Gathered in Darkness: Album Art and Update

•March 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

So many exciting things have been happening on the Gathered in Darkness front that Robert Lowe and I felt it was a good time to update all of you that have been eagerly awaiting this project.

We are in the last few weeks of primary tracking. In fact, we expect to begin mix down on some of the tracks in early April. We are making very good strides towards having this massive venture buttoned up by late June.

Robert Lowe has finished his main tracks of doomed proggy goodness. He is working through his list of changes and corrections at this time. Joel Gregoire has turned in some amazing work so far and is plowing through the rest of his leads. Chuck Williams has completed his vocal tracks, and we are very pleased with his outstanding work. Austin Funderburk and David Gonzalez have also wrapped up their respective parts, and I have guest solos already turned in from Bobby Williamson, John Morris and Steve Jones.

There have been some line up changes since our main cast release. We regretfully have had to part ways with John Calvin, Tim Wayne, and Kevin Bartlett. This was mainly due to scheduling conflicts, and we wish them well in their future musical adventures. Stepping up to the plate to save the day are the following awesome people:

Chris Kotlarz: Drums
Fred Marshall: Vocals–“Dark Advocate”
Kelly Fitzsimmons: Guest Solo

I also wanted to take this chance to share with you the artwork for the cover of Gathered In Darkness. This was done by Dave Foreman in Houston, Texas.

I hope all of you are as excited about the impending release of this project as we are. The time is coming soon.

Artwork by Dave Foreman

Artwork by Dave Foreman

Full Circle

•January 28, 2015 • 3 Comments

So after 37 long years…I have completed a journey that began before I was old enough to understand that I was even on one.

A few years ago I made a post about my birth mother (who I refer to as B-Mom) and the letter that she left with me when I was born.  You can read about that action and get caught up here:

https://millsap.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/the-b-mom-commandment/

For years I had been on the fence on whether or not I would search for B-Mom or not.  

There were so many factors to consider.  What if she had a current family that did not know of my existance…it could be embarrassing for me to suddenly appear.  What if she no longer cared?  What if she was hooked on meth and lived under a bridge?  What if she was no longer alive?  What if she never thought about me any more?

In the end I had decided that most likely the fantasy of her where she was healthy, happy, and having a great life was better than the risk of finding her as a coked up junkie in some ally someplace.  There are things that can never be undiscovered once discovered.

And so for thirty-seven years I rolled this way. But then…something happened.

My stepdaughter’s father decided, for no particularly good reason and seemingly at random, that he no longer wished to have a daughter.  After I got over my initial shock at this revelation, and then the sensation that he should spend the final few moments of his life picking up his teeth with broken fingers (a feeling I still maintain to this day), I realized that I must adopt her.  Not only did I owe the karma bank big time for lucking out in my own adoption to the Millsap family but also because I could not let a little girl be screwed over for life by the one jerk that should have had her back.  Hell, I had been raising her for the last several years already, and I know better than most that blood does not a family make.

It was in this process that I discovered what things were like on the other side of the coin.  This made me want to find B-Mom.  I felt an overwhelming desire to thank her for what she did.  I have had a good life, and I owed that to her. I knew very little. The letter that you can read in “The B-Mom Commandment” said that she was 17 at the time.  I knew that I was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  I looked up a listing of the graduating class of Alamogordo High for both 1977 and 1978.

I figured she had to have graduated in one of those years.  I decided to look up every single one of those names on Facebook and send out a message.  I mean really…how many pregnant teenage girls could have been running around a small town in New Mexico in the late 70’s. First…I changed my profile picture to this:

Birthpost I had hoped that by making this my picture that the strangers who I was sending messages to would see that I was born in Alamogordo and that they would subsequently read my words. That picture was shared over 2100 times…wow. Two ladies did read my message and they worked very hard to help me find B-mom. One in particular, Julie Wehmeyer, put in a huge amount of effort on my behalf.  To give you an idea…here is brief transcript of some of our correspondence.  I can not stress how much my success in this venture hinged solely on this woman’s sense of good will.

