June 04, 2006

I got the music in me

blah blah blah blah guitars, blah blah blah blah War on Terr-r, blah blah blah Republicans. Like my blog? Good innit.

OK. Tried a Marshall valvestate 150W combo. The bass end was great. Very harmonic distortion. The treble like a tin can. Tried a 350W Crate stack. Sounded like a large angry punk-bee trying to squeeze into a pair of pvc trousers. I found a smaller out of town guitar shop in Penge where they actually make their own guitars and tried a Hiwatt combo, hmmmmm... it was OK, and a Line 6 combo which had 30 settings of bollocks "modelled" amp settings plus at least another 60 settings of pathetic effects bollocks. I tried something called a Stinger which was shite too.

So far I've resisted enquiring as to the status of my camera, though I can actually afford whatever price they want to fix it. Its been in the shop for such a long time I'm not sure if the guys would have sold it maybe. Someone contacting me recently about the merry Muslims made me realise how little I give a shit about cameras and film making, and how much now the music is my life.

Even just rehearsing once a week it feels so much better revolving my life around a living breathing band than it does around the unknown quantities of trying to make films about people who don't want films made about them. I remember the nerves in my stomach, the way my voice would change and my throat tighten up whenever the name "Abu Hamza" came up in conversation. The obsessive, nervous, animated way I would talk.

What do you do? I hate that question. I hate this need for identity, but I am much happier now its no longer "Trying to make films about Fundamentalist Islam" and is instead "Play guitar in a band". It makes me feel 13 again. The other week the drummer and singer crashed in my bed after a 9pm-4am rehearsal. It felt like a teenage sleep-over.

When we play we hardly look at each other. Phrases repeat which will eventually become recognisable tracks. I feel wierd electricity going up my right arm. When I can't take the tension anymore I look for single notes to pick out to relax it a bit. I'm just picking echoes, dying whales over the top of rock solid, growling bass and drums. Perfect. The whole thing goes together fluid, like alloying metal. I tilted my amp backwards a few times and it fell over, like a devil-baby on its back having a screaming tantrum. I plugged in the electro-acoustic and the feedback made the whole body vibrate like it was going to explode. I'm fucking in love with this. After a few extended intrumental breaks I asked Paula if she was struggling to know when to sing,

"Sometimes parts just don't need singing."

she is right.

I was thinking in the week of how we could get some sort of one man show, or magic act to join us for the long instrumental breaks maybe, but sitting together as a band I think Paula could pull off whatever inter-vocal performance requirements we needed. I've never felt so much faith in four people being slaves to the same groove. There was a festival yesterday on the green in front of the studio. Some friends dropped by to listen. Our first audience of 4 totally raised the game between us, recognisable tracks came out, the feedback whale of the notes I was playing merged into the notes Paula sang. Sometimes tracks morphed into other tracks. We stopped twice, my delay and nunu's (the drummer) cymbal crashes echoing into the distance. When I came out Chik Budo were playing in the festy. They were fantastic.

I'm happy.

I'm not depressed.

Without this band I would be.

ps- just a little obscurity to end with. All may be revealed.


I.:.S.:. said...

Your happiness comes through in your writing, you reach peaks of pure beauty and joy in your words, like when you're jamming and you hit that point where everyone's on the same frequency and you can feel it...

I really liked that Friday jam.

It makes me want to make music. That's what they said about Velvet Underground, isn't it - that everyone who heard them started a band...

DAVE BONES said...

nice one. Cheers Mikey. I haven't been so consistently happy for ages.