Been messin' around with iMovie and have put up a few things over at http://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial
please let me know what you think!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Been messin' around with iMovie and have put up a few things over at http://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I've always thought that the key to happiness was asking yourself "If I were to die tomorrow, what would I do?" and then doing exactly that.
I asked myself that same question, and the first thing that came to mind was "Order a soy caramel machiatto (not vegan) and a lemon poppyseed loaf" (also not vegan).
There have been times in my life when I've fallen off the vegan-y wagon...mostly for old staples like pizza or veggie lasagna. For the better part of a decade, though, I only indulged in those dishes if they were created by me, in the comfort of my own home, with vegan cheezes and other non-dead affair.
Buuuuuuuut there was a time, I cannot lie, when eating half a pizza was one of my favourite things to do. Now, with my future on my mind, the first thing I think of is the way that icing sugar looks in those coffee shop display cases.
Why do I instantly not care about the future of the planet as soon as I start contemplating my own mortality?
Just cause I could be dying, that's an excuse to start consuming anything and everything with no remorse whatsoever?
I care about this lil planet. Ask me why I've been vegetarian for 16 years and that is one thing I sometimes say. I also love little furry guys. And I care for those that inhabit this earth presently, and beyond me.
Why the hell is my dying wish to eat a god damn lemon loaf then?
This could be my last day on earth, I should be out contributing, bettering, inspiring and aiding!!! Loving and sharing and bringing hope to those hopeless. Hey! It is not so bad!!! We are all of us, currently, dying, in some sense or another.
Whether it is tomorrow, the next day or 80 years from now...you don't know how much time YOU will get.
So what will you change?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Share Billy the Kid's music through your Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, blog, website or email and we'll send you a new Billy the Kid song.
Just let us know how you've spread the gospel of the Lost Cause and where you'd like your new song sent.
Love love love,
Friday, October 30, 2009
A lot of things have beeing goingon behind the scenes that I figured I'd fill you guys in on.
It is starting to occur to me that although 2009 seemed to sometimes move like freakin molasses, I guess technically some pretty super huge things went down.
First and foremost, I got a licensing deal. This is a big deal. A licensing deal means that my music is part of a database of songs and songwriters that get "pitched" to be part of film and/or television shows.
For example, if Grey's Anatomy needs some kind of girl folk singer thing, hey maybe one day they'll use one of my songs. My licensing deal is is with an amazing company that has the rights to such classics as Eye of The Tiger and Low Rider and my "go-to guy" is one of the kindest and most down to earth people working in Beverly hills, I'm sure :) VERY honoured, VERY lucky, and something I've always wanted (more than any record deal or anything that's for sure).
Secondly, I got a manager. Yes, Ms. DIY herself is now, currently, "being managed". This is a huge deal for me as well, for several reasons, one being that it's the first time in my life I'm actually *letting* someone manage my life!!! It takes a huge amount of trust when you come from a world where you do everything yourself, to suddenly just hand it over to someone and hope for the best. I have to say though, I actually genuinely trust my manager. I believe he is a good person, with morals and a solid sense of what is right not only in life, but specifically in my life, and I believe that in any "bizness" dealing, that should come first. I'm so excited to (for once) have some decent help around here, especially cause lately things have been very very hectic. My brand new manager not only has his heart in the right place but he's also (as I'm learning) an exceptional talent when it comes to new innovative perspectives on how to spread the gospel of the Lost Cause. It's been really cool to have someone to bounce ideas off of, another brain behind Lost Records working on the game plan for the coming months. Exciting :)
Third, I got an acting agent! Kind of on a whim (and at the suggestion of several friends and family members) I decided I wanted to get (back in) to acting. Let me be clear, my "experience" consists of: a play I wrote and starred in when I was 12 called "The Avon Lady Goes to The Moon" (in French Immersion, no less), a non-smoking commercial when I was 7, a few Christmas plays and some home videos where my dad would set up the camera and I would act out all the characters of The Little Mermaid, song, dance, and all (I know, you wish you had a copy of that haha).
Of other exciting news, I just got approved for an O-1 work visa. This means I can legally work in the United States and cross the border to play shows, no hassle. Kind of a huge freakin deal, and something that you stress out about a lot when you're in a band. As a side note, the technical name of the visa is "Alien of Extraordinary Ability", which is just hilarious ;)
So that's my year! Coming up, there's talk of playing a charity event in India, the Vancouver Olympics, a new album, some Canadian tour dates and maybe even opening for a few heavy weights. And that's only the beginning...
Random Fact of the Day: My favourite vegan restaurant in Calgary is Buddha's Veggie House and I wish I could Fedex myself some of their veggie ginger beef right...now...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
You don't need anyone to make you happy
Just know who you are and what you will always do
If you spent your life alone, following this meandering path, wouldn't that be enough?
Wouldn't it be enough to find your own way?
This world is too big
This life too short
To spend one moment unhappy or one moment regretting anything
I see the triumphs and downfalls in the people around me
Some shackled to the life they've created
Some freed by it
I can't tell you how inspiring it was to have met you
Monday, October 19, 2009
I'm moving. Again! I think this is the 7th time in 17 months. It's very easy when you own mainly only merch. That said...please buy some, I am tired of lifting it ;)
Billy the Kid Shirt in Black
Billy the Kid Shirt in White
Billy the Kid album
Billy and the Lost Boys EP
I have to tell you something quickly that just made me cry...
All week I've been getting messages on my Yogi tea bags that are just so fitting. For example, at one point I thought to myself "that's it...I can never love anyone again..." And just as I thought it, I opened a tea and it read: "Life is a flow of love. Your participation is requested." It made me laugh :)
Some other teas I got this week include: "Life is a chance. Love is infinity. Grace is reality", "let things come to you" (got this on the day Raine approved licensing deal right as I was gonna email him) and "compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy."
It's at the point where I get all excited about the tea, and know it's gonna be perfect for the moment.
Just boiled some water and actually thought out loud "bet ya this will be a good one today..."
Know what it says?
"Live for each other."
I love tea. :)
Random Fact of the Now: I have recently become obsessed with Improv Comedy and I highly recommend you do the same.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Extra extra read all about it.
New Billy and the Lost Boys stuff is now up on iTunes.
For those that don't know, Billy and the Lost Boys were the rock band I fronted for many moons that took me all over the country playing my arse off. It was my years with the Lost Boys that started my love for touring, playing live, throwing out the map and finding our own way/staying up all night trying to figure out this crazy world/making fun number one/living like our lives were a long weekend/getting lost just to wind up someplace new AKA THE LOST CAUSE!!! :)
I decided to do an online only release this time around. That said, if you'd like a physical copy or want me to email you the songs, I will set it up so that you can do so on our online store. For now though, check out
http://www.itunes.com/billyandthelostboys and pick up your copy of Off The Map :)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
“Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.” - Albert Einstein
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Quote of the day: A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life - Darwin
Where does it go.
Where has it gone.
I remember being a kid. A teenager even. Every day was a chance to grab life by the horns and go do something, anything. Something spontaneous, interactive. Nothing could stop us. I never hesitated, or questioned why I did anything. I just DID it.
I'd find myself in the middle of a snow filled Saskatchewan highway, feet away from our vehicle yet barely within eyesight of the muffler. I'd spin around that same highway uncontrollably and laugh at how many times we could have died. We'd quit our jobs, do our best to book a batch of shows and never stopped smiling for a month straight, even when the show was canceled, no one showed up or we didn't even get gas money. It didn't matter. We were the kids, and nothing could touch us.
