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The "genre" question 


You get that question every time you put your music online, whatever the platform, whatever the site, the submission form…

What genre does your music fit in? What sub-genre?

Quite honestly, as an artist, I resent that question. I spent my life listening to all sorts of music, from all sorts of “genres”. And I like listening to one thing and then to something totally different next. That’s what life is all about, that’s what music is all about, isn’t it?

And, as an artist, I claim the right to play any kind of music I want. That’s also why I like being an independent artist. I can play a rock tune one day, a jazz one the next, a folk one to follow. No one is going to tell me that I should restrict myself to re-do the same kind of tune that I just did… That would be so boring. And that is probably what is boring in the commercial music of today.

I can imagine that fans could have a hard time with that although in the long run, they might get used to it and appreciate the variety… As for me, I value eclecticism in music. And I resent being put in any kind of genre box.
Unless there was a “good music” genre? Then I’d try to fill that box.

I remember a time when there was no limit to what bands would put on an album. There could be a rocking tune followed by an acoustic ballad, followed by some crazy psychedelia. And fans at the time were digging it, they were following the artist’s journey through sound and broadening their taste at the same time. It was always a discovery… you never knew what you would hear next.

This is why I have so much troubles answering the “genre” question. What kind of music do I do exactly? I have been doing progressive rock, jazz fusion, jazz ballads, soul, pop, blues, classic rock, all sorts of things. What box should I tick???

My next album that will be released soon, is going to reflect that. It’s much more jazz oriented than the previous EP, but you will find lots of influences from many different places as well. And I hope listeners will come along with me on that journey. I really do.

Opting out 

Things are not going well in the music industry…. That’s an understatement. The truth is that things are pretty screwed up in the music industry… That’s also an understatement!

More people need to realize what artists get paid by streaming platforms for their hard work. More people should care!

The cold numbers (per play)
Napster pays $0.0167
Tidal pays $0.0110
Apple Music pays $0.0064
Google Play pays $0.0059
Deezer pays $0.0056
Spotify pays $0.0038
Pandora pays $0.0011
Youtube $0.0006 (IF you monetize)

To get on these platforms you also have to go through a distributor, for example CD Baby, which takes 19% of these royalties… On top of the fixed price for the entry ticket of course, which varies between $49 and $89 for an album. And of course to withdraw that money, you will have bank or Paypal fees…

So in average among these platforms, you get $0.0065, minus the 19% that’s a whooping $0.005265! Meaning for 10,000 plays you get roughly $50

Sleeping with the devil

So, I see indie artists trying to work around the system one way or another, trying to aggregate playlists to be played in loops all day on a desktop (sound muted) by all the people featured… And for what exactly? Hopefully they’ll get a burger by the end of the year. Who has even been truly listening??? What kind of interaction have they gained from being there, do they even know, do they even can contact the fans who have played and liked their music on these platforms? Nope.

I see countless artists, even radios, linking to Spotify and Deezer and Tidal on social media, actively promoting their links and playlists! And I’m thinking “I’m sure these platforms are really pleased that your fans are sent to them to listen to YOUR music.”

There’s a name for it, I believe. It’s called “Sleeping with the devil”.
Every day these platforms are petitioning in court to try and pay less and less royalties to artists, and put more money in the hands of their shareholders. They have no trouble using your content to do so. They will not promote you in any way, they are bound to big labels who couldn’t care less about indie music.

And then what?

I have decided that I will no longer condone any of these platforms, link to them or put anymore of my music on any of them. I’m just tired of endorsing crooks and bend over to get screwed a bit more, and say thank you while I’m at it…  It’s not going to make that much of a difference in my revenue anyway, that’s for sure.

And I sincerely think all indie artists should do the same.

You will be able to find my music on my own website where I’ll get 100% of the revenues, on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon (they all take a cut).
But also especially you will be able to hear it, alongside many great indie artists, on indie radios and podcasts and shows, and read about it on indie blogs and magazines… All of the true distributors and dispensers of today’s indie music that we should all support, link to and recommend.

Fans should stop using these platforms. Radios should stop promoting any links to them. Their only aim is to create a monopoly and eliminate all the little guys, they will kill any creativity that’s left. Let’s not play their game!

But we don’t have a choice!

