Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'severed fifth'


Can’t see the video? Watch it here.

Just a quick note to let you know that this Friday, 3rd February in San Francisco we will be having the Severed Fifth CD Release Party. The new album ‘Liberate’ was funded by donations from the Severed Fifth community and will be released soon under a Creative Commons license.

As such, on Friday we will be releasing the album at Cafe Cocomo, 650 Indiana St, San Francisco, CA where we will perform a full, live set of the new record. We will also be supported by Ulysses Siren and My Victim. Not only this but everyone who comes to the show will get a free copy of the new album on CD and there will plenty of give-aways and prizes.

Tickets are $10 advance ($12 on the door). You can buy tickets for the show here as well as buying tickets on the door. Doors open at 8pm.

I would love to encourage you to come out to support Creative Commons and local music and have a great time. :-)

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Erica and I just spent a busy few weeks visiting family and friends over in the UK, and it was wonderful to see everyone. My family all get on wonderfully with each other, but my two brothers and I have always lived in different places and this Christmas was the first time we have all been together for Christmas in about 20 years.

It was awesome. I feel privileged to have such a wonderful and caring family. We miss them all, but are happy to be back home in California after such a hectic trip.

So here we are at the beginning of 2012 and many of us are in the frame of mind about new ambitions for the coming year. Some people have been sharing their new year’s resolutions, and I wanted to share a few of mine outside of the obvious passion to put my family first and be the best husband, son, and brother I can be. I am blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people, and I want to be there for all of them in the best possible way.

In terms of new resolutions, firstly I want to get fitter. I am not particularly out of shape and have a reasonably healthy diet, but I want to amp it up, get healthier, practice a regular exercise routine, and tone up. I will be tracking this with the awesome Fitbit, who assure me that Linux support for syncing data is coming, although their have gone a little dark when I ask when. Come on Fitbit, show us some love. :-)

Me in 2012.

Related to this in part is my second resolution that I want to learn how to cook. I am a terrible cook. I want to learn how to cook some healthier food, but I am particularly interested in continuing to learn how to grill. Grilling is a big cultural part of California, and I started learning how to cook steak, kabobs, veggies, and some other things last autumn, but I want to ramp this up to the next level. I am particularly interested in learning how to smoke some brisket.

This image has not influenced my resolution at all. Honest.

2012 is going to be the year of Ubuntu. 2011 was a year filled with great progress, tough decisions, and renewed focus, but 2012 is going to be where we really shine. Speaking personally of my team at Canonical, we could not be stronger; we have the unstoppable Daniel Holbach, Jorge Castro, and David Planella, and we will be joined by Nicholas Skaggs and Michael Hall to complete the line-up. The team is raring to go, we have a strong strategy in place, and 2012 will all be about growth, efficiency, and continuing to grow and a fun and inspiring community.

Finally, 2012 will see the new Severed Fifth album released, the second edition of The Art of Community and no-doubt plenty of other fun (and some likely slightly bonkers) projects. I have a few charity projects I am interesting in doing in 2012 too that I didn’t have the time for last year. Who knows where the year will take us?

Anyway, enough rambling, let’s roll. :-)

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We have an absolutely rocking development platform in the Ubuntu, GNOME, KDE and Linux and world. Today I was chatting to some of the Severed Fifth Street Team folks and we were talking about how awesome a Severed Fifth Desktop App could be. Imagine an app that shows you recent news, pops up notification bubbles when new Severed Fifth tweets are posted, has a small in-built media player for playing Severed Fifth music easily, has an embedded IRC channel so you can meet the Severed Fifth community and more. This could be a super cool app for Street Team members and Severed Fifth fans to use.

I wrote some ideas for the app and while I would love to hack on it, all of my spare time is taken with rehearsing with the band and getting ready for the album.

As such, I wanted to put the call out to see if any of you would be interested in hacking on a Severed Fifth Desktop App.

See the post here and follow up there if interested – thanks in advance to everyone who helps! :-)

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2010 has been a great year for Severed Fifth and I am delighted with the growth in the project. Over the holiday I put together a 2010 Recapped video which summarizes this progress, the growth of the Severed Fifth Street Team, and more:

<embed src=”×3a3a3a&color2=0×999999″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”630″ height=”480″”>

Can’t see the video? Click here!

Thanks to everyone who has participated and contributed their talents to helping us to change the music industry.

