The other week I was lucky enough to be the judge for Craig High School Talent Show in Janesville, Wisconsin with one of my best friends, James (follow him on Twitter, he’s a cool dude @JamesMilbrandt).
This seems like such a small role, but it really meant a lot to me. As a kid, I remember my dad taking me to this same talent show to watch the bands and entertainment. It was the first talent competition I had ever been to and I remember how obsessed I was with it for the coming weeks. I thought of all the acts as celebrities and admired every performer. My dad and I sat down in the front, critiquing every act after they performed and decided our favorites. At the time, I had never listened to “Heavy Metal” or “Screamo” music, but there was a metal band that we were blown away by. Their skill as a band, technicality, and showmanship was far better than anyone else that night. We were dead set on them winning first place. When they lost, I remember being so upset because of the judge’s disinterest in the music style and not actually focusing on what the “Talent” contest was all about. I knew that I had an open mind for everything and was so disturbed by the judge’s decision that I wanted to go in and change the results myself, based on my own opinions and observation. Every year after that when I saw advertising for the show I always thought of that night with my dad. Fast forward ten years… and who wouldve known! I got to influence the decision myself of the same show I’ve been hung up on through the years and I couldn’t be happier with the results. That little boy buried in the audience who left the show unsettled ten years ago was now the man sitting in the judge’s chair. Funny how life works… :).
Moral of the story – You have just as much a right as anyone else to do whatever it is you want to do, its just a matter of going for it. You can’t change the past, but you can start working now toward the future. Take control yourself. YOU be the judge.
Never Give Up.
This week I had to the honor to take photos with the wonderful Angelea Presti. I had heard endless good things about her from some friends and other people I work with, so we connected and did a shoot.
She currently lives in Wisconsin right now, but happens to be moving to Tennessee this summer. On this unexpected trip home, I did not pack any clothes that were photoshoot worthy. So when we scheduled the shoot for the next day, I was frantically trying to put together outfits that would work. I ended up having to drive up to Madison just to get all new clothes and made it back in time for the shoot literally ON THE DOT. Having never tried the clothes on before, I changed and just rolled with it.
We set up in a warehouse section of the radio station she works at. It was really cool and the lighting worked out perfect.
Angelea made everything fun and easy, telling me exactly what to do and how to pose. She knew what she wanted and I trusted her lead. We took tons of photos and had fun at the same time.
Here are some of the final results:
At the end of the shoot, she surprised me with needing a shot for her portfolio with her and a male model. She set the timer on her camera, and ran up to grab the shot. The second after the camera “snapped” it ran out of battery. We were left with that one shot and our fingers crossed hoping we got it right. The results ended up looking pretty incredible…
Unexpectedly, Angelea got in touch with me today and asked me to help her out with another shoot. The theme she was going for, although it sounds crazy, was “Editorial Fairytale”. This shoot is where i JUST literally got home from, so I figured I’d include a few sneak peek pics ;).
I couldn’t be happier with the photo shoots we did over the past couple days. I highly recommend Angelea as a photographer to anyone and everyone.
CHECK HER OUT AT:
Instagram – @angelea_photography
Twitter – @angelea_photo
email – email@example.com
So today I traveled home from Nashville to celebrate my dad’s 53rd birthday, and man I had quite the adventure. Just the other day, my sister had the idea to surprise him by showing up for dinner, seeing that she lives over 2 hours away and I live 10 hours away, he certainly wouldn’t be expecting it – and he wasn’t!
