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July | 2017 | BellerBlog 2017 July | Just another WordPress weblog

Archive for July, 2017

New Solo Album News, August Satch & Keneally Gigs, Brendon Small’s Galaktikon 2…And A Missing Bass Update

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Has it really been four months since we last laid digital eyes on each other? I admit, I’ve been laying low, and finally taking some long overdue slow-down time after a pretty intense couple of years. But I’ve been keeping myself busy as well. Here’s what up in my world.

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A New Solo Album

Yes, finally. (I mentioned this late last year but I think it’s worth a recap.) It’s been ten years since I wrote the material that became 2008’s “Thanks In Advance”, my last studio solo album. Many, many things have happened since then, and while I was fortunate to be busy with lots of fulfilling work, a noise was building in the back of my head for years about what my next solo album would look, feel and sound like. That noise became a roar last year, as I realized I was walking around with enough material in my head for not just a new album, but a new *double* album. And when I refer to what was “in my head”, I mean pretty close to the whole thing: The album title, the song titles, the melodies, the sonic textures, the grooves, the album narrative, the sequence, the transitions…everything. It’s been a bit odd, as you can imagine.

The good news I’ve finally started the process of getting all of this out of my head and into reality. I now have completed demos for nine of the album’s projected eighteen songs. So far, while it’s obviously still me writing this stuff, I think it’s a pretty radical departure from what I’ve done before. Right now the best phrase I can conjure up is “A Modern Progressive Musical Concept”. The word concept is deliberate: This is a concept album. It’s also definitely less fusion-y, less note-y, and more focused on soundscapes and melodies as you would imagine them through a modern progressive conceptual lens. I mean, sure, they’re not pop songs, there’s intricate bits, but that’s not the focus. If I manage to do it right, it will tell a story, but hopefully not a story limited to and by my own experiences. I’d like it to land as something broader than that.

That all sounds pretty ambitious and high-minded, right? It is, and making it happen will require a healthy chunk of my creative and musical energy for the foreseeable near future. It’s been very rewarding to have the time and space to work on this, and I look forward to sharing more with you when the moment is right. For now, there’s still plenty of road ahead on making this all a reality, starting with finishing the demos for the second half of the album.

For those of you who’ve been following me since the days of “Thanks In Advance”, and even 2003’s “View”, I’m deeply grateful, and hope this upcoming work rewards your patience. If you jumped onboard because of Dethklok, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, or The Aristocrats, I look forward to hopefully showing you something new. And if you known me since the 1990s because of Mike Keneally, there’s probably nothing I can say that you don’t already know, so just enjoy the ride. :-)

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August Gigs

Just because it’s a year off from touring doesn’t mean I won’t leave the house every once in a while for a good cause. Here’s a couple I’ve got coming up in August, with Joe Satriani returning to Brazil, and then Mike Keneally up and down the west coast (and eventually getting over to Chicago):

August 6

Mike Keneally – guitar, keys
Marco Minnemann – drums
Ibirapuera Auditorium
Sao Paulo, Brazil

August 17-26
Mike Keneally – guitar, keys, vocals
Rick Musallam – guitar
Bryan Beller – bass
Joe Travers – drums
(special guests Travis Larson Band opening all shows except L.A.)

August 17-18 – The Baked Potato, LA (2 sets per night)
August 23 – Biscuits And Blues, San Francisco, CA
August 24 – Silo’s, Napa, CA
August 26 – The Merrow, San Diego, CA
and then
October 21 – PROGTOBERFEST III – Reggie’s, Chicago, IL
(Keneally/Beller/Travers trio)

Brazil is a crazy wonderful place, and this will be my third trip there in less than a year! I’m looking forward to this unexpected “encore” show of the Satriani Shockwave tour.

And I’m always excited to play Mike Keneally’s completely unique material with my dear friends Rick Musallam and Joe Travers. Mike’s a busy guy lately, playing with a variety of folks around the world, so I’m extra grateful that there’s room in his calendar for these select dates.

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Brendon Small’s “Galaktikon II: Become The Storm” – Available For Pre-Order Now

Our mad genius friend Brendon Small has done it again, this time with a new chapter in his Galaktikon musical canon. “Galaktikon II: Become The Storm” is – and I want to make sure I get this right here – a “high stakes intergalactic extreme rock/metal album” that blends everything Brendon has done to date into a swirl of high musical drama and many, many kick drums.

The album was tracked by longtime Brendon Small compatriot and metal legend Gene Hoglan, myself, and then Brendon did everything else. Engineer Ulrich Wild somehow made 10,000 tons of metal fit into a (comparatively speaking, anyway) small space. And it’s available for pre-order right now, with a landing date on Earth of August 25.

Where can you go to find out everything there is to know about this whole crazy thing? Right here:

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The Missing Basses Update

Well, I’m afraid to say I don’t have much of one. I invested a pretty significant amount of time, energy and resources in the early part of this year to try and recover the missing instruments. (Note: some very, very generous friends helped immeasurably, for which I’m forever grateful.) A lot happened in that time, and while it may be interesting to some to know all of the details – especially considering how public I was in the telling of the original story, which isn’t lost on me! – unfortunately it’s not the kind of thing I can post, and I just have to leave it there. I had hoped to be able to present a different kind of update. Apparently the universe has other plans, and I’ve learned it’s foolish to resist that for too long.

The missing basses are pretty unique instruments, and there’s a limited market for them. I have a feeling that they’ll turn up one day, even if I’m lacking the crystal ball to know exactly when.

In the meantime, I am happy to report that I was able to find a used 1999 Mike Lull Modern 5 Jazz Bass, which quite incredibly possessed a serial number only *two* numbers away from my old Red #1! The sound is nearly identical. It’s mine now and it will be making live appearances soon. That was a pretty lucky break, and I’m grateful for it. I’m also still working with both Mike Lull and Spector on a variety of instruments, and I’ll continue moving forward on that path.

Once again, if you were one of the 14,000 (!!) people who shared the original post of the theft report, thank you so much. I’m still kind of amazed at how many folks read the story and wanted to help. It was a blast of positive energy when I sorely needed one.

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That’s it for now. Thanks as always for being open to me dropping these e-mails in your inbox every so often. This new music will be for You.

Happy summering,

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