Resurrecting Punk Rebel Renegade, Pt. 2

Last week, I left you with a cliffhanger. It was late 2010, and the words “Punk Rebel Renegade” entered my brain when I felt the need to explain why my guitar strap was extended so far. My explanation for wearing my guitar low was because I was a punk rebel renegade. An hour later, I had decided that would be an awesome song title. Then it became apparent that it would be an even more awesome concept album title.

So that’s where it began, much like Heat Stroke did (or more specifically, “Hotter Than a Mothereffer”). But Punk Rebel Renegade soon became a few things: a song title, an album title, and finally, a way of living. I refrained from enjoying living. It’s not that I was depressed or anything; I just wanted to see how depriving myself of enjoyment would affect my personality. And instead of writing in a diary or whatever, I wrote and recorded music to document my findings.

While Heat Stroke has a lot of thought out feelings about specific events, Punk Rebel Renegade eschews that and was about a million different things at once. So when there’s a song about being angry, I wasn’t really angry at anyone. It’s just a feeling that I obtained after not eating or sleeping for a while. I would be working at my job, and every so often I would jot a little lyric down. Most of the songs on the album started that way. Either I wrote the song in pieces over a period of time, or a song title or concept would come to me first, and then I might write out a song all at once at some point in the future. There definitely wasn’t a strict way of writing the songs on Punk Rebel Renegade, for better or for worse.

I’m sure “Punk Rebel Renegade” was the first song I started and finished. I liked that quite a bit, so then…yeah, I have no idea what songs came immediately after that. I was so tired when I recorded these songs. And in my opinion, I think it’s kind of impressive how well I played guitar considering how exhausted I was. Plus, one strict goal that I did set for the album was to make it as real as possible. The drums are fake obviously, but all the bass is me playing bass guitar, and I’m pretty sure I tried to play each song on guitar completely through rather than copy and paste riffs throughout the song project.

I’ve realized how much better Punk Rebel Renegade is than Heat Stroke, and it’s kind of sad. I used a fairly high end microphone on Punk Rebel Renegade, and the vocals sound exceptionally good I think, better than on Heat Stroke. But the recordings of the guitar and bass tracks were horrendous. It’s hilarious listening to the un-EQ’d recordings. They’re so blown out and nasty sounding. But, I have to say that it’s semi-admirable how I was able to EQ the crap out of them to make it sound good. I will definitely be including a sample of the guitar in “Let It Go,” which might be my favorite song on the album. It’s probably the most straightforward metal song I’ve ever recorded. And that is one song that I had to copy and paste guitar recordings for the different parts. The tempo is pretty swifty, and I think it’s in drop C tuning, and when you’re tired and grumpy, it’s difficult to keep that triplet rhythm going for very long.

Alright, this Resurrecting Punk Rebel Renegade series isn’t going to be planned out very well, obviously, but it fits, because that’s how I recorded the album, over 4 years ago. I didn’t have a plan. So, I leave you this week with this nasty sounding instrumental sample of “Let It Go,” with the raw guitar and bass tracks. Trust me, in the final version, the guitars sound awesome. There’s no gross rumble to rip open your eardrums. The 2011 “final” version of it sounds way better than what this sounds like. The 2015 premastered version sounds dramatically better than this, and the seriously final, mastered 2015 version of it will sound even better, just like the other 13 songs on the album. Are you excited?

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