This trip, however, has led me through some ridiculous obstacles along the way. It was strange because the day itself was a great day, I felt great all day but it was also one of my unluckiest days in a while. First of all, I had lots of work to finish up before I could tear down the studio and bring it home to Wisconsin. I worked all through the night and packed up at about 4 in the morning. With leaving at 5, I didn’t even have time to lay down and close my eyes once for the night. Surviving only off monster and coffee, the day just got weird. To start, when loading my things in my car I walked through a giant cobweb surrounding my face and getting in my hair. After filling up my car with gas, my card was declined. I then went to sit in my car and missed the seat, falling right on the ground. Then I drove to get on the interstate the wrong direction, and continued to miss the next 3 exits I was supposed to take in a row, leading myself in circles around the city. I stopped at a McDonalds to get an oatmeal breakfast (whole wheat 290 calories 😉 ) which advertised a free small coffee, which they then charged me extra for and denied the advertisement on the sign literally on their window. I stopped later on at a gas station to buy two of my favorite Monster Absolute Zero’s – after taking one sip, I quickly realized I bought the wrong kind of Monster, which happened to be the worst tasting kind I’ve ever had. If things weren’t already bad enough, I got pulled over in mid Illinois and was given a speeding ticket for going 15 over the limit. To cool down I pulled over at the rest stop, only to look in the mirror and top it all off with realizing I had worn my shirt inside-out the whole day.
Regardless, the day continued to be strange because no matter how many things tried to knock me down – I was still feeling great! I actually started to see the humor in the series of unfortunate events that were occurring.
Even through all the bad luck, today turned out to be a great day after all. We had the whole family together, surprised my dad, and made his birthday one to remember.
All in all – today was a terribly exhausting, horrible, great day.
Yo, Strangers. Want to eat healthy and feel great for the summer? Here’s what I do to keep my nutrition on point. A lot of people ask me for tips and info on my nutrition plan, and I figured this might help some of those who want to eat right but don’t know what to do.
The best way to make sure that you’re going to follow your eating regimen, is to pre make your meals (lunch and dinner) for the whole week (7 days). It seems like a ton of work but if you just take 2 hours out of your day (I make mine on a Sunday) then you don’t have to think about cooking the rest of the week.
It’s important to have 6 meals a day, eating about every 2 hours to keep your metabolism working hard. However, some of these “meals” can be very small, just enough to keep your metabolism working. The order you eat should look something like this:
The foods you eat can vary, there’s thousands of options but I hate being confused on what to eat, so I’m not gonna tell you all your options for meals and snacks (although there is plenty). I’ll just tell you EXACTLY what I eat. If your like me and just want to be told exactly what needs to be done, feel free to follow this exact process.
I have 14 tupperware containers ready so I’ll have lunch and dinner for the next 7 days.
The first thing I do in the morning is workout, so for breakfast I have 2 scoops of whey protein powder (immediately following my workout).
For my snacks I have whole, unroasted & unsalted almonds (handful, I always try to count out about 6. Almonds contain lots of fats so don’t go overboard if your trying to cut weight).
For lunch and dinner I have 2 options. Salmon or chicken, with brown rice and mixed vegetables.
*Note to drink over a gallon of water or more each day. Drink as much water as possible before and after each meal to feel full.
First, you should let your meat thaw out while you prepare everything.
Cook one whole bag of whole grain rice in a pot of water. Once its done distribute amongst the 14 open Tupperware containers so each has an even amount.
Next, cook 1 big bag of mixed vegetables (morning blend) in a pot of water. Again, distribute.
Then put 7 pieces of salmon on a baking pan (if they’re big pieces cut them in half). Use a tad bit of olive oil on the baking sheet. Throw on Kosher salt, some ground pepper, and you are good to go. Bake at 400 for 10 mins. Distribute.
Use the same pan and cook 7 pieces of chicken the exact same way. EXCEPT, set the oven at 375, and cook for about 30 mins.
Once they’re all evenly distributed, you should have 7 meals of chicken, and 7 of salmon. Throw those bad boys in your freezer and anxiously wait for tomorrow.
Sauce it up:
When you’re ready to eat, pop the lid loose (but leave it on). Zap it in the microwave for 4 mins.
I put some sort of hot sauce on every meal, just be sure to watch the nutritional info on your sauces. I load either, Sriracha, Frank’s Red Hot, or all flavors of Tabasco on everything and mix it all around.
