Tear out my heart

Desperately passionate…
Ian T.’s vocal interpretation of my lyrics. Amplified by his own rhytm guitars, Chris Bouchard’s drums and Jean Lui Toudou’s slapping bass. A song I wrote and recorded five years ago, but was reborn today.

I search and don’t find
I’m gasping for breath
I’m willfully blind
I’m hearing deaf

I whisper and yell
I fight and I flee
Just craving your smell
Please come to me

Tear out my heart
Razor fingers cover my chest
Tear out my heart
Execute my cardiac arrest

I’m losing the pace
So wordless and slow
Just silence and space
Please come to me

Tear out my heart
Razor fingers cover my chest
Tear out my heart
Execute my cardiac arrest

(Lyris by Justus, leadvocals Ian T.)

This is now my heart

The original idea for this song originates from years ago. After a first impulse by Suzann Baldwin -only the title is what’s left of her lyrics- and fresh guitars by Olivier Demaine, this track started to gather dust again. Until Steve Rice came along and added his lyrics and convincing vocal performance. Doubt, anger and hurt as being part of love…

This is now my heart,
In a world that’s torn apart
I keep searching for a spark
I keep searching

What you left for me
Is but a hollowed memory
Filled with love’s debris
I keep searching

What is this pain I seem to hold
My angry bear it took control
Those lonely nights my heart it froze
I got nowhere that I can go

Could you take me back again
Or dust me off and just be friends
How does this lovers quarrel end
Is this where I leave?
You leave me

Will you leave me?
Will you?

A painted storm inside my head
My favorite color, always red
The loop it plays those words I said
I think I’ll put my bear to bed

Could you take me back again
Or dust me off and just be friends
How does this lovers quarrel end
Is this where you leave me?

(Lyrics & vocals by Steve Rice)

Once upon a time…

…there was this guy Justus who composed an instrumental piece he called ‘Every dog has its day’. Many years after that he got involved in online musical collaborations. As ‘Every dog has its day’ had been his favourite ever since, he decided to revive his tune. So he sent out several requests to songwriters and singers for lyrics and vocals. For years the project was gathering dust. Nobody seemed interest but then, out of the blue, Steve Rice came up with lyrics and a vocal track. (And later on Dan Rosati put his tasty sax on the cake.)

A new chapter was written. But singer Steve -hardrocker by nature- challenged me to try a rockier arrangement as well. So I went back to the drawing board. Killed some of my darlings -plus Dan’s saxual contributions…- and created this new rocking version of ‘the old dog’:

But since all good things come in threes, I decided to explore the other side of the spectrum as well. Just for fun. Getting out of my comfort zone. I built an entire new soft, jazzier version with the help of talented musicians in the online community. Subsequently I swapped most of my original midi/Reason instruments for the real stuff. Next to the vocals by Steve and Dan’s saxes, there are acoustic drums by Bill McCarthy, the Fender Rhodes by Gabro Jazz and a real upright bass by Jeff Dalton. Them jazzcats rule…

I should have known you’ld never let it be.
You always twist it up in front of me.
You laugh and say it doesn’t mean a thing.
We both know that bird can’t help but sing.

Tie me, I’ve been flailing, won’t you tie me down again.
Short pause between my banter, I can’t help but try to win.
Can’t help but drool, I’m like a fool foaming at the mouth.
You turn away, I shout and say that I can’t live without.

Every dog has its day, some dogs can’t help but bark some just run away.
Every dog has its day, some dogs, their tail tells the tale they just want to play.
They just want to play, they just want to play, they just want to play.

Every dog has its day, some dogs can’t help but bark some just run away.
Every dog has its day, some dogs, their tail tells the tale they just want to play.
They just want to play, they just want to play, they just want to play.

(Lyrics & vocals: Steve Rice)

After all

Now here’s a special one. Haunting vocals by Cali Beach trying to make the angels weep. Catchy riff and exciting sounds. Wandering spirits of John and George. A powerful layered lofi magical mystery tour if you ask me. Just love it.

After all
that conspired
we run on
under fire
will you drive away
have you something more to say
don’t you make a sound
we’ve gone back underground
and gone

You, you never change
so I’ll, I’ll try to re-arrange
a life of renegotiations
and on to seize our time

After all
that conspired
After all

(Lyrics by Cali Beach)

Unleash the hounds

With a minimum of lyrics and a maximum of magic: Unleash the hounds. Featuring Steve Rice (vocals) and of course the one and only Sven-Martin Keil on saxes. Sheer class…

Into the dark I struggled
Flailing towards the sound
No light was there to help me
Footsteps all around
This would be my only chance
To get back above the ground
I could hear the barking orders
To unleash the hounds

(Lyrics by Steve Rice)

Dangerous men

There are a lot of dangerous men around. But few of them actually become world leaders. That’s why B.K. Williamson wrote ‘Dangerous men’…

Tarjei Skarlund (vocals), Thomas Hjorth (guitars), Jon Garcia (bass), Bill McCarthy (drums) and Alice Minguez (choir/backing vocals) have been contributing on this statement. (This song appears to be recorded in front of an exuberant BBC audience:-).

