I've made up with my very best friend and the only record dealer I consider a friend after some disgusting comments and much harm done by someone who shall go nameless and is completely tarnished in my mind. Getting to that truth took up a bit of my time, but most of the last two weeks have been taken up on a finally realized breakthrough I've spent 21 long years trying to get right- a full fledged rock concept opera now loosely based on a really revealing and detailed dream 22 years ago that concerned an anti Christian more so anti religion and vehemently anti war concept album that was supposed to be so devilish, violent, scathing, masterful, and hard brute force about concrete truths that nobody could play it without a huge overhaul to their mind, their soul, and their way of thinking about my favorite group of people in the whole world- Soldiers (excluding females and mostly British To The Bone)
-The Opera And The Vision: The Reality Of Writing The Heaviest Thing Ever Written-
I've had many really vivid and detailed dreams that turned out to hold some real form of truth for my whole life, but it's the music/military/occult based ones from my "growing years" that really have been the most memorable. A long time ago I gave full account of the prophetic dream about The O Band which turned out to be a case of Deja Vu, but my dream of the mighty album called BLAK MAJICK RITUAL (the spelling in the dream and the spelling I use) must certainly be the highest for inspiration, educating me, and pointing a path a million years ago of where I'm headed now. I had no real clue about how I felt in regards to soldiers from any country when I had the dream, but in December of 1991 the birth of a lot of changing and growing happened when I was fighting like a brutal warrior against the even more brutal injustices of the school I was in. I strongly suspect that what happened in the course of the dream had a lot to do with my just blossoming fascination with the occult and dark subject matter, but it just as much had to do with the amazing music I heard by the Swedish psychedelic/pop hard rock legends Blond.
The dream took place after a lot of listening to Blond and for the first time in my life soldiers started to play a positive role largely thanks to some of Blond's very insightful lyrics. I recommend the album to everyone and you can hear some real wisdom and fortitude in "Sailing 'Cross The Ocean" and "Time Is Mine." You can learn what love really is too- a tough subject for me at the time and for many years to come as I was completely unaware of where that emotion would lead me to...
I for many, many long hard years tried to capture all the heavy vibes of the music in that dream about the ultimate apocalyptic, violent, savage, hard as hard can be, and also musically momentous album and every time it turned out the same- I was struggling and getting nowhere as Benjamin Blake Mitchner trying to fill the shoes of the dream's majestic powerful mysterious Pieter Pryce (Peter Price was how the half Swedish half Dutch vocalist/musician/writer Anglicized his name).
One of his bands was called Witching Hour and that was to be the name and inspiration of my earliest failed attempts at the tender ages of 16 to 18. As far as I could go with inventing great pyrotechnics, shadings, and musical nuances into my guitar playing I just couldn't write the songs. I couldn't write one song to make that even more true to life. I was struggling while I was growing. Time would tell that the breakthrough wasn't gonna come at all during my teenaged years. Witching Hour was a band that never existed as you can imagine. They happened in a dream and I couldn't fulfill the music heard in the dream with my meager writing abilities.
Fast forward quite a few years and I would try even harder, but something was standing in my way and causing me to nearly give up all hope. I couldn't get the words right. I needed to have a huge force touch my life, I needed a huge motivation, someone or something I loved enough to really go out and make the statement for. Inspiration comes in strange experiences sometimes and sometimes it will hit you right when you think all hope is lost. Read on and see if you have the power to become a part of the brilliance I'm gonna spend a whole lot of time, effort, and hard work on!
-The 1st Battalion Of The Rifles Regiment Come To The Valiant Rescue And Tony Martin ex Black Sabbath provide the next steps required to do it- Thanks to all and everyone who helped!-
I've been on a crazy ride for a few years with the 1st Battalion Of The Rifles Regiment in England where these tough, intelligent, forward going, and for 95% fantastic soldiers can trace their roots back to the war Great Britain should have won- the ludicrous to me American War Of Independence. One of the main things that sparkled in the all-revealing dream and led to the whole Army Witch And Warlock Nonconformity Message Maker I now am happened just days before the dream when I acted out my hatred of American conformist nationalistic blind as can be thinking by playing the part of a Redcoat British Soldier in school and I smashed up a whole bunch of things during a "Patriotism Raising" ceremony that was like every other ceremony at the school I was in- full of nothing but a lot of bullshit. I was caught on video camera in my defiant stance and said "I'm not taking this fucking shit anymore you don't get your independence and you'll be hearing from ME!" Yes, it must be revealed that those Redcoats later on would become my unknowing musical salvation in the form of the wonderful soldiers who can proudly call them their ancestry and heritage.