The main objections that I hear from artists are:
“You have to be there to be found…” - really? And who is finding you there, except the fans you’ve pointed to, to begin with?
“You don’t have a choice” - hum, isn’t that how dictatorships are made?
“If you don’t do it, others will” - again, isn’t that how the 3rd Reich’s atrocities happened?
“If you’re not there, no one will want to promote you” - I don’t believe the people in the indie world are really looking at Spotify to find the music they play and review and promote.
“It’s not that bad!” - go back and read these numbers from the beginning again, please!

Perhaps not many artists will find that worthwhile, and perhaps not many will change anything and they will keep linking to Spotify and the others, but as for me, I’m just tired of sleeping with the devil… I’m opting out! I think you should too!

Invisible release 

Montréal, QC, Canada - October 20th, 2017

On this date, Ghostly Beard will release his second album “Invisible”.
The songs collection forms a unique blend of jazz, fusion and soft rock.

The eleven-track album opens with the up tempo “Upper Hand”, a tasty blend of jazz and soft rock, complete with horns section, the second track “Set Me Free” is resolutely jazz-rock fusion with keys and guitar solos, “How Can I?” mellows into soft rock, when “A Reason to Leave” is catchy jazz oriented pop rock. The “Blue” ballad is a heartwarming fatherly love song, while “Lazy (from Time to Time)” jazzes it up. “The Odds of Our Lives” ventures into Bossa-Nova with a twist, while “I Dream of You” is a chill down-tempo ballad, then followed by the lively jazz of “Along the Road”. The comedic “Fool” offers smile inducing self-deprecation, and the final “Someday” ends it all with an acoustic tone and soft harmonies.

Various videos will be produced for the occasion, starting with an official video for "Blue", which will start the release promotion ahead of time.

Make sure to mark the date to taste it all while it’s fresh!

I fight for darkness 


Well, maybe not exactly the way you think… but let me explain!

This week-end I’ve received the masters of my new album from my mastering engineer. He’s great and has a really good ear, for example he has found little issues in my mixes that I had totally overlooked, like some overbearing hiss on the drum part of one song, or a click in the middle of a word on the vocal track of another. I’ve listened to these a thousand times and was rendered blind to these details…

But one thing is that his masters tend to be quite bright, and me, well, I’m more on the dark side…

I suppose it’s a sign of the times, but it makes me think that when people moan that CDs and digital sounds bad, and mourn the good old days of vinyl and the warmth of analog gear, perhaps all they are really longing for is a darker sound.
To be honest, the good old days were riddled with noise and distortion and many unwanted issues, and the sound was suffering from it.

Fact is that vinyl has limited frequency range compared to digital: it’s true of the low end that cannot be extended to the kind of subs the EDM crowd is used to, but it also has limited range in the high end, which generally equals a darker overall sound… 

With the advent of CDs and digital, there are no such limits anymore, and we can render up to 20Khz and even more (which is pretty pointless actually) and this makes for more clarity in the high end, extended subs, etc. 

Add to that the extreme compression that the recent loudness war has accustomed our ears to, and the fact that people listen to their cell phones, laptops with ear buds, with little low end, and all of that makes for a modern sound that is generally very bright.

Me, being the old dinosaur that I am, I tend to favor a darker, mellower sound, I even suspect that some amount of mud in a mix is necessary for a better sounding overall listening experience, something that doesn’t fatigue your ears and caresses instead of hammers your eardrums.

So in the end, I have asked my mastering engineer to add some mud back and to embrace the dark side. I’m sure Darth Vader would be proud! :D

The essential studio accessory 

When I started getting back to music, I knew one thing I really needed to learn was audio engineering… It’s one thing to write songs but another to record them properly and yet another to mix them nicely.

You can get all the best recording gear in the world, build yourself a great sound treated studio, buy the most powerful computer, the best DAW (Digital Audio Workstation if you wonder what that means), but the one thing that you really need is to actually learn how to use all that.

And it takes time, because you need to train your ears. Critical listening is the one essential skill you need beyond the basics of learning how to operate a DAW which is a pretty complex and powerful piece of software. You can learn about EQ, compression, delays, reverbs, but you will get nowhere if you don’t know how to listen critically.

Now as I’ve said elsewhere, one thing you learn as a mixing engineer is to close your eyes, because it’s easy to get tricked by what you see… for example, say you are EQ-ing a track, and you look at the EQ curve, your brain will trick you to hear a change even if you’re actually EQ-ing another track, or even if that track is muted… It happened to me more than once, and it happened to most of the audio engineers I know. So best close your eyes if you want to avoid any false stimuli…

Which is where the essential accessory comes into play! Every studio worthy of this name needs one.. I’m talking about the Lava Lamp!!! Yes, if you look at recording studios, you will see all sorts of gear, mixing console, effects rack, cables, audio monitors, etc… But in the coolest studios, you will also likely see a Lava Lamp.

