I don’t know if anyone will remember or not, but I helped some bros of mine in a local metal band called Victim’s Respect record a couple of demos. I released the first one, “Tears of Redemption” on this site back when we were smaller and was still attached to wordpress.com. I wont go back to find the article on it, because the mp3s have since been pulled because of hotlink files going down. After a couple of months, I went back to record another, heavier track “Hole in the Sky”. I didn’t post that one here because the site had been taking some downtime during this venture.

The recording sessions were fun. I got to play producer, which is really something that I wanted to do (and still kinda do) for a living. Sadly, I couldn’t afford the production school I wanted to go to, so I stuck it out at my local college till I found something I liked. I got to dick around with some friends of mine, shared some laughs, and LAID DOWN SOME SOLID TRACKS FOR OH NINE. /Periphery reference

Victim’s Respect rehearsing

The demos were recorded in this shitty basement. It was dark, trashy, and wet. Instruments and gear were strewn about haphazardly. It was a mix of ghetto and trailer trash at the same time. Wires were running all over. If you got a cut in this basement, I’d recommend a tetanus shot. Strangely, this picture doesn’t do it enough justice. I remember when I was jamming with their drummer Mikey, I dropped my guitar pick. I bent down to pick it up, and felt a jolt of electricity hit me. The floor was wet. I shot straight up and stood perfectly still, making sure to not touch anything, ever. But I guess a sense of danger makes for recording some metal that much more real and involved.

As far as equipment goes, we had what we could get. I had my laptop running FL Studio 7 and a Rock Band microphone recording all the instruments (well, a Guitar Hero mic through half of “Hole In The Sky”, as the Rock Band mic broke and Mikey had to run home and find his). We recorded in individual tracks, with every member wearing headphones awkwardly as they played their parts, as my laptop didn’t allow a decent speaker playthrough.

For drums, I recorded Mikey playing along for reference and programmed the tracks in Drumkit From Hell. I wrote the drum parts in the demo of “Tears of Redemption” as a sort of filler before I sat through and programmed Mikey’s actually playing, as I wanted them to hear how it would sound, roughly. I had every intention of going back and programming Mikey, but they liked my programmed tracks so much, that’s how they decided to keep the song in the final demo.

Jay and Mikey

Strangely enough, I made it work and came up with listenable demo versions of their music for their MySpace. I’m not experienced at all with mixing and mastering, so the production is spotty, and a tad muddy. But I figured I did the best I could do with my equipment and level of knowledge and skill, which just so happens to be minimal. I did my job and had a blast doing it. I gotta say though, I trumped quite a few black metal recordings.

Recently I got a Line 6 POD Studio interface so I could plug a guitar directly into my computer and emulate amps and effects that sound very close to the real thing. I recorded myself playing a few times, but I’m no songwriter. I was getting the itch to go back to recording VR again. I fantasized about setting up a better studio environment and taking more time and effort into recording a real VR album. Although, I haven’t kept up with them recently, due to being fairly busy with school and work. I needed to get back to recording again!

One day at work, I shot a text over to guitarist Jay. Sadly, and to my shock, Victim’s Respect had called it a day. He cited creative differences between vocalist Nate and himself, and that everyone just kinda moved on. I was bummed, and I still am. I wanted to be involved in the creation of music and the recording process. It’s a feeling of importance and accomplishment that I enjoyed.

So I figure, I can still be involved and put those demos up here for stream and download.

A lot of you will think that music itself is nothing all that outstanding or different. Well, I know for a fact that this music is real and that the guys in Victim’s Respect put their heart and soul into making and playing this music. They really stood out in this town, as they were one of the only local bands who played metal and did shows.

Something else of note: The music scene here in Pikeville, Kentucky is practically nonexistent, especially for a fan of metal. There were maybe two or three just kinda floating around, doing shows twice a year. One band of teens sticking out like sore thumbs in this small conservative community and playing the music they love is no small feat, if you ask me.

I’ve gushed on for long enough, and I’m approaching 1000 words here, so without further ado, here they are. I hope someone out there enjoys the tunes.

Tears of Redemption

Hole in the Sky

– JR

[Note: I’ve been informed after writing this that they didn’t “break up”. Not exactly sure what’s going on over there, but I took the time to write this, so I’m posting it. I was told by someone close to the band to retract the story, but fuck that. I’m spiteful.]

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