This Saturday will mark the first time in two years that I have played music in front of an audience. It has been a long time since I played a blues jam for fun one night. And it's been a very long time since I've played guitar in front of anyone.
My primary instrument is the drums, but when a musician I've admired (and interviewed) over the years asked me to play guitar with fourteen other guitarists, I didn't hesitate to say yes. Wanz Dover has played in a variety of bands and I've seen a number of them play live in the past ten years. Whether it's Stooges-like insanity, trippy shoegaze, raw soul, improvisational jamming or cut-up electronic music, he goes where his muse takes him.
Revisiting his experience playing with Glenn Branca's guitar orchestra, Wanz has created the Silver Saint Guitar Army. I'm very honored to be a part of the show and I'm pretty excited. We are due to have a long rehearsal before the show, so it will be fresh and raw at the same time.
I've played guitar almost the same amount of time that I've played the drums, so strapping on a guitar is not a foreign experience. But in a live setting, this will be technically a first.
Back when I played in the 11:30s, we finished a rehearsal one night with the vocalist/guitarist on drums, the lead guitarist on bass, the bassist on guitar and vocals, and me on lead guitar. The song we came up with was a simple droney piece that could go on and on, for however we wanted. We did it as an impromptu encore at one show and then played it again as the opening song at the next gig. That was almost thirteen years ago and I've never played guitar in a band ever since.
I love playing music, but for many reasons, I haven't played in a band situation for over a year. I don't know if I will play with Wanz after this show, but I certainly will make the most of it. That's a big part of the thrill: go in, have fun, and not worry about the business side of playing in a band. I can handle that.