So a typical day would look like this:
9 AM – Whey Protein Shake
12 PM – Handful of Almonds
2 PM – Lunch (Chicken)
4 PM – Handful of Almonds
6 PM – Dinner (Salmon)
8 PM – Handful of Almonds
So that’s my routine of eating right and feeling great! Let me know if you decide to follow my routine and ask me if you have any questions.
Stay Strange 😉
Alright, welcome to my very first blog post! I’m going to be posting from here on out every Wednesday at 7pm CT so make sure to stay close and keep tabs on my life. Seeing that I can’t have my own reality t.v. show (yet ;)) this is the closest way to make everyone around me a part of my crazy life – whether it be bits of info, pictures, videos, trips, recording, tours, the good, the bad, the ugly… I’ll keep everyone in the loop as much as I can, and have some fun along the way.
So I figured the first thing I’d discuss is my tattoos. I just got a new one so why not? Ink is on the brain. A lot of people ask me what the meaning is behind them, when and where I got them, and why I even got them in the first place.
Tattoos… Some people love ’em, some people hate ’em. A mark on your body in ink based off a temporary idea that will remain on your body an entire lifetime. Sounds crazy right? But why? Here’s my thoughts… If you want to get a tattoo and you have an idea that you decide you want to put on your body, then do it. I just don’t understand how people can ever “regret” anything. Even if you absolutely don’t want that tattoo after 20 years, its already a part of you. That tattoo was a decision YOU made in YOUR life. It may not be what you want at the current time, but that mark is a piece of your own history which carved a little scratch in the overall picture you call your life. If need be, let it be a lesson and teach you acceptance. Say, you get in a car accident and break your arm, have surgery, and have a huge scar left on your arm for the rest of your life. You definitely didn’t choose to have that scar, but you can learn to accept that its there. Getting a tattoo is a bonus cause hey, at least you STARTED with something you like, right?! Regardless, you created a memory, and have a reminder of a bit of your past with you at all times. If you disagree with me, then you probably think I’m trying to talk you into getting a tattoo… that is not the case! I don’t think either one is right or wrong. Get one if you want one, stay far away if you don’t! I respect any and every decision :).
Now… Let me tell you a bit about mine.
Tattoo #1 – Never Give Up
My whole life I’ve been daring and looking for thrills. Getting a tattoo was something that scared me, but I’ve always liked the idea of. About a year ago, just before South by Southwest (music conference in Austin, Texas) when my friend James asked me to go with him to get his nose pierced, he told me to do it too. I blew it off at first and thought about it… I figured, well, I don’t want my nose pierced… but the tattoo shop he’s getting it done at would be the perfect opportunity to get something done! So I thought about what I wanted and got it done right in Janesville, WI. I’ve always been hung up on the idea of consistency. I’m fighting to be a successful musician and that is all I ever want to be in life – why would I settle for anything else? I would be miserable settling down and working a factory job making a living just to eat, giving up on everything I ever wanted, the whole purpose of my life and the thing that would bring true happiness to me. If the reason to stop trying is because I would be unhappy not being successful and not making money, well, I ALREADY know that I would be unhappy doing anything else. So basically I would be happier living on the street the rest of my life with the hope that I would someday make it and keep pushing every day than I would to know that I gave up and am living a life that I didn’t want til the day I die. I figured, life gets really tough sometimes and I want the reminder to never give up staring me in the face every day. I love that I can see it when I play guitar or am on the computer producing. I will always have this tattoo to push me, and when I get to where I want to be, I will have it to remind me that I stayed true to my word and didn’t give up.
