John Sid Music

John Sid’s Diverse New Music

John Sid continues to release new recordings in acoustic, blues, classical, metal and rock genres.  “When I was a child and first heard The Beatles,” says Sid, “I didn’t know it was four guys with years of experience, a producer/arranger, engineers and an orchestra.  I just wanted to make sounds that were exciting like that.  I tried to do it all myself because I didn’t know anyone willing and able to help me realize the music I had inside me.  It’s been challenging and fun to learn all those technical skills and be musically creative in different ways, but doing everything yourself takes a long time and doesn’t always yield the best results.”

However, Sid met bassist Matt Kaskela and drummer Joe Contardo.  “Because all three of us read music, we were able to communicate easily and record almost one hundred songs in a year.  For a long time, I was frustrated by local musicians who couldn’t understand what I needed from them because they couldn’t or wouldn’t read.  It also took me a long time to realize I wasn't going to be satisfied being in a band, I needed to have a band.  Finding players who want to rock, but are also musically literate, as well as compatible as personalities is rare.  Matt and Joe brought the music to life when we all played together.”

The Beatles were only one musical influence.  “I grew up listening to my mom’s classical music and my brothers’ 70s rock music – prog and punk, and there was always a piano and guitar at home.  I still have their vinyl records - Chopin and the Sex Pistols, Bach and Yes, Mussorgsky and Deep Purple, Vivaldi and Led Zeppelin, Prokofiev and Pink Floyd, Copland and Jim Croce, Wagner and Genesis, (classical guitarist) John Williams and The Who.  My mom plays violin, piano and guitar and would accompany herself as she sang me lullabies.  Dad was musical too, singing Americana and playing harmonica.  Later on, I heard Iron Maiden, Soundgarden, Tool, Michael Hedges and Meshuggah.  Film composer John Williams's music for Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is still inspiring, as well as the music for Sylvester Stallone's Rocky and Rambo movies.  All those influences are in my music.”

“To record almost one hundred songs as expediently and inexpensively as possible, not only did I need musically literate musicians, but I had to be methodical.  From the summer of 2008 through the summer of 2009, I rented a rehearsal room and moved all the gear in. We could show up, turn on and hit record because everything was already set up - drums, amps, mics, the PA, everything.  The following year, I reviewed every performance of every song and selected the best performances.  From 2010 to 2011, I edited the best performances, added triggered samples to the drum tracks, and overdubbed guitars.  From 2011 - 2013, I was practicing the orchestral parts, recording, auditioning, selecting and editing vocals, and doing rough mixes.  The summer of 2014 was about beginning final mixing and mastering the finished tracks.  Currently I've been practicing and improving my playing of the orchestral parts for about twenty of the songs, and slowly recording and publishing them as I finish them.  I wrote some ambitious orchestral parts: trumpets with an E three ledger-lines above the staff, and French horns that leap to an A above treble clef.  Developing those chops is a long-term investment, but I'm excited to be able to write, perform and record so much without having to depend on others, and produce on my own terms and on my on schedule.”

John Sid is releasing music as he finishes mixing and mastering the tracks.  “These recordings have been a lifetime in the making.  I joined my first band as a pianist when I was thirteen years old.  That’s when I started writing songs and learning the other instruments.  Until now, I’ve never been able to make a recording that accurately presents my musical ideas.  These recordings are the best I've made so far. It’ll be great to finish all this music that has accumulated and evolved over decades so I can focus on making more music and performing.”