Personally, I feel that it’s very inducing to creative mixing. Just looking at the lava bubbles blowing up is fascinating and when I’m doing work on a mix and don’t want to close my eyes, I look at it instead of looking at the screen. Plus the light is really cool and not aggressive so you can sustain more time in your little sound bubble with it…

So if you really want to get into audio engineering, think about this essential mixing accessory! Your studio won’t be the same without it! ;-)

You’ve been bearded! 

As many things do, it all started with a silly joke! 

I was urged to show my face by some people on the internet (yes, you, you will recognize yourself!) but as I’ve said many times, I don’t have a public face, I’m invisible and intend to stay so, as I believe my music is there to speak for me and all the rest is unimportant and uninteresting… 

But the pressure was such that I took the image of a fellow artist, and Photoshop-ed a beard on him… That pic is now infamous and I deeply apologize Codie Prevost! I hope you have a sense of humour, it wasn’t meant to be a joke on you in any case, and I do love your music! Let’s just say you were the first but you will certainly not be the last!

Because this made me think, and I was also prompted by my good friend Walter Hargrave from Indie Music Bus, that I should use that as a recognition award.

I really mean a recognition award, not a Top 10 or “best artist”, or anything like that, but as a token of my appreciation for the good music and the artist/band, or even for some great indie supporters, radios, blog, anyone active in the indie scene that deserve thanks for all they do for the love of music.

So from now on, I decided that I will give that award from time to time, here and there, (and I’m afraid there will probably be an accompanying pic, yes!) to shout out to great people, so that anyone who follows me will also know that I’m thankful to these people and that they deserve a following, a listen and some love back…

So, watch out because anyone worthy might get bearded!
And you might well be next! 

The importance of a street team 

This blog post was inspired by two things that happened today, kind of a coincidence, really!

The first one is a post by the amazing Walter Hargrave of Indie Music Bus, about a cool new idea he has launched, which is to help and reward indie music fans with various promotion goodies and a chance to steer the bus wheel…
See Indie Music Force for more info.

Another one was conversations with 2 big fans of Codie Prevost (a great Canadian songwriter, see my “friends” page to know more) who have each been creating a twitter account to post news about Codie and support their favorite artist, engage in friendly banter with many people and generally get some attention around their idol.

It made me think again about the importance of a street team. We all know about the old concept of enrolling your friends, family and fans to distribute your flyers for a concert, now the same thing applies to social media.

A street team is a group of people who will tweet about you, post content on social media, interact with other potential fans and artists, bring more attention to your content and your music, vote for your songs, they do it because they love your music and your attitude, they do it because they are here to support you!

So how does one creates a street team?

If you’re doing gigs, it’s probably easier because you can interact with the audience after the show and when they tell you they loved it, you can ask them if they would help spread the word. If you’re an online artist it’s perhaps a little bit more complicated, but I think it all comes down to the same idea again: human connection.

After all, isn’t it the ultimate goal of music? To share and make us all feel part of the same family, people with similar taste, enjoying the same music without barrier, without frontier and without care for any difference of race or gender or religion or political ideas, just being human beings after all?

One of Codie’s fan asked me what I was thinking of her supporting endeavors and I had to remind her that Codie is very fortunate to have her, because music means nothing if there’s no fan to listen. Yes, they are one of the main reason we do it in the first place!
Does music even exist is there’s no one to listen?

I engage all the music fans to do what they do best, love and care for music and for the artists, buy their CDs and merch, go to their concert, share their music and news on social media, vote for them on radio charts, spread the word and the love! 

We love you back!


















The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me…
And I sincerely hope it will also make sense to you too!

The old vs the new

In too many cases, bands/artists have kept the old “battle of the bands” mindset and ported it on the internet and the world of social media. But what ‘could’ make sense on a local scene when there’s little venues to play for and a lot of great bands to ‘compete’ with, doesn’t make any sense on the internet where the virtual ‘scene’ is worth hundreds of millions of potential listeners and fans…

The challenge of social media

Actually, the challenge there is entirely different: It’s not about competing to get a coveted place on stage any more (the stage is yours already!) it’s about finding your crowd, moreover it’s about captivating that crowd with ever renewed content and keep them entertained 24/7 with quality stuff.

