I’ve always been drawn to heavy music, no matter what the genre; metal, blues, hip hop, classical…

After falling in love with doom and drone six years ago, I started making my own music, echoing the dark sounds I was discovering. It didn’t seem to matter to me that I was playing ukulele and harmonicas, rather than guitars.

My own music has been through a few genres, but it is doom and drone where I feel ‘at home’. The way in which a piece will build up seemingly from nothing is a magical experience to me. I love getting lost in sound.

I’ve been making a lot of music lately, playing pretty much every day, and I have found my sound getting heavier and darker over the last few weeks.

The latest batch of sounds I’ve finished are definitely in the doom style, heavy, loud and menacing. They also have a drone quality to them, leading you into a trancelike state.

They may be short, but they hold plenty of power, and I am very proud of how they’ve come out.

I have to acknowledge my peers and influences, Eagle Twin, Sunn O))), High on Fire and Goatsnake, all of whom have added to the mix of heaviness, tone and texture.

Having played these pieces a lot over the last few days, I have found my groove, and plan on taking them out live into the world… if the world is ready for them.



Jesus Meets the Harmonicas

I’ve made an album!

As discussed in my last post, I’ve been playing lots of punky harmonica music, mainly inspired by Stupids and their album ‘Jesus Meets the Stupids’. I’ve now made an album based around it, and have put it up on Bandcamp. You can listen and download for free, or pay if you feel like it!

After worrying about getting it sounding right, and doing multiple takes for each track, I’ve pretty much gone back to my first takes and uploaded them, as they have the right sound and energy. I did redo a few tracks, but only as I thought they weren’t quite fitting in with the others.

It’s fun trying to play harmonica like a guitar, as most of the tracks are based around the guitar riffs rather than anything else. I seemed to be more inspired by guitarists than harmonica players when it comes to my music anyhow.

I’m really happy with how it’s come out, as it has the feel of the original songs whilst sounding like me too. I hope you dig it too!


You Don’t Belong…

I’ve written about music a lot on here, about how much it means to me, and how making music really helps with my mental health. Well today, I finished off an EP of harmonica jams that I started on a few weeks back.
When I got to college back in 1987, I was an indie loving Smiths fan, and dressed accordingly, but the crowd I fell in with were all metal heads, lovers of Slayer and Metallica. Well, before you knew it, I was growing my hair long, dressing in skinny jeans and Hi-Tec boots, and listening to a lot of metal. I bought a lot of the same stuff as my friends, but the two bands that stood out for me, and which I discovered for myself were Suicidal Tendencies and The Stupids.

It wasn’t just the music that got me, both bands had strong connections with the skate scene, and I was skating a lot at the time, amongst college work and drinking Newcastle Brown. Both bands seemed like a natural fit to me, so I bought everything I could by them. Fast forward 30 years, and I still love Suicidal Tendencies and The Stupids, and have been buying up their back catalogue on CD. Heck, I’ve even started skating again! 

So, making music… I’ve been slowly returning to playing harmonica again, as my mental health has improved, which has really helped with my recovery, and is really good fun too. I started working on the idea of a new EP a few weeks back, and have been playing the pieces more and more, getting the sounds I wanted. I demoed them in Garage Band first, then got a lovely new Pignose amp and a new Tascam recorder, getting the sound quality just how I like it. 

Today, I played all the pieces again, and did some minimal mastering in Adobe Audition to get the sound just right. These jams are inspired by The Stupids and Suicidal Tendencies from back in the day, and Gurt from more recently. Oh, and the EP title is a Stupids song. I’m really happy with how they’ve come out… quite simple pieces, but played with gusto and energy. I did some artwork, and put them up on Bandcamp this afternoon. 

Getting this EP done and dusted means a lot to me, as it’s a good indicator of where my mind and health is. I really enjoyed putting them together, and hope you enjoy listening to them. Hey, you could even download them if you want, as they’re free!


I have been reborn…

I’ve been working on my first lot of new music for a while over the last few weeks. I had got burnt out on making music for quite a while, but I have my mojo back BIG TIME!

I’ve loved heavy metal for a long time, I grew up with it, chose it as my own as a teen, and have been rocking out ever since… Rekindling my love for heavy sludge sounds last year with GURT and others led me to start working on some new Harmonica sounds of my own. RUKE (my heavy music alter ego) was back, loud and proud!

So, there’s a heavy ep of six tracks percolating away of the PC, which I had great fun blasting out in our front room on Sunday. There is a way to go to get these tracks right, but a solid foundation has been laid. And whilst driving around earlier this week, I had a eureka moment…

I was listening to an ace compilation of Brazilian metal acts from Terrorizer magazine, and I thought, blimey, isn’t heavy metal amazing? There is a big umbrella of metal with all kinds of crazy genres underneath it… what if I made eps and albums in all those genres and styles, but with HARMONICAS?!? Kapow! I had another crazy idea to fixate on (I tend to get a bit OCD over projects and ideas), and act on.

SET-UPThere we go, my musical obsession has another facet to it. Heavy Metal Harmonicas are GO!

Heres a teaser… https://soundcloud.com/ruke-622656462/stomper