Originally Posted by Derek Roddy
It's funny but, as soon as anyone makes a statement that people are playing together....all of a sudden....they have joined the "band".
Blotted Science isn't even a "band" so there is nothing to join.
When was the last show?
The last tour?
How many hours have the guys spent playing together (I'll answer that...about 6- 8 hours over one weekend).....
That's not a "band"........ that's just dudes jamming.haha.
I like Ron a lot, in fact I'm good buddies with Charlie. And, it's a great record.
I just couldn't see spending all of my time....learning someone else's drum parts...when I was told..... I'd "have creative freedom".
I told Ron that "if I did have that freedom...I would work with him and we could split profits from CD sales"....and I'd ask for nothing. Contributing to "art" is my payment at that point.
As soon as I was asked otherwise.....I asked to be paid, because I would be just performing a "task" at that point.
Ron said he would just look for someone else.
We had planned to start another project in the future though.
You would believe how many times I've been through the same thing. I call the patience we need as learning to play nicely with others.
As a non-song-writing drummer I have found myself in various musical situations often lead by someone else. I recognize the power that the song-writer has, for without the songs, there is no music to play. At the same time, Like most of us I play music to express myself. In turn I hope to make that song-writers songs come through while showing an invaluable piece of myself inside of it. Now of course freedom has existed in a lot of my situations, but the general respect and attribute of a side player is just that, they are on the side, replaceable. As a result I find myself playing with 3 to 5 acts at a time getting different emotions from each situation dedicating myself to no one.
The problem is the true essence of a democracy in bands rarely exist. Outside of various side projects and recordings, I must say not even half the acts I have played with have had a balance of power. This balance can only happen when there is complete respect for all other members as artist and the love that no one else could play this song the way that that band member does. An irreplaceable role that only the classic bands such as Rush, Led Zepplin , The Beatles, R.E.M.,The Police and U2 seem to have. Can you imagine no Peart, Bonham, Harrison, Summers or Clayton in any of these bands. Sure they may have wrote a few songs here and there, but for the most part they were the core in bringing the magic across from another song-writers material.
Now I am not the only one frustrated in this situation. I remember watching a video released by Sting made during the rehearsals of DREAM OF BLUE TURTLES album. At the time Branford Marsalis was a fairly unknown yet talented horn player playing with Sting, and in a conversation with the manager he asked why he was not receiving the same pay as Sting. The manager puts it bluntly saying without Branford the band gets another horn player; without Sting there is no show. Point taken, Branford plays with Sting another couple of years. This is until he established himself enough to not need the legacy of Sting to have a well known band. Sting in turn received no loyalty, and to wonder what that act could have created in the same realm of The Police is still unknown.
Now Sting had this power because he is a respectable artist with great songs, but also because he is established in the business and the problem of money does not exist. This is not true with most bands in the world, for most original acts do not make any where near that kind of cash nor have that much success to make those kind of demands.
What I find in this business is many song-writers stepping over his/her boundary by trying to declare what everyone else in the band should or should not play or at worse, even wear. Now this can work, many acts such as Lenny Kravitz, Beck, and various Hip-Hop/Dance producers have done it. But for the most part not all song-writers can play/program all the instruments as well as an individual player, let alone know that individual enough to know what they look good in.
So whats the result? Not a positive one. Without the choice to express ourselves freely,imagine if all us so-called side musicians demanded to be paid for all the rehearsals, recording and live shows? There would not be much good music floating around. Not as many independent releases and not as much live music. What we would find is a bunch of even poorer song-writers or a lot of one instrument and vocal base recordings and coffee house shows with songs not reaching their full potential.
This lack of loyalty encourages the replaceable sidemen to play in as many acts as possible, always looking for a better situation and not allowing the majority of the acts to arrive full circle. Whatever these goals may be. The song-writer in turn finds the ever floating rotation of players through his/her turnstile band or even worse playing with players way below his/her ability. These all of course giving the songs and the band no justice, which is why the song-writer should have wanted the power in the first place.
Now I am not talking about the normal constructive criticism and suggestions that exist in all bands. I am talking about the desire for complete control. Why is there a need for this power? The song-writer usually states that its their vision, and that the other band members do not hear or think of the songs as much or the same way as they do. Point taken, but I know they do not think of my instrument as much as I do. While they are spreading themselves out, I am concentrating on the ultimate part for my role in the song.
Where does the need for this power come from? Most bands get established through a group effort. Everyone placing their energy towards the goal of being successful. As the nature of the beast the singer and song-writer usually end in the spotlight. People telling them how wonderful they are leading them to forget how they got there in the first place, a team effort.
This whole unbalance of power even helped force the fall of the Beatles. In the video of the making of LET IT BE, it is apparent Paul is unhappy with the players surrounding him. In turn he felt it was his responsibility to tell everyone what to play. Almost to the point where George says to him he will not play on the song if Paul hates what he is doing that much. At one time you even see Paul playing on a few drum tracks.
Not having been there, it is hard for me to judge whether he was right or not. But from what I have seen, though commercially successful, in no way is Paul McCartneys solo material anywhere near as influential to music today as the Beatles. To think that the true walrus (leader), John Lennon, didn't want the Beatles to break-up shows John knew and respected why he was able to create the music he did. It was the teamwork within the players of the band.
Fortunately, not all frontmen/women and song-writers feel the way Paul did. We all know Jim Morrison could of and was encouraged to have had a solo career, but according to various biographies his respect and love for the Doors over ran that. And what about Bono, Michael Stipe or Kurt Cobain?
Gratefully, I have experienced that love in a few situations. So good, that the song-writer would even imagine the style of the band while he was writing the song. Thinking what would he/she play to this?
. A few bands, so free, that some songs were written while improvising together. I think highly of those bands and to this day feel they had the most original sound of all the acts I have played in. I just ask if a song-writer feels he/she needs to tell everyone what to play, maybe he/she is playing with the wrong people?