They say that at a certain age, your brain, once it is fully developed, changes. You desire less the things that were once essential. Your dreams, passions and perspectives... are altered. You are literally no longer naive. You are technically and physically fully developed.
A friend of mine has been telling me for years that "Music Keeps Us Young". I like the sound of this. To me it explains why all us kids in bands never seem to age...you all look the exact same as you did when we were 16 and playing our first shows together. Our lives haven't changed much either. Maybe you toured a bunch more, finally made it to Australia...I hear so-and-so got engaged...what ever happened to Sarah?...man you look EXACTLY the same...the more things change, the more they stay the same...
Do you look back on your life and feel regret? I feel like my childhood, if anything, I was so petrified of wasting a moment, that I did everything I could to do anything unconventional. Staying up all night, driving all over for any reason at all, quitting any job at the drop of a hat and never looking back...I did everything I could so that I wouldn't wake up one morning and think "Where did my life go?"
From 12 to 22 I spent more time living out of a backpack than carrying out the stability that is conventional in our culture. But after too much of that, you just want to stay in one place for awhile. Even though I've been back and forth from L.A. to Vancouver for the last year and half, I do feel my roots starting to sink in to the soil. Does this mean I am wasting precious time?
Please let me know if you see any typos. I have been typing fairly fast.
Random fact about me: My first 3 tattoos were birthday presents.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
In case ya didn't know it, awhile back I shot a music vid with some pals.
I spent the first day covered in real and fake dirt, the first part of the second day in a dress with my hair and makeup all done up, and then the last part of the second day in real and fake dirt again.
Although I wasn't in full wardrobe, I had mixed feelings while on the skytrain home after the shoot. I still had real and fake dirt in my hair, on my face and on my hands and under my nails.
It had been about 15 years since I was covered in only real dirt, riding the skytrain trying to kill some time cause it was cold and I didn't know where to sleep. Although I didn't spend too many nights like this (I tried to have a tentative "plan" more often than not...a friend, a neighbour, a relative...anything), there were a couple times I slept under a slide, in a park or in an unlocked car (it was raining). I remember being so pissed at Avril Lavigne when I saw that video where she's in the pouring rain trying to get into a car. I remember thinking "You bitch! I've actually done that!" Anyway...I digress...
Whilst on said skytrain, you'd be surprised how different people act around you when you're covered in makeup that's supposed to make you look like a transient vagabond. Youre no longer an invisible commuter on the skytrain. Suddenly, everyone is AFRAID. They're afraid of you, and whether they say or do anything to suggest it, you can just FEEL it. I could have tried to tell anyone I was homeless, "Listen, don't worry! I'm actually a perfectly nice person PRETENDING to be homeless! You'll never believe it...I actually shot a music video today and this dirt on my face and under my nails isn't even real!!!"
Do you think they'd believe me?
There have been some mixed feelings about whether or not the "concept" of the vid suits the song...I leave that for you to judge. Feel free to leave a comment as well as check out my blog on the subject.
Well, here it be:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
A friend of mine checked out the new video for These City Lights and said
The video looks fantastic, I just feel lost on the concept. (which is all me, I'm sure of it) haha It's like I'm singing all the wrong words again. I still love it and I'm showing it to all my friends ♥
Fist of all, very nice way to ask a question. Oh why can't we all be so kind!
The video is not really a "concept" video. There is no plot, time line, story to follow or script. Once again we began with an idea of what we were not/what we did not want to do, and ended with what we are.
The purpose of the contrasting characters is to portray just that...the contrast in society, sobriety, reality, dreamscapes and city scapes. At the end of the day it's just me, and I'm just me, but I'm living in two different worlds. If these two characters were not me, would you perceive them differently? Would you, perchance, judge them?
Although they live in separate universes, they have some similarities. Sure, they're both me. More importantly though, there is some heartbreak in there in both of them. And at the end of the day, isn't there a little bit of heartbreak in all of us?
From islands apart we see the debutante and transient are actually very similar. Perhaps they are identical. And in our struggles and times of triumph alike, perhaps we all are.
Some friends and I made a lil video for the song These City Lights. Please view and let us know what you thought:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thank you Jason, Jon, Todd, Ari, Lauren and Tamar.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For as long as I can remember, I have known what I am not.
In fact, I've know exactly what I'm not.
I'm not this, that, or the other thing.
I'm not like them, one of those or part of that.
I'm not up for grabs, paying attention or looking around.
My head has been down, gaze hardly shifting, my pupils a pinpoint at a point right in front
I'm not easily distracted, or buying just because there is a sale
I'm not connected to the mainland
I wasn't built to be bought, made to be sold and I don't make songs that should be played on the radio
I'm not popular or the life of any party
I do not entertain
I'm not the class clown or the prom queen
I'm not the guitar player, drummer, pianist, bass player OR lead singer
And although I have known for this long
All the things that I am not
I just recently started to see
What I am
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Oh mah gaaaaaad.
New music video. Coming out this week. Woohoo!
Mixing new Billy and the Lost Boys songs. Woohoo!
Learning to read MUSIC. I know, right ;)
Show plans: up coming. Just getting out the map and remembering how to drive.
Couple gigs in Vancouver, one with the singer of the Loved Ones doing an acoustic set. Check out the show page for deets.
Where does it go?
I do not know.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
In Hollywood, there are about a dozen people who write every song you hear on the radio.
Most of them know the songs they write are terrible. Most of them hate what they do. But, they know how it's done, and they do it well.
There's a reason they call it "selling out". There is a big paycheck to this formula.
This is not to say that there are not beacons of light who shine through this mess. YES, there are still people who write their own songs. They're out there, somewhere. You just don't hear them on the radio all that often.
If you do hear them on the radio, chances are it's because they gave a song they wrote to someone else. Maybe they planned to release it themselves, maybe they thought it didn't sound enough like "them" (even though they wrote it). So, you give it away, cause if the person with the biggest machine behind them if singing the song you wrote, you'll be richer than if you sing it yourself.
Why is the radio such a big deal? Why do you even listen to it? It's like watching a spreadsheet on T.V. or a listening to a sonic math equation. It's all so...calculated.
All over, every where, there are kids in bands, like me, complaining about the radio. It's been this way since the beginning. Maybe you think the radio is awesome. Maybe you listen to it every day. Maybe you love American Idol and Hannah Montana and every Disney Brat and Pop Tart the machine can spew out. I know there are people like you out there, there has to be.
The thing for me is, even if I can admit the song is good (I loved "Since You Been Gone"...it's a truly well written song) I just can't get past the fact that the person singing it didn't write it, produce it, chose the album cover, write the melody, pick the arrangement...nothing. They had nothing to do with it. Sometimes, they'll have something to do with it, like the spelling of the title. but it's too dangerous to mess with the formula. There are millions of dollars on the line...
If you want to make a million bucks in a week, you gotta have a radio "single".
I, for one, can't WAIT until people stop using the word "single".
See, my favourite songs, will never be played on the radio. My favourite songs do not sound like "Singles". If you want a song on your album to be played on the radio, it has to be the "Single" and the "Single" has to sound like all the other "Singles" out there on the radio, even if it sounds nothing like anything else on your album.
And this is the formula. And this is the way it has been going for years. And I just hope it ends one day.
That is all.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Every night a monologue plays in my mind of all the words I would have said if I thought you were listening
Every night I stay up trying to fall asleep to did he get my emails did he read my emails did he see my emails did he delete my emails did he get my emails does he ignore my emails does he read my emails does he see my emails does he delete my emails
Every day I sink in to my reality…this mediocrity…all the things I wish I could be, wish I could be doing…and I think of the things I have done in order to do them…and I think of how many times the path of trying to get to where I wish I was has broken me. Broken me to bits. Bits hanging out the window of the 29th floor looking down, hanging on with one hand to…
Change everything. Changing everything. Phone calls. Flights. Packing packing packing packing packing Get the fuck out. Anywhere. Anywhere. Anywhere but
Here we are again.