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Can’t see the video? Click here

A few weeks ago we sat down with one of our advisors for Severed Fifth and a strong supporter of the band who has been through the industry and played in a number of established acts. He said that he believes we have a real shot at making a difference both musically and in changing how the industry works with Severed Fifth, and he believes that our culture of giving the music away and building a community is right, but to compete in the existing music industry we need a professionally recorded album that stands up to the production standards of other professional bands. He gave us an important piece of advice. He felt that while Nightmares By Design is a great sounding demo, it doesn’t do the music justice. He believes we need to get in a professional studio to help our music really shine and get this train on the tracks.

He is right. We are all pleased with Nightmares By Design but it lacks the big roomy drum sound, thundering bass undertones, punchy vocals that you get when a singer is pushed by a recording engineer, and the sheen that a studio recording gets you. It also lacks the stunning performances of the new Severed Fifth live band. Nightmares By Design is a blueprint for a stunning professionally recorded album. Let’s make this happen, and let’s change the rules with it.

For us to help change the music industry via Severed Fifth, and make us a great example of how Free Culture can work, we need an album recording that stands up against the latest Megadeth, the latest Iron Maiden, and the latest Slayer. We believe in the music, and we know we can do this, but we need your help to fund the recording. If we all contribute, we can do this.

How You Can Help

We need your help to contribute to the recording. We need $5000 to record. If 500 Severed Fifth fans donate just $10, we will nail it. If you can help we really want to say thankyou for your contribution, so we will print the name of everyone who contributes in the album liner notes, and list all of you in an article when we release. If you can afford more we have some additional perks:

  • For contributions of $50 or more – we will send you a signed photo of the band and a CD copy of Nightmares By Design.
  • For contributions of $100 or more – we will send you a Severed Fifth t-shirt, signed photo of the band and a CD copy of Nightmares By Design.
  • For contributions of $200 or more – we will send you a signed copy of the new album on CD, a Severed Fifth t-shirt, signed photo of the band and a CD copy of Nightmares By Design.
  • For contributions of $300 or more – We will dedicate a song to you at our next live show and send you the video of it, send you a signed copy of the new album on CD, a Severed Fifth t-shirt, signed photo of the band and a CD copy of Nightmares By Design.

Of course, if you choose you can’t or don’t want to contribute, that is fine, the music will be still be ready and available to everyone when the album is complete and you can download it, share it with your friends, remix it, and enjoy it!


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As some of you will know, I have a Free Culture metal band called Severed Fifth, and recently I have been working hard recording the new album, titled Nightmares By Design. Well, I am pleased to announce that the new album will be released on Mon 11th October 2010 (the day after the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat release!). The album will be available on that day at and available for free in full, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. The new album is far more accessible and diverse, it features 11 tracks and weighs in at around 54 minutes. I am really proud of it. :-)

In addition to the new album, we are getting ready for our very first Severed Fifth show on Fri 1st Oct 2010 at Pine Street Sports Bar and Grill, 875 Rincon Avenue (@ Pine Street), Livermore, CA 94551 – things have been going really well and we have been rehearsing hard on a 2 – 3 times a week rehearsal schedule to get the live set absolutely solid.

There has also been a bunch of other Severed Fifth updates:

With Severed Fifth a full Free Culture band, we have set up the Severed Fifth Fair Pay system in which fans can help support the band, and that page now has an introductory video that explains how it works.

Finally, be sure to join our community and be a part of the Severed Fifth Street Team!

If this all piques your interest and you want to keep up to date with all the awesome Severed Fifth goings ons, be sure to join the following:

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Hi folks, back again for a quick update on my Free Culture music project, Severed Fifth. As before, I just want to share a bunch of links to interesting things that are going on.

To kick off with, I put a few short videos on the Severed Fifth YouTube Channel from yesterday’s rehearsal. These are the first videos of the full band playing, and of course all the music that you hear and the rest of album will all be made available under a free license. Here are the vids:

Don’t see them? Click here.

Other things going on:

It was also cool to see Chris Kontos, who is currently playing with Attitude Adjustment but previously on Machine Head’s hugely successful first album Burn My Eyes, and has played with Testament, Konkhra, Attitude Adjustment, Exodus, Verbal Abuse, Custard Pie, Anti Trust, The Servants, Dog Faced Gods, Death Angel, Grinch and with James Murphy, wearing a Severed Fifth t-shirt at a recent show in San Francisco:

Finally, don’t forget that the new album is recorded from 11th – 15th Aug 2010 and the entire recording will be streamed live on our channel. Be sure to be there!

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I just wanted to provide another quick update on the latest goings on in my Free Culture music band, Severed Fifth. As ever, you can always get the latest updates on Severed Fifth on our website, in the forums, and on Twitter.

