Today, we celebrate “midsummer” in Sweden, which means that everyone will be partying, singing and dancing around a midsummer pole, eating traditional food, and getting way too drunk.
I really need to get my sleeping abilities back. Today, I was half dead until noon, so it took a good while until I could really start working. I think it went pretty well after that though!
My plan is to finish Track 1 and Track 3 before the end of the week, and I did almost all the vocals today. But there are surely a few semi-bad things here and there that I will have to redo later. I’m sending the tracks to a friend or two to hear if there are any lines they think I could do better! (That can be a difficult thing when doing everything on my own; I’m the only person here, so I have to rely completely on my own judgment. And then change details later, if people complain!)
Oh, and my Killer Queen cover is actually up on iTunes now! So, feel free to support me by buying it from there. :)
(The current deal I have is only for iTunes, sorry about that, non-iTunes users. My album will surely be available on more services than that, like Amazon MP3, Spotify etc. And at the moment it looks like I will release the physical CDs through cdbaby.com, because no label has shown much interest so far. That’s not a disaster though, I’ll get more per sold CD this way, and I’ll be in full control of everything. I’ll just have to find the consumers by myself!)
Here’s something interesting, I thought! A few nights ago, I decided to film the sky at night time. Not really sure why, but later, I learned that it was the very night of the Summer solstice! Which means that it was the time of the year when the night is the very shortest. What a coincidence.
Up here in Gävle, Sweden, it means that it basically doesn’t get dark at all. I don’t have a very good camera, but even with the one I have, you can clearly see how light it is outside. So here’s the video I made:
And well, we usually have pretty good window blinds/curtains here, so it’s not that big of a problem when trying to sleep. It got pretty darn hot in my apartment this morning though, when the sun was beaming at my windows at 5:00am… (Yeah, I went up for a little stroll around my apartment at that time.)
Since it’s free shipping from my shop today (if you add the coupon code T-DAY2011 at the checkout), I got one too! :D (I don’t make these myself; I think they’re sent from a factory in Germany, but it’s cheaper for me since it’s my design!)
I’m thinking about using it in a future video, to show people how cool it is, haha.
Oh, and the drummer has contacted me again, so now we’re on track again! :) All is well in FreddeGredde land!
Oh, so apparently it’s the International T-Shirt Day Tomorrow. So the European shop will also have free shipping if you add the coupon code T-DAY2011 tomorrow.
And a small update about how things are going, regarding the album:
Today, I’ve been polishing and finishing everything on Track 5, so now I’m 100% finished with that one. I’m just waiting for the drummer (who’s been updating me quite slowly the last week) to send me his drum tracks for the song, and after that I’m sending it all to the sound engineer who’s helping me with mixing.
So far, I’ve completely finished Track 5, Track 6, Track 7, Track 8, Track 9, Track 10, Track 11 and Track 12. And tomorrow, I’m going to finish the album opener! So, it’s going pretty well for me, overall.
The question is what the drummer is doing. =/ Almost getting worried here.
I thought I’d let you know: If you order something from my American shop on Tuesday (June 21), it’s free shipping to anywhere in the world! (Well, maximum $9.50 off of shipping.)
Just add the coupon code T-DAY2011 at the checkout. (You’ll find my American shop by clicking on the “shop” tab, and then on “American shop”. Or by clicking HERE.)
Don’t miss this opportunity! :)
I promised to post some stats for my “viral” videos on YouTube, so here are some stats! (Showing the first weeks, most views in one day, and total views.)
Wind Waker Unplugged (Dec 25, 2008)
First week: 152,352
Top day: 38,867
Currently at 3,049,742 views
32 songs in 8 minutes (Feb 15, 2009)
First week: 16,612
Top day: 55,241 (Many weeks later)
Currently at 7,188,475 views (Before it was removed on Oct 3, 2010)
The TV Theme Medley (Mar 17, 2010)
First week: 620,936
Top day: 137, 132
(but maxed at 147,216 two days later)
Currently at 3,591,679 views
Video Game Songs With Lyrics (Aug 3, 2010)
First week: 312,852
Top day: 76,289
Currently at 1,446,346 views
The Cartoon Medley (Oct 26, 2010)
First week: 529,931
Top day: 150,000
Currently at 1,611,623 views
Killer Queen Cover (Jun 11, 2011)
First week: 509,140
Top Day: 143,495
Currently at 509,140 views
As we can see, the Killer Queen video has been doing great! Only The TV Theme Medley and The Cartoon Medley have been doing better first weeks. They all have had their bumps at the beginning though, and there’s no way of telling how long it’s going to take to reach a million, for example. (The TV Theme Medley did it in 10 days, The Cartoon Medley in 2 months.)
