Friday, January 18, 2013

Birthday weekend... plus! EP reviews are in!

From the left: Craig, Ben, Tommy and Josh
My birthday weekend was a success! Since my real birthday is on January 14th, I celebrated on Saturday at my favorite venue in the world; Empire. They had a show going on during the day, so we took over the Alchemy Room. There was cake and baloons and presents and a bunch of my friends came and took shots with me. I drank a lot more than I should have. A LOT MORE. So much in fact that I thought I lost my phone, the next morning... but luckily, it was tucked safely into one of my gift bags during a brief moment of clarity. Hurray! We had the party after an "emergency" photo shoot that we needed to do in order to update our band photos. We actually got some really beautiful shots that I'm very anxious to see, but sadly, nothing yet! The guys and I did some fun poses behind the bar, wore lab coats, did some group shots and individual shots and lemme tell ya, I've never seen Chris look so inspired! It's gonna be a good series of photos, no doubt.

The next day we had a usual Sunday practice, followed by my REAL birthday on Monday. Nothing too interesting happened, except a bunch of reviews of Queen of Hell came! And they're absolutely BEAMING! I can't tell you how awesome it feels to read these, like maybe we might possibly be doing something RIGHT! So here's the reviews we've gotten so far, plus a few choice quotes I picked myself.. ;) I'll put up more reviews as we get them, but we seem to be on a pretty good roll!!

CD Review: A SOUND OF THUNDER ~ Queen of Hell EP by Rustyn Rose
Metalholic Magazine
...Old school Judas Priest meets Gamma Ray, classic Black Sabbath meets Hammerfall: Traditional meets power metal. The fact that Osegueda’s voice alone crashes down like a sound of thunder; one massive sonic tornado and 1000 unleashed hell hounds, only adds to the glory of the beast...

Danger Dog Music Reviews
...The latter version features Veronica Freeman of Benedictum tying one on in duet with ASoT's Nina Osegueda. You don't want to get between these two gals; by vocal skills alone they can burn most ordinary metal bands to the ground...
Heavy Metal Time Machine...If you could give only one selling point for the "Queen of Hell" EP it would have to be the vocals of Nina Osegueda. Nina's been described as "the love child of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson...", but even that description fails to fully describe just how good she is... 
Queen of Hell Review  by Matt Vicente
The Metal Pit
...This is old school power metal at it’s finest, rapid rire double bass drums, aggressive, melodic vocals, and riffs from the depths of Hades... 
...Nina Osegueda then completely slices off the top of your skull with a scream that truly could have come from the depths of Hell itself! Mission accomplished and we’re only 53 seconds into the track...

Media Mikes
...If you are a metal fan, there is no way in hell that this album won’t get you rocking out! Get those devil horns because you are going to need them!


Those were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself! Remember, if you still haven't pre-ordered Queen of Hell, there is still time! You can get our stuff from the following links. Hope you enjoy!!

- Cardboard Sleeve Edition

-25 Hand-Numbered Copies
- Signed by entire band and Veronica Freeman
- Includes 4" Embroidered "Queen's Guard" Patch
- Includes Certificate of Authenticity

CD & Vinyl editions can be ordered at our official store:

Digital copies can be ordered at: 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

M is for Masochist

Look at it.. isn't it beautiful?
WTF is wrong with me? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet I've got terrible masochistic tendancies. Case in point, I was looking up the origins of lox and bagels when I came accross this blog (What Jew Wanna Eat?) and found myself bombarded with pictures and recipes for beautiful challah breads and stuff that I can't eat because it's teeeeerrible for me. Yet, here I am, looking at these beautiful photos and thinking, "Oh man.. I would bake the hell out of you." Now, the problem with this is that it's very
 very difficult for me to have these kinds of things around, so I prefer to just avoid them. In real life, anyway. On the internet, I can look at recipes and food blogs! It's like porn! Seriously! Just like porn! But in real life, I'm drinking so much green tea that my pee is starting to smell like a PF Changs. I'm eating all these vegetables and salads and thinking, "Yeah, you eat that salad."

