Finally some sponsored YouTube content! Find out how you can do the same!

So this morning I woke up to the beautiful sight of my account looking like this:

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This is how it looks like when you have made an approved sponsored video! It will show up in your content section and automatically become part of your “commercial-cv.”

If you want to know more about the site and my experience so far then make sure that you join my LIVE stream on Patreon for only 1$ on the 28th this month! I do minimum two update videos every month and have turned these into live streams in 2019 which means that not only will you get all sorts of tips and advice relevant to being an indie-musician you can also ask me questions and interact with me!

Obviously I’m very excited about my first sponsored content and I hope that I will get hired to make many more videos in the future! I’ve only contacted brands that are related to interests that I’ve expressed on my social media, which is an important detail when it comes to sponsored content! You have to aim for products that genuinely interests you or that you think that your fans/followers will have an interest in!

Whenever you create a video that features sponsored content you are obliged by law to notify the viewer, which means that none of the videos that I’ve made in the past for brands were sponsored! The standard for a video with 100.000 views on YouTube is 10.000$ for a featured product. That’s quite something to find out, especially when you are creating content that is in perpetuity, which obviously is the case whenever an artist makes a music video!

I wish that there was an organisation for independent musicians that could notify creatives of these things! As it is you just have to find out things on your own which means that you’ll miss out on financial opportunities!

The secretive nature of musicians also makes it difficult to “unionise” if you get what I’m trying to say. When I was offered to do my very 1st clinic some years back I tried to shop around and ask musicians who only do clinics what an average rate might be. Nobody wanted to help me with this so I was never able to figure out what a standard industry rate might look like. Likewise; when I was ill and injured I couldn’t find any averages for injuries or an estimated retirement age which meant that I had to resort to online forums which is not representative due to limited sample sizes! 

The music industry is so murky that it leaves a lot of people fumbling in the darkness when it comes to: technique, health & money! 

I think most aspiring musicians will have come across people who play amazing licks and runs only to receive a note with a scale written on it if asking about said lick!

I took lessons with a very difficult (but well-respected) guitar teacher some years back who waited until my hand was hurting so much that I had to take a break before he shared health-related knowledge with me. He literally waited until I could have gotten injured. That is not acceptable tutoring. Nor is it acceptable to shower students in sarcasm which I guess is common with miserable musicians. Envy is apparently rampant in this business which is not a good thing.

The secrecy that guitar players shroud themselves in is ridiculous as well since it only makes it harder for musicians as a demographic. The general atomised culture makes it easier to take advantage of performers or creative artists in show biz!

If you are looking for a mentor or a teacher who doesn’t hold anything back then you should get in touch with me! Not only do I customise my music lessons to fit whatever individual needs, I also share my knowledge. Obviously I don’t do this for free! In order to have a one-hour customised private lesson with me over SKYPE or in person you’ll have to pay 30GBP, I will also expect that I’m mentioned or thanked if I aid you when it comes to your recordings, etc; It is a bit silly to seek out expertise only to pretend that you came up with everything on your own afterwards!

I always give credit to Ramon Ortiz even though I didn’t take that many lessons with him, because he had a great influence on my heavy metal guitar playing. I also mention Steve Smyth even though I only had one masterclass with him. He is a great teacher and if anything, he  boosted my confidence as a player before I recorded my Evolution EP!

And of course I always thank my mother Elisabeth who taught me how to sing opera by using the bel canto technique, not to forget that she is also my manager!

Letting people know that you appreciate their help and support by giving them credit or by officially thanking them should become more commonplace in showbiz!

There is always a generation of musicians coming after you and it is the duty of those who are more experienced to pass their knowledge on, especially if you know how to sing or play classical music.

This is part of our irreplaceable European heritage and it can never be allowed to get lost!

When You Lose Your Headquarter While Fighting A Conventional Enemy….

Lately I’ve been thinking about the political establishment’s fixation on Russia and China. My reason for this is that I imagine that it must be reassuring and good to know that your Nation is in relatively good shape if you are called to fight a foreign State actor elsewhere…

What inspired these thoughts was a short YouTube video I watched from Paul Joseph-Watson where he spoke about the fall of Paris. This was before the yellow-West protests.

