Divided States

It has been almost five years since the release of my last album. It isn’t that I wanted to wait that long before releasing another one, I just had a really bad case of writer’s block. I mean really bad. As mentioned in my previous blog post, in addition to the election on Donald Trump, I was also coming to terms with the death of my mother and navigating my new fatherhood duties, along with some other personal challenges that I was going through. I really wanted to make another album, but my proverbial well was bone dry.

Then in March of 2020, the pandemic hit and I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, and a room full of instruments. The writer’s block that had plagued me the last couple of years suddenly was lifted, and I started cranking out songs again as if the creative dam had burst open. Truth be told, I was still scared the writer’s block would come back so I didn’t want to stop writing in case it did.

A younger, less refined version of myself, lying down during a performance.

I can point to two events that heavily influenced this album. The first event was reuniting with the members of my high school rock band to play a concert. Even though it had been so long since we had played together, that special musical connection we had together had not changed one bit.

After the reunion, I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia and soon after began exploring a lot of the albums that were popular during the time that we were playing together, but that I didn’t have the money to purchase. This is before the days of streaming music, you had to actually buy a physical thing called an album. I rediscovered bands such as Nerf Herder, MXPX, Lagwagon, Guttermouth, Less Than Jake, Bruce Lee Band, Goldfinger, The Used, Save Ferris, The Aquabats, Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, Mustard Plug, and countless others from the 1990s punk/ska craze.

The second event is related to rediscovering these bands. I came across a band called Bracket that I had heard of but never actually listened to. I instantly fell in love with their sound and realized how incredibly under appreciated they were. Their albums were like the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Pet Sounds of punk rock. Built on the foundation that Nirvana laid, with the ornamentation The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

An older, more refined version of myself, enjoying Bracket.

In February of 2020 they just happened to be having a reunion show and I made sure I was there to see it. It was an incredible night (Mercy Music and Decent Criminal who also were on the bill that night), and though I did not know it at the time, it would be the last chance I would see live music for a very long time. While working on the songs, whenever I felt like I was getting stuck, I would close my eyes and think back to seeing Bracket play and try to recreate that experience. I’d also tried to write parts that I could see my high school bandmates playing.

I guess I’m also having a bit of a Willie Nelson moment too. I really hate singing. I really don’t like the way my voice sounds. But I’ve been encouraged by friends who think I have a unique voice to use it. After all, these are my songs and I guess I am most qualified to sing them. Still, it is hard for me to hear my voice, especially after having worked with so many great singers.

In the end, I hope that longhaired, teenaged me would be proud of folicly-challenged middle-age me. I figure at some point a person is probably just too old to play punk rock music without looking ridiculous. Hopefully I’m not too late as this music is such a part of who I am and always will be.

He Recorded a Concept Album About Greek Gods. What Happened Next Will Shock You!

Click bait headline aside, I did shave my head, grow a beard, and put on a few pounds. But the new look isn’t the only thing that has been a shock.

During the completion of God Complex, I experienced a great gain and a great loss: the birth of my daughter and the death of my mother. A few months later, I experienced a great shock along with millions of my fellow Americans: the election of con artist Donald Trump. These three major events that happened over the course of a year has left my head spinning and trying to figure out where to go from here as a father, as an American, and as an artist.

What does a father write songs about? How do I process my mother’s passing through my music? Most current, what role does the artist(or artivist) play in this new era which seems to be a direct threat to everything that truly ‘makes America great?’ It is hard to move forward with a new major project without having answers to these questions.

I haven’t been totally stagnant during this time of processing and I’ve still kept my toes in proverbial creative waters. A few small projects have some my way such as joining a collective of musicians known as the Freeharmonic Orchestra. I’ve also helped Fascinoma with some new music she is working on along with a new project that Mr. Purple aka Casey Cole is a part of. Lastly, there are some pretty incredible performing artists that I’ve helped develop shows for young audiences.

But there are no concept albums on the horizon. For along with these major shifts in my life, I also am still grappling with the role of the album in the age of streaming music. What does it mean to put out a concept album? Where are the new audiences for this music? What is the best way to promote an album? What does it mean to be a Creative Commons artist?

I was recently invited to chat with Tom Ray on the Music Manumit podcast about some of these questions along with a few other topics. Use the player below to hear the full interview.

 

 

Double Toasted Interview and Mayhem Brew Reunion

12990836_10153331243996862_7410693138996648888_nBefore there was God Complex, before Judicious Jason was breaking Guinness World Records, and before “It’s Your Birthday!” exploded all over the internet, there was Mayhem Brew. So much of my musical influence can be traced back to this band we started back in middle school.

On April 10th, 2016 I had the privilege of reuniting with my former bandmates Mark and Joel. We were introduced by our dear friend Elisha and joined on stage by special guests Jordan, Jessica, and Evan. Right before the show I chatted with my good friends Korey and Martin on Double Toasted about God Complex.

For everyone that came to see us play, thank you for making this a night that we’ll never forget.

God Complex

God-Complex-Cover

Click here to download or stream the album for free!

