Jagged Spiral’s Second Album Is Named and Graphiced

“Graphiced”? Is that a word? “Graphicized”? “Engraphicated”?

Regardless, what has been generically known as “Album 2” and code-named “Ten Easy Ways To Kill Yourself” is another major step closer to completion. The mastered version of the album is back from the studio, and the track list is set. Graphics for the cd insert are being reviewed, and the album has an official name.

At this point, our band manager is allowing me to answer the following burning questions:

What’s The New Album Title?

Fire And Dice

The marketing focus groups voted down the original working title, “Ten Easy Ways To Kill Yourself”.

How Many Songs? What’s The Track Listing?

  1. Invasion
  2. Lament (part i)
  3. Suffer
  4. Horrorcloud
  5. Push Me
  6. Prophet
  7. Reset
  8. Blood on the Velvet
  9. Fire and Dice
  10. God Hates Emo

How Many People Were Killed In The Making Of This Album?

None that you will miss.

Can We Have A Sneak-Peek At The Album Cover?

Mmmm…. I suppose. But keep in mind, this is work in progress. Subject to change and all that.

Click on the picture below to see the full graphic:

Jagged Spiral Album Cover Rough for Fire And Dice

Coolness, eh? Thanks to J. Stuart Johnson for the awesome artwork. jstuartj.com.

When, Oh, When In The Name Of [Insert Deity Here] Will This Album Be Finished?

No official release date yet. If the stars are right, a 2013 release date might not be out of the question. Stay tuned here for updates.

CD Release Party?

Not likely, unless you’re going to coordinate it. Tell us when to show up, and we’ll be there.

-Zero

Halloween 2010 with Jagged Spiral

Colin and Jess threw another top-notch Halloween Party this year. We had a great time, and I can’t wait to see the pix. Wish I’d had my camera. The Spiral was all on-hand and took a stab at a couple songs late in the evening, and being the soberest of the group at the time, I have several observations to make:

  1. I probably shouldn’t even pick up my bass unless I’ve had three alcoholic drinks.
  2. Colin probably shouldn’t pick up his guitar after thirteen alcoholic drinks.
  3. None of the band should pick up anything until everyone in the audience has had about thirty alcoholic drinks.
  4. We should only take requests for songs that we know. At the very least, songs that are completely finished.
  5. We should practice before playing an improvisational show.

Regardless, we slaughtered Invasion, Prophet, Horrorcloud and covered Sister of Mercy’s “Temple of Love”.

Quote of the night goes to Josh. While getting ready to play drums on the Rock Band game, Nirvana’s “About A Girl” came up as an option. His reply? “I don’t want to play Nirvana. I’m already in Nirvana.”

Second place quote goes to Saveau, who said, “You guys should always dress like that onstage. A pirate, a dark priest, and that guy from The Office.”

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral Music for your Zombie Movie at NationUndead

Independent Filmmakers rejoice! Because the only thing more fun than filming a short movie about your favorite subject (Zombies!) would be scoring it with music from your favorite band (Jagged Spiral!)

Thanks to NationUndead.com now you can do both! Nation Undead gives you the genre and storyline as a seed for your independent film. Get some friends, a video camera, a case of Newcastle, and a few gallons of fake blood, and make a movie that Quentin Tarrantino could only dream of making.

When you’re done, you’ll need background music to add extra punch to your production. Jagged Spiral has you covered. I’ve uploaded the entire INSTRUMENTAL VERSION of Days From Evil to the Nation Undead website, and it’s FREE for you to use in your movie, just make sure to list Jagged Spiral in the movie credits.

  • Need some spooky background music? Check out the beginning of Run.
  • Need music for a chase scene? Check out Hallowed Ground or The Last Song.
  • Having an all out Zombie Bar Fight? You can’t go wrong with Let It Out.
  • God forbid you have a moment of Zombie Emotional Interlude, then you’ll find yourself in need of the tender acoustic moments in Lament.

Even if you aren’t scoring a Zombie film, feel free to download the Instrumental tracks from Nation Undead, share and enjoy!

