The Truth

Was thinking that maybe you come here to find out a little something about me every so often. Found this and figured, why not. I’ve never done one of these things. This one seems to cover all the basis. Enjoy, if you care 🙂

001. Real name → Billy the Kid (duh)
002. Nickname(s) → Billabong, William, Bill, Billster, Billamina, BTK, Billiard
003. Status → Severly taken
004. Zodiac sign → Aquarius
005. Male or female → Girl
006. Elementary → Hjorth Road then Riverdale
007. Middle School → Len Shepherd
008. High School → Tamanawis, Elgin, Langley Fine Arts
009. Eye Color → Change-y. Green-y gray.
010. Hair Color → Brown
011. Tall or Short → Short
012. Loud or Quiet→ Sometimes very quiet, sometimes very loud
013. Sweats or Jeans → Sweats 🙂
014. Phone or Camera → Phone
015. Health freak → Kind of…vegan 🙂
016. Clothing Style → Ex-punk folk gurl
017. Do you have a crush on someone? → Randall Cooke
018. Eat or Drink → both! lots 😛
019. Piercings → 7 ear
020. Tattoos → My body is one huge tattoo in progress
021. Water or Fire? → Water!!!
022. Love of your life or 4 Billion Dollars → love of my life

FIRSTS:
023. First fear → Slow motion zombie nightmare
024. First best friend → Scott Sproxton
025. First award → T-shirt that said “I read over 700 books” (it was actually more like 900 but whatever)
026. First crush → Darren something-or-other…grade one
027. First pet → Cats, Jack and Jill (creative, I know)
028. First big vacation → Disneyland
029. First big birthday → The first birthday I remember was at Chuckie Cheese
030. First kiss → Grade one. See: First Crush 😉

FAVORITES:
031. Food → Today it’s vegan beet tartare at Madeleine’s in L.A. (all vegan gourmet…amazing)
032. Person → Randall Cooke
033. Color → Black
034. Sport/Team → Lost Causers
035. Country → Canada
036. Actor/Actress → I like them all equally.
037. Music → Ryan Adams
038. Movie → Today it’s Up
039. Scent → Randall Cooke

ABSOLUTELY HATE:
040. Food → all things dead
041. Person → no comment
042. Color → I am the least fond of orange, but I certainly don’t hate it.
043. Sport/Team → None.
044. Country → no comment (for fear of being bombed)
045. Actor/Actress → paris hilton
046. Music → paris hilton
047. Movie → There are many truly bad movies but I’d still rather watch one of those than most things on television
048. Scent → New tar roof

CURRENTLY:
049. Eating → nothing
050. Drinking → tea
051. Talking to → no one
052. Thinking about → never you mind!
053. Listening to → new five for fighting leaking through Randy’s headphones as he charts for a session tomorrow. Other sounds include: The sound of a pencil scribbling on paper, his tapping and funny sounds that come out of him when he is concentrating/counting.
054. Plans for today → Watch a couple Robot Chicken on the ol’ DVR then pass out!
055. Waiting for → Randy to be done and come over here so we can get our Robot Chicken on!

YOUR FUTURE:
056. House → I hope!
057. Car → Dream car is ’57 Belair
058. Want kids? → no
059. Want to get married? → no
060. how many kids do you want → 0
061. any name on the mind → Dylan
062. what did you want to be when you were little → veterinarian
063. what did you think you’ll be doing in 5 years → hopefully on tour. Realistically probably working some shit job though :S
064. mellow future or wild → totally wild to begin with and then extremely mellow
066. something you would never try → cheating on Randall
067. when do you wanna die → Before Randall does

WHICH IS BETTER FOR A BOY:
068. Lips or eyes → both.
069. Shorter or taller? → Taller
070. Long or short hair → short (!!!!)
071. Romantic or spontaneous → BOTH
072. Nice stomach or nice arms → Arms
073. Sensitive or loud → sensitive
074. Hook-up or relationship → relationship
075. Trouble maker or hesitant → trouble maker

EMBARRASSING:
076. Had your pants rip in public → I was hopping a fence with Matt Dander on tour once does that count?
077. Peed your pants in public → nope
078. Talked to someone you thought you recognized but it wasn’t them → My life story
079. Tripped and fallen on stairs/escalator/hallways/etc.. in public → always

HAVE YOU EVER:
080. Lost glasses/contacts → YES. Once out a moving vehicle on tour. Spent hours trying to find on side of highway. No dice.
081. Ran away from home → Many times.
082. Hold a gun/knife for self defense → no
083. Killed somebody → no
084. Been heartbroken → yes
085. Been arrested → no
086. Been drunk/high → yes
087. Cried when someone died → yeah
088. Kissed on the first date → yeah

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
089. Yourself → sometimes
090. Miracles → sometimes
091. Love at first sight → sometimes
092. Heaven → no
093. Santa Claus → no
094. Sex on the first date → no
095. Kiss on the first date → yes

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:
096. Is there something you wish you could change about yourself → my metabolism
097. Is there one person you want to be with right now → I’m with him
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life → no
099. Do you believe in God → sometimes

To Bowl

Today I will attempt bowling for the third time.

