Month number five living in The Americas and life is good!
We celebrated Independence Day yesterday, it was fantastic! Started the day with a 4 mile run, cooked a bunch of food in the afternoon, had a picnic in the garden and then walked downtown to watch the fireworks. Oh my goodnes, it was the most epic fireworks display I have EVER seen (or heard). It totally beat Portland where we last celebrated the 4th of July in 2010, it was especially awesome having the Nashville Symphony Orchestra playing during the whole display and rocking into the “Death Star March” during the finale. Inspiring!
Here are a couple of pictures of what the Nashville skyline looked last night.
We’re full on into preparations for recording/tracking our album starting next week and going on through the rest of July. We’ve almost finished pre-production for all the songs and we’ve even got some parts finished including some sweet gang vocals that we did with the interns we’re living with who will be on the road while we record. Here’s a picture and a wee video of the team;
We’ve got more news and things to share coming very soon so we’ll make sure to keep you posted!
Just a quick post to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Caleb!!! He turned 22 yesterday…ah my little brother is all grown up!
Some of you will know that Caleb a day after his birthday last year gave up movies FOR A YEAR! He will break his fast and watch his first movie tomorrow with a bunch of friends to celebrate his birthday, we’re gonna see The Avengers! Very excited!
Last week, the fantastic and beautiful Michaella Elliott did a photoshoot of Caleb and I, here are a few of our favourite shots!
Thanks also to Maddie for doing Hair and Makeup! Woohoooo
Last of all, we recently played at The Rutledge, it went really well, we even got a standing ovation!!!! Made some cool friends from the other bands as well which was sweet. Here is a clip from the show;
That’s all for now,
Howdy ho good neighbours,
I guess it is time again for another update!!!
Well, May was a fantastic month for us. We’re starting to feel a lot more at home here with a good bunch of friends, lots of things to do and all of us a lot more savvy on the workings of the town that is called Nashville.
What’re the Highlights?
- As mentioned last month we were involved with an all night prayer jam so while we were playing it clicked over into my birthday, that was a lot of fun!!!
- My family and some of the interns we’re living with also organised a surprise party which we celebrated at The Elliott’s (new family friends) with food, games and music! It was a fantastic night and we made some great memories but forgot to take pictures so the memories will just have to live on in my head haha!
- I received a package part way through May with some NZ goodies and a bundle of messages from friends back home. Was an amazing surprise and I just want to say THANK YOU ALL!!! (I cried)
- Mum and Dad celebrated their 26th Wedding Anniversary!
- Last month we mentioned being involved with The Objective, it was cool! We went to some good sessions, met some great people and got to play at the Neighbourhood Outreach. Thanks to Nick and Clae who played with us!!! Here are a couple pictures of the fun
- We opened for Salvador! This was so much fun and getting to see them play live was incredible! They are fantastic musicians, I loved the rhythm section, I loved the horns, I LOVED IT ALL!!! So sick. Mum filmed our set so we’ll post the link for that footage ASAP so you can check it out!
- MEMORIAL DAY! It was cool to read up on some history and hear about the American war heroes/heroines (both noticed and unnoticed). We also got to go to the Rule’s house (Family Friends) to hang out at the lake for the day with lots of water sports, BBQ food, games and good fun! Here is a picture of me and two of the intern girls being silly outside
- We played a show over the weekend at The Rutledge, pretty cool venue in downtown Nashville. There were about 5 or 6 other bands so was very cool to meet/hang out with them and get to see some other local music! We had an incredible night, was one of those nights when the band just clicked and we ended up getting a standing ovation, the only one of the night which was so sweet! It’s cool when you play a show and people appreciate it like that especially when all the other artists were on their feet!
- Working on our album!!! Caleb and I have been going for gold and spending many hours making this new record the best thing we’ve ever done! We’re very excited about the songs, we have about 15 in the works for this project 8 of which we already have decent demo’s for and we’re aiming to release in September! We’re starting to post vid’s on youtube with parts of the process. Check out the first three below;
What’s coming up, son?
