Where shall I begin?
March, 2006.. I moved to Texas after years of being in various bands in the Baltimore area. Sometimes I would play along with material from former bands, or work on some old riffs that never came to fruition. But over time, after being out of a band, I fell into a state of depression. I didn't even pick up a guitar for about 18 months. Frankly, I was afraid that if I did, I might have a violent reaction and destroy the one thing that I was avoiding, my passion. Then, one day, I was listening to some Iced Earth, came home and started playing along with the CD at full volume. A neighbor heard me and later said it sounded very good, and he was impressed by my playing. That spark, at that moment, was exactly what I needed to find the strength to crawl out of the hole I was digging. Eventually, I set up a PC-based recording studio using my old computer and some software. Over time it has been completely revamped and upgraded to today's current setup.
For years I tried getting former bandmates and fellow friends to do something, anything, even from a distance, just to feed this desire of writing music. Many people, good and well intentioned people, close friends, great musicians all, said they were interested in working with me on this, and some had. But in August of 2018 I decided to do it alone. I needed to do this for my own good and my own vision. This quiet voice in my soul was telling me that I had to move forward after years of writing lyrics, recording drums, guitars and bass. I had already recorded most of a full album, why wait any longer? At that time I began singing vocal tracks, watching Ken Tamplin and other vocal coaches on YouTube. Other than backups, vocals were the one thing I never really tried doing, and it isn't easy. I thought it would be a walk in the park, but there's more than just singing in key. Trust me.
When it comes to my music, for years I've been told "you should do this" or "you should sound like that", etc. I have incorporated some of those suggestions, but I've never subscribed to the idea of changing my personal style to gain someone else's favor.
Fast-forward to now...
This is what this is... All music and lyrics on this album were written and recorded by me. This is my vision. This is my baby. If you like it, great! If you don't like it, I'm fine with that too. I really don't want to waste energy trying to please everyone because that's just an impossible waste of time. I do, however, hope you like it and tell everyone about it.
All vocals(but for minor exceptions), guitars, and bass are me playing the instruments and singing. I'm using Jackson Guitars, with FU_Tone Tremolo Upgrades, Schecter, Ovation, Epiphone, GHS Strings, Marshall Amplification, Peavey Amplification, Hartke Amplification, KRK, Furman, Alesis, Rocktron, QSC, MXR, Cakewalk Recording Software, Toontrack Software, Radial, Stedman, Shure, Dunlop Picks, and Monster Cables. The drums were written using EZDrummer by Toontrack, the basic version. Every cymbal, kick, tap, hit, etc., was perfectly timed and precisely chosen by me using the "piano roll view" in a grid. No pre-recorded groove clips, or loops, were utilized. So essentially, without having a session drummer for these tracks, the drums are as organic as I could get without spending 10+ years learning another instrument and another $20k on drums, mics, and cables. This entire production was recorded "direct to board".
I don't want to bore you with anymore with this background story. So, let's just get to the real reason you're checking this out. Shall we?
The first track, Harmonic Dissidence, is the combined sound of four cathedral bells from around the world.
The seventh track, Saying Goodby To A Close Friend, for me, is a way of saying goodby to a close friend who I did not have the chance to see, or speak with, before they passed unexpectedly. Maybe this song will help others who have found themselves in the same situation.
The eleventh track, Revelation, is indicative of the insane world we find ourselves in today. It's crazy, and getting crazier every passing day.
I want to thank my friend Jason Tipton "The Tiptonizer" for his contribution at the end of Revelation.
1.Thanks for taking the time to talk to The Grinder! You have a new album out, Tell us about it!
The album is called Harmonic Dissidence. I've been working on this album for some time, about two years. Over time it went from a demo, to an EP, to a full length album. There have been many ups and downs during the process. I was working with a singer from a former band for a long time, but after so long, I decided to just cut ties and go it alone. I had been programming the drum plug ins, recording guitar tracks, bass tracks, etc. I was also writing some of the lyrics. Once I decided to continue alone, I re-wrote any and all lyrical content that I had not done previously. It was a hard enough decision to part ways with him. I didn't feel comfortable using his lyrics for the project afterward. Then I started singing too. Not an easy task for me. But, hey, I went for it and kept going.
2.Where was it recorded? Is all the material new?
It was recorded in my humble little home studio. I like to call it “The Sound of Bedlam”. Most of the material is 100% new. There are a few remnants of older songs from the past. "The Graceful Destruction" is a new version of an earlier release under a different band name. "Split" is also a song from the distant past band which was never recorded, but I always loved the feel of it, and it was always a challenge to play. So, I recorded it the way it needed to be done, solid and precise.
