Ep. 5 - In Depth on New EP Saintly Patients & Being an Indie Rocker Dad with Mitch Purvis of Commoneer

 

SUBSCRIBE ON YOUR FAVORITE STREAMING SERVICE:


In today's episode, I get to speak with a longtime friend and amazing guitarist, Mitch Purvis of Commoneer. He has a brand new EP coming out called Saintly Patients, and I highly recommend you check it out.

Mitch and I talk about what home recording is like, what it's like to be a parent and active musician and how insane you can make yourself if you spend too much time trying to perfect everything in your music.

We even talk about how the bass guitar is an important element in the overall music of ANY band, but specifically in the recordings of Commoneer and how Mitch came to love the bass with a newfound respect for the 4-stringed instrument.

This is an episode you are truly going to enjoy if you are a musician or have done any recording or producing, for sure!

Intro Music: "Colorado" by Birds Love Filters

Commoneer Website: https://commoneer.net/

Commoneer on Bandcamp: https://commoneer.bandcamp.com/

Commoneer on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/commoneermusic/

Commoneer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/commoneermusic

Pre-save Saintly Patients here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/commoneer/saintly-patients-2

Transcription:

Isaac Kuhlman 0:01
Hello and welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast where we're gonna be speaking with a longtime friend and one of the best damn guitar players. I've known personally, who has an upcoming EP about to hit the internet. It's Mitch Purvis of Commoneer. Coming up next.

You're listening to the Powered By Rock Podcast with your host Isaac Kuhlman. The Powered By Rock Podcast is created helps showcase some of the best rock musicians in the world and the past on the future generations of rock music that has inspired rock fans around the world for decades. We want listeners to be able to hear great stories and life experiences directly from their favorite artists, as well as dig deeper into music theory and talk rock like no other show you've ever heard. This isn't about looking cool. It's about getting real and having a great time. Without further ado, let's start the show.

Hey, welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast. Today is an excellent show because I get to talk all things rock with a good friend of mine. Someone I've known since about 2001 or so, and he shreds incredibly hard on the old six strings, and he has just added a newborn daughter on top of the two sons to his evergrowing future family band. I can only imagine how insanely time crunched and stressful putting out new music must be. But after all that, here he is putting out another EP for his musical project Commoneer. Mitch Purvis. Welcome to the show, Mitch.

Mitch Purvis 1:25
Hey, buddy. Thanks for having me.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:26
Yeah. Good to have you here.

Mitch Purvis 1:29
Applause

Isaac Kuhlman 1:30
Yeah. So I think it's funny because obviously the intro song is it's it's actually Ryan, who is from Speedway Sleeper in your band, Birds Love Filters, and I told him I'll probably never get to interview another person who does that did the intro but I guess here's another person who was part of the intro.

Mitch Purvis 1:51
Yeah, although I don't get to take too much credit for that song. Little bit of lead guitar. But Ryan Yeah. Driving Force by enough.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:56
Yeah, it's a great song. So you know, like I said, Bring it on. And it's the best Intro Music I think of all time. So anybody, anybody else who has Intro Music for their show? Yeah, you messed up! Yep. Yeah. So obviously, the first thing I want to say is, congratulations on the baby girl, how are the boys taking it and how insane is life right now?

Mitch Purvis 2:18
It's Yeah, it's crazy. It's time consuming. I feel like we're starting the Purvis family. And so the Partridge Family. So we'll have like a five piece rock band here in no time. But it's it's good. I've enjoyed about a month off from work. So that's been Nice, nice. Give me a little bit of time to kind of do some of the promotional things for the new EP, which I'm not good at at all. So you know, trying to get the word out there a little bit and, you know, do all the the finishing touches, which are the things that I just absolutely suck at.

Isaac Kuhlman 2:49
Yeah, yeah. You know, the mastering and then the tracklisting and all that good stuff. It's all got to go somewhere. And as independent musicians, that's the stuff that can be time consuming. For sure. Exactly. Yeah. Cool. So before we get into some of the deeper, greater topics that I want to bring up today, I first want to ask about your journey, because this is something that, you know, other than myself and maybe Ryan and a couple of our friends, a lot of people are going to know and it's always good to get the backstory so what was kind of the reason you started playing music and what were some of the influences you had artists wise or maybe people around you? And when did you decide that you know what, I want to do this long term, whether it's, you know, as a hobby or, you know, as a side project or whatever, but you know, you've been a lifelong musician like myself. So how did you decide that this was something you wanted to do?

Mitch Purvis 3:36
Yeah, I kind of grew up in a musical family to a certain extent. My grandma on my mom's side was a music teacher in middle school in high school. And my mom was pretty musically inclined herself. She did a lot of singing my dad played the flute just kind of a weird instrument but he's he's always played the flute still does plays in like, oh

Isaac Kuhlman 3:56
Ron Burgundy like jazz flautist?

Unknown Speaker 3:58
Yeah, he's still rocking, it plays and kind of like a folk type. Like a they do dances like traditional folk dances and then play you know, whatever, Russian folk music or Irish folk music, Celtic music and stuff like that. So you know, they encouraged me to do things musically when I was younger, and I never did unfortunately, like I remember my mom, my mom begging me to play piano or join a choir and I always kind of felt like I didn't want to do that. I was a sports guy when I was growing up so played basketball and baseball and then transitioned to golf, but by the time I got to high school, I got the bug. You know, a good friend of ours he just spoke to on the podcast, Ryan Nelson from Speedway Sleeper he picked up an acoustic guitar when we were 1415 somewhere in there and pressured me to grab one too.

Unknown Speaker 4:50
So I did and then found myself skipping class to play guitar and you know,

Isaac Kuhlman 4:56
He was like a drug pusher, but it was guitar instead of like weed or something. "Hey, let's skip school and play guitar!"