- In tandem with our work on our album we’re also working on a project of Thanksgiving songs, as well as a song we’ve written for The Open Home Foundation. We’re also still very focused on our mission with Wycliffe’s “Vision 2025”! Stay tuned for more info regarding these projects and if you haven’t already, check out www.facebook.com/EMBvision2025 and see what’s going on! Not only is Vision 2o25 important for Bible Translation, it is also important for developing literacy around the world so whether you’re a Christian or not this is something you can be involved with to see a very real change in the lives of millions of people around the world so do check it out!
- We’ll be doing the full recording of our album throughout July so for the rest of this month we’re going to be full on finishing up the preproduction of all the songs
- We’re playing a showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe, an iconic venue in Nashville on August 5th so we’ll be working very hard over the next couple of months to make the show as awesome as possible and get out there selling tickets!
That’s about it for now, stay classy and keep stopping by as I’ll be posting videos regularly of what’s going down in the studio and live.
My favourite month of the year is upon us and while I’m sure back home in New Zealand the weather will be starting to really cool off, here in Nashville it’s getting HOT. I’m not normally big on small talk and certainly not big on discussing the weather but this week I will be turning 24 and while I love winter and rain and Wellington on a chilly day for the first time in 24 years I’ll be celebrating my birthday during Summer (well, technically spring but it’s hotter than we ever got in Wellington so I’m calling it summer!), I think that is pretty noteworthy!
24 is an interesting age, I won’t go too much into it for fear of having all the oldies reading this on my case telling me how ridiculous I am for feeling “old” but what I do want to say is that it has got me thinking. Twenty four years is long enough to have done some pretty significant things, it’s also long enough for someone to legitimately claim “you’ve wasted your life”. I definitely don’t think I’ve wasted my life, in fact if I were to die today (before even reaching the 24 mark which comes on Saturday) I know that while I had many trials and epic fails I can look back and say that I could die happy and fulfilled. Now don’t go worrying that I’m depressed with this talk of death, I hope to live for many years yet and to fulfil many more dreams along the way, I hope that in 24 years when I am 48 I can look back on this update/blog post and say that I made every day count, to me that is what really matters!
I kind of feel like this birthday is going to mark somewhat of a new beginning for me, this is my fourth month in America Land but I think I can safely state that my life here is only just starting and before I go on I would like to thank each and every person reading this who has been part of my life so far!!! Check out this song by one of my favourite bands, the singer Jon Foreman wrote near the end of his 24th year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW6fYE7xXMA
Enough about me!
Current happenings with the band include;
This Friday night we’re gonna be involved in an all night prayer jam!!! The people we’re staying with normally pray on Friday nights from 7.30-11.30ish but this week they’ve got their annual Thunder Conference and so we’ll be praying/playing ALL NIGHT! It is going to be an amazing way to start my birthday as well (hey look, just couldn’t stop talking about myself heh heh)
Next week we’re going to be involved with an event called The Objective which is a 3 day conference for musicians where we’ll get a bunch of input from industry big wigs and get to meet a whole lot of like minded, like hearted people! As part of this we’re going to be playing at a neighbourhood outreach concert which shall be wonderful. Can’t wait to get my notebook filled with things to learn, meet a bunch of new people and share our music with some people who wouldn’t normally get out to shows!
We’ve been talking to some pretty funky cool people about where to from here with the band, music and everything and some pretty exciting stuff is going on! While we can’t yet give you the details of everything we can tell you that through some of these talks we have been offered an opportunity to open for one of Dad’s favourite bands “Salvador”! These guys are incredible musicians and if you haven’t yet heard of their music you NEED to check them out which you can do at http://www.salvadorlive.com/ , watch the video and check out their latin/pop/rock vibes!
Not only will we be opening for these guys but some of the band will be playing for us!!! We are so excited about this, these guys are fantastic musicians and it is such an honour to work with them! The gig is on the 20th of May and we’re hoping to get some footage so we’ll post that so you all can see!