And then we have 32 songs in 8 minutes, which started so incredibly slowly, but ended up doing better and better for each month, until some publisher got scared and told YouTube to remove it.
Hey, thanks for all your questions! I didn’t expect to get this many, and there’s no room to answer all of them, so I have tried to choose the more interesting ones.
1. Why do you call yourself ‘Freddie25′ on YouTube?
– I really just made my YouTube channel to upload a video game trailer (Phoenix Wright 2) that I had managed to come across, but wasn’t available publically yet. So I just wrote “Freddie” first, because, well, English speaking people can’t pronounce “Fredde” properly, but obviously that wasn’t available, so I just added two random numbers.
(Although I should really have told you the more epic story, but made-up just now, about how I had planned all along to become famous and rich by the age of 25, and only upload videos until then. I turn 26 in September, so that would have been quite cool.)
2. What were your thoughts when you first plucked a note on/strummed the guitar?
– I don’t remember if this was the first time, but one of my earliest memories with a guitar was that I picked one string, then tried the next one to play “Little Cat” on it (a children’s song similar to Frère Jaques; it’s just three notes), and heard that it was all wrong. So I tried to re-tune the strings to get the right notes for the song. I had not realized that you could use your left hand to make different notes on the same string.
3. What kind of people/things most intrigue you?
– I think I’m mostly intrigued by challenges. As long as it’s not competitively. I like figuring things out, regardless of whether it’s a weird chord progression or a math problem. Or a girl’s personal problem. There has to be a solution for everything!! (Even questions like these are interesting and intriguing, because I learn more about myself when thinking about what to answer.)
1. I’ve been playing bass for two years, still having difficulty reading notes, have any tips?
– Not really. I don’t read notes either. I mean, I can figure them out, but if I have to use sheet music (in case I haven’t heard the song), I slowly go through the song, memorize every part, and then throw away the sheets and just play.
But I suppose it’s all about practice. Figure out what each symbol means, and then keep trying to play through songs as quickly as possible. After a few hundred hours, it should be a piece of cake!
2. Did/do you go to the University in music?
– Nope, I’m self-taught.
3. Allez-vous un jour venir au Canada?
– J’ai visité le Canada en 2009! ;)
Will asked: Other YouTube videos seem very commercial right now apart from yours as you seem to be doing what you want. Will you be doing any more queen songs? Or anything from way back then cos I like that!
– I don’t think I will. The thing is that I’m really trying to do new things every time, because I don’t like to repeat myself. When I’ve made a video game song, people tell me that I should do more of that, and when I’ve played TV themes, people tell me that I should do more of that. These days I get lots of requests about doing Queen songs. ;) But that’s not how I work, because I have to be curious and challenged about the things I’m doing; otherwise I just won’t finish it.
1. To what do you attribute your gaining popularity?
– I don’t think my popularity is gaining exactly. 32 songs in 8 minutes is still my most popular video, and it was made in 2009. But with more videos uploaded, more people will get to know about me. I just try to keep the same quality, even though I’m often trying new things. (If I’d quickly explain why I’m popular at all, I’d say it’s because I do things in original and fresh ways, and I do it well. And because I’m charming, hah.)
2. If you had to choose, what would you name as your all-time favorite dishwashing detergent?
– Probably “Yes”, because I’ve bought like, two bottles of it in the last five years, and there’s still a lot left in the second one. It’s really long lasting! (And also because it’s the name of a great classic prog rock band!)
3. What kind of people are involved with your website and album development? More specifically, do you have an editor, publisher, photographer, publicist, taste-tester, etc.? If so, how did you come upon them (did they offer their services, are they family/friends, did you go searching)?
– I’m doing most things on my own. Regarding the album, I get help with lyrics from a few people who randomly contacted me, and have now become friends. I’ve hired David Schlein for drums, and the sound engineer William Blackmon to mix everything. The rest is all me; the composing, arranging and the recording of all instruments.
I also hired an acquaintance (we had talked a few times on a Dream Theater forum) for the album artwork.
About the website, I got help by a friend’s friend with making it (although it was mostly my design), but I’m running everything on my own now that it’s up.
(As for taste-testers, I often ask people in the FreddeGredde chat room what they think of things.)
So yeah, no editors, publishers, photographers or publicists. I’m looking for a label to distribute my album physically though, but I really prefer having full control, by doing everything myself.
1. What is it that you look for in a love interest? That is to say, do you have a type or general preferences? I’m sorry if this one is too personal.
