My first blog post of the year was supposed to be about some good news. It still is, it's just that there will be something very sad for me to talk about too.
Today I released the first single for my new Synthesism album. It's titled, "Destructive". This new album is the first proper album that I've made, whereas the first one was a collection of 10 songs that I made in the first 2 years of Synthesism. Those songs were made and uploaded individually as I went, since at the time it was only a hobby for me. This time around, I bought new software after years of using the demo versions, and I made almost all my new songs together as a full album over the course of 7 months. This investment was something I only wanted to make if I felt for sure that I was going to make an actual career out of this.
So that's the good news. The bad news is that Neil Peart, one of my biggest influences as a drummer, has died. He was very influential to my dad, and I take after my dad so much. I was raised on my dad's favorite music, and one of his favorite bands is Rush. So I've been a fan of Rush as long as I can remember. Neil Peart was a legend. So for me to even try to explain the impact he had on me and my dad is difficult, especially for this quick blog post. I studied his drum tracks and his solos. I admired his precision, his work ethic, and above all else, his creativity. He was as great in his technique as anyone, but what made him the best was his innovation. Neil was not only a drummer, he was a full-fledged musician. He played the drums as a musical instrument and not just something to bash the noise out of. He mixed in electronic drums and samples in melodic arrangements. This was a huge influence on me as a drummer and a music producer. It showed me that the best drummers do more than just make a beat. They make their own music with their drum set. Neil's creativity was on display also as a lyricist, as an author, and just through who he was as a person. He spoke with a poetic vocabulary. His conversations were often philosophical. He was a genuine person who was just about the opposite of a "rockstar". The hard times he went through were something I related to, and the way he still found a purpose through it all was also very impactful to me.
He is the greatest drummer there ever was, and one of the greatest people there ever was.
RIP Neil Peart, The Professor.