Quick note: This is not a short read. This is a very long reflection on 2015, and if you have been around for a while, you probably had seen other year recaps so you were already prepared for that. This was a very productive, busy year, so there was a lot to be said. We didn't try to make things sound 'professional' or anything of the sort. We just wrote however things came to mind. You could call it something of a ramble, but perhaps you will enjoy it. With all that being said, let's get into it!
Every year comes to an end, and every year has the same reaction. Where the hell has the time gone? This year is absolutely no different in that sense, because its currently nearly 8:30 on New Years eve 2015 as I write this and God knows what time it is when you're reading it, and I'm sure we're all asking that same question. It sort of feels like I blinked and the year was over, but then I break it down and realize no, time just really flies.
Growing up, my mom always said that time flies when you get older. I can honestly remember not believing that at all, and being frustrated that time seemed to basically stand still. And then I started getting a life that did not dwell fully on the internet. Then I saw what my mom meant, because I was no longer spending my days playing games on a kids site and getting bored. I rarely have time to get bored anymore because I'm either working, writing, or socializing. Then in the rare moments when I'm not consumed with something else, my time goes into procrastinating on household chores and trying to relax while watching YouTube.
But really, a lot has happened this year, and honestly, I feel like I may have proven a few things to myself. One) It really and sincerely is okay to take time now and then for yourself, just to relax. Two) If you are dedicated enough, anything can happen.
In 2015, Immortal Music posted countless blog posts, and news articles, twenty-two interviews, and reviewed 32 albums. That probably doesn't sound like a ton but I have also worked probably close to 900 hours this year at a retail store, and have completed management training at said store. I am not a manager at the store, I am just qualified to do so.
This year has been a very good photography year for me, and I really have gotten into it. One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken was actually taken this year at Fort Rock on April 25 of Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach. Looking at it now, it honestly does feel like that day was so long ago now, but it was just back in April.
I went to four shows this year, and covered two of them. But because of the recent love of photography I've found, pictures have been taken at everything, and some of them turned out incredible. The first show I went to this years was Papa Roach and Seether on January 10 with my mom. I did cover it, but I actually bought the tickets first, as a Christmas present to my mom, and then thought to ask for a pass and was granted one through Seether. The show itself was interesting, but I do look back at it quite fondly. You can read all about that show if you want, I wrote all about it. That show though meant a lot to my mom, and because of that meant a lot to me. I actually had never seen her happier than I did while Seether was on stage. I probably will never forget it, because I found her after I got done taking pictures of themselves, and she just had the biggest smile on her face and tears in her eyes. She hugged me and thanked me for buying her the ticket, and just seemed so happy. Its a rare thing for her to be that happy, and I'm really glad I was able to help there, and Seether did that for her.
Then there was Fort Rock 2015 -holy crap. I think that show was one of the most stressful, yet coolest things I have ever done. I actually really felt like a professional at this show, even though I did get frustrated a few times. I covered probably half the festival's performances, and did four interviews that day. I can't say I did it without stress, or tears, but looking back at it, it was a damn good day. I also got the honor of covering Slipknot's set, which is not that common. I actually had to request a seperate photo pass for Slipknot's performance, and had to find their tour manager (or press person, I was never quite clear on who she was exactly) to get a special wristband to cover the set. I found her just before Godsmack's set, and then had to get a drunk man to help me hop the barricade because I could not get to the entrance of the press pit and I couldn't quite get over the barricade on my own. This entire time a security guard was watching, and was apparently amused. I only know that because I went and sat down and he chuckled and asked if I was having a hard time getting up there.
Then in late June, I found out Remedy X had been chosen to play at the Saint Petersburg, FL Vans Warped Tour date. I probably will never forget that, because I actually only signed them up again for the Warped tour Battle Of The Bands for shits and giggles. I busted my ass last year for it, and they didn't get it, even though they got to number four on our list. I noticed the link appeared to be active, so I said fuck it and fully reactivated it, but only did limited promotion for it. Then one day, I checked my phone when I shouldn't have and saw I had a voicemail from an unknown number. I decided to listen to it, and all I heard was "Hi, this is Ryan from Ernie Ball." (I think he said his name was Ryan, I could be wrong) and automatically knew what it was about. I'm not going to lie, I FREAKED OUT. I flung open the stock room door, and screamed my managers name, then told her what happened, and then realized the band didn't even know, and that I had to call the guy back. I called the guy back and got all the details sent to my email, and thanked him probably a thousand times. I probably will also never forget me telling the band's bassist, Patrick. I called and he was in the middle of something at work, so he answered with, "Hey, can I call you back?" I was not having any of that, and promptly yelled, "NO! YOU'RE GOING TO FUCKING TALK TO ME. I HAVE NEWS!" He asked what it was then, and I just answered with, "YOU GUYS ARE ON WARPED TOUR!!" He went dead silent, and I don't think he believed me right away.
That day was slightly surreal, and still is. I had to take my hatred back for Warped tour after that, because it actually was very well organized, and incredible. I actually debuted the Immortal Music merch there, and did actually get to sell one shirt. I didn't see the kid actually buy it, but I did see him when he first came to the tent. He apparently came back while I was watching one of the sets, but the perfect thing is the kid was wearing a Music = Life shirt. For those who may not remember, Music = Life was the name of the Facebook portion of Immortal Music until November 2013, and is actually what started all of this. Obviously, that guy didn't know that, but I hope to never forget that. That's actually the only shirt I've ever sold still. Speaking of, they are for sale here on the website. Just throwing that out there.
