 'what are you in this for? why am i such a mess? i just want to get out of here. '

" Just relax, and take the red one first,

so you can go back to work,

the band can go back to work"

I myself have gotten addicted for a time to pills from my producers/managers/etc pushing things at me. " here, its for your own good" they'd say. " so you can sleep" they say. " this will get you through tonight's show" they'd say.

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Soon you don't know which end is up anymore - what to feel, is this the effect of the upper i took earlier or myself? im not feeling right what do i need to take now? Where the fuck am i anyway? Hearing those lines was the first thing that turned on the waterworks for me when i first heard this track. Nobody talked about the reality of this life, its all glory and party and girls and sex drugs and rock and roll man, this was so raw and real.

If you're a person who really is over the "party like a rockstar' hype and just really aren't into downing booze and whatever else before or after or even DURING a show , you can get a lot of shit for it. I even get looked at strangely in EDM for not being a heavy party type. " whats wrong with you, you're the headliner get fucked uppp!!!"

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No thanks, mostly because being a vocalist who has to jump around on stage for an hour or more doesn't really sound fun or even safe doing fucked out of my gourd. Props to those who CAN do that and get away with it, i'd end up just rolling around on the stage warbling into a microphone if even attempted it. The rants and taunts can really just become tiresome and you long to just get out of there.

Sometimes, every musician, singer, band, Dj…..You just get burnt out. Maybe you have a few horrendous shows in a row; Your fighting amongst bandmates/teammates; shit is just happening and your just want to go the fuck home and decompress for awhile. But….you can't. Your on a tour, or on a plane somewhere to your next gig, You're stuck in a studio uninspired and tired, but contractually obligated to push out songs in a deadline, you are stuck in this and you have to keep on going. You got to put on a brave face, go out and perform/mingle amongst people/ do your appearances and interviews.. when you're feeling like you just want to cuddle into a ball and forget the world.. Its a really low, trapped feeling. We've all been there at some point.

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its been a long time,

and i don't think about the show no more

i wanna go home

i wanna go home.

Its been a long time,

and i don't think i like the road no more

i wanna go home

i wanna go home

Just relax, and take the red one first

so you can go back to work

the band can to back to work

work work work work


"Home" by Bobaflex

Last time i got to see Bobaflex was at State Theatre in St. Petersburg Fl. It was a tremendous show, so many bands on that ticket. it was my friend Jeff from A Broken Machine that got us into that show. It was a thank you because I was giving him vocal training at the time, and though the numerous practices we got chatting about our favorite songs and band, and i shared with him my love for Bobaflex. At that point i had my first two releases out through UK label Nu Energy Collective with Synthwulf - 'Rena' and 'Rising to Paradise'. So as those songs were smashing their way through the dance charts, i was sitting in florida oblivious to it all with a redo/remix "Home" i started with one of my buddies producer Joey Beattoven. With the show coming up with Bobaflex on the ticket I had a wild hair up my ass to maybe show the band my rendition, and get a chance to explain why that song means so damn much to me. How its an anthem for all of us who have just been there. Once i got there though i totally chickened out.

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Jeff got wind of this and that night, he did everything he could to try to get me in touch with the band. I felt like a burden; i mean who the fuck was i? this raver chick in a dress, fluffies, pigtails and neon accessories in a crowd of metalheads and die hard fans. I knew all their music, was singing along with the whole rest of em, but I felt silly. The show itself was incredible, and despite me sticking out like a sore thumb at my first real big metal show i had a damn good time for myself. Jeff appeared not soon after and dragged me to the back where all the bands were hanging out. Rob was standing there already chatting with everyone, im introduced to the band shortly after and Marty in particular asks about the remix. if i had it so he could listen. Well shit.

So there i was, plugging my big obnoxious headphones into my phone..hands shaking…handing it over to them one by one. And each one of them listened, and thought it was awesome. Stood there, in big pink fuzzy headphones with some raver chick, to listen to a cover in a totally different genre.

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i realized WOW nobody does that in my world!! its so rare - the shows are SO big and the DJs now are at such a superstar level , at a festival who the hell can you just stand around with and bullshit about music with, and even go 'hey dude i made this for you wanna give a listen?" you do that nowadays their security pushes you away, or you get laughed at. From that moment on i told myself to keep going to the local metal shows, and seeing bands. These guys have it way harder then i do, and maybe if i keep reminding myself of the local circuits, i'll never get my head in the clouds like so many of my mentors and predecessors who have gone before me and are now, totally unreachable.

