The Rockula Update or “A Week full of Metal”

July started out in a dubious fashion when work at Roy’s started to trickle out
I did have an interview with an E-bay store (which hasn’t panned yet)and haven’t worked in about a week or so
Meanwhile, the guys from the metal band dowstairs asked me if I would start recording tracks with them
It was a bit of a task to learn their material
Mostly because the principal guitar player was a bit off on his transitions between his riffs
Add to that the good ole metal tradition of trying to fit as many different riffs into a measure as possible
Pretty soon you have a soup of riffs that are undistinguishable from the next and once you finally understand the riff you’re listening to, it changes into something else
I finally got him to let me dissect each riff one by one until I learned the pattern of the song
We have worked out two songs so far but they are skeletons
It has been a bit time consuming to have to play each riff over and over, then string them together
The goal is 3 songs and a cover
They wanna play an open mic night next week even though we don’t have a bass player

I was skeptical that this was going to work out but caught myself and realized that most of my failures happen because I pre-judge situations
My first issue with meatl is that I spent a good portion of the 90’s slowly phasing it out of my musical palate (save the classics) and later, completely abandoned any possibility of liking any new metal thanks to the horrible scourge of Nu Metal in the 2000’s
I won’t go into that subject in too much detail because I have already covered it in a bunch of other blogs
Suffice it to say that it wasn’t just the music
Which brings me to my next hangup
Metalheads themselves pushed me away from metal
The whole culture of metal has worn thin for me in the last 10 years
I wasn’t interested in the increasing speed contest it had become and tough guy metal just irritated the shit out of me
I’m all up for partying and chasing girls and headbanging and moshing etc…. but the aggressive, hyped up personalities of metal heads can be a bit taxing
Because of the insistance of Laura and Patti, I forced myself to ignore my hangups about metal and metalheads and found out it has worked so far
Even though I don’t have the same type of personality as these guys, it is still working out pretty well
Yeah, these guys wear axe body spray
They crank Pantera in their giant truck (with me trapped in the back)
They drive too fast and aggressively
They say the words fag and gay a lot and yet constantly try to burn each other with very imaginative ways to descrie homosexual acts
I’ve been counting and I give them the total number of times they bring up homosexuality in one day
Today’s un-official count is 5 and I didn’t start hanging with them until about 6 pm (all day counts are much higher)
Jay and Adrian are also very imposing looking people that can be very intimidating
One of the guys smacked some guy across the face the other night at a party for insinuating that he was gay
The guy didn’t do shit about it
I wouldn’t have either
But then again
I wouldn’t have poked him with a stick in the first place
After the incident, I had a talk with them and explained that I wasn’t much of a fighter
I also asked them to please keep me out of the shenannegans (which they said was cool)
They are basically good guys
But they do give me plenty of opportunities to work on Zen Rockula

One of the main things that allows me to be Zen Rockula is that these guys have been in bands that toured internationally and claim to have an investor
We have been discusing my role in the band and the type of money that could be made
It has only been a week since they asked me to play with them so they are a bit tight lipped about money
It is only because they are not completely sure that I will work out, which is fair
They have paid for every meal I have eaten this week and also stocked me up with some new drum heads and a bunch of pairs of sticks (I’m back to Fatback 3a)
Most importantly, this is a good opportunity to balance my ambitions and my skepticism
And I can’t just pull them to opposite ends just because I don’t wanna make the effort to compromise
I have many reservations about what I will gain from this band in the short term future
What I am certain of in the immediate term is that my self confidence has gotten a big boost

Once the guys became more familiar with me, they admitted something about their own pre-judgements
Originally, they thought I would play some basic drum parts so that they could record their ideas
They explained that they were going to find a “live drummer” later on (i.e. not some old guy)
That was, until I got them in the studio
After working with me a couple of days, they asked me to be a member of the band
It seems I wasn’t the lame old guy they thought I would be
I certainly didn’t play like one

These guys are playing the kind of metal I used to listen to when I was in Scum of the Earth and Amlgamated Hate
I cannot say it is easy to learn the material but I can say it is easy to play the kind of drums these guys want because I have played these exact kinds of riffs in both of the aforementioned bands
There’s a huge amount of Metallica in there but the random-ness of the material also reminds me a lot of The Crumbsuckers (obscure prog-thrash band from the late 80’s)
Jay has never heard of the Crumbsuckers but liked it when I played it for him
These guys are very impressed with both my playing and my songwriting capabilities
I could end up making enough money to not need a job
Obviously, this is real life
More importantly
This is the music buisiness
There are lots of bullshit artists
But I can’t allow anxiety to make me paranoid about the worst case scenario
I can’t allow my hangups to write these guys off just because they are rough around the edges
And I can’t pass up yet another opportunity

The immediate future is to focus on this opportunity and try my hardest to see it through
The more we practice, the more stamina and accuracy I gain
They told me that they chose me for my unique style of playing and writing
I am confident that they have only seen a small amount of my potential

I am looking forward to the future, where I have been given an opportunity to prove my potential


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