I started 2019 with a half-dormant recording project and very loose thoughts about a new solo instrumental album, possibly something acoustic. Three months in and I have formed a new rock band! We’re three fourths of the way there, the only position missing is the vocalist. I can hardly believe how quickly and smoothly everything has gone. I went from ad placement to the first rehearsal as a trio in about 10 days. I didn’t have a single riff or even one word for a lyric when we started playing together, and now we have 24 song ideas in various states of completeness, and dozens more recorded jams left to mine for riffs and melodies. It’s completely and utterly insane, and sometimes I wonder if it’s real, how long it will last, and if I can even talk about it aloud, for fear of jinxing anything.
One of the things that has always kept me from going all-in with forming a new band is that it’s so difficult for me to decide exactly what I really, really want to play. A small part of me wants to go for 60s and 70s covers, another wants blues rock, a third is more progressive and psychedelic, then there’s classic metal, death metal, you name it. But eventually I realized that there is absolutely no need to overthink anything. 20 years ago, I was deadly serious about everything since I still entertained the notion that I could somehow make it big. Now, I just want to have fun and hang out with like-minded people and improvise some kind of heavy rock music together. Whatever comes out the other end will likely anyway bear my maker’s mark to some degree, and there is something to be said about improvisation, since it does tend to bring the subconscious desires to the fore. Thus far, we have made forays into swing, funk, bossa nova and sleaze rock, but that’s just for fun. When we man up and try to be serious for a while, the main tendency seems to be some form of 70s-inspired hard rock with a generous helping of psychedelia. Like the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. To be honest, I have had so much fun jamming with my bass player and drummer that I am in no hurry whatsoever with adding that vocalist, or driving towards was my original intention: to play live.
My other drummer asked me a question the other day that perhaps was perceived to be a lot more pointed than was likely intended: how am I going to balance the two projects? I don’t think that that is going to be much of a challenge. Musically, it’ll fall into place on its own, since Namlar is a metal band and my new and so far unnamed trio is a hard rock band. I don’t have any problems whatsoever picking out which riff belongs where, since the stuff for Namlar tends to be more exotic and dissonant and that for the other band more traditional and blues-based. Besides, the working methods are very distinct: with Namlar we are approaching the end of a two-year, 11-song recording project, and with the new band, we are still jamming and exploring.