My name is Justin Presley. I’m an aspiring musician and writer, and this is my first blog post. I’m a native of Timmins, a small mining city in Northern Ontario, which is also where I currently reside. I discovered my burning passion for music at the age of 13 when my friends who were in a punk band called Split Second asked me to be their bassist. I had taken piano lessons as a young child, but did not by any means consider myself a musician at this point, although I loved all types of rock music back then; classic rock, punk, metal, you name it. I begged my parents to buy me my first bass, to which they did reluctantly, thinking it would just be another activity that I would eventually quit. Punk music proved to be the best learning ground for a self-teaching beginner. I learned how to read tabs and learned to play tunes from bands like The Misfits, NOFX, Leftover Crack, The Virus, Rancid, etc. (Rancid being a lot more challenging than the rest). With Split Second, I had my first on-stage experience in this old dingy dive bar called the GV Hotel (a bar my grandfather used to party in back in the day), and after that experience I knew in my heart that this was something I wanted to do forever. Music is a breathing fire within that keeps me alive, and when I don’t tend to it, life is cold and dark.
In high school, most of the friends I made were other musicians, and with them I formed many bands and played a myriad of shows locally. We played a lot of metal, emo, and post-hardcore. We covered Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Atreyu, Silverstein, A Day to Remember, and we wrote a lot of original material. The bands I played in that are most note-worthy were called Room 18, Yours Truly, and Sans Regret (pronounced in French because we were a francophone band). You can probably find old recordings of those bands on MySpace. I also participated in the school’s band, which is called “Quand ça nous chante”. The music teacher who organizes and coaches the band has since become a great friend and mentor to me. It was also in high school that I took up guitar and singing, and where I discovered my second passion, writing. My English creative writing teacher inspired me deeply and has also served me as a mentor. She is the one who pushed me to start this blog.
My passions led me to take music and English literature at the University of Ottawa. There I grew as an artist and one that appreciates all genres of music and all forms of art. I made few more artist friends there who continue to inspire me today. It is also there where I learned to think about art critically and how to better appreciate it. It has greatly widened my perspective on life and the world. Though a degree in the arts probably won’t make me millions, it was certainly fruitful in the way that it has conditioned me into a better version of myself. While in Ottawa, I refined my skills as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and DIY producer. Today, I am working on a solo musical project, on which more is to come in future blog articles.
That is basically my life’s story in very broad brush-strokes, and now what I briefly want to discuss is what More Than Melody promises to deliver in the near future. My ideas so far are to write album recommendations, concert reviews, my personal life experiences in terms of a DYI artist, my progress on my projects, links to my own music, shout-outs to some of my fellow artists (musicians, writers, visual artists, photographers, etc.) and their work, and editorials on topics pertaining to art in our society. This blog might also become a YouTube channel later on with similar types of content.
To conclude, I’d just like to cordially invite you on this journey with me, and to thank you in advance for the support. If you have any feedback on how this blog can better accommodate you as a reader, or ideas for things you’d like me to discuss, do let me know.
Thanks for reading.