I will also attempt to be not completely bummed out when I score very low and most of my turns ending up in the gutter.

Maybe You Didn’t Know… After baseball, gymnastics, piano lessons, guitar lessons, tae kwon do, figure skating and swimming, I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up nor do I have any skills relevant to any sort of job whatsoever.

Cakes n Coasters

Today was a fun day. The funnest day in a while.

Tamar’s in town. I met Tamar for the first time while shooting the (upcoming, soon to be released) music video for These City Lights. Tamar is down here for a cool make-up conference and after spending the weekend learning about prosthetics, latex and all kinds of crazy special effects makeups things, we spent the day in Santa Monica and Venice.

For all the times I have walked around the Santa Monica pier today was the first day I went on the roller coaster. It wasn’t all that good but, ya gotta do it once in your life yknow? My photographer buddy Aaron Schwartz (who was also at the These City Lights shoot) is supposed to come down next month to coaster hop with me for a few days so I wasn’t too worried about it. I did, however, have a fantastic time on the Scrambler. Every time the ride went around, a “Weeee!” escaped from my lungs, like the sound you make when you’re five and on a swing. After awhie we weren’t sure if we were laughing from the ride of the “weeeee!” Either way, there was giggling the whole ride through.

Then we walked to Venice (which I had no idea was that close to Santa Monica). It was a beautiful day and a ton of interesting people watching went down. Oh! I almost forget the most important part…before these adventures we lunched at Real Food Daily and split Salisbury Seitan (with vegan gravy and mashed potatoes oh boy) and a Mexican Enchilada type dish followed by (vegan, of course) coconut cream pie and peanut butter chocolate pie. And then a cookie. To go.

Random Fact: I have not done anything productive for about a week now.

Sick

Oh to be ill.

The moping, the coughing, sneezing, snot, no energy. sore throat.

Not singing. Not doing much of anything, really.

So far I have seen Into the Wild, JFK, W., Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Idiocracy and about a million episodes of Robot Chicken. Healing. More on this later.

Thing you maybe didn’t know about me: Sometimes I fall asleep with my arms over my head and I wake up in the middle of the night thinking that my arms have been stolen in my sleep.

Shows

Today’s Question:

“how many songs have you written for acoustic guitar that you perform?

do you usually play by yourself, just with a guitar & singing? how often are you play with a back-up band, with drums & bass etc.?”

I just looked at my iPod and apparently I have 101 demos. Some of these are probably duplicates and some are likely songs that ended up being Billy and the Lost Boys songs but at any rate, I really only play about 10 of them live!

I’ve been playing shows with a band lately but it really all depends on the show. Last Thursday at the Hotel Cafe I did the first half of the set by myself (which allows me to play songs that are new or that I don’t have recordings of) then the band came and joined in for the rest. I’ve been super fortunate to play with some uber talented musicians lately…it sure adds a lot to the live sound to have a great backup band. I like the idea of playing a bit alone and then adding musicians. Sonically it changes things up and if people aren’t really in to one, hopefully they will be in to the other.

On Thursday, Randy (who has payed with the likes of Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Chantal Kreviazuk, Kelly Clarkson, Five For Fighting and Raine Maida’s solo project) played a cajone (this cool box thing you sit on) and a bunch of percussion stuff…he has a tambourine hooked up to a kick pedal so he can be playing a beat on the cajone, shaking a shaker, and then on the backbeat hit the tambo. It’s super cool! Andrew Doolittle played some ambient guitar stuff (what I like to call Whale Sounds) and Joe Karnes from Pedestrian was on bass this time around. My last show at Hotel Cafe we had Ben Peeler from the Wallflower/Jakob Dylan on guitar and Eric Holden from Five For Fighting and Josh Groban on bass. When in Vancouver, I try to steal Sarah Mclachlan’s band. If they’re not around to do it I just play by myself 😉

Random Fact of the Day: I feel as if my best songs were the result of not writing anything down or picking up an instrument. I would just have something stuck in my head and make up words as the day passed. By the time I picked up a guitar, I already knew how the song went and just had to figure out how to play it.

Bowling at Pinz:

Ask Billy + New Videos

I’ve been answering reader questions every day on the blog…head on over and feel free to leave a question or comment.

Also, got a new YouTube page. Just posted some shorts videos of recording with Raine Maida and Steve Mazur from Our Lady Peace, as well as my All Time Favourite Recording Moment with Stan Behrens. Head on over to http://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial and don’t forget to become a Subscriber so you can be up to date on the latest vids as they are posted.

Thanks for your comments,

Billy the Kid

My All Time Favourite Recording Moment Ever


Love the look on Raine’s face. You can tell we’re freaking out, internally.

