Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Well, have you ever considered writing new material?"

An important hurdle for the Pull Tabs was jumped over last week. We got our first two shows out of the way, but for me, something I hoped for has happened: we have begun working on new material.

I don't mean to sound like I don't enjoy the material we have now. Far from it. I'm just very glad that we keep cooking up new material instead of beating our older material into the ground.

I say all of this because I've played in bands where our repertoire was small and any chances of it growing were slim to none. The bands I've most enjoyed in the past were bands where new material came along and came naturally, usually via jamming.

I've found that when you jam together, a group sound emerges. Nobody gets left out in the cold and everyone has a say. A band democracy is good, especially if you call yourself a band.

Probably one of the more puzzling situations I've played in a band involved a repertoire of only twelve songs. All were originals, but usually, only eight or nine songs would be performed live. I enjoyed playing all of these songs for the first few shows, but I wondered when we were going to play new material. That day never happened; I was fired from the band after four months. And when I saw the band play live a year later, they still played from the same twelve-song list. I realized then and there that my firing was relief from future burnout.

I think how the Pull Tabs have been able to come up with new material is that we're open to jamming and not afraid to play something that's brand new. Usually it starts with somebody playing something, from a guitar riff to a bass line to a drumbeat. Material can happen at any time. And with the impromptu country song we made up on the spot during our second show, new material can happen anywhere as well.

It sure is nice to be working the creative juices again.

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