Half Step to Venus
   
 
Thoughts, Reviews and Reflections
 
 
Phil Sluka - Guitar

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HALFSTEP TO VENUS ARE THE GUYS THAT LIVE NEXT DOOR...ORDINARY GUYS DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS !

THE PROJECT CAME ABOUT BY ACCIDENT. I WAS PLAYING IN A ORIGINAL POP BAND CALLED RADIOCTAVE WHEN THE SINGER- SONGWRITER DECIDED TO LEAVE THE BAND BUT DID NOT BOTHER TO TELL US....AND THAT WAS OKAY, FOR THE BAND HAD RUN ITS COURSE.

THE REMAINING THREE OF US (GUITAR, BASS AND DRUMS) ALL LIKED EACH OTHER AND I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA THAT I WOULD TAKE THE LAST TWO SONGS WE WORKED OUT FOR WHICH I WROTE THE MUSIC AND CONVERT THEM TO INSTRUMENTAL ROCK SONGS. WE DID JUST THAT AND SO THE PROJECT BEGAN.

THE OTHER TWO MUSICIANS ARE TIM HEITS ON DRUMS, WHO IS VERY ACCOMPLISHED AND ARTSY, AND DON WORREL ON BASS WHO IS ROCK SOLID AND WORKED WELL WITH TIM.

NOT THAT I WROTE OUT SPECIFIC BASS AND DRUM PARTS TO MY SONGS, BUT I COULD HEAR CERTAIN RHYTHMS AND TEMPOS ENOUGH TO CONVEY TO THEM THE FLAVOR OF THEIR PARTS AND VOILA, THEY WOULD DO THE REST.

I LIKE POP MUSIC AND I LIKE TO KEEP IT SOMEWHAT SIMPLE BUT THE KEY IS TO KEEP IT RAW...KNOW YOUR PART BUT DON'T HOLD BACK THE BAND OR MYSELF TO GO OUTSIDE THE BOX TO ALLOW FOR FREE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION...THAT'S WHERE THE NEW NEVER-HEARD- BEFORE RHYTHMS, MELODIES AND SOLOS LIVE.

THE ABSENCE OF A NOTE IS A NOTE. TO DROP WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SONG LIVE AND FALL INTO THE RHYTHM AND JUST F-ING LET GO IS HOW I CAPTURE PEOPLE...I GET THEM ON THE RAW EMOTIONAL LEVEL THAT COMES WHEN YOU DROP YOUR MIND AND GO WITH WHAT YOU FEEL AT THE MOMENT. GRABBING PEOPLE'S EMOTION IS A TIME CAPSULE THAT LIVES ON...THINK ABOUT WHAT IS WAS LIKE THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD THE BEATLES DO ELEANOR RIGBY OR HEY JUDE OR HENDRIX PLAY FOXY LADY...IT BRINGS YOU BACK. I APPROACH THE FRETBOARD OF MY GUITARS FROM THIS PLACE.

MY GEAR AND HAVING A GREAT ORGANIC TONE IS A BIG PART OF MY SCENE. I PLAY MESA BOOGIE MARK III AMPS AND PAUL REED SMITH GUITARS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY...THEY GO TOGETHER LIKE BREAD AND BUTTER.

ONCE AN AMP TECH AT THE MESA BOOGIE FACTORY TOLD ME "IT"S ALL ABOUT THE ORGANICS OF THE AMP" AND I THOUGHT HOW STRANGE IT SOUNDS TO USE A WORD LIKE " ORGANIC " WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT A GUITAR AMPLIFIER...THEN IT HIT ME...HE WAS RIGHT...IT IS ABOUT THE ORGANICS WHEN IT COMES TO TONE...TONE IS EVERYTHING. SO ONCE AGAIN I LIKE TO CAPTURE THE OLD WITH THE NEW MIXING THE ORGANICS OF OLD VINTAGE AMPS WITH A SONIC MODERN EDGE.....THIS IS WHAT I DO !