It’s a means to an end, right? Every body does this. Right? Every body hates every minute of their existence, every second like a small stab in the throat killing killing killing god just make it end I can’t talk to these people anymore I can’t stay here I can’t do this I can’t
Like a slide show. The flash of a camera. Move home, move out, move back, move on, move in, get dropped get bent out of shape cause the nightmares are a run on sentence that’s spilling in to daylight and the dark doesn’t stop anymore and I don’t remember why I do this why do I do this why do I do this why do I
I can’t stand it in my own skin. And I’m running out of places to go. And I can’t write it on my walls, because I don’t have any. I can’t drive somewhere new, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere but here is where we are. And I start over. And over. And over. Again.
Plays in my mind
But this is
The first time
I have written anything down
In a year
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Some shows coming up, more will be posted soon.
Tuesday, July 28 2009
Los Angeles, CA, US
With Our Lady Peace
Age Limit: 21+
Details: VIP ticket includes and autographed copy of the new Our Lady Peace CD Burn Burn.
Tuesday, August 11 2009
New Brighton Park "Rock T...
Vancouver, BC, CA
With Pancho and Sal
Age Limit: All Ages Tickets: Free
Details: Enjoy FREE musical performances at New Brighton Park. Bring your picnic basket, the family and walk down for Rockin ‘ the Port! North West Corner or New Brighton Park, N Windermere St, Vancouver, BC
Friday, September 25 2009
St Augustine's Pub
2360 Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC, CA
Age Limit: All Ages
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Everytime I feel like giving up and like I have nothing good to say, I get a nice encouraging message inspiring to carry on.
Soooo Yeah It is 3 in the morning and I frequently spend my nights into the early morning thinking, reading, writing and whatever trying to sort out the millions of thoughts that go through my head in these quiet hours; that is when my work schedual allows :D...I started reading your blog and just realized what a genuine, humble and honest person you are. I had to say how much I admire your dedication and hard work, it's truly inspirational :) I am an extremely shy person as well, although at times it doesn't seem that way due to the fact that when I am comfortable I talk way too much and can be very loud lol. My point being that listening to your music and reading your blog put the rare smile on my face that only emerges when I discover that another person in this lovely superficial city of LA is an actual human with a soul ha ha!
Thank you for making my evening/morning :P
How could I give up after hearing somethin like that?
Thank you, anonymous listener...
Monday, July 13, 2009
A friend of mine named Shane Cook is taking some music biz classes and asked for my opinion on a few things. Bet he regrets that decision! ;)
As someone who has been both on a record label, and produced records independently, what are some misconceptions aspiring artists may have about signing with a label?
That it's a good idea. It is not.
The only time/reason/situation people start thinking it is a good idea to sign with a label is AFTER the label has made enough money off of them that the artists feels like they're starting to make some money too. If you've got a couple million in the bank because you've got yourself a hit, you probably aren't scouring your label's accounting records trying to find the millions they've squandered on your behalf. Now, you could argue, without those millions spent, you wouldn't have that hit single! You may have a point there, however, most acts on a label these days DON'T get that "hit" and thus, are left in legal battles trying to figure out where all the money went (why are we eating dirt and they're driving Bentleys?)
What advice might you give a talented musician struggling to get discovered?
Stop playing the music industry game and start caring about your fans like they are your family. They are. Or at least they will be, hopefully! Give them prizes, freebies, contests, advance listens, rare demos, free shirts...anything you got to show 'em how much you love 'em. They will only love you more and, everyone wins.
What are a few of the bigger financial and promotional challenges you’ve encountered while during your independence that you may not have encountered on a label?
Tour support is a big one. That said, many labels now expect a portion of performance fee and merch sales in exchange for tour support. I'd love to see what would happen if I spent a million dollars on marketing but I know that free internet work and word of mouth will achieve the same result (perhaps in more time, perhaps in less time, depending on the artist!).
What is the best part about having a record contract?
Other people who are not you doing stuff for you.
Other people who are not you wrecking your life with their bad ideas because they'll never be as invested in your life as you are.
What is the best part about being an independent musician?
Complete, utter honesty. Nothing is contrived, fake or pre-fabricated. You control your own destiny.
Finding the time. Most split the musical and promotional sides unevenly. In my case, I don't create nearly as much as I used to.
Do you agree that record labels are becoming a thing of the past with all of the new production technology and networking tools?
I sure hope so! It's a silly platform and a dying era. The sooner you realize that no one is going to save you, the more likely you are to have a team of people who actually LOVE you (and aren't just getting paid to) helping you to fulfill your dreams.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I'm so pissed.
Not drunk, just uber angry. haha is that even english. What the hell did I just say.
I hate the music industry.
I fucking HAAAATE it.
There, I said it.
I LUCKILY, as luck would have it, have been fortunate enough to live the majority of my life off the map, out of the claws of these people. I don't want you to make money off me. Stop coming to my shows. There, I said it.
:P <--- ptttt!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Today was one of those really, really cool days.
After last night's show at Room 5, we decided to take it easy and sleep in. And I mean SLEEEEEEP INNNN. We were on our second round of getting up for water/bathroom break and then going back to bed when our producer friend Phil X gave us a call and said "Come swim in my pool!"
For the first time in my sun-phobic life, I actually went in the sun without sunscreen on most of my body. I still rocked 50spf on my face and lower arms (which have been getting lots of sun and, as a result, sun has been sneaking through my regular daily application of 15spf) but I let the rest of me feel the hot hot heat sans screen. I LOVE the sun. I am not one of those people who "works on my tan" even though I LOVE sitting in the sun. The hotter, the better. That's actually one of my favourite things about California...the heat. But, I'm actually very afraid of the sun (even though I love it), and worry constantly about my chances of getting cancer (there is a lot of it in the family). Anyway, it felt great and I was only out in hotness for about 10 minutes (I know, that's long enough).
While we were hanging out in the pool/sun, Phil's wife and her crew started rehearsing. It's the coolest thing you've ever seen...that total Cirque De Soleil hanging dangly biz, spinnin around and whatnot from great heights. Very cool to look over and see while you're swimmin around!!!
Then we headed home so I could get ready for band practice with Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo. When I was much younger, Letters to Cleo were on a few movie compilations I happened to own and thus, became a fan. Kay and her husband Michael are also responsible for most of the music in the Josie and the Pussycats movie. I learned my little vocal harmonies and casio keyboard part, threw on some make up and it was off to rehearse!
A psychic once told me I would work with people I only dreamed of working with but I consistently work with people I NEVER dreamed of working with (as in, I couldn't even imagine some of this shit). Anyway, it was super cool to sit in on a band practice and sing with Kay Hanley, the voice of Letters to Cleo and Josie and the Pussycats for a tune :)
Now, we're off to the Viper Room!
Why can't all days be like this.
Random Me Fact of the Day: Although some may not perceive me as particularly girly, I constantly wrestle between having nails or, playing guitar ;)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
A lil something about myself for the day:
I am incredibly shy.
I have always been incredibly shy.
I remember being hungry at my little brother's hockey game once, and my mom said I could have anything I wanted, if I just went up and paid for it myself.
I stayed hungry until we got home.
