Zee’s Playlist – July 2017


Greeting fellas,


July 2017 one of the remarkable months in my life, mainly I was fortunate enough to take Fire Garden out of Chicago and played 2 live shows in Bowling Green Ohio and Buffalo NY. Thanks to our friends at Tiles and Turning Virtue to make it possible. The response of both shows has been amazing we made some new fans and flattered to meet existing fans.

The purpose of this blog is to share what my musical interests are, some updates on happenings in Fire Garden and few insights in my own words. I usually keep it short and sweet but this is special occasion so here is a little overview of our journey in detail.

We loaded our gear in 2 SUVs on the morning of July 14, the same evening we were playing in Bowling Green. The journey was about 5-6 hours to the venue we made few stops and reached hotel almost 30 minutes before the load in time, we quickly changed our clothes and got to the venue, the first band was setting up the gear we met Tiles, the hosts and specially sound guy, I explained him details what are our requirements for sound system such as DIs, vocal mics, guitars etc etc and then waiting game begun.

Positive thing about bowling green there was strong support for 2 local bands and venue was packed and good to see some Fire Garden fans in the audience as well. Negative thing (not bitching but giving you insights) that the sound guy had NO idea how to handle the sound, he was unfamiliar with the technical terms that are typical in industry, first he was not able to give us monitor feeds for in-ear monitors despite all cables and everything were connected, whenever we tell him any issue, he look at the console and nothing happened, during performance if I ask him to turn up or down he was looking at somewhere else hahaha I felt bad for him afterwards, secondly there was strange f***ing feedback throughout our set on the stage. We were little pissed but we decided to start playing, all night I was not able to hear any vocals on stage, I was only singing with the memory. We completed our set and I felt good overall despite sound issues, people really got our music and many people stopped by and appreciated our performance.



Next morning after breakfast we cruised our way to Buffalo NY (technically Niagara Falls USA side).  I reached the venue like 30 minutes before the VIP meet and greet was scheduled. No time for shower or nothing luckily I had few t-shirts that does not required ironing (hahaha), we loaded our gear, met my friend Davey K from Turning Virtue it was great to see him after talking over internet for couple of years. Dave is very energetic and passionate about music and we felt like home in Buffalo. I met the VIP fans shared some cool stories with them and answered their questions, then Tiles went on stage first and rocked it as usual, the guys play so effortlessly which is treat to watch, in our 3 shows with Tiles I think this is the best sound we got and they really shined. Turning Virtue got up next and played an awesome set with sync video show which was really cool.


Next is our turn and it didn’t took time to realize that this is the best sound and stage we got so far and we have to use it to full potential. The positive of our performance that all fan came up to the stage to support us which was really amazing to see. We started with The Joker which sets the tone and played overall a great set. There were few negatives but if everything goes well than you don’t learn anything, In our set we have 2 songs that we use backing tracks due to expansive keyboards on it. Life of a Drifter and The Diary of the Blood Moon. In the middle of the Drifter somehow we lost the track where we were and can’t hear the backing track at all which added a little confusion between band members but we pulled it off, and similar thing happened during Blood Moon but this time we knew what to do (hahaha) finally the set ended on high note and we were really happy to see all the fans…if you are still reading this far then you are definitely Fire Garden fan for sure 🙂

Another highlight was the release of Life of a Drifter music video, Crystal spotlight did an amazing job putting all the footage together and special thanks to Jordan Rudess for sending me his solo footage. The video got 23,000 hits on Facebook in a week which is amazing. Watch it if you haven’t and subscribe to our YouTube channel I think channel needs some love from you all.



On the side my friends at Live wires asked me to produced a track for them. I ended up playing guitars on and recording all instruments (except drums) in my studio. The track is National Anthem of Pakistan, audio mixed by mighty Bruce Soord and drums played by Jimmy Keegan. Marc Malitz played bass on it. Give it a listen hope you like it.



And last not least, I think this is the right time to think about writing a follow up of Far and Near. I am spending some time in the studio every day and playing with the sounds and collecting some ideas. Hopefully I will have some cool updates for you next month.

I guess enough talking, here are the records I was listening to this July

  1. Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence
  2. Pink Floyd – Ummagumma
  3. Discipline – Captives of the Wine Dark Sea
  4. Bent Knee – Land Animal
  5. Styx – The Mission
  6. Nickelback – Feed the Machine
  7. Queen – The Works
  8. Jethro Tull – Songs from the Woods
  9. Linkin Park – Meteora
  10. Anekdoten – From Within


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