Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interview with Brad Angove

Greetings yet again, my fellow mod heads, I'm P.S. Elliott and I have not had a blog post in two years... and this is where the members of the bloggers anonymous meeting will likely shout back "Hi P.S.!" and continue to clap for my steady inconsistency. So that being said, I've been slowly working my way back towards maintaining this variety blog here, but have been caught up in quite a number of side projects... most of which revolve around tweaking the electronics on my guitars. Yes, friends, there is a little science in this show every now and again, too... you know?!? So one of my last projects (which is still in the works as we speak) involved repainting a guitar body and I came across this highly informative how to video which answered a few questions I had on the process... the primary one being, of course; "So how exactly do I do this?" It was just a matter of time before I went out and got all the materials I needed to start this guitar project I was working on, and not long before I ran into a couple of snags with my project that prompted me to contact this YouTube user by the name of Brad Angove to ask him for help, and he was courteous enough to actually reply and answer many (and any) questions that I had on the subject. Not long after that, I started checking out his video channel a bit more and started noticing that he had quite a library of these how to paint/finishing tutorials that covered just about everything from custom paint jobs on gaming consoles to buffing clear coat finishes on baseball helmets, and he even has a section on his channel devoted to some of his very unique works of art. So I suggested the idea of a potential interview for my blog (which I haven't really been devoting enough time to) and he agreed to this proposal. So without any further ado... here's a little Q & A session with Brad on the subject of finishing. Enjoy!

Like This Video? If So, Please Click on the Link Below...

PS: Before we begin, I just wanted to say thanks for agreeing to do this blog interview... How did the idea behind shooting these how to videos on spray painting start out?

BA: For me it was a kind of like a weird twist on the invention is born of necessity concept. I tried to learn how to paint a guitar myself a few years ago (and by a few I mean quite a few), and found it very difficult to get any well put together information. Some of the sources that looked promising ended up just being commercials for books or DVDs that people were selling on the topic. I found it frustrating and decided that since I was slowly gathering the information that I needed anyway, I should put it all together for others to access afterward. Videos seemed like the most effective way of doing this, since they allow for demonstration, and most people learn either visually or through practice.

PS: Was painting a guitar body your first paint job in general, or did you know how to paint prior to tackling that task?

BA: I had done a some painting at work previous to my first personal paint job, but yes, a guitar body was my first real paint job. It was also my first time using paint guns and an airbrush. I made a horrible mess of it, which caused me to give up for a few months. Then I regained my motivation and did a lot of research before completing my second guitar.

PS: And since you mentioned videos being the most effective way of demonstrating the paint process and all... what kind of setup do you have when recording these videos for your viewers?

BA: My setup is quite simple. I use a Sony camcorder on a tripod. It's a small camera, but it has HD capability and works well enough for my purposes. My editing is done using iMovie, and occasionally I use Keynote to help out. I do my filming in a section of the warehouse that I work in. That's where I keep all of my painting equipment because I use it frequently at work. It's also where I do all of my personal painting projects because it is a large open area so I don't have to worry much about ventilation.

PS: Who does the theme music for the intro and segments for your videos?

BA: I put together all of my own background music. It's not that I wouldn't like to use someone else's music, but I would prefer not to infringe on anyone else's intellectual property. It also gives me an excuse to actually play some instruments now and then, and keeps me in line with YouTube's guidelines.

PS: Sounds like your line of work is in some kind of detailing industry... would you say that this fact has helped you develop your approach as far as painting techniques are concerned?

BA: My line of work is in the custom manufacturing industry. This of course includes the custom finishing of the items that we produce. This gave me some great opportunities to practice my painting skills, but I developed my approach outside of work. I then brought my techniques to the company and changed the way that they did a lot of their finishing and painting.

PS: Can you cite some examples of how your developed approach to painting differs from the more common techniques that are commonplace in this industry?

BA: Our techniques for coating glass and metal are the ones on which I have tried to exert the most influence. They previously involved mostly oven fired coatings, powder coating, and some simple paint jobs using masking techniques. We can now paint things with more durability using automotive quality paints. We have the ability to do effects and graphics using airbrushes and other techniques. I also have introduced a version of the finishing that I use for my metal art. It has been used on a few memorial plaques, and a large sign for a nightclub. This type of finish in particular is one that I have not seen in the industry.