So how does one do that? By sharing the same songs every day? The same videos? By posting random pseudo philosophical quotes? Or posting cats and boobs? Put yourself in the shoes of potential fans (and music lovers are truly out there, and in huge numbers even!) and try to think of what they are looking for… They want new songs, new bands, new videos, cool blog posts, radios to listen to, hear about concert/events to go to… Are you capable of posting that kind of renewed content every day, all the time? Can you do it alone??
Of course you can’t!

A change of mindset

Now what if you were forgetting about the old “battle of the bands” idea and shared content coming from many fellow artists that you like instead? If you think about it, there’s tons of great content posted every day on social medias… Each fellow band/artist is going to post their own stuff regularly of course, so then what about appropriating that cool content and make it yours to share? The more you would do that, the more you would keep your own followers interested, right? But then, what if they follow these other artists? Well sure, but so what? What are you afraid of? Remember that the music lovers out there are forever hungry for more, meaning that if they follow other bands, that doesn’t mean they will stop following you! Even better: what if other bands were actually all doing the same thing, and were also sharing your content, along with theirs and many others? Win+Win

I truly believe that it is the way to go. I even think that it’s the only way to go online if you’re an indie artist and you want to keep growing your following the right way and ultimately find your own crowd… Forget the competitiveness and adopt a sharing attitude! We, unsigned artists, don’t have a big label to do our promotion, we don’t have much money to put on ads that won’t do us any good anyway, we don’t have much money to put into expensive PR… So why not enroll fellow artist to do that for us, the only thing we have to do is to do it for them too…

What we can ALL do

To put that into practice, I have created a “friends” page on my website to showcase indie artists that I like and want to support. What I truly have in mind is to create the same kind of network that you can see on some blogs with their “blog rolls” links. Each blog links to other blogs and a visitor could follow any of these links and find new content that would fit their taste, if they end up on a site where that same kind of sharing exist they could follow more links… I propose we all do that and create our own indie network of bands and fellow artists friends.

I also propose to feature an artist on my monthly newsletter, and if we all do that, we could all extend our reach… It’s not about stealing others’ fans, it’s about sharing a crowd of people who would like music of the same kind/same quality.

And of course online, on Twitter, Facebook, whatever your social media platform of choice, when you don’t know what to post any more to keep your hungry followers happy, instead of posting the same old link, or cats and boobs, why not share other bands quality content? You get happy followers plus happy fellow artists who will be happy to share your content when the time comes. 


So now, are you in with a sharing mindset or are you out doing it alone with an old and inadequate 'battle of the bands’ mentality? 
It’s an easy pick, really!

Indie Music Bus 

Since I’ve started my incursion in the wonderful (and pretty confusing) world of social media I’ve encountered (meaning virtually “met”) a lot of people in the indie music world, lots of artists of course, but also radios hosts, bloggers, fans, and a few people who act daily with no other goal than to help indie artists for the love of independent music. Pretty cool. right?

One of the leader in the selfless helping crowd has been at it since 2000, and even before, if I read correctly his amazing Press Kit, I’m speaking of none other than the famous “Indie Music Bus”… 

Founded by Walter Hargrave, seemingly with the aim of redressing all the wrongs in the music industry (and there are many!), the guy relentless work have made him and his bus an unavoidable station and vehicle towards success for any serious music artists.

Walter has been networking with many influential people in the industry, built powerful software tools to help managing and showcasing indies, always with goal of helping them through countless promotions using various social media accounts. Personally I’m a fan, and I’m in awe of everything he has achieved already and eager to see what next move he’s preparing!

So, if you don’t know the Indie Music Bus, I’d say it’s time to catch up, because this bus is unstoppable!

Let the little fish live 

Once again, I’m inspired by the indie world of unsigned artists and in particular those who are supporting them. I mean radio hosts, bloggers, podcast hosts, indie activists of all kinds and ultimately fans.

I’ve met some really cool people lately who share a passion for music, in a world where passion seems like the ultimate endangered specie: these people are still not entirely in-sensitized by media overload and/or social media indigestion.

Just right now one tweet of mine (where I was sharing music and trying to tell people that they will get free tracks to download for a subscription on my newsletter) got re-tweeted by a big shot TV/Radio show host with millions of followers who just happens to care about indie artists and is doing a lot to help out. I heard from some other people in the indie world that he’s been at it for years and is actually doing so much because he really cares. How cool is that? 

