Monday, March 11, 2013

The Beginning, When I Grow Up I Want To Be, What We All Learn To Need

Today I'd like to start with a little nostalgia, and a little bit of information so all of you can get to know me a little better. For anyone who doesn't know, I have been playing bass since I was a wee lad back in the potato mines of Conklin at the tender age of 12. The first year of playing I kind of just jerked it around and tried to make some sort of sounds come out of it. I was under the arrogant presumption that if I never learned other musician's songs, then no one could ever tell me I was playing my instrument wrong. Because obviously I am such a fucking coo 12 year old who could re-define an instrument. Anywho, around 13 I decided that's pretty fucking stupid and went off into the woods in search of truth and fun. Now over a decade later, I look back at these times and realize how distinctly they defined me. Can you guess what the first 5 bass-lines I learned were? "MUDSHOVEL" by Staind, "THE RED" by Chevelle, "BURNIN' FOR YOU" by Blue Oyster Cult, "WARNING" by Green Day and "GOTTA GET AWAY" by The Offspring. Now the first 2 make perfect sense, my love and loyalty to Nu Metal has always gone unquestioned by the NuMetalacicon: The Tribunal Inquisition of Maggots. And B.O.C. makes perfect sense since I love dark magic and dad rock. Then there is the pop punk. I fucking love pop punk. I don't listen to that many different bands (Green Day, Offsping, NOFX, Bad Religion and of course I will probably die being shot down by security guards for trying to spoon Mark Hoppus of Blink 182.)  But these bands were the foundation for everything that came after, and gave me the skills I needed to take on my future challenges.
Me In 10 years, if my grades are good enough.
Dad Coat Mini
Now I wish I could fully capture the essence of what I am about to describe to you. The next chapter of my expansion into music was sort of a gift really. A message from the Big Electron. I remember I was starting to use a lot more chords and stuff on my bass and hadn't really seen a lot of bass players doing that sort of thing. So I believe it was the summer before my 16th birthday. I had my computer set up in my mom's living room and I was probably playing World Of Warcraft when my brother walked in. This simple encounter would change my life forever. My brother said, "Hey you should check out this band." He got on my computer and started to play a song. It began with light cymbal curiosity began to grow. It was pulling me in, my usual instinct to shit on anything my brother likes was dimmed for a moment. I wasn't sure what was going to come, when suddenly it burst through the sonic calm. It was a bass, but it was a weird sounding bass. A bass sent down from Maggot Mountain to shake me from my slumber and scream at me "WAKE THE FUCK UP ZACH!!!!!!!! GRAB YOUR FUCKING BASS AND FUCK EVERYTHING UP!!!!!!!! FUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!" The song my brother played for me on that fateful day, was "Too Many Puppies" by Primus. Even as I type this I want to cry. And how many people do you know who cry because they love Primus so much that they want to carve Primus into their throat? This cowboy. From that day forth I was obsessed with bass. I would play bass 9 hours a day and play WoW at the same time. When I wasn't playing bass, I was thinking about playing bass. I only wanted to be the best I could be to acquire some level of perfection I thought was unreachable. I was most likely well on my way to being the next Victor Wooten or some other wiener like that.

The Later Years
I say wiener, because it wasn't until I was 18 that I finally learned what real music is all about. I was under the delusion that being able to play insanely fast or learning every technique possible was what being a musician was all about. But I can honestly say, if I heard someone playing what I used to play back then, I would fucking hate it. The summer of 2007, I met a young sailor named Monte and I had my first mate Josh ready to steer me into a new and fascinating chasm of my musical development. They showed me the song "Ceremony" by New Order. Probably one of the simplest bass-lines I know, yet it is also one of my favorite bass lines I have crammed into my cerebellum. They showed me that true musicianship is a personal battle between ourselves and the collective consciousness of everyone and everything. Lines are meant to be drawn and shattered over and over again. Constantly moving and shifting from liquid to solid to vapor. To vapor to solid to nothingness. My musical heroes have always been the best of me. From the more well known : Les Claypool, Justin Broadrick, Dan Barrett, Kevin Shields, Mogwai, Airs etc. To the people I have shared the misfortune of being burdened with creative endeavor: Monte Davis Jr, Joshua Robinson, Graham Henning, Britty Drake, Mike Assatly, Richard Hackler, Codi, Gabe Nemecek, Jake "Mr. Shit" Murphy, Dean Robinson, Mario Gambardella, Alastair Fyffe and a shitload more. Though I know I will probably die alone and rot in a ditch someday, I feel as though me life has been enriched by my music and the experiences tied in with that. And though I am certainly not the happiest person ever, I feel that music is one path in life that I know I will never regret. Fuck it, do it live. I guess I started and ended this whole thing with it being about me so sorry about that. I have to go to Longing practice. God Hates Us All. 

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