Ahhh one of the best things about being a teenager is joining a band, isn’t it great? Getting together with your friends in some bedroom or an old garage and plugging in those instruments, torturing some classic rock song and all of a sudden you are Tim Wheeler or Billy Idol playing to thousands of fans at some outside rock festival. And the next thing you know the neighbors are banging on the walls, but that doesn’t matter, you and your friends are on your way to rock superstardom and nothing will stop you, in fact, one part of a being a rock God (or Goddess in my case) is annoying the uncool masses so the fact you annoyed the neighbors is a sign you are on your way to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame :D
Being an alternative teen like I was I was of course in a band, several actually but we will get to that soon enough, for years music has dominated my life and all I have ever wanted to do apart from be a writer is to get up on stage night after night and sing my heart out, maybe even give some young kid the same hope my musical heroes have given me. And if some magazine asks me to do a photo-shoot or offer me an award for best debut album well then so be it, the things we have to do for our fans eh? I would gladly suffer the pain of fame and fortune for my art.
Me and Mark both shared the desire to be in a band and so decided to start a band ourselves, I can’t remember what our first band was called, I doubt it was the most intellectual sounding of names and to be honest we never really practiced at all, all we really did was listen to albums from our favorite bands and talk about what we would do differently and how we always be there for our fans and not ignore them and talk of our own personal problems to show that you can escape a situation like we were in. Sure nothing ever really came of those days but they are some of my fondest memories, even if we did sound like we were throwing a guitar down the stairs with me screeching some God-awful catterwail like shrieks, because we were young and had so much time to dream and we were convinced we were going to be music legends. In our youth it seemed so real, like we were really going to make it to the big time, I often miss that feeling that anything is possible.
These days we are still in a band though we are a little more serious about it, Oceans of Sun we are called with lyrics based around video games and our most beloved sci-fi shows and films. I am the lead singer guitarist and Mark handles the keyboards and synths and programes drum loops. We both handle songwriting duties but often I will come up with a concept, present it to Mark and we then bash it out in an extended jam session. Very rarely do we sit down and write a fully formed song or even a partially formed one, we just start out with a bare bones idea and try to flesh it out, which does work pretty well when try to write some kind of early-Alice Cooper Band type psychedelic song. You get a cookie if you know the kind of song I’m referring to here *cough* Unfinished Sweet *cough*
I don’t know how good we are but that’s not the point really, we will probably never get to be famous or even put an album out. When we get together and start playing songs we have wrote ourselves, and get to talking about plans for albums, how we will handle interviews etc It feels like I’m 14 again and with the rest of my life ahead of me to make my dreams a reality and when I’m singing my heart out in front of that mic hearing Mark play the keyboard I can’t help but revert back to that young teen and smile that there will always be a part of me that won’t grow up. A part of my life that won’t change, despite everything else that’s going on in my life, the chaos of my transition I can go to Mark’s house with my guitar and a few beers then just spend an evening with my best friend and act like a young kid again. Also it is really fun to listen to tapes of a jam session you made with a friend while completely blitzed.
Of course not all of our musical endeavors have been so overly serious nature I can remember one time we made a fictional band up, complete with band history and fake names for us; UterThrust we were called and we played what can only be described as “black metal-psychadelic rock-heavy-punk rock” but even worse than the image that conjurs up, believe me we were so desperately trying to be the worst band possible and we made a few profiles on random websites claiming we had been around for years and were some kind of underground sensation thinking people would get the joke.
Especially considering I called myself “Anthony Shagnasty” and that we were working on our new album “Total Fucking Goat Vol 4” we did put out a few songs on the net, that were basically just 5 minutes of me screeching about Lord of the Rings, unnecessary surgery and pointless amputation..
Sadly not everyone shares our sense of humour, and we actually people sending me messages asking for our albums and where they can see us live…. What I think is this; before copious amounts of alcohol were consumed I did have something of a point to all of this. If we paraded ourselves around like we were underground musicians and had been around for years but no one had heard of us could we convince people who like to know of the most obscure bands to tell people they love us and had been our fans all along? It was sort of like a social experiment, the worst kind of pop psychiatry I know but it interested me. Not wanting to believe that anyone could actually enjoy the type of music we made I think I was proved right and people will do anything they can to appear cool and in the know.
What do you think? Are their people so conformist out there they will pretend to like a band named “UterThrust”? Oh and what parts of your childhood do you fondly remember and still every now and again try to recreate?