If you want to know more about the Nation Undead project, I recently interviewed the creator, Patrick Pierson. You can read the interview on conradzero.com.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Album 2 and The Birth of “Northern Rock”

So while The Spiral winds down from their exciting first public performance, and gathers forces to begin the takeover of Minneapolis (and the World eventually, natch) there’s no lack of things to do; website updates and hashing out content ideas, video editing (Shh! Its a secret!), Days From Evil art concepts, credits, thanks, and thinking up ways to pay back all the good and nice people who helped us make a good and evil recording.

Although nine tracks from Days From Evil are now permanently etched in digital bits, don’t you dare think we’re out of ammunition. Not even close. In fact, we have enough raw material to make a second album! I actually have a CD pressed with all the rough track outlines, labeled mysteriously “V2”.

Lyrics and structure are locked down for three of the songs (Lament Part One, Push Me, and God Hates Emo, all of which debuted at the Halloween Party on Oct 27th, 2007) and rough lyrics are done for three others: Dragonslayer, Bad Kitty, and Horrorcloud. A handful of other tracks are just outlines now: Loon, Reign and Swap Meat. [Note: If you have a problem with the song names, talk to Colin – Z] but as we are working to put together a full set, I have no doubt these songs will pull together over the next couple months.

So how does the new stuff sound? Well, I’ll put it this way, the e-mails have been flying between band members about how to describe us, and what Genres we can actually fit into.

Looking at the list of bands we think we sound like (Black Sabbath, Tool, In Flames, Machine Head…) parks us pretty far into Heavy Metal territory, although I’ve never thought of us as a Metal band. Actually, I’ve never thought of Jagged Spiral as anything but “Jagged Spiral”. I don’t think bands should let genres push them around too much, but you do have to pitch your band, and here’s how you do it:

“Hey, listen to our band, [Band Name] we are a [Genre] band from [City] and we have one [instrument 1] and a [instrument 2] and a [instrument 3]”

Obviously, genre is a big part of any band’s identity, so it’s been interesting to look back at what we’ve done in such a short time and try to define it. After all the investigation, I’ve decided that Jagged Spiral exists on a plane between “Heavy Metal” and “Hard Rock”. Since we don’t fit neatly into either one, we made up our own genre: “Northern Rock”. So when people ask us what genre we are, we will say Northern Rock, which answers very little. Intuitive folks might pick up on the fact that we are Loud and Cold. If they press further, or require us to pick from the existing genres, we will say Heavy Metal, but you should really listen and decide for yourself.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral vs Home Construction Project

Q: What do you get when you put a professional sheet metal worker, a chef and a guy who works with computers (and plays bass, no less) together in a basement on a wall-framing project?

A: One guy who knows what he’s doing and two hilariously inept musicians with beer and a nail gun. They say the guy who owned the house before you was an idiot, but at least Colin can blame it on us.

Pictures hopefully to come.

Josh

Days From Evil – Mastered?

I feel the need to dispel some rumors about Jagged Spiral, and the lack of blog postings in recent weeks.

  1. I (Zero) have Not been abducted, drafted, or admitted/committed to any institutions for rehabilitation. Any recent visits to foreign countries were completely voluntary.
  2. Josh has not jumped on the Rehabilitation bandwagon, nor checked himself into Hazelton, nor shaved his head, although I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that he shaved his armpits.
  3. Colin has not left the band to start a secret, underground society which plans to overthrow all other secret, underground societies.

No, No, and No to these and many other silly rumors, I assure you that Jagged Spiral is not only alive and kicking, but feeding the musical fuel tank with beer and burritos and generating on average two new songs per month. If we ever finished the songs, that would be noteworthy.

Also, the album Days From Evil has come out of mastering and we have given it several listens in different venues, including in the car, in the studio, in the living room, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, and that one time we tapped into the PA system at Southdale Mall, which caused lots of fighting, riots and oddly enough; breakdancing. All in all, we are happy with the results and should have the album declared as “Finished” any day now.

We have also narrowed down options for a band Logo, and sketched some ideas for cover art.