PS: Interesting... so would you consider yourself a pioneer, being the first to use this revolutionary new technique and all, or is it simply just a matter of pushing the envelope, if you will, using the resources that are already available?

BA: I may have given the wrong impression with my previous answer. I'm definitely not the first to use that technique for painting metal. I have just never seen it applied in a form other than purely for art pieces before. I guess I would say that I've been trying to push the envelope and apply techniques to situations that I haven't seen them in before. My way of doing things isn't revolutionary or anything like that, but I like to think that it is a creative and interesting take on things.

PS: You mentioned painting graphics... tell us a bit about the art that you do. Are those pieces made using the same technique you just mentioned?

BA: We don't generally paint graphics using that technique. The art that I do at work is based predominantly on customer request. Some customers want logos or other things painted onto various items. There are also customers that need some airbrushing done on decorative items. For example, we made some glass theatre masks as an art piece for a customer to put in the foyer of their theatre. They were melted and formed to be somewhat three dimensional, but I was asked to airbrush more dimension and detail onto them after. These types of jobs allow me to practice my technique now and then, and provide a necessity to develop new techniques on occasion.

PS: Can you elaborate a little bit more on how the techniques you apply when assigned a job at work different than those that you use on your Metal Art pieces?

BA:It all depends on the job. Sometimes the customer wants a simple silver background, sometimes a pearl. Some want a candy color, others don't. Some want a fancy pattern, some want a brushed pattern, some just want some sparkle. A lot of customers want opaque finishes, which are the opposite of what I do for my metal art.

Also, Be Sure to Check Out Brad's Tumblr Page by Clicking on the Image Below...

Brad Angove banner image

PS: Would you say that the approach that you've taken with these newly learned techniques differs from job to job, or is it like riding a bike... in that once you've learned it, you never forget?

BA: The approach varies for each job when it comes to the larger projects. Some are similar, but we need to plan each job of that type individually. It all depends on what finish the customer is looking for, whether they need graphics, whether they can afford multi-layered work, where it is going, what material it is on, etc.

Let me give you an example. If we are making a three layered aluminum sign that is going on a brick wall, we need to use bolts to hold it together. If we are doing a transparent finish, we need a way to fasten the bolts that doesn't involve puncturing the surface. If we are powder coating, we need to sandblast everything, and use a filler that is magnetic and good to 400 degrees. If we are doing a standard opaque finish, we can use standard fillers and prime over everything.

The variety keeps me on my toes, and I find every custom job interesting in it's own way.

PS: In what direction do you see your YouTube channel headed towards in the future? Will it be the same as it is now (i.e. helpful tips and how to videos) or do you see yourself changing format and maybe introducing something different into the mix?

BA: My intent for the YouTube channel is to add a bit of variety going forward. I plan on continuing to do how to videos as a core competency of sorts, but I would also like to diversify. I will be adding some videos that just show paint jobs and things of that nature without the explanations, mostly to avoid redundancy. I might also put some of my more interesting manufacturing projects on there if time permits.

That being said, I plan on starting another channel more closely linked to my company. On there I will be showing processes for some of the more interesting orders that we take. As with my personal channel, I will be trying to answer questions that viewers have about what we do and how we do it. I am hoping that that channel will draw some interest and perhaps lead to more interesting projects or ideas.

So there you have it folks... be sure to check out Brad Angove's YouTube channel for some cool how to videos on finishing and subscribe! And also be sure to check out his Tumblr page for some more DIY finishing tips.

As per usual, this has been P.S. Elliott (or Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Low Visibility

Greetings again, my fellow prisoners, it's been quite a while since last I did an album review (or at least anything with a semblance of my worth mentioning). As a matter of fact, this blog piece, in particular, had been sitting in draft mode for almost two years, so I figured better late than never! Anyways, I became aware of this band when an old acquaintance of mine, Rimsky Pons (whom I've had the chance to actually run into for just a handful of times... sorry I don't get out much, buddy!) had recently regrouped half of the rockin' team combo from his previous self-titled incarnation (i.e. Rimsky) and done an almost complete 360 (in as far as sound goes).

The new sound is heavier, faster, takes no prisoners, offers no excuses, shoots first, and asks questions later... leaving the listener with an almost immediate: ---- "What...or better yet; who the fuck is this?"