Man, I've got to be the most boring person ever.

Oh meat, how I love you!
In non-food related news, I'm going back into the studio today to do some last minute tweaks to a super secret track I'm gonna be on. You will find out why, later! It's gonna be awesome, don't worry. This Thursday we'll be practicing like normal, then on Friday it's fuckin' Texas De Brazil for my birthday dinner with Willy!! Well, that's food related, but I don't care. Every year, they send me a "Free Meal!! (With purchase of 1 regular meal.)" coupon, which is actually pretty great because eating there is $49.99. So basically, we both get all-you-can-eat AMAZING OMG MEAT (and salad bar) for $25 each, if we just drink water and no dessert. We usually tend to splurge and buy a bottle of wine, but I think I'm gonna keep it cheap this time so we can splurge on MY BIRTHDAY PARTY THE NEXT DAY instead. This year is the first year I have my birthday party at a bar. Usually, we throw parties at our place, but it's annoying that our space is too small to accommodate all of my friends and we always have to watch our loudness because of our neighbors (DRAMATIC EYEROLL) so this year I'm taking over The Alchemy Room at Empire. I'm already working on my outfit, so prepare for lots of fun party pictures!

And now, it's back to my green tea. Here's hoping it will keep my Diet Coke addiction at bay.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Record ALL the songs!

We seem to have happy problems when it comes to the Thunder. Namely, we can't stop writing songs, and we like all of them. So right now, we're working on getting our new album, Time's Arrow, ready for release. Meanwhile, we've written enough material for CD #4, but also have songs written for an entire concept album. Also, we're thinking of releasing a Halloween EP. Also, we want to tour again this year.

It only sucks to have these problems because we're not loaded with money. We're not on a huge label that will allow us to record ALL the songs, plus we're only 4 people and we only have so many hours in the day. So what we have to do is pick and choose which route to go, pick and choose the strongest songs, pick and choose whether to go the traditional album route or... gasp! Release a concept album. Personally, it's one of my biggest dreams to release a concept album. As you might have noticed from the way I write my lyrics, I'm big into story telling. I love playing different parts and writing music from a character's perspective. So, a concept album would be a dream come true for me! However, there are also some songs we've written that I really love. Or I'm starting to. For example, yesterday we came up with a new song that matched lyrics I had already written and I got that "HAPPY DAY! NEW SONG!" tingle that I always get when we write something I love.

So, what to do? I'm not exactly sure. I'm happy we have these sorts of "problems" because it just goes to show that we're creative enough to continue writing music, recardless of the circumstances. There's still a lot of songs I'd like to write and sing, so you can bet we won't be quitting any time soon. I just wish it didn't have to take so long to share our music with the world!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Four miles!

Today, I ran four miles. Was it worth the exhaustion? The jello-like feeling in my lower body? Sure! But holy crap, whenever I'm on that treadmill it's like one part confidence and ten parts torture.

The story is that in 2012 I gained like.. 15lbs. It sucks. I'm getting rid of it. My lowest weight was 122 and I'm trying to make my way back there. A few weeks ago, the day after Thanskgiving, I was HORRIFIED to discover that I was 140lbs. HOLY CRAP. "This is your way back to old Nina", I told myself. Never again. Old Nina (or, actually, young Nina..) was 180lbs. If I continued on my path, I knew I'd be back there. So, while it was difficult with the constant Holiday celebrations, I managed to curb my bad eating. I only indulged on sweets and junk during actual parties, or the holidays themselves. During my trip to Phoenix, I allowed myself to eat some stuff I wouldn't usually get because hey, how often do I get to fly to Phoenix?? (It was awesome, by the way...) and all that willpower actually worked. I didn't gain any more weight, and since I've kept up with my gym visits during the week I've gone down to 136lbs. Now, don't get me wrong. For someone 5' tall, this is still absolutely terrible. But hey, it's 4lbs lighter than I was during Thanksgiving, and that ain't bad.