There seem to be no willingness to sort out internal turbulence from a great number of political establishments in Europe, who seem more concerned with distracting their enforcement officials with petty, feel-good, political-correctness issues, rather than nipping things in the bud. In addition the mainstream media are in on the hoax as well veiling Europe in a false wrapping of safety where critics are portrayed as merely ill-informed, or as Russian spies, or as racists, or as weird conspiracy theorists.

As it is though, the con-act is unravelling since the instability has grown to such an extent that the de-stabilisation effort can no longer be hidden.

Leaders such as Kurz and Salvini are lone voices of reason displaying the sort of leadership that is necessary in a situation such as this; the only issue is that their actions are contained and would have been more powerful and efficient if they were executed upon the continent as a whole.

The reason as to why I bring up this issue once again is that if the threat and the concerns regarding China and Russia are as severe as Defence officials would want to us to believe, then I dare say that it must be quite “problematic” that we already find ourselves in compromised territorial situations within our own Nation States…

In the case of conventional, State actor-warfare, it could very well might be that our professional fighters are sent out to confront a traditional enemy, while their home territory (that has already been compromised) fall to imported and/or native insurgents; the insurgents might even strike a deal with the more conventional enemies so that our own fighters find themselves locked-in and surrounded.

It will require quite the genius to first defeat the Chinese and the Russians, only to head back home to another battlefield. In fact it very well might be that there will be no home to come back to at all.

Not to mention that the main battle could easily be sabotaged if your headquarter falls.

This means that regardless of how one chooses to think and regardless of what might be on top of one’s priority list, the destabilisation of Europe and of America cannot be brushed under the carpet any longer.

It is a bi-partisan issue that transcends all and everything. It simply has to deal with the survival of our tribes and cultures.

The fact that we have to wait in anticipation to see whether elections grant us the leadership required to tackle our current continental crisis is nothing but tragic.

If a continental decision could be made it would be in everyone’s interest, after all it must compromise NATO’s efficiency and operational ability that so many of its member Nations finds themselves in such an unfortunate internal predicament.

And if it doesn’t compromise the preparations that these countries are currently undertaking in preparation for any potential future conventional war efforts, then it probably will once the fighting starts.

If you have no control now, then what makes you think that you will under such circumstances as described above; especially since our militaries are professional, which means that “life-will-go-on-as-usual” for the vast majority of the population, who at this point in time stand face to face with threats that our current enforcement establishments have either no desire to solve or even worse: no ability to solve.

In other words; even if your main concerns are Russia and China it cannot be ignored that the current political situation in the U.S.A. & Europe poses a fundamental threat to any future victories.

You will need your country to be there for you so that you can fight for your country; yet what makes you think that it will if you gaze upon the current internal landscape?

 

The Greatest Weapon Of All.

A few weeks back I was hanging out with my youngest sibling when I ended up reading about Dinosaurs.

The thought that came through my mind once I was done looking at the illustrations (where one section was mentioning herbivores while the other was mentioning carnivores), was that the old reptiles were slightly luckier than us when it came to identifying the predators among them…

With humans this is not that easy, which is why murderers and delinquents can blend in and hide among those who would fall under the “prey category.”

While I was laying there thinking about this it dawned upon me how dangerous we humans are as apex-predators, which is precisely what we are.

I thought back at certain moments in time when I observed my fellow humans ranting.

Rage, unhinged, unleashed, uncompromising, catapulted into whatever room, with no concern or thought about how this might affect the overall atmosphere.

The catalyst for these cracks in whatever docile facade were almost always: the news.

One person once declared loudly and clearly that a certain politician deserved the bullet, countless people have ranted out into the empty air when they’ve heard the news of children suffering, and the list could go on.

What these outbursts had  in common was that they were the result of information being plotted into the human operational system.

By who?

By the news, who can be seen as “the programmers” in our societies.

The same can be said of a great deal of other things as well, but it is mainly the news, and the sound of a headline, that will generally get an instant, loud, angry, reaction.

What’s interesting is that “the emotional system” is a global one (unless you fall into the psychopath category) which means that people all over the world are prone to this.

What happens then when we are fed wrong or misleading information? 

“Weaponised humans,” awakened as a result of their natural emotional wiring being triggered; acting out acts of violence, in the false belief that they are indeed fighting “evil,” must surely be one of the greatest issues with human behaviour generally speaking.

If you’ve ever followed real-life crime series then you’ll probably be aware of cases where the murderer thought of themselves as very reasoned in their actions, only to find out later that they were quite misguided, not just in killing another human, but killing the wrong person or doing it based on wrong information and/or assumptions.