The universal question that'll surely prompt anyone (who hopefully hasn't had one shot too many yet) within earshot to exclaim:

- It's Low Visibility, ya idiot!
- Who?
- You know, that cat that used to be in the rock band Rimsky?
- You mean Rimsky, right?
- Yeah, what the fuck am I speaking here?!? Almish Chinese?
- Well, Mazel tov to you, ya friggin' acehole!

And only then will a fight most likely ensue, but not before the man himself shows up and temporarily draws the audience's attention to him, before he'll summon the crowd back to the makeshift rumble in the jungle going on and then proceed to take bets on the whole damn scene.

Well, actually that's just a lot of poetic license on my part... and the irony is that that particular license is already way passed its expired status. Truth is, Rimsky wouldn't do something like that... at least, not yet anyways! At least, not 'til he's had a couple of cases (not shots, mind you; we're talkin' major leagues only--- twelve packs here buddy) and a moment up on stage to rape the ever lovin' shit outta yer ear canals. And then some!

I haven't been fortunate enough to stay up late to witness one of his live acts. In fact, I only came about a flea's butt hair away from witnessing my first Low Visibility show a couple of weeks back. And I regret every minute of my waking life for not mustering up enough energy to shake off the night of the living dead status that's been plaguing my near dead carcass for the last couple of years (i.e. sporadic insomnia). It only seems to hit me at the most inopportune of moments. And this engagement was one of them!

So, as I was just sittin' around and mindin' my own business, I logged onto my Facebook account only to notice that the guitar wielding curmudgeon had left me a wall post with a Low Visibility player, which peaked my interest enough to press play and then sit back and enjoy the fun air guitar romp that was sure to ensue moments later. I've taken the libery of embedding the code for that player of his, but it doesn't contain the same songs that I heard (or am listening to as I write up this post), so I'm just going to give you an account of what I just experienced... sort of like Anne Sullivan would for the sake of all the Helen Kellers around the world.

The first song I listened to was We Don't Repent, and it started off with a wailing feedback, as all good songs do... just to build up the pace up that sonic hill, before the fast tempo kicks in and pushes you over the cliff. I found it to be reminiscent of just about any Flaming Lips sound experiment you can name out there, that is before it abruptly shifted gears into no frills, no excuses, shoot to kill, and take no prisoners stomp of a lightin' fast musical execution. It was like putting Iggy Pop, with Motörhead, with a little dab of Led Zeppelin just for texture.

Another thing I admire about the catalogs of musicians such as Rimsky is that most of the time the guitar volume is strategically increased just a little bit above the vocals. Bad engineering you say? Hardly. It's a clever rouse to make the dimwitted listener pay close attention to the words. And if you're so bold as to track the mother down and get a copy of the disc and the lyrics to go with it, then you'll easily understand the brilliant formula at play here, which will always involve a clever hook and refrain that'll eventually wind up tattooing itself into your subconscious long enough before it starts manifesting itself up on the surface. And before you know it, you'll be singing along to tunes such as Pony Up (which has a brilliant guitar riff, that can only be described as a punk rocker's answer to an architectural musical group such as Yes).

Another favorite track of mine is Too Many Days in the Desert, which is just riddled with a myriad of guitar phrases. The beat reminds me of Phantom Planet's Big Brat, only it's warmer, and less crisp treble-wise. Again, anyone can clearly see the no apologies whatsoever, take it or leave it, song craft of an approach here as orchestrated by the likes of Rimsky and his musical cohorts of the sonic tour de force that is Low Visibility. Moments later, listening to the song Poison Arrow reminds me of the earlier offerings of the Rimsky repertoire. But alas, this isn't Rimsky anymore, it's Low Visiblity, ya dig?

The song I'll Be Goddamned without a doubt is my favorite off of the player. The heavy mid, with the moderate chop that is the headwind of sweet bottom end on this tune conjures up visions of Alice Cooper and bears some semblances to The Who's earlier pop laden efforts. But I don't want to go into complete detail here over how gaga I am over this album; not because I'm pressed for time or anything, but because I simply don't want to spoil it for all the other uninitiated listeners out there. All I can tell ya is simply do yer ears a favor and crank the volume up and listen to these musical mofo's while you still can!

As usual, this has been P.S. Elliott (or Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

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