3.What is the biggest difference between your last release and the new one?
The previous releases were all under different band names. A little bit of history: I was in a band called Choptank in Baltimore. Mind you, there was another shitty band, in Baltimore, who later used the same name after we parted ways. That band was in no way associated with my band, or any of the members of my band. I think they didn't last very long on the scene. But, back to the story, we did well playing the local scene. We recorded a three song demo called "Dead Of Winter". One of the songs, "Animosity" was a big success for us. At one point we were featured on the garageband.com site, and "Animosity" was the 'song of the day' playing for 24 hours straight. That was cool. I think that after so many years together, we kinda fizzled out. Later, a couple years after the band broke up, and I moved to Texas, I was contact with the singer. He was living in Florida. He claimed to own the rights to the demo. We re-released the demo under the name Caiaphas Forgiven. We also recorded a few more songs at my home studio to add. One of those songs was "The Graceful Destruction", now re-recorded with new lyrics and featured on Harmonic Dissidence. We were trying to have an EP available online. But over time, eventually, things went south and we parted ways.
This album is a new direction, new name, and a new approach to the music that has been bottled up inside of me for a very long time. I know it sounds cliche', but this is much better than the previous music. Before, I was working with 4 other people who all, including me, had our own private issues, relationship problems, etc. Add in some beer and weed, and BAM!... Chaos. But now, it's just me. I drink more coffee than alcohol. I can work at my own pace, on my own schedule, and write anything that appeals to me. And believe me, I really am my own worst critic.
4.Are you signed to a label? , If so which one and how did they help or support the process?
I am NOT signed to any labels. Maybe someone will pick this up and run with it.
5.What has been going on with the band between albums? Did you tour?
Honestly, I've never toured. My previous band played many shows, but never toured. For me to tour, it might be a big challenge to find four or five solid musicians to gel with in a stinky bus. There's a lot of material to nail down too. I'm not counting it out, I'm just being realistic.
6.Do you have any new members?
Just me. I am the newest member! I welcomed myself to the band with open arms. I've worked out great so far, and I don't see any reason for me to leave any time soon. The great thing about being a one-man operation... I only have to rely on myself to succeed or fail.
7.Who produced the new album and how did they effect the album?
Again, me. This is my baby and my vision. I would drive around during my day job and write lyrics, come up with different melodies, etc. and record them into my voice memo app for later use. I'd record a song, burn it to a CD and listen to it for a day or two. Add, subtract, change something...Then after trial and error, I have a solid 50-55 minutes of music.
8.Some like to record naked or in the dark with candles , Did you have any strange studio practices?
My wife works from home. So most of this album was recorded during the wee hours of the night while she slept. I'd make a pot of coffee and run with it. I had to take extra precautions to not wake her up at night. She says that I never woke her up, but she might have been saying that so as not to discourage me from persuing my goal. She is very supportive and knows how much this means to me. I did have the vocal mic facing away from the door, towards a curtain. I would clip the lyric sheets to the curtains as I sang them. Another thing, 99% of the guitar tracks are “direct to board”. So, to get feedback, I would set up a cabinet and just ring out chords and let it feedback and squeal while recording a single track for later use. I'd pick and choose a piece of feedback and make a clip to play along side the rhythm tracks. When I was making the feedback tracks my neighbors probably thought I was an idiot. I was recording feedback tracks for about 2 hours on a weekend, and yes, the windows were open.
9.Of course tell us where to pick up your album and how to learn more about you.
For now, I can be reached through Facebook. Look for Cathedrals Fall. Or search for me, Trevor Goins, by name. My profile pic is me performing live with my trans-red Kelly Star.
I am currently building a wixsite where the songs will be featured, and with a little luck, soon.. some merch too. For now, please, just ask for it at any of the stations who will air it and tell your friends about it. The internet is our friend. The internet is our friend.
10.What is your plans now that the new album is out?
I want to make a few lyric videos to promote it and come up with a YouTube channel.
Hopefully soon I will write another album. I have a bunch of great material to work with. A few songs already written which just need to be recorded and finalized. It's all good. I just need to pace it accordingly and not get burnt out as I tend to do some times. I look forward to sharing this album with you all. Horns Up, you crazy bastards!! \,,X,,/
1.Tell us your name and the band you play for.
My name is Trevor Goins. I am currently the sole member of the band Cathedrals Fall.
2.Who made you want to pick up the guitar?