Oh ya, I played a show tonight. How am I able to sing/perform in front of people, and yet I can barely speak to a crowd of more than 2? Even if at a house party, or in my living room, it is far more uncomfortable for me to play in what some might deem a way more comfortable setting (such as in my own home), then it is to play a random stage somewhere. I love small intimate shows but I HATE being at a party or something and someone handing me a guitar and saying "Hey play a song!" Normally I just flat our refuse. Too shy!!!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Today, I was a bee.
This is not a joke, and I have pictures (and video) to prove it.
Some friends of mine started this thing called ClickBee and if you've ever bought anything online, you have got to check them out. If you've never bought anything online, it's time you started...it reduces emissions by 35%, saves you time and now, you get cash back every time you buy something.
Basically, anytime you buy anything online, you save money and get it back in the form of cash. So, every time you buy anything at all, from clothes to diapers to movies to books to guitar string to songs on iTunes, they send you a check in the mail.
It works on the same principle as Amazon except for that in Amazon's case, they keep all the money. With these guys, you get it all back.
Some of the stores give you up to 25% back (some as much as 40%) and if you start switching to shopping online more and more, it's crazy how much money you save. Also, it feels pretty good to get a check in the mail instead of a bill.
The best part, though, is all the stores you can save money at. They have over 2,000, everything from Best Buy, Target, Macy's, iTunes, Guitar Center...the list just goes on and on. Imagine if everytime you went to buy a DVD, toilet paper, socks, music...anything at all, imagine getting up to 25% cash back.
Anyways, I really believe in these guys and not only did they build a great site that's been saving us a ton of cash but they're also great people too, with a tiny adorable daughter that I adore to bits. And, they let me be a bee for a day :)
Visit them at http://www.ClickBee.net and enter this code to join for free:
Look! I'm a bee! :D
View more photos from this day at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelostcause/3687931515/
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Epic Epic News!!! :D
I complained to Facebook and they let me have http://www.facebook.com/billythekid !!
I'm in shock!!! I really didn't think it would work, but it did! The squeaky wheel gets the grease hey ;)
I got to go hiking!!!
Runyon Canyon...it only takes a few hours but it's beautiful. You can see all of L.A. and it's minutes away from Hollywood (another great tourist-y type adventure is the Best View In the City horseback trails...check em out if you're ever in the area!!!)
After hiking we went to Real Food Daily, a place which is fast becoming on of my favourite vegan joints in the area. They have every dessert ever...but vegan!!! :D
I drank 2 extremely dark and extremely tasty beers then strolled around Venice for the remainder of the eve. It's fun to be a tourist :)
More Photos Here
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'm a soggy snot rag again.
What is it with me and illness.
This re-re-occuring ailment is ruining my life! Can't sing, write, play, run, taste, breath...ugh.
Before I had this sore throat thing, thought it was strep. Then I got totally better. Now I have like, a head cold, or some junk.
Anyway. Enough about my sick, gross-ness.
Yesterday, amidst my snottiness, I went on my first California hike at Runyon Canyon. Being in the heat actually made me feel better. By the time I got home, I was barely snotty and actually thought: "Hey! I think I'm on the mend! :D"
Hiking was followed by food which was followed by a walk at Venice beach which was followed by a trip to the salt water hot tub in the backyard. After that, more food and a couple movies, one being Baraka, which I hadn't seen since high school. It's one of those movies that doesn't say anything, but says SO much. I have been thinking all day because of it. There is no plot, no movie stars...just shots of this planet and the people on it. The theme seemed to be religion, or at least how people find/worship/speak to God. Intensely interesting. Amidst the global look at culture and worship, glorious panoramic views of the Earth and all it has to offer were dispersed amongst shots of crowded subways, traffic, assembly lines and even factory farming. It made me think of humans as somewhat of a plague...just ruining all that is around us and getting so far away from any natural beauty that we at one point possessed (in my opinion the Buddhists and Indian cultures seem to know what is up the most). Then you see these primitive tribes, existing naturally and living happy and healthy lives. Where did we go wrong? Are we really evolving?
Sometimes I can't tell.
Random Me Fact of the Day: I was the last peron in my neighbourhood to learn how to ride a bike. True story.
Friday, June 26, 2009
New Billy the Kid Interview c/o our friends over at Animal Nation Doesn't Know Anything.
Don't forget to check out Billy's upcoming shows, July 8th at Room 5 in Los Angeles and July 28th at The Troubadour with Our Lady Peace. If you're in Vancouver there will be an August 11th show as well, we'll keep ya posted as details arrive.
Lots of blogs, photos and updates over at BillyTheKidBlog.com. If you're a Blogger user, sign up as a friend and feel free to leave any comments and questions :)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Was thinking that maybe you come here to find out a little something about me every so often. Found this and figured, why not. I've never done one of these things. This one seems to cover all the basis. Enjoy, if you care :)
001. Real name → Billy the Kid (duh)
002. Nickname(s) → Billabong, William, Bill, Billster, Billamina, BTK, Billiard
003. Status → Severly taken
004. Zodiac sign → Aquarius
005. Male or female → Girl
006. Elementary → Hjorth Road then Riverdale
007. Middle School → Len Shepherd
008. High School → Tamanawis, Elgin, Langley Fine Arts
009. Eye Color → Change-y. Green-y gray.
010. Hair Color → Brown
011. Tall or Short → Short
012. Loud or Quiet→ Sometimes very quiet, sometimes very loud
013. Sweats or Jeans → Sweats :)
014. Phone or Camera → Phone
015. Health freak → Kind of...vegan :)
016. Clothing Style → Ex-punk folk gurl
017. Do you have a crush on someone? → Randall Cooke
018. Eat or Drink → both! lots :P
019. Piercings → 7 ear
020. Tattoos → My body is one huge tattoo in progress
021. Water or Fire? → Water!!!
022. Love of your life or 4 Billion Dollars → love of my life
023. First fear → Slow motion zombie nightmare
024. First best friend → Scott Sproxton
025. First award → T-shirt that said "I read over 700 books" (it was actually more like 900 but whatever)
026. First crush → Darren something-or-other...grade one
027. First pet → Cats, Jack and Jill (creative, I know)
028. First big vacation → Disneyland
029. First big birthday → The first birthday I remember was at Chuckie Cheese
030. First kiss → Grade one. See: First Crush ;)
031. Food → Today it's vegan beet tartare at Madeleine's in L.A. (all vegan gourmet...amazing)
032. Person → Randall Cooke
033. Color → Black
034. Sport/Team → Lost Causers
035. Country → Canada
036. Actor/Actress → I like them all equally.
037. Music → Ryan Adams
038. Movie → Today it's Up
039. Scent → Randall Cooke
040. Food → all things dead
041. Person → no comment
042. Color → I am the least fond of orange, but I certainly don't hate it.
043. Sport/Team → None.
044. Country → no comment (for fear of being bombed)
045. Actor/Actress → paris hilton
046. Music → paris hilton
047. Movie → There are many truly bad movies but I'd still rather watch one of those than most things on television
048. Scent → New tar roof
049. Eating → nothing
050. Drinking → tea
051. Talking to → no one
052. Thinking about → never you mind!
053. Listening to → new five for fighting leaking through Randy's headphones as he charts for a session tomorrow. Other sounds include: The sound of a pencil scribbling on paper, his tapping and funny sounds that come out of him when he is concentrating/counting.