Now that the holidays are over (my birthday next weekend does NOT count!), it's a lot easier to eat clean. I've been planning our meals in advance and only buying groceries for those meals, and for snacks allowed according to my dietary restrictions. It's hard because there are nights when I just wanna crash in front of the TV and mindlessly eat chips and salsa. Instead, I've got pickles and hard boiled eggs. It's not exactly a perfect substitution, but since I'm not hungry it allows me the ability to tell myself, "Hey, you're not hungry. You just want to eat because you want to eat." And that's not good, so no, I'm not over here eating an entire bowl of eggs and pickles. I take a bite and realize I'm being stupid.

So yeah, down four pounds as of today. I've got 11 pounds to go before I'm at my lowest weight, so that there is my goal. If I can keep it up, I know all make it.

Oh, did I mention I spent 30 minutes doing heavy upper body weightlifting? Ow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another year, more whining, waaah...

Well, this is it. The last year of my 20's. I've had a lot of fantastic youthful experiences which have involved drinking and partying and oh so many things. I loved my 20's. Having been sheltered by my parents until I was 22, moving out after college was my awakening. I did everything I wasn't allowed to do. I got a fast car, stayed out late, drank booze with friends in weird places, and dressed however I wanted whenever I wanted! (Except at work.) All while being tied to the same guy I met when I was 19. How very crazy of me.

Anyhow, now I'm turning 29 (IN TEN DAYS, OH GOD) and I'm scared. I'm so scared!! I remember when Willy's best friend turned 25 and how much he whined about it. Now he's about to turn 30, he's getting married, and here Willy and I am living in a place we own. We own a place. We have a cat. WE'RE ADULTS AND I HATE IT. If only I could go back to those carefree days in Manassas when I "worked" (I didn't do much) at a place where I had my own office and lived in an apartment with roommates. Thems was the days. I suppose it isn't like I feel any LESS free, now. I suppose in many ways, I'm even more free. I travel more, I have more money (kinda..), and I've got a lot more going on musically.

Me in '08.. wanna wear those jeans again!

The only thing that's missing is my figure. Backin Manassas, I was a steady 122 for a long time. This was my lowest weight and I was able to cling to it. I kept trying to lose more, and at one point even made it to 119, but 122 was definitely the best I could do without going crazy. I wore a size 6 pair of jeans. What I wouldn't give to be back to that! Since then, I've steadily magically horribly gained and lost the same 10-15lbs. It's a bad habit that I blame mostly on our touring schedule and my friends all being so gaddamn supportive. COME ON, GUYS. Why can't everyone be as mean to me as I am to myself? That's a terrible request, I take it back. But seriously, I gotta lose this weight and get back to 122. I discovered recently that I can't fit into those size 6 jeans anymore, and it broke my heart. I loved those jeans. I drove to St. Paul in those jeans. How could I not fit them, anymore!? I feel like I betrayed myself, so, it's back to eating clean for me.

Luckily, I've been good about going to the gym every week, so I don't need to start all over again. I never stopped running and a lot of my clothes still fit, but you know me.. I gain it all in my legs and thats the hardest place to lose weight. But gosh darnit, it's a new year, and I refuse to spend it miserable in my own body. I know how to lose weight, I just need to regain the old patience that I once had and f'ing do it.

As of today, I've been clean since January 2nd. I know, big deal, but the first few days are the hardest. I've been trying to stick to clean eating by making sure I've always got food around me, in case I feel the need to cheat. So instead of grabbing chocolate, I'm grabbing almonds. Instead of making excuses because I'm too tired to cook, I've got a pot roast in the crock pot RIGHT NOW. So long as I can continue to plan in advance, this shouldn't be too hard... so bring it on, new year!

It seems like 2013 is gonna have a lot more opportunities, so the last thing I need is to feel like I missed out on them because I'm too fat. ONWARD AND FORWARD! String cheese and pickles!