9.17.2015

I Have Some Bands

Hi friends. I decided it might be time to tell you something.

I play in a few good bands around Madison WI. Maybe you knew this.

EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE is my favorite one to play in, notwithstanding that I do not play my primary instrument (bass), but rather my secondary one (rhythm guitar), in this fun, high energy punk rock band. There are a lot of reasons for this. The songwriting of band leader Tim B (aka Eddie) is phenomenal, as good or better than any punk rock I have heard on alternative broadcasting outlets. The musicianship of the 4-piece band is top notch and everyone is driven and motivated, even the drummer...hahaha. Actually, ESPECIALLY the drummer. The songs have great two- or three-part vocal harmonies, so I am becoming a better singer as well as a better guitar player. On the down side, the drummer is touring Europe for six months, starting in a couple of weeks, so the band will be on a partial hiatus from gigs until February. But that said, we will be spending the next two weeks furiously finalizing tracks for a full length album for intended release after drummer Dano is back. We will likely release some songs from the record singly each month until February so fans will get a teaser sampling of what's in store.

GUPPY EFFECT is my original rock-n-roll band, a power trio that mostly plays the songs I write. I play bass and sing lead mostly. I enjoy playing in this band...when we play. But the other guys in this band have a lot of other stuff going on and so we don't gig as often as I'd like. But when we do, it is worth checking out. We evolved from a majority cover band model to an all original model over the past year or so. We were not getting a lot of interest from venues in having us play covers and when we did, they wanted us to play all night, four hour shows for less pay than a Chinese sweat shop worker. On top of that, the audiences seemed apathetic and disinterested in our performances. We decided to disenfranchise such venues and switch to the original band model, playing more select and desirable venues (we still get shitty pay, but shorter gigs of under an hour and MUCH better reception from audiences). For example, we played two venues for MAKE MUSIC MADISON last June, a city wide event celebrating local music. We rocked a 45 minute set outside the Cosmic Delights head shop on Atwood Ave and another one at the Guitar Center stage, not too far from my house, off Whitney Way. The reception was phenomenal. The crowds were small but they really enjoyed us.

HIATVS is my fun rock cover band, fronted by me and one Brian Morse (aka AquaMunkee), and backed up by whatever drummer we can...drum up? Drummers seem to be a weak link in this band, very hard to find a talented and reliable one (it is one or the other). But we have a roster of them now to draw from. This band is a theatrical power trio whose preferred venues are house parties and special events. We probably only play three or four times a year, but it is always a great show, largely due to the intimate nature of the house party setting. We do a lot of stage antics and wear some costumery and head gear to entertain audiences (and distract from our biffs, due to lack of practice, being on hiatus so much and all). If you are having a house party (or a grand opening of something) and want great live cover music, consider HIATVS. We don't require a fee to play. Instead, we usually run a crowd sourcing campaign in conjunction with the party host to raise funds for food and drink and gas money.

Those are my three main bands. I dabble around with the chick-fronted RITA WITTER BAND and the shredder guitarist in that band, Derek, and I are trying to form a super band to play some money making shows, but we haven't landed a drummer yet (trend?). I formed an impromptu band with a couple of guys at the Funks Pub open jam on Sundays, called MG's HENCHMEN, but to date that band only ever plays at the jam. On the upside, we get to play a short set almost every Sunday, which is nothing to scoff at. I wish GUPPY EFFECT would play the Funks Jam more often, but Sunday nights are anathema to the other guys in that band, for some reason.

The Funks Jam on Sundays is a fun little gathering. It is usually a bit loud and poorly attended. But it is open to any musician or band who wants to perform. I get to rock there at least weekly, regardless of what my other bands are up to, which keeps me sane and happy. I think some bands think the jam is "beneath" them, and maybe it is. But for some amateur bands looking to play live and get some exposure, it is perfect. All the sound and lights and backline are provided by the venue and the house band runs it, so it is really convenient and easy to perform there. I run an online live stream of the jam most Sundays.

So that's about it as far as my current musical pursuits. I throw up a live video of myself performing solo acoustic every once in a while too.

No comments:

Post a Comment