Well I’ll be off to Bristol tomorrow and the gap year has at last come to an end. I can safely say it’s been the best year of my life, filled with horses, Jews, wasters and Irish music. While a lot of people travelled to far off continents, I’d like to think this last year has been a expedition into my own mind and I’m glad I kept this blog to map out this journey inwards. After two years of filling my head with biology, chemistry, maths, this year’s been a chance to quench the creative drought and illuminate the right hand side of my brain with song, painting and poetry.
Now that autumn’s rolling in and the summers light has begun to die away, I’m reminiscing about the past 19 years of the journey my family and I took from the villages of Burma to here in England as we sprawled across the globe, hopping from Pontefract to London to Reading. All the face’s that’s come and gone, friends that’s come and gone, friends I intend to hold on to… they’ve all coloured my life to what it is now and for that I’m thankful.
I remember being so distraught when I got rejected from studying medicine but as Mick Jager once said, “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.”…
There’s an underground network of musicians out there, busking on streets, playing in night clubs, rambling in pubs, painting the canvas of society with song… and I want to join them. The lifeblood of the music circuits which electrify the hearts of towns and cities across the land can be found in the dreams swirling in the heads of people like Declan, Joe, Jared and Johnny. I think all the band members are beginning to awaken to the potential their dreams can take them… The FMC is amassing an army of local artists, musicians and poets, our EP will be on spotify soon and there is rumoured talks about a Smokey Bastard-Burning Idols-Will Tun and the Wasters tour next summer. I’ve learnt to dream big this gap year and I’ll keep dreaming my life away if I have to, after all Jared says the gap year is just a state of mind. These wandering ways are changing me and I’ve learnt lessons school could have never taught me.
Now that I’m closing the chapter on the gap year chronicles, I’m sure as hell glad I wrote this blog to chronicle it. I’ll always keep these cherished memories close to my heart and I wonder what the future me will think of when he reads it many years down the line? The revolution punk rock promised was a revolution of the mind and I feel my conciousness buzzing more than ever with music… and though this is the end of the gap year, it’s just the beginning of the rest of my life… and as Joe Strummer once said, “The future’s unwritten”.
Gaslight Anthem- Great Expectations "Great expectations, we had the greatest expectations." 29th Sep- Now the gap year is coming to an end and I’ve begun packing these memories of heroes and pioneers into the back of my mind and there’s little else to do now except get another round in at the bar, or in todays case have a drink with members of Smokey Bastard and Johnny at Nagshead! We had a good laugh and I gave them the Wasters new EP as a goodbye present.
Me and Johnny stayed in Reading and since it was Wednesday we thought we’d go to our final Deja Vu open mic night. After a whole year of Mark Barnes songs about skeleton keys and “excuse me mate, got any marrows? I’ve goooot ten marroooows”, today’s Deja Vu was a breath of fresh air with people covering Frank Turners “Reasons not to be an Idiot” and Gaslight Anthems “Great Expectations”, two hugely influential musicians in the past year.
I went round to Jared’s to scan the logo I painted onto the computer so we could tweak around with it. However when we left his house, I accidentally left it on the roof of his car in the rush of carrying around all the music instruments and glutinous rice balls… so the band logo has been lost to the streets of Reading… CURSES!!!!!!!!!!!
No worries, I’ll just paint another one another time. The one good thing that came from today is we’ve begun talk about an album now that we’ve proven to ourselves we can produce a good quality EP. He said we needed a slow folk song, like what “Green fields of France” is to the Dropkick Murphy’s… so I showed him the song I wrote whilst sitting on the dock of Loch Lommond in Scotland last summer … I had put the lyrics up on the Wasters lyric blog but he had always overlooked it because the first line was “I smoked pipes with Bastards”… a blatant reference to Smokey Bastard…
… but regardless, after a few months of him skimming through the song and mentally imaging as a cliché, I played it to him at last and he absolutely loved it!
We’re stitching notes into the fabric of time we’re the junk yard choir that brings the tempo to life we follow the shadows on the road that unfolds but our aching bones still have a long way to go with accordions and ukes and the metallic tin flutes we branch out to the world but stay true to our roots we’re swimming up stream against the force of the tide and in my head all I hear is the howling wind cry: We sink or swim
Best idea that popped into my head in the last year...
Culture works with similar principles to that of evolution and natural selection, that behaviours, ideas and lifestyles compete with each other for acceptance in the minds of the mass’s… and every now and again creativity allows a mutation in individuality that can snowball into massive changes years down the line… So I say send out positive vibes to the threads that attach all of us and watch them reverberate back because no man is an island, we are all just mosaics of each other’s light or darkness… so we must live our way into new ways of thinking and for that we must discard fear, the very thing that stops a beginner skater going down that ramp.
