Monday, February 19, 2007

The nitty gritty

So, Matt canceled practice on Monday (when it says this was typed for some reason, I'm writing on Wednesday though). He was tired. On one hand, I understand -- we had a really long weekend (Thursday practice, Friday NYC gig and driving, Saturday gig, Sunday practice). On the other, that's life as a band. When we're on the road for real, I don't expect time to sleep. Granted, we wouldn't be working day jobs, we would just be doing the music thing (at least for the duration of the tour, unless somehow miraculously we hit it big), but I just don't consider fatigue to be a legitimate reason to cancel practice. So, we rescheduled for last night. Until Mike canceled. Because he was tired. I don't actually blame Mike or anyone for that matter -- Mike worked a really long day yesterday and apparently he didn't know we were practicing at all (so, it's probably my fault on communication if we must blame someone here). The only thing is that at this point, with us trying to make the next push, practice isn't negotiable anymore. In the past, we've canceled for too many weak reasons. But this is work, in my opinion, and you clock in sometimes even when you don't want to. I'm busy, too -- and I haven't canceled a practice since finals in December. So, Scott and I discussed what we need to do as a band in depth on Monday -- how hard we need to work to really sculpt the sound so that our music lives us to our fast-climbing public image. That's priority number one.

Like I told Scott, it's tough for me to figure out how to organize practices tenderly. I just feel like I push too much sometimes, and have a lack of compassion for others' needs or current capacities, so in the past couple nights I didn't want to push too much on anyone. If the band really needed the rest, I should understand, I guess (even though I may not allow myself that kind of attitude in my personal work). At the same time, I realize not everyone operates the way I do, sort of... and I'm trying to understand but I think we're all trying to move to the next level too. And it certainly isn't easy. Scott said that we're making some good moves and improving ourselves, but that's something that goes away when you don't keep it up.

But things have definitely changed for the better. Sometimes, especially around this time last year, I felt like I was alone in this burning desire, do-anything approach, even if Mike said it a lot. I just felt like I really had to push, but now I think everyone seems a lot more all-in, which is what it takes. After all, I may not know how to get where we want, but I have a good idea, and it starts here.

It's just weird how the mindset of a band has to be right, too. As I told Scott, there are so many accidental hits in music, but that's why bands deconstruct... they dont have the stable mindset... but those that do (Nada Surf, etc) can sometimes find redemption in that. You can recover from what may be a premature shoving into the spotlight. But if we are destined to work hard for everything we get, then we always have to be ready for phase 2 -- we have to be cohesive. Together. That's why practice is so important at this point. I don't know what lies around the corner for this band, but we have to be ready for it. It could be something big, or small, or nothing, but either way, we need to be as tight in every sense as we can be. Or as Scott says, we don't want to have a lot of ears on us if we aren't completely together. The band is united in goal, but we need to be in approach. Now, I'm not pointing fingers here at all, I'm just saying, these things come in time. This is the time to really hone in.

The reason we need to get down to biz is that now we want to get some more new tunes flowing. I honestly feel like soon we should start taking on more and more new songs and putting them into heavy rotation... by the Rumble, I'd like to play 50% new songs, 40% It's Gonna Change, and 10% Whitewash the Blues (right now, we're at 20% new, 20% Whitewash, 60% It's Gonna Change). That's easy math in a 10-song set, but I'm not being strict about that. It's just a goal, to get really ready for the next step, and the next recording project.

As I wrote in January, the band is playing TOGETHER more than ever. But we need to keep building our cohesiveness. Chemistry doesn't come overnight or even in a year and a half. It takes more and more work. To get it, that may take four practices a week, rather than the current three. I don't really know. But this is my guess. We'll figure it out, I know it.

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Anonymous glenn said...

actually, right now we're at 20% new, 10-20% whitwash, 10-20% b-sides, 50-60% it's gonna change. my mistake!

21 February, 2007 14:33  

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