You would think that this guy is a shark in the big media pond, right? He’s going to eat us all indie little fishes, looking at our social media numbers and immediately think when he sees me: “this guy is not worth my attention… He doesn’t have millions of followers so this must mean his music is lame”

But, as I’ve talked about in a previous post, it so happens that numbers don’t tell the whole tale, IMHO. And it’s pretty cool that some people in the music business do realize that. 

It just made me think that maybe this guy is just doing it right. He reacts just like any good fisherman have learned to do: don’t eat the small fishes, because if you do, one day, there will be no more big fishes and we’ll all starve. Send them back to the sea, give them a little push and let them swim away safely…

And if you help them and feed them, one day, they might turn up big fishes too and help feed millions too. That’s the crucial role of these indie radios, bloggers, podcast hosts, indie activists and general fans have in this world. Help feed the indie musicians, otherwise there will be no music tomorrow!

So many thanks to the big fish who didn’t act like a shark and managed to keep some human connection with the indie artists around him. I feel honored to have stolen a few seconds of his attention, and blessed by that gentle push!

Are you listening? 

I’ve spent quite a lot of time lately connecting with people in the indie music world. Yes, it’s a world! And it’s actually pretty amazing how much great people are in it!

One thing that really warmed my old beard was to see how much passionate people there were still. Which is really reassuring because sometimes things look pretty dire, when you realize how music has became such a disposable thing nowadays in the eyes (the ears, really) of the general public.
It’s the thing most download for no money, most share without thoughts, most hear without listening.

But there are people who do care. And people who do listen.

Radio hosts sharing their passion for good music on the air, sparing no expense of their time to discover new music and playing it online, preparing programs where they showcase artists, doing interviews, chatting with everyone, sharing the love. 

Bloggers with a gift for words, crafting cool reviews of their favorite releases, most of the time outside of their day job, trying to get readers interested and to make them care like they do.

People online exchanging links and tweets and videos and music, people trying to find new ways to feature good artists and their work.

I can’t put a list of all of them here. But they will recognize themselves if they read this.
All unsung heroes in a world of apathy and indifference. And they even support my music, what can I say if not thanks?

Me? I do my own music, but I also stand in the camp of the listeners. I spend a lot of time listening to other artists as well, and I’ve discovered a lot of true gems by doing so, and I treasure them, and I try to buy their music when my no budget allows. And I’ve also decided to showcase them on a new page on my website simply called “friends”. Because that’s what they are, really: fellow artists friends who deserve your time and your ears…

So, are you listening?

Giving back 

Because I see radios (indie radios/internet radios/college radios) as partners in crime when it comes to sharing good music to the unsuspecting public, I want to do all I can to help them. After all, if they succeed, so will I in a way and so will many other indie musicians who deserve to be heard.

Since I’ve started reaching out to show hosts these last weeks to pitch my new EP, I’ve come to “meet” and appreciate many cool guys and gals who are busting their ass off on the internet and on the air to preach the good music gospel. I won’t put a list here because there are too many, but if you are reading this, you know who you are!

One of the guy I came to appreciate, after a few chats and listening to a couple of his indie show is Al Yardy, the guy behind KB Radio - his tagline “What radio used to be” is perfectly conveying the guy’s passion for music and radio. The people who are listening to him know that he’s in it for all the right reasons. You can reach Al on Twitter @KBRadio_THP and say that you're here for him, I'm sure he'll be glad to hear about you too.

Recently there was a tragedy at KB Radio and most of Al’s equipment was lost. Since then he’s been trying to raise funds to rebuild his radio and get back to doing shows on a permanent basis... In the meantime, he has an automated playlist and only recently has he been able to start his live shows on some nights.

I’d say that it’s a worthwhile cause and anyone with a love of music and appreciation for the indie scene should reach out and help him with his fundraiser here: 

To set up an example, I’ve decided that from now on any sale of my latest EP will go entirely to Al’s fundraiser

So, what are you waiting for? Get some good music and make a good deed, you will feel so much better then! ;)

Cut or keep? Always a difficult question 

Today I’ve been asked how I work when I arrange a song…

One thing is for sure: for me, it’s a rather long process of refined iterations. I can have many ideas that won’t make the final cut, for a number of reasons. I will often throw a lot of things into a mix then live with it (meaning listen to it intently) for a while and see what sticks… In this extract for example, I had this idea of a building intro with some cool arpeggio and vocal harmonies that I decided to remove in the end, in favor of a simple fade in and shorter intro. 