054. Plans for today → Watch a couple Robot Chicken on the ol' DVR then pass out!
055. Waiting for → Randy to be done and come over here so we can get our Robot Chicken on!
056. House → I hope!
057. Car → Dream car is '57 Belair
058. Want kids? → no
059. Want to get married? → no
060. how many kids do you want → 0
061. any name on the mind → Dylan
062. what did you want to be when you were little → veterinarian
063. what did you think you’ll be doing in 5 years → hopefully on tour. Realistically probably working some shit job though :S
064. mellow future or wild → totally wild to begin with and then extremely mellow
066. something you would never try → cheating on Randall
067. when do you wanna die → Before Randall does
WHICH IS BETTER FOR A BOY:
068. Lips or eyes → both.
069. Shorter or taller? → Taller
070. Long or short hair → short (!!!!)
071. Romantic or spontaneous → BOTH
072. Nice stomach or nice arms → Arms
073. Sensitive or loud → sensitive
074. Hook-up or relationship → relationship
075. Trouble maker or hesitant → trouble maker
076. Had your pants rip in public → I was hopping a fence with Matt Dander on tour once does that count?
077. Peed your pants in public → nope
078. Talked to someone you thought you recognized but it wasn't them → My life story
079. Tripped and fallen on stairs/escalator/hallways/etc.. in public → always
HAVE YOU EVER:
080. Lost glasses/contacts → YES. Once out a moving vehicle on tour. Spent hours trying to find on side of highway. No dice.
081. Ran away from home → Many times.
082. Hold a gun/knife for self defense → no
083. Killed somebody → no
084. Been heartbroken → yes
085. Been arrested → no
086. Been drunk/high → yes
087. Cried when someone died → yeah
088. Kissed on the first date → yeah
DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
089. Yourself → sometimes
090. Miracles → sometimes
091. Love at first sight → sometimes
092. Heaven → no
093. Santa Claus → no
094. Sex on the first date → no
095. Kiss on the first date → yes
096. Is there something you wish you could change about yourself → my metabolism
097. Is there one person you want to be with right now → I'm with him
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life → no
099. Do you believe in God → sometimes
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Today I will attempt bowling for the third time.
I will also attempt to be not completely bummed out when I score very low and most of my turns ending up in the gutter.
Maybe You Didn't Know... After baseball, gymnastics, piano lessons, guitar lessons, tae kwon do, figure skating and swimming, I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up nor do I have any skills relevant to any sort of job whatsoever.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today was a fun day. The funnest day in a while.
Tamar's in town. I met Tamar for the first time while shooting the (upcoming, soon to be released) music video for These City Lights. Tamar is down here for a cool make-up conference and after spending the weekend learning about prosthetics, latex and all kinds of crazy special effects makeups things, we spent the day in Santa Monica and Venice.
For all the times I have walked around the Santa Monica pier today was the first day I went on the roller coaster. It wasn't all that good but, ya gotta do it once in your life yknow? My photographer buddy Aaron Schwartz (who was also at the These City Lights shoot) is supposed to come down next month to coaster hop with me for a few days so I wasn't too worried about it. I did, however, have a fantastic time on the Scrambler. Every time the ride went around, a "Weeee!" escaped from my lungs, like the sound you make when you're five and on a swing. After awhie we weren't sure if we were laughing from the ride of the "weeeee!" Either way, there was giggling the whole ride through.
Then we walked to Venice (which I had no idea was that close to Santa Monica). It was a beautiful day and a ton of interesting people watching went down. Oh! I almost forget the most important part...before these adventures we lunched at Real Food Daily and split Salisbury Seitan (with vegan gravy and mashed potatoes oh boy) and a Mexican Enchilada type dish followed by (vegan, of course) coconut cream pie and peanut butter chocolate pie. And then a cookie. To go.
Random Fact: I have not done anything productive for about a week now.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Oh to be ill.
The moping, the coughing, sneezing, snot, no energy. sore throat.
Not singing. Not doing much of anything, really.
So far I have seen Into the Wild, JFK, W., Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Idiocracy and about a million episodes of Robot Chicken. Healing. More on this later.
Thing you maybe didn't know about me: Sometimes I fall asleep with my arms over my head and I wake up in the middle of the night thinking that my arms have been stolen in my sleep.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
"how many songs have you written for acoustic guitar that you perform?
do you usually play by yourself, just with a guitar & singing? how often are you play with a back-up band, with drums & bass etc.?"
I just looked at my iPod and apparently I have 101 demos. Some of these are probably duplicates and some are likely songs that ended up being Billy and the Lost Boys songs but at any rate, I really only play about 10 of them live!
I've been playing shows with a band lately but it really all depends on the show. Last Thursday at the Hotel Cafe I did the first half of the set by myself (which allows me to play songs that are new or that I don't have recordings of) then the band came and joined in for the rest. I've been super fortunate to play with some uber talented musicians lately...it sure adds a lot to the live sound to have a great backup band. I like the idea of playing a bit alone and then adding musicians. Sonically it changes things up and if people aren't really in to one, hopefully they will be in to the other.
On Thursday, Randy (who has payed with the likes of Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Chantal Kreviazuk, Kelly Clarkson, Five For Fighting and Raine Maida's solo project) played a cajone (this cool box thing you sit on) and a bunch of percussion stuff...he has a tambourine hooked up to a kick pedal so he can be playing a beat on the cajone, shaking a shaker, and then on the backbeat hit the tambo. It's super cool! Andrew Doolittle played some ambient guitar stuff (what I like to call Whale Sounds) and Joe Karnes from Pedestrian was on bass this time around. My last show at Hotel Cafe we had Ben Peeler from the Wallflower/Jakob Dylan on guitar and Eric Holden from Five For Fighting and Josh Groban on bass. When in Vancouver, I try to steal Sarah Mclachlan's band. If they're not around to do it I just play by myself ;)
Random Fact of the Day: I feel as if my best songs were the result of not writing anything down or picking up an instrument. I would just have something stuck in my head and make up words as the day passed. By the time I picked up a guitar, I already knew how the song went and just had to figure out how to play it.
Bowling at Pinz:
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I've been answering reader questions every day on the blog...head on over and feel free to leave a question or comment.
Also, got a new YouTube page. Just posted some shorts videos of recording with Raine Maida and Steve Mazur from Our Lady Peace, as well as my All Time Favourite Recording Moment with Stan Behrens. Head on over to http://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial and don't forget to become a Subscriber so you can be up to date on the latest vids as they are posted.
Thanks for your comments,
Billy the Kid
Love the look on Raine's face. You can tell we're freaking out, internally.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This from Zimmy:
what kind of computer & programs do you think are good for self-recording? i listened to 'catastrophe' just now (the version you put back up). it sounds really good!! it always did. what did you use to record it? can you easily self-produce stuff with drums/electric guitar/bass as well? or is that too difficult for getting a proper sound? (sorry that the question is so technical!)
I use Protools and an MBox Mini to do all my demos. It only has a few inputs, which is all I need for laying down an idea. There are lots of similar programs, I know Mac computers come with Garageband and lots of people use software such as Reason etc.
When I'm doing stuff with a full band (like the new Billy and the Lost Boys album) I have access to a studio with a great live room that has drums and amps and stuff when I'm in L.A. but I know from experience (and 4 albums) that not everyone has this luxury. There are lots of ways to build your track with or without studio access.
Stuff like guitar and bass you can do "in the box", meaning that if you live in an apartment or place where you can't make a ton of noise, you just plug your instrument into your MBox/Digi002 etc and that goes in to your computer. Easy. There are a lot of programs to make beats with (or, just borrow beats until you can get yourself a real drummer) and I see a lot of people doing it this way when they're in the demo stage. It's great for playing along to, getting ideas and doing pre-production. Then you can email the track to a drummer who has access to a studio or book yourself a room for a few days.
