Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Children of God

Well, I dropped off the writing as the school year started.  It's been interesting and God has let me be challenged in several ways, but here is the last song from the CD that's ready.  Anybody interested in financing a music project?  ;-)  Next blog will be about the new music since finishing the mixing of the CD.


Noah built an ark out of gopher wood,
took a hundred years to do it good.
He told the people, it’s gonna rain,
better get ready cause it looks like rain.
When the rain was hitting the ark,
the waters flowed up, covered the dock.
The people cried out, let us come in.
Noah told them to be baptized in your sin.

We are called the children of God, but don’t forget he has a chastening rod.
Listen to Him, yes, listen to Him, He will save your soul. (2x)
Save your soul.

Moses led the people out of slavery,
into the desert, so they can be free.
They started to worry, started to fret,
Pharaoh’s soldiers haven’t caught up with us yet.
When they came to the edge of the Red Sea,
they all freaked out cause the water was deep.
Moses stood on the shore with a staff in his hand. 
They all crossed the ocean, safely on dry land.


David was a man after God’s own heart.
Lusted after woman, and his life fell apart.
Had her husband killed to cover the lie.
God worked through him in spite of his crime.
Nathan came in, who was heaven sent.
He said you are that man, it’s time to repent.
So he fell on his knees, and started to pray.
God forgave him that very day.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Title Track Lyrics

The CD is named after one of our favorite songs.  We like them all, but if we had to pick a number one this is it.  It is already up for purchase at CDbaby and iTunes.

He was born in Bethlehem
Walked the streets as a lowly man
Came to set the captives free
Jesus Christ is the victory
You will know Him when you hear of His great love with no fear.
Just ask Him in today.  There is no other way.
Jesus Christ is the victory
Taking my sins away from me
Living life so abundantly
Jesus Christ is the victory

The demons tremble at his name
Casting them out, as they came
Open blind eyes so one could see
Jesus Christ is our victory
Lift your hands up to the sky
Don’t be afraid just give it a try
Let the love flow through you
All this and more He wants to do
He died on the rugged cross
Came to save us that are lost
Bled and died on Calvary
Jesus Christ is the victory.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I haven't been blogging since a family member was in the hospital.  God has worked in our lives to bless us so on to the music.  Been busy mixing and doing test mixes before sending the final CD off to the printers.  Hopefully CD will be available by August 15th.  Here are the lyrics to Soldier.


We march to beat as soldiers against the gates of hell.
Warring to get past the enemy, Satan tries to kill.
Putting off chains of disgrace, feelings that we’re dead.
Loathsome fighters, here we go to crush the enemy’s head.

I want a double portion, I want to live.
Blessing those who are in need, help me to give.
Armor of Christ, Book of life
Words of truth will heal.

Loving those who hate God’s children takes a lot of strength.
Putting off the Devil’s attack makes a soul’s restrain.
Come on you worried soldier, don’t wait for the attack.
Binding up and casting out, we need to watch our back.


I want to be a faithful servant all my day.
Serving You in all my child like ways. (x2)


We march as soldiers fighting, battle day by day.
Go we with the saints before us, don’t get in our way.
Dreading road of circumstances, here we go again.
Soldiers we are determined, steadfast and win.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Led From Above lyrics

'Led From Above' was the last song written before the major mixing/mastering month.  I think we are just about ready to send to Discmakers and upload to CDbaby and iTunes.  Hopefully soon depending on fundage and what needs to be fixed around the house.  Have a great day.


We got to be bold and strong.
Worshiping all the day long.
Do you feel it in your heart?
Hold on to it or it comes apart.

Don’t be caught off guard
Listen to Him in your heart
Fill you up with His love
We are led from above

Life is only but a vapor
Here now and then your gone
Sometimes we are not safe
Not to have that love and faith


It’s always the same ol’ thing
Looking out after ourselves
Working hard for nothing
Try to make ourselves feel better. (x2)

Grace will have us all
Lift up your hands and He will call
Give thanks to God alone
Praising Him for what He’s done


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

'Running' Lyrics

Well, I've spend the better part of 3 days with headphones on and I'm down to one song to finish.  At least until, I get some other ears to listen to the mix masters.  I'm going to try to finish the last song tomorrow and get several different people to listen so I can make corrections, but till then here are today's lyrics.