The latent-apex-predator-type (such as people ranting at the news) is also visible when observing and/or experiencing people’s reactions to artists and people with a public profile. It is perfectly normal to all of a sudden find oneself in the receiving end of hate, not because you’ve done something stupid or said something stupid, but because of what you represent.

The irony is of course that you might not even know that you represent anything at all, yet that doesn’t nullify that you will to someone else.

It is also of interest to note that war-crimes and abuse within political systems are usually blamed on the political system and the situation itself, rather than airing the theory or viewpoint, that this might be how certain humans behave when given the chance!

As I’ve said before it is rather murky to talk about bad guys versus good guys, since humans have a tendency to see themselves and their in-group as inherently, and uniquely heroic.

People justify their actions to themselves and to the rest of the world, even if the action cannot be justified.

In many ways it can be said that we are the greatest weapon of all, but a lot of this I’m sure has to deal with lack of self-awareness and taking things at face-value, such as “the news.”

 

Lyric Book – Signed Physical Copies!

A little while ago I received my 1st printed version of my Illustrated Lyric Book 🙂 It made me so happy and proud to actually have a physical copy in my hand! I was positively surprised at the amazing quality as well; it certainly looks very exclusive when you hold it in your hands!

Signed Physical Copies of this book will only be available through my Patreon Page 😀 If you are keen on a digital copy of my Amazon Bestseller Lyric Book, you can get yours here: eBook. The eBook version is shorter since the Physical one also includes some pages with only artwork; I’ll give you a sneak peek here:

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I’ve also released my 1st Blog Book; which is why a number of my entries have been set to private here on my blog. If you want a chronological insight into my Blog writing from my 1st entry up until Christmas 2016, then check this out. I’ve not included Music Industry related entries as these will be released as a separate book. Buy My Book Here!

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If you like my drawings then make sure that you check out my very 1st book; my Amazon Bestselling illustrated children’s book “The Freezing Snowman.”

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The Purpose Of This Blog.

Some people have been asking me lately what the purpose of this blog is?

Well…my reply is pretty much….that there is no underlying purpose to this blog \m/ There is no strategy behind it, it is supposed to be about my life outside of music and it was initially supposed to be funny.

I have to admit that I got my inspiration from somebody else who shall remain nameless…..I though that it would be funny to write the most boring blog ever…That was the initial idea.

At a certain point though I guess I felt inspired to write about some of my experiences in the music industry and those entries proved to be very popular indeed.

Then I wrote a whole bunch of entries about my “10 year guitar anniversary” as I first picked up the instrument in 2005. That makes you think of course. Did I end up doing what I wanted to do? Or did I deviate from my original plan? What was my motivation for picking up the instrument and playing for all those hours in the first place…etc? This resulted in 5 entries in total….yeah…that’s what happens when I start writing about music….

By then the whole blog had become “work-oriented” which is what happens I guess when you do something you are passionate about. You just can’t stop talking about it.

I do find myself though constantly sharing news stories on my private FB, as I read articles that upsets me or moves me etc, then I thought to myself, why not blog about my opinions and share some of the material I read? I liked that I idea a lot. I don’t know how long I will keep it up or how consistent this “new direction” will be but I like it.

Most of my lyrics ( here we go, work again 😛 ) are inspired by things that upsets me in this world, so why not share my views on certain issues? I mean I got myself politically involved when I was just a teen, and when matters of the world first catches your interest at a young age I don’t believe it will ever leave you.

I have realised though, that people looooove anything gossipy, these type of entries appeals massively to people. They can identify with them and whenever I either post an update or a blog that reveals personal information about myself I always see the reach go up. I also receive emails and messages from people who can identify with what I have addressed, which always makes me happy. If me writing about personal things can give other people strength and inspire them I think that’s really awesome 🙂 But if I for example share news articles or anything political on my professional FB, I don’t really get any reach or any interesting comments from anyone at all. To be fair I’ve experienced people making a point of “un-liking” my page and coming with completely irrelevant comments solely based on a hatred or dislike towards the news site I’ve shared an article from. I’m just mentioning this to show the banality of  not even checking out the article, before you unlike an artists page. It’s silly.