If you're doing the home recording thing (a lot of bands book studio time for drums and bass and then do things like guitars and vocals in the comfort of their home in order to save money and be able to take their time) then I would recommend one thing: invest in a good condensor mic. When I was researching what to buy I found a great used mic that was the same cost of a new one and I think that's helped me get half decent vocal and acoustic guitar sounds in my crappy little concrete apartment.
Does that help at all?
Random Billy Fact of the Day Number 19: Two years ago I had never recorded anything on my own in my life. Now I'm working on an album where I'm producing, engineering and playing everything on my own except drums. How did this happen? I bought a couple books and spent hours trying to figure out how!
This from Desi:
I really like reading your blogs, Billy.
I also have some questions for you! My little brother is in school at OIART right now, and in September us two Saskatchewan kids are getting in my car and driving to California! Do you have any tips on the most fun things ever to do there.... or also things for a dude who wants to work in the sound/music industry there someday to check out?
Why thank you Desi :) It likes you too.
That is so exciting! California is my favourite place in the world right now. How long are you in town? You gotta do all the "tourist-y" stuff, especially if you never been here. There's Disneyland, California Adventure (still Disney, but more roller coaster type things), The Santa Monica Pier, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Hollywood Sign and the Sunset Strip to name just a few. If you're in to shopping there's Melrose Ave, 4th Street Promanade, The Grove and so much more.
There will likely be a ton of concerts going on (if you're in to that) and a million fantastical places to dine...my all time favourite (vegan) restaurants are all in California. My advice would be to go to some shows, check out some bands and just start meeting and talking to people. There are a few recording schools here that may have some guest speakers or performances too. So much to do, I'm sure there are a million things I am forgetting :)
Something About Me You Maybe Didn't Know Day 18: In preschool I wanted to be a cat when I grew up. In elementary school I wanted to be a vet. In high school I wanted to be a music teacher. In University I wanted to be an English teacher. Now, I don't want to grow up.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- i have a question: have you ever played to a crowd of people & just thought, 'wow ... nobody really listened to that' - how do you keep going when you get a bland reaction like that -- after you've poured out your heart & soul? what keeps you going & makes you feel excited about it?
Haha. Why yes indeed!!!
This type of situation is inevitable when you're an average sized person in a big-ish sized room armed with only a guitar. Things like venue, sound system, sound dude, other bands on the bill/crowd in attendance can make or break the show. That is, if you let it get to you.
Somewhere along the line I realized that any opportunity I get to play in front of anyone, I should be grateful for. Whether there are two of you or two thousand, you will see the same show. This happens (in my case, at least) because I have this theory: I would be at home, alone, doing pretty much the same thing anyway, so the fact that I'm here, and we're in this together, is a total bonus.
I have been lucky enough to play shows where not a single person in the audience uttered one word for the whole set. I have also played shows where it seemed like just about everyone talked the whole way through. To quote a wise prophet and paraphrase just a bit, Performing Live Is Like A Box Of Chocolates...You Never Know What You're Going to Get.
I always make it my mission, manifesto and code of conduct to battle my way through any tough audience. It is my goal to get at least one talk-y person to lend me their ears for a half hour or so. Sometimes, the results of this are astonishing, and somehow, everyone in the room starts acting like they're enjoying themselves or something! Sometimes you just fight and fight the whole way through, but then someone comes up and tells you they were impressed by how you handled everyone talking and it makes it all worthwhile. This is why I sometimes play with a band...then I'm not as quiet ;)
Random Fact 17: I have lived in 3 group homes, 3 foster homes and with many, many kind friends and relatives.
This from Chris Kettleson:
"I am kinda of a folky, acoustic, alt pop kinda person... I play my own music and stuff but I was just wondering how did you manage to get your first break?"
Hmmm...first break huh. I guess that depends on what one would consider a "first break"...
Was my first break the all ages show I played with my punk rock bank The Blue Collar Bullets? Was it the time that Billy Bones from Teenage Rampage Records (and now, Sparrow Guitars) offered to put out my first album? Or did the "lucky breaks" only start when I started flying around places and working with people I looked up to?
That is what I am naming my new album, by the way.
They say it takes ten years to make an overnight success.
I am by no means an overnight success but if you talk to anyone on the other side of Living Off Music they will most likely agree with this concept. In the ten years that I've been playing all ages punk rock shows, learning how to manage a band and record company and driving all over the damn places cause I love music, it's been a series of small breaks. You never know where the next one is going to lead you, and sometimes even the not-so-lucky breaks turn out to the be the best thing that could have happened.
I find it incredibly cheesy when someone asks for advice and all they're given is "Just Keep Up the Good Work!" or "Follow Your Dreams Kid!", "Never Give Up!" Sure, this is good advice if you're already on the other side, but it doesn't TELL you a damn thing. I'm not on the "other side" but I swore if anyone asked me for advice I would be truthful. In my opinion, the best thing you can do for your music is WORK.
1. Get a good paying job, or find a skill that sets you up every time you come back from tour unemployed (fork lift driver, cook, construction...anything, regardless of whether you like it or an interested in it at all.) If you can hack it, get two jobs...you're going to need the money.
2. Put all your money in to your band. Merch, tour, a van, posters, gear...you're going to need stuff that will stand the test of time cause Lord knows when you'll be able to afford it again! Look at your life and analyze where you spend your money and see what you can/are willing to live without.
3. Build up as much credit as you can. Get as many credit cards as you can. Take out a loan. This could potentially be the worst advice anyone could ever give you but the fact of the matter is this: You never know when your "Big Break" might come, and wouldn't it be a shame to miss it because you don't have any money to do that big tour, fly to that cool studio to record or do a new run of merch cause you just got added to Warped Tour?
4. Learn everything. Everything. If you think you know half of anything, you're wrong. Learn how to book a tour, settle a show, run a publicity campaign, follow up with radio, build a mailing list, market online, record yourself, write songs...any thing Music OR Music BUSINESS related...You Need To Know It.
5. Start working. Yep, as if you didn't think you ere working enough cause you're exhausted from your two jobs, trying to book a tour and make it to band practice without falling asleep on the bus, now it's time to really work. Every second you are awake, there is something you could be doing for your music. Whether it's writing, recording demos or getting better at your instrument, there is always, ALWAYS something that you could/should be doing for your music if you're serious about it. Every time you sit down in front of the T.V., pick up your guitar. On your lunch break, read music industry books and write lyrics. In the car while driving plan your new album artwork. See? It never ends.
Did that help at all?
Random Fact 16: I've been keeping a scrap book of every article, interview or review that has ever been done about me since I was 16. I also keep every piece of mail I've ever been sent. Once for my birthday Dana gave me a $20 bill with a thank you note written on it and I still have it. It reminds me that no matter what, the sentiment was more valuable than the money. Always.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This question hot off the press courtesy of THE BEEZE:
I've got a question, or two...
What is your favorite song of all time?
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I ONLY GET ONE!?!?!?
Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen. I have listened to it about a million times.
Other tunes on the all time top listening list include:
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
Joleen - Ray Lamontagne
Oh My God, Whatever, Etc - Ryan Adams (actually, everything by Ryan Adams)
Biggest musical influences? Hmmm. Much the same of the all time favourite song list... The Band, Neil Young, Dylan, Springsteen, Kathleen Edwards, Ray Lamontagne and Ryan Adams for sure. Musically, that is ;)
Random Fact 15: I hate listening to my own music. In fact, I can't even be in the same room with someone if my music is playing. This includes recording. I'm incredibly shy.
Anything you want to ask me?
Got a question, problem or concern?