Eddie Van Halen. When I was young I thought I was going to grow up and be a drummer. With my older sister and brother always watching me I was constantly listening to a plethora of good classic rock.. Stuff like AC/DC, Zeppelin, Boston, UFO, Rush, of course Van Halen, etc. I would always tap my feet and hands with the beat. Then I was watching a show, I might have been 10 or 12 years old. I think it was the show 60 Minutes. They were spotlighting Eddie and, his former wife, Valerie Bertonelli. Eddie was in what looked to be his home studio playing what I think was the clean intro to the song Beautiful Girls. Watching him play it effortlessly and so precisely was incredible to witness. I was completely blown away. It was then that I decided that I wanted to play guitar.
3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons?
I started with lessons. First was in a music store at the mall. My dad would drive me there once a week. Then I was able to take guitar class in high school for a semester. If I had really applied myself then, I could have advanced in the music program at school, but I was 14 and just too unfocussed at the time. Eventually I was, again, interested in playing guitar. I started picking up pointers from friends, my brother-in-law, learning by ear, and eventually some of the old VHS cassette lessons like Doug Marks Metal Method, etc. One friend, in particular, taught me most of the foundation for playing, how to hold the guitar efficiently, picking techniques, chord structures, soloing techniques, etc. Now I just pull up shit on YouTube if I want to learn something new.
4. Can you read music, Can you read tab?
Read music, me?? Hell no! I never could read sheet music. Hey, do you know how to get a metal band to stop playing? Give them sheet music to read! LOL!! Just kidding! But to answer your question, I do occaisionaly read tab. Guitar World Magazine is an awesome source of tab and resources.
5.Do you feel like you have your own sound / tone ?
I try to always get as much meat and potatoes in my tone. One of my early influences, the same guy who taught me the basics, he was a big fan of the “V” tone. High lows, Low mids, High highs, basically the same tone as the late, great, Dimebag. I started with that approach, but later adjusted my highs down and the mids up some to balance it out and add a bit more meat on the bone, so to speak. String gauge has also added some tonal depth. I'm using GHS Boomers “TnT's”, or Thick-N-Thins. They're light top/Heavy bottom strings, a hybrid gauge. .010's to .052's. They allow ease of soloing and the really fat crunch in the rhythms. I've also upgraded with some add-ons from FU_Tone in my tremolos. It's just one more bit of dynamics to the overall sound. And, I'm also playing tuned down a whole step across the fretboard, which adds a bit more natural low end for a darker presence to my sound.
6.Tell us about your guitar ( brand ,model . year , color ).
Jacksons! Motherfucking Jackson Guitars!! I know there are many great guitar companies to choose from, but Jacksons have been my brand of choice since I played my first Kelly so many years ago. I like to say that I'm a “Jacksonist” at heart. My go-to is a very sweet, and extremely rare Kelly Star. She's a trans-red model. Originally had the brushed aluminum color hardware. When I re-vamped it with a new neck(w/ pirhana inlays), I also replaced all of the hardware with black hardware, which really makes her look so sinister. I don't know the year, but as I understand it, they were a short run out of Japan, maybe a couple of months??, right before the Fender merge/takeover and were discontinued, and replaced, by the Warrior model. I found it in a pawn shop, hidden in a rack full of Warriors. $150!! I also have a neck-thru King V that's black with ghost flames. She's another stunning work of art. Probably a 2003/2004 model. And I have a standard Kelly in a trans-black that I use as a baritone occaisionally. That one's probably a 2004 model. The bass I used for the album is a Schecter C4. A very well designed bass. It sounds like a fucking piano! I have some other guitars but they're in need of repair and not currently playable, so we'll leave them for another time.
7.What about pickups? Passive or active ? Tell us about them.
All of my guitars have passive pickups. I have absolutely no problem with active pickups at all. I just have never had a guitar with them. But I have considered getting a solderless EMG setup for one of my guitars in need of repair. I have this old Epiphone Spotlight. It's a neck-thru. Extremely heavy on stage back in the day. It was a chore to play live with, but the sheer tone from the body was awesome. I might throw a set of those EMG's up in'er and see how fat she gets. Might be a good marriage of wood and electronics.
8.Lets get into amplification, Same drill brand , model , speakers, etc.
I'm running an old-style rack mount system, so I'll go in the order of how it's all linked. At the top of the rack is a Furman PL-Tuner. A power conditioner, light module, and tuner, all nicely packed into a single rack space.
