The following is a copy of relevant posts from a thread at lostoverture.com; others’ posts are in quotes, names are changed, etc. That said, larf and learn!
So EX-Drummer sends a email talking about our band disfunction, mentioning how they jammed with his neighbor Saturday when I was unavailable and suggesting the guy might wanna join us.
My response, just scented:
And you are right, I am impatient. Frankly, we have not been getting together as much as before, and we have accomplished less as a trio, much less as TFP.
The last two sessions with EX-Bassist I felt like we were just starting over in that we hada re-learn
everything because of the delay between, and everyone’s failure to learn the songs. For me, I just need the that the chords are correct, and we hit the changes. I don’t obsess over particular bass lines or leads or beats – the same song can be reggae or metal as far as I’m concerned. Well, not *metal*. ;-D But you have to pardon my amusement when I’m told, “It goes *this* way”, and my frustration when we keep repeating something to get it *that* way.
Whatever we started out to be, other than the abortion that was OLDguitarist, we have long been a writing and recording project, whether from structured songs or improv. And I’ve actually invested a chunk of change to maximize that, as well as a lot of time and effort learning the recording/mixing process, and even learning to play bass.
I’m not sure what we are now.
Are we working toward gigs, or a album, or just jamming?
I’m not sure of the point of beating rehearsals into the ground …
As well, please keep in mind that a 2 hour practice is 4 hours to me, when packing and
traveling are factored in.
I haven’t met NEWguitarist, of course, but it might be a good thing to get him involved. I feel a bit stymied lately in that I feel like I’m excercising instead of playing music. The repetition bores me, and I can’t cut loose when I have to keep cueing and directing, and that in the face of some of the push back … a fourth person might make it easier and hopefully fill out the sound, tighten us up, etc. We both get along with Other GuitaristSr, but he would not, I think, tolerate EX-Bassist well, and anyway is not too reliable.
You said, “However, I think we need to slightly tweak our composition process, especially if we want to keep playing with EX_Bassist.” For me, again, there’s been no “composition process” – we’re stuck on the same songs that are already written and arranged months ago, last session even simplifying them.
I would probably be happier only jamming, improv’ing, rather than perfecting song performances just for ourselves. Especially if I can record the jams!
But I’ve never been anything but honest with you, and I intend to keep that approach. Frankly, I’ve not made up my mind if I do want to “keep playing with EX_Bassist.” He’s certainly damn good in his funk playing and, if he’s interested, I’m sure he could play anything. But I’m not sure he actually likes what we’ve been playing. And I get the impression he doesn’t like me, which is fine, but doesn’t make me wanna try to be inna band with the guy, especially when I feel like he’s gonna explode and quit any minute, anyway.
And I realize that’s awkward, the guy having just moved near you, etc. But telling you straight, I’m willing to give it a bit more time but I’m not necessarily optimistic. It may be that you two guys are better off forming a band with XXX or someone else; if so, I’d be willing to try just playing guitar for ya’s, if it gets things moving.
That absolutely doesn’t mean I wanna quit jamming with *you*, either, as the TFP we’ve been, if it comes to that. I love your drumming! And you and I get along well. And I have no intention of abandoning my music; I’m just not sure the three of us are destined to make it, or me to lead us in doing so.
Or if you wanna just end it now, it’s been a good and successful run, no hard feelings, let me know and I just gotta come and pick up my shite.
I kinda feel like there’s a bit of a power struggle goin’ on, in that this bassist – who I am admittedly now resenting – is effectively controlling our time together. And therefore my music.
In my experience, most drummers have they own space, altho’ whether I can find a drummer as good and as cool as EX-Drummer is questionable …
Re the jam thing, yep, that’s what we have mutually suggested, EX-Drummer and I. Thing is, they also have this idear of getting a set together, for unknown reasons. And the problem with that is, as I bitch above, they seem to only learn and practice when we are together, what means we spend 2-3 hours working on 5 songs, with no time left to jam. EX-Bassist is a bit of a perfectionist, EX-Drummer is pretty easy-going, and I’m loose azza stool what ain’t give you piles (hard for you to imagine, eh? ) Far as I’m concerned, we could do the whole time together as improv, as long as I can record.
By “space” I meant the same as you. In my experience, most drummers that are in their 40′s and older have houses they bought or rent with the idear of being able to play.
“If they are ‘getting a set’ together, perhaps they’ve got a gig lined up.
I’d go for that – imagine exposing your original material to an audience that isn’t just the five of us on this site! Sell some CDs, why dontcha? (Sorry, I’ve got the Supremes playing in the background!)”
They jammed once with the neighbor – they wanna getta set together with me.
For unknowed reasons.
Hmm. I think they’d have mentioned a gig for us.
And what I mean by “why?” is, we are like we’re preppin’ for gigs, without none.
I believe we are in agreement we are not interested in Tuesday-night opening slot-type stuff, but thinking more of a one-of’s or house parties; none have been mentioned.
It feels like a football team practicing with no games scheduled.