Unknown Speaker 5:04
that was pretty much it. So you know, we started writing songs in my basement and I sort of took a took a liking to lead guitar started playing a lot of lead guitar, he was, you know, doing a lot of songwriting and really proficient at the rhythm parts and all that stuff. So I found myself just kind of being an accompaniment to him. And from there, it just continued to evolve, you know, played in a couple of bands, in Eugene for 6, 7, 8 years, somewhere in there, one of which I just primarily played lead guitar again, and then another that I fronted after that and started my journey into songwriting. And that, you know, was kind of short lived, my wife and I moved to Portland area after that, and I found myself kind of solo and with kids, and you know, when you have kids, they're extremely time consuming. So you got to find a way to start making music on your own and, you know, do the closet recording thing. So I found myself doing that put out a little EP in 2017, that, you know, I was pretty proud of, and I thought that it was something I should build on. So I kind of stuck with the brand stuck with the Commoneer name. And now here's EP number two coming out. So

Unknown Speaker 6:19
nice. So obviously, when you moved into the Commoneer project, I mean, what was that decision? Like? I mean, was it just, Hey, I don't want to put music out as Mitch Purvis, or was it like, I don't know how often I'm going to put music out. So maybe this was just a one off thing for now and see what happens.

Mitch Purvis 6:37
I kind of thought I wanted to start a band. So I was trying to get a band name going, you know, from the start. And the original intent was to try to grab other musicians who might want to, you know, play the other parts. And over time, I found it just, I don't know, too time consuming. Or again, I'm not a good marketer. So I'm not good at getting out and asking people to, you know, come over in jam or

Unknown Speaker 7:01
Yeah, well, if you're in the Portland area, I'll give you Mitch's phone number below. And

Mitch Purvis 7:06
there you go. So yeah, you know, I went through the painstaking process of picking a band name, which is never easy. And one of those hyper insecure individuals sometimes who, you know, probably that's part of the reason why I didn't want to use my first and last name. Yeah. So yeah, so the

Isaac Kuhlman 7:27
Didn't want to call it the Mitch Purvis Project or the Mitch Purvis 3 or something?

Mitch Purvis 7:30
Yeah. It'd be it'd be a hit in Holland. You know, big, big Dutch last name. So yeah, maybe I'll do that there. Yeah, well,

Unknown Speaker 7:37
I know one of the previous band names that we had kind of kicked around for a band that we fictionally put together with called Suddenly, Susan why didn't you go with that?

Unknown Speaker 7:46
you know what, Suddenly, Susan? Oh, they stood alone in their own right. So there's no way that I could trample on that name. It would be sacrilegious.

Unknown Speaker 7:55
Yeah, I think he actually came up with that, obviously, based on that was a Brooke Shields TV show from back in like the late 90s, early 2000s. For some reason that was you latched on to that name is like, let's call our band Suddenly, Susan. I'm like, Why the hell would we

Mitch Purvis 8:08
do? Yeah, you know, why not?

Unknown Speaker 8:11
So let's talk about the new EP that you're putting out later this month, which, oh, by the way, you'll see a link to pre save it in the show notes. But I know that you have been working your ass off on this EP, it takes guys like you and I kind of a while to feel like our final product is good. In fact, I know for myself, I pretty much at some point, just say Fuck it, getting it out there is better than nothing. And it's not going to get any better. Cuz I'm just not going to put the time in at this point to make it better. And I just released the music. But that's me. That's probably why nobody ever liked my music. And I'm the only fan that I have. But what's your take on the process to make this EP and the production side in general?

Mitch Purvis 8:46
Ah, gosh, yeah, that's, that's a good question. I mean, for me, it started with a bunch of songs from previous bands and previous projects I was in that just were sitting unfinished, and I liked them enough that I felt like you know, they deserve the chance to to be a finished product and actually have people listen to them. So that's kind of where I found myself the first EP all six songs were songs that I previously written that again, they were just sitting there so I decided to finish them on my own. And then this new EP, I had a couple still leftover that that I really like, decided that I wanted to you know, kind of take them in a different direction, reworked the lyrics a little bit. And then through that process of, you know, getting those tracks down and doing the other instruments and the mixing in the mastering You know, you're doodling around and coming up with new riffs and, you know, new sparks of inspiration flying about and you know, for other songs, ended up kind of sticking to the wall as well. So from there, you know, I I've done most of the instrumentation myself, so it's just the spend a lot of sitting around and whether it's jamming on a bass or a guitar or a keyboard just kind of you know catch something that you feel like is worth sticking with and then see see what happens you know flesh it out and see if it turns into a song

Isaac Kuhlman 10:16
yeah and just kind of to give an idea of you know the process and length of time sometimes it takes me How long have you been working on this? What is it six songs now? I think six or seven songs

Mitch Purvis 10:28
yeah

geez I mean I probably started in earnest 18 months ago yeah, two years ago somewhere in there you know it's it really it started with two songs that I spent way too much time on. And you know, I think somebody who who does mixing and arranging and producing you can appreciate that you can get stuck in a rut sometimes trying to get a track to sound perfect and you know in your in your mind that sounds like a certain thing and then when you actually play it back you know if it's not quite there, you just think oh well I'm going to tweak this a little bit or I'm going to add this layer or I'm going to take something away and I'm going to turn it into exactly what it needs to sound like and you know I did that for for quite a while trying to just Polish two songs thinking that you know, I just wanted to kind of put them out as standalones and again throughout that process jamming on some other stuff I sort of stumbled upon some other riffs that eventually evolved into a this could be a song and then you know lo and behold I've got six tracks that you know the other four certainly was a more speedy process although I can get caught in the weeds really bad and I have a tendency to get caught in the weeds really yeah. So yeah, so