At the start of my rig is the Marshall JMP-1 preamp. I get the tone of a tube preamp and the ease, and diversity, of a digital system. It's midi controlled so I have it side-chained to the Alesis Midiverb 4 effects processor. Both are controlled by a Peavey RMC 2010 midi foot controller. Then all of the signal runs through a Peavey 31 band EQ. After that, we run the signal to a Rocktron 300A compressor/limiter to really refine, and sharpen it, before sending it to a QSC RMX 850 power amp which can be ran as stereo on the full stack, or bridge/mono on a half stack. My speaker cabinets, for live performances, are a nice blend of a vintage and newer 4x12s. Both are Peaveys. The bottom 4x12 is a vintage cabinet with the original Scorpion speakers. Years ago I replaced the dated nylon mesh grill with a nice piece of perforated stainess steel and it really opened up the tonality of the cabinet. It's probably 30 years old, or more, but she still packs a punch. The top cabinet is a much newer angled Sheffield that really makes for a good match in tone. Both cabinets sound distinct from one another. Both sound great, even better when paired.
9.Do you have a pedal board? Tell us about that badboy.
Yes, the Peavey RMC 2010 I mentioned earlier. A solid midi foot controller. It could withstand a direct hit from a truck. Imagine an old Ross distortion pedal, but 18” wide and 7” long with a dozen of those huge chrome actuator switches on it. It looks archaic but it has never let me down. You can stomp on it, jump on it, spill beer on it, trip over it, or even use it as an assault weapon.
10..Now tell us your Dream Rig in detail…..
That would be a Marshall Stack, of course. And probably a Fractal Audio processor. Imagine... A wall of unbridled volume with an endless array of tone choices to choose from.
One word... Envy.
11.What guitarist can you not stand?
Man, I'm gonna sound like a total dick, but here goes... Kirk Hammett. I know what people will say, “Oh my God! How dare he?” Look, He is a really great guitarist, no doubt about it. But it seems like every solo, every song, on everything I've heard for decades has that damn whah pedal on it. Give it a break, dude! It's like a crutch, or something. I dare you to write a whole album without the use of a whah pedal for the entire process. There, I said it. I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me some day.
I12. Is tone more important or is technique?
Technique is most important. Tone can always be achieved through various means. But technique must be taught, learned and always improved upon, constantly pushing the envelope of your current abilities. You're never too old to learn a new technique. Whereas you can always buy tone.
13. Name your top 5 guitarist
Really?? That's always a tough question because there are so many to choose from. Do I go with early pioneers, current masters of the fretboard, most influential of all time?? Hmmm...
I'll say who my personal top 5 are and explain why. But in all honesty, there are really no wrong choices on this question. So, here goes... Drum roll please...
In NO particular order, My top 5 guitarists are:
1, Randy Rhoads,
he set the stage for the fusion of rock, metal and classical guitar. His work still influences guitarists the world over to this day. He was taken way too early from us and we are all privileged to have had him as long as we did.
2, Yngwie Malmsteen, the one who really ushered in the era of neo-classical metal guitar. When he was first on the scene everyone wanted to become a neo-classical shredder. I've even heard George Lynch say that Yngwie is the best ever.
3, Marty Friedman,
anyone else remember Cacophony with Jason Becker? The first time I ever heard of Marty was with Jason Becker in Cacophony. Speedmetal Symphony was a mainstay in my old cassette player back in the day. Brings back some cool memories. Then he blazed another trail with Megadeth, remember? C'mon! Holy Wars kicks ass!!!
4, Now, you know I'm gonna add Jason Becker
to this list. A true pioneer of guitar wizardry. His songs will live forever in the hearts of every guitarist who appreciates great writing and masterful technique. A truly legendary guitarist.
5, Jeff Motherfuckin' Loomis,
my personal favorite guitarist of all time. Arguably the most rounded expert metal guitarist of all time. With all of his groundbreaking work throughout the Nevermore realm, his solo work, his work along side Keith Merrow, and now he's with Arch Enemy... Arch Fucking Enemy!!! Who happens to be in my top 5 bands of all time... I mean, God damn!! The dude is a fucking powerhouse guitarist who can shred the most obscure and technical runs all over the fretboard(sweeping, legato, stacato, hybrid picking, hammering) with precision, and immediately shift to something that sounds as soft as a feather falling from the sky, then shred some more like it's nobody's business.
14.Who is the most overrated guitarist
Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day. I mean, come on, man! He once claimed that he was suffering from writer's block. Really? Dude, it's just rhythm. You're using the same 4 or 5 chords on every song so far. Maybe branch out a bit. Watch a YouTube video, or something.
15.Who would you like a one hour private sit down lesson with anyone dead or alive?
I'm gonna say, without hesitation, Loomis. With an assist from Alex Skolnick. Loomis can show me stuff and Skolnick can explain what it is theoretically. Then after the lesson, I'll leave my phone there recording because you know those two are gonna bounce ideas off of one another. It would be the metal guitarist's dream video. The GOAT!!