Since I’ve been loving you

My instrumental interpretation of a timeless classic. Performed on 22nd December, 2012 at Pénzes-Guitarschool’s XMas gig.

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Decline is out!

Our debut album Decline is officially released NOW (2012.12.02 02:20).

Submareen silhouetteYou can immediately listen to it in its entirety here (in a 128kbit stream). You can also buy it (in much higher quality, including lossless) over there. The lyrics are available on the same page, and also on our separate Lyrics page.

In a few days the album will also be available through all major electronic distribution channels, including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play and more. However, if you like the album and want to purchase it, I’d like to suggest buying it on Bandcamp. For us – the band -, that is the best option in terms of revenue share.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone with whom we’ve been working together in the past 2 years. You know who you are. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Enjoy the album!

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The Excalibur

If you get to steal only one of my guitars, steal the Excalibur. The catch? I will have to kill you…

The Excalibur is my primary instrument, and considering the things I own it is easily my most beloved possession, even though I own other pieces of gear with higher street value. I modified this guitar extensively and now it rivals – and in some respects even surpasses – the best guitars I’ve ever had the pleasure to try (but not to own).

Excalibur: modifications

Excalibur: modifications

The Excalibur started its life in 2000 as a regular Epiphone Les Paul Standard manufactured in Korea. I received it for my 18th birthday from my parents! And so our relationship began…

I quickly fell in love with this instrument, however, as I got more serious with playing the guitar I became tired of some annoying defects. My primary aim with the modifications was fixing these, while also implementing enhancements which would elevate the guitar’s quality to the next level (to be at least on par with the real Gibson Les Paul).

One of my main hurdles was that the instrument would always detune, especially with my style of aggressive, messy blues-phrasing with lots of bends. So the first step was to change the crappy Epiphone tuners to a set of Grover DeLuxe tuners. The selection algorithm: 1) go to local music parts shop with guitar in hand; 2) shift through all available stocks of tuner sets until a set with appropriate sizing is found, one that, once the old tuners were removed, would fit nicely in their place. Much to my horror, when I later proceeded to actually remove the Epiphone tuners from the headstock, I found that these tuners had relatively thin axes and the holes in the headstock wood were matching in diameter. However, the Grover pieces – while sporting the same exterior sizes – had considerably thicker axes and would not fit into the smaller holes. I had no other choice than to drill the mahogany with the only tool I had at hand, a low-budget household power drill. Continue reading

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Decline: a semi-concept album

As I gradually wrote the lyrics of our songs, the concept behind Decline steadily emerged, solidified, and at some point demanded particular attention to itself. It was this realisation that led me to eventually naming the album.

The record itself is not a concept album in the usual sense. It is not a concept album where tracks flow into one another, creating a homogeneous atmosphere throughout the listening experience. There are definitely gaps, or at least abrupt changes that mark track endings. However, I still think of Decline as a kind of a concept album. Continue reading

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Almost there.

Ladies and gentlemen: Decline is in the final stages of production.

The forming of all the material on this album, all the songwriting, playing, recording, editing, mixing, producing; all the usual people stuff, the inevitable techy stuff and the extremely lengthy process that stemmed from managing the complexity of the whole bloody enterprise of conceiving and creating a self-produced, full, finished musical album as a side project (while pursuing other time consuming activities as well as a so-called full time job) has been extremely demanding and exhausting. Continue reading

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Welcome to my basement

It’s called Tachyon Studio.

Continue reading

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Decline: status update

Just a quick note of where we stand now, and where we are going from here.

Eight out of Decline‘s nine songs are fully recorded (not counting backing vocals and special effects, which are all missing at the moment). There’s only one song waiting for my finishing touches in the form of an elaborate layer of guitar solos. The musical concepts for this one still need to be fleshed out and a certain amount of rehearsal has to be done before I can proceed with recording it. By the way, this song is a very special one: it is an instrumental piece (unlike all others) comprised of three distinct movements (unlike all others), thus musically a bit more complex than those (not that those are the simplest you could ever imagine). Its title is Avoiding the 9-to-5 society. Continue reading

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About the band name (everything you wanted to ask)

Those who know me also know that I have a penchant for all sorts of puns and quips. So why is this musical venture called Submareen?

I finally settled on this name after much searching and puzzling. It is meant to express a few things. First of all, a band like ours is like a submarine crew. We operate under the surface, ultimately tied to each other. None of us can independently exist, but together we are more than the sum of our parts.

The name also stands for our musical style: the design of a submarine is expedient. The space on board is very limited, so there is nothing you don’t absolutely need, but everything you cannot do without. So is our music: we don’t employ synthesizers, we use effects very sparingly, and are generally very lean considering today’s endless collection of effects and virtually limitless processing possibilities. For my part, on Decline I have recorded all guitar parts with the same guitar (my Excalibur) played through my cranked-up TSL100, with very occasional use of a Crybaby pedal. Bass and drums have been recorded in a similarly old-school fashion. All this, however, does not imply that the music is weak in any sense. After all, a submarine can exert more force you can possibly withstand. A submarine is heavy.

Finally, this name nicely alludes to the particular band that I consider my primary musical influence: Led Zeppelin. Submarines are exotic vehicles very similar to lighter-than-air craft once deemed even commercially viable. Both types of vehicles operate on the basis of buoyancy. Serious – commercial or military – use of such air vehicles has now declined, but still, there is a mighty similarity between the silhouette of a submarine and that of a Zeppelin. Oh, and we also have a deliberate misspelling in the name (cf. Lead Zeppelin), that’s why it’s called Submareen!

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There’s still silence…

But there’s an awful lot going on underneath.

The band to eventually become Submareen was formed on 11 February 2010, when its three members first played together in a commercial band rehearsal room in Budapest. The band was initially named Skinned Ragdolls. Not a particularly important choice, but thanks to its uniqueness at least no relevant Google hits would interfere with our glorious online presence. We rehearsed for some months and played our favourite music – the songs we always thought we could play well, and were worth playing.

Our playing matured and as we realized that we could do better than just another cover band (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we started writing our very own songs. Rooted in our most passionate musical influences, a musical style emerged that seemed to be truly ours. We found ourselves captivated by the new material and kept perfecting the songs week after week, rehearsal after rehearsal.

As months passed, our rehearsal base slowly turned into a small, but well equipped recording studio. The changes were incremental, but by winter 2010 the place was full of microphone stands with microphones permanently setup, cables everywhere, and a PC based full-blown recording rig with 16 physical channels and Ardour. The room was then acoustically treated with copious amounts of mineral wool (in retrospect, this was not the best order to follow, but we had to learn things as we went).

Recording of our first album started back in December 2010, and is nearing completion now (estimated to be fully complete by mid-JuneJuly 2011). Mixing will hopefully be complete by the end of JulyAugust. The record comprises nine songs, and a running time of about 51 minutes. The album is titled Decline (more on that later), and will be released online, with full-length decent quality streaming audio available for free, and all major lossless formats downloadable after purchasing the album.

Soon…

the Submareen will rise to the surface!

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