“Ever notice the guy who suggests gigs, is the one with the least gear to pack? Like the harmonica player?”
Yep, I’m the former, and I fear the other two are exhibiting a touch of the latter.
I mean, the ideal resolution here, for me, would be to just have fun jams that we record, and then I pastiche into songs. Somehow, EX-Bassist apparently anyway, has decided that approach (thet EX-Drummer and I have taken for some 3+ years now) is fine to demo the songs, but then we should, for some reason, learn them. It’s unclear if we are learning them to re-record, or to perform; those guys have never addressed the issue. I went along assuming that it was to re-record, but started bridling at the time it’s taking to get down the material.
I mean, I have no problem admitting I’m not Brahms, or Brian Wilson – this is relatively simple stuff and even written to those guy’s strengths. But they are not accomplishing their own goal of actually learning the songs, and thus, :he says so egotistically:, wasting my time.
“Because they’re preventing you indulge your main strength – which is spontaneous creativity?
I’m sure there were times when Brahms and B Wilson would’ve appreciated a spot of spontaneity.”
No, because I get bored playing the same thing over and over, right inna row, with false starts and stupid mistakes.
Nope, ain’t heard from Ex-Drummer, what means he’s prob’ly considering his response, what is like the gurrl ya ask to marry who says, “I’ll think about it.”
I feel bad for him. I tried to warn him when the bassist, who at that point had jammed with us twice, said he was looking at houses nearby. I’m sure Ex-Drummer feels some obligation there, or at least awkward about it.
Then he’s got me, a certifiable DOOSH who, nonetheless, has been his musical partner for nearly 4 years.
And I’m sure he’s got his issues with me – he’s just such a nice guy that we’ve not once in that time hadda argument …
Aiight, I don’t wanna quote EX-Drummer, so I paraphrased (in quotes). Here’s my reply:
Pardon the length, but for clarity, I wanna address each point you make.
*** Yes? ;-D
“no sense getting together”
*** That’s fine, altho’ please see below.
” you are coming from a different place, different approach, want something a bit more substantial”
*** I’m puzzled why you are saying this. I’m coming from the same place as always, and you and
I have always created our music the same way. As far as me wanting “something a bit more
substantial out of this”, I beg to differ. I was in agreement with you that we should find more
muso’s, expand our boundaries, jam some, record some new songs and have fun doing so. I just
don’t think EX-Bassist is the right guy. I didn’t want to change anything, and to the extent anything
did change, that was based on EX-Bassist.
“priorities, it’s partly my fault”
*** Yep! ;-D And mine.
But seriously, I felt like what we were doing was fine before, and I had hoped that adding EX-Bassist
would improve what we were doing. It didn’t. It felt like we were working to become a performance
unit. While a party or a one-of might be fun, I don’t wanna do the bar-band grind again; it’s a
hobby, and it’s meant to be fun. And it wasn’t. And like you, I have kids and a job, also,
and music is absolutely third for me after them.
” keep the TFP online for what it really is — a home based recording project make demos.
send you a track or so every week or so “
*** Of course I’m interested! And if you are only able to or comfortable with sending me Zoom
tracks, I’ll take ‘em gladly! Ideally, tho’, I wanna come, set up to record, and improv as we
always did, and take those improv’s and make songs – what you call “demo’s” (I think of ‘em as
children ;-D ) as we did before. We got our best results recording while playing together, and our
best sounds doing it with the microphones, sometimes even with other players. ;-D
That is fun! But if that doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, that’s aiight, also.
“minimize the conflict and not waste your travel time”
***There was never any previous “conflict” between you and I that I recall; certainly we’ve been together
long enuff to say we get along pretty well. I don’t think and hope you don’t think that there’s really a conflict
now, either, just a difference of opinion as to direction, relative to EX-Bassist, along with some miscommunication.
And I never considered my time driving “wasted”, until recently when I left your place the last couple times
feeling so frustrated. I only mentioned travel at all, BTW, to make the point that our recent playing was so
relatively unproductive, and not fun. As in, “I drove two hours for this?”
” not sure how TFP could be anything else”
*** And I didn’t know we were trying to make it anything different! Again, I just thought we were trying to
open it up a bit, and make it better, mebbe even more fun. Seriously, I think TFP as it has been is damn good,
and the fact that players the caliber of WRC and Grankie and Other Guitarists and EX-Bassist wanna collab proves that.
FWIW, I constantly get questions as to why we don’t promote, why we don’t sell stuff, why not press CD’s, set up
a real web-site, why we don’t enter contests or play gigs or make videos, etc. I just wanna make better music,
that’s what it’s about for me. And as good as you and I have been together and sometimes with others, that was
not happening with EX-Bassist.