I have noticed how everyone has grown so dramatically in the last year, and I am so honoured to know that my creative thought process has helped fuel a gap year which has not only changed my life but has catalysed the illumination of the musical flames in the minds of my friends through their interactions with an environment which is fun loving, accepting and electrified with sound. The wasters have grown as musicians and people… and best of all, we have found ourselves a direction and purpose… to use our time here on earth to stitch notes into the fabric of time, making a damn warm woolly jumper for the buttons on the dancing-singing prefrontal cortex that makes us human… you get what I’m saying?
I may never change the world but when it come’s to those that are closest to me, I have the power to change a world, or a few for that matter.
Art makes life more interesting than the art itself
Best Movies: Good Will Hunting Royal Tenenbaums The Graduate Waking Life The Motor Cycle Diaries
Best Poems: Lewis Carroll- Life is but a dream Arthur Rimbaud- Drunken Boat, Asleep in the Valley Edgar Alla Poe- Annabel lee Charles Bukowski- Blue Bird Ivan Donn Corswell- Dreams of better days
Best Songs: Gaslight Anthem- Here’s looking at you, kid Against Me- Teenage Anarchist Frank Turner- I knew Prufork before he got famous King Blues- What if Punk never happened? Pogues- Sally Maclennane
Feb 5- First headlining gig of Will Tun and the Wasters at Reading Uni acoustic open mic Feb 18- Singing in Glee Acapella group with Joe and Jared Mar 2- CCTV “eye of sauron” chase by riverside Mar 13- Jared unveils new ukulele Mar 17- Saint Paddys day with Panda girl and MC Chain Apl 9- Global cafe gig, I meet Smokey Bastard and Muck Fe Jun 12/13- Happy times in Henley with Johnny, Sophie, Kenya and Jess Jun 19- Seeing symphony orchestra Jun 29- watching golden sunset peer through the valley on the doch of Loch Lommond Jly 8- Sitting in field with Johnny talking about philosophy and life Jly 29- Sleeping on streets of London Aug 10- 1st FMC gig, Idols, WTATW, Muck Fe, Chief, Smokey B Aug 21- No Sweat Festival Aug 27- Reading Festival Crazy Arms revolution begin, seeing Against Me! Aug 28- Reading Festival- Speaking to Marcia from Skints, seeing Moral Dilema, Frank Turner, Gaslight Anthem, Arcade Fire Aug 29- Cypress Hill, Weezer, Blink 182 Sep 11- Dirty Revolution gig Sep 18- Pro Equality and science education protest Sep 24- Wasters EP completed
August 20- the gap year chronicles begin Oct 8- Joining debate society Oct 11- Watching “Up” the movie with family Oct 12- Visiting Jack in Winchester Oct 20- First jam with Declan, he liked the first song I wrote Oct 28- Meeting Joe Dobraszyzk, “I will resist you” moment with Zans Nov 4- Horse incident & letter of acceptance to study cellular and molecular medicine at Bristol Nov 11- Stepped into the Dobraszyzk household for the first time, reunited with long lost Gym Class Hero friend Jared Dec 8- Rejected from Medical school in Bristol (Looking at my current musical circumstance, I’m glad this happened)
6th day of Hanukkah- Dissecting a dead body 7th day of Hanukkah- Waking up at 4.27am and discovering snow fall
Dec 21- Debate on whether folk punk band name- Will Tun and the Wasters Vs. Maurice Sendak Dec 22- Watching dad make a snow angel Dec 23/Christmas Eve- First wasters gig in Joes Cabin, Blues Mary Christmas- Will Tun and the Wasters facebook page created
- I remember playing this so ram shackled at the first Wasters gig in Joe’s cabin last Christmas eve. Everything seemed so uncertain back then but how time’s have changed, we have ourselves a direction…
24th Sep- RECORDING THE “WILL TUN AND THE WASTERS” EP, DAY 5
Well it’s finally finished, 5 days of hard work, play station games, anxiety, darts, pot noddles, stress and unwavering determination… and the fruits of our labour: A 3 track EP… I believe that compressed in the digital codes on this disk… will be the mosaic of soundwaves and time signatures that will act as a catalyst to fuel priceless memories in the future. I hope this EP will make people take the band more seriously, that we’re here to stay for as long as we can keep going, we either sink or swim.
Now I don’t mean to pull my own horn, but dayum, I’m pretty excited about this… I think we’ve all proven to ourselves that we can spin out a top notch quality track.
After all the mixing and editing was done we had to pay £315 between the 5 of us to actually get our EP… we calculated we were £30 short so we drove to the BP garage to get the money… but when we returned to the studio it turned out we did the maths wrong and we were £20 short… So in panic we literally had to get loose change out… every last penny we had went into making that extra £20… in snails pace we slowly got to the point where we were literally 50p away from the target of £315… and finally one of us dropped that last little bit of cash into the fray and voila! Something very special was handed to us.
We said our good bye to the producers who did so much extra work to keep up with our indecisiveness and hectic changing of eclectic instruments.