  • Michael Millsap Hi Mrs. Wehmeyer, I was born in Alamogordo NM on August 28th, 1977. I’m searching for my birth mother (I have a letter from her that came with my paperwork saying she would like to meet me one day). She said in the letter that she was 17 two weeks when she found out she was pregnant with me. This makes me think that she was probably in the class of 77…or 78. I know this is a long shot, and I don’t usually bother strangers but if you remember a member of your class or the one ahead of you pregnant around that time that would be very helpful. Sadly she did not sign the letter so I do not have her name. My adopted name is Michael Millsap I was adopted by the Millsap family in Las Cruces. Thank you for your time and anything you can remember. I found you on a listing for the AHS class of 77 page.
     
  • I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Sherri Chappell. She was pregnant that summer (1977) and she gave the baby up (I don’t think she wanted to). The reason I know this is that I spoke with her mother that Spring and asked if we could give her a baby shower and her mom said no that it would upset her because she was giving the baby up. Sherri was an itty bitty thing and her boyfriend was not a big guy either. So if you are 6’4″ and a giant, probably not. But she was the only girl at that time that fits the profile.
     
  • Thank you so much. I’m 5’9..so maybe so
     
  • I don’t remember the dads name. But he was an Air Force family and I want to think he was probably about my height which would have been 59
     Has anyone given you that name before
     
  • Someone else mentioned it but I could not find her on Facebook. Did her family own a music store?
     
  • I believe so. Do you want me to make some phone calls?
    I grew up with sherry from elementary school. She was a year ahead of me. But I was good friends with the sister of one of her best friends.
     
  • That would be awesome. If it is her. .she will recognize her letter to me in this blog post. http://wp.me/pxFAb-mA Thank you so very much..I can’t even tell you how much your help is appreciated  

    …… And several days later…..

    Woah…I wonder if it is her…
     
    Its her. I sent her a friend request.
     
    A Merry Christmas Michael she wants your phone number she saw the letter
    Now you need to breathe
                                                                                              —–

    And just like that, one of the biggest mysteries of my life was answered by a completely awesome stranger that I had never met.  B-Mom sent me a friend request on Facebook that I accepted but then found I could only stare at the computer monitor.  Now what did I do?  What the hell do I say?  I could not do anything…I just waited.

    And then she sent me a message.

    I sent one back.

    This was the way the relationship between mother and son danced around the awkwardness of nearly four missing decades and slowly found itself again.

    Julie had sent her the link to “The B-Mom Commandment” so she was able to see the letter she had penned so long ago and knew for a fact who I was.  I sent her an email to assure her that I was only searching to thank her and that I was in a good place and not needing anything from her.  I had no doubt she was curious as to why, after all these years, I had decided to do this now.

    Thankfully, she was interested in getting to know one another.  Over the next few weeks with emails and phone calls we did just that.

    For those of you who study psychology and are interested in “nature vs nurture” you might find this case interesting.  I come from a very musical family it seems.  There was a family band that B-Mom played drums for as a little girl, the family owned a music store.  B-Mom traveled and sang in a country band.  It would seem that B-Gramps (bwahahahahahaaha…i just came up with that…freaking awesome) was an accomplished musician and songwriter.  I think she said he had a tune on the soundtrack to “Another 48 Hours.”

    B-Mom uses “salty sailor speak” as she puts it.  This sums up a great deal of my vocabulary.

    I can see a resemblance to Kaydance in the pictures of her when she was younger.  I seem to look a lot like my Uncle Bill.

    She had remarried a nice man and has been with him for over twenty years, but never had anymore children of her own (though he had some from a previous marriage of his).  B-Mom had just retired from the City of Albuquerque, and I was quite thankful to find that she was not living under a bridge shooting Meth into her nipples.

      —Note:  I never asked whether or not she ever injected meth into her nipples, but I am suspecting that she did not.  She is a classy lady and classy ladies do not mainline narcotics into their breasts.–

    B-Mom and her husband were going on a cruise that was leaving and returning from Galveston.  Upon their return she planned to stay in Houston an additional few days so we could meet face to face.

    When the fateful day came to go to the airport and pick her up, I took with me everything that had been given to me the last time we parted company:

    Belongings

    That is the original letter she wrote, and a small bible (I thought the state had thrown that into my stuff like some kind of bonus prize but it turned out that it was hers.  One of the few things she had left after a fire had destroyed their home).  The other paper came from my foster mother who watched over me until I did not die from my jacked up heart and got to go be a Millsap.  –Interesting side note:  I was unnamed.  B-Mom called me “Child” in the letter, and the foster mom called me “Matthew.”  I, of course, would later be named “Michael” by the Millsaps.