Most of the soldiers in 1 Rifles have been generous, patient, friendly, helpful, wise, highly educational, and kind to me and I sincerely thank British soldiers especially them for enabling me to make this huge leap forward as I feel very strongly that soldiers from everywhere good (including America now) are some of the most underrated men/boys if not THE MOST UNDERRATED in the world. I see how soldiers are detested and hated by a lot of stupid people and this can filter right through into mean spirited wholly wrong lyrics and comments and beliefs often held by a whole lot of stupid people. For 12 years I've been vehemently anti Irish in my beliefs and anti anyone who is against the British Army. I unfortunately could not channel this into my writing because I hadn't had a vision to string around the for/against scenario this album was about from the first revelations of it in the dream. There have been great and brilliant and also horrible and heart breaking experiences with The Rifles over the time that I've become involved in my relations with them, but since the best soldiers in the regiment and the many great British soldiers going way back that I've had the pleasure to know vastly outweigh the bad it was only a matter of time before I would reach that experience that made me come up with something that would be even more of an experience than the first time I heard the one Jimi Hendrix put us into. Conversations got more serious and that was step one. I got a lot of bringing up when I was down and that was step two. The lightning strike just happened and was helped immensely by conversations and encouragement these extraordinary lads didn't even have to grant me. I knew I'd found the resilience and strength needed through the encouragement instilled by them for me. To all my mates you warmed up my heart and lit the spark (then the fuse).
I was thinking about things like scary imagery in songs, underground vibrations that rumble your soul, and really getting into the warrior mindset when I by chance started listening a lot on YouTube to Chicago's groundbreaking Coven and their powerful soaring voiced true to life real witch Jinx Dawson. Jinx if you see this I love you. Jinx is a woman who can do what hardly any other women can do for the vehemently NOT straight me- she can really take a hold of my heart. Jinx and the whole band probably got used and since I've heard all about the bad experiences of the Wilson sisters of Heart in the beginning of their career nothing would surprise me. I think that if another all out rocker female came out now she would probably and hopefully eclipse the kind of nowhere music made by most female artists of late bar the fantastic Portishead. I hear in Coven's music a band that defies all the phony pious nonsense not only much of this country, but that all religion stands for. They went from proud Inverted cross wearing Satanists to sparkling melodic songs with Jinx and the whole band showing their always improving chops and especially that lovely blonde woman breaking new ground with her voice. I don't know anybody in Coven, but I can say that they helped me out on the musical/lyrical front of the breakthrough although not as much as soldiers who are and always will be my #1 inspiration.
In 1 Rifles there are musicians, music followers, and singers who may be miles away from me when it comes to bugling and things like that, but I love Army music and marching sounds so I decided to not just talk with the boys about war, life, love, happiness, and sadness, but really to listen. When looking at the horrendous kind of sacrifices made for ungrateful and utterly shitheaded leaders and stupid dark ages dwelling in the 21st century filth people anger like the anger that would often make me blow up in school started to swelter in me. I then had the breakthrough- I started writing and it just was coming to me by magic. I kept on with it and lo after 21 years it's finally paying off!!!! I've changed a lot of the concept drastically from the dream and really made it operatic and for operatic what's better than the monolith majestic sound of the great singers like Tony Martin of 10 years now shamefully washed out of their catalog Black Sabbath or the tragically no longer with us David Byron of Uriah Heep and Freddy Mercury? I sing very forcefully and with a lot of soul. These greats really have inspired me and I'm much more comfortable singing very dramatic stuff that borders on opera so that together with a kind of vocal bugle revelry or sadness and fire-in-my-heart ideas for the music I'm creating the best of 1 Rifles helped top it all off for me.
-Inspirations Aplenty Musical Mayhem To Be Developed And Brilliant Help During Bad Periods-
I sing like an Englishman when I'm not singing like some of my American pomp rock and AOR influences and it would be lying to say that Dennis Deyoung of Styx or Steve Perry of Journey would have happened without two great singers who got there first who were both English- David Byron and Freddy Mercury (actually Mercury was/is Parsi Tribe Indian born in Madagascar). It also would be very contradictory if I didn't admit what a huge influence both Perry and Deyoung have been for me. Dennis is a perfectionist and he also tried hard to bridge opera with rock succeeding beautifully. Still for the best vocals in the history of heavy music both Byron and the Madagascar master Mercury are still number one and both tragically are dead.
