Thursday, April 30, 2015

shifting versions

While I was recording my album Skeleton Coast, my producer asked me why I didn't assemble a I could promote the album with more complete performances. At the time, though, I already had a rock and roll band, and I was quite happy also doing solo performances. I had one music outlet which allowed me to make noise and another which allowed me to be self-sufficient.

But between the end of recording and the release, I got accepted for a local music fest. I got a wild hair and decided to put together a solo I could at least hear a full version of the songs once. We decided on a band name (The Antidepressants). Then the bassist had to drop out, so I had to reshuffle the lineup from beta into version 1.1 even before our first gig. In the end, though, we did the gig and did a good job. I liked the feeling of leading my own outfit instead of just being the "insert noise here" guy. As we played the festival, I had high hopes for more...but then, for a myriad of reasons, we broke up within a few days.

My rock band also broke up almost simultaneously, though, so in a matter of days, I went from having it all musically to having hardly any outlet other than just plunking on guitar. I did quickly join Midwest Tourist, and I love playing in this band. It does not, however, really fulfill my need to play loud guitar. There was one show where our normal guitarist couldn't make it, and I had to fill in on guitar instead of sticking to my normal banjo. It was fun, but it changed the band music way too drummer said it was almost as if we changed genres, and I had to agree.

I had real hopes to play with my own band again, but I really had no clear idea if I ever would be able to so. Musicians are usually a fickle group, though, and it's not like I was getting more friends or free time. But when I got another festival gig, the old familiar wild hair struck again. Plus my body was at too desperate of a state of rock and roll once again, I decided I needed another group of musicians.

The Antidepressants 2.0 only took a bit of wrangling to assemble. The first practice went well. The second practice went so well, I felt inclined to ask everyone if they might want to play together in the future... and they agreed. I had a rock band again! We played the festival, and it went great. I booked a show, and it also went well. Life was good!

When I attempted to set up another practice after our second gig, though, the drummer told me he couldn't commit to very much over the summer. I panicked, but my bassist announced that he'd solved the problem: he had found another bassist, and he was going to move to drums. And thus The Antidepressants 3.0 was born.

Of course, this level of certainty didn't even last ten minutes, because right after telling me about our new lineup, he informed me he was going to be moving at the end of the summer. Version 3.0 of my band might be ready, with gigs booked and everything, but it apparently has a built-in shelf life.
So now, I'm left with two opposing missions: prepare for the immediate active future of my band while simultaneously contemplating just how I might possibly assemble yet another version. This one is compounded by the fact my current bassist is borrowing his bass from my drummer...the same drummer who is out of here in a few months. This is no simple band realignment but a total reconstruction. My trombonist is staying, but I now need a new full rhythm section.

Problem is, however, I have no idea where to get either a new bassist or drummer. Where I will get both? No clue. The producer for my second album has offered to play drums, but he also told me he'd probably be moving in December. This would mean that version 4.0, which would replace the temporary version 3.0, would itself be temporary...and that I would have to immediately start work on version 4.0.

Frankly, I'm getting confused just thinking about it. I have no idea how or even if things are gonna work out. I guess I should be sort of confident. After all, if I can make this work three times, then what's to say I can't do so again? And again? Continuity would be nice...but I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. At any rate, I can always just do things myself if it comes to that.

If you, dear reader, is either a bassist or a drummer, though, you should really give me your number.

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