Immediately after getting home from the shop
(Immediately after getting home from the shop)
Fresh after the bandage was off
(Fresh after the bandage was off)
after a week of healing in Austin, Texas at SXSW
after a week of healing in Austin, Texas at SXSW
(After a week of healing in Austin, Texas at SXSW)
Tattoo #2 – Pine Tree
This tattoo came about when my buddies from Orlando (Jay and Dylan) came to Nashville for a visit. They were straight up looking for a crazy weekend, so I suggested the idea of getting tattoos. Jay was 110% down, but again this kinda went unspoken for a couple days. Eventually on the last night we up and went to the tattoo shop at about 10pm. He hadn’t even thought of the tattoo idea he wanted until we were literally walking up the stairs of the shop. I went first, he made a decision, and we both got them.
I picked a pine tree. one day when I was stressed out, I walked outside on my back deck and just closed my eyes. I thought about what it really was that would make me happy. When I envisioned opening my eyes, sitting just outside a small log cabin in the mountains, looking over a sea of pine trees and a lake, breathing in the smell of fresh pine trees, I realized one thing I needed was ultimate freedom. I would be absolutely happy in my life if I had the freedom from deadlines, money problems, etc… just, freedom. In my mind I was also sitting in the mountains of New Hampshire, a place I hold dear to my heart because of my father and family being from there. So with just freedom, one thing was missing; Love. To have one significant other with me and a family that loves me. No matter what happens in life, I only needed two things to be truly happy; Love, and freedom. This pine tree represents the freedom part of that.
(Getting the tree)
(Mid-tattoo thumbs up)
(My pine tree and Jay’s cross, freshly done)
(A peaceful place that reminded me of my vision while hiking in Georgia a week after healing)
Tattoo #3 Diamond
This tattoo is a small one, but I like it. A lot of people think I’m trying to be cocky with it or be a punk, but that’s not the case… in fact, that’s the point of the tattoo – to state that I’m not. Contradictory, or so it seems… I was out for a late night drive one night in Wisconsin to clear my mind, when I looked down at my rings, my watch, my high top shoes, and was messaging a fan on facebook. One thing he said stuck with me, “Your just a badass producer who doesn’t give a fuck and parties every night!” I was reading this, as I was trying to clear my mind of all the sensitive battles I have inside my head every day, the things I never show and hide but consume my entire life. These feelings that are all inside me every day and night. I decided it express it with an accessory. I like and enjoy flashy things and standing out, like a diamond. However, a diamonds true meaning, is love. Although I’m flashy and seem like “whatever whatever” from an outside perspective, really deep down inside my true meaning is all about love, and caring. If you truly know me, you already are very aware of this. So a diamond, on the finger like an accessory, was how I decided to show this. A self reflection.
(Chillin in the Madison, WI shop before getting tatted)
(The diamond the day after)
Tattoo #4 – My Sister, My Brother
Down to my last, and newest addition to the tattoo collection. This one was very recent, about a week ago. The tattoo is still healing but coming along nicely. This came about in Cocoa Beach, Florida on our family vacation. My grandparents were giving me and my sister a hard time about regretting our tattoos later in life, and I said how I wanted to get more. I said to my sister, Chantal, “we should get one together”. She was all for it, but I didn’t think she was serious. Later that night she came to me with the idea of getting mon frère or, “My Brother” tattooed on her in French, and I would get ma soeur or, “My Sister”. I absolutely loved the idea and knew that was it right when she said it. It was fitting seeing that we are both French (Napert) and don’t live with or by each other anymore. From now on, no matter where I go, I will always have, “My Sister” with me. It’s all the more meaningful having it done together so we could both live the experience side by side.
(Hanging out at the shop in Cocoa Beach just before getting the tattoo)
(Chantal getting ready to get tattooed)
(Me under the gun)
(Chantal handling it like a pro)
(mon frère on Chantal’s back, right shoulder)
(ma soeur on my front right collar bone)
(a few days after healing, back in Wisconsin)
That wraps up my tattoo stories! I hope you enjoyed reading about everything. I’ll be posting every Wednesday at 7pm CT so make sure to check back every week!