Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Belmont 2 Is Finally Here!

I am stoked to finally say that Belmont 2 is available for download now! It has been nearly three years since I publicly announced I was working on this album, and I obviously didn't mean for it to take this long. I had originally wanted it out in October of 2016. Hoo boy, did I miss that deadline.

Frankly, I'm glad it took three years because it gave me an opportunity to really refine the songs and tell the story as I intended to tell it. The first Belmont was easy to write. I knew exactly how many songs it would take and what each song should sound like. Belmont 2 had to be done differently, and it took a while to crack that code. Some songs were re-written multiple times, while others were combined to make one. And the longer I kept working on the songs, the darker they got. I can't quite put my finger on what happened in November 2016, but my outlook got quite bleak at that point. The lyric "When darkness exists, we must resist" came out while re-writing "Shadows of the Hell House," and it set the course for the tone of the album.

I have to give special thanks to the five people who helped me make this album whole. I've been wanting to work with Angel "Masikus" Hernandez again ever since we did Ledjent of Zelda together in 2013. He's just so good on drums, so I knew I had to get him on Belmont 2. I also brought in my good friends Amanda Lepre, who has been partying hard on the road with Andrew WK, and Erik "Viking Guitar" Peabody for some guest vocals for The Maiden and Dracula respectively. Brian Pickens, my frequent collaborator, absolutely killed the artwork, and my good friend Terry Smith, once again, mixed and mastered the album. I told them I wanted it to look like the Castlevania 2 cover of Nintendo Power and sound like a Mastodon record, and they 100% delivered.

Thank you for all your support and patience for this record. It is good to know there is an audience for my silly Castlevania concept records.

Download from bandcamp here, or stream below:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Big Changes Call for a Massive Update!

I think every post I've made on this site for the last 2 years has started with "I forget I have a website." Well, here we go again! I forget I have a website.

But now seems like a good time to give a quick update on all the things that are happening. If you've followed my instagram and twitter posts, you will know that I am a whip-crack away from finally finishing BELMONT 2! That's right, this album that I have blabbing about for years is inching closer to completion. I just have a couple pick-up takes to record and some general editing, while my friend and Ledjent of Zelda contributer Masikus is working on the drum tracks.

To say I am excited to finally get this album out is a huge understatement. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw the whole album in the garbage (self-doubt is a hell of a thing). In fact, I re-wrote a couple of these songs 2 or 3 times. The ideas for these songs span many years, so it took a lot of re-tooling to make the whole thing sound cohesive. The lyrics were challenging at times. The first Belmont was easy to write because I can spew words about the Universal Monsters all day. Belmont 2 had to be internal. It had to get inside Simon's rotting brain. I used the uncertainty of our current real world discourse to fuel the fire a bit. Musically and lyrically, it has a much darker, heavier vibe than the first record.

So my general timeline is to get thing out to the world sometime in October of 2018. That is the 7-year anniversary of Belmont, which is fitting since the first two Castlevania games take place 7 years apart. That worked out quite well, wouldn't you say?

But that's not it! My bro from another coast, Viking Guitar, is moving from California to Pittsburgh in August, which means I will be joining his "Viking Guitar Lite 2.0" performances. These will consist of the two of us performing the same Viking Guitar material you've been hearing at our other events, like MAGFest and PAX. This will allow us to play other cons and festivals on the east coast while hopefully playing some local venues in Pittsburgh more often. I love Erik, and I can't wait to perform more shows with him!

And I'm saving my big news for...later. It will deserve its own post. But believe me when I say it is life-changing for me. The experience I've gained through the past 20 years of playing music has brought me to this point, and I can't wait to share this news with y'all/yinz.

Until then, take care of yourselves. The world is in a rough place. Be excellent to each other.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Splatoon Cover! And Other Updates.

Howdy! It has occurred to my busy little brain that I haven't updated my site in *checks last post*...a year?!

Let's catch up, shall we?

2015 was the most stressful year of my life, and it is still kinda dragging on. We uprooted from West Virginia and landed in Pittsburgh. We absolutely love it. But personal stuff (work, family deaths, buying a house, sick pets, dealing with slumlords, etc) have made things a wee bit stressful. I like stress. GOOD stress. It motivates me. But bad, venomous stress has a way of making you feel like you're trapped in carbonite.

I have tried to work on my own music. I dedicated 2016 to finally getting Belmont 2 finished and released by Halloween. Now into the fourth month of the year, and I only have one demo mostly finished. Stress is a hell of a brick wall.