Unknown Speaker 11:49
I mean for people out there who are like Oh yeah, I want to produce my own music it takes there's a steep learning curve I think for a lot of us and then not only is it the learning curve, but the over analytical part of that when you're when you're the one left to do your own mixing and mastering you will tinker to the nth degree that probably a professional might not like there's like here's what I think it should sound like and here's what it's gonna sound like and then it comes back to you like pretty close here's some notes and then it's done but like you're doing it yourself and in the end I think that's kind of what you do with the full EP is you actually got some some help with the end production in the mastering as well

Unknown Speaker 12:28
yeah the mastering I've used the same guy for both records actually so I'm pretty much doing everything except for the mastering and the the aforementioned Ryan Nelson he's he's helped me with some bass parts as well which has been huge but audio CDs I got to give a shout out to Brad Boatright at Audiosiege up here in Portland he's a phenomenal mastering engineer he's done some pretty pretty well known albums he actually did the Stranger Things soundtrack oh well mastered that and received some awards for it so he's a great guy does an awesome job is much faster and obviously needless to say much better than I could be at mastering a track but you know I think mastering is something that it's almost better left to a different set of years you can you know you you get again you get caught up in a rut sometimes or you get an idea of what your song needs to sound like in your head. But if you don't get somebody else's take on it if you don't get somebody else's ears going hey if you did this or you switch this around or you raise this level or you EQ it this way you're not going to get you know a as good an end result honestly I think you're going to get a much better end result if you have another set of years doing that final process.

Isaac Kuhlman 13:45
Yeah. And I'll say my idea of mastering is let's just turn this volume up on this and see how good it sounds yeah

Unknown Speaker 13:52
man just squash it and put the limiters on there and get it up there

Unknown Speaker 13:57
I'm the best that mastering so yeah, don't do that. But yeah, so obviously during the process of making this EP You know, I'm actually provided some feedback back and forth because you actually sent me some demo tracks and demo versions of the tracks and you know, at one point I really really really wanted to put some drums together for I think it was West to Desert. And it turns out I can't play drums as well as I thought and I believe the song ended up being in like three four timing or something and to me like a week to figure that out. And by the time I did, I was like, Man, I'm a fucking idiot like I just spent a week trying to put a drum drum thing to this that was in four four timing and it's been in the wrong timing all time. So I think he did the smart thing and just said fuck waiting for Isaac, I'm just gonna, like do this and he's, he's never gonna figure this shit out. He's not as good as a drum machine. So, you know, and it sounds great. So it's obviously you know, in my head, I wanted it to sound something better for you, but my abilities are not quite what I thought they were going to be. So how do you like using the non human drums yourself and what does that kind of brought to the process as well?

Mitch Purvis 15:00
That's the process I really enjoy. And you know, I honestly I wish that I were a better drummer because I look at awesome drummers and I admire them, you know, as much or more than I do great guitar players are great singers, because that is an instrument or a set of instruments that is very tough to master. And, you know, I have enjoyed, I think I have kind of maybe a unique approach to doing digital drums, I tend to go piece by piece and sample by sample and kind of piece them together as I go. Which may not be the smartest way to do it, because it ends up being pretty darn time consuming. And, you know, I've always wanted my drums to sound like a real drummer. Yeah, instead of sounding like a drum machine.

Isaac Kuhlman 15:48
Yeah, like, like, playing 64th notes all the time. And like, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 15:53
drum machines have, they have a place and there's nothing wrong with them. And certainly, you know, there's a lot of awesome drum machines and loops and samples that you can use and things like EZ drummer or other plugins and software's that you can use that are going to sound you know, just as good if not better than the drum tracks that I'm making. But I do find a lot of enjoyment in taking those individual hits, whether it's a snare or a kick or cymbals and you know, EQing them a little bit or adding a second layer to it to make it sound just a little bit different. And then trying to piece them together like an actual drummer would piece of drum track together. Yeah, I enjoy the musicality of drums for people who, you know, are playing just something for on the floor, you know, real standard.

Unknown Speaker 16:41
I think one of the drummers that you and I both really admire, is the drummer from coheed and Cambria. I think his name is Josh, Josh Eppard, if I recall properly, and if you listen to any of his drum tracks, from start to finish, you know, you could isolate just the drums and you can find a ton of musicality, in what he's doing. And you know, he's not always hitting snares on the downbeat, and he's not always, you know, playing something that you would expect necessarily in in a rock song. Yeah, from start to finish, you feel it evolve. And you kind of have a sense for the crescendo and you have a sense for you know, where the builds are and all the different things and that's what I try to accomplish with building a drum track from from samples, you know,

Unknown Speaker 17:28
yeah, and you kind of hit the nail on the head there syncopation in rock drumming isn't common necessarily. It's, you know, you don't hit on the off beats, right? Like you just don't do it very often. It's a funk thing. It's a jazz thing. But then when you put it into a rock song, it changes the dynamic of that song to make it sound awesome when you blend it with the rest of the rock music, right? So guitar and vocals and stuff. So I think a lot of that time you know, it. It's something that a standard drummer might not think about, but a good drummer Will you know, Neil Peart or I should say, Peart, I believe is how it's pronounced. But some of these really, really great drummers, Mike, Manzini, all these guys that just go out there and just absolutely, like they have their own metronome playing for each limb. And it's like, how do you know what you're supposed to hit at the right time for each thing? And it makes no sense. But that's, you know, obviously, you can kind of replicate that with a drum machine a lot easier than asking a buddy Hey, come over and do this thing that I want to play on the drums?

Mitch Purvis 18:25
Most definitely. Yeah.

Isaac Kuhlman 18:27
So I know another thing that you actually had mentioned was that not only are you finding that you have a deeper, more interested passion around understanding drums and drum, you know, musicality and, and, and all that stuff, but also playing the bass. You've been a lead guitar player for 25 years or so. And now you're you're really digging the bass so kind of explained that experience. And what's that led to with the music now as well?