Sometimes it’s hard to even, get out of bed
With all the problems rolling around in my head.

I’m running, running back to You.
It’s the only thing I want to do.
I’m running, running back to you.
My belief in Christ will get me through.

Letting go seems to be the hardest
With work, church, family life is tough.


I need Christ, the world need Christ, we all need Christ (x3)
Christ is Lord.


Please help me Jesus go another day
To be the example You have set.
Let me have love for my fellow man.
Show me that You’re not done with me yet.


Monday, July 11, 2011

'All The World Is Guilty' Lyrics

'All the World is Guilty' was our first song and now that the temp is down, I got some mixing done.  Next lyrics will be of 'Running'..
If all goes well, the mixing will be done by the end of the month and the CD released by the beginning of August.

There is none righteous
None who understands
None who seeks from God
All have turned aside

All the world is guilty
Will you be justified?
All the world is guilty.
That’s why Christ had died.

There is none who does good
Not even one
Throat is an open grave
They just lie.


All have sinned and fallen short from the grace of God.
We’re justified by the gift of grace through His cleansing blood.


Poison of snakes on their lips
Mouth full of bitterness
Path of peace they do not know
They have no fear of God.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Ride

I took a few days off as our AC went down and the music room was too hot with equipment running.  This actually gave me time away from the songs, so when I came back to work on them, I heard some things that needed changing.  The next song finished is 'The Ride'.  Here are the lyrics, enjoy.


God we need you now, like we never did before.
Too many times we go around constantly closing the door.
We have our hurts and hang ups, that much is true
And what we do with them is all up to you.

We don’t have to drag God along for the ride.
He is always right there, to be by our side.

If you have no place to run, remember He is “The Man”
Doing things we think are for him
Instead have Him lead you by, lead you by the hand.

You don’t have to live a life of total ugly despair.
Just call on His holy name, and He’ll  be there.
Look up for your redemption is near.
Open up to His salvation, it’s all quite clear.

We don’t have to drag God along for the ride.
He is always right there, to be by our side.

If you have no place to run, remember He is “The Man”
Doing things we think are for him
Instead have Him lead you by, lead you by the hand.



We don’t have to drag God along for the ride.
He is always right there, to be by our side.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Noah - Cover song license basics.

I looked into a mechanical license for 'Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord'.  The minimum license is for 25 songs and some are more expensive than others.  This song is about $0.25 per song to sell.  For those who aren't aware, from a $0.99 download from iTunes the artist gets about $0.67.  So at $0.25 per song, an artist would get $0.42 a sale.  Imagine if there are 5 people in the band, a manager, and possibly a crew to pay.  You have sell a lot of cover songs to break even.  However, Casting Crown's song 'Who Am I' would cost $1.00 per song to sell, so we'd lose $0.23 per song to sell.  Not going to put 'Who Am I' on the CD.

Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
Richard Schmertz

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
And he landed high and dry.

Well the Lord looked down from His window in the sky
Said I created man and I don’t remember why.
Nothin’ but fighting since creation day.
I’ll send a little water and wash them all away.

The Lord came down to look around a spell.
There He found Noah behaving mighty well.
That is the reason the Scriptures record
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.


The Lord said Noah there’s gonna be a flood
Gonna be some water, gonna be some mud.
Take off your hat Noah, take off your coat,
Get Ham, Shem, and Japheth and build yourself a boat.

Noah said Lord I don’t believe I could,
The Lord said Noah get some sturdy gopher wood.
Ya never know what you can do till you try.
Build it 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high.


Noah said there it is, there it is Lord.
The Lord said Noah it’s time to get aboard.
Take a creature, a he and a she
And of course Mrs. Noah and the whole family.

Noah said Lord, it’s getting mighty dark.
The Lord said Noah get these creatures in the ark.
Noah said Lord it’s beginning to pour.
The Lord said Noah hurry up and shut the door.

The ark rose up on the bosom of the deep
After 40 days, Mr. Noah took a peek.
We ain’t moving Lord, where we at?
You’re sittin on top of Mount Ararat.