The New Album

The up-coming as yet untitled new album, which follows up from 2008’s Denied By Reign is scheduled to be recorded from 11th August 2010 – 15th August 2010. As with the previous album, I wrote all the songs and will be performing and recording all the drums, guitars, bass, and vocals.

The new album comprises of eleven songs and runs in at around 50mins of audio. It is a far richer musical experience than Denied By Reign, and much more accessible. It retains the heavyness of Severed Fifth but brings in more clean vocals and a mix of fast, slow, thrashy, chugging, and acoustic guitars. I have a great feeling about this new record and I think you folks will like it too. :-)

What is exciting about this new record is that I will be streaming the recording of it live from the Severed Fifth studio on the Severed Fifth In The Studio UStream from 10am – 6pm Pacific from 11th August 2010 – 15th August 2010. This is going to provide an awesome opportunity to take a peek into the recording process, watch a Free Culture album evolve and interact with me while the recording happens.

The Band

More photos available here.

Over the last three weeks Severed Fifth has gone from being just me to becoming a full-fledged band. This all kicked off with the help of Chris Kontos from Attitude Adjustment and started with Ben Gibbs joining us on Drums, then moved on to Jim Adams from Defiance joining us, and on Saturday we recruited Ron Crockett on bass. I will be taking care of vocal and guitar playing duties.

In that three week period in which Ben, Jim and I have been together we have started working on our live set, focusing on six songs from the up-coming album. Four of the six songs are almost complete, we are going to now finalize the next two and then focus on refining them. Our goal is to be gig-ready by August 15th so we can get out there and break some necks. :-)

Our primary live focus is going to be the California Bay Area and then we plan on moving further afield as the Severed Fifth presence grows.

The Community

The Severed Fifth community is rocking (pun intended). We have been seeing some great growth in the community and some awesome work going on in a variety of different areas. These include:

Funding The Project

You have read the website, listened to the music, watched the videos, and possibly even chatted on the forum. You may have even taken some Severed Fifth content and used it in your own music or videos, played it in your car, shared it with your friends or otherwise enjoyed the content. All of this requires money to invest and produce these things, and I am passionate about Severed Fifth fans having the opportunity to contribute to the project, but only paying (a) what they can afford and (b) what they feel is fair.

Importantly: Severed Fifth will never expect any kind of payment for this content or service; we will always provide an awesome free service with lots of awesome content to rock out to.

To achieve this there are two ways of supporting the project:

  • Severed Fifth Fair Pay – it is simple: you pay what you feel is fair and comfortable. If you download the music and enjoy using the website and services and would like to pay $1, that is awesome. If you decide to pay $50 that is awesome too. It is also awesome if you decide to pay nothing at all.
  • Severed Fifth Store – we are adding more and more products to the store and right now we have some t-shirts for sale. Stickers and more shirts are coming soon!

Contributions help power the Severed Fifth project and buy t-shirts and merchandise to reward awesome Severed Fifth Street Team members, to replace broken equipment in the studio, to invest in cool new products, to rent rehearsal space, put on live shows and tours and other elements that spread Severed Fifth further afield, putting Free Culture music in the hands of fans and setting a great example for the music industry.

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I am pleased to announce that from Wed 11th – Sun 15th August principle recording for the second Severed Fifth album will take place. Within the five day recording session, taking place primarily between 10am – 6pm Pacific I will be recording all the guitars, bass, and solos, and finalizing much of the drums, before going on to perform first-level mixes. The recording takes place in my home studio here in the Bay Area, California.

Not only is the recording session confirmed, but for the first time ever the entire recording process will be streamed live on the Severed Fifth channel where you can watch the recording and interact with me via the live web chat throughout the five-day session. This is a tremendous opportunity to take a glimpse into the studio, watch the recording process, and experience how a Severed Fifth album is put together.

Read more about the new recording here.

Dig the wallpaper at the top of this post? Grab your Severed Fifth wallpaper.

