Hey! It’s the end of 2015 and we’ve been together as a band now for 6 years!
That’s quite good going for a small group (in my opinion of course. I’m the middle one in the picture by the way) so I want to thank the other two because being part of it has been, and still is, totally brilliant.
So, I thought I would post up some of the inner workings of how we work and stuff about what’s involved in being us. Maybe it will strike a chord with other bands or music you might do…
First up – Content – in other words, our music…
We mainly generate our own music and we really enjoy moulding the songs into shape. I use the word ‘generate’ carefully as it is a lot more accurate, as well as less pretentious, than ‘writing’.
The way we work is generally one of two ways;
one is that I’ll bring a song idea into rehearsal and we try and recreate it as a band. Two or three songs pretty much stayed the way they came in with just a little chopping, expanding and polishing. Many others were changed out of recognition because one or other of us might have hated it but saw possibilities in an aspect of it that worked and we alter it until we were all happy to play it. (Here’s a reveal – one or two of our songs are not entirely loved by all 3 of us – however if 2 members love it enough, then it stays in our repertoire – democracy does work sometimes!). ‘Thanks a Million’ was pretty much complete from the start however another song, ‘Circus of Power’ bears little resemblance to its first incarnation.
The other method is that we will jam a groove. Something might click with it and it gradually emerges into a fully fleshed out arrangement. These usually take much longer to flesh out into songs we’re happy with and are often the instrumental tracks. One song – ‘Israel/Palestine’, has 5 distinct passages in it and probably only completed because we wanted it to be on our album. If we didn’t create a deadline for it, it might well have turned into a Yes album! Ask any artist in any medium and the question of when something is finished is always a tricky one.
After the songs have been worked out we try to make sure that we practise them enough to keep them polished for performance. Some tracks do fall by the wayside and we might suddenly remember it, only to find that on revisiting, we realise why it didn’t last the duration and got left behind, but occasionally revisiting a older song means it gets a bit of a buffing up and we appreciate it again. Others might be old pieces that we just really enjoy playing.
The reason this has come up as a subject is due to an upcoming gig that requires quite a lot of material and it has been a good discipline for us to work through our full repertoire and establish what we think is good and what, not so good. One thing I will promise – we wont ever play you anything we don’t completely enjoy playing as a group.
It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees with us or not, from our point of view – it’s all killer – no filler!
Happy new year and have a great 2016!