I didn't listen to much music when I was a kid. I had some singles on 45, like "We Are the World" and Weird Al's "Eat It." But it wasn't until I was thirteen that music really struck a chord with me. A friend of mine told me to get Nirvana's Nevermind and GNR Lies for these two girls who were sharing a birthday party downtown. Not only were the gifts well received, but when they played the tapes, the sounds filled me with an intangible feeling. It was something I couldn't lay hands on.
From Nirvana and GNR I moved on to Metallica, whose black album is one of the best selling yet most underrated albums of all time. For hardcore metal fans, the record represented the sell out of the most respected band in the genre. For me, it bridged the gap. I wasn't a metal head. I was a kid who wore grey sweatpants and pastel t-shirts from my aunt and uncle's Florida Keys retreat. But the black album showed me something about music. It showed me how heavy it can be, and how sad. While Metallica doesn't have the complexity of structure that albums like ...And Justice For All or Master of Puppets contain, it does have the dynamics and range of emotion. After investigating those earlier albums, I realized something. There was a way to lay hands on these emotions. Literally.
I didn't want to play music. I had to play music. Like a junkie needs a needle, I needed a guitar. I needed to have it in my hands. So for my fourteenth birthday, my mom took me to Sam Ash where she told the salesman I was looking for a guitar.
"What kind?" he asked.
"A black one," I answered. And with that, a young metal guitarist was born.
I'm 33 now, and I've been playing on and off with varying degrees of seriousness for the past 19 years. I've recorded an album, a couple EPs, and a swath of demos. It Won't Rain For You is the first recording that sounds almost exactly the way I want it to. (I say almost exactly, because if you can't find something you'd like to improve, you're not trying hard enough.) It's just three songs, but Villain's Lament and I took our time crafting them, demoing them, and finally recording them.
I play almost all of the guitar and bass on the recording (Logan pops in for the third of four solos in "Fifth Time's the Charm"), and I think you'll find that I'm still that metal guitarist that was born 19 years ago. The rhythm guitars are heavy, and the leads are abundant. But like the black album, the arrangements are modest and the vocals are accessible. We have two lead singers, and I'd like to think they both have nicer voices than James Hetfield, if not the same rugged enthusiasm. You can judge for yourself:
If you like what you hear, the disc and downloads are available in the following places:
More from Villain's Lament at: villainslament.com