I liked the idea for a moment, and the harmonies could have sounded good (although here in this version they are a bit flaky), but the intro was starting to get too long and I thought that it was best to get to the meat of the vocal sooner.
At one point I toyed with the idea of making this a bridge, but somehow this was too much of a down point and again I decided against.

It’s always a balancing act… I come from a time where songs of 20+ minutes were not exceptional, and I don’t mind that at all, but you still have to keep the listener’s interest and sometimes cutting things is the way towards that.

Nowadays I tend to favor shorter music and more to the point, and try to make simpler music, by removing things more often than not. Which actually is pretty hard to do, because you get attached to some parts and you have to take a step back and realize what really works and what is just fluff that is not really needed. If something doesn’t make a song better, it better go.

In the end, the final version clocks at around 5 minutes, but I think it works and manages to keep the listener’s attention throughout.
You’ll be the judge:

No Return 

This song on my new “Infinite” EP came from a striking image... Listen here

I was following a physics course on a MOOC (Mass Open Online Course), and one of the session was about some extraordinary insights of Einstein’s theory of Relativity, and the subject of the speed of light as a constant. What I vividly remember was a computer simulation attempting to show the kind of visual distortion that would happen if you were to travel at a speed close to the speed of light (because nothing can go any quicker, even though Star Trek told you so!), and how things would appear to you as you were increasing speed. (The video here is of low quality, unfortunately I couldn’t find a better one, sorry! But hopefully you'll get the idea)

What I liked was how, as you passed a building in that simulation, it was still appearing ahead of you, because of the distortion and the time the light would take to reach you, and also the fact that as you were speeding up, everything in front started to appear brighter and focused on a center point ahead like the end of a tunnel…

And then I remembered how people who had a near death experience often talk about that tunnel and the light in front of them, and how it sounded similar.
Now I’m not a spiritual person, but this made me think that it was somehow strangely related.

From that came the central idea of this song (to be taken literally):

And as you reach the speed of light
You face your past collapsed and bright

From there on, to think of a journey with no return, far from the sun, in a “rocket ship firing” naturally followed… It’s a journey we will all take one day, so I hope it will be full of wonders and exciting. I tried to make the sound and the song a possible (if only faint) reflection of this extraordinary adventure.

Early recording of a song I’m working on 

Here are the first 2 verses of a song I’m working on at the moment.

I thought I’d share it here for the curious. 
I rarely do that because I like finished/polished music but I thought this one was fun and already listenable even at this very early stage. You’ll be the judge.

There’s no intro yet, no ending, and I still need to flesh out the arrangement (which could be very simple or awfully complex… depending on what the song asks for). I like this one’s melody and chord progression, so there’s definitely a song here and I will probably work on it in the next few weeks.

Not all my ideas end up as a song. There’s a lot I discard, as I only work on something that I believe is worth the effort. Meaning it has to have a good melody at least, which to me is the main thing, and it needs to keep itself together even stripped bare like that with just an acoustic guitar and a vocal. If it sounds like something that can grow, then I will start working on the arrangement, and spend many many hours on it, adding layers, trying ideas, re-tracking, until it is ready for a mix and master…
Then I share it.

For the record, this one’s lyrical idea was prompted by my recent incursions in the wonderful world of social medias: where there is a lot of nothing being said and exchanged, but sometimes meaningful connections can occur.

I hope that I will be able to count you into the meaningful connections! :)

Do people still listen to these? 

Yesterday, I received a batch of CDs of my Infinite EP.

They look good, and it’s fun to have, but then, what’s the point?
Do people still listen to these? Do they even have a CD player anymore?

It’s said everywhere that CD sales are moribund, and that nowadays people are using streaming platforms for the most part. As for downloads, well, they are going down as well…

So what’s the use of this then?
Well, you should know that there are still many blogs and radios that only accept submissions of physical products. This means that not only do you have to produce these (and estimate in advance how many you will need to minimize the costs of duplication), then you also have to ship them in bubble wrap envelopes to wherever this is required, this ends up being quite an investment in time and money, without any guarantee for a return.

On the one hand I can understand that these radios and blog need some tangible product to keep in their library and have some attached liner notes to draw information from. On the other hand it sounds like a waste of resources (and place - I can only imagine how many of these a typical radio need to store) when it’s so easy to transfer digital music nowadays, tag your mp3 files and add a one-page PDF in a zip with all the info that is needed.

Oh well! At worst, this can make some really cool coasters! :D

Close Your Eyes - The official music video is out! 

Nowadays people don’t listen to music. They watch it on YouTube! 
Which is why having a video for all your songs is essential… Like it or not, YouTube is still the number 1 music discovery website far more than any other platforms.