I was hit hard by the deaths of several musical friends, but the worst experience in terms of losing somebody lies with a very good mate in 1 Rifles CPL Mark Palin who very sadly was killed in 2011 in Afghanistan fighting for people who I will not even talk about and whose country we should not be in. I will only say one thing- I don't like them one bit. I can't feel much sympathy. I simply feel like they have their world and we have ours and we shouldn't have gone in trying to turn their world into anything like the Western World. They simply are too diversified, but they warm people's hearts when they are a lot of them Taliban and supporters who are total savages. They are not cultured tribes like the shamefully treated Native Americans who are still a million light years ahead of the settlers who wiped so many of them out. I guess just like the "Ireland Question" I'm off with my mates in the British Army and the rest of the world is horrified. I like that. The more I started thinking about it, thinking of what we get up to saying with each other, the bond we have together, I knew I'd get right into a soldierly mindset and ready myself for possibly the bloodiest texts (or if you prefer the word Lyrics) ever laid down. I aim to be honest and to shock and only aim to please myself. I had spent too much energy thinking about other people's opinions and what they may think. I ditched that nervous thinking for my Rock Opera. The words I've come up with stem from very Anti war beliefs I have that for a change side with the ones who have to do the dirty work. I also ended up naturally working in themes of love and other romantic imagery to offset the really grim stuff.
-Summing It All Up And The Question Is Asked Are You Ready To Rock!-
The opera slams religion, but it also dares to really get down with some seriously violent tones and I finally have written something that shows the two sides of not just my soul, but the lads I've written it for. I think that music still can move forward. We may think sometimes "Oh, that's been done everything's been done," but I'm starting to see things differently. Nobody has had the courage to say some of the things I put down not even Sabbath. However, I do not wish to make music that is so metallic that you can't understand the words to it and it sounds like a machine is doing it. Heavy Metal became just as perverted as Christianity or Allah when it turned into white trash hate music. Back in the days of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, and very significantly with the amazing new developments made by emotionally riveting bands like Diamond Head metal could have a lot of passion, a lot of depth to it. There have been quite a few hard rock, heavy progressive, and heavy metal bands who have really discovered the kind of way down emotional soul searching going on in everything from the best of the blues and soul classics to actual Opera. I believe that rock comes out of African American and Classical music sometimes with shadings of folk. If you get too far from the foundation on which all rock should be built you end up with music that not only is not authentic, but is also unlistenable. I've used in the heading for this the title of a song by the original Michael Schenker Group (MSG) with the unique Gary Barden as vocalist "Are You Ready To Rock." I did a lot of looking back on my whole life since music became so powerful to me and a lot of searching when I wrote my mighty long opera. I had to retrace my steps many times and think a lot. I wanted to touch on something emotional, something with soul, something where despite all the dark and violent sentiments I would not have to resort to using nowhere metal cliches. I would say if there's a band who are the musical equivalent to 1 Rifles that band would be several. You have to put a few together, but coming up near the top of the list is the sadly much neglected Alaska who came not from Alaska they came from England and came out of one of the most seminal brilliant bands ever- Whitesnake. David Coverdale is a perfect example of what one man can accomplish in the face of adversity. He went from years of ignorance when he was making his best music to a huge worldwide star, but even though he got to stardom he has remained a great person.
Alaska, however, are even closer to what I want from my music. You hear clearly the words from almost mellow vocals and hear all the different shadings in the music. The best of their two albums is Heart Of The Storm and like my own lyrics they wrote on sometimes some pretty scathing subjects. Their second album The Pack was a little bit too hurried and not enough of the melodic brilliance of the first is included on it, but what is included is a song that influenced me greatly even without the album in my collection- the scary anti war song "I Really Want To Know." You can understand all the words to this song about a massacre and everything is so melodic you don't feel like you are being bludgeoned by a bunch of angry stupid white guys as you would feel if say Megadeth had done it. Music can only go forward by going back for a few memories and then plunging forward. History and the men who make it can only go forward by taking it forward not by going back. Essentially my opera is those sentiments. I have created a nightmare vision of the future based on despots and fascism that goes back to Adolph and Stalin and ahead to George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Ossama Bin Laden and I put the scared, angry person I am when thinking about the bastards who get power and abuse it long after all that's going on now into a nightmare vision of the future. I don't believe that we'll ever go forward unless some major upheaval occurs. There has to be some kind of awakening and I strongly believe in my message of finally something so awful happening that after nothing but blackness and despair hopefulness and the right kind of power come out of it. Soldiers aren't machines. They have a lot more feelings than the heartless people who are against them. I will end with likewise I am not in any way a plastic, artificial, or one-dimensional person I am multifaceted and I strongly feel my breakthrough shows that. If you have courage enough then soon you may be helping to make some musical history and some dreams finally come true.