Changing careers to Graphic Design

I am working on transitioning to a new career of Graphic Design and/or media related field. I have been designing graphics with a computer on-and-off since I was 15 and started playing guitar. I am excited to take my hobby to the next level, learn more, express myself more, be creative, and open more doors in my life. Here is a link to my portfolio.

Vilest’s First Show

Justin Parkhouse and I at The Loft in Lansing, MI 6-22-19 – Photo Credit: Candace Robinson

My band Vilest finally had our first performance ever! It was a ton of fun! There is also a long story leading up to finally performing.

I have been a guitarist in a handful of bands in the Lansing, MI area, but it has been a long time since I have performed live. The story of Vilest for me starts with my last heavy metal band.

I was a founding member of a melodic metal band called Toilsome from Lansing, MI. We were active from 2002-2008. In that time we recorded a few E.P.s an L.P. and did a few tours. When that band ended there was a huge void in my life for playing extreme, heavy, dark music. I continued to play rock music, but skill level for fast playing went downhill quite a bit. I knew I wanted to get back into playing that kind of music. Also, I had a lot of challenges balancing work, school, home, and band life. I was still in a band called Quarter Past Never, which evolved into Motor City Skyline.

In 2016 I reached out to a metal band on looking for a guitarist. I auditioned, got the position, and began playing music with musicians that were previously from a Lansing, MI band As Empires Decay.

The new band had a few songs, and now a complete lineup of members. They were patient with teaching me the songs, we were working on a band name, and we were talking about playing a small show. Hindsight is that it would take another 3 years to hit that milestone.

In short over those 3 years following Vilest’s formation, the instrumentalists all grew tighter in their skill, wrote more songs, and became hungry to play a show. At the same time we had a lot of vocalists in the band that just didn’t work out. The main reason most of them didn’t work out was because they would fail to show up to band practice.

So now it’s 2019 we have a new singer, the band sounds good, and we want to play a show but we don’t have lyrics. We then got a show offer to perform and play a tribute show to any band of our choosing. We talked it over with the band and decided that was a good opportunity to get back on the scene, and it was a good goal to push up. We decided to do a full set of songs by the band In Flames and we had about 2 months to prepare. After learning songs for a month our singer stopped showing up, and communicating. We immediately got a fill-in vocalist and a fill-in for the fill-in, and practice continued. There was also a change in the set list to help out the new vocalist.

We continued to prepare by learning the songs, and getting tighter, while feeling the pressure of the deadline getting closer, but sounding better and better each practice. We knew we could do a good job.

The day of the show finally arrives and we have sold almost all of our tickets. We knew there was going to be a lot of support for us.

We performed those songs very well, had a lot of fun, made some contacts with other bands, and completed our goal of playing our first show! Now that I have recently been on stage I want to know when I get to do it again next. I am feinding, like a caffeine addict, to play another show! Special thanks to the band members of Vilest: Chris, Cody, Dustin, and Theron. Also special thanks to our fill-in vocalist Justin Parkhouse and our fill-in to the fill-in Ben from Canada Dry. Thanks to the other bands: Laurentian Tides, Cold Faction, Dedlights, Freak on a Leash, The Maension, and Square Hammer! Thanks to the promoter Alfonso Civile of Heartsick, and The Loft! Lastly thanks to our friends and family that bought tickets and came out to support us in following our dreams!

My band Motor City Skyline’s cover of “Kickstart My Heart” on Soundcloud

It is amazing that we recorded this song 7 years ago around 2011 and it is getting so popular on the internet. It is currently at 232,000 plays. My band Motor City Skyline started out as a female fronted cover band. We recorded four songs, but broke up shortly after recording. At the time we recorded this, I was taking this to venues trying to book gigs, but we had no interest. We only played one show under the name Motor City Skyline with the original line-up and that was at Oade’s Hidden Camel in Lansing, MI.

Now it is 2018, and I have a new line-up of Motor City Skyline and it looks as though everything is finally falling in place for this band. We are an all original music Rap Rock/Metal band. We just got a professional logo made. Our first original release recording is almost done. Things are finally looking good for this band. Here’s to a great 2019 for Motor City Skyline!

Christmas Time Break From Work

Last year Christmas was too short, too much driving from house to house, and not enough rest and relaxation. This year I planned ahead by taking time off from work December 22nd through December 30th. Now that Christmas has passed, I can say how it went.

I had my family Christmas with both my wife’s family and my family on Christmas Eve. We got together at my in-law’s house in the afternoon, and had snacks, opened gifts, and spent time with family. After that we went to our best friends and god-children’s house to spend the night, so that we could watch the kids open presents, have breakfast together, and spend time with them. Christmas afternoon my wife and I came home and watched movies together and relaxed. The day after Christmas, I spent the whole day cleaning and organizing the entire house. I did not get everything done, but I made a huge impact. Now the rest of my time off has been spending time with my wife, family, and friends. I also made time for playing video games, and I have been cooking at home just about everyday. This has been the best way for me to do Christmas as an adult, and I plan to do this every year!

Working On The Blog

I started making my blog yesterday, although I had been thinking about it for a long time, and last week I made an outline of things that I wanted it to include. I went through for registering my domain, and I decided to use wordpress for putting it together. I heard about wordpress, but knew very little about how it worked. I just knew that I wanted to make a blog, and I wanted it to be easy to do, so I took a chance on wordpress.

I struggled for a long time at first just logging in because my site is not through, but a different domain. I eventually understood that they were different, got logged in, and I was off trying to explore this new site building interface.

I had built websites 10 years ago before html changed and before smart phones and tablets. I knew a good amount about writing code. So now with this blog everything has been easy for the most part. Building a website used to take me lots of time, but in one day, I already have my site up. Granted I have a lot of things to fill in, I feel like it’s easy, fun, and I can do this.

I’m hoping to fill in all of my pages with at least something. I also want to add pictures to most pages and posts.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my cooking recipes with the world! I make a really good broccoli cheese soup!

Blessings from Candace’s Dad

August 29, 2017

On August 29, 2017 I called Candace’s dad to see if I could come over and talk to him about something important. Her dad, Andy, said “sure, come on over”, and so I did. I was so nervous during that phone call, the drive over, and talking to him. I told him how I was in love with his daughter and that I wanted his approval before asking her to marry me. He said “Of course. You make my daughter very happy, and I would love to have you as part of the family.”

Starting My Blog/The End of Facebook for Me

I created my own blog website today! Yay for me!

Why did I create my own blog? I created this website to share my life with the world, and because I grew tired of Facebook. I have slowly been cutting back my use of that site. I told my girlfriend “I’ll just build my own website and people can stay in touch with me through that and e-mail.” I’m glad to say that that day has now come. 🙂