Noah said Lord it’s getting mighty dry.
Lord said Noah see my rainbow in the sky.
Take all the creatures and people to earth.
Don’t be more trouble than you’re worth.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Mix-O-Matic Part 1 with 'Lies' lyrics

For those unaware, the part of getting a song ready for CD can get tedious.  I'm working on what will be my 6th CD and mixing/mastering is the hardest part.  You want everything to be heard.  The guitars can't over power the vocals.  There can't be so much bass that speakers rumble with the bass turned off.  I like the songs, but I think I've heard them 1000 times each, on the PA, in the car, headphones, school stereo, etc.  For the most part, I can do a pretty good job on a rough mix right after finishing the recording of tracks, but you want it as perfect as possible before it goes to iTunes.  After July 4th, I'm going to call a buddy who used to do mixing for a living to listen and instruct or re-mix.  As of now, I have 3 of the 10 songs finished to my standards.  They will be checked by the other half of the group, but till then I'm done with them. 

Since 6 page CD inserts cost extra, I'll be posting the lyrics for the songs for interested parties and here's the first song on the CD:

McEwen & Willson

You look at me with a straight face
Telling me of love, of God’s grace.
One story to another
Telling me there is no other way but His way.

I’m doing all that is right, pray to God to show the light.
I was told to walk away.  Funny, it was a rainy day.
Trying to make it clear, in and out my other ear
No phone call to see how I was doing.


I don’t know why men of God lie.
The Lord must cry when the men of God lie.

You’re telling me lies with a smile on your face,
Not to mention there’s no grace, all I see is distain.
Stabbing people in the back, can’t handle a front attack.
Got to have it your way, listen to no one.

Firing people left and right, praising God when you’re not right,
Ask for tithe when you’re not giving.
Run God’s church to ground.  What’s worship?  Not around.
Empty pews, empty seats, do you call this serving?



You look at me with a straight face
Telling me of love, of God’s grace.
One story to another
Telling me there is no other way but His way.

Stabbing people in the back, can’t handle a front attack.
Got to have it your way, listen to no one.
Firing people left and right, praising God when you’re not right,
Ask for tithe when you’re not giving.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

From Above

The final song for the CD is just about complete.  For those who have recorded before, you know how you record something and think it sounds like crap on a stick the hear it again later and it sounds good?  That's what happened with my lead track.  I may go back and do a second one without recording over the first one just to try, but would be OK with the current one.  In doing the rhythm tracks for this, I channeled my inner Motley Crue or Lita Ford (?) or several other artists that used a version of the lick.  I'm not 100% sure how they did it, but I made mine with some dissonance on purpose as to not copy exactly.  You can tell that it is similar, but also different.  I was actually trying to write a blues song and got side tracked when I found a cool drum beat on R&B2.  It sounded almost frantic and I just went from there.

The words came together fairly rapidly.  I'll have to print them later as we did a quick vocal and words were taken home to work on, but the scratch vocal is pretty good.  The general idea is that we should trust in the Man above as we are led from above. The time is now to take advantage of His offer of grace.  Next posts will probably be the lyrics after the mixing phase is done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lies or Why I haven't been to church recently Part 2

After our hero, the vocalist, was asked to leave the church, we have the following cast of characters that gave us the other part of the vocals for 'Lies'.  The pastor, the deacons, the backstabbers (new choir leader & husband) and former Music Minister.  The Music Minister kept the church services together while we were looking for a new pastor.  Personally, I thought the music was the best part of services.  Music Minister thought Mr. Backstabber was a friend and would talk about things that bothered him.  Mr. Backstabber would blow everything way out of proportion and tell the pastor.  The problems were caused by Backstabbers wanting more attention and a lack of communication between Pastor and Music Minister.  Pastor preaches from Matthew only, and at the time was at the take the log out of your eye and don't point out the splinter in your brother's eye.  Pastor has deacons fire Music Minister for wanting to split the church.  2 Deacons then lie about dealing with Music Minister and the rest go along.  Now, the pastor seems like a hypocrite, the deacons are OK with lying to the congregation, and my church service sucks.  The music now sucks because the music is now CD solo tracks and the ladies leading are so far apart, they can't hear their lack of harmonization.  Occasionally they accidentally sound good, but there's no one to give suggestions.  So my choices are to put up with a pastor that preaches only Matthew and bad music or find a different church.  It's sad because I like the majority of the people that still go there.