    I needed her to see that I still had everything she had given me.  That those things mattered.  And that even though I never knew her, she also mattered.  I needed her to know that the one thing she asked me to do “…Please be happy…”  I had chased it with every fiber of my being.  Every hour.  Every day.   I did not waste my life, my time, or her gift.

    I saw her husband before I saw her (he is really tall and she is really short).  There was a moment where both of us just kinda looked at each other in mild astonishment.  But it was good.  Mr. Hines shook my hand and left for his flight.  Then B-Mom and I proceeded to get lost in the parking garage.

    B-Mom and I

    B-Mom and I

    We spent the next few days really getting to spend some time together.  It was so cool to get to have my first adult conversation with a blood relative.  It was amazing how similar we are.  I can’t even express how awesome of a person she turned out to be.

    My Mom, who has been very supportive of my search for B-Mom, had a brief panic moment when I told her I was going to meet B-Mom.  “Don’t forget you have a real Mom” she said.  I could never forget that.  I am lucky to have two real Moms.  The next time I spoke to Mom she had collected herself and was O.K.  I have no doubt that this was a very strange set of events for her too.

    I dragged B-Mom to the studio with Chuck and Robert Lowe to work on Gathered In Darkness.  She had a great time.  I made sure she got to hang out with my brother, Austin, too.  We did not even get to scratch the surface.

    It was hard to see her leave.  I never realized how much I had missed not having this connection until I got to experience it for a brief moment.  It was kind of painful and coming from someone that usually does not find himself feeling things like that…it was a bit unsettling.  I guess it was always there but if you don’t know any better then you don’t realize what is taking place.

    We ate some breakfast the morning she left before taking her to the airport.  She expressed that she would like to come back again if I did not mind.  I told her jokingly that she did not get to leave me twice.  It was at this moment that her face took on a very painful look and she said “I gave you away.”  I told her she did what she had to do and she did the right thing.

    After the plane left, I realized that she did not give me away.  She gave me everything.

    There have been a few life changing moments for me.  Learning the bass, surviving my heart surgery, the death of my daughter, and…now…this.  I am so happy to get a chance to include her in my life and the lives of my family.

    Every emotion is represented here

    Every emotion is represented here

    Later on I would discover that the picture of me that I posted on Facebook holding the sign was first posted on her birthday.  How cool is that.

    Maybe we can sell the story to Lifetime.  I could use another Stick.

 

The Power in the Melody

•November 27, 2014 • 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving to all of the Froth Army.

I constantly hear music in my head.  I’m not talking about the jingle to “Demon Energy Drinks” or “Satan in a Can” either, but something else.  A song…yet not a song.  An unheard, unvoiceable melody that, while undeniably existing…is almost impossible to put into a tangible medium.

And yet, the head bobs and the toes tap.  This is the beat of the drummer that many of us march too. And yes…they are all different.

Is it this way for all creative people?  Is it this way for everyone?  I suspect the second option.

Do you hear your music?  This is your private soundtrack of motivation.  If you can sync yourself up to the music inside of yourself you can find the motivation to achieve your true goals, may they be artistic or otherwise.  When you create and mold yourself after your natural inclinations (versus what you think you ought to create or become) you can achieve your full potential.  This does not mean you will be better or worse than others.  Your potential is not in competition with others potential.  It is yours and yours alone.

If you can’t hear the music, ask yourself if you are listening.  Your soul is probably singing to you.  Find that song…and for all that you are worth…sing along.

There is power in the melody, release in the rhythm, and magic in the changes.

It does not matter if this private sonnet brings you to craft amazing furniture, design a skyscraper, heal the sick, teach our children, write a book, or compose a symphony.  It is your song, your goal, your life.  It is the true you expressed in the secret language of the spirit.

This Thanksgiving I am very thankful for the music.  Both the kinds that we can hear, and the kinds that are inside all of us.

Happy T-Day to you and yours,

Dr. Froth

Acid Head

•November 10, 2014 • 1 Comment

“How do you accidentally drink battery acid?!”   — David Gonzalez

Yes…I ate battery acid today.

No…it was not intentional.

I might, under other circumstances, not write about my adventures earlier today but have decided  too in response to…well…mostly in response to this:

facebook reactions

facebook reactions

So I do realize that in addition to being just plain fucking hilarious, people are also dying to know what the hell happened.

