Thursday, June 9, 2011

For those about to rock

Yesterday I had another audition with a band looking for a lead singer. I have to say I think it went pretty well. We met at a studio the band practices at, which was nice as it was a more neutral site for me and the studio itself had a great setup.

Lately, I've been very picky in looking over potential bands, there are a ton of factors for me that are important and I'm looking for in order to make this kind of commitment to playing. One thing I've learned during my brief 'career' as a singer, is there are just way to many variables affecting a band for you to not try and find a situation that works from the start.

Having said that, I've only got a small sample to choose from. A couple auditions here in Columbus and Cleveland, my time with Tornn, and a couple sessions with a group down here. So this is what I'm looking for.

1. Similar musical interests. I'm not a heavy metal guy, but as I've found out when playing with that band briefly in March, I am a rock and roll guy, and I need some music with energy and tempo.

2. People that enjoy playing. This has got to be fun, I want guys that play because they love it. I can appreciate those that are looking to make their place in music or earning a living playing, but that's so far removed from what I'm looking to do, it would just not be a good fit.

3. The group should like each other. There's a ton of time that gets spent together, who has time to deal with people they don't like. This is a bit more difficult for me coming in, as I have no control over whether the band members like me, but I do want to see that they like each other.

4. Open to new things, this could be categorized in a number of ways, but going back to 'this should be fun' I'm looking for a group that has a fairly diverse set list and a lot of interests, it doesn't hurt that they are open to new things too. This fits my mindset and as I've found out while singing, most of my favorite tunes at this point, are ones someone else decided they wanted to play/explore. (which may just mean, I suck at picking out good tunes for me to sing)

After getting an email last week about the audition, I started reviewing my song list and working on some tunes they asked me to do and some others that I was familiar with and had saw on their set list. After struggling for two days and wondering if I forgot how to sing, I listened to the demo tracks I did with Torrn and found my voice again. I ran through 2 completely new tunes they had asked about and about 7 or 8 songs that I knew, but had never tried to sing before. In addition to that, I had about 10 songs that I have done previously that they also knew.

The plan as far as I could tell was for me to just play with them through the studio time they had, so I wanted to be as ready as possible. I was actually thinking I didn't have enough ready and was beating myself up over the fact, that I wasn't able to pick up another new song they had asked about. (I looked it over, but with all the other preparation, it just never got to the point where I was comfortable putting it out there for an audition).

I met the guys and we got started. I have to say there are a lot of things I like, they tune down a half notch for every song, and the difference for me was incredible. A couple tunes that were always pushing the bar for me, fell right in line, with just the half notch down. We rumbled through about 2 hours of songs. They liked the fact that I pulled a number from their set list out to try and I liked the fact that they winged a couple other tunes that I had done before. The nice thing was we just seemed to have a really cool time playing for the evening. The stress of an audition, always makes me a little hesitant to just give something a try, as I know it takes a number of takes before I can hit it out of the park. The problem for me is, I don't like to be hesitant in that spot, I'd rather put it out there and let it be a bit sloppy, as I'd rather at least take advantage of the playing opportunity then worry about whether someones going to judge the flaws in the first or second run.

The atmosphere was right to give some of the stuff a try and I think it sounded really good. I picked the order, so I was able to mix in the new stuff, with things I knew really effectively, and by the time I told them I was out of ideas, I got the impression they were fairly impressed that we had went through 2 hours of playing.

We talked for a bit afterwards and I have to say, I like the guys, it's a nice group and they seem to really fit with my personality. They let me know afterwards, they had one more audition coming in, but expected to be getting back to me soon. I typically don't want to get my hopes up, but unfortunately after the nice session, I already am. This would be a very good fit if I'm the choice. Of course if things work out, I'll be talking about it here. If nothing else, I'm feeling a bit re-energized in my pursuit of a singing spot if they decide to go in another direction. I questioned before this audition whether or not my heart was still in it, but after last nights session, I'm convinced I still have a lot of passion to sing.

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