Stay tuned…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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New Song – God Hates Emo

I’m not entirely sure what happened. We were supposed to be practicing. It could have been the weather, or the strange mood I was in (sullen with hints of paranoia, a splash of bitter, and two splashes of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum) More likely it was the Monster Energy Drink Josh finished just before he showed up.

Either way, our “practice” of some new song crashed to a unappealing halt, and we looked at each other disparagingly.

Then it happened. Suddenly, all three of our caffeine/alcohol indices crossed at one point on the creativity chart.

“Hey,” I said to Colin, “What was that punk thing you were doing before, you remember?”

“Sure,” he nodded and Launched. Josh followed. I started screaming, and I couldn’t tell if I was making lyrics up or possessed by a sudden bout of Tourettes’ Syndrome.

Regardless, a new song was flushed out in less than half an hour: God Hates Emo.

I can tell you that it’s loud, and fast, and punk. It ends with some chuggy/chanting bit. This is the song we open the show with. It is the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence: “Jagged Spiral Declares War On Emo!”

I’m sending a copy to Chris Carrabba, in hopes that he will repent and change his ways.

I’m sending another copy to the Pope, in the hopes that he will realize the error of his ways and leave Homosexuals alone, and go after Emo Bands instead.

I’m sending another copy to Suzanne Vega because I LOVE Suzanne Vega and send her daily updates of everything I do.

I’m sending another copy to Geddy Lee, with a request that we open for RUSH on the “Snakes and Arrows” tour.

I’ll let you know how this all pans out…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Video of Police Shutting Down Jagged Spiral Jam

We’ve always said that nothing can stop Jagged Spiral, but the other day we found something that did:

The Police Department.

To facilitate some carpet cleaning, Monday’s practice was moved from the basement to the garage, and it was obvious that we would be heard, but it was just for one time, and our practice session was to be short; from 5 till 8 PM, although the noise ordinance does not require us to turn down until 10PM.

We didn’t touch a single song on Days From Evil, instead making use of the practice to do a quick run through the new song Bad Kitty and to do more creative and structural work on two new songs, which are currently called Dragonslayer and Horrorcloud. (You will have to ask Colin about where “Horrorcloud” came from, I think it has to do with Pizza Luce’s Garlic Mashed Potato Pizza and his digestive system.)

We were totally rocking, the song structure for the songs was really gelling, and the Jagged Spiral Music Train got rolling, and then…

7PM

Knock, knock.

The music stopped. It was my neighbor, an older woman who keeps a very nice lawn. I don’t know her name. Um, she’s from two houses down the block.

“Hello?”

“Hi, I just wanted to let you know we were just listening to you guys play, and I wanted to tell you, we Love your music!”

“Really?”

“Hell yeah! That band, the one that does that song ‘Iron Man’, you know the one?”

“Kind of.”

“You sound just like them!”

“Really?”

“Yeah! Anyways, we were just outside listening to you play, and had to come over and let you know we hope you will keep playing?”

“Really?”

“All summer long! That would be great!”

“Um, thanks.”

Strange. Of course, Colin and Josh heard the whole exchange, and were thrilled. New fans! Oh well, don’t let it go to your head. We picked up the reigns and started off again, the avalanche of music was building to a cresendo, nothing could stop it….

7:30PM

Knock, knock.

It was the police.

I’m not sure I would have accurately remembered the next couple minutes, being pulled from THE ZONE back into reality so quickly. Thankfully we had the videocamera running the entire time, and the police officer was kind enough to step right into the frame as though we had planned the whole thing:

Turns out the sound ordinance also has some nonsense about sounds being detectable within 50 feet. News to me. Guess I’m gonna have to look that one up.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral Concert Ends In Tragedy

This is what happened at our Seattle Concert last week. I told Josh to dial it back a bit, but he wouldn’t listen and unleashed the Drums of Doom:

We had a great time, and fortunately no one was hurt (Since no one was actually in the audience.) Unfortunately, we are not allowed back to Seattle and our accountant is still sorting out the damages. Our lawyers are still trying to determine whether our performance can be considered an act of terrorism.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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