It was a slow day at work today, so Austin and I decided to take a job and split it instead of one of us having to take the day off.  It was on older alarm system that I needed to replace, one of the wireless jobs, and I needed to pull the old battery to power it down.

This battery was so old I think it might have been confiscated by the Union army.  It had corroded at the terminals causing some of the acid to be free.  Of course, as I pry this bastard out of the unit I chip part of my fingernail and reflexively put my finger in my mouth.

It was within moments of this that I realized that the universe was playing a horrid joke on me.  I instantly realized my tactical error and knew what had to be done.  I calmly surveyed the ladies entryway but could not find a suitable place to vomit.  I did not really think that I should swallow the acid either.

It seemed like a good time to go outside.

I found a patch of grass that seemed like it might die soon anyway and…uhhh…watered it.  I still had a soda in the car and tried to use it like mouthwash.  This did not really do much of shit.

Austin decided that I might require medical attention and informed the customer of the situation.  Normally, this violates the “Frothy Method” that I like to employ when I fuck myself up, but in this case it worked out.  Turns out, as luck would have it, that our customer today was a chemist that worked at Haliburton.  She whipped up a base heavy solution for me to use as a mouthwash to neutralize the burn.  She did not realize that I was already base heavy since I was a bass player.

She warned me that the solution would not be very nice to taste.  Fortunately for me, I had already burned off over half my taste buds so I did not really notice.  Whew…dodged a bullet there.

We completed the installation without further problems and as we were leaving the woman advised me to be careful in the future.  Austin reassured her by stating that I require constant adult supervision.  It would be funnier if it was not accurate.

Does this mean I have done acid now?

Gathered In Darkness: Track Listing and Quotes

•July 31, 2014 • 1 Comment

GID Patial

 

It is time for a Gathered In Darkness update from your friends Dr. Froth and Robert Lowe.

The Track List is now ready to be released to the public, but since we were going that far we thought it would be fun to go a step further and give all you good people out there a little bit more.

If you have been watching our video updates (There are four out there that you should go check out if you have not yet, with a fifth installment coming your way very, very soon), you know that the script has been completed.  Amazingly, this album has a script that clocks in at 43 pages…wow.

My goal in writing it was to create an epic piece of poetic literature that would stand on its own…even without the music.  I feel that I have succeeded in this endeavour, at least to the best of my ability.  Consequently, for fun, I have included some quotes from the material to go along with each track listing.  Hopefully this will help capture your interest even more.

In case you have forgotten who is who in this monstrosity…here is the primary cast:

The Man:  Robert Lowe

Light Advocate:  Chuck Williams

The Underjudge:  Lance King

Infernal Prosecutor:  James Rivera

Unborn Soul:  David Gonzalez

Harbinger of Suffering:  Austin Funderburk

Mother of the Unborn Soul:  Sloan Robley

Dark Advocate:  John Calvin

 

Story Synopsis:  The Man (Robert Lowe’s unnamed character) finds himself by chance in a small diner that is beset by a seemingly random act of violence.  His frantic decisions regarding his escape result in not only his own demise, but that of a woman who is in the final trimester of her pregnancy.  Now he finds himself on trial in the Abyss to see if he will face judgement for the death of the unborn child.  His only hope is the Light Advocate (Chuck Williams) who has been appointed to defend him before the Underjudge (Lance King).  Will he find his way to a verdict of innocence or is he doomed to an eternity of unspeakable horror?

 

Track Listing and Quotes:

 

1):  Incident at Slammy’s Fine Dining

 

“How’s the pancakes?  Bwahahahahahahahaha”  – The Shooter

 

2):  Falling

 

“Sustenance for unease, feeding horror by this endeavor

Forced screaming into the gaping jaws of terror.” –The Man

“Blackened creatures spread their wings and murmur now of darker things.”  –The Man

 

3):  Advocate March

 

“The structure seems to be alive, enwreathed by bands of dancing flames

as if composed by tortured specters, as if every brick were baked with pain

Mortared by hate, embossed with blasphemous scripture.”  – The Man

“To advert your fate there is nothing you can do

but hope for salvation while preparing for doom.” –Dark Advocate

 

4):  Tribunal

 

“A scream rises in my throat but is murdered by my fear,

becoming a momentary whisper that quickly disapears…and is gone.”  –The Man

“Our intentions are meaningless, actions are all that matters.