So why let the world know?  It's where the lyrics came from, it might help me heal and forgive to get it out again, and to let people know that pastors and deacons are just men like the rest of us.  They make mistakes and God cries.  Church can be a lot like high school.  There are cliques and groups.  It may not be right, but God is still in control.  Something will work out for his glory.  Maybe our next song......

Look for 'Lies' on Jango internet radio coming soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

'Lies' or why I haven't been to church regularly for 6 months. Part 1

The song 'Lies' will be the first track of the CD.  I was inspired by Avenged Sevenfold's song 'Nightmare' and wanted to do something I thought could be similar.  I took some pieces from the Tempered Steel concert intro we would do and added to it.  The music was the most difficult part of the song.  Once I put together the verse chord pattern, it took the words to fit in the chorus.  Unfortunately, the words came to us all too easily.  Every Christian has had to deal with the leadership of the church.  Every Christian has had to deal with the fallout of lying church leaders.  We all have had to explain how we felt about people like Jim Baker or Jimmy Swaggart, but many deal with good people doing bad things at a local level.

My church had a new pastor for about a year at the time we did this song.  At that time, he started making some changes and doing things that were not popular.  We lost a large percent of the congregation with the decisions made by the leadership.  Our pastor tries to say the church puts families first, then they close the preschool.  They say family first, but when the singer had marriage problems, he was asked to leave.  It's probable that things would have ended up the same, but it didn't look like they were putting family first.  It looked like a side was chosen.  Part of the words are directly from his experience.   The leaders of the church had said how much they missed him, but didn't show any Christian attitude.  They will still ask me how he's doing when I show up, but no one has ever called to ask him directly.

Next time, the rest of the words and hopefully some healing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Possible Covers: Who Am I by Casting Crowns & Noah Found Grace by ?

Just about every band plays cover songs when they start.  Some bands have big hits doing cover songs.  Cover songs are usually easier to do since the hard part is done for you.  We started out recording 25 or so cover songs and printed a few CD's to give to friends.  You can't sell cover songs without a mechanical license.  We purchased mechanical licenses for Jim Croce's 'You Don't Mess Around With Jim' and 'Hey Joe' for the Barn Dawgs' Off The Leash CD.  At that time, we purchased license to sell 500 copies as that was the minimum.  Now you can purchase as low as 20 CD sales, but there is a different one for downloads that must be renewed each year.  Depending on the cost, the cover songs might change.  I think it would be cool if someone from Casting Crowns heard our version and gave me an opinion.  If they see this on Facebook, who knows?  If you are looking to purchase a mechanical license, I'd go to and use the Harry Fox Agency.  It's easy to look up songs and do it all online.

'Who Am I' is a great song.  We play it like Judas Priest wrote the song.  It's heavier and guitar oriented, but we keep the vocals in front as the words are the best thing about the song.  We added a solo section and the song goes almost 7 minutes.  We recorded several Casting Crowns songs to do for special music at church.  I use a backtrack CD with bass and rhythm guitar.  We do the vocal and lead live until we can find a drummer.

'Noah Found Grace' is a song that I heard on Tennessee Ernie Ford's 'Spirituals' album when I was a little guy listening to my Grandparents record collection.  That song has stuck with me for 40 years and when I started the Christian Metal music, I knew I had to play it.  I never found a chord chart for it, so I made it a blues based 1-4-5 progression.  I'm hoping that it will be in the public domain so I don't have to pay for a mechanical license and just use it.  I couldn't find it on the Harry Fox website, but I'll keep looking on other websites.  Don't need lawyers contacting me looking for money.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Song 13 is now "Children Of God"

After the last songwriting session, the words came together for 'Children of God'.  We may change the title since there is currently another song titled 'Children of God' by the band Third Day.  That may not make a difference.  There are a bunch of songs called 'Blessed be the Name', so similar titles mean nothing.  The tune came from putting a drum patch that we don't use much and jamming with it.  It was a jazz fusion patch and we tend to use the rock/heavy patches.

