Over the past few months, I’ve been talking with two novice musicians (Jon and Dennis) who relocated to Michigan (from Florida and California).
Jon is a Drummer, Guitarist, and Vocalist living in Grosse Pointe.
Dennis is a drummer living on Grosse Ile.
I’ve tried for ages to get a double-drummer type band going.
It never lasted very long.
Jon, Dennis, and I appreciate bands that have done this sorta thing before (Ministry, Butthole Surfers, Melvins, Boredoms, etc), although we aren’t trying to copy them.
If I can get ANYBODY to play with me for longer than a few months, I consider that a success.
Getting two drummers is an added bonus.
Getting one acoustic and one electronic drummer is a double bonus.
I have a homemade drum kit built from scrap metal and junk.
So, I think we have everything covered, percussion-wise, for at least one project.
If we get any others to come onboard, that would be cool, but not entirely necessary.
Another project that I would like to do, however unlikely, requires a really bad-ass drummer.
More in the jazzy, proggy, math-rocky spectrum of music, it’s basically just drum & bass with noisy samples and effects.
I have some foot-controlled tape machines that I set up for a solo thing.
They’ve been broken for awhile.
But, my friend Pam Richards (guitarist from Cat Lung) seems to have fixed them.
If I could use that set-up with a decent drummer the combination would be a lot better. I’m not sure if either of the guys are really up to it, right now.
In the past, I always adapted to the tastes and capabilities of who I’m playing with.
We would jam together for a couple of hours, I’d record everything, and later edit whatever we had into songs.
But, I think doing it the way that I did slowed us down too much.
I spent too much time second-guessing myself, worrying about what they wanted.
For now, I’m gonna keep recording stuff alone, send some of it to the other guys, and see what sticks.
They can add onto it, send it back with suggestions, or just pass on it.
I’ll use the rejects elsewhere.
If either of them have something that they wanna try out, they can send that to me and vice-versa.
I did the Island of Misfit Noise album like that, swapping music back-and-forth online.
It also means that less time is wasted at rehearsal if we already have some songs to practice with and work the kinks out.
I’m pretty sure that we all have ideas that will work or won’t work together.
But, if we keep trying things out, something will stick.
Jon and I currently have transportation problems. Dennis has gone above and beyond to help me resolve mine (thanks Dennis!). Both of them have their work schedules to manage. My time is the most flexible between the three of us.
I’m kinda excited about my custom guitars project. I’ve been talking with Tim Sway, an artist in CT who builds furniture & stuff from found materials. We seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to reusing discarded things. He is gonna help me make my “dream guitars” a reality! Making them myself was going to be too costly (and probably not very well done). I also lack the tools or somewhere to work on them.
To save money, I’m bartering and scavenging for parts that could be useful. I already had some in storage. I’ll gradually save up some money to pay him to finish the rest with upcycled materials he has found. It is gonna take us several months. The results won’t be perfect, of course, by the nature of what we are working with. We have a disagreement on the nature of tonewoods. But, I think my designs could make the differences negligible. We’ll see who is right.
Just thinking out loud here, but I thought of a possible band name, Mike Nobody & War Animals. If Dennis & Jon wanna use it or not, either way, is fine with me. I could save it for another project if they don’t like it. I was listening to some Eric Burden today. I thought is was kinda funny that he was in two totally different bands with his name attached to them, Eric Burden & War and Eric Burden & The Animals. Silly? Stupid? I dunno. I can’t tell.
I’ve gotten another offer to play a solo gig in a few months. I’m a little hinky about doing that. Bad experiences. But, I have played around with what I have to see what could work. I’m a little undecided on that. I might use a single kick drum, the tapes, a bass, and some video projectors. My footwork SUCKS! I ain’t gonna be no Keith Moon with a simple kit like that. But, I’m no Keith Moon, either. I’ll practice with it for awhile and see if I can sound halfway competent at it.
At least it will give me an excuse to sit down, and play like a real one-man-band.