The Rockula update

It’s been about 4 months since my last update and my life has been a tumultuous one indeed
The biggest news being that I have parted ways with Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs
It was the result of a year long struggle of conflict and compromise that resulted in a stalemate that couldn’t be resolved
To put it simply, my playing style clashed with theirs
I was feeling constrained and they were feeling stretched thin
Or, to quote Mario “Your musical vocabulary is about 3 times the size of what the band can handle”
It happened a couple of weeks ago and, although I have told people the news in public and on social media, I have waited for a bit of distance from the situation so that I may comment upon it with a more balanced view
I can honestly say that this is the first time that I have left a band over “artistic differences”, a heavily used phrase that is normally code for “personal differences”

To fully explain the situation, I have to address the nuances of my instrument to those who have a cursory or basic knowledge of the drums
Drums and percussion are like no other type of musical instrument
All basic instruments require a well developed ability to manipulate their physical features, be it plucking, bowing and fretting stringed instruments, manipulating the keys and pedals on a piano or reed, mouthpiece, keys and valves on a wind instrument
But no instrument requires the physical dexterity that the drums demand
The difficulty of subtle manipulations is greater when it involves the velocity and distance that a drum stick needs to achieve in order to properly play a note
After decades of playing, each drummer’s musical personality becomes more and more unique and harder to “unlearn” because muscle memory can be stubborn
It’s hard for one drummer to play like another drummer
It is possible, but those drummers tend to have developed a very clinical approach to music and derive artistic satisfaction by being good in any type of situation rather than great at a few and usually end up as session players
Even though I can boast a wide and varied musical palate, I fall into the “great at a few things” category, as do most rock drummers
That being established, I can now comment on my departure from a more objective position, without the influence of the usual emotional baggage that comes with getting kicked out of a band

This has to be one of the few times I have felt a positive sense of momentum after leaving a band
First of all, they assured me that all of the difficulties we had with each other were not a deciding factor
One of the things I liked about this band is that they were strong willed and didn’t mind a good scrap when it came to deciding how a part should be played
This fit in well with my own type of personality and I thrive off healthy conflict
My departure a lot easier to accept because it wasn’t due to personal conflicts

The second reassurance was that my tenure with the band has changed the general opinions and attitudes of my peers
During the initial period where the band was asking around about me, the response was “He’s a good drummer but he’s one dimensional”
Most people would consider that an insult but I knew it was the truth
It was the truth because most people have only seen a fraction of the things I do
Not out of ignorance but from lack of exposure being that I hide from the rest of the world, occasionally play a gig in front of 10 people and slink off and disappear again
So, yeah
OF course they thought I was one dimensional
The band has since heard back from many of those people to tell them how surprised they were that I adapted to straight rock n roll after all of that crazy mad scientist music

Of course, there’s still the lingering feeling of rejection
To make matters worse, they seem to be on the verge of an opportunity to advance significantly
And they picked that time to let me go
That sting lasted for a bit but then an idea formed in my head that put it all into perspective

Now is the time to make a living being Rockula
Not working a job to finance my fantasy about being an artist
It’s a scary concept because you have to make money from several sources instead of one reliable one
Many new opportunities have presented themselves to me that have eased some of my anxiety
-Playing my drums on the street made me some tips and it also got me 3 students (even though 2 bailed)
-A drummer who saw me busking told me he needed a single drum room
When he came over to see the room, he asked about my abilities and if I could play with a click, so I played a Scary Cherry song with just the backing tracks
He told me that he needed to find a drummer to replace himself because he was shifting to a role as producer
Not only that, but he is opening his studio very close to our building
-I had several immediate offers for auditions based on my tenure with S.C. and the word is spreading
The most important thing I have learned is that many of these situations will not work out
The the sting of failure is much more intense when you focus all of your energy into one specific thing than when you invest much less in much more
After a few weeks, I am starting to see how succeeding at achieving several minor goals makes it a lot easier to handle the inevitable failures

These opportunities would not exist if I hadn’t gotten off my ass in order to keep up with Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs
It may not have lasted as long as I had wished but it seems like the hash marks on the positive side of this situation outnumber the ones on the negative so I get to claim it as a gain in yardage
Despite, the numerous clashes and arguments over this and that, I stuck it out and didn’t bolt
They stuck it out too because we both knew the personal differences didn’t matter
But the musical differences did

I have taken a few days to carefully craft this particular blog because I needed to re-write it several times in order to make my points as clear as possible without getting overly verbose and long winded (yeah, I know, too late)
The past couple of days have seen several opportunities become concrete while a couple more opportunities loom on the horizon

I feel confident that there will be a considerable increase of activity in my immediate future
And I need to remember the things I witnessed over the last year are the keys to my sucess

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One thought on “The Rockula update”

  1. Thanks for this post. I can visualize the whole thing, and the most exciting part of that is what comes after it. It’s difficult when you are all in it and you’re caught off guard when it happens. It makes it hurt just a bit more.

    I was just thinking about some of the conflicts I’ve had in the past and really kinda feel like I’m out of it and in the best place to avoid them, but this is naive and it makes me unprepared for what comes next. I have problems letting some of those things from the past go, and it still bothers me to this day.

    I’m missing Dallas man, and really need to get closer to my crew!

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