Rasmus Bom Andersen Vocal Masterclass Part One

Regular visitors to these pages will know that The Guv’nor makes no bones about being a big fan of Rasmus Bom Anderson. Like everyone else, The Guv’nor first became aware of the Danish-born vocalist upon hearing Diamond Head’s 2016 album Diamond Head, and he’s enjoyed singing the singer’s praises at every opportunity since.

Following DH’s triumphant 2016 North American tour, in which the band played twenty-six shows in thirty-two days, including a run of fourteen consecutive shows without a day off, The Guv’nor sat down with Ras to talk about how singers cope with the demands of performing live.

In this, the first part of the interview, Ras discusses the pros and cons of formal vocal training and offers some survival tips for singers on the road. Continue reading

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Of Feet and Faith

For the last few days, I have been thinking of an appropriate way to start out the New Year on this blog. The answer came to me on Saturday’s run. Why not write a post that crosses boundaries, I thought, one that explores one of the intersection between mind, body and spirit that I have written about over the last couple of years?

Here’s what I came up with after an average, gentle run on a bright, frigid day in Canastota. Continue reading

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“Bear Fruit Worthy of Repentance”

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:1-12  Continue reading

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Diamond Head Diary: Rochester, NY, 11/21/2016

November 21, 10:00 AM.

For a number of reasons, I have to skip the New York City show and head straight up to Rochester for the Monday night show. I have been very apprehensive about this one ever since it was announced. The club DH has been booked into, the Bug Jar, is tiny. The date also happens to be on a Monday–a tough night to draw a crowd to begin with.

Except it’s not just any Monday. It’s the Monday before the US Thanksgiving holiday, a time when most people, including metalheads, are resting up for the long weekend festivities.

I get a text from Karl telling me load-in is at six. But Mother Nature is having other ideas.

Continue reading

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Diamond Head Diary: Poughkeepsie, NY, 11/19/2016

November 19, 2016.

8:30 AM. I am speeding down the New York State Thruway on the way to my first Diamond Head show of their current US tour, and two memories pop into my head.

The first memory is of the last time I saw DH in April 2013. At the first show at the St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, I ran the merch table. The club was small but packed, and business was brisk. At the end of the show, I asked Karl if he wanted the money. “No, mate,” he said. “Hang onto it till tomorrow night.” So there I was, walking the streets of Brooklyn in the early hours of a Saturday morning with a large amount of cash in my pocket, praying that I don’t get mugged or stopped by the cops.

The following night, a Saturday night in Amityville, about ten people turned out to see the band. That’s rock and roll for you in a nutshell. But at least the money from Brooklyn had been delivered safe and sound.

The second memory was of every single road trip I took with my good friend Glenn Williams in the late 70s and early 80s. We were young and carefree, jumping on a train on the spur of the moment and heading to London or Birmingham or Nottingham to see some pretty amazing bands.

Forty years on. The faces have changed, but that’s about all.

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The Best Laid Plans: Marine Corps Marathon 2016

It wasn’t the way I wanted to finish my 2016 running season. But this year’s Marine Corps Marathon ended up being an appropriate conclusion to such a frustrating, confusing and trying year. As I sit here, reflecting upon and analyzing the run the way I always do, I am still trying to figure out what my ninth marathon and this whole running year in general have been trying to tell me. All I can say for sure right now, with winter just around the corner, is at least I have some time to figure it out. Continue reading

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Rochester Half Marathon and MCM Training Update

Hard to believe, but my second Marine Corps Marathon is now only days away. With just one more hard workout to go, Maranoia is setting in.

Massively.

I think it’s because, unlike all of my previous marathons with the exception of my first, I really have no clue how I am going to do. This whole training cycle–heck, this whole year–has just been too unpredictable for words. And even though the Runner’s World Predictor has me finishing at a slow, yet respectable, 4:14, I honestly don’t know if that may too slow or too ambitious for my current fitness level.

Something tells me this marathon is going to be even more of an adventure than the previous eight.

Continue reading

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