I’ve Missed the Boat (Poseidon’s Song)

Late nights
With all my friends enjoying life
Thinking
The good times would never end
We had a lot of fun

Lately
It seems like the party is winding down
Friendship
Makes me feel stranded at sea
Everyone’s moving on
And they don’t have time for me

I’ve missed the boat
And it feels so lonely
Everyone has settled down
But I don’t want to give it up

Because the life we once held dearly
Is the life I want to lead

Longing
For lovers that longed to be near to me
Wanting
Nothing more than a kiss
Love was a simple game

Sinking
Deep into currents I’ve never known
Mourning
The life that I thought we would live
It’s time to let it go
Because life has more to give

I’ve missed the boat
And it feels so lonely
Everyone has settled down
But I don’t want to give it up
Because the life we once held dearly
Is the life I want to lead
And it feels so incomplete
Without a strong family
I’ve Missed the Boat (Poseidon’s Song)
From God Complex
Words and Music by B.A. Monk Turner
Monk Turner: Electric Guitar, Bass, Shaker, Programming
Jared Grimble: Vocals
Talisse Turner: Crying
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA)

But Then I Got Married (Hera’s Song)

I used to get around
But then I got married
I was the talk of the town
But then I got married

My life was full of smiles
Until I walked down the aisle
Now all I want to do is die
Ohh I used to be so carefree
Sipping wine with the bourgeoisie
But then I got married

I had a lot to say
But then I got married
I used to have fun everyday
But then I got married

I am a hollow shell of who I used to be
I wish that someone would relieve me of this misery

My life was full of smiles
Until I walked down the aisle
Now all I want to do is die die die die
Yeah
I used to be so carefree
Sipping wine with the bourgeoisie
But then I got married
Why did I get married?
Oh it’s too late, I’m married

But Then I Got Married (Hera’s Song)
From God Complex
Words and Music by B.A. Monk Turner
Monk Turner: Electric Guitar, Snaps
Christine Gengaro: Vocals
Robert Peterson: Bass, Snaps
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA)

Bad Luck (Hephaestus’ Song)

I’m just a fatalistic fool I’m always getting trampled
(A victim of circumstance)
I want to do what’s right And set a good example
But I never get a chance
Or maybe I’ve just got bad luck

I’m a child of royalty I should have all the answers
(Privilege only gets you so far)
I married a beauty queen But it turned into a disaster
I didn’t stand a chance
Or maybe I’ve just got bad luck

(Baby it’s just part of the plan)
But it’s all too much for just one man
(Your destiny has been determined)
And maybe I’ve just got bad luck
Black cats follow me
Everywhere I go
I wish I could break free
But I’m in the undertow
My fate is written in the stars
I fear a retrograding Mars
Or maybe I’m just stuck
Or maybe I’ve just got bad luck

Solo

(Baby it’s just part of the plan)
But it’s all too much for just one man
(Your destiny has been determined)
And maybe I’ve just got bad luck maybe I’ve just got bad maybe I’ve just got bad
Baby I’ve just got bad luck

Bad Luck (Hephaestus’ Song)
From God Complex
Words by B.A. Monk Turner, Music by B.A. Monk Turner and Chris Warrior
Chris Warrior: Vocals, Organ
Monk Turner: Electric Guitar, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keys, Programming
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA) and Warrior Creations (OC, CA)

A Lone Hunter (Artemis’ Song)

I’m a hunter – working in the jungles at night
My poisoned arrows fly though pale moonlight
No one tells me what to do
Aint got nobody to answer to
I’m on my own and I can do whatever I like

I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter

I’m hunter – I’m never gonna be a wife
A man only brings stress, struggle, and strife
And I’d rather be stuck with Hades
Than tied down with a crying baby
I don’t need family interrupting my life

I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter
I’m a lone
Hunter

Now I’m not saying
That I’m happy
Or that I planned it this way
I’m just a hunter and hunting is all I know

Hunter
I’m alone
Hunter
I’m alone
Hunter
I’m alone
Hunter
I’m alone I’m alone

A Lone Hunter (Artemis’ Song)
From God Complex
Words and Music by B.A. Monk Turner
Emily Mahon: Vocals
Monk Turner: Guitar, Bass, Keys, Shaker, Programming
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA)

A Strong Foundation (Athena’s Song)

Oh Poseidon won’t you put your trident down
Oh Poseidon won’t you put your trident down

Start off with a strong foundation
If you want longevity
You’ve got to have good relations
To create stability

Find yourself a good location
And plant an olive tree
Surround yourself with good vibrations
Trust and honesty

Don’t you get discouraged
It’s easier to say than do
Compromise takes courage
But love will see you through

If you provide the inspiration
It inspires unity
When you start off with a strong foundation
You create community

Don’t you get discouraged
It’s easier to say than do
Compromise takes courage
But love will see you through

If you provide the inspiration
It inspires unity
When you start off with a strong foundation
You create community

When you start off with a strong foundation
A strong foundation
When you start off with a strong foundation
You create community

Oh Poseidon won’t you put your trident down
Oh Poseidon won’t you put your trident down

A Strong Foundation (Athena’s Song)
From God Complex
Words and Music by B.A. Monk Turner
Malynda Hale: Vocals

Adrien Prevost: Guitar
Monk Turner: Bass, Keys, Programming
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA), Le Petit Putain (Macarthur Park, CA)

It’s a Wicked Life (Hades’ Song)

Everything will be okay
And then you’re going to die
It’s something that you’ve got to face
It’s something that you can’t deny

Everybody worries about what tomorrow brings
Then before they know it’s time to go, they’ve got to give up everything

It’s a wicked life
A wicked life
It’s a wicked life
A wicked life

People are always wondering
What happens when they die
Is there an afterlife
Waiting up in the sky

Is this all for nothing, is life only but a dream
Then before they know it’s time to go, they’ve got to give up everything

It’s a wicked life
A wicked life
It’s a wicked life
A wicked life

Tomorrow is a promise
That many don’t receive
Some don’t want to hear this
Others are just naive

So sell all your possessions and go travel the world
Because before you know it’s time to go, you’ve got to give up everything

It’s a wicked life
A wicked life
It’s a wicked life
A wicked life

It’s a Wicked Life (Hades’ Song)
From God Complex
Words and Music by B.A. Monk Turner
Adrien Marbek: Vocals
Monk Turner: Electric Guitar, Bass, Keys, Programming
Recorded at Terrace Studios (Highland Park, CA) and Le Petit Putain (Macarthur Park, CA)