Friday, 15 June 2012


I actually hate Steel Panther, whose lyrics grace this title. And I don't agree with the sentiment, as I like lots of different kinds of music. But, over the last couple of days, I've had a bit of a revelation, or even a reaffirmation, of something: I want to make metal.

It's mainly come as a result of my ever-increasing love of Mastodon; watching The Workhorse Chronicles (which Brent curiously spends most of in the shower...), a documentary of their early years/formation and beyond, as well as makings-of of their various albums - I've realised it's something I really want to do. 

For years, I've had this quasi-dream of being in a band, initially spurred by my then-recent discovery of Muse, and the Hullabaloo DVD specifically - watching that was incredible, and seeing/hearing the crowd react with such fervent adoration to each different song - you just get the idea that for some of the crowd, that would have been one of the greatest nights of their lives. The thought that if I were in a band, playing music to people that they enjoyed, would be stunning. 

When I first picked up a bass, it was largely because I, like many people around that age in Year 10 or something, wanted to start a band with my friends. Two were already accomplished musicians - drummer, guitarist: check - another laid first claim to a second guitar and volunteered for vocal duties, which left me with bass. Not that I care any more, I love it. For several reasons: lack of skill, not really knowing what we were doing, and minimal practices because we were never all available at the same time, nothing happened. But, spurred by my love of Muse, I persevered with learning bass, holding Chris Wolstenholme (as I still do) as my God of Bass. I can play a fair amount of their songs now, too many some might suggest. Meh. 

More recently, I had a little bit of a 'hypothetical band role crisis' - namely, started practising that potentially voice-ruining practice of screamed/growled vocals, and kind of put my desire to be bassist in a band to one side as I had fun teaching myself how to growl. I can't sing, for one thing (I could learn, but...). I was thinking about the possibility of fronting a metalcore-y type band., so I auditioned for a punk band, which was the first time I'd ever done vocals in front of people (other than Simon and some other people when I was drunk), but I realised that it wasn't quite the type of music I wanted to be part of., so again, nothing happened.

Which brings us neatly round to the present. I'm in love with Mastodon, in which Troy is both bassist and vocalist - can you see the light bulb of inspiration pop on above my head? I've been learning more complicated bass tracks, trying to at least speak and play at the same time with a view to emulating Troy's vocal style, and randomly writing probably quite poor riffs with blatant disregard for standard time signatures, which to be fair I know the sum of bugger-all about anyway.

I've emerged from my metaphorical tunnel of not-knowing-what-I'm-doing-at-all-with-my-life to moving on into the light at the end of said tunnel. Or are they just train headlights?

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