When we left the studio there wasn’t enough space in the car to take everyone but I was so happy that I decided to walk home with my guitar from White House studio any ways, along Loddon and Wokingham Road… besides it was a beautiful night any way’s, with not a single cloud concealing the stars and a big yellow full moon to boot, so I didn’t mind the stroll at all. On the walk I noticed I’ve gotten to the point on my gap year where I’ve stopped reminiscing and now I’m just day dreaming away of the future that lies ahead…
23rd SEP- RECORDING THE “WILL TUN AND THE WASTERS” EP, DAY 4
For this last day of recording, the morning weatber started out with dull grey clouds hanging low from the skies spitting a little depressing drizzle in Reading but at the end, after I came out the studio it started to thunder and torrential rain which settled into a golden sunset and double rainbow, which I’m going to take as a good sign! ~ I recorded vocals for the songs “Skank for me” and “Drink Johnny”. Considering my vocal chords were still torn from yesterdays session, I had to really push my self to the limits which would have been impossible if not for the magic of mixing Honey and Lemon into a wondrous throat soothing concoction. Johnny did his rap rap part which sounded sick and me and Joe worked out the organ in Skank for me. It was surprisingly easy for me to record the guitar solo. Though instrument solo’s sound the hardest to pull off when listening to finished products of music recordings, they’re really the cherries on top of the cake- Since they can be improvised, chipped off and pasted on and as long as the notes are in key, they’re bound to sound listenable. Chords and rhythm sections on the other hand are the backbone of songs and so they drive the whole composition.
I’m just glad the whole process of recording is over, tomorrow the band has to put the finishing touches by recording gang vocals and mixing… and that should be it, we’ll have an EP on our hands.
22nd SEP- RECORDING THE “WILL TUN AND THE WASTERS” EP, DAY 3
Recorded all of Joe’s and Jared’s parts today. Jared was crammed into that tiny acoustic room again whilst to record Joe’s accordion, the big room had to be used, padded with unfurled carpets and a titan mic had to be hung from the top.
Stu and his friend came to take some video’s and photographs for the FMC vlog.
I finished the day my recording vocals to Wandering ways which essentially roughed up my voice but now I’m slurping on home made brew of honey and lemon so hopefully my voice will recover for tomorrow’s recordings.
Reading, summer 2010- a grim place for a bunch of wasters and Will Tun, both keen to kick some life and energy into an increasingly moribund and regimented music scene. A legion of tame uncontroversial pop bands had colonised the charts, and the increasingly conservative mood of the times is encapsulated by David Cameron’s victory in the recent elections. But across the town busking in alleyways and street corners, playing together at night parties or in numerous pubs and clubs around the town centre, a group is coming together that will in the years ahead provide a spirited reaction to the prevailing lethargy……
21st Sep- Recording the “Will Tun and the Wasters” EP, day 2
I was shoved into a tiny claustrophobic room, padded with purple zig-zagging foam with my acoustic guitar and two microphones to record over Johnny’s drum beats which we finished last time. There was one dim light at the top and though I was as squashed as anything, the acoustic echo level of the room was perfect. I manage to finish recording all 3 songs but it was such a meticulous and exhaustive process. At the end of the first song my fingers were blistered and mini trench like grooves after an hour or so of pressing the steel guitar strings. The 2nd song, wandering ways, was recorded at such a high tempo by Johnny that I literally could not keep up past the 2nd verse in the first few out takes, but then I pushed myself past the pain of my strumming forearm until my body ignored the build up of fatigue causing lactic acid in the muscles. The recording was long and arduous but it’s over now, I have my freedom and though I’m drained, I feel elevated that I over came this ordeal of a day and my bands one step closer to a good quality EP!
After my bits, we had 2 hours or so at the end to record Declans bass line. It was tough for him because he usually plays tin whistle in the songs “Drink Johnny” and “Wandering ways” so I must have been frustrating for him, being asked to restart bits and bobs because he was a fraction of a second out of time… he needed more practice! But in the end we rushed through the final bass line and we believe after a few editing where we cut and paste the sound around, the end product will be sick! His bass line for “Skank for me” was totally on the ball and I can’t wait to hear the end products of today’s work!
Commanders of the faithful by William Makepeace Thackeray
By serendipity, me and Joe found an old leather pocket book containing stories and poems and by chance I opened the book to find this poem fitting of the London trip. —————— The Pope is a happy man, His palace is the Vatican, And there he sits and drains his can: The Pope he is a happy man. I often say when I’m at home, I’d like to be the Pope of Rome
And then there’s the Sultan Saladin, That Turkish Soldan full of sin ; He has a hundred wives at least By which his pleasure is increased : I’ve often wished, I hope no sin, That I was the Sultan of Saladin.
But no, the Pope no wife may choose, And so I would not wear his shoes ; No wine may drink the proud Paynim, And so I’d rather not be him ; My wife, my wine, I love, I hope, And would be neither Turk nor Pope.