Great Debut Show!.... Thank you Dancing Skulls!

The story behind Giza Is Gone

Written by Raymond Hemms

The Vision: March,2020

They said, “14 days to flatten the curve”, so I found myself in an odd position of being home and out of work. I began thinking “How can I bring music that I record in my studio into a live show?” Then the idea expanded even more to “with video synced?” and then even more “with lighting ques synced?” So, with my newfound time I designed the equipment rack needed to pull this feat off, and began to build out the PA, Lighting, and Video distribution rig. The research needed to find and learn the multiple software and hardware needed burned up countless hours, but in the end proved valuable as the set up worked brilliantly. Now comes the hard part. Locating interesting video content to use during the show. I got permission from an artist in Manchester England to use some of his brilliant video creations, and I began piecing them together over music I had been recording over the last 6 years. Finally, I was getting somewhere. I was beginning to see my “concept” come together. By this time the whole “14 days” thing turned into “we need 30 more”, and I had mixed emotions. I needed more time, but I was also kind of losing my mind! Now it was time to go into overdrive. I built out a 35 min show and was now learning how to program DMX controlled lighting via midi commands to change scenes during the show. My ADD/OCD kicked in and I couldn’t just be satisfied with one color scene per song. Now it was “change to this color on the beat of a specific song part”, and “flash a strobe here on this part”. This took forever, and all of this was still just a “idea” that I didn’t even know if it would work live!

Building the live band: Imagine trying to find players for a band with the pitch “Hey, yea we will be doing an all instrumental set, synced to a video and lighting rig, and oh yea there are no venues open to do any gigs!” It took going through a few members to get guys to see the vision and get on board. Now my 45-day home incarceration is ending. I have a 35-minute show completed, and we can now leave the house and begin rehearsing it live with Miller Brown (drums) and Bryan Almaguer (guitar). Things were coming along nicely then Bryan told us he was moving to Nevada. Time to regroup. I began to rethink the lineup as being a power trio with Drums, Guitar, and Bass. I began auditioning bass players with the same pitch “Hey, yea we will be doing an all instrumental set, synced to a video and lighting rig, and oh yea there are no venues open to do any gigs!”. Michael Scott (Bass) comes over to my studio to tryout after receiving the files for the 35-minute show a few days prior. I figured he may know a couple of the songs and we can get a feel for how it may feel live. He knew the entire set! Now I am in trouble. I needed a whole new second set of music and video and lighting programmed! Rinse and repeat the entire process over again!

Band Name: Ok, now the full show is completed, and we need a band name. The second song in the show is called “Giza is Gone”, and while creating the video (using a guy in Pakistan via Fiver) my song concept was that “Aliens came to Earth 5000 years ago to teach mankind to build these huge Pyramids in the desert only to return centuries later to come take them back as they were a needed resource back on their home planets”. Try selling that creative via the internet to a guy in Pakistan, but he created a video and we decided that would be the name if the project! Fast forward a year later, and still no venues to try this little experiment out. Finally, a year and a half later, we are honored to unveil the project at Dancing Skulls in Johns Creek on July 23rd, 2021.

Send me a text and let me know what you think.

Raymond Hemms


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