So here i was, 4 years later in a small local bar in Hudson , Florida…and Bobaflex was doing a full blown acoustic set. First few notes of "Home" is played, and i loose my shit. Here come the tears. They even smashed out covers of " Country Roads" "sounds of Silence" and "Blackbird" among the hits and new songs from their Charlatans Web Album . I was so happy i caught it, i was two days away from traveling to Atlanta to perform my own huge concert at Momocon. I was caught up in a flurry of promotions, last minute sewing and stress. It was great to stand there rocking out with a few good friends all buzzing off of catching such a rare opportunity; an acoustic set in such an intimate setting.

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After the set, we were all chatting outside with the friends we caught in the crowd, when i hear " hey- haven't heard from you in awhile!"

we then took a few minutes to discuss music, gear, and all sorts of musical studio bullshit. I got some amazing advice, and soaked up all that i could. Advice from those already in the industry is still rare in my world, egos are so big, due to all the paranoia and unregulated crap that goes on everybody is so scared of everyone, nobody likes to teach, or divulge tricks. Learning to produce can be one giant lonely free for all. Learning how to survive the industry once you've made it , can be even more terrifyingly lonely.

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I was not expecting to be remembered - let alone be able to talk and chill, be asked about current happenings. For one fleeting night, i was respected amongst musicians as a peer. I may in a totally opposite genre, but i was still present. We are all in the same industry fighting the same battles.

I soaked it up into my soul, stored it away for later fuel. knowing going back into the Rave world, i was just another pretty face, a dance music vocalist ; at times being straight up told and reminded i'm a 3rd class citizen in a boys club. Whatever, buddy.

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But, it didn't matter. Standing there, shooting the shit and getting damn good advice - made me realize that what i do resonates out. Blew my mind, literally.

I have trained myself over the years , in the multitudes of times i've met larger acts, personalities, 'celebrity' types and my own idols to play it calm and cool, as my inner mind flips over and down and nuts trying to formulate words that actually make sense so i don't seem like a bumbling idiot ( as i feel i do all the time anyway) although the time i co headlined with Scott Brown….none of this worked and i was a shaking ball of tears but thats another story….

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So i was literally having my brain melt out of my ears, as i stood there , with my favorite group of talent, talking about shows we both have coming up and all sparked by them remembering me from years back at massive show.

What you do resonates out - you never know WHO is watching and listening. so fuck em if your own circle, your own genres, your own networks don't exactly 'Get it" at first or even at all :: There's more ears out there.

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and you'd be surprised, who's listening.

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So i finally, organized something i've been playing with for awhile now, but was scared to take on. I decided to do my own acoustic night, with my long standing producer friend Synthwulf. One week before the largest concert and politically charged weekend i do - Metrocon Tampa, what a great way to showcase that these are true songs. What people know as a flurry of synths and beats and blips…are all real complex compositions, started on the piano. Most of them as ballads, or classical pieces. Its more then just a vocal hook put over a synth line riff….I bleed a piece of my soul into every piece. Synthwulf being a classical composer and musical theory prodigy, our music together has always resonated on a deeper level in the Hard Dance genres. Im so excited to showcase them, as they were originally written. And to be able to talk about the songs, and share the backstory to each. With the freedom to write what i feel in the digital label world, i am very lucky to be able to really pour my heart out.

i'm so glad, the universe just at the right moment….reminded me of my own skills. It appeared as a swift kick in the ass, a facebook post that Bobaflex was performing a rare acoustic set, and i had a good 15 minutes to get down there before they took the stage. I could have sat there like any other Wednesday night but no, i wasn't going to miss this.

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Its always the smallest accidental chances, which snowball into massive things. its unforgettable nights, with epic talents that inspire people to do great things. Its why i try to talk to everybody that i can after my own shows. Because I've missed those moments, i usually have those moments stuffed away in memories of early warehouse parties, meeting the Djs who would go onto become untouchable, unreachable legends. Im so happy to still have those moments, and give that back at my own shows.

Everything you do, and push out - someone somewhere, is listening, watching, soaking it all up for their own battles ahead. Put 150% of yourself into your art. Always.

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And you're damn right i'm covering " Home" at my acoustic night.

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