So, in continuing with the funny shit I hear while trying to put a rock band together, here is another gem.
ME: "Our jam went great. We dig the same music. Would you be interested in working together, co-writing some tunes, and maybe putting a band together?"
THEM: "I'm totally interested. I think I'm going to keep my songs for my solo project but we can work on your ideas. Call me when the songs are finished and you find the rest of the band. Then I'm in."
Really? I get to do all the work? Sounds like fun. Not really my idea of a "group" effort. These are the same guys that want an even split once money gets made. What a joke.
Anyway, after hearing more and more of these absurd questions and statements, I have developed a requirement I call "The Nice Guy Rule". You simply have to be a nice guy or I won't play in a band with you. I will choose a decent player, who's a nice guy, over a virtuoso, who's a douche canoe, any day of the week. I could give a damn if you're the best thing since sliced bread and you've played with Zappa. If you're a knob, you're a waste of my time. You see, I believe that a really great person can practice their instrument and become a better musician. I also believe that if you're a selfish, cocky, shit human being there is no practice that can fix that. End of story.
I lucked out crossing paths with Dave. He's a super "nice guy" and a he's killer drummer. I'm glad to make some rock 'n' roll with him. Now the search has begun for a bass playing "nice guy". My normal method, in most any other city, would be to tell friends/musicians and maybe post on Facebook that I'm looking for a bass player. I reluctantly gave that a shot, over the last few weeks, and received several responses. Unfortunately they were all from IL and TX. Not one response from Nashville. After living here for 5 years it really wasn't a shock. It was just confirmation that other tactics would be required and it may take even longer than I had anticipated to find the right lineup in this town.
So, I chose to go outside of the box to find a bass player. I did a little search on Facebook and found several great candidates. I decided to just cold call (actually cold Facebook message) all of them. Several of them did not respond. A couple of them responded, seemed interested, but are in 3 other "projects" (*see definition below). The last guy to respond is a friend of a friend. He liked the ideas I posted in previous blogs, he has good gear, he seems like a great player, and he's a "nice guy".
The next step is a jam on Friday. I'm excited to see what happens and even more excited for the possibility of having 2 other "nice guys" to help in building the beast.
I'm proud to announce that after several jam sessions, some good laughs, and a few drinks, Dave Latimer has decided to join me in putting together this new rock band.
Dave is a Boston native but spent the last several years in Philly. Over the years he has played in several great bands from the Northeast like Hammersmyth and Dark Disco Club as well as playing on recordings by Dean Davidson. He's a killer drummer, but on top of that he's a great guy.
We are currently auditioning bass players and vocalists.
Any interested parties can reach us by EMAIL or hit me up thru Facebook.
Now let's see if we can finish building this beast.
I constantly hear 2 things in my search to put a new band together and I've been unsure how to respond until today.
1.) "Who does the band sound like?"
2.) "It's not 100% what I want to do."
I've thought about this, in depth, over the last few weeks. First, why does music have to be defined by comparing it to something else? Rock 'n' Roll is and should be undefinable. That's what makes it timeless and beautiful. Second, unless you write everything and pay musicians to back you up... it never will be 100% what you want.
When I think of exceptionally original or influential bands, they are undefinable. Led Zeppelin, Pantera, Rush, Mastodon, U2, Van Halen, Pearl Jam, etc. They are an amalgam of each member's personalities and styles. You cannot define them. Who do they sound like? They sound like Led Zeppelin, Pantera, Rush, Mastodon, U2, Van Halen, and Pearl Jam.
The most successful/original band I was in had 5 members with truly varied tastes. If you would have looked over our shoulders to see what was playing on our iPods as we drove down the highway you would have seen Talking Heads, Slayer, Willie Nelson, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Black Crowes. But we had a mutual admiration for AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and all things 70's arena rock. Each guy added their ingredient to the musical stew and respected and welcomed the others' contributions. We didn't end up sounding like any of the bands we individually liked or even the bands we mutually liked. We ended up sounding like us.
So, after much thought, these will be my responses to the comments/questions.
Them - "Who does the band sound like?"
Me - "It sounds like me. If you join, it will sound like you and I."
Them - "It's not 100% what I want to do."
Me - "Goodbye"
Being in a band should not be an attempt to sound like someone else. It should be about being brave enough to sound like you.