About FreeRangeHuman

Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Drummer, Music Producer Lacrosse Goalie for the University of Minnesota-Duluth

Silver Lining Release Date Announced!

February 21st.

That’s the day my newest project, Silver Lining by Wet Eyes, is released!

My very talented friend Ross is the man behind Wet Eyes, and his newest album features heavy collaboration with me. This was a really fun project to make and I can’t wait for you to hear it!


The People Have Spoken: Rush to Finally Be Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was opened in 1983, and for 29 years Rush fans have been baffled by the Hall’s exclusion of the legendary Canadian rockers. This year, however, fans were able to vote for up to 5 performers to be inducted, and Rush, who received the most fan votes, has been chosen for induction at the April 18, 2013 ceremony.

As a huge Rush fan I am obviously ecstatic that the band has finally gotten this recognition, but this event has really made me angry at the Hall of Fame. Why did it take this long for Rush to get in? Did the Hall really not understand that Rush would get voted in the first year they opened it to the public? And, most importantly, why was Deep Purple excluded when they garnered the second most fan votes?

The reason is that the Hall of Fame members are biased against progressive and hard rock groups, and refuse to give them the credit they deserve. There is no other explanation for why groups like King Crimson, Yes and Jethro Tull are missing from the Hall. And now they have sealed their own fate by opening voting up to fans. It’s still going to be hard, as evidenced by Deep Purple this year, but progressive and hard rock bands will not be able to be ignored every year because if they snub the performer that got the most votes from fans then it will be obvious that the fan vote has no legitimacy. This is going to open the door, like it has this year for Rush, for groups that are adored by the public, but criminally ignored, to finally get the recognition of the Hall of Fame.

The main issue here is simple: If we know the Hall of Fame members are biased then why should we even care about it? Rush doesn’t care. If there’s one thing that the band hasn’t done in their 44 year career it’s care what the mainstream thinks. In a story from the Calgary Herald, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson stated just how little the induction means to them. “It doesn’t change anybody’s life at the end of the day. Are we going to become more popular? Are we going to sell more records? Are more people going to come to the shows? I don’t know. We’re quite happy where we are and with what we’ve accomplished.”

I think it might come down to a need to prove that we’re not crazy. If I know this band is amazing, why can’t they realize it? This recognition may mean nothing, but I still think my favorite band deserves it!

In conclusion, this news is a well deserved little addition to Rush’s resume; nothing more, nothing less. It’s great that they were finally recognized, but it really doesn’t mean that much. What should really be appreciated is the band’s great history of recording and performing and their ability to keep going over such a long career. With that in mind, here’s a video of a classic Rush track. Enjoy.


No Instructions Necessary: Famous Drummers Who Never Took Lessons

When I first started playing the drums in bands I was self conscious about the fact that I had never taken lessons, but I soon found out that there are a lot of successful musicians who are completely self-taught, especially drummers. This realization seemingly proves all of the “drummers aren’t musicians” jokes that everyone loves, but I like to think it has more to do with a natural talent and ability to learn by watching and listening to other musicians.

I understand that there are certainly disadvantages, but I now wear my lack of formal teaching as a badge of honor, and in that spirit, here is a list of drummers who never took lessons:

Buddy Rich: American jazz drummer and band leader, billed as “The World’s Greatest Drummer.” Buddy admired and was influenced by Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Dave Tough, and Jo Jones.

John Bonham: Drummer of Led Zeppelin, widely considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Bonham was influenced by Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, as well as other drummers in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire.

Dennis Chambers: American drummer, has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, and many others. Dennis has listed Clyde Stubblefield, Al Jackson, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Tony Williams as some of his influences.

José Pasillas: Drummer of alternative rock band Incubus. Some of his influences include Chad Sexton, Stewart Copeland, and Tim Alexander.

Joey Castillo: Drummer of Eagles of Death Metal, formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig and Wasted Youth. Joey’s style is influenced by bands such as War, Al Green, Led Zeppelin and Black Flag.

This is just a short list and I know there are more out there, if you know of any others leave me a comment!


I’m Back! (The Replacements – “Bastards of Young”)

My internet was temporarily out so there is a noticeable gap between this post and my last one, but now I’m back online!