But I have found that my favorite way to bury my stress is to mindlessly drown it in INK. I have played a lot of Splatoon. A lot. And when the latest Dwelling of Duels Brevity Month came up, I figured it would be a good excuse to record a quick cover of "Now or Never!" from the Splatoon soundtrack. Check it!

So that's my belated 2015 update in a small nutshell. I still worked on a good bit of music and collaborations. Check out my Discography section for a full list of everything that I have recorded. And as always, I'm updating stuff via twitter (@megabeardo) more than anywhere else.

Will I finish Belmont 2? I really don't know. Most of the time, I don't have the energy to work on it, which sucks. It will be six tracks, so a swift kick compared to the first record's 70+ minutes. Just finding enough time in my limited free time to 100% dedicate my brain for creating stuff is very difficult these days. I'm doing everything in my power to better the situation (finding a new job is my #1 priority right now). So hopefully, my next update will be a little more cheerful :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

"Basement Demos": A New Collection of Old Originals Now Available!

Download "Basement Demos" on bandcamp for free/name your price:

When you take a look at my discography and past music career, you will notice that I've been in a lot of bands over the years. Sometimes these bands go on for a long while, play live on occasion and release an album or two, and other bands never quite make it out of my basement.

That's what Basement Demos is. 

Dating back to 2009, I have stockpiled songs that I wrote for bands that I started and could never get off the ground. It happens. Life happens. People move away and people get busy. The band dissipates and you remain friends, but those songs just sit there and gather dust. I've tried re-purposing these songs for other projects with admittedly not so great results (this song in particular). So there they sit, collecting more dust and taking up space in my brain.

And then my wife and I decide to move out of my home state of West Virginia for work. I have lived here for every second of my 33 rotations around our sun, so transplanting ourselves into Pittsburgh is fun and scary and exciting and stressful. A move like this can be a catalyst for a much-needed recharge. It also gives you a chance to sort through the boxes of stuff in your basement. See where I'm going with this?

I bought my home in 2009, the same year I became a college teacher. It was a monumental year for me. "Hey, I'm an adult now!" This house also had a pretty cool partially finished basement area that I turned into my music and gaming space. 

This is where Mega Beardo was born.

Within two months of living at this house, I started tracking my Mega Man 2 Guitar Tribute album. I was also writing Belmont at the same time. The house was like an injection of adrenaline and creativity. I came to spend a lot of my time in that basement studio. I adorned it with all the nostalgic crap that made me feel like me. It was a home within a home. And now I'm moving out of it.

While packing up the stuff in this basement studio for the move, I began thinking "Man, I've written a lot of cool songs in this basement that nobody will ever really hear." It mirrored my current packing activities as "Well, do I hold onto these things that I keep boxed up and never look at, or do I sell them or give them to Goodwill?" While I'm clearing out this basement studio, why don't I go ahead and just release all of the unheard songs I wrote in this basement studio? So I'm clearing out my basement both literally and metaphorically. It's like when old Rocky Balboa says he can't stop thinking about fighting because he still has stuff "in the basement." Not only do I want people to hear these songs, but I just need to clear them out of my head and focus on the future.

So that brings us to Basement Demos. This is a collection of songs I wrote for the bands Last Level, Clobber, and Karate Balboa (aka Bulletproof Tiger, aka Gotham City - we never really did settle on a name). These are all instrumental tracks. Though I was the singer of Karate Balboa, I didn't think it would fit to have 7 instrumentals and 2 non-instrumentals on the same album. Some of these songs, like the Last Level ones, were already recorded and close to album ready. With the others, I had to go back and update the old demos from 2009-2010 to make them all match, sound quality-wise. What results is (what I hope) a collection of punk, hardcore, and southern metal songs that represents a fun part of my life with my good friends, and I want you guys to hear it too.

I didn't do this all alone. Some of these tracks were a collaborative effort, particularly the Clobber tracks. Everyone in that band had a part in writing those songs in one form or another, including the late, great Eric Kesner, who wrote the absolute cheesiest, catchiest, and best vocal/lyric verse hook I've ever heard for "Peace Pipe." I represented it by playing the melody on guitar, but it simply doesn't do it justice. I'll be singing that song in my head until the day I die. Thanks, Eric. 