– Honestly I don’t know what I’m looking for. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever even been in love, so I just can’t say what is necessary for me to fall for someone.
But, I think there are three important aspects:
1. I want to find her physically attractive.
2. Liking video games (Might seem silly, but that aspect says a lot about her personality; that she still has childlike senses left, that she’s a bit geeky, and well, that she has the same interests as I do.)
3. I was going to write that she’d have to be “strong”/confident; that she is actually able to take care of herself and isn’t overly dependent on anything or anyone. But when thinking about it, I always seem to get curious/interested in girls with some kind of problem, because I really feel the need to help and “save” people, to make them feel better. But this might be the wrong reason to be interested in someone.. So I don’t really know.
Basically, I’ve no idea what I’m looking for. That special girl who just feels right.
2. You’ve written about “Vampire Bride” that it would likely be your last traditional, film-like music video. Now that some time has passed, do you feel differently about the project? Would you consider making another to promote your upcoming album?
– Yes, because I plan to make at least three videos for songs on the album, and I don’t want all of them to be split-screen videos like Beside Me, so to mix things up, I will try to make a “traditional” music as well! There’s also a cute story-driven song that would really work with an animated video, so I’m trying to find some animator to do that for me! I would like to do it myself, but there’s just no time! So if you know any great animators, tell them to contact me! ;)
3. you’ve achieved a good amount of success as a solo performer and as you have shown us recently, are quite capable of being a full band all by yourself. :) Do you see yourself staying solo always, or do you think you’d be interested in starting or collaborating with a band at some point in the future?
– If I would ever play concerts, I’d need another keyboardist, a guitarist and a bassist to join me and David Schlein, and if the chemistry is good, they might help me with recording future projects. But I don’t think I’d want to collaborate in more ways than that.
4. You’ve done several original songs at this point (my favorite so far is “The Wayfarer,” but they’re all good), in collaboration with other lyricists. How do you decide on lyrics for a song you’re trying to write?
– I used to have an annotation on YouTube, asking lyricists to send me lyrics that I could use when composing. I’ve never really cared about lyrics though, so I’ve usually asked friends what they thought of lyrics that are sent to me, and if they approved, I’d make a song of them. The Wayfarer was one of them! Basically, I have lots of musical ideas, so it’s a fun challenge to have a set of lines in front of me, and then compose something that fits.
Lately, I’ve been trying to do everything on my own though, and then I usually do the composing on my own first, just singing random words to replace later. Sometimes I come up with something decent on my own, and sometimes I send the song to someone else, to see if they can come up with better words.
Dan asked: Was the filming of the vampire bride video very awkward? :P
– Awkward? In what way? Sure, I had never met any of those who were present when we were recording it, but I don’t really “understand” awkward, so I had a pretty fun time. :) A new experience for sure!
Karki asked: And was it cold?
– Yeah, that was the worst part of it. Freezingly cold!!
D-DAWG asked: You play many instruments, have you ever considered learning to play the banjo? It sounds great with the accordion!
– I’m not that interested in the banjo, but I’ve been playing it now and then. Maybe I’d play banjo more often if I had one! It was the same thing for accordion. I never cared for it, until I just happened to have one in my apartment.
Valiant asked: What are your favourite songs to play on guitar? (I play the guitar as well, and need some inspiration to learn new things :D)
– I don’t ever play songs just “to play”. I learn/compose a song, record it, and then I move on to new things. So sorry, I can’t help you there. :)
Lazy asked: What’s your favourite place of all time and why? (Including the whole world + universe ;))
– Honestly it doesn’t really matter where I am. It’s all about what people I have around me, or like right now, what equipment and internet connection I have. :D The most beautiful place in the world can be awful if the company is boring.
(I like Gävle though.)
Joshua asked: Do you have an email sign up so we can be notified when you’re album is released?
– No, I don’t. Hmmm.. When it’s getting closer to the release, I’ll set something up.
Hanna asked: It’s been a year since The Most Awesome TV Show Ever aka LOST ended so I guess it’s time to ask how did you feel about the ending? Also, who were your favorite characters?
– Aww, I get sort of sad just thinking about Lost. :( Anyway, I was disappointed by the ending. My understanding of it all is that the authors kept changing the upcoming storyline throughout the series so that no one would guess where it was heading. And then at the end, there was no way of tying it all together, so they just finished it all with what people had been guessing since the very first season.
So, disappointing ending, but still probably my favorite TV series ever. :) (I think Desmond was my favorite.)
Stefan asked: Why did you choose the Ibanez s680fm? For financial reasons, or was the guitar just really good in your opinion and suited to your playstyle?