Mitch Purvis 18:53
Yeah, I think that came from building drum tracks, and from kind of learning how the bass and the drums are sort of married, you know, with one another, they kind of can't exist without the other. And, you know, you consider a drummer and the bass player, sort of the rhythm section of the band. And that was something I never appreciated when I was, you know, off in my own world trying to rip a guitar solo or

Isaac Kuhlman 19:21
You guys keep time I'll be back in 30 seconds

Mitch Purvis 19:24
I'll do whatever you know, I want to do and not really pay attention to the flow of the song and yeah, I try to take up too much attention on stage. And, you know, meanwhile, you got the drummer and the bass player in the background, trying to keep everything together. You know, they're the glue of the band, trying to try to hold down the rhythm and hold down the groove. And that's something that I've really grown to appreciate about bass. It's such a different approach to playing a stringed instrument, then playing rhythm guitar, lead guitar, like

Isaac Kuhlman 19:51
It's like a mix of string and percussion.

Unknown Speaker 19:55
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's very percussive. As I mean, if you play Well, it's very progressive anyway, it can still be very melodic and you can find, you know, find those areas for those walking lines and those little lead lines and the space in between where you can really accentuate the groove of the song, but really it comes down to locking in to that kick drum, locking into those down beats, and finding the space in between what everybody else is doing. So you're not over playing it's really easy. It's easy to overplay any instrument but it's really easy to overplay bass and

Isaac Kuhlman 20:32
more than anything I think with playing bass with what you don't play that that makes things

Mitch Purvis 20:35
absolutely yeah, yeah, and best players in the world know when not to play that's you know, the most important thing sometimes that you can do.

Unknown Speaker 20:43
Yeah, and I think it's pretty interesting because you know, of all the of all the band members everybody always thinks the bass is the most expendable and I'm like, there's so much and talk to you know, a few musicians about this and one of the things I think that comes up is there's an emotion behind the bass that gets tied to the sound What I mean by that is the drums are the the rhythm the groove, right so like you hear that that gets you your body moving right so that's like, this is how you're going lyrics and the vocals and the guitar are all the the high end stuff that your brain is kind of capturing the bass is actually what your body's feeling like literally feeling through speakers, right? It's like boom. And not only are you feeling that in your body, but then it kind of seeps into the emotion of the song and how that changes whether the guitar is slow or fast the bass whatever's happening with the bass is actually the end result of how the song feels to somebody

Mitch Purvis 21:46
Yeah, totally and yeah and you're right i mean those are the frequencies that you're you're hearing on with your ears a little bit but you're very much feeling with your body especially when you get down you know like 200 hertz and below Yeah, that is stuff that is all feel and you know, if you're looking for you know, whether it's dance music or hip hop or whatever even good rock music like you need that good baseline for the dance ability of the song for the groove of the song and for the the feeling of the song without it it's you know, I don't know if you've ever tried to play a show without a bass player but you know it is it's nothing like playing with a bass player but you have to have that instrument there. Even if you're not hearing a whole hell of a lot of it. You got to have it there or something is just wrong.

Isaac Kuhlman 22:34
It sounds you know, missing something's not Yeah, yeah. So

Mitch Purvis 22:37
whether it's, you know, playing a bass part on a synth or something like you have to have that low end, it's absolutely critical to a song. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 22:45
And obviously, it's nothing to say about you know, people that play slap and pop style where it's like bunk and it's a little higher on the on the on the octaves and the frets and the range and the frequencies. But yeah, most of those bass players still bring it back down to the low end in certain parts of the song, it's not like they're staying all up on the hind plucking and popping and stuff. But you can definitely tell the difference between the feeling of a song where somebody's playing slap and pop versus somebody who's playing the low register, and just kind of playing with the with percussion. Sure. So it's, it's, I think it's an astute observation that a lot of people don't even especially non musicians, don't even think about. And even people who are kind of in bands, not, like you said, not the bass player, don't even think about the actual character that the bass brings to the band. And when you don't have that there, you know, that something's missing.

Mitch Purvis 23:36
Yeah, and I mean, a lot of people when you're starting a band, when you're 20 years old, or whatever, nobody wants to be the bass player. You have 1000 people who already play guitar and think that they're the world's greatest songwriter. And then somebody else you know, who's been singing in their shower, singing karaoke their whole life, they think that they're the next, you know, Rod Stewart or Steve Perry. And so you've got the lead singers, you've got the guitar players, and then what do you do to find a bass player? You go, Oh, well, Jim knows how to play guitar. So let's go down to Guitar Center and buy a bass. You can figure out how to do that. No problem. Alright, Jim, you're the bass player in the band. Let's go start a band. Yeah. So it is sort of it's a forgotten instrument and in certain regards, but the deeper you dig into, you know, the required components of actually having a dynamic band, the more you appreciate how important that bass aspect is,

Unknown Speaker 24:28
yeah, I actually talked to and this will be a coming episode after this one. But I talked to the drummer from the punk band Clowns, and he actually said basically, nobody's a bass player. They're all converted from something else and yeah, right. Like, you can only find a solid bass player if they've already played bass in a band after they converted from something else but yeah, that nobody ever starts on bass. It seems like back when I was in high school, I actually well, three people, I convinced to do Bass from nothing. I was like, you're gonna be the bass player. But it was like me pushing him, right. So a friend, two friends in high school for my high school band. And then it was actually our mutual friend Joe, who actually became an excellent drummer. I convinced him to buy a bass so we could play music together.

