Exclusive to NWN, Willow Caldera covers SL's burgeoning live music scene
Some of the best music, particularly in the wide world of Second Life, comes one's way through word of mouth: a friend hears a tune, comes away impressed and, before the week is out, you're tapping your toes to the kind of upbeat Tennessee guitar that makes you wish you were sat round the bonfire with your oldest friends as the sun goes down, beer in one hand and a hog roast in the other. It's to Frets Nirvana's endless credit that he can create this kind of atmosphere through your speakers in a virtual world. It'll make you nostalgic for the good life, and you'll enjoy every moment.
Video shot by kittie Serendipity featuring the song "Pipeline".
"[I started making music] When I was young, in my early teens," says Frets. "And I did it simply because I loved it, and it also gave me an identity, which all of us search for at that age. I would describe the music as fingerstyle guitar with a wide set of influences including blues, rock, pop, country and even jazz. My music spans a wide spectrum. I would describe the shows as energetic and organic. Presently I do not use tracks and it is all acoustic with no electric instruments."
Relatively new to the Second Life music scene, Frets has been playing since July of 2009 after being introduced to the idea by Von Johin, a fellow SL musician.
"I have some regular venues," he says. "Molaskey's pub which I really like. I play Woodstock weekly and like that as well. Those two stand out because I have been playing them the longest, but in general I like all the places I have played."
He uses three different guitars during his shows, usually all acoustic:"A Taylor GSMS, a Continental Tricone resonoator and an old National resonator for the 1930s. I use old Neumann tube mics that I kept from my recording studio that I used to own. I do not go direct. I run these through a Joe Meek preamp into an Alesis mixer with firewire into a Mac."
"[My] biggest influence in the last several years is Tommy Emmanuel. But then there is Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Merle Travis, Django Reinhardt, Phil Keaggy, Mike Dowling, Jimmy Page and the list goes on. I think I sound like a combination of all these influences."
Frets grew up in Cleveland, where he played in clubs with musicians including Joe Walsh and Phil Keaggy. "I only play in SL now," he explains. "I played a lot in real life, but I have had enough of the road and its demands. SL fits my lifestyle now."
More about Frets Nirvana:
Her taste in music is somewhat eclectic, ranging from Kings of Leon to Frou Frou and Deftones to Lady GaGa and Avenged Sevenfold.