December 18, 2009

I Luvs Me Some Muzak

Oddly enough my parents never pushed me to do anything overtly musical as a kid. I didn't have the prerequisite piano lessons that a lot of kids did, or even get pushed into joining the school band. It's actually something I chose to do on my own. Now I can't recall exactly the process that went into it, but it's been a part of my life for so long (skill level notwithstanding) that I can't imagine not having an interest of some kind.

In junior high and high school I played in the concert band until grade 11, which overlapped into joining the metal band of some friends. It was interesting getting that gig, as it came about from being taught to play bass guitar for a school assignment. As soon as we had played it a few times and recorded it, I was asked if I wanted to join their band "because you're better than our actual bass player." We played some live gigs but mostly tried to blow out the power system of an old gutted trailer my dad had set up for us out on the farm.

Landing in the city meant more people to jam with, and eventually my first 'semi-pro' band. We played for several years all throughout Alberta and even a half dozen locations in Saskatchewan. Two CDs and the departure of the last remaining original member of Diesel Fly signalled the ultimate demise of that group.

I sort of hung it up for a while at that point, being tired of the travel, practice and personalities involved with it all. I ended up in Japan as a teacher and stumbled upon several locals who gave me a new outlet, even going so far as to lend me a bass for over a year! Our little trio in Japan was called "Nan-da-rou" which roughly translates to "What the Hell?!". An Aussie guitarist/singer, Japanese drummer and a Canadian bassist/growler made for a pretty interesting collection. Unfortunately we never got to play any gigs due to our guitarist having some visa issues and eventually having to leave the country.

After coming back to my homeland, I left all of my musical junk in I had no one to play with any longer. After about two years, something started the itch and I went and pulled everything out and set about putting together a new space. First it started with an audio interface and DAW program. This was promptly followed by a beautiful new guitar, then full on mixing and monitoring hardware, complete with a virtual drum program to get that realistic sound that computer muzak is lacking.

On occasion I do get to jam with a few friends, and have started writing again in a very limited fashion. My finishing touch for the newly minted casa-studio was an uber-spiffy Roland HD-1 v-drum kit. I can now jam, write or record, alone or with friends, in the middle of the night in my condo without anyone else in the building knowing. Adding in a singer would make it interesting, but I'm extremely psyched about the whole thing! Vocals can be recorded during daylight hours I suppose.

Merry axe-mas to all, and a happy shred-year!

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