The songs verses are about Noah, Abraham, and David.  God worked through them, even though they worried and sinned.  We are all the children of God and he can work through us if he could work through murders and doubters.  It also reminds that he will correct us if we get too far away from His will.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Soldier (of God)

I was trying to channel my inner Megadeth while writing the music of 'Soldier'.  I had been listening to the song 'Angry Again' and we used to play 'Peace Sells' during my days in Tempered Steel.  The song refers to the battle all Christians have against Satan.  The Bible mentions the armor that we put on through reading and knowing the Word.  It is hard to love those who hate us for being Christians, but the Bible says that we have to love our enemy.  We also need to remember that giving is part of the Christian life.  It takes a long time to grow up in Christ.

I tried to give the solo a different feel.  My buddy A.C. Nakagawa reminded me that changing the scales can give a different feel to the music.  I added a little harmonic minor to my solo for some flavor.  I need to remember to insert some different scales than just the basic blues to the music so all the songs don't sound the same.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Running (Back to Jesus)

This song is about how we seem to always tend to stray our own way as Christians.  When everything starts getting to you and you 'can't get out of bed', there is always One who will get you through.  Sometimes we need that extra help to just get through another day and we need to lean on Christ.  That's when we come 'Running' back to Jesus.

The music for the song was inspired by part of an old Tempered Steel song.  My old buddy Don had a little riff that we had made into a song called 'Night Fighter'.  I took that riff and reinvented it into the main part of 'Running' and added a different chorus pattern and a bridge.  Court found John Folgerty not guilty of plagiarizing himself, so it must be OK, right?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jesus along for 'The Ride'

Next song for discussion is 'The Ride".  It basically is about how all of us who are Christians will take God "along for the ride".  None of us read the Bible enough, pray enough, or worship enough, but he loves us anyway.  He never seems to be on the 'front burner' unless we are going through trial and tribulations.  Fortunately for us, He is always right there to be by our side.  'The Ride' started out as part of a different song that did not work as planned.  The song that didn't work got switched into two songs.  The other song will be blogged about at a different time.  It's never easy to focus on Jesus first, but we all need to be reminded to try to always have God first and me second or even third.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Song 13"

I was going to write about the finished songs, but I've been working on "Song 13".  It's called that because that's what shows up on the recorder since it is not named yet.  I've got the guitar tracks done and I put down a bass line.  One of my buddies, a real bass player, is in town and will do the bass tracks.  He came over and was jamming with the song and I realized how bad of a bass player I am.  I can do the simple, ride the root, type of bass line.  I tend to forget how much a song improves with a 'real' bass player doing the track instead of me.  We should have the music finished and hopefully the other "S" of S Squared will have his words ready to do the vocals.  Then we can finally give the song a name.

Monday, April 25, 2011

All the World is Guilty

The first song that we wrote was 'All The World Is Guilty', which will probably be track 3 on the CD.  The words come directly from Romans 3:10.  That passage grabbed my attention during a Sunday night service.  We were between pastors and a guest pastor preached Romans.  When I first saw the passage, I thought it would make a great song.  It took several months to put together the song as we were recording cover songs to perform at church functions.  Once we started writing original material, it was easy to adjust the passage to the music.  We recorded the vocals over two sessions.  It took a few more than that for the guitars and bass.  The song will be one of my favorites since it was our first collaboration for the Lord.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesus Is The Victory

The first song available at or on iTunes is the extended version of 'Jesus Is The Victory'.  The song was originally from my first band, but I hated the words.  I recorded it for our singer and just gave it to him to write new lyrics.  There was no way that I could let him listen to the first version.  After we recorded what will be the album version, I re-recorded the song closer to what was in my head as how it should sound.  We recorded the extended version and liked both versions.  Since we won't have both versions on the CD when we finish it, we put the extended version out now to see what kind of interest it generates.  Hope people like it.

First Post of S Squared

We will be posting the thought process about creating our first CD of Christian Metal.  We have been working on creating the kind of music we like to play and honoring God at the same time.  The process has been different than when I worked on secular music.  Hopefully this will inspire some to purchase our musical tribute to God.