Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Musical History, Episode 16: The Harmonies Change Everything

All right, so as you know from the last episode, I had reunited with the drummer from Upper80, and we had been knocking about sort of informally, just having fun and playing some tunes from the old days. It was a welcome distraction from whatever else was going on at the time, and after a while, we decided to get a bass player and give it a go - but, of course, only as a hobby, definitely not meant to be anything serious.
As is always the case (because - say it with me - no one actually wants to be a bass player), we cycled through a bunch of bassist candidates, even finding one that I thought would last for while, before finally, one day, we crossed paths with a dude who - despite the fact that he originally played guitar - actually did want to play the bass, was a good fit, and was even from Hawaii, to boot. We settled on a name that I had been wanting to use for some time (this is where it came from), and off we went.

At first, we played a mix of originals and covers, including everything from Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" to "Seek And Destroy" by Metallica to "Synchronicity II" by The Police. We did a bunch of shows around town, including the launch party for Book One and the Rock For Autism fundraiser for The Children's Occupational Therapy Charitable Trust. It was a rockin' good time, but, again, that's all it was really meant to be.

Then, one day - I don't remember exactly when - we decided to try and add some vocal harmonies to one of our songs, specifically, "Gloria." I don't really know why we did it; I suppose it was just something fun to experiment with. After a lengthy trial and error process, we finally got it, and the results were...pretty dang amazing, actually. Seriously, it was like we were playing an entirely different song.

So, encouraged by that success, we figured - in true mad scientist fashion - "why not add harmonies to all of our originals?" We started that process while we played a bunch of shows that featured punk rock versions of '80s classics (including an "'80s Night" at Mickey Finn's - Devo hat FTW), until eventually, the newly-harmonized originals just sort of took over and we decided to focus completely on doing our own stuff. In fact, it was so much fun, we found ourselves booking time with a recording engineer that I had worked with before to make some sweet-sounding tracks.

And what do you know - just like that, without even really realizing it, I was back in the band business. And, this time, it was fun. It just felt right. We finished recording ten songs with the aforementioned engineer and decided to release them as a proper album, which we chose to call - nerd alert - Fortress Storm Attack.

And that pretty much catches us up to today. Thanks for coming along on this ride through history with me. Honestly, it really feels like it's all gone by in a flash. But that's how it is when you're having a good time - most of the time, anyway.

Hey, so tonight, tune in here as we do a live interview on Anarchy Radio starting from 8pm Pacific Time!

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