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Monday, January 10, 2011

I've saving for a custom van and I've been playing in a cover band

A follow-up to something I mentioned in my Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp experience.

Literally after I got off of the stage playing with the Shotgun Brothers, a friendly fellow camper asked me if I'd like to join his blues cover band. Had Dave not been a nice guy (and not a hell a guitarist and singer, as I would find out later that night), I probably would have said no. I made an exception and I'm glad I did.

My first practice with his band was over the weekend and it went swimmingly well. There is a lot to explore with the blues and I'm enjoying playing a style I've never really played before. And I'm glad I'm playing songs that I'm not really familiar with.

There's something off-putting to me about playing in an average cover band. I have these bad memories of seeing guys playing on thin-sounding Fender Strats and cheesy synthesizers playing songs that you hear enough of on the radio. Whether it's playing funk versions of Britney Spears songs or playing a biker bar where the band members' spouses comprise 90 percent of the audience, I've found a sense of resignation in doing that. I'm not really the right fit, probably because I'm such a purist and anal about being a purist. I have to create some kind of music even if I'm solely the drummer in the band.

Luckily, my current band situation allows the best of both worlds. I have a band with Ryan and Diana, along with my friend Jon, that is literally a bedroom project. All of our music is original even though we have no idea what our style of music is right now. Our schedule is casual and almost anything goes in terms of musical ideas.

With the blues band, there is a different structure, but it's as fun. We have a lot of songs to choose from, and I look forward to practicing more and playing shows. Even though all of the songs are covers, I don't mind one bit. Aside from a couple of the tunes, none of these songs have been drilled into my head by the radio or TV. And I like the people I'm playing with, which is a huge reason to keep doing so.

For the past four years, as I've worked on my next book, my head's been in the mindset of remembering my high school and college days behind the drum set. Maybe it's time I start thinking more about my current days behind the kit.

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