Last month we mentioned that we’ll be releasing a new free download each month, the download for April was held up due to a number of reasons and has only been up for a week so we’re extending the download into May. We’ll also be putting up some new stuff for you to listen to and give feedback on during the month so make sure you keep visiting http://www.facebook.com/esthermelodyband
Also, Vision 2025 is still up as a free download so make sure you get that. As a reminder, we wrote and recorded this song for Wycliffe’s Vision 2025 as the vision is very important to us. We believe Bible translation is a vital part of fulfilling the Great Commission and getting a copy of the song for yourself, family and friends will help you to remember the vision and sing and pray it into being along with us! To learn more about it check out http://www.facebook.com/EMBvision2025 we’ll be putting up more and more stuff here as the month goes on so make sure you like it and if you’re really radical contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a specific people group which you can pray for!!!
Finally we have made some important decisions this week about our next EMB album project “Edge of Time”, in fact thanks to our new team member Jeremy Kyle this is more than an album project, it will include a specially designed art collection! Check out Jeremy’s work Check out Jeremy’s work www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy–Kyle/1783024830 and by going to itunes to get yourself a copy of “Trenches” and “My Soul longs for You”. Even if you have a download of these songs, the itunes version has the Jeremy Kyle artwork. Yes, we are now into full on pre production for the album so watch this space and look out for news of how you can help us make this project a huge success.
That’s it for now
We’ve finally got ourselves a blog space on the online so that we can keep you all updated with all that is going on, we’ll be posting new lyrics, pictures, random ideas, videos, funny things (or things we think are funny anyway) and our monthly updates which were previously sent out via email. So stop by every once in a while and bug us when we don’t post enough!
Below is our update for the month of April
We’re now into our third month of living in the ol’ US of A and it is getting better all the time!
First of all SHOZZA IS HERE!!! It is so good to have the mother ship here with us rocking the pink hair and bright nails in thelandofNash (AKA Nashville) She’s already busy looking for jobs, organising our lives and causing a riot amongst the interns we’re staying with, i.e. giving the boys tips on girls etc. There are daily exclamations on all the American nuances that she didn’t know about and most importantly she has decided she wants a pet squirrel – too bad they’re considered pests here eh?
I may have mentioned in our last update that we are currently staying in an apartment building owned by a church/ministry that has about 20 interns who live in community with us. We’re in the same building as the girls with the boys live across the street. It’s been great living with these guys, esp for Caleb and I having a bunch of people our age who are all into the same things as us, most importantly we’re all crazy about Jesus! We’ve had some cool hang outs, we get to share dinner with them one night a week, we feed homeless people with them on Thursdays and on Friday nights we get to pray with them.
Interesting enough the reason we got to meet these guys is because a friend of ours in NZ, Felicity Tucker, sent dad an email either the week before we left or the week that we left with a link to a book the pastor of the church wrote called “Snakes in the Lobby” about the music industry. It peaked dad’s interest so we thought we’d check the place out. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes!?! We’ve found some like-minded people, not sure how long we’ll be living here but it has been awesome and I’m sure these guys will be our friends/family for life!
My Soul Longs for You
We’ve released this song as a single in NZ, make sure you listen to Rhema to hear it on the radio and tell them that you like the song here http://www.rhema.co.nz/index.php/contact-us. We are in the process of getting this on itunes, we’ll send out a brief news item once it is available, in the meantime it is still available on our facebook for free download till the end of the week AND here is the Artwork!!!
Once again, artwork is all thanks to our friend Jeremy Kyle who is a machine of awesome – check out his work at http://www.facebook.com/#!/CMYKyles the artwork will be available with the itunes single
April Free Download
We’re putting a song up each month on facebook which you can download FOR FREE! Make sure you stop by each month, download these tracks and give us feedback! Some of them are from the farewell release we did before we left NZ, some will be on our album and others are songs for your enjoyment that we may never release but we think you might enjoy anyway, so let us know what you like and don’t like, what you think we should change and tell the world about it!!! This month’s track is called “What we want”, it’s a fun, upbeat song about chasing your dreams!
Rocketown Gig on Easter Saturday
Nashland put on spectacular weather this Easter enabling our intern friends from Provision International to go out on the streets talking to people, handing out fliers and singing songs around town. They had a great time and got to talk/pray with a number of people. Meanwhile we’re over at Rocketown setting up and mum is at the apartments making food! Things all went smoothly, sound check got nailed and we all ate a spectacular dinner together, had a bit of a prayer jam and then got ready to go.