Unknown Speaker 25:15
And then he was like, well, let's get a drum set to and I was like, Alright, well, we bought a drum set, shared that. And he got way more into the drums. And we just didn't have a bass player again. Yeah. So that's pretty much how it goes. But yeah. And now one thing I actually always found found fascinating about you as a musician is that you picked up a lot of things pretty damn quickly. And I'd say that you've been good at guitar for a long time. So you know, and this is like you said, you were also in golf, and you haven't like a lot of these other like, random hidden talents, like you can throw washers into a flat board better than me for some reason. I'm like, What the hell? Like, how are you better at all these dumb things than me and like, the things that I like, like guitar, and golf, you're also better than me, and I'm like you're son of a bitch. But I've always thought that was pretty awesome. And really, I looked up to a lot of the things you did, because I'm actually older than you. But at the same and I've been playing longer than you, the same time you you pick things up faster, because I think you got into one thing where I was into the kind of spreading my, I guess, musical talents across multiple instruments, so that way, I can figure out how to make one song and compose it, whereas you're, like, locked in. So what, what do you think is like, maybe that's it, or maybe there's something else, but what is the key to getting good at something from your perspective, because, you know, like I said, you, you're good at golf, you're gonna pool you get all these other things, but it's not just random, like, you don't just pick it up one day, and like, Hey, I'm awesome at this thing.

Mitch Purvis 26:38
Getting obsessed with something, you know, like you said, I have a tendency to kind of lock into one thing for long periods of time. And with guitar, you know, particularly with, with lead guitar, that was something where I just found myself constantly wanting to pick a guitar up and run through scales, or see what the new thing sounded like, or just, you know, repetition over and over and over and over again. And I had some other people, when I was first picking it up, that, you know, were maybe even more driven than me or I shouldn't say maybe they were definitely more driven than me. And so I was able to look up to them and go Holy shit, like you, you know how to play that, I better, you know, I better up my game here, because you're going to be running laps around me pretty soon, if I don't figure out how to how to keep up. So I have, you know, in recent years, maybe gone the opposite direction, where I've started to try to, like dabble in different things, you know, and now probably find myself spread a little bit too thin across, you know, too broad a spectrum, and I'm trying to kind of rein it back in and focus a little bit more on, you know, just a few things. So I find myself now playing more rhythm guitar, trying to learn other people's songs, which is something that I never used to take the time to do, I always wanted to write things on my own and come up with new unique things that nobody else had ever heard of. But now I'm finding a greater appreciation for, you know, learning what other people play and kind of getting an idea from their perspective of how they approach songwriting, or why they do a certain thing a certain way. And, you know, that can be beneficial to your playing too. Because again, you can get locked into. Again, like I talked about before you get locked into a rut, in your own playing, you know, you you develop your own habits, and some are good, some are bad, and some you rely on way too much. And, you know, learning other people's music is a good way to break out of those habits sometimes and learn a fresh approach to doing something

Unknown Speaker 28:47
100% Yeah, I mean, you know, you don't even realize that some certain songs have a certain sound that you can't replicate until you then you try to figure out how to play it, like, Oh, it's just a seventh chord or a minor chord, and you're like, I would have never even thought to play that weird little chord that makes that sound unless you picked up and try to learn somebody else's music. Same thing with like, little riffs or little leads, right? Like, oh, here's like a really cool, you know, lead part that's on the lower register of the guitar versus all playing up in the, you know, 12, 15 you know, fret area and just leading up there. So, you know, a lot of people like to shred and go high, because it sounds really cool. And it's like a wailing sound, but there's a lot of low end lead that, you know, if you listen to some songs that have low end lead, you're like, that's equally fascinating. Most people, most I think, average music fans or whatever, kind of glaze over that because it's not ripping and shredding into their ear, right? So there's a lot of things I think you're right that you know, when you go into it and look at the deeper parts of it. I've actually spent more time in the last five years or four years, learning more that stuff because for 15 years, I kind of got lazy and only played whenever I wanted to and when I played when I wated to, I'd only be strumming and rhythm and making a song or, you know, just playing a cover just to play just to keep up, but never really digging into some of the other stuff. So yeah, I agree like, you know, I listen to a lot of Joe Walsh lately and his little his little riffs are seemingly insanely easy to play, and then you go to try to play into like, How the hell does he do so effortlessly? It's insane. Yeah. But yeah, so cool. So has, as you're starting to go, obviously, home recording home everything, right? I mean, nobody really has to go out into a studio these days if they don't want you, but they do have to get the skills, right. But is there anything like maybe gear wise that you're finding is helped you either, you know, past live shows to kind of get a sound that you want or home recording or just anytime that you want to sit down and actually play music? Is there anything that you use that is kind of like this, without this I probably wouldn't be making music to a level that I want.

Unknown Speaker 31:00
Yeah, I mean, it kind of starts with, you know, a decent enough computer. Unfortunately, they can, they can handle a digital audio workstation without a ton of latency. And, you know, a DAW that has some of those tools that can be really beneficial like a good compressor. A good compressor is something that is worth its weight in gold, in my opinion for getting your songs right from the get go to sound a little bit more professional. It's one of those things where you can certainly overdo it. But you know, compression is it's used by everybody. And it's something that if you're not finding the ways to tastefully use compression in your home audio recordings, I recommend you take a deep dive on you know how to utilize just a basic compressor, I use Studio One as a workstation and their stock compressor is awesome. I mean, it's crazy the number of things that you can do with it, whether it's just, you know, raising the noise floor on something or kind of tempering the spikes and something that you might have made recorded too loud, or, you know, you want to tame down a little bit or you can use it as a de Esser for your vocals which is something that again, I think that's a great tool if you're recording at home and if you're singing at home and a less than ideal environment finding those ways to treat your vocals and process your vocals so they sound a little bit more professional is really important

Unknown Speaker 32:37
Anybody can see into a microphone but it sounds like you're maybe standing in a hallway or something if you don't do it right