“as for your stuff”
*** I’m not trying to pick up my toys and go home, you understand. I was trying to make clear that what we have
been doing has not been working, and I think what you were proposing was not gonna work. I just don’t think EX-Bassist
is the right guy for us (as TFP). And so if my decision not to work with EX-Bassist didn’t work for you and you wanted to end
TFP, I meant that I’ll bow out, get out of your hair. But if you and I are gonna continue to play together, to record,
mebbe jam with Other Guitarists or whoever, and often enuff, I’ll leave my stuff there. I’ve not been looking for another jam
situation, I’ve even turned down a few, whatever. But as regards what we were doing B.E. (before EX-Bassist), I was lovin’ it,
would love to continue doing it. But if that’s not gonna happen on, say, a monthly basis or so like before, I’ll pull my shite,
I don’t want you to have to store it at your place. It’s just, as you know, a PITA to carry it back and forth if we are gonna use it …
And to be clear, I’m not blaming EX-Bassist other than to say that we all failed to communicate re expectations, approaches,
preferences, interest, etc. But I hope I don’t sound like a prima donna when I say I do prefer not to play with people
who make me tense, and EX-Bassist makes me tense. FWIW, my friend YYYY and your lawyer friend make me tense, also – playing
with them occasionally is fine but … On the other hand, I liked OLDguitarist fine (until he hated me ;-D ), and I like
Other Guitarists, too. In retrospect, if we had just jammed with EX-Bassist occasionally, that woulda been better, IMO, but bringing him in so
fast and full time just didn’t/doesn’t feel good to me.
I just wanna jam, improv and improve, create, record, etc., with cool people that are at our level.
Or not – I think that the two of us as TFP (it is “The FRIDAY Project”, remember!) do just fine.
And I hope you and I can continue to do so.
So his response:
I think at least for a little while I would like to jam with [local] musicians and send you [Zoom H2 Tracks]. I don’t disagree that we can work together, but I don’t think u work very well with others, for whatever reason. Since it’s hard to find others to play with, something has to give. I do not have confidence that the next Guy will work either. And for the songs, I think most demonstrate your great recording skills, but they are not finished products. I have always wanted to repeat and perfect, not expand the songlist. Your tendencies I think are different. So for now let’s do as I propose, if you are still willing, at least for now.
You’re pissed, eh?
I don’t want to burn bridges, but in light of your attitude I do want to pick up my equipment, ASAP.
I’m really am not mad. No hurry with your stuff
My daughter says, “You guys sound like girls.”
My take is, besides being burned out with me (note the little digs), Ex-Drummer really wants to do a band as opposed to a recording project, and he probably feels some pressure (as well as desire) to keep working with EX-Bassist, who just moved in a cuppla blocks from him to, at least in part, join TFP. Not my problem, and to the extent that’s stalkerish and weird, I suspect it may become Ex-Drummer’s.
And there is some irony, of course, in that I brought some 6 or 7 muso’s around, he brought 1 for a cuppla jams, but he concludes I can’t get along with people. And I note that 3 of ‘em I brought around stayed, Paul for over a year, Other GuitaristSr now for about 6 months, and EX-Bassist …
Obviously, I’m picky about who I want to get along with. In believe that just because it’s “it’s hard to find others to play with”, does not mean you should accept people you don’t like, when this is meant to be fun.
So anywhat, thanx for listening!
Now, I’m tryna figure out how I want to present alla this in my blog, as I think it’s possibly instructive, certainly amusing ..
“I think most demonstrate your great recording skills, but they are not finished products. I have always wanted to repeat and perfect” and that is where I am 100% with Ex-Drummer.
You love to jam and you are an inspired on-the-fly composer, but you seem almost indecently rushed to move to the next thing. A lot of your work could be really brilliant with some critiquing and reflection and editing and (dare I say it?) re-recording, but if that’s not where you’re at, then don’t go there. Ex-Drummer’s in a different place; part as friends.”
Part of the thing is, see, when it was just the two of us, we’d just jam, and then I’d loop and create songs from the jams. Whenever we tried to re-do those, Ex-Drummer hadda hard time (not least of which was he’ wouldn’t practice w/out me) recreating the songs as composed, the parts, the feel, the changes. In order to keep him interested, then, when it was just the two of us, I did it thru editing. And guess what? It became my preferred approach. The re-recording thing with him was never successful, then, and I see/saw no reason to polish any further than I did, especially when we were contemplating adding another musician – I had a lot of work in songs when Paul joined and then we re-recorded to add his parts, and then I hadda re-do ‘em again when he left.
I think that’s made obvious on the songs where Granks is involved, which are more complete.
“If I were you, I’d keep an eye on Craigslist and eBay.”
I’m picking up my stuff tomorrow:
8 mic stands
8 20-30′ cords
Peavey Transtube 15 w. S/S amp
Musicman HD130 blonde head
It will be interesting to see if Ex-Drummer offers the return of the Senn cans and extension cord he never paid for …
“”Don’t forget the drugs.””
Got it all back, including the cans and cord.
He wanted to talk, I didn’t, just grabbed my shite and goned.
He wanted to talk, I didn’t ….
“That’s for the best … could have led to make/break-up sex and guilt …”
I’m happy and grateful you’re willing to share yer personal experiences, there, friend.
It is a relationship break-up, so the parallels exist, of course.
So now, mebbe I should start sleeping/auditioning around …
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