Home Recording

This from Zimmy:

what kind of computer & programs do you think are good for self-recording? i listened to ‘catastrophe’ just now (the version you put back up). it sounds really good!! it always did. what did you use to record it? can you easily self-produce stuff with drums/electric guitar/bass as well? or is that too difficult for getting a proper sound? (sorry that the question is so technical!)

I use Protools and an MBox Mini to do all my demos. It only has a few inputs, which is all I need for laying down an idea. There are lots of similar programs, I know Mac computers come with Garageband and lots of people use software such as Reason etc.

When I’m doing stuff with a full band (like the new Billy and the Lost Boys album) I have access to a studio with a great live room that has drums and amps and stuff when I’m in L.A. but I know from experience (and 4 albums) that not everyone has this luxury. There are lots of ways to build your track with or without studio access.

Stuff like guitar and bass you can do “in the box”, meaning that if you live in an apartment or place where you can’t make a ton of noise, you just plug your instrument into your MBox/Digi002 etc and that goes in to your computer. Easy. There are a lot of programs to make beats with (or, just borrow beats until you can get yourself a real drummer) and I see a lot of people doing it this way when they’re in the demo stage. It’s great for playing along to, getting ideas and doing pre-production. Then you can email the track to a drummer who has access to a studio or book yourself a room for a few days.

If you’re doing the home recording thing (a lot of bands book studio time for drums and bass and then do things like guitars and vocals in the comfort of their home in order to save money and be able to take their time) then I would recommend one thing: invest in a good condensor mic. When I was researching what to buy I found a great used mic that was the same cost of a new one and I think that’s helped me get half decent vocal and acoustic guitar sounds in my crappy little concrete apartment.

Does that help at all?

Random Billy Fact of the Day Number 19: Two years ago I had never recorded anything on my own in my life. Now I’m working on an album where I’m producing, engineering and playing everything on my own except drums. How did this happen? I bought a couple books and spent hours trying to figure out how!

Fun In The Sun

This from Desi:

I really like reading your blogs, Billy.

I also have some questions for you! My little brother is in school at OIART right now, and in September us two Saskatchewan kids are getting in my car and driving to California! Do you have any tips on the most fun things ever to do there…. or also things for a dude who wants to work in the sound/music industry there someday to check out?

Why thank you Desi 🙂 It likes you too.

That is so exciting! California is my favourite place in the world right now. How long are you in town? You gotta do all the “tourist-y” stuff, especially if you never been here. There’s Disneyland, California Adventure (still Disney, but more roller coaster type things), The Santa Monica Pier, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Hollywood Sign and the Sunset Strip to name just a few. If you’re in to shopping there’s Melrose Ave, 4th Street Promanade, The Grove and so much more.

There will likely be a ton of concerts going on (if you’re in to that) and a million fantastical places to dine…my all time favourite (vegan) restaurants are all in California. My advice would be to go to some shows, check out some bands and just start meeting and talking to people. There are a few recording schools here that may have some guest speakers or performances too. So much to do, I’m sure there are a million things I am forgetting 🙂

Something About Me You Maybe Didn’t Know Day 18: In preschool I wanted to be a cat when I grew up. In elementary school I wanted to be a vet. In high school I wanted to be a music teacher. In University I wanted to be an English teacher. Now, I don’t want to grow up.

Playing To A Crowd of No One

Zimmy asks:

– i have a question: have you ever played to a crowd of people & just thought, ‘wow … nobody really listened to that’ – how do you keep going when you get a bland reaction like that — after you’ve poured out your heart & soul? what keeps you going & makes you feel excited about it?

Haha. Why yes indeed!!!

This type of situation is inevitable when you’re an average sized person in a big-ish sized room armed with only a guitar. Things like venue, sound system, sound dude, other bands on the bill/crowd in attendance can make or break the show. That is, if you let it get to you.

Somewhere along the line I realized that any opportunity I get to play in front of anyone, I should be grateful for. Whether there are two of you or two thousand, you will see the same show. This happens (in my case, at least) because I have this theory: I would be at home, alone, doing pretty much the same thing anyway, so the fact that I’m here, and we’re in this together, is a total bonus.

I have been lucky enough to play shows where not a single person in the audience uttered one word for the whole set. I have also played shows where it seemed like just about everyone talked the whole way through. To quote a wise prophet and paraphrase just a bit, Performing Live Is Like A Box Of Chocolates…You Never Know What You’re Going to Get.

I always make it my mission, manifesto and code of conduct to battle my way through any tough audience. It is my goal to get at least one talk-y person to lend me their ears for a half hour or so. Sometimes, the results of this are astonishing, and somehow, everyone in the room starts acting like they’re enjoying themselves or something! Sometimes you just fight and fight the whole way through, but then someone comes up and tells you they were impressed by how you handled everyone talking and it makes it all worthwhile. This is why I sometimes play with a band…then I’m not as quiet 😉

Random Fact 17: I have lived in 3 group homes, 3 foster homes and with many, many kind friends and relatives.