But, I digress. Where was I? Oh right, Warped tour! Given previous experiences with Warped tour, I assumed every artist I wanted to see would be playing late. I was happily surprised to discover that wasn't true! I went into that show hoping to see Escape The Fate, Black Veil Brides, As It Is, and Pierce The Veil. I was able to see all of them, and was so glad. It was my now boyfriend's first concert, and Black Veil Brides is one of his favorites, so I'm glad he got to see them. I say 'now boyfriend', because he and I actually officially got together about three weeks after Warped tour. At that show I actually bought a shirt that said Warped tour Famous on it, and then somehow lost it before I even got it back to Remedy's tent to show them. I was very disappointed and actually was going to try to make a trade with Ryan Seaman from Falling In Reverse (he designed it, come to find out) but we left before I could. It ended up being okay though because a really good friend of mine got a custom one designed for me that has my logo on it and says Warped Tour Famous on it. I appreciate that greatly, and will probably cherish that shirt forever.
Now for that dear friend. I actually have never met her in person, and was supposed to meet her this year. I couldn't have asked for a better friend, because she actually has helped me a lot with Immortal Music for a couple years now. She did a lot of promotion last year and some in 2013, but this year, I actually got her help writing some. None of you guys knew that, of course. I didn't want to draw attention to it, but do I feel like she deserves the credit. Thanks to her, I actually did get granted a pass for basically my dream festival, in a part of the country I have never been to at all. She helped me write reviews, keep up with news and kept me motivated for months while we anxiously awaited approval about the festival. That day came and I couldn't wait to tell her. I called her about five times while pacing in my room, shaking and crying with relief and excitement. Our hard work had finally paid off, and we were able to do this incredible thing -and finally meet. She finally answered the phone and in a sleepy voice says, "Did you get it?" I don't think she knew what say when I screamed, "WE GOT IT!!" in her ear.
Unfortunately, the world was completely against this happening, but when one door closes, they say another opens. I'm not going to lie, that falling apart honestly kind of killed me somewhat. I had never worked so hard in my life, so seeing it all get destroyed, and it was nothing anyone could have done, really hurt. I started wondering what the point was. I didn't really want to write much, so I didn't for a while. I wanted to quit all together, but yet the thought of that always brought tears to my eyes. So, I decided to force the spark to come back, and took a small band up on their offer of covering a show where they were opening for Hollywood Undead.
Nothing goes as planned. On the way to the show, I got an email saying the band I had my pass through wasn't performing. I didn't have a pass anymore, and frankly I didn't know what to do. We were still going though because my boyfriend had bought a ticket, and he was really looking forward to it. I ended up buying a ticket and taking pictures in the crowd, and got several I love. A first happened that night though, and it wouldn't have happened if we hadn't started talking to people in the line. I brought a bunch of bracelets with me because I discovered very quickly that they're really good, fun promotion. We made some friends that night and the one guy actually got bracelets to both bands performing that night. That was a goal from day one, and it hadn't happened yet. I actually saw Danny from Hollywood Undead get handed one of my bracelets, and I am going to be perfectly honest, I got overly excited. Not because it was him, but just because it happened. That sincerely was a goal, so having it happen right before my eyes was fucking amazing. If you ever see me at a show, come ask about a bracelet, I plan on bringing them with me to every show now.
I also went to Disney World for the first time since I was a small child, and then went to Hollywood Studios and Epcot for the first time ever thanks to a friend having connections. I vlogged both of those days, if anyone would like to see them. I actually vlogged a lot this year! Vlogging is a lot of fun for me because you can literally watch back a memory, and I think that's awesome. I have vlogs for Fort Rock, Warped tour, the trip to Disney World, a lot of the Disney World fun (two vlogs worth!), the Hollywood Undead show, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, Halloween, Christmas Eve. There's also one of me actually going and getting the t-shirts after they were made, but that's not much. I just wanted to have it on camera for myself.
I sort of feel like I forgot to mention something, but that does over all cover it, honestly. I probably did leave something out, but the really big things are covered, I do believe. I looked back at my 2014 recap blog and saw I also put together a 2015 goal list at the beginning of this year. I didn't ask for much, but two of the four things did happen. I said I wanted to do more interviews, and I wanted to finally get the T-shirt made. I only did 9 interviews in 2014, and I did 22 this year, and the T-shirts did get made! Would you look at that -finally! A New Years Resolution that actually happened! The other two were honestly out of my hands because of the way Facebook handles things. I wanted Immortal Music and Remedy to basically double in likes, but that's become basically impossible. But hey, the bigger things happened and that's what matters!
Now for the 2016 goals. I honestly want to just get back fully in the swing of things. Meaning I want to get back to posting regularly and maybe get back on somewhat of a schedule. I also would really like to get organized again with my stuff off of the internet, because I once was but its kind of gone away as I've gotten busier.
I already have some things happening in 2016 too! I am already working on preview coverage for Fort Rock 2016 which will hopefully be the first two day festival I ever attend and cover. Plus, it is pretty close to a dream lineup as well, so like I said earlier, when one door closes, another opens. Fort Rock is that door. I also hope to meet Cassidy, the friend I mentioned earlier. We're planning on going to Warped tour 2016 tour, as long as the lineup is good. Even if its not, we still hope to meet finally. That's going to be great.
Over all, I just hope to keep doing what I'm doing and just get better at it. Oh! And I really want to do more photography. I really have gotten into it and just want to start taking more pictures.
Let me know about your year, and some goals you have for 2016 and we will see you in the new year! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Immortal Music Stats for 2015!
-From January 9 - December 30, 2015 the website got 183,510 views. / We did: 22 interviews, 32 album reviews. Wrote 109 blog posts, and 132 news articles. Promoted it all across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and interacted with tons of fans and press people.
Here's to an even more productive, awesome year!
Blogs of various topics go here, and all are written by Immortal Music's creator. You never know what you may find here, so have a look around.