I hope we get our message across. If you share our concern on the misuse of power by influential people, please spread the news. Sharing is caring.

Poke the bees nest
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the ego
of dangerous men

Echo blindness
Evanescence
Echo blindness
Evanescence
Welcome the darkness

My pawns…
My proletarians
In synchronization
No questions
Just leave it all to me

I’m the one
I’m here to stay
so clear the way
Dawn of a new day

Mark my words
however absurd
Elected King
of everything

Smile…
and wave…
Love me…
King bee

While…
you bathe…
in the light of your TV

(Dangerous men)
I’m at the top
Ratings are hot
The popular vote
What a joke
(Dangerous men)
It’s my machine
Shiny and clean
We buy and sell
on Capitol hell

It’s all in the plan
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the egos
of dangerous men

It’s all in the plan
It’s all in the plan
Stroke the egos
of dangerous men

(Dangerous men)
(are here to stay)
It’s all in the plan
(it’s in the plan)
Stroke the egos of dangerous men
(Dangerous men)

(Lyrics by B.K. Williamson)

RAW and RECKLESS

The best of JustVera. One and a half hour of sheer power and excitement. Thanks to Alan Abernethy, Alex Zulaika, Andrea Spaziale, Andrew Boucher, Bryan Shoemaker, Caleb Anderson, Dan Rosati, Esther Bredius, Gustavo Abreu, Ian T., Jan van de Garde, Jarek Adamowski, Jean Lui Toudou, Joey Six, Lisa Dewey, Loek van der Knaap, Louis Marchena, Mark Alan Dooley, Martin Nilsson, Maurizio Marini, Michel Pilotte, Mike Mantecon, Monroe De La Vega, Nigel Robinson, Olivier Demaine, Oppy, Parmia Vaala, Peter Bomhof, Peter Hendriks, Serenn, Steve Rice, Sven-Martin Keil, Tarjei Skarlund, Tracy Hayden, Tracy Hutchison.
So f***, f***, F****** PROUD…

Losing it

‘Losing it’ doesn’t necessairily have to be bad. In fact in some cases losing your resistance may account for the best experience ever. Parmia wrote about it and convincingly performed her lyrics.
You might want to think about it, but sometimes it’s better just to listen and get carried away…

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

You made my walls fall
they vanished in thin air

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there
home there, home there

You captured my heart
you saw what I was hiding
I couldn’t escape your burning eyes
though I was trying

Another night falls
another day follows
I’ve lost my count
of todays, yesterdays or tomorrows

Losing it…
…I’m losing it…
… my heart.

I thought I was strong
I thought I had reason
I had it in order
and controlled all I was facing

You made my walls fall
and now I am naked of my soul
you made your home there

(Lyrics and vocals by Parmia Vaala)

Nothing Left (Hwy 101)

Because Lisa Dewey wrote truly heartbreaking lyrics about a love gone down.
Because Serenn did the vocal performance like only she can.
Because Joey Six played one of his most original solos ever.
(That’s why ‘Nothing Left (Hwy 101)’ turned out to be a true JustVera gem.)

Can’t you hear the darkened sea growl?
We’re slippin’ ’round these bends,
I know we both feel the edge’s pull;
There’s barely room for breathin’.

Memories are just ashes now,
Blowing love out to sea in some littered grief.
So many miles we’ve dreamed down this route;
Lost in songs and laughs; this coast set us free.

Now there’s nothing left. Nothing left but leavin’.
Nothing left. Nothing left but leavin’.

This road took too long to get to nowhere;
A place so familiar we missed the glare.
Maybe the wrong time stands between us, lover,
Erasing the beginning from end’s dare.

Now there’s nothing left but leavin’.
Nothing left but leavin’. Nothing left.
Nothing left but leavin’.
Nothing left. Nothing left but leavin’.

Headlights are white curtains in this fog
Highway 101’s a misty, diving tilt.
I am nothing now but blanched knuckles,
Honey, you are the slippery wheel.

Now there’s nothing left. Nothing left but leavin’.
Nothing left. Nothing left but leavin’.

(Lyrics by Lisa Dewey)

Freedom never let her stay

Unmistakeably Steve Rice: let his magical lyrics and passionate performance lead you through this JustVera fairytale.

Freedom never let her stay

She never had enough,
she never found that crown.
She let her jesters play
with all the gold she found.

Freedom followed her,
freedom never let her stay;
Freedom never let her stay,
freedom never let her stay

Through her window she’d watch the servants play
As the sun would set their laughter soon would fade.

Their wispers echoed through the empty halls.
Dawnlight’s silence would hold nothing at all.

She never told her tale,
no ones ear could hear
Of the dragons breath that filled eyes with tears

Freedom followed her,
freedom never let her stay;
Freedom never let her stay,
freedom never let her stay

As the moon does rise, it’s fullness does reveal.
A light in the night, the darkness can’t conceal.

(Lyrics and vocals by Steve Rice)