Are you a fish out of water too?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Another thread gave me this idea, so I was curious as to see if anyone can relate.

I've been playing drums for over 20 years now. I love the area where I live, and I have a day job, so music isn't needed for my income.

With that said, the only problem is that I live in bluegrass country where drums is the LAST thing these bands want. There's this one bluegrass-based band that lets me sit in from time to time, but not everyone in the group likes me being there. I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to play with them because overall, it can still be a lot of fun. I was really hoping to get something going with the last Americana-based band I was in. I was really wanting to be the poor-man's Sam Bush band, but no one really was game. We have since disbanded.

In regards to bands that actually want a drummer, there's only one band in my town that's actually doing anything, and luckily I play drums with them (rock and country covers with a handful of originals). Also, there's a solo artist in town who I'm starting to play with as well (primarily rock and originals). I play at church, and I've been invited to play at a couple of area churches as well. So my work is steady.

I feel very, very lucky to be as busy as I am. Even still, I still feel like a fish out of water because around here if you aren't playing bluegrass or anything related to bluegrass music, you don't get booked at any of the higher-profile stuff here in town (we have a couple of pretty big festivals here, but they primarily feature bluegrass groups). While I'm making it work, I just don't "fit in" here. I'm definitely a fish out of water in many ways.

Anyone else feel like you simply don't fit in where you are (musically speaking)? Have you had to learn a new genre just to play music? Any other thoughts?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
In Northwest Arkansas the live music scene is weird. Lots of blues, funk, country, and rock. Jazz is pretty much limited to the UofA area. Metal is very much lost here.

I find it funny. In 1994 I graduated HS and helped start a death metal band. It was soo different and new we blew up pretty quickly. I found instant local celebrity status and hated it. I left the band in 2002.

Now the band still exists but doesn't really do much. No new metal bands for a long time, and only a few existing ones bother to play out anymore. So yeah, fish out of water for sure. The scene I helped start is pretty much dead.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
In Louisville there is some bluegrass music. It's surprising, the bluegrass festivals are fairly small events that don't draw huge crowds. There's not hundreds of bluegrass bands here. There are more blues bands. I'd estimate 10 blues bands to every one bluegrass band. There may be more jazz than bluegrass, too. Not sure.

One excellent bluegrass band here uses a drummer. He plays mainly with brushes on snare and a tiny kick drum. It's a lot of clave second line sounding rhythm. Very innovative: Relic is their name they are well known.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
One excellent bluegrass band here uses a drummer. He plays mainly with brushes on snare and a tiny kick drum.
I actually played in Louisville, KY, last weekend for the opening of the Gaslight Festival.

Here's my bluegrass set-up. I don't like cajons, but this one sounds fantastic as a kick drum. You'd have to hear it to believe it:




Yup, here's one of the bluegrass festivals from where I am. The festival is rooted in bluegrass and has a nice variety, but nothing that features anything I play much.

This isn't even the main stage:





Here's the main stage:

 

petrez

Senior Member
Not at the moment really, as there are quite a few metal bands/drummers around where I live (Norway). Not too many places to get gigs though, so you mainly need to get out on tour (which you actually need to pay to get into, unless you are a well-known band) internationally to have regular gigs.

But I did really feel like a fish out of water in my youth, growing up in Gran Canaria, Spain, playing rock/hard rock/metal. A lot of times by myself, sometimes with a guitarist who shared some of my music taste. Unless you played salsa, people looked at you weirdly... Couldn't wait to move back to Norway as soon as I was old enough to get out of the house...
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Anyone else feel like you simply don't fit in where you are (musically speaking)?
I've been told my feel on the kit is funky. I played in several midwest white churches for ~25 years and all that material has a straight-8 feel. I've had worship leaders stop mid-song and tell me to "stop swinging". Fish out of water.

Lately, I've been sitting in with a funk band. AWB, Prince, EWF, ToP material. Very fun stuff. But the local college bar venues want 80s & 90s radio pop. We play and no one moves a finger. However, when we play at the "black VFW hall" on the north side of town, we pack it. A bar & grill just opened up that has a Memphis motif. Ribs, chicken, etc., run by a black brother & sister (literally). We played there a month ago and they moved the tables out of the way so people could dance. Fish in the water.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I've been told my feel on the kit is funky. I played in several midwest white churches for ~25 years and all that material has a straight-8 feel. I've had worship leaders stop mid-song and tell me to "stop swinging". Fish out of water.

Lately, I've been sitting in with a funk band. AWB, Prince, EWF, ToP material. Very fun stuff. But the local college bar venues want 80s & 90s radio pop. We play and no one moves a finger. However, when we play at the "black VFW hall" on the north side of town, we pack it. A bar & grill just opened up that has a Memphis motif. Ribs, chicken, etc., run by a black brother & sister (literally). We played there a month ago and they moved the tables out of the way so people could dance. Fish in the water.
This speaks to how involved the bass is. In bluegrass, the bass peddles quarter notes, nearly all the time. In funk and other dance music, the bass lines have more rhythmic character. And by extension, the drum beats have more character themselves. Go where the bass lines live.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I definitely am a fish out of water.

I live in a city that has almost no live music scene. The few bands that do exist only play pop covers. There are almost no original bands here either. It is absolutely brutal.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'm surprised there aren't country bands in your area, PPG. I associate bluegrass music with country music.
Bluegrass ain't country. Say that in the middle of a bluegrass jam and you're in trouble lol.
RBones is right. Traditional bluegrassers are nutso about the genre as in it can only sound one way. The traditional folks hate anything that has to do with pushing the genre. It definitely has nothing to do with country music in their eyes.

I've been told my feel on the kit is funky. I played in several midwest white churches for ~25 years and all that material has a straight-8 feel. I've had worship leaders stop mid-song and tell me to "stop swinging". Fish out of water.
Yup, playing worship music is a totally different animal. From my experience, there's very little room for any sort of deviation from the "norm" of the simply 4/4 or 6/8 (at least historically that's the case). Try to throw anything out of the ordinary in there, and you get nasty stares. On the flip side, I was playing guitar on a worship team, and we had this drummer whose playing was rather off the beaten path (no pun intended). We started in an easy 4/4 song, and the guy starts playing some sort samba-like pattern. We all stopped and were like, "Ummmmm.....no." :geek:

Which band? Radiotronic, Soul Kitchen, Street Heat, or Velcro Pygmies?
None of those. I played at a motorcycle ride that kicks off the festival that was at Window World in Louisville. Here's a short story: https://www.wlky.com/article/bikers-kick-off-gaslight-festival-with-ride-in-honor-of-motorcyclist-event-sponsor/28955083
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
We started in an easy 4/4 song, and the guy starts playing some sort samba-like pattern. We all stopped and were like, "Ummmmm.....no." :geek:
“You are swimming in the wrong pond.” 😂

He probably heard or felt something and thought the samba pattern would work. At least he tried, but turned into a clay pigeon mid-way into the tune.

The funk bank I’m in plays Hotel California at a slightly faster tempo and with a funk groove. Dance audiences love it.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Definietly, music scene died with the end of industry here. Think what happened in Detroit but go back to the industrial revolution to give yourself a timescale of how long it was here.

Sadly there is no scene here other than nightclubs. I have to travel out of town to get the good gigs. Randomly did a gig on my doorstep as a favour last Friday and it was like we were a different species.
 
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