Which is a bit silly, really, because I remember that back in the days we used to listen to albums, sometimes with eyes closed, to get engulfed into the sound and music and dream our own movie… I suppose we have became too lazy today to just listen to music without image support?

So, if you are making music nowadays, you need to create videos. And of course that’s another hole in your budget/time, either you hire people to work with you on videos, or you have to learn to do it yourself (and not everyone can be gifted at everything) and this takes more time away from what your focus should really be which is writing/playing/recording music.

For this song, which is supposed to be the feature song of the EP, I wanted to make a special “Official” video. And I was fortunate to find Gareth Kay, a video artist from London - UK, who accepted to work with me on a limited budget but with a dedication to create the best content possible. We talked about a loose scenario and directives that included someone between life and death trying to make a sense of his life in “out of body” experience sequences. I wanted the end to be hopeful, like the song ultimately is, after a psychotic experience seen from evocative images.

I’m very happy with the result which looks sleek and professional, despite the budget, and nicely bring along the viewer on an emotional journey.

The greatest? 

I’m often puzzled by discussions about the “greatest” band of all time, or the “best” guitarist/drummer/bassist/etc., or the “top ten” albums, and in general with the obsession with ranking everything.

When it comes to music, I have my preferences like everyone of course, but I often have troubles defining what I love “best” or what I find to be the “greatest”. I’ve found that for me, it varies greatly with time and mood.

I have spent most of my life listening to all sorts of music in various phases, and if I’ve started by listening classical music, then rock, then hard rock, then punk, then blues, then pop, then folk, then progressive rock, then jazz-rock fusion, then jazz, then classic rock, then ambient, then… I have a hard time listing them all and in a specific order - let alone ranking these genres.

It might come from the fact that I had most of my musical awakening in the seventies, where eclectism was the norm, and also the fact that I wanted to be a session musician and wanted to be able to play in any style, so I studied them all and I tried to absorb as much as I could from any style: I was a musical glutton, and it helped me shape my own music I believe.

Today it would seem like everyone is obsessed with ranking, and I wonder: does music really needs to be a competition?

Official video in production 

Today I received the first draft edit of my new official video for “Close Your Eyes” which is going to be the feature song and video from my new “Infinite” EP.

It is directed by Gareth Kay, from London, UK - you can check him out at Gareth is a very talented indie artist who has worked on numerous music videos and has also worked on another video of mine (unreleased yet, it will be used for the promotion of my second album).

I’m pretty excited about this new video! We took the time to build a cool story line that goes well with the theme of the song which is about questioning your life and looking for hope and redemption, ultimately finding it where it counts.

The song is kind of an epic for me, with a rather large sound reminiscent of stadium progressive rock bands (I leave you to guess who :)), so it seemed like a natural candidate for a video narrative, and we hope that it will take the viewer and listener through a visual and musical journey that is rewarding.

So stay tuned for this one, it shouldn’t take too long now! :)


Every guitar player knows it: As soon as you pick up the instrument for a solo in front of a live audience, you have to make “THE FACE”… at least if you want to be considered a real guitar hero!

This is especially true if the guitar is electric, but even classical or folk players with an acoustic instrument are not entirely exempt. A simple Google search for “guitar face” will show you all sorts of vivid examples in all genres.

It’s pretty hard to pinpoint exactly where and when the fashion started, historians will probably debate this one for many years to come. I suppose it all came, like most of popular music, from the blues. And it makes sense that the suffering of the slaves in the cotton fields somehow translated to the players singing their harrowing plea.

How it came to be adopted by guitar players in particular, and in the rock scene especially, is left open to controversy. I will not adventure a theory myself.

I just know that for the many many years that I studied guitar, I have missed one essential part of my training by not doing it in front of a mirror. I would have perfected my stance and yes, probably made it big!

Boobs and cats 

I gave up to the pressure of the internet: this photo is for you all!

As I was editing a video yesterday for my song “Frozen in Time” (which BTW, you can see on Youtube:, I was looking for evocative public domain clips that would fit the music, and I remembered reading marketing advice somewhere that to really attract an audience nowadays on the internet, particularly on social media, your images and videos should really contain one of the 2 major content elements that drive the internet nowadays: boobs or cats.

Not that I’m not into that, actually I find them both pretty attractive (for different reasons), but I wonder how a juicy pair would fit the intro lyrics of “Floating, weightless… looks like there’s no end to…”, or how much misinterpreted would be the phrase “I can let it go now”?

As to cats, they are cute and all, but do they really belong in a spacey dreamy song which in essence evokes death, cryogeny and a final voyage? “I wonder…” is one of the lyrics.
Yeah, I do wonder!

Does it matter so much that people are “liking” and “following” and “RT-ing” anything you do if it’s not something you’re particularly proud of anyway? And even if I had boobs (I don’t, remember I have a beard!), would I really want to share them to the world? Should I make an alternate version of this video that would appeal to the masses or should I just continue doing my thing, in all its invisible glory? I leave you to ponder with me. :D


Putting the last touch to my upcoming first EP - A lot more will come after this one, but for now, I’m just dipping my toe in the online musical ocean...

Most people wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into releasing music. I mean it’s not enough to just write the songs, record, arrange/produce, mix them… In my case these songs were done at different times, so it is also a matter of selecting a collection that makes sense, then remix them to match the mood and sound, then master them to a similar loudness and balance to make them fit together as a coherent unit, also make sure all the metadata are updated.

Then you also need to work on the visuals, then work on the promotion, banners, ads, update all your social medias, prepare newsletters announcements, work on some videos.

And of course if you work with external resources, you also have to coordinate them, make sure everything is ready before the release date, and that everyone is on the same page, and work for the same end goal.

And then you put it out, and then the promotion work is the biggest part. Because having music out there doesn’t mean a thing nowadays, you also have to put it in front of the right crowd, and it’s harder than ever.

Sometimes you can question all the efforts (and money!), when you will never get compensated: most streaming network pay so little that you’d be lucky if you can get a beer out of millions of plays at the end of the year, CD is basically dead, vinyl is a niche market for snobs or utterly nostalgic, and downloads is also moribund because most people stream their music and listen on their phones… 

So why bother? Is it because of the thrill of having someone, somewhere, discovering your work and genuinely tripping over it the way you might have with your favorite artists?

Yeah, I’d say this is it. So next time you hear a new indie record, whether you like it or not, think about it. The world need some crazy people to go that far for a chance to reach someone, somewhere… it could be you?

Needle drop... 

OK, I admit: this sound turns me on!

So much memories that goes with it, from the first time I’ve heard that sound to the hundreds of records I’ve kept playing on what couldn’t be called a hi-fi setup. The first turntable I owned looked like a suitcase, you opened it up and voila!

The speaker (yes it was mono) was in the top part and the turntable underneath, and there was a tube amp underneath.

The problem with the tube amp was that if you forgot to remove the LP and went away for a while, it was overheating, and you came back to find the disk roasted and bent to such an extent that the needle was struggling to follow what was now looking like a miniature roller coaster.

Later on, I finally got a real hifi setup and boy was the sound marvelous, and that initial thrill of hearing the needle go down on that new LP you had just bought added to the experience and the suspense.

Perhaps if they added that sound to the online streaming sites nowadays this would appeal more to old git like me? :D

How does it feel? 

This song started from a deep sense of isolation and a realization that the world we live in, with all the technological means of ‘connection’ we have, is only making things worse.

It started during a lonely evening, when I took my old faithful acoustic guitar and started strumming and realized one of the string was half a tone flat. I don’t know why but instead of tuning that string properly, I started playing, placing my fingers differently until I realized that using regular fingering was giving some interesting harmonic possibilities.

Almost immediately I had the intro and a groove that I built upon. The verse melody came pretty soon after this, there was no lyrics attached but a sense of melancholic groove and some syllables were forming in my mouth that had to do with “feel” and “real” and it all grew from there.

You can hear an early recording of the guitar alone… the tempo was slower but the groove was already there.

Adding bass and drums was pretty straight-forward because most of the laid-back groove was pretty firmly set by the guitar and the rhythm section only had to go along and accentuate it. 



This song was written for my daughter, Sarah.

It’s one of the most lyric oriented song I’ve ever written, and it really started from a simple melody and lyrics.

I wanted the song to be fun but dreamy and melancholic, which is pretty much how I feel when I think about my little girl.
Remembering how she was, how much she has grown up and how she has transformed my life.

I’m wrapped around her little finger
Summer warming a cold winter
A ray of sunshine, my melted heart
I wonder how she’s doing that

This sums up pretty much how I feel about her nowadays and I felt this was worth a song.

The ¾ jazz feel came out pretty much from the lyrics rhythm and I tried to give it a jazz club feel with some bigger ambiance than I usually use.