I’d quickly like to pay respect to some Minneapolis legends, The Replacements. This video, for the song “Bastards of Young” from the album Tim, is a perfect statement that the band was unwilling to change to please anyone. Instead of making a commercially marketable video, the band made a video that consisted of one black and white, continuous shot of a speaker in a room where someone listens (and reacts) to the song. The Replacements never gained big commercial success, but they have been hugely influential to alternative rock musicians and members of the Minneapolis music scene. Please enjoy this classic video.


Dave Grohl says that Queens Of The Stone Age are, “The baddest rock and roll band in the world!”

Well, it’s official. Queens of the Stone Age are the baddest rock and roll band in the world. …at least if you ask Dave Grohl.


Grohl, who recently rejoined QOTSA, spoke to Zane Lowe from BBC’s Radio 1 and told him, “When you walk into a festival backstage with Queens of the Stone Age, it’s like, the record stops. People stop and they stare, and it’s like, Queens of the Stone Age are, without question, the baddest rock and roll band in the world!”

Dave went on to talk about the recording of the new QOTSA album. “With Queens of the Stone Age, like, there were no boundaries with that band, there were no limits with them,” he said. “It was like if you did something insane, you’d do more, if you did something that seemed too ridiculous– and honestly the new Queens of the Stone Age record, I’m playing drums on that, and I’ll do something so completely ridiculous, I’ll just, like, ‘There’s no way that Josh [Homme] isn’t going to let me do that,’ and he’ll say, ‘Do that for forty-five seconds, over and over again, that’s become, like, part of the song, that is a big part of the song,’ and that’s the way they work,” Grohl said.

With the Foo Fighters currently on hiatus, I can’t be alone in hoping that Dave joins Queens on tour to support the album. Dave already has some big things on his plate, including his family life and his upcoming documentary, but he seems nostalgic of his days on the festival circuit with QOTSA. It very well might not happen, but nothing would make me happier than to see Dave back on stage with Queens of the Stone Age. After all, when he toured with them in 2002 they were the baddest rock and roll band in the world, “And they still are.”



On this day in music history…

Today marks one year since the release of #3 Revisited, my first full release as Duke Silver. The album is best described as ambient electronica and consists of remixes of songs from Clepto Journals by Wet Eyes.

These songs came together when Ross Auger, the man behind Wet Eyes and one half of Wet Eyes Productions, approached me about one of my remixes. He had heard the song and told me that he would love for me to remix one of the songs from his new release. At the time I didn’t think much of it, I thought maybe he would release it as a bonus track or something. However, once I started the process of choosing which song to tackle, I ended up remixing them all! I played them for Ross, who was pleased with the result, and we decided to simply release them all as a separate entity. Ross’s title for the release at the time was #3, so I decided to name my take on it #3, Revisited. The album #3 no longer exists in that form, but you can find those original songs on the Wet Eyes album Clepto Journals.

The experience of making this album was great, I loved taking Ross’s work and turning it into something else. If I was approached by another artist to remix some of their work I would jump at the opportunity, I really enjoyed it. Ross and I will be teaming up on a release this winter called Silver Lining so stayed tuned for information on that.

Both Clepto Journals and #3 Revisited can be found on the Wet Eyes Productions bandcamp page.


Record Store Day is an event that takes place on the third Saturday in April every year and consists of artists and labels releasing special vinyl releases to celebrate records and record stores. For the third year now, Record Store Day is having a secondary Black Friday event of special releases this Friday, 11/23. I’ll tell you I’m most excited about the White Stripes 7″s, and Tenacious D’s Jazz, but you can see the full list right here.

The Whigs, Saturday Night at the Triple Rock

For those in the Twin Cities this weekend, The Whigs are playing the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis this Saturday, Nov. 17. The show will feature openers Kuroma and Ballroom Boxer, and starts at 8pm.

If you’re not familiar with The Whigs you can stream their new album, Enjoy the Company, right now at Paste Magazine. The album is the band’s fourth, and the first with New West Records. The Whigs have a fun, garage rock sound and are known to put on a great, intimate show. If you’re in the Twin Cities on Saturday I wouldn’t miss it. Tickets are available in advance and at the door for $15.


