New band…new composition…new shitty inside joke about Def Leppard

Higher and drier…better than Def Leppard. Looks dumb written down. That’s even better. There may be two people beside myself who would chuckle at that. Isn’t that what having a band is about? Sure…there is the thrill of building something with a bunch of other people; something whose success or failure relies on that bunch of people’s ability to work together (or skillfully ignore each other). To me, it still comes down to the the before-practice, the in-between, and the after-practice. If you can get sidetracked from any productive music making for an hour talking about stupid shit you’ve got yourself a band.

On the subject of bands…I’ve been thinking a bit about methods of writing for bands. Back when I was a kid, when I wanted to write something, I just picked up a guitar and started playing. Well, 25 years later, the process of composing has become a bit more convoluted, sometimes necessarily so, sometimes not. Yet, lately I’ve been playing a lot of improvised music lately and ultimately, I am getting closer to the original impetus and picking up the guitar and playing.

The guitar playing I’ve been doing for the past year  or so is probably the closest I’ve ever gotten to what I’ve been hearing in my head. The thing that sucks is that my composer brain hasn’t quite figured out how to write it down. Let’s face it, I’m out of practice. I got to thinking, “what if I used my playing as the material, the riff so to speak, and built pieces out of that?”. I started recording my playing with the express purpose of extrapolating material for honing into pieces.

I’ve been playing with Dave Parmelee for my whole musical life, most recently in Joe Morris’ Shock Axis. I knew I wanted him for drums on this thing. I’ve been playing with Zach Rowden for the last year and a half. We clicked fast. I knew I wanted him on bass. Most importantly, I had a hunch that both Dave and Zach would hit it off if not alone for their shared affinity for extreme music.

I got my band. The band’s name is Schrift. We’ll be premiering a new composition of mine at Firehouse 12 in New Haven CT on 12/10. We have been working hard on it and I am extremely excited with how it is sounding. The piece has a serious title Theatre or Factory, a not-so serious title Higher and Drier, and the really dumb title Better than Def Leppard. You can decide which it most sounds like.