Take Senator Rand Paul for example, it doesn’t matter what your political leanings are, he did a phenomenal filibuster about drones a while back. It was fantastic and it excited a lot of young people. I shared a link to this and someone comes and comment about Paul’s supporters…apparently there was a video of a Rand Paul supporter stepping on the head of a “Move.org” or “MoveOn.org “comrade”. I’m saying “comrade” because anyone who has ever done their homework about MoveOn.org will know that they are (or were) a communist organisation. At least that was the case when I was briefly involved with them years ago, if it is the same organisation, that is. I did not know that they were revolutionaries of course, until after I had been involved with them. Anyway, They are one of many groups in the USA who uses political issues to gain support from people who have no idea what their real “agenda” or “core political leanings” are. What does a filibuster about drones have to deal with libertarians crashing with communists? I don’t really see the relevance to be honest. I have no idea, but that’s the kind of eloquent “debate-technique” you have to deal with on social media. Which sort of says it all.

So I’ll use my blog to write about things that takes my fancy or catches my interest, issues that there is no interest for on my official pages 😛

Me promoting a specific guitar brand for example, is way more interesting and popular, because most of my fans are guitar players! It is not uncommon for me to receive messages from people who have bought a specific product after seeing me use and promote said instrument-product. So there is way more interest for that sort of stuff. \m/

This blog, is just my “private little space” in the huge, vast universe that is the inter webs. Here I air opinions that are mine and only mine, even sharing links and discussing articles I find of interest 😛

Purpose? Hmmm…..some people just like to write you know…

Writing from the heart or the guts, depending on the mood.

I have something I want to share with you!

Hey you guys!

Today I would like to share something that is very close to my heart and very personal! (Just to warn you guys… there are explanations below the pictures in this entry, so to avoid any confusion, it’s a good idea to go and read these later after you’ve read the main text!! Explanations are inside the parenthesis (). Bear that in mind!!!!)

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Self Portrait from 2004!!

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Self Portrait from 2005!!

Long before I even though of picking up a guitar my main interest was visual arts!

Music was still my biggest source of inspiration, but drawing was something I did every single day!

“Every picture an artist makes is a self-portrait” is how the saying goes, but as I never really plan much when it comes to what I draw I guess I prefer to say that ” these pictures are a snapshot of how I feel at the time”.

Still I guess they say a lot about me, just like the rest of my creative output which is quite substantial.

Believe me when I say that the only reason there is no album out there from me with original material is due to lack of funding NOT due to lack of ideas!

I do however have an album with Classical Music available. An album that I’m incredibly proud of! If you want to hear me play violin music on the guitar or hear me sing opera you can check it out here: http://www.commandermusic.com/store.html

Anyway….

When we started out with this whole “Commander-In-Chief” business 7 years ago, it was a very different “product” that was presented to the world!

We started off my Myspace page with 2 original demo-tracks, with illustrations I had made for the lyrics and an animated “artsy” video I had made myself!

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From my animated “Battle For The Mind” video-2008.

( I spent months working on the animated video! Very high pace, full of colours and artsy stuff it got me my first fans over on Myspace!).

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My initial vision was that music and art was gonna be part of a whole since I visualise my music when I write it! This was going to be an artsy project and I was initially not even planning on using photos of myself to promote what I was doing.

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The Bush Administration, taken from Hail To The Chief 2007/2008

( The picture above was inspired by the Bush administration and/or the leaders of the world. I had written a song called “Hail To The Chief” long before I took my artist name! I was very politically involved when I was a teen. All my lyrics were strictly about issues in society for a very long time. I was surprised when I discovered the Dead Kennedy’s, as I realised that they had already covered many of the topics I was writing about! The picture below is more recent and was made in 2012 as part of a Pledge Campaign! It’s an illustration for my song “Famous”. The song is strictly about reality shows, not talent shows or celebrities who are famous due to skills.)

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Illustration for “Famous” from 2012

We saw however that pictures of me created “buzz” on my pages and got a good reach.

When I started out I had only been playing for 3 years and had no interest in shredding, I considered myself a songwriter more than anything else.
My original idea was to have a male singer singing my music, but I was advised by the producer I worked with that it would be better to “not-give-my-songs-away”.
It took me sometime to get used to the idea of being a vocalist! I had already started taking singing lessons from my mother, but I did this initially as I thought it would be a shame to turn down singing lessons in opera when the offer was there.

The 2 demo tracks we promoted caught the attention of indie-producers that had worked with pretty big names, in fact some of the biggest names in the genre, but I knew that I wanted a heavier sound even though my songwriting was catchy/commercial.