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I just wanted to provide you lovely people with another update about Severed Fifth my Creative Commons and Free Culture music project. There is lots going on, and here are some of the details:

  • I launched Severed Fifth Fair Pay as what I believe is the fairest way of providing an opportunity for Severed Fifth fans to help support the project financially. The idea is simple: if you enjoy the music or support the project, you can pay what you feel is fair and affordable, and if that means paying nothing, that is absolutely cool. With me needing to pay for rehearsal space for the live band, hosting, merchandise, studio equipment, and other things, every little helps.
  • This week I started auditioning musicians to join the Severed Fifth live band, and the auditions went really well. I will be writing up a detailed blog post about this soon, so stay tuned, but you also check out this forums post for more details.
  • I bought this new baby for getting out and doing some live shows with. It growls. :-)
  • I registered a new Severed Fifth MySpace page, so go and add us as a friend! This compliments our Facebook,, Twitter, and pages, and my friends at are helping to make the Severed Fifth page rock.
  • The Severed Fifth Forum is continuing to grow, so come and join the community and get involved. We are particularly interested in growing Severed Fifth Street Team and bringing the free culture Severed Fifth love to your area. Come and get involved!
  • Thanks to the wonderful work of our Frets On Fire charters, the Frets On Fire: Severed Fifth Edition project is coming on in leaps and bounds, and nearly the entire Denied By Reign album is available ready for our first release. Rock and rolll! :-)
  • The second album is coming along really well, and is almost completed at the writing stages. It is sounding rocking. :-)

I think that is enough for now. More as it happens! :-)

Also, expect a videocast next week, so stay tuned to for an announcement of the time and date. :-)

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I just wanted to blog about some of the cool things going on recently in Severed Fifth land:

  • Severed Fifth Used In Video Soundtracks – one of the most wonderful elements of licensing your content under a Creative Commons license means that other creative types can use your content. It turns out a bunch of people are using Severed Fifth music in their videos.
  • ‘Frets On Fire: Severed Fifth Edition’ Announced – with the newly announced Frets On Fire: Severed Fifth Edition I had a call for transcribers to chart the songs and we are already seeing great progress.
  • Severed Fifth TV Begins – I have started doing a series of official videocasts and did the first one this week providing an update on the project, demoing ‘Frets On Fire: Severed Fifth Edition’, talking about the Street Team and more. Watch the recording here.
  • Street Team Begins – recently we have started seeing more activity growing in the Severed Fifth Street Team. It is still very much early days and there is lots to do, so get involved and tell us how you think we can make the Street Team rock. :-)
  • Second Album – finally, progress on the second album is going really well. Most of the songs are now written, and I will be releasing two cover songs on the new album too; one an Overkill song, and one an Iron Maiden song. Soon I will be announcing the recording dates for the album and be streaming the recordings live.

Want to find out more and join the fun? Check out the website, the forums, and of course the Twitter and feeds.

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Some of you may be familiar with the game Frets On Fire; a free equivilent to the rather awesome Guitar Hero series of games. For some time now I have dreamed about having a special Frets On Fire: Severed Fifth Edition version of the game, with all Severed Fifth songs available to play. Well, this weekend I started working on exactly this.

So far the game is looking pretty cool and all branded to look like Severed Fifth. It includes the familar artwork, the logos and other fun things. It also include a transcribed version of Edge Of Design from Denied By Reign. So far it looks like this:

To make this a reality I need help to get all the Severed Fifth songs transcribed into Frets On Fire format. If you are interested I have written up more details about the game and how to get involved and also kicked off a thread on the Severed Fifth forums to discuss this.

Thanks in advance to everyone who helps with this effort!

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Today I am tickled pink to launch the brand new Severed Fifth website, hereby beginning the second phase of the project.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Severed Fifth, it was a project I set up to see how far an unknown musician (me) could take his music when releasing it under a Free Culture license; a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. To do this I wrote the debut Severed Fifth album ‘Denied By Reign‘; writing and performing all the instruments and recording it in my home studio. Just as the album was released, I entered one of the busiest times in my life – I was moving countries, getting married, work was hectic, and had just signed up to write The Art Of Community for O’Reilly. As such, time ran out and I didn’t have the mental bandwidth required to commit to Severed Fifth.

This changed about four months ago when I started working on the follow up album. As I edge towards the completion of the writing phase, I figured it was time to get the web presence and community kickstarted. Today I am proud to share the fruits of this work.

At we now have a brand-new website, and this blog entry explains some of the key new features.

In addition to this I have set up a brand new Severed fifth forum. This will be the hub of the new Severed Fifth community, and I hope it will bring together fans of the music, Free Culture enthusiasts and community members who are keen to get involved with the Street Team. I will be blogging about the Street Team later this week.

Finally, I have also set up a Severed Fifth Twitter Account. It is a great place to keep up to date with the project and find out the latest about the new album.

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For those of you who are curious about the next steps for Severed Fifth; my Creative Commons music project:

  • On Monday I launch the brand new website.
  • Writing for the second album is nearly complete and I will be streaming the entire recording sessions live.

I have created a new Severed Fifth Twitter account, so go and follow it to keep up to date with the latest. :-)

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