Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Musical History, Episode 13: Hiatus, Then A Chuck Palahniuk Novel Reference

Following the loss of Upper80's practice space and the general lack of reaction - good or otherwise - towards our 4-song EP, I decided to take a little break from playing in bands. After all, I had now been in bands non-stop for about fourteen years or so, and I felt that it would be a good time to just be alone for a while and do some quality introspection (I swear, playing in bands sounds a lot like being in relationships, no?)
That didn't mean I would stop writing and playing music, however. As any of you musicians out there know, that would be like giving up one of your essential bodily functions.* So, I dove into the world of home recording; I bought a Mbox and Pro Tools LE and began working on stuff in my living room, with some dude named Dr. Rhythm as my drummer. I recorded a handful of songs and even released a few of them as a lo-fi, homemade EP (I burnt the CDs on my computer and photocopied the inserts). I also performed several solo acoustic gigs, playing my own songs as well as covers of some of my favorite '80s tunes (like this one).

This went on for four whole years before I started to get the itch again. Or, in retrospect, maybe it never really went away; the whole time, there was always something a bit unsatisfying about making music on my own. Even though I had more control over the situation (I could practice and record in my own house without worrying about other bands setting fire to the place - for the most part, anyway), something about it felt cold, sterile, and vaguely, haven't I tried this kind of thing before? Oh yeah, I have.

So once again, I was reminded that rock music - at least the way I wanted to play it - just wasn't rock music without other actual living, breathing musicians (sorry, Dr. Rhythm), including the ones who aren't in your band that get you kicked out of your practice space. Because, I guess, isn't that the whole essence of rock 'n' roll, anyway? The chaos, the drama, the unpredictability?**

So, after one last gasp for the solo deal where I recorded a couple of songs with an amazing engineer that I had found (more on him later), I declared the hiatus to be over and put out an ad in Craigslist (yes, now there was Craigslist) for musicians. Almost immediately, I met up with a drummer who could not only play drums, but whose house actually had a basement that we could practice in -  I'm telling you, it was like magic.

Then, after cycling through a bunch of bassist candidates, we finally settled on one - who wasn't a converted guitar player, gasp! We threw together a bunch of songs and called ourselves Inazan, after a fake pharmaceutical in the Chuck Palahniuk novel Survivor. And thus, the whole band cycle began anew...

Next: Inazan Turns Into Something Else Entirely

* Which one, I leave up to you
** Answer: Yes

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