Unknown Speaker 32:43
yeah yeah and and that being said you know on this record I found myself recording my vocals in a car a lot, which is kind of a unique approach maybe it's something that I didn't do on the first record but you know, most people don't have rooms that are treated that are set up to do audio recording. Yep, so the more you can do away from environments like that I think the better you know you can try to put up foam and you can try to get in a corner of the room where you're minimizing the reflections and getting as good as sound you can but nothing is going to be as good as a you know professionally done up studio so you know going straight into the box as they say as much as you can I think is really important you know just plugging straight in and you know, doing a lot of the the processing and everything like that inside the workstation instead of trying to put an AMP in your room and mic the amp and you know, get all your levels right that way. I think it's it's much easier to find yourself a good amp modeling pedal, I use one by tech 21 that is freaking awesome. I think it's called the GT2. You know, it's really simple, it gives you like three tones and then it kind of mimics different mic placements on a cab and, you know, gives you what appears to be a miked guitar sound, you know, being played out of a tube amp or being played out of a stack but you're avoiding all of the hassle and the stress of actually turning on that amp and finding the best place in the room and figuring out where you're supposed to put the mic

Isaac Kuhlman 34:25
getting a good enough microphone to actually record it

Unknown Speaker 34:27
getting a good enough microphone to actually deal with it and not having to deal with the buzz and everything else that you know is resulting from plugging into a high gain amp so yeah, you know, I think a good a good amp modeler, a good preamp and then go to town, you know, just go straight into the box and do a lot of that processing, get your levels right. Make sure that you're not you know, blowing, blowing the speakers out and make sure that you're not recording too quietly but you know, get those levels somewhat close to right and then do all your processing afterwards, the better sounds that way. Much faster.

Unknown Speaker 35:00
I think a couple of like hidden things that a lot of people don't even think about is Yeah, what mic Are you using to record because a standard regular singing microphone might not be good enough for the recording process that you might have, or, you know, the cables that you're using might not carry a quality enough sound through him. And there's a lot of little things like that. So I would say, first of all, if you're looking at doing home recording, do some research, try to get a decent quality setup. Don't just, you know, unless you're like me, and it's like, Hey, I'm just doing demo tracks all the time. So it's like, it's not that big a deal. I can always go back and do it later. I do have decent microphones, I do have a decent I use Studio One as well and some other stuff. But yeah, I mean, you can always make it better. And that's the thing you can end up spending more than you might even spend to go into a studio and record it. If you just practice enough, you go in for a couple days, right? So there are ups and downs, and pros and cons, but highly recommend spending some time learning about the systems. I you know, obviously, what is de essing? What is the? What is a DAW? How does any of this stuff make any sense? And where, you know, where does the compression coming? All that stuff is worth understanding if you're going to do home recording? So did you actually did you go through any sort of like YouTube training? or How did you kind of learn yourself?

Unknown Speaker 36:18
Oh, yeah, plenty of YouTube training. YouTube is amazing, I'd be lost without YouTube. There's, you know, there's a few people that also use Studio One that have tons of tutorials. Joe Gilder has one that comes to mind that he's been out and about for years and years, I've relied on him quite a lot. And yeah, you know, you just, if you want to figure out how something works, you want to figure out how to, you know how to record vocals in a decent way, when you don't have a decent room, you want to figure out how to work compressor on a guitar or on vocals or on a bass guitar. You want to figure out how to EQ something, look it up on YouTube, you know, there's endless, endless content there. And plenty of stuff that you can find that is you know, going to help you to be more than serviceable if you take the time to actually learn how how those things work.

Unknown Speaker 37:10
Yeah, and I know one for me, the biggest thing that I had an issue with was latency. So I found a way to bypass the latency Finally, and now I can actually finally record tracks without having everything sound like it's off time. So I look forward to actually trying to re record some stuff. So

Mitch Purvis 37:24
yeah, there you go. Yeah, it's kind of impossible to record when you've got that, you know, delay going on in the background.

Isaac Kuhlman 37:31
It might just be like less than a snap. Like it's Yeah, that small, so you can't hear it right away. Then when you put the song together, you're like, something's not right. I can't tell which instrument it is. But the whole damn thing seems off. Now, it gets really frustrating for me. So were there any techniques? One would go back to kind of talking about guitar playing? Were there any techniques or anything that like, you had some challenges around when you were first learning? Or was there something that when you discovered how this thing worked, or this scale worked or this you know, plucking technique or was there anything like that when you first started that kind of like, took your guitar playing to another level.

Mitch Purvis 38:10
Like learning syncopated rhythms, I think is huge. You know, a lot of people, when when you go to strum on a guitar, for the first time, you're going to have a natural rhythm, you're going to have a natural kind of cadence to your body, like everybody has a natural rhythm and cadence to how they walk and how they talk. And that lends itself to how you strum on a guitar as well. So again, you know, learning how other people strum a guitar like I for one, I would never go and strum only down beats, you know, like a lot of punk songs, you got that to just straight down, down, down, down, down, down, down. I that is not natural to me whatsoever, I would never pick up a guitar and think to do that. So learning how to do that. Learning how to you know, incorporate palm muting into something like that, or just the occasional up uptick into something like that just to throw throw the rhythm off just for a second. I think those things are huge. And so being able to, to learn some of those things and incorporate some of those things into my rhythm playing. Were were monumental for helping me to become you know, a more proficient rhythm guitar player for sure.

Unknown Speaker 39:24
Yeah. And that's actually interesting that you mentioned that because about four years ago, I was playing on my my dad, he's a huge old country fan, Johnny Cash, all that kind of stuff. And that's always like the it's like that Doom Chicka Doom that you could do. And I'm like, how, what kind of rhythm is that? I've that would never think to even play that rhythm. It sounds like a train kind of like Chugga chugga chugga choo. And I'm just like, okay, so every time I would sit there and think to listen to him, like, I my natural is like, dude, he doesn't really do. Like I got four or five part strumming pattern. It's never like a dude. Chicka Chicka chicka do. There's something like that. You So I had to really like focus and figure out how they did it and so it's like bass note, couple strums bass note couple strums and I'm like, that's not natural at all for me to strum that and so I think you're right I mean, a lot of that stuff is the way that you can get out of your own head is by getting into somebody else's head and bringing that back into yourself because you know, I've been solo essentially as a guitar singer or guitar player, singer songwriter for I don't know 20 years now I have played drums in a band once but in between it's like you're just listening to yourself and if you don't bring in extra places to get influences and and new ideas you're going to sound so similar that you're gonna get sick of yourself.