Ask away! :)
Random Billy Fact 14: I love sending you mail
Couple things...playing some shows, including Tomorrow at the Hotel Cafe and July 28th with Our Lady Peace at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Details attached, please let me know if you're able to make it.
So, I got this new website, and I had an idea (stop me if you've heard this): If you put a link to the new site http://www.BillytheKidOnline.com on your Facebook, Myspace, Blog, Website etc., I will send you a signed promo photo and/or thank thank you letter. Just let me know where you've put the link and where to send you your mail.
Lots of new merch including hats, bags, aprons, key chains, mugs, beer steins and dog shirts at http://www.zazzle.com/billythekidlost
I'm in the studio working on some new Billy and the Lost Boys tunes as well as some new Billy the Kid material. If you want to keep up to date on the struggles of producing, engineering, writing and recording your own album (a first for me!) follow my blog at http://www.BillytheKidBlog.com
Last but not least: I'm thinking of starting a Video Blog. Anything you'd like to know or any questions you might have for me?
Thank you so much for your support...love you to bits.
-Billy the Kid
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty overwhelmed today.
Not in a bad way. No, not at all.
I put up this thing... a thing that says "if you put a link to my new site www.billythekidonline.com on your blog, forums, facebook, myspace, website, etc I will mail you either a hand written thank you letter or a signed promo photo."
I honestly expected about 2 people to sing up for this endeavor. But now, I'm really overwhelmed.
Everything from car blogs to toy blogs, you guys are out there spreading the word. It makes a little happy tear go to the corner of my eye and try to bust out, but I say "No! You Will Not Escape The Confines of My Eye! Stay In The Eye, Happy Tear!"
I know awhile back I said I was going to try and blog every day. Some days though, I feel like I have nothing decent to say. Sure I could think of something, but why drag (the two) people reading this in to how my brain works some days.
Most of the time, I'm as happy as I could possibly be. The fact of the matter is, though, I'm still just trying to get by and this music thing is just struggle after struggle. I mean, I got some good things going, some new plans in the works, and my future is looking like it just might turn out ok. But right now we're in the trenches people. Contracts, meetings and trying to spread the word about my music takes up my day so that I rarely have time to do my fav. thing which is create.
In case you wanted to know my day-to-day these days, it mainly consists of planning and executing ways to inform new potential fans that I exist. I know this sounds ridiculous, but this is really the only way I live. And, I am the only person I have helping me. Sure, I have a producer, my family and the love of my life are extremely supportive, but when it comes down to "marketing", it's just me and this MacBook that I am now writing on. Whereas some people who have been playing music, touring, recording and creating for as long as I have likely have some type of management, booking agent, record label, publicist or internet marketing help, I have: Me.
Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not complaining. This is the path I chose, and most of the time, I prefer it this way. I guess I'm kind of a "lone wolf". "Doesn't play well with others" heh heh. The bottom lines is that my life, my music and the portrayal thereof is extremely important to me and I can't stand people screwing that up and/or trying to capitalize on it. I'm just a kid who really liked making music, and most of the time I have my head on straight enough to realize that everything else is just a bonus. But in the trenches, it's hard to know when the fighting will end.
That is, until I get an email, a comment, a facebook message...any little sign of life from someone out there that I either know or don't know, telling me that they're out there, they exist, and they're listening. Most of the time I live a pretty solitary existence. You stare at a computer, a console or a highway and see the same couple of people most every day. I don't mind this because I try to surround myself with the best caliber of people imaginable, making it very easy to tolerate them for extended periods of time ;)
But it does get lonely. Every time you guys reach out to me, or show your support, or I get an email saying "You Have A New Order", you don't know how happy it makes me. I actually smile every single time. And it doesn't have anything to do with money. It doesn't have anything to do with "success" (which is a perspective driven definition, in my opinion) or "fame" (which I don't believe in anyway). It's just the feeling that there is someone else out there, like me, and we're in this together. Lost.
Billy the Kid
Random Fact 13: My first car was a 1965 Valiant that my foster dad gave me. It was the car that got be to band practice and shows for years. It was also the car that got my foster dad to his band practices and shows for years.
If you put a link to my website (http://www.billythekidoneline.com or http://www.billythekidblog.com) on your blog, facebook, myspace or website, I will mail you a handwritten thank you letter OR a signed promo photo (your choice). Just send me where you've posted the link and you're address and keep an eye on yr mail! :)
Billy the Kid
Friday, June 5, 2009
Just wanted to let you know I have some cool new merch items for sale...if you head on over to the Billy the Kid Zazzle page you will find Billy the Kid Mugs, Lost Records mugs and Trucker hats.
I'm just wondering...are there any other merch items you guys would like to see? If so, please add a comment to this post. I'd love to know your ideas!
I have two shows coming up in L.A. posted in the shows section, let me know if you can make it out and I'll keep an eye out for ya :)
All the best,
Billy the Kid
create & buy custom products at Zazzle
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The other day I went to Venice Beach for the first time.
I went to Venice to hang out with a living legend by the name of Stan "The Baron" Behrens. I met Stan (like many of my favourite people on this planet) because of a certain producer named Raine Maida. Raine had already called Randy Cooke and Joe Karnes in to do the session and while recording, we started talking about getting a harmonica player for a couple tracks. Joe recommended Stan, and the rest is history.
Stan grew up in New York and has played with the likes of Willie Dixon, Canned Heat, Ruth Brown...he's even on a Four Tops record! You can also hear him in the T.V. show "My Name Is Earl" (among others). Stan is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist and we had a blast walking around (and over) the canals of Venice while catching up (the guy has a million amazing stories...and such a sweet man).
Yesterday I wrapped up the last of the electric guitars for the firs batch of Billy and the Lost Boys tunes. I finally owned up to the fact that, left to my own devices, I will take all day to get ONE guitar sound. So, we asked a friend to come in and help for a few hours. Being on the clock and having a little input turned out to be exactly what I needed. I finished everything in about 6 hours and then it was off to see Anvil: The Movie followed by a very special performance by Anvil: The Band! (followed by Tofu Scramble at Swinger's Restaurant. Yum.)
Little Known Fact Day 12: I have been listening to nothing but Ryan Adams records for two months straight
Thursday, May 28, 2009
What is creation?
What does it mean to create something?
For that matter, what's a song? What is your art? How do you know when it's done and what makes you decide it's good enough?
I've had some "technical difficulties" in the midst of creating. I realize this is a necessary evil... a part of the equation when it comes to creation. As humans we strive for fluidity, some sort of cohesiveness to our existence, but the nature of life is the complete opposite. Chaos, unrest, ever-changing and doomed to collapse.
This is the way buddhists see it, at any rate. Don't they seem to have something figured out? Their take on this whole mess of life is that it is the nature of our reality to fall apart. The sooner we accept that, the closer we will be to Nirvana (not the band. ok maybe...eventually).
It's thinking in circles like this that brings me a standstill. I once read that Kerouac and his gang of N'er Do Wells would talk each other in and out of this Stand Still. You start thinking of every thing as equal, fluid, transitional, ever changing and never the same, in the grand scheme of things (technically), inconsequential. Eventually, you cannot help but ask: What is the point?
Or is it?
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears your damn album, was it really worth cutting it down so you could feel better about your life for 19 minutes?
more on this later.
Little known fact day 11: I keep less than 5% of what I write/create
Monday, May 25, 2009
Did you know I have been blogging every day for over a week? Head on over to the blog section or http://www.billythekidblog.com and check out my life heh heh.
Billy the Kid
Guy from Five For Fighting is recording in the studio right now. He just came out and said hi...nice guy.
