Musical History, You Don't Know The Jack | December 3rd, 2009

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I’ve struggled for years to find a great musical project to put me back in front of the stage, while playing supporting roles in a few other bands. I’ve tried basic punk rock, then big-band, and finally soul music. I’d get the music down but couldn’t find the motivation to finish any of them. I even flirted with reviving one of my industrial bands almost out of desperation.

Out of pure chance, I had written a few guitar riffs for a Hostages song, a super-fast boogie woogie blues-based rockin’ number. But the other guys said it was too similar to another song, so it was discarded. I disagreed, so I kept it in the back of my mind.

That riff was stewing around in my brain, and I got the idea to make a demo with that hard-rock guitar riff, using a rockabilly swing rhythm section. And I was floored with the results! I knew I was getting somewhere…, but something was missing.

So again my hind-brain was churning, and it burped out that instead of concentrating on one style, I should incorporate all of the styles I love. I took one of the soul songs, adapted it to the same instrumentation, and recorded a second demo. I played them side by side and was pleased with the results. (Actually, exited is so much more apt to describe this new pulse flowing through my sordid veins as I contemplated this new thang.)

I took a bunch of old standalone riffs, wrote some new ones, and reworked a couple old songs of mine into a 10 track album with elements of punk, funk, rockabilly, jump blues, country, disco and heavy metal. Hence, a rock and roll record.

My Thoughts on The State of Rock Music in 2009

While reading an article by Terance O. Moore, I stumbled upon this little paragraph:

“Allan Bloom famously identified rock-and-roll as the music of sexual intercourse. It was no accident that the progenitor of the rock-and-roll revolution was nicknamed “the Pelvis.” Equally basic, but fundamentally different, are the passions enlisted by modern rock without the roll, that is, heavy metal. It is certainly not the music of intercourse, at least not of the consensual variety, since girls and women generally hate it. And with good reason: It is impossible to dance to.” “Wimps and Barbarians”

In my travels with Hostages, I came to realize that very few women came to our shows — and afterward, I always went home alone. When you’re older and single, life can be pretty brutal — and the obvious become painful. I’d rather play in front of lots of girls (in a healthy male of any age, women is why we do everything — you cannot deny it!) than at a punk rock sausage party, and it got me thinking…. When do you see girls at a rock show? If a band is popular, sure. But locally? The band has to be fun; Robert Hazzard was so correct when he penned that song for Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.

It was a conscious decision to not be negative in my solo project. Don’t browbeat the audience or cause their ears to bleed, give them a good beat that everyone can dance to, show them a good time. And most importantly, give them something to relate to.

I love the older rock and roll musical forms, but I find the nostalgia — the whole ‘vintage’ thing a bit tiring. How can you move forward by looking only backward? There’s nothing wrong with taking elements of vintage music into our works– we all do it! — but being trapped in a specific time period is something I find distasteful. I am a modern man, after all.

So there you have it. My musical and philosophical journey as I put the finishing touches on the unnamed record, as I prepare to bring the Modern Throwbacks to the local stage.

One Comment

  1. Ollie Stench says:

    YOU may do everything in an attempt to get laid, but don’t project your motivations on others. I have never once set foot on a stage, never wrote a note of music or a word of lyrics with the intention of trying to bed the persons of my desire. Hell, I’ve turned it down because I just wasn’t interested. The fundamental difference is that I write songs and perform concerts for my own enjoyment, whether people like what I do or not. It’s nice to have that acknowledgment and that adulation, but it’s not the motivating factor in why I play in bands. Granted, the majority of males who play in bands do it because they think it will get them money drugs and pussy, and that’s ok. It’s just not fair to say that that is the only reason ANYONE who is in a band is in it for the money drugs and pussy.

    Rock and Roll is cheaper than therapy.

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