The Top 5 Things to Expect from the New Queens of the Stone Age Album

It has been a long wait for QOTSA fans since the 2007 release of Era Vulgaris, but now it seems that the desert rock band’s sixth studio album has been confirmed for a 2013 release. This hiatus has allowed the band members to work on other projects, and the lineup has added a familiar face in the wake of Joey Castillo leaving the group, so there is plenty to be excited about in the lead-up to the album release. Here are my top 5 things to expect from the new album.

The Top 5 Things to Expect from the New Queens of the Stone Age Album:

5. Eager Musicians

It has been a few years since Era Vulgaris, and every member of the band has been either off doing other projects (Them Crooked Vultures, The Dead Weather, Mini Mansions) or touring and playing songs from the first album since then. I am expecting them to have entered the studio eager to work on some new Queens of the Stone Age songs. This can only mean good things for the fans.

4. Chemistry

Yes, Joey Castillo is gone. But guess what? Josh, Troy, Michael, and Dean have been together since 2007, and the only other member, Dave Grohl, was in the band in 2002. This album isn’t being recorded in the middle of a revolving door of a lineup, there is going to be chemistry there from the beginning. Hopefully this chemistry will create an easy flow of ideas and serious creation.

3. The John Paul Jones Factor

This might be a stretch, but stay with me on this one. In case you live under a rock, Josh Homme recently formed a supergroup called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones (formerly of Led Zeppelin). I simply believe that even if you’re a great musician in your own right, like Homme and Grohl both are, spending time playing and writing songs with a musical genius like Jones has to rub off on you. I’m excited to hear how Josh’s song writing may be influenced by his time in TCV. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I would be shocked if Dave and Josh didn’t pick up some insight from the rock legend.

2. Robot Rock

Even though I’m a die hard fan of the self-titled debut, my favorite thing about QOTSA has been their ability to evolve their sound over time, while all the while sounding like Queens of the Stone Age. Era Vulgaris had such a dark, electrical sound, and was a clear step away from their previous releases. While the new album was apparently headed in a blues direction, Josh announced that “the robots are back!” and the album has completely changed to what, it sounds like, is a continuation of the departure shown in EV. It will be interesting to see how Dave will factor into this new sound, but it seems Josh is continuing to evolve the sound of the band on the new album, and I can’t wait to see where he takes it.

1. DAVE GROHL!!! – Can this point be overemphasized? The announcement of the return of the former Nirvana drummer quickly brings back memories of 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, which featured Grohl on drums and is the band’s most highly acclaimed album to date. Now you might be saying,

“Big deal, you can’t just add Dave Grohl and suddenly have a great album.”

to which I would say,

“Of course you can, IT’S DAVE FREAKING GROHL!”

In all seriousness though, before playing with QOTSA Dave Grohl was a self-proclaimed fan, and after working on Them Crooked Vultures with Josh their obvious musical chemistry has only been strengthened. If there’s one person you would ask for to replace Joey Castillo, could you possibly get a better dream pick than Dave Grohl? I’m not saying it’s going to be album of the year, but anytime you get Dave in the studio you know you’re going to get some heavy ass drums. And what more could we really want?

Oh, I know…


2020k Music Interviews Wet Eyes

Great interview of Ross Auger by 2020k Music.


Wet Eyes

“If you want to be involved in music, I think you will find a way to be involved or paths will be presented to you to get your foot in. You can’t really teach anyone how to be where they need to be.” – Wet Eyes

Minneapolis, Minnesota resident Ross Auger is best known under the alias Wet Eyes. I stumbled upon his music through his official Soundcloud page and after hearing a track called “Fresh Perk’d,” [click to listen] it interested me greatly. I’d just finished watching Double Take, which featured Alfred Hitchcock doubles and it was interesting to hear the same Folgers commercials from the mid 20th century being incorporate both in the movie, let alone through music! Though a mutual love for music, for talking about music, and coffee, Ross decided upon an artist on artist interview of sorts. He’d interview me and I’d…

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