I’ll come clean. I’ve never been in a band before. Well, unless you count the time I played bass with some fellow floormates in a collegiate talent show. I made as fine a job of nervously plucking my way through “I Melt with You” as someone who was nearly paralyzed with stage fright could, only to discover that the bass amp was never plugged in.
Sure, I’ve played guitar for years, but I was always too self-conscious to make any attempts at forming anything other than theoretical bands. No really, it’s true. For a year and a half I worked as a finish carpenter, and to wile away the hours on one particular soul-sucking job (installing 165 kitchen units in a “luxury loft” warehouse), my co-workers and I had come up with a bitchin’ band. We would be called Maximum Scribe and we were going to play noise dub. Needless to say, this project has yet to come to fruition.
But The 50/50′s aren’t like that. For starters, we really exist and play music in this plane of existance. We are just straightforward rudimentary rock and rollers. And we’re having fun. That is without a doubt the best part. The fun. Sure I was a little stressed out before our first show, but I quickly came to the realization that we were either going to play decently (which we more or less did) or we’d stumble and crash through songs and that would be that (a number of false starts, but I’ll be darned if we didn’t pretty much nail every song). Best of all, it was fun. All right, it also helped that I got to hide behind a monitor for most of the show, but I was right out there in the open for the second show. That second show went even better. In fact, you can listen to the amazing lo-fi monoaural recording of that very show right here on this site.
I’ll let you in on another secret. Coming up with your own material is awesome. You pretty much get to make stuff up as you go along. Sure it’s nice if there’s a recognizable transition from the verse to the chorus, and bonus points if you actually figure out a bridge. But hey, let’s not get too fancy.
Thanks to our amazing rhythm section, I’ve even been able to enter the world of “noodling”. Mind you, I’m never going to be one to shred out 64th-note arpeggio sweeps or drop off-the-wall fills, but I’ll keep it interesting and complimentary.
Closely related is the amazing discovery is that after you play a song so many times, you can definitely find your mind wandering. This is generally put right by finding new ways to voice chords or excursions around the relevant notes. It also gives new appreciation to seeing bands live. I can now completely relate to why some bands will never play the same set list twice. It would definitely keep things interesting.
Anyway, I’ll do my best to keep you filled in on all the wonderful revelations I experience as The 50/50′s progress. Why, in just a month’s time, we’ll be headed into the studio. Who knows what amazing mind expansion will happen there.
Yer old pal,