Unknown Speaker 40:47
Yeah, yeah and sometimes eliminating something from the equation can be really important too you know like I heavily relied on a pick for the first 15 years or so that I played guitar everything was picked the last three years or so I have hardly picked up a pick the entire time I kind of forced myself to learn how to finger pick and to learn how to strum with just you know my forefinger and my thumb and that has helped me to evolve quite a bit and to kind of learn new approaches and I'm glad that I did you know at first it was just extremely painful not only emotionally painful because I couldn't play anything in time I couldn't keep you know a good rhythm everything was off I would miss strings I would flub notes I would you know, it was it was horrible. Not to mention the fact I wasn't practicing enough so you know, then you throw that into the equation too and it was just a it was a circus of a mess. But then you know also people have a tendency to maybe under appreciate the the physicality of playing guitar strings and what it does to your fingertips when you're playing over and over and over again you know, it can it can really wear away at at your fingers so it's been good for me to build up those those calluses on my right hand to you know, you got him on your left hand from fretting all the time and you know

Isaac Kuhlman 42:10
I thought you were saying something else when you were doing that

Unknown Speaker 42:12
Yeah, we can edit that out right but yeah, it's been good for me to to exercise that right hand a little bit more and get more proficient with some of those things and you know, next step for me is again trying to go a little bit further down that that road with learning some of those traditional finger picking techniques like Travis picking is one chicken picking stuff like that, that you hear it in country songs and bluegrass and all sorts of stuff comes very naturally to some people does not come naturally to me at all. So you know, learning it..

Unknown Speaker 42:47
flamenco styles like I don't even understand that like I don't think I'll ever be able to comprehend the level of speed that it takes in your right hand to play that because like, I can't even play that fast with my left hand. Yeah, to try to multiply that effort twice. I'll be like, No, I'm definitely lost. But yeah, I cannot believe how people can do that. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Yeah, so I want obviously have you kind of explained more and just kind of re mentioned the new Saintly Patients EP one more time before we go What can they expect from the music? Where can they go check it out once it's ready

Unknown Speaker 43:23
what can you expect from the music some auditory chaos I think there's a lot of stuff that I listened to and I go Oh man, I should have done that differently. I should have EQ'd that differently. I should have tweaked that a different direction but you know my I guess you got to call done done sometimes and you know, it was definitely time for me to be done with this project and move on to something something new there's some longer songs on this one then I traditionally have written in the past there's a couple that are up over six minutes and you know, definitely venturing into more of kind of a prog rock realm. Got some pretty heavy guitar solos in there that I'm really proud of and will certainly have a tough time recreating live if if I'm ever asked to play them live and that's another one of those downfalls of home recording is you can find yourself in a groove sometimes and you know you're just you're just going not thinking about it you know, you're recording and just whatever comes comes and sometimes you play something where you go, Whoa, that was awesome. definitely keep that and then you go back to try to replay it and you go Oh, gosh, that's how did I just played something that is actually beyond my capability. I don't know that I'm gonna be able to ever recreate that but but nonetheless, you know, they they made their way out of the album. So

Unknown Speaker 44:41
yeah, and I keep saying like, it's one of those things like I just keep thinking I'm a shitty guitar player, because I can't recreate what I've recorded, but I'm like, I did it once. I could do it again. And I'm like, somewhat mostly thinking

Mitch Purvis 44:52
yeah, again, I think it just probably comes down to repetition. And yeah, you if you start playing it back over and over and over again. First of all, figure out what Damn notes are because that's hard enough if you don't have a great ear for music theory or you're not, you know naturally inclined not naturally inclined but you know if you don't understand music theory if you don't understand the movement of the music from a theoretical standpoint it can be kind of difficult to go back and figure out what the hell you were playing but figure that out first and then you just play it over and over and over again and you know, eventually you get something that's at least close enough that it passable somebody will listen to and go Okay, well I that sounds close enough so we'll let it fly.

Isaac Kuhlman 45:32
Yeah, and you could just say oh no, I messed it up that time like always Yeah.

Mitch Purvis 45:36
But yeah, you know, it's it's six songs five of them have lyrics one's an instrumental the lyrics You know, I've been spending a lot of time with my wife and kids in the last five plus years I mean, my oldest kid is going on eight years old now and all the songs that I had written for the first album came prior to me having a wife and kids and so you know, they were largely based on non relationship sort of themes and motifs and now this one tends to be a little bit more about kind of the struggles of you know, dealing with the same person each and every day. Many of them probably coming more from her perspective than mine because I'm probably much more frustrating than she is to have to deal with on a regular basis. So you know, it's kind of me digging into my own insecurities and digging into my own fundamental flaws as a human being which you know, can lead to some emotional moments for me it's been interesting typing out the lyric sheets and everything to these as I get them finalized for distribution and everything and I find myself going oh man, that's kind of heavy. That that is probably kind of you know, one of the tough aspects of me being me but you know, sometimes digging into your own insecurities and your own failures as a human being is a good spot to find some creative juices for making good music.

Isaac Kuhlman 47:08
Yeah, and ideally to help you grow but if not, well, then maybe you just make better music because you don't

Mitch Purvis 47:14
Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's like those people who get into relationships just to break up so that they've got fuel for their next album or their for their next movie or whatever.