Things changed and developed over time and considering how much time and energy “artist development” can take if you are going to do it properly, visual arts went out the window.

I started drawing again in late 2012 and I also illustrated ( and wrote) my first children book “The Freezing Snowman” which we released in 2014!

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Original drawing from “The Freezing Snowman”, First Draft, from 2013.

( The drawing above is part of the “first drafts” I made for the book. They were all made on cardboard. I got the idea for “The Freezing Snowman” when I made a snowman with my siblings in early 2012).

My original artwork will now be for sale on my website right here: http://www.commandermusic.com/art.html
and I’ll take the opportunity to share the stories/ideas I had behind some of these pictures!

As always, thanks for the support everybody! If you like me as an artist keep on supporting what I do by buying what I put up for sale!

ALWAYS support original art, whatever form!

You gotta keep the ideas coming and the art alive!

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“I’m your new neighbour” I don’t think this picture needs an explanation!

( I like to draw facial expressions that are exaggerated! And I love colour, I spent a lot of time making this one.)

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( I was using something as a reference when I drew this, but I quickly departed from that as usual. The man is obviously not happy. He is thinking about what he could have done differently in his life.)

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(This man is being pulled in all directions to such an extent he is literally being torn apart. I was inspired by one of the villains from Spiderman! Believe it or not!)

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( I have no idea what this is. A strict italian guy. He certainly looks like a villain to me!)

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( I made this back in high school. We were supposed to draw our comfort zone and then add an element that would turn the comfort zone into the total opposite. I picked my bed room and added an entity that was not supposed to be there. I guess this is my ultimate nightmare in many ways. I used myself as a reference, then I used one of the guitar players from Dimmu Borgir as the reference for the guy in the closet! I just loved how he looked like in their band photos!)

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( This is me dreaming about new children’s stories. I’m not gonna go into detail, but you see the Snowman on the right looking happy for a change. I have several other characters I’ve created!)

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( This is a Thug God. My youngest brother Eric wanted me to draw a Buddha. Me being me though the Buddha ended up being a thug, rub it’s belly and you will be sucked into an endless pit, or I guess the greed for more will devour you. He is also holding a baseball bat. Try to take his gold and you are dead!)

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( I started a political zine with a friend of mine back in 2007. One of the articles I wrote was about the “Big Brother” state America was turning into due to the increase in surveillance cameras everywhere. Freedom was lost in my opinion and it was only going to get worse. During that period I sketched a whole bunch of spy-robots, in 2013 I went back and turned these ideas into something tangible.)

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( My socialist grandfather with a deep fascination for everything Russian, brought me this chessboard. It’s Russian and I used it as a reference during art class. The picture is fittingly called “Russian Revolution”.)

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( Not my best, but the idea is cool. This is again inspired by the “Big Bother” society we live in. When I made these sketches I had still not discovered 1984! This picture is supposed to represent cloning. I guess it could look like I was inspired by “Brave New World”!)

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( I have no idea what this is. I had no reference when drawing this. She is a lady about to get murdered. She is next but she doesn’t know.)

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( Another take on the spy-robot, that will get to you no matter where you are! Nowhere is safe I tell you! This robot is pretty much alive, it’s an organic robot I guess you can say! It’s one of my favourite pictures.)

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(And this ladies and gentlemen is Lady Justice in all her might! This was one of the illustrations I started my MySpace page with! The illustration for ” If The Dead Ones Could Talk” a song inspired by Chicago mobsters. It’s suppose to symbolise corruption needles to say!)

Here is my explanation for the two “self-portraits” at the beginning of this entry! It seemed a bit confusing to let it be where it was originally!

( I’ve always enjoyed making “self-portraits” that are based around an object I own or how I feel inside. The dragon represents my fire, passion and drive. I made it back in 2004 as part of a school project, I grew very fond of the picture even though its old and made by a child. The picture below was made a year later as part of an art school application. I was supposed to draw my shoes. I thought this sounded very boring and uninteresting until an artist I knew told me ” it’s a great challenge, it’s not about the shoes really, it’s about how you see the shoes”. Brilliant advice! I immediately drew the shoes to represent me, therefore I see the picture as more than just the picture of shoes. Like the one above it’s a self portrait. Maybe the coolest self portraits are the ones without the “self” present).