I spent most of last week in the studio tracking guitars for the next hawk record (due out in July!). It’s been a ton of fun so far. This picture is of some of the pedals we were using on a lead guitar part. Things got a little out of hand with effects. Haha. As a good friend of mine once said, Rock and Roll is ugly.
We’re back out on winterjam now, playing Cincinnati last night. It was SO cold! There was a lot of snow and ice, so I’m thankful for the thousands that made it out to the show!
Now, I had a disturbing thing happen last night… I got back on the bus after the show, crawled into bed, and started to drift off to sleep. As I was sailing off to dreamland, I heard a voice…… “Why is Jon’s suitcase still in the dressing room?”
You’re kidding me!!!!!
I had to get out of bed, get redressed, put shoes on, and walk through the snow and ice to get my bag out of the dressing room inside the venue. Miserable.
Not a perfect world. - Taken at 11:06 AM on January 30, 2009 - iPhone upload by ShoZu
I started tracking guitars for the next Hawk Nelson record today… And as usual the floor around me turned into web of chaos… Guitars pedals and amps were strewn about everywhere.
It’s been a huge blessing to have a few PRS guitars here with me. They hold tune and intonation incredibly well. They’re going to be used a ton on this record. I’m also using a 1980’s custom telecaster, an epiphone sheraton, and a few others.
I’m really enjoying the process of this record. Sometimes recording can be stressful… but this time it’s been pretty enjoyable. Our producer, Steve, is a good friend of ours, and we’re recording in Nashville, so we can spend the nights at home when tracking is done for the day.
Tomorrow i’m bringing my chair from my little home studio…. I want to be COMF while i’m recording!
We had an awesome night last night in Greensboro with the Revolve Tour… and we’re back on winterjam again tonight in St Louis. It is SO cold here! Apparently a cold front has blown through….
I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend recently…. I absolutely cannot handle cold weather! I can hardly believe it. For a Canadian boy like myself, it’s a bit unnerving. I used to have no trouble at all… Could be -10, -20.. no big deal. Now I freeze the moment the temperature drops below freezing. What has happened to me?
Thankfully, living in Nashville is pretty sweet in that regard. The flip side is the awful humid summers.
It’s 6 am and we’re sitting in the Chicago o’hare airport waiting on a flight to Greensboro, NC.
We’re finishing out the last few weekends of Revolve while we’re doing Winterjam, so our weekends will involve a lot more flying over the next few weeks. We’ve been pretty blessed to be able to be on both of these great tours.
Flying is not my favorite thing in the world. When we fly for shows, I generally need to bring a lot of electronics with me… Electronics that apparently look very suspicious to security. This morning the airport security had my bag open, and they were digging through it like a Christmas stocking. Socks and boxers were strewn about (I should get some money from fruit of the loom… They got some advertising today.) They tested everything with their little cloth wipes.
If I do the security checkpoint completely by the book, I now singlehandedly take up 4 bins… Plus 2 bags. Pretty impressive, right?
Sometimes the food at shows leaves quite a bit to the imagination.
There’s the questionable salad that might be potato, but could also be macaroni… or even a sad, sad, coleslaw.
There’s the jugs of ambiguous juice or lemonade or sweet tea or unsweet tea… Or the big tubs with nozzles containing who knows what?
That being said, the most amorphous food item on the tour catering menu is the Mystery Meat.
This is the steaming pot of brown sludge next to the buns and forks. Inside that pot, soaking in a gallon and a half of barbeque sauce, are gobs of a meat-like substance which is supposed to be shoveled onto a bun. I want to believe that this is pulled pork, but there really is no way of telling.
Now, for you southern folks, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. I really do like proper barbeque. That is not what I’m talking about here… That is like the difference between a bentley and a ball of belly button lint. Or, if you prefer, apples and oranges.
There are a lot if southern folks on this winterjam tour, and we play a lot of southern cities. The southern hospitality of these people and places is wonderful… And we’ve had some great southern cooking on winterjam…
But the mystery meat has, and probably always will, give me just a little shudder.
So last night we were in Tallahassee, and I’m pretty sure we had the best night of our tour so far. This was the first time winterjam has ever come to Tallahassee. What an awesome crowd! It was by far the most rowdy croud so far.
Those of you that have seen us this year may have noticed some if the new lighting gear we’re using for the show. None of us know much about lights but we took some interest in them on this tour… Especially jason. Look at this guy! Huffing strobes like a pro! Ha ha.
Tonight we’re in Tampa. It’s wonderful to have some 60 degree weather instead of the cold wet Tennessee winter.
Last night we played in Augusta Georgia… What a great crowd! There is something about these southern cities… They know how to party!
I was walking back to our dressing room from signing when I spotted these two girls through the window. They had spotted us, I guess, and they were FREAKING OUT. I couldn’t quite believe it. I had to take a picture.
So girls, if you read this… you made my night! Ha ha.
Tonight we’re in Tallahassee, Florida. Should be a great show!
So I know it’s been a few days since I wrote a post, but it’s been crazy busy!
We finished the first weekend of winterjam and then headed back to Nashville to start preproduction on the next Hawk record. There are some songs on this next record that I’m getting pretty excited about!
For now we’re back on the bus headed to Augusta, Georgia. Winterjam starts back up for 4 more shows this weekend!
I got myself an iPhone this week and I already can’t imagine life without it! Maybe it will help me write blogs a little more often!
We did our first show on Winterjam 2009 tonight in Roanoke, Virgina… We had a great time! I think this is going to be a fantastic tour….
Our friend Garrett took this picture during the set. Garrett is out with us for the spring, helping with a bunch of our special fx…. he was also out on the Green Tee Tour last spring. Touring isn’t the same without him! We’re excited to have him back on the road with us.
We’ve got a few new little tricks up our sleeve this spring, and we kicked off many of them tonight. While tonight WAS a night of many firsts…. this one we didn’t expect!
A real tattoo of HAWK NELSON on a girl’s wrist. Her name is Meagan… Wow! That’s dedicated!
I wanted to write a little article about some of the things I’ve learned about guitar tone from some of my friends and heroes over the years… Every time we’ve gone on tour with another band, or gone into the studio, I’ve had the opportunity to watch and learn from the people around me, and I’ve adopted some habits that I think have made a big difference in my tone.
Some of this information is really basic, and some is more advanced…. All of it is just a set of general guidelines. Remember, there are no rules here! Some of the best guitarists are people that have broken from traditional methods, so don’t be afraid to experiment, and see what you like!
10 Ways To Improve Your Guitar Tone!
1. Style and Gear Choice 2. String Gauges. 3. Gain (Overdrive, Distortion) 4. Drop-Tunings 5. Tuning, Intonation, & Setup 6. Watch that G-String 7. Clean Signal Path 8. Keep It Simple Stupid 9. Mr. Speaker 10. The Understated Kings of Rock