Creating Music / by Derek Neuland


Music has been a huge part of most of my life. I have seen thousands of bands live, started a record label, wrote zines about music, interviewed many bands, and have toured the US and Canada with bands. Aside from a couple high school bedroom noise tapes and singing two cover songs for hardcore bands, I have never created or performed music. I could have been more vocal about my desire to sing in a hardcore band at some point between the ages of 18 and 34, but I think I was just waiting for someone to ask me. While that is still a dream of mine, another has always been to own a synthesizer.


When you have as many musician friends as I do, you end up going to a lot of music stores. While they would fawn over the Orange amp reissues or the Les Paul they were saving up for, I would always gravitate to the keyboard section and play around with the synths. I loved the sounds they made, and they always felt much more comfortable to play than a guitar or drums.

Owning a synth was a dream in the back of my head that I always had. "Maybe if someday someone asks me to start a band with them, I will save up and buy one" I would say to myself. I know the logic in that is faulty, but I wasn't always as logical as I am now. I once borrowed my brother's Nord Lead 2 for a few months, but in the end decided I didn't have the time or money to buy it.


Cut to a couple months ago (April 23rd, 2016 to be exact), I am at the Queen City Music Lottery showcase watching many people play in bands for the first time. Right then I got inspired and texted my brother how much he wanted for his synth. A couple days and a trip to the ATM later and I was the new owner of a Nord Lead 2.


Admittedly it collected dust for most of May and June as I spent most of my free time exploring, photographing, and exercising around Buffalo. That changed in July and I finally started to experiment and record music.

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My first project I decided to call 'stains/thrones' after two songs by the old Buffalo band They Live. My first couple "EP's" have been experimental noise, but now i'm starting to make some droning dark ambient songs. I'm making all the sounds with my synth, and am recording and mixing them in Garage Band (because it's easy and gets the job done for now).

I am slowly learning and creating more elaborate and composed songs. I'll eventually branch out into other genres as well as I learn my synth better.

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The end goal is to start playing solo at noise/experimental shows.  I would also love to start bands with friends eventually.  There are so many different styles of music that I could play that I would love to start a band based on: Synth-pop, Screamers style synth punk band, The Anniversary influenced, Atari Teenage Riot esque digital hardcore band.  The list is endless.