– I had been using the same beginner’s guitar since I was 15 years old, so I just wanted a new and better one. Went to the instrument store, looked around for a while, and then just picked the one that seemed best for the price I had decided that I could afford. I hate buying stuff, because there are always so many options! And I’ve never been interested in different brands and stuff, so I don’t even remember what model I have. I knew it was an Ibanez though, because John Petrucci used Ibanez in the beginning of his career.
Rus-kun asked: Which instrument is most “epic”, in your opinion?
– Haha, I wouldn’t say that an instrument can be “epic.” Well, probably the keyboard then, because you can have such a wide range of completely different sounds. It’s amazing if you think about it, that you can have all sounds imaginable, on the same keys.
Rambow07 asked: Could you have a fan as your girlfriend, if not why?
– I could, because I know she wouldn’t want me for my musical abilities anyway. :) (Honestly I never perform for girls in private, because I want them to like me for who I am, and not because I can play guitar and sing.)
Greg Gillis asked: I spent a long time watching the rest of your videos until I came to the one where you were singing “Nigger Stoled my Bike”. Dude, I have to say I was pretty offended.
We here in the States are just really not down with that. Is this a European thing that we just don’t get?
– Here’s the thing: I understand that Americans are offended by that word, and I’ve had many conversations about its history to try to understand why it’s so horrible. And although I will never understand it fully (because I’m neither black or American), I still want to stand by the opinion that a word doesn’t have any other meaning than what people are giving it. And it should be obvious that I’m not racist when singing that word, because it’s just a joke from a video game meme.
And, the sooner people stop treating the word as an offensive one, the sooner it won’t be any longer. I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I really mean no harm.
1. How long (after practicing it) does recording take?
– That really depends on what song or video. If it’s something long and complex, like the Mega Man 9 Rock Medley, it can take weeks. For a simple video, like any of the medleys with just one instruments, it’s one day.
2. Is your room isolated to keep the noise out. or do you just record when nobody is home. or do you live alone?
– I live in my own apartment, so yeah, it’s mostly quiet. My computer is making some noise though, so I want to do something about that. But I don’t know what.
1. if you got one wish, what would it be?
– Probably to find “true love”. What could possibly be better?
2. what do you like and dislike the most on yourself?
– Hmm.. I don’t really think of it like that. I’m just me, and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. But, my biggest flaw is definitely that I don’t really love anything or anyone. Nothing is ever really great, and everyone is replaceable..
3. If you got endless money, what would you buy?
– There’s nothing I really want that can bought for money. Love has to be deserved, and dinosaurs are extinct. :P
No, but seriously, money is really important to me, and I’d love to be able to make a living (and even get rich) on music. But this would be to be able to relax, to stop worrying about the future, about work, about whether the new album is going to sell or not. I can’t stand pressure.
If I got rich, I could have kids and spend a lot of time with them, and make sure that they’d have a great upbringing. Yes, I want kids. :P That is, when I’ve found that special one. :) Ugh, how cheesy I must sound now.
Ana asked: What do you feel when you play your instruments?
– What I feel? Well, what do you feel when you… use your fork to eat food? :) Seriously, I don’t look at music in that romantic kind of way. An instrument is just a tool to create music. I “feel” focused and concentrated, to make sure I play the right notes, in the right tempo and with the right strength.
ilovemonchichis asked: Which consoles do you have?
– Right now, only a Wii and a DS Lite. I sell consoles and games once I’ve finished playing them, and those two are the only ones I occasionally play these days, when friends come over.
Sam asked: Why do we never see you shred? Can you shred?
– I don’t like the idea of music being about skills. :) It’s not a game, like Guitar Hero! It’s about being creative and coming up with new things. So, there are maybe a few faster runs on the album, but I try to focus on melody, even when it’s a guitar solo.
And no, I wouldn’t say I’m a great shredder.
Randi asked: What’s your favorite kinda food? and what do you like to drink the most? oh… and do you have any pets?
– I eat everything, so no favorite kind of food as I can recall right now. I drink water the most! :) No pets. I grew up with all sorts of animals though (and I like cats the most), but right now, I don’t have the time or need for any.
Sorry if your question didn’t make it, but this is getting too long, so I’m going to stop here. Thanks again, and I hope you found something interesting in my answers!
I was thinking that it might be fun and interesting if you all sent me some questions today (any kinds!), via a comment or a private message, and for tomorrow’s post, I’ll try to answer all of them! :)
So, let’s do this!
Edit: Okay, enough. :D I already have way too many questions to answer now, so I will have to put a stop here, and see if I can fit all of your questions in tomorrow’s post. Thanks, I’m surprised by how popular this post became!