For I intend years of time to spend watching your flesh ripped from bone.”  –Infernal Prosecutor

“It would seem this court convened under pacts ancient and nefarious

to ascertain and the truth make plain on the nature of this crime so serious.”  –The Underjudge

 

5):  Straw Men

“Visions of myself here on the stand.  I see myself saying words but I cannot understand them.

All I know, all I feel is that this can not be real…This is what its like to be damned.”  –The Man

 

6):  Testimony of the Unborn Soul

“I’ll spend eternity counting days I’ll never have on fingers that will never feel flesh…

as if I was born…only for death.”  –Unborn Soul

 

7):  Parallel Threads

“Because of free will the lines of fate number millions.

They run parallel but not necessarily concurrent.

They hold the result of every choice never made.”  –Light Advocate

 

8):  This is How the World Ends

“The blood beneath my feet begins to boil.  Something wicked this way comes.

My flesh writhes in anticipation of the forthcoming crimes against it.

My final chapter now begins, from this fate I can’t defend…This is how the world ends.”  –The Man

 

9):  Tides of Suffering

 

“A ghoulish horde awaits you…Laughing they commence their hacking.

Ripping, slashing, breaking, stabbing.”  –Harbinger of Suffering

 

10):  Deja Slammy

 

11):  Regenesis

 

 

Well friends…I hope this helps whet your appetite for the main course of Prog Doom that will be coming your way soon.  And while you wait…why not go pick up a copy of the latest Six Minute Century album “Wasting Time” from Nightmare Records.

Until next time…stay moist.

in the studio

The Responsibility of Immortality

•July 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Originally posted on :

Dr. Froth Dr. Froth

Many of you who read this magazine are musicians. If not, you know a musician. If not that, you possibly have heard a musician before. If not that either, …why the hell are you reading this?

As several of you know I just had an album come out in October 2013. –SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING: “Wasting Time” by Six Minute Century on Nightmare Records. Stop reading this and go buy it. It’s O.K. I’ll wait for you to come back. Oh good you have returned now. Thanks.– Alright, we now return to the point.

I was trying to explain this modern clusterfuck of the music business to someone at work (yes, yes I have a day job. Being frothy has not been synonymous with being filthy rich…yet). They were extremely baffled as I explained the amount of money and time that went into creating it. They asked if I…

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Gathered In Darkness Update 5-1-14

•May 1, 2014 • 2 Comments

gid logo4

And there you have it….

Yes boys and girls this is the working draft of the logo for the project that was created by our amazing artist David Foreman.

There will probably be some tweaks to the final versions but I thought those of you out there that are anxiously awaiting any news about this crazy collaboration would appreciate a small taste of things to come.  It is a shame that I can not share with you some of the drafts of the album art that he has done…but take my word for it…they are amazing.

Mr. Robert Lowe has completed one song so far and is various stages of pre-production of others.  He will be back in the studio next week for more bad ass action packed vocal shenanigans.

Our first guest singer has wrapped up his vocal sessions.  Mr. James Rivera (Helstar) completed his parts for the role of the Infernal Prosecutor last night.  It had all the elements of that character that I hoped to capture, though I had no doubts that James would be able to deliver…and he did.  Thank you sir, it was moist as hell.  For those of you that are curious to what his parts might have sounded like, I will give you only this hint:  Cradle of Priest.

It is a shame that I can not have a few more hours in the day…sigh.  Mr. Kevin Bartlett is still very patiently awaiting his click tracks so he can begin to record drums (I know I said last week…but they are coming sir…I promise…hahaha).  Mr. Joel Gregoire is patiently awaiting guitar stuff (I know I said a couple weeks ago…but they are coming sir…I promise…hahahaha).

A big day for the project will be on May 23rd.  This is the night where we will be recording the sounds for the cafe scene and the sounds of the demonic throng.  Would you like to be part of this?  Send me a message on Facebook and if I still have room you can be part of this ground breaking project.  Wait…what was that?  You are not friends with me on Facebook?  What the fuck is wrong with you?  Send me a request…right now.

All in all I am very excited with the progress and the direction this thing has taken.  Projects like this tend to get a life of their own and then you just have to go where they take you.  This one is taking us to a very dark, but awesome place.  We can’t wait for you to join us there.

Marc, James Rivera, Robert and Dr. Froth at the studio.

Marc, James Rivera, Robert and Dr. Froth at the studio.

 

 
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