Somewhere in amongst all of this our bass player’s car broke down (not ideal) and I got warmed up twice by the wonderful Jeff Methena (very ideal) – He coaches at Brett Manning Studios and is fantastic!!! I am pretty sure you can do skype lessons with him. A lesson with him would be well worth the investment so go to www.brettmanningstudios.com and book in now! As some of you may know, Brett Manning Studios produce the awesome vocal training resource “Singing Success” which I have used for years and you can purchase at http://www.singingsuccess.com/cmd.php?af=1396196
The gig went really well, we had so much fun, rocked our head’s off and TWO PEOPLE MADE DECISIONS FOR CHRIST! There isn’t much cooler than doing a gig at Easter time when Jesus gave his life for us as the ultimate free gift, sharing the story of the ultimate free gift with people and having people decide to accept that ultimate free gift!!!! Here are some pictures from the gig thanks to Emily from Brett Manning Studios!!!
Some of you back home have been wondering who the guys we played with are. The bass player is called Delaney “Lane” Baker – he is about 6 ft 5”, plays a Musicman and rocks the stage…hard. He is awesome and also a genuinely nice person so we loved working with him and hope to work with him again!
This is Lane:
Guitarist, well, this became a bit of a nightmare but it ended well!!! So back in February we decided to aim to do our first show in April and started looking for musicians to play with us, we found Lane thanks to the people we were staying with at the time, he was keen so we sent him the stuff and locked it in.
Finding a guitarist was a completely different story. About a week after we found Lane we found a guitarist, got him the stuff and then a week later he told us he didn’t have time to do the job well enough so needed to pull out. That was ok, we still had a bunch of time to find someone and find someone we did! He came over for dinner, we had a great time getting to know him, gave him the stuff and locked it in. About two weeks before Rocketown he called dad to say that he’s contracted to his church in Washington DC and the guy who was scheduled to play Easter had family issues so could no longer do it so our guy needed to be back in Washington on the weekend of our gig, he organised a guy to replace him though which was awesome! This guy was currently in Virginia (his home town) but was going to be back in Nashville on time to practise and do the gig, plus had a week of free time to learn the songs. On the Saturday a week before the gig he call’s dad to tell him that his car has broken down and he is not sure if he can get back in time for the gig. A frenzy of guitar hunting ensues and on Sunday we find another replacement. All seemed well until 2 hours after our meeting when he calls us to say he had forgotten to check he was free for easter with his mum and it turns out she has booked him flights home for easter that are non-refundable!!! We’ve now been through 4 guitarists, it is the week of the gig and WE HAVE NO GUITARIST! So we prayed. It just so happens that all of the interns here are musical and one of them is a metal guitarist who has previously been in a touring band. Even though the internship schedule is pretty tight Nick Dozer had enough time to nail the majority of our set in the week leading up to the gig. HE NAILED IT and we had SO MUCH FUN playing with him, he and Caleb get along rather swimmingly and are fast becoming good friends as well which is pretty cool!
This is Nick:
We did 3 sets on the night with Nick covering two of them but due to the closeness of the gig we thought it unfair and too much of an ask to get Nick to learn all 15 songs so we brought someone in for the middle set. Brian Oaks – he’s played with some Christian big-wigs including Point of Grace and Mark Shultz – I’ve never really heard of these guys before but they’re a big deal over here so it was a huge blessing to be able to play with Brian who is actually Mark Shultz Musical Director and is a very experienced pro!
So there you go – a little bit of an adventure, but hey, isn’t that why we came!?!?
Edge of Time Project
He’s already had a mention in this update, but I guess that is just how awesome he is!!! JEREMY KYLE! Our design fiend and living legend is currently working on a project which will be released with our upcoming album “Edge of Time”.
Jeremy is finishing his second design degree at Unitec and is pretty much devoting the whole year of study to this “Edge of Time” project so he is currently part of the EMB team. Suffice to say at this stage, Edge of Time will not just be an album with awesome artwork, it will also be a unique art collection in it’s own right, so we are excited!!! Keep an eye out on our facebook and Jeremy’s for upcoming pieces as Jeremy takes us through a total promotional makeover!
Thanks for reading and Happy April!!!