I arrived ten minutes later than arranged and the others were already sat like the three wise monkeys on a concrete bench outside the barn where our practice room is.The day had been blistering hot (apparently, being locked in an air-conditioned office I didn’t get to witness it for myself), but the evening was still more than thirty degrees and the lads were drinking a beer and chilling from the day’s rigours.
Erich especially, of course, as he said after 11:00 the sun was so hot that it meant that the roofers were burning themselves on anything exposed to the sun.
Having had a long day and short night myself, I was in no rush to start and grabbed a beer and chatted with the others.
Amongst other things David came up in our conversation and we decided to spontaneously call him to arrange a meeting to celebrate the finishing of the CD and have a beer and a chat.
David was possibly busy with recording, as he didn’t answer the phone.
We loaded up Erich’s truck with some offcuts from our extension work and then started the rehearsal.
We played each of the songs, up to “Stung!” mainly once, a couple twice and a couple more concentrating on parts which were not quite right. There was talk of getting the finer points correct but, realistically, with our current workload and upcoming holiday break, we should be concentrating on agreeing amongst ourselves how the songs are to be played before trying to polish unplaned wood.
David called back during the session and he suggested we meet up over the coming weekend which I couldn’t make. We agreed to send him a list of two or three dates which suit us and we’d go on the one he chose. Those dates are all in August and surround the ArztHosen concert, on the 18th.
Erich asked if the band had improved since the last concert.
I mulled a Little with the answer because the concert was a great success. So was Erich being sarcastic? Then I remembered our problems with one of our singers and also pulled my own Performance into the reply.
We were about the same.
Erich gave a look which implied “Then you’re (the band) are going to go down in flames.”
I thought it a bit severe. We certainly aren’t studio polished but I think we deliver a tight package.
I decided not to argue or labour the Point and just let him know how the Performance actually goes.
We ended the rehearsal with “Scarlet Women” which the others seem to like and for which I still have to finish writing the third verse and a small parlando.
To finish off the evening I suggest that we listen to the new songs, “Dominatrix” and “War Dogs”, as Erich hasn’t listened to them. Both Frank and Tobi preferred, as I do, “War Dogs”, which I played first.
I already have strong convictions about my ALPHAs but I make great efforts to remain neutral and not try and influence the others with my opinions or thoughts. And, despite me knowing the others for three years or so, it borders on embarrassment when I play them an ALPHA. Ultimately the songs have been knocked up in a short space of time over the weekend, in between life’s other demands, and provisionally in the realms of my home studio equipment. The Quality of the recording I would posit is not the problem, but the vocals are still finding their feet, in the melody and lyrics, and my guitar playing reflects that what I have learned in a couple of years of grabbing a bit of time in between life’s other demands or from my playing bass with the ArztHosen.
But the ALPHA should not serve as a finished song, but just as an idea of what a song can become. Erich must listen to my idea and see if it inspires him with ideas which he, as a talented guitar player, can embelish to make an interesting song.
I listened to the opening riffs and was once again reminded of my opinion and was flabbergasted when Erich, as if reading my mind, stated “AC/DC”.
Now, obviously I have a more than biased opinion about the song but when someone says that, about any tune, then I, for one, would certainly hold on to it for further development. An AC/DC sounding song? It is a must have. Surely?
Erich listened to the song, mulling ideas in his head.
We listened to “Dominatrix” which he said was difficult (to form a melody) to and also asked me, in the future, not to record the ALPHAs with effects and as a single track, as it made (his) listening to them more difficult. What I will do is record an extra track with the underlying chords for Erich, but I think the effect and strumming technique need to be recorded and retained as that conveys a lot of the mood and feel for the song.
Erich asked to listen to “War Dogs” again and picked up his guitar and started to play along. I think (and hope) it will make it into the FATE repertoire and would serve as an opener to replace “Beast” which is a much faster song and will never make it as an opener, as the guitarists need to warm up for it.
I’m not too concerned about “Dominatrix”. It was a classic case of me having to get that song as an ALPHA in order to clear my thoughts for the (much better) “War Dogs”. It is the same with lyrics. Sometimes you just need to write them down, even though you know they’re sub Standard, because otherwise they’ll always be in the back of your mind blocking other, better, ideas.