I also got my buddy Tony Rohrbough (formerly of Byzantine) to lay down a solo on the Clobber track "Ice Wizard". I had an open spot for a fun solo, and I've always wanted to collaborate with Tony. I strongly feel he is the most under-appreciated guitarist in modern metal, and it blows my mind that he played a solo over one of my riffs.

Dunzo! It feels good to get these out. I have a few things heading your way later this year. Viking Guitar Live will do some more recording, and LonelyRollingStars is prepping our next album. I'm also finishing up a track for a Chrono Trigger album. All that leads up to me finally sitting down to write and record Belmont II. I don't have a timeline for that, but my preference would be to get out it by Halloween 2016, as it is an appropriate time of the year and would also mark the 5th anniversary of Belmont's release (holy crap).

Until next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

You Ready for Every Track I Released in 2014?

Now that 2014 is coming to a close, I feel it's time to compile all the music I released into one post, because there's A LOT. I said I was going to take it easy in 2014, and I ended up releasing 41 tracks on various projects, so I'm a big fat liar. Regardless, I'm super thankful that I get to work on so many great projects with so many awesome people around the globe. You guys are the best.

Ready? Here we go!

Mega Beardo - “Black Ice”
Viking Guitar Live - “Legion”
Logan Venderlic - “Heart Heavy” (not available online)
3-Hole Face - “CPU Up Your Ass” (I did lead vocals for this)
Black Hole Zion - “Reflection Nebula”

And now for all the awesome compilations I was a part of:

Shell-Shocked (OCRemix)
“Oroku Like a TurtleCane” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Heist)
“Live at the Big Apple Bluesfest” - guest solo

Chiptunes = Win! Volume 3
“Across the Chipth Dimension” (as Masikus X Mega Beardo)

Danse Macabre III
“You and Your Friends Are Dead” - Friday the 13th - NES
Viking Guitar Live - “Year Zero” (Ghost cover) - I did lead vocals here
“1881” - Phantom of the Opera - I also did lead vocals, along with Amanda Lepre

DKC Mix’t Ape ‘94
“The Apes Made Banana Splits in the Crocodile’s Skull” - Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Super VG Christmas Party
“Tusks of Ice in the Rising Fire” - Mega Man X4

And some other random tracks I released:

Zelda 2 Town Theme ukulele cover

Dwelling of Duels (
Door Door (NES) - “The Penguin Is Stupid, You Have to Exploit it
Gremlins 2 (NES) - “The Uke Batch”
Alien 3 (NES) - “Giger? I Don’t Even Know Her”

Monday, June 16, 2014

New EP "Black Ice" Now Available!

Before I begin, holy CRAP am I terrible at updating this website. Between facebook, twitter, youtube, instagram and blah blah whatever else, I sometimes forget I have an actual website! Though I mainly use this as a central hub to include everything I'm a part of (there's only so much you can do on crappy facebook). I will be including an official discography soon, because I released a lot of stuff last year, and I'm releasing A LOT of stuff this year.

Speaking of which...


1. World 666 (Super Mario Bros. 3)
2. Ov Ice and Sloth (The Goonies II)
3. Serpent on a Mountain Cold (Snake Rattle 'n' Roll)
4. Blue Burrr ft. Stemage and Viking Guitar (Sonic the Hedgehog 3)

So what is Black Ice? It's a short, four-song EP of video game ice level music fused with black metal flavorings. You see, this past winter was coooold. It sucked. It was miserable, and it put me in a weird mood. One day, I started messing around with the Super Mario Bros. 3 World 6 theme in a sort of Behemoth-style snippet to test some new guitar tones, and it all clicked. Within a couple of months, I had the thing arranged and recorded.

My past three albums (Mega Man 2, Belmont, and Ledjent of Zelda) had their ups and downs while writing and recording them. Broken fingers, ripped vocal chords, writer's block (I had major writer's block on Ledjent). For some reason, Black Ice was smooth sailing from the beginning. I think part of that was knowing exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. With Ledjent, it was like "oh, I've got this great pun and a few riffs! This'll be great! --- 6 months later --- uhhhhhh crap what was I doing?"

Really the hardest part was picking the tunes. I can say that there were some Zelda and Mega Man tunes that were on the short list, as well as a Metroid Prime 2 track. But I felt what I chose was a solid slate of classic themes and deeper cuts (how fuckin' rad is that Snake Rattle 'n' Roll tune?). Also, a huge thanks to Brian Pickens for the amazing artwork, as always -- to Stemage and Viking Guitar for laying down such slick, beautiful solos on Blue Burrr -- and to Terry Smith for mastering the hell out of it. 

