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August 21, 2008


Picture the scene, I'm sat here at my computer, listening to something cool and jazzy on the ol' headphones, when an email drops into my inbox from the drummer in a metal band. The band are looking for a second guitarist and would I like to come along to their next rehearsal for a jam. Of course my answer was 'yes'.

Now, I'm not a metal-head. In fact, if I scroll through the genres menu on my iPod, the list goes like this:

Alternative & Punk
Country (Eh?!)
Gospel & Religious (How'd that get in there?!)
Soul/R&B (I guess the em-phas-is is on the other syl-lable)
Southern Rock
Unclassifiable (What!!)

So I check out the "Rock" genre and the heaviest thing by far that's in there is Guns 'n' Roses. The next heaviest would probably be Placebo... For some reason the early You Am I stuff doesn't even have a classification! No clue where Faith No More have got to. Maybe I deleted them from the iPod so that I could squeeze Herbie Hancock's "River: The Joni Letters" on there.

Okay, so there's nothing metallic lurking inside the miniature music box. Now, I had a friend at university, a long haired Cornish biker bloke called Roger (medical student... prodigious pot smoker... great with the elderly)... anyway, Roger was into every single metal/hardcore band on the planet. His record collection covered every vocal style from menacing growl to ear-splitting scream. He once took me to a thrash metal showcase in Wolverhampton with bands like Nuclear Assault and Napalm Death on the bill. I remember standing in the Wulfrun Hall, literally pinned to the back wall by the noise from the ceiling high speakers. It was thrilling but I can't honestly say it was enjoyable. For one thing I was the only one in the place not wearing leather trousers. Try as I might (and I didn't) I wasn't going to fit in with the crowd!

I remember having quite the discussion one day with Roger about "Crossroads" (the Ralph Macchio movie I just purchased via the interweb). He kept going on about how great Steve Vai was (but not as great as Satch, blah-blah-blah) and how he did the soundtrack. When I said that I thought the soundtrack was by Ry Cooder (who did actually produce the soundtrack), Rog went off on one, saying "That fukker didn't play a single fukkin' note on there, not even the fukkin' blues stuff. That's all Vai, not that other fukker!" Huff, huff, toke on his doobie, plug his Washburn in his 8-foot Marshall stack and SCCCRRRR-CHANGGGGGG!!!! "Fukkin' Ry Cooder! Can fukkin' Ry Cooder play this?" Roger presses [Play] on his CD player then riffs along to "Passion & Warfare", hitting every note perfectly, despite his strings being rusted down by a couple of grades.

I am so losing the plot with this post!

The point is that I don't do metal, but a metal band has invited me to come along and play with them in just over a week's time. In the spirit of The Project I really have to grab at every opportunity and so I've said yes. Methinks I'm going to be pounding out some powerchords and dancing with the Phrygian until next weekend!

Time to beat Red (the Les Paul) into submission.

1 comment:

SRV said...

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Would you like to exchange links?
I have a blog ( and a website (