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I bit the bullet and started cleaning my office today. I love being organized, but I hate cleaning. Do I really need to save notebooks and folders from undergrad courses that I’ll never crack open again? Even my graduate studies binder isn’t really connected to what I do today.

I'd show you the pages, but they're kinda sticky...

It was my good buddy’s birthday today, and although he’s in a different province now, we still have a chat every now and then about music past and present. He reminded me of one of our conversations last year, where we were debating about whether or not we were going to go to our 10-year reunion, which quickly segued into talking about the gigs we went to in high school. In 2003, our favorite gig was the immense Summer Sanitarium tour, which was a nu metal delight: Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, and Mudvayne.

It’s funny in a way, because Summer Sanitarium 2003 (~$46,000,000) outsold Ozzfest (~$23,000,000) and Lollapalooza (~$14,000,000) combined. Granted, Summer Sanitarium was the only stadium-driven tour that summer (save for Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, who had a small run).

As our conversation progressed, we talked about bands that have aged well from that list (he is an avid Deftones fan) and bands that have fallen off our individual radars a bit (he didn’t believe me that Alien Ant Farm are releasing a new album this year)…

SPOILER: my friend's not black and I'm not Latino

… which brings me to the title of this post.

I’m not going to waste any more words on about how putrid the faux cowboy supergroup Hellyeah are. I loved Mudvayne in my teens and then started to see the writing on the wall after Lost & Found. To this day, I still enjoy L.D. 50 from time-to-time, and I cite drummer Matt McDonough as an influence in my drumming. Couple him with the brilliant and immensely-talented bassist Ryan Martinie, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a rhythm section in mainstream metal who has to ‘play down’ to their bandmates’ talent level. In between their various hiatuses, I would always wonder: what are McDonough and Martinie up to, anyway? I remember that Martinie filled in for Fieldy in KoRn when they were touring (and Fieldy and his wife were expecting the birth of their child), but I didn’t really pay attention because, well, KoRn never really flew on my radar after Issues.

It bothered me that such talent was stagnating, so I did a little research: currently, Martinie and McDonough are involved in a couple side projects. The former is playing bass in a band called Kurai, who released an EP in December 2013. Comprised of Martinie, Scott Von Heldt (a bit of a vagabond musician whose most recent work before Kurai was with Brian “Head” Welch’s solo project) and Abel Vallejo (who was Ray Luzier’s drum tech in KoRn), you can probably hazard a guess as to what a Kurai song sounds like: a KoRn copycat with more mellifluous bass.

If you take a pass on it, I don’t blame you.

However, the good news is that Martinie and McDonough are involved in a far more interesting side project called On the Shoulders of Giants. Unfortunately, Martinie doesn’t play on the record, but he did produce the 3-song debut EP, and enlisted workhorse Dave Fortman to help with mixing the record. On the Shoulders of Giants is comprised of Dean Murphy (guitars), Jonathan Munnier (bass), Mike Keiper (vocals), and Matt McDonough (drums).

On the Shoulders of Giants started out when Murphy and Munnier were collaborating for fun, and Munnier ran into Martinie at the Warwick booth at a National Association of Music Merchants convention. Martinie mentioned how his new ambition was to start producing records, and Munnier asked if the Mudvayne bassist would be interested in producing the EP. After hearing the demos, the EP started to take shape, with Keiper (of the perpetually bustling Florida scene) and McDonough entering the fold shortly thereafter. For the most part, recording took place in 4 16-hour days in sweltering July heat. The EP isn’t super mathematical, but there are some neat technical flourishes here-and-there and it certainly has a lot of groove.

The EP isn’t available for purchase yet, but you can stream On the Shoulders of Giants here:

On the Shoulders of Giants Facebook

February 15th, eh? You ever receive discounted Valentine's Day candy as a last-minute gift?

Interesting post, Jom. I'm a huge fan of Mudvayne's first two LPs. This Shoulders Of Giants EP sounds good. Djent-y as hell, but still good.

good research I always really dug those 2 members of mudvayne the most, unparalleled rythme sections. on the shoulders of giants sounds great actually damn

i think my love for meshuggah def stemmed from l.d. 50 without realising it

Awesome post Jom, I've wondered about what those two were doing too, but never enough to conduct a research for it. Glad to see they've got something cool going on, because On The Shoulders Of Giants sounds really neat.

Also, on what kind of a level do you play drums? Do you and some of your mates have a hobby band going on or something?

I would say that 'hobby' is a polite way to describe whatever it is we are, yeah. Our name could feasibly be "Our Better-Halves are Having Ladies' Night Out, so We Can Finally Jam for a Few Hours so We Don't Have to Listen to Them Bitch About How Loud We're Being. Also: Some of Us Have Neighbors Who Are Total Dicks and Call the Cops for 'Noise Violations' Even Though It's 2PM on a Sunday."

If Red Sparowes need some help with verbose song titles, they know where to find me.

Those titles hint at some real untapped talent. I think you boys need to persuade your better halves to have more ladies' nights.

Well, we're neither old enough nor possessing the fashion sense to join a bowling league, and golf is out of the question with it being so bitterly cold outside, so maybe our career trajectory puts us at releasing a single by 2127 or until we all die, whichever comes first.

wow that kurai thing sounds so much like korn

Nice post, Jom. On the Shoulders of Giants do sound like they could be moderately promising.

Sounds great, I should check it out.

I dearly love LD50, mostly because of the raw, ruthless, anger that is very prominent. Wish these guys would get back together and make something like LD50, but that will probably never happen

Really not liking the songs posted but I am glad that Matt is actually doing something

Researching a little about Kurai I noticed they have an album called "Mantra", then I listened and found it quite intersting.
Here's a link to stream it:

Yeah, the members seem to rotate a bit. From what I read, Martinie didn't play on 'Mantra'.

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