I'm sitting in the backyard contemplating arrangements and lyrics for upcoming tunes. These upcoming tunes are actually old tunes that I've put on hold for the last year as I focused on creating and releasing my first solo album The Lost Cause. I'll always have rock in my blood...and I'll always have those folk-y slow songs comin' out of me too. I like doing both things. Actually, I like doing lots of things. My mind wanders easily and the more I have on my plate the less time I have to be distracted.
Tomorrow I start finishing the new Billy and the Lost Boys album. Don't get me wrong, it's a long way away for even being CLOSE to done, but at least I'll begin the last of the vocals and guitar of the first batch of tunes. Then we'll start drums etc. for the next batch. I'm planning to spend most of my summer doing this (or at least whenever the studio is free) and I'm hoping that by the time I go back to Canada I'll have something to consider releasing.
I also have to start working on an exclusive track for the Swim Drink Fish Music people who so kindly asked to include me in their next compilation CD (past/present contributors include Broken Social Scene, Bruce Cockburn, Gord Downie, Pete Seeger, Stars, Sarah Harmer, Great Lake Swimmers and Wintersleep).
Then it's off to Raine's to finish mixing the rest of the songs on his had drive from the last time I was in town. I cannot begin to express how much I am looking forward to doing something, ANYThing even closely related to music. After I got back from that tour in March I've barely played a single note let alone a show. Anyway...here's to the future :)
It Is Highly Unlikely That Anyone Knows The Following Day 10: When I was a kid I was in Tae Kwon Do and was the only person to ever "skip" a whole belt. I went from green right to red. Did that make me any more of a superb ninja? No.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Today started out with my regular ol' jaunt to the gym. Did I mention I'm learning how to box???
Randy was tracking all day so I sat out in the sun and felt like a degenerate for a bit before joining him in the studio. Take your Girlfriend to Work Day is FUN! Here are some shots from Behind the Scenes:
After Take Your Girlfriend to Work Day we went bowling at Jerry's Diner with producer Phil X, his wife and their two friends.
I will not lie...it started out disastrous. The last time I had been bowling I was likely in grade school and I had no concept of how in the world to do this crazy bowling thing.
I got 6 gutter balls in a row.
But, with everyone's support, encouragement and tips, by the next game I got 2 strikes and a couple Whatever That Thing Is Called That's Not A Strike But It's Still Pretty Good.
Check this little guy out...does he look like he hates his job or what!?!?
Here's one of Randy being So Good At Bowling. Not fair!!!
Little Known Fact Day 9: Sometimes I have writer's block for a year at a time. This is one of those years.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Yesterday we went to the beach, came home and got fold out chairs to sit in the sun on, had thai in our beautiful backyard and drank wine to my favorite movie (not telling...too terribly cheesy to admit to hehe)
Today Randy played Topanga Days in beautiful Topanga. Right before he went on, Blood Sweat and Tears played all their classic tunes... we watched a bit of their set from backstage then went on a bit of an adventure. It was great to see a band from so close that I remember listening to all the time in my '65 Valiant that only had AM Radio and one mom speaker on the dash (and thus, only blasted oldies radio).
In the band was Joe Karnes who played bass on my album The Lost Cause. Joe's such a great guy to have in a band...you can tell he really understands music and not only is he a great player but he's a great guy too. Him and Randy make for a wicked rhythm section.
Right after they played we zipped down the mountain and made a stop in Crazy Cactus Park. Ok so that's not what it is actually called but it should be! :)
**For way more pictures like this tune in to my Flickr Account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelostcause/**
Little Known Fact Day 8: I'm growing my hair for http://www.lockoflove.org and after having short hair for most of my life, it turns out that my hair is curly!!! I had no idea.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Well, it happened.
Today a little something arrived in my inbox that I have been hoping and praying for my whole life.
A Licensing Deal!!! :D
I'm so excited about working with this company...they've placed songs in movies like Milk, An Inconvenient Truth, Boogie Nights, Underworld and shows like Californication and Dexter.
Another great something arrived today...the rough draft of my support letters to get my O-1 Visa!!!
Not to be all depress-io but for the last couple months for me have not been so awesome. I won't lie. It's been a lot of Not Sunshine, Not Palm Trees, and Not Randy...and I didn't like it one bit. See, because I'm not an Amurcan (pronounce as spelled), I cannot legally reside in the Amurca (southern spin on pronouncing "American"). I cannot work, play or reside here for any extended amount of time. I love Canada and it will always be my home but I fell in love with California years ago and most importantly, my favourite person in the world lives here and I just can't live so far from him.
So, we collect support letters and a fun time line of everything I've ever done that is music related (boy has that been fun) and before long, I should have my visa! The name of it is "Alien of Extraordinary Ability". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA :P
Daily Something Day 7: After 15 years of dying my hair, I recently discovered that I really like my natural hair color.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The guy from Matchbox 20 is in the studio right now. Randy's tracking drums in the room beside our bed. I can hear everything they're talking about haha.
Last night we had a celebration dinner. It started with beet tartare (beets on a soft crumbly cashew "goat" cheese), was followed by vegan mac and cheese, vegan chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and then vegan bananas foster. Oh and an amazing bottle of Pinot Noir. It was a celebration.
It was a celebration because yesterday I had this really awesome meeting that I'm pretty sure is going to amount to my stuff being in more T.V. shows and movies. I'm supposed to get a contract in my inbox today and then...we wait :)
If you're a songwriter this kind of thing is a huge huge deal and I'll tell you why...getting a song you wrote in a hit T.V. show is a major opportunity, especially in this silly world where labels don't exist and no one is helping anyone anymore. I been perfectly happy with remaining independent but this sort of licensing deal truly is a dream come true, and something that I have wanted for my whole life.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled folks...you may just hear some of my songs in your fav. show one day ;)
Taken while driving to the meeting that could change my life:
Little Known Billy Fact Day 6: In grade two I read over 900 books in less than a year. I got a shirt that says "I read over 700 books" cause they had no idea what number I would be at by the time they printed the shirts. To this day I feel ripped off ;)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Woke up, went to gym. Ran in one spot for 40 minutes.
Came home, ate food. drove to Beverly Hills to have a meeting with a music licensing dude...here's hoping I can get some tunes in some shows!!! :D
Tonight: Dinner at the World's Greatest Restaurant in the Entire Universe Madeleine Bistro (gourmet all vegan fare in Tarzana).
Signed up for that Fox Vancouver Seeds thing... ranking horribly. I suppose that's an indication that I likely won't win ;)
Little Known Fact About Me Day 5: I have been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for about 13.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tonight we went to the Viper Room! I had never been so I was pretty excited :)
Sierra Swan is a superbly talented songstress who plays guitar, piano and has an AMAZING voice. She's also Billy Swan's daughter and one of Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) backup singers (that's how I met her).
I really liked the Viper Room! And Sierra played great.
Last night I spent way too long drinking wine in a hot tub and I don't recommend this the night before your first day back at boxing in about a month. That's right, I'm learning how to box. I love it!!! It's a great rush, sooo good for you and just about the best way to stay nice and relaxed throughout your day :) After boxing we did a bit of running around before a fabulous dinner with producer/writer team the Wizardz of Oz at the Cheesecake Factory.
Little Known Fact About Me Day Four: This one time, at band camp...haha just kidding. Kind of...
Did you know that I was a camp counselor for a whole 2 months one summer? I did everything from food prep, "dishing" and camp restoration to looking after a 2 year old and 6 year old (moms and kids camp) and several cabins of kids ages 7-13. It was on beautiful Gambier Island and I'll never forget what a difference being surrounded by water for 2 months made on the ol' psyche.