Isaac Kuhlman 47:22
Are you talking about Taylor Swift?

Unknown Speaker 47:24
i don't know if i on to whoever whomever but yeah, you can, you know, you can find me on Twitter @Commoneermusic on Instagram @Commoneermusic, got a website commoneer.net basically, it's just both of the EPs sitting up there. You know, I've got dreams and aspirations of putting the blog up there or doing something else with it all in due time. But right now the focus is just on getting this album out and getting all the finishing pieces done there so that I actually have something to promote and something to look back on and say it's a completed project. So that's, that's kind of where I'm at right now. And then I would be remiss if I didn't mention band camp, because you can go to band camp, right now commoneer.bandcamp calm and preorder the album that'll give you access to two of the tracks and then you know first first mover advantage when the album releases on 1022

Isaac Kuhlman 48:19
nice awesome and I know I think it I can't remember the name song something with iron What's the name of the iron iron fire iron fire? I believe it's on that song you have a pretty ripping guitar solo if I'm not mistaken.

Mitch Purvis 48:31
Yeah, that one ends ends with a guitar solo as a as an outro which is kind of fitting you know, that concludes the album. Yeah. And, you know, lead guitar again, it was kind of my original passion and something that I still, if anybody asked me to join a band right now or I found the motivation to join a band right now you know, I could very well find myself joining in that lead guitar roll. It's just always been something that I've really enjoyed some of my you know, biggest musical inspirations are great lead guitar players. And it's something that I find myself always wanting to kind of gravitate gravitate back towards so yeah, probably fitting that you know, the album closes on a guitar solo.

Unknown Speaker 49:15
Yeah, so the I guess the moral of the conversation we had today or the the end result of the conversation is somebody get Mitch into a band he needs to get out of his house and away from his wife and kids.

Unknown Speaker 49:29
Yeah, just maybe don't push my wife too hard on that because I'm not I'm not so sure how well she'll take that but

Isaac Kuhlman 49:35
just come over to his house and practice

Mitch Purvis 49:36
Yeah, there you go. We'll practice in the garage. There you go.

Isaac Kuhlman 49:42
Awesome. We'll add the links to the music in the show notes below this episode. And did you have any final words that you want to mention or anything else that you had before we go you know, I personally think that you know, you've put out some fantastic music both in bands and solo. And I think people if they don't spend time Learning and listening to new music from you know, independent artists and you know, you know, indie rock dads like yourself, then then they kind of miss something with with the music world and the community in general. So, you know, I'll say that about you, but did you have anything that you wanted to kind of end with before we go today?

Unknown Speaker 50:18
Yeah, I mean, I'll gladly add to that I completely agree with you there, I think that we've maybe lost a little bit of individuality and nuance when it comes to radio music and, and, you know, the bigger producers and the acts that find themselves on the top 40, or whatever, it's, it's all in my mind, and in my ear, it's kind of becoming the same thing. You know, you could almost play the songs on top of one another, and, and end up with things souding the same sometimes. So, I would agree, you know, go out and check out new bands on Bandcamp, or Instagram or Twitter or wherever, and get a sense for what people are doing when they are not being influenced by, you know, a greater machine. And you know, that that music machine is it's good at what it does, you know, it turns out the hits over and over and over again, but I think you do lose a lot of soul and passion and individuality sometimes, and that's not to say that my music is you know, chock full of all that and, you know, there's,

Isaac Kuhlman 51:24
It's definitely passionless and you're in it for the money we get it.

Mitch Purvis 51:27
Yeah, there you go, you're gonna you're gonna be able to hear a lot more mistakes. And I think a lot more of the, the process sometimes comes through in music that is independently produced and recorded. And, you know, that can be interesting. It can be enlightening sometimes. And if you're trying to make music on your own, you know, being able to listen to songs like that and learn, learn from my mistakes, learn from other people's mistakes for, you know, we probably didn't EQ everything properly, and we probably didn't compress everything properly. And we certainly didn't rely on perfect recording environments. But you know, you end up with what you end up with. And then you move on that's, that's the only other thing that I'll add is, you know, if you're trying to do this, just keep moving. You know, write a song, get it down on paper, get it down on on your workstation, and, you know, eventually move on, move on to something else. keep growing, keep building, pick up another instrument, learn something new. As long as you keep doing that, you know, you'll find the inspiration to keep making music. It's when you find yourself sitting in one spot for too long that that inspiration sort of fades and then you know you find yourself lacking the desire to, to do it again. So keep moving

Isaac Kuhlman 52:38
That's my life in a nutshell. Thanks a lot, Mitch, it's a real downer for me. They're great words of advice. And I absolutely agree. If you want to make this either a long term passion or hobby or, you know, want to take this to higher levels, you can't stop you got to keep moving forward. And you got to find new ways to be creative. Because, you know, I've always thought like, at some point, I'm going to run out of song ideas, and somehow I never do, but they just come less often maybe than they used to. But that's because I'm less active than I used to be. So like, the more active you become, the quicker everything comes. And that's just how it's gonna be. So if you really want to keep this going, just keep going and actually do it. So great words of advice. Obviously, I want to thank my good buddy Mitch from Commoneer for the awesome conversation today. And if you haven't checked out his music yet, which you probably haven't, but this is a great introduction for you to do so. Make sure to go the show notes below this episode for the links. If you like what you heard on the show, please make sure to subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Also, if you want to check out some of our written content, or any of the products or merch that are we have available go to poweredbyrock.com to read our absolutely free rocking blog, full of album reviews, interviews and lists to keep you entertained and go find our gear as well so you can pick up some items to play and look like a rock legend and actually Mitch was our technically our first sponsored musician. So there you go. He's the first powered by rock sponsored musician, we got him some free gear. That's our show for today. We'll see you soon for the next episode. Until then, rock on.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published