Stream the album below.
Download Black Ice right here!

Friday, September 20, 2013

UPDATE: MAGFest, New Tunes, and Other Great Things

Nearly three months without an update on my own website?! What the hell's my problem? Though it may seem things have been quiet here in Mega Beardo Land, I can assure you that is not the case. I've been sort of secretly working on a few tracks for compilations all set to be released between August 28 and October 31. But more importantly, HOLY CRAP I'M PLAYING AT MAGFEST.

At MAGFest, I will be joining the mighty Viking Guitar's live band along with Stemage, Adam Henry, and Travis Morgan. We'll be hitting the second stage. It's going to be awesome, and you should be there. Here's a taste of what's to come:

Oh yeah, new tunes. So what compilations are they?

1. Spectrum of Mana
You may have heard about this little, tiny project that has been in development for quite some time now. It is a tribute album with a ridiculous amount of people involved, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I did an interview for the project that explains a little about my music background and my involvement with "Spectrum of Mana."

2. Vampire Variations II
This year's "Vampire Variations" album is two discs worth of Castlevania remixes. The first disc is all "Rondo of Blood," while the second disc is "Bloodlines." I'll be contributing a Rondo track, and you can hear a little bit of it in this trailer below (second song in):

And what's the third album, you ask? We'll just keep that one a secret for now :) Let's just say I'm not remixing a video game song on it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A New, Non-Djenty Zelda Remix for Free Download!

This is a leftover idea from the "Ledjent of Zelda" writing sessions. I originally planned to end the album with this song, but I felt it would ultimately mess with the overall tone and cohesive statement of the other tracks. Hence, I never recorded this idea.


As a 'thank you' to all you awesome people who have supported me all the way through my "Ledjent of Zelda" EP, I wanted to give you guys a little something in return. So, THANK YOU and ENJOY! This one's on the house (free free free).

Download link

You'll also notice that this melody did make it onto the album as a solo for "Triforsphere." It's around the 2:34 mark:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Randomly Recorded a Journey to Silius Track!

Howdy, BeardHeads! It may seem like things have been quiet around Mega Beardo Land since the release of Ledjent of Zelda, but I can assure you this isn't the case. I've got a couple non-Mega Beardo related projects in the works right now, which I plan to update you all on very soon. But in the middle of all that, I randomly picked up my acoustic guitar and starting jamming on one of my all-time favorite VGM tracks, and this happened...

I've always felt like tackling some of (if not all of) the Journey to Silius soundtrack, and this seemed like a cool way to do just that. I may revisit this soundtrack in the future, but I can tell you I have a bunch of other ideas I'd like to tackle too, and that includes more original material. We'll just see what I feel like doing first.

Anyway, enough rambling. If you want to download this track, head on over to my bandcamp page! I've made it part of my ever-growing Extra Lives album of random B-sides.

Journey to Silius - Stage 2 (download)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Footage of My Old Band 3-Hole Face Emerges!

You may have seen through facebook or twitter that I'll be recording vocals for a project called 3-Hole Face. Well, 3-Hole Face was an industrial metal band that lasted from 2000-2004, during which I was the lead guitarist. Terry Smith, the mastermind behind 3-Hole Face and the dude the masters all the Mega Beardo stuff, has stockpiled a bunch of new tunes that he wants me to sing on. So that's happening this year.

BUT check this out! I was doing some spring cleaning and happened upon a pile of VHS and cassette tapes that I squirreled away for some reason or another. On one of those VHS tapes was a 3-Hole Face show from 2002 that had no audio. And on one of those audio cassettes was the soundboard audio from that very show! So through the wonders of cheap modern technology, I was able to sync them up and post a couple of the tracks on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. This is a good chance to get a good idea where I got my start. In case you don't recognize me, I'm the dude with the long hair, the black SG, and the Dimebag Darrell beard.

"Synthetic Skin"

"Dollars For Blood"

As far as I know, we were pretty much the only industrial metal band in West Virginia at the time aside from another awesome band called Screw-Worm (and I haven't heard of any since). Needless to say, coming to a show and seeing some small-town boys all painted up with highlighters and playing crazy industrial metal was something quite different for the Morgantown scene. Unfortunately, we had to call it quits after 2004, although we played a one-off reunion show in 2010 to help raise money for cancer research. But you'll get new 3-Hole Face tunes hopefully by the end of the year! So there's that.