Tag Archives: The Restless Shades

Guest blog: 1971 Gibson SG Inspires Both Online and Off

Have you heard of Figment?

It’s an online game where users can create their own, non-existing bands with whole albums with track lists, album covers, and long descriptions of how this band would sound – if it was real! The most creative and interesting bands and albums get the most fans and attention, and are rewarded with ‘lucres’, the Figment game money users can buy stuff with.

On Figment, it’s “All bands, no music“.

Figment decided to give their users a challenge and promised a bucket full of lucres for the winner:

“We’ve noticed that many of our players are musicians in real life.  We’ve also noticed that many of you are great writers, who can easily and concisely write about your love of music, real and fake.  So for our first Figment Challenge we’re looking for one player who owns a vintage instrument and is willing to write about why they love that instrument, and how playing it has inspired the bands they create on Figment.”

The winner of the challenge is formerwageslave aka Remy Brecht.  He owns this 1971 Gibson SG:

Here is the article he won the challenge with:

’71 Gibson SG Inspires Both Online and Off
by Remy Brecht

I am the proud owner of a Gibson SG 200/250 from around ’71-’72. I bought it for $180 down in Memphis, TN from a FedEx employee sometime in the late 90′s, though I wish I had thought to ask him more about the instrument’s history at the time. He either didn’t realize what he had or didn’t fully appreciate its well-worn appearance, and had it “restored” at some point in the form of drowning it in a thick coat of shiny white paint. Nevertheless, it still has its rubber knobs and plastic switches, its “Les Paul Custom” tag on the headstock, its single coil pickups hidden by black plastic covers with “Gibson” in raised cursive lettering. The latter is perhaps my favorite detail about the guitar. Since then, this SG has been my main axe through countless projects and cities, from alternative rock cover bands in Memphis to industrial rock in Indiana, from feedback noise experiments in Las Vegas to digital hardcore punk in Detroit. My blood has soaked into the fretboard on numerous occasions, and there are plenty of new dents in its weathered but still rock-solid body.

Sadly, however, I don’t always have time to sit down and record ideas for songs… or entirely new bands, for that matter. When I discovered Figment ( http://www.figment.cc ), the immersive online game dedicated to creating painstakingly realistic fake bands, I knew I had found the perfect outlet for my excess creativity. On Figment, users can create the bands of their dreams, writing their back stories and member bios, designing their logos, and creating albums complete with cover art, track lists, credits, and descriptions. Other Figment users then “buy” and “listen” to these non-existent albums to increase their position on the Hot Albums chart. There are also frequent challenges with real prizes and famous music industry judges, including concept album and album cover design contests.

One of my main bands on Figment is the mythical stoner/doom group Vorpal Queen. My vintage SG is a constant source of inspiration when coming up with songs and albums for VQ, especially since one of their main influences is Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi has his own line of SGs that bear his name, and owning an instrument from that same family of guitars (and one that dates back to the days of such classic Sabbath records as Paranoid and Masters of Reality!) helps me channel those heady, haze-filled days of nascent heavy metal. Considering the SG’s narrow neck with strings set hand-crampingly close together, the heavy chunk of maple that is its body, I have a deeper appreciation for players such as Iommi who were able to play them back then with such speed and finesse– not an easy task compared to the lighter, faster guitars available today. The SG’s weight, the way each note rings through the entire body… these things stick in my mind when imagining new chapters of dark sludge for The Queen!

Figment bands of mine:

Vorpal Queen – http://www.figment.cc/bands/2528/vorpal-queen.fig
Lucifer and the Long Pigs – http://www.figment.cc/bands/2491/lucifer-and-the-long-pigs.fig

Real bands of mine:
The Restless Shades – http://www.facebook.com/therestlessshades
Phallus Uber Alles – http://www.facebook.com/phallusuberalles