The Big Empty

Hello all,

Well, I can say for sure that if there’s one thing consistent about this is blog is inconsistency. Or the consistency of not being consistent. Or perhaps being consistently sporadic. No matter which way you look at it, I should try to give you more to read more often. There’s the word I was looking for. I really don’t know what to make of this latest absence. We always find readily used excuses that seem to be given effortlessly such as “I was so busy”, or “I just can’t”. These are so overused and accessible that they make us feel no guilt of wasting energy better spent finding a solution than coming up with reasons why we can’t do something. A tool I often find readily available once I smell the unfortunately familiar scent of bullshit being served to me by someone incapable of getting passed their own thoughts.

Ok, enough of that (for now). This is an indirect admission of guilt on my part. Besides, it seems like the events of the past few years have made it easier for to be fall into feelings of loathing or being stuck or even… empty. Even before this I’ve noticed that the passion and excitement many have felt years ago has ceased to exist. Whether is because things are lacking that shock or thrill of something new, or people are just so wrapped up in the struggles we face to feel this way. Or maybe people have just become more self-centered. Regardless of these things, it’s important to not fall into that feeling of being empty. Especially because it will become a Big Empty.

Yes, I telegraphed that (those of you into professional sports, especially wrestling know what I mean) like “you saw that coming”. Ironically this is being written during the week between Christmas and New Years which to some is considered a dark or empty time. However, it’s from the title of a song most associated with a movie that is based around Halloween, “the Crow” starring Brandon Lee (which we actually sampled for our song “Generation Sloth”). Enough though another song from the soundtrack “Burn” by the Cure mentions a Crow in its lyrics, “the Big Empty” is the song most equated with this movie. Much like the song by Simple Minds “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” immediately comes to mind when you think of the movie “the Breakfast Club” or vice versa. Ironically enough, Stone Temple Pilots wrote this song about substance or alcohol and drug use. Creating the analogy of a woman being the personification of whatever drug was being used. I would like to point a particular piece of the song’s lyrics: “too much tripping and my souls worn thin”. Of course, in a sober state this can be overlooked by many as the object in that sentence has a double meaning (and people such as myself could fool oneself into thinking that Scott Weiland is complaining that he has walked so long that he needs new shoes. Just because other would find it amusing.). However, I do recall a story I heard about a friend having taken this song’s lyrics into a much deeper context while tripping. So badly in fact, that he went screaming out of the house they were staying at that weekend.

Like with any form of art, the meaning is open to each person’s own interpretation or can spur a specific reaction or reference point. It could be from a certain time in their life or a particular place they were when they first saw or heard it. Even the concept of emptiness can be interpreted differently from one person to the next. Think about visiting the town you grew up in. It was once the center of your world and filled with life where you were surrounded by family and friends. I found myself feeling this way after driving passed my Grandma’s house knowing most or all the people I knew there had either moved away or passed on. It probably didn’t help that I did so at night, but for people that lived there now it probably feels just as vibrant and fulfilling as it did for me years ago. As far as the song the Big Empty goes, for me (besides what I had stated earlier) this song reminds me of how things have changed so much in the past few years and within my own journey of continuing to write and perform music. And even with my other projects such as this for example and creating more videos on my channels. There seems to be too many gaps. It’s been a few years since Imbolg has released any new music and some of the things that I was writing seemed too fragmented. Speaking of, I am trying to not make the same mistakes that I did in the past with having only one piece of a recording complete or part of a promotion or tour being conducted when something was released months earlier. Luckily, some was run concurrent with the release due to regulations from our distributor. This part was a step for us, not only because we released an album on Vinyl LP, but because Imbolg was featured in the distributor’s buyer’s guide given exclusively to retailers to make them aware of upcoming releases from both major and up & coming acts that they should consider purchasing to put on sale at their stores. Luckily, I had already established a rapport with some retailers around the country giving us a better chance of them doing so such as Wonderland Records in Delaware & Record Exchange in Salem, MA. But enough about the boring behind the scenes stuff. Afterall, even this wasn’t enough to make some of the people involved with band see this as more than just something to do in their spare time or a hobby. Another thing in need of fixing before our next release. As you can probably tell, even for someone as committed as I am this has worn me down over the years. After dealing with people who just don’t have what it takes or just wrapped up in their own crap which by transference turns into the band’s problem. Not to mention promoters that will give you every excuse in the book as to why they can’t pay you and that you are lucky to be given the opportunity to go sell tickets so they can afford to pay a major act coming through town. Don’t get me wrong, some people have been a pleasure to work with, but many just don’t feel the need it continue like I do or feel that this is a part of them like I do. Many have what I consider “settled” for whatever job they have or see it as a means to an end, not a temporary thing they will outgrow. I realized early on that no employer no matter how upstanding will never pay you what you’re truly worth. Even a record label, which is why I started my own. For some all the things I had just mentioned are tedious and preferably handled by someone else. I happen to enjoy all the things that lead up to a release. I personally do my best to stay in contact with the stores that carry our stuff, send them cards around this time of year and even drop in when I’m in the area to introduce myself, have a photo op and of course buy something. Afterall, most of the places I deal with are independently owned or “Mom and Pops” stores. Not as widely known as the big chain stores, but well known locally with several other advantages. Being independently owned, Mom and Pop stores are all unique and much easier to deal with when trying to get them to carry your releases.

But again, maybe this “Big Empty” is all based on my interpretation. Maybe all that was something I needed to learn. It doesn’t help seeing that other acts have since released new material and started touring (a reminder to NEVER compare yourself to others). But after all these years maybe a time of fallow is needed to cultivate something more potent and effective than before. Think about it, how many bands come out with a groundbreaking first release and their second album is lackluster or at best not as good as the previous one? That’s because the band most likely performed those songs for years even before getting a record deal. Yes, there are many exceptions and some that even trump the band’s first release such as “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath but there were many factors behind that which I highly recommend you discover for yourself from documentaries on the band. And we are in a completely different age now, bands back than never had to get involved in any of the things I mentioned earlier that goes into releasing an album. What I have been focusing on with some of the classic songs is also message they portray through the lyrics, what emotions they are trying to convey. It has even given me the basis of a new song I am writing appropriately named “Dissection”. Which when you do hear it will appear that I am writing from the point of view of an intrigued, ambitious person attempting to find out what the world appears to be in the eyes of their lover to feel closer to them. Something many people can relate to. Overall, it’s the bond, that connection that lures the listener in most of the time. Other times good music can be about the sheer intensity and excitement of the music itself. Think about many of the themes in great songs by the Misfits or Metallica. They often have gory, horrific ideas that no one has or can personally experience (I hope) but the power of the sound itself makes us love what we hear.

Nevertheless, we are focused and determined to bring you our best work yet. We having been doing our best by communicating on social media, participating in livestreams and starting to do our own weekly live stream again on our You Tube Channel which all are invited to be a part of. Of course, this will include giving you updates as to what the progress of the latest album and possibly even some samples for you to hear. Eventually, we may also give you the chance to give us your insight on the new demos and help us with some grass roots promotions once some of the music is ready. Thank you again for all your support. It is one of the only things that keeps this band going after all the struggles we have encountered. Looking forward to seeing you in our upcoming live chats. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful start to your new year. And no matter has